#649. Three and half hours with the Nikon D850

By Dallas Thomas | Review

Sep 27

The chance to shoot with Nikon’s new D850 was an opportunity too good to knock back, when offered by my good friend Ken.



These few words are not a review of the 850, but my thoughts after only a very short period of use.



The 850 feels similar but different to my 810. The grip is slightly deeper and appears to be more comfortable for my regular sized hand.



The 153 point focus didn’t get a workout as I was using my MF Zeiss Milvus 50 and 21.



Has Nikon made the 850 any easier to use MF focus lens with, the quick answer is no.



The new LCD is very impressive when compared to the 810, much more detail and better to pixel peep with. The articulation is a welcomed addition.



The image quality is excellent, you may well ask are 45.7 Megapixels better than 36.3 Megapixels to be honest I’m not sure I can tell the difference. Having said that, I did not take exactly the same shot with both and compare them side by side.



The shutter to my ear is slightly more noisy on the 850 then the 810. I didn’t use the 850 in burst mode.



I enjoyed my time with the 850 it was joy to use and I felt at home with it. As usual Nikon has moved the buttons around to confuse you as they do with all new models.



The burning question would I shell around A$5,200 to add one to my bag, the quick answer is No. My reasons are my 810 is only 3 months old and I have a D4S if high speed mode is required. If I didn’t own both of these cameras, then yes the 850 would be a worthwhile purchase as it’ll be an excellent allrounder especially if you purchase the optional battery grip to get extra FPS.



Thanks Ken for the use of your beloved 850 and chat as we walked around Sydney CBD.



I thought this shot was appropriate to end this article!


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    Ignoring the deterrent offered by a roughly 50% price rise – even if they cost the same amount, I am afraid I have to agree. My D810 is a great camera – I knew what I wanted it for, and it fulfils my purposes perfectly. There is little in the D850 to inflate me with a sudden inflow of GAS – at least for the time being. And at the rate at which I shoot (a great deal less than pros do), it’ll be a while before I could expect to feel any change.

    Don’t worry about the lack of comparative shots – soon enough, someone will provide us with them.

    Dallas, I am intrigued by that last shot – what is it, and where? – and what else does it have to say? (Sorry to be a pest – but I have devoted a great deal of time & energy over a period of nearly 70 years. towards fighting against any form of discrimination – and this seems relevant).

    • Pete it was taken in Kings Cross, the foot path on Darlinghurst Road has many quotes imbedded in it from different people, some famous other not, this one took my fancy. This is the short answer.

  • Cliff Whittaker says:

    Can’t wait to get a D850. I have a feeling that this thing is going to be super for bird photography. Extended DR + More MPX = more resolution. No matter how big a lens you use little birds only take up a small part of the center of the image. They require a lot of cropping to get the composition and image size for a nice print. Plus, successful shots of birds in flight need a camera and lens with focus that will lock on instantly. My D800E has been better than I ever expected and I think the D850 will be even better. I believe the D850 will be a super success for anyone who takes a more active roll in photography than strolling around town taking snapshots of the scenery. 🙂

  • Peter Oosthuizen says:

    Ken ……………Rockwell? 🙂

    Lovely images and useful commentary, thanks.

  • philberphoto says:

    Very interesting, Dallas! There is a French expression which is “qui perd gagne” for which I fail to find an English expression. It means, sort of, “who loses wins”? In this case, I am afraid that the obverse could apply. A winning camera, but a losing offering. Have Nikon and the DSLR still enough wind in their sails, or has the ship sailed?
    But, in any case, you had a blast, and that is what matters most. Thanks for sharing it with us, and sparing us the brick wall and target shots…:-). Lovely shots, too!

    • Philippe if firmly believe the DSLR has life yet, however mirrorless appears to be the future. I’ve yet to use one of those modern camera’s, so my comments are generic. No walls and charts for me, bokeh is my poison are you well know.

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