Nikon teased its latest DSLR on the date of its centenary earlier this year – July 25th – and now we know all about the final product. The Nikon D850 gains a brand-new, 45.7-million-pixel full frame sensor into a body that’s similar in design to last year’s D500, complete with a tilting rear touchscreen, AF-point selection joystick, and illuminated rear buttons that are really useful when shooting in the dark.

The specification is pretty head-turning, too, as Nikon has made a camera that reads like many a pro photographer’s wishlist. Alongside the high resolution, it has a sensitivity range of ISO 64-25,600 that’s extendable to ISO 32 – 102,400; 7 frames per second continuous shooting that can be boosted to 9 fps using the optional vertical grip, with a 51-frame raw buffer; and the superb 153-point autofocus system from the D5 and D500. This all makes the D850 look like it should be a far better all-rounder than the D810 ever was, and more suited to subjects like nature and action photography.

Nikon D850

The mode and ISO buttons have swapped places compared to the D810

Users will also be treated to what Nikon says is the largest viewfinder it has ever built into a DSLR, along with a high-resolution 2.36-million-dot tilting LCD. For live view shooting there’s now a completely silent, zero-vibration electronic shutter: useful for when you need to work unobtrusively, or need to get the sharpest possible images. Movie makers will find 4K video recording is on hand at 30p, and 4K timelapse movies can also be generated in-camera. It’s even possible to use the built-in intervalometer to produce 8K timelapse sequences, although this requires third-party software.

Images are stored to either XQD or SD cards, with the faster UHS-II type supported. The D850 can shoot an impressive 1840 shots off a single battery charge, while the shutter is rated for 200,000 actuations. Other features include a choice of three raw file sizes; an in-camera focus stacking mode; auto AF fine-tune for matching your lenses to your camera; pinpoint autofocus in live view; and a new auto white balance mode that aims to give more pleasing results when shooting under natural light.

The Nikon D850 is due to go on sale on 7th September 2017, but unsurprisingly given the spec sheet, it won’t be cheap, with an RRP of £3,499.99 body only. Best start saving those pennies now.

Press release:

Exceptional is here. Show your mastery with the ultra-high-resolution D850

  Nikon D850

London, UK, 24th August 2017 – Nikon introduces the D850 and gives full-frame photographers the ultimate combination of resolution, speed, and light sensitivity. From the studio to the remotest locations on earth, this FX-format D-SLR doesn’t just perform—it takes excellence to a whole new level.

Whether you are shooting commercial sports, nature, weddings, fashion or movies, the D850 gives photographers working in intensely competitive fields the creative flexibility they need to excel. The fast, ultra-high-resolution FX-format sensor uses 45.7 megapixels of effective resolution to deliver 45.4 MP files. New gapless on-chip lens architecture enables exceptional detail and incredible dynamic range. Frame rates are boosted to up to 9 fps when using the optional MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack. Moviemakers can now record full-frame movies at 4K with no crop factor, which opens up the possibilities when shooting with Nikon’s fast prime lenses. And 4K timelapse movies can be recorded in-camera.

Other new features that enable greater flexibility include the option to shoot RAW size Large, Medium, or Small. Silent Photography mode enables ultra-sharp ultra-high-resolution shooting with no shutter noise. Pinpoint AF mode is available in Live View for precise macro shooting. And this is the first D-SLR ever to boast an in-camera focus-stacking mode for exceptionally sharp images with vast depth of field.

Tim Carter, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Nikon UK, says: “The D850 is an exceptional follow-up to the hugely successful D810 and we are thrilled to be adding it to our line-up of full-frame D-SLRs. It’s an ideal choice for photographers who want the freedom to deliver stunning images without exceptions. Whether you’re looking for flexibility in terms of file size, ISO, speed or megapixel count, the D850 excels in all areas, making it the perfect camera for pros.”

Summary of main features

Resolution: 45.7 megapixels of effective resolution. Richly detailed 45.4 MP files. Back-illuminated FX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter.

Speed: shoot at 7 fps. Or shoot full-resolution images at 9 fps when using the optional MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack (with the EN-EL18B battery inserted).

Light sensitivity: the powerful EXPEED 5 image processor delivers exceptionally clean images across the ISO range of 64–25600, extendable from 32 to 102400 (equivalent). The full ISO range is available for 4K video shooting too.

Precision: the same phenomenal 153-point AF system as the flagship D5 offers sensitivity down to -4 EV at the central point (ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F). Metering down to -3 EV enables precise automatic exposures even when the only light is the light of the moon.

4K video with no crop factor: record full-frame 4K/UHD movies at 30p, with no crop-factor limitations. Shoot more than three hours using the MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack.

In-camera 4K timelapse: film 4K timelapse movies in-camera, and harness the D850’s 45.7 effective megapixels to create spectacular 8K timelapse movies in post.

RAW flexibility: shoot 45.4 MP RAW size Large, 25.6 MP RAW size Medium, or 11.4 MP RAW size Small (both Medium and Small are 12-bit lossless compressed).

Any environment: extensive weather sealing readies the D850 for harsh environments. The same full-button illumination seen on Nikon’s D5 ensures easy handling under the blanket of night.

Fast storage media: a dual card slot unit enables use of a UHS-II SD card and an XQD card—the fastest combination possible.