Nikon D850 Digital SLR

Last updated date: September 2, 2019

DWYM Score
9.6

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We looked at the top 1 Nikon DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, Photography Life, Ken Rockwell, DP Review, Trusted Reviews, Digital Trends, Imaging Resource, Tech Spot, Camera Labs and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Nikon DSLR Camera you should buy.

Overall Take

This top pick DSLR is a robust full-frame camera. It is popular among professional wedding, landscape, portrait and wildlife photographers. This camera also shoots up to 45.7 megapixels resolution. It has an upgraded 153-point autofocus system, as well as advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system and 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed. In our analysis of 87 expert reviews, the Nikon Nikon D850 Digital SLR placed 1st when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note July 2, 2019:
Checkout The Best Nikon DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top nikon dslr cameras.

Expert Summarized Score
9.5
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
143 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Thanks to the light-collecting elements being closer to the surface of the sensor, the BSI design should deliver better low-light performance than previous sensors.
- Tech Radar
August 13, 2018 | Full review
Thanks to its 45.7 MP sensor with a native ISO sensitivity range of 64-25,600, upgraded 153-point autofocus system, advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system, 7 fps continuous shooting speed that can be bumped up to 9 fps with a battery grip, a fully weather sealed construction and a bunch of other hardware and software upgrades
- Photography Life
February 19, 2019 | Full review
This is the highest ISO speed to which the camera will set itself in Auto ISO. This is easy; if you need Nikon's highest image-quality camera ever, it's the D850. Ever since DSLRs hit 24MP you haven't heard anything from me about 35mm film which I now consider completely obsolete except as a special effect. For most of what most people shoot, the D850 is Nikon's top camera.
- Ken Rockwell
Impressively, the D850 can shoot at nine frames per second if you add the optional MB-D18 battery grip and buy an EN-EL18b battery, as used in the D5. As well as increasing the camera's burst rate, this combination also ups the battery life to a staggering 5140 shots per charge.
- DP Review
October 16, 2017 | Full review
The crystal-clear rear display, with its responsive touch control and accurate colour rendition, is excellent for monitoring results. I regularly used the double-tap function combined with the rear dial to quickly zoom into 100% and check focus between shots. Even if you’re not overly keen on the idea of using a touchscreen on a DSLR, the D850’s is so good you’re likely to use it more than you think, especially to navigate the menu.
- Trusted Reviews
December 3, 2018 | Full review
Built with a magnesium-alloy frame with weather sealing for moisture and dust, the D850 feels sturdy in the hand. We took the camera to a dust-filled motocross track and it wasn’t fazed one bit.
- Digital Trends
The video quality is quite nice, especially its 4K/30 footage, and the in-camera time-lapse features are impressive.
- Imaging Resource
February 5, 2018 | Full review
It's sophisticated and proven AF system. Full-frame 45,7MP image sensor. 7 fps burst mode; 9 fps with battery grip. Sturdy, weather-sealed design. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 4K video.
- Tech Spot
The D850 is Nikon’s highest resolution DSLR to date, boasting a new 45.7 Megapixel full-frame sensor, coupled with the flagship D5’s 153-point AF system, and fast burst shooting at 7fps, boost-able to 9fps with the optional battery grip.
- Camera Labs
November 21, 2017 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The D850 gets Nikon's SnapBridge connectivity for wireless transfer of images, which establishes a low-energy Bluetooth connection between the camera and your smart device.
- Tech Radar
August 13, 2018 | Full review
While the D850 shoots like nothing else under available light, you still need flash for artistic reasons for daylight and other fill-flash to lighten faces and put catchlights in people's eyes.
- Ken Rockwell
Lens calibration becomes absolutely critical at this resolution, and can be a pain point. Not so good for Those shooting incredibly fast action that requires higher burst speeds and those who require a more refined video feature set.
- DP Review
October 16, 2017 | Full review
aving the option to select the shots you’d like to import at 2MB or full resolution is great in this part of the app, but overall I was left with the impression that SnapBridge could be made more intuitive to use.The fact it doesn’t offer the option to change exposure settings live in Remote Shooting mode also puts it way behind other apps from rival manufacturers.
- Trusted Reviews
December 3, 2018 | Full review
The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection isn’t always reliable. Live-view autofocus is slower. Pricey.
- Digital Trends
However, the fact that the camera still uses sluggish contrast-detect AF for live view and video really puts the D850 at a disadvantage for video compared to other 4K-capable ILCs on the market these days.
- Imaging Resource
February 5, 2018 | Full review
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection isn't always reliable. Live View focus uses contrast detection only. SnapBridge still clunky. Omits built-in flash. Expensive.
- Tech Spot

From The Manufacturer

Extreme resolution meets extreme speed. When Nikon introduced the D800 and D800E, it set a new benchmark for DSLR image quality and super high resolution photography that approached medium format. Now, five years later, Nikon proudly introduces the next evolution in high resolution DSLRs, a camera that allows photographers to capture fast action in 45.7 megapixels of brilliant resolution. With remarkable advancements across the board—sensor design, autofocus, dynamic range, sensitivity, Speedlight control, battery life, shutter and mirror drive mechanisms, Silent Photography in Live-View mode, focus shift capability and more. This is quite possibly the most impressive, well-rounded DSLR yet. GPS: GP-1 GPS Unit, GP-1A GPS unit.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Nikon D850 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 9
2. Nikon D5500 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 13
3. Nikon D7200 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Nikon D3400 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 11
5. Nikon D750 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Nikon D3300 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
7. Nikon D5300 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera With WiFi
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 6
9. Nikon D3200 Digital SLR
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Nikon DSLR Cameras

It wasn’t too long ago that powerful cameras were prohibitively expensive and limited to professionals. The times and technology have certainly changed. Now, families tote DSLR cameras around on trips to the playground, and many consider them a travel necessity.

It makes sense, as companies like Nikon have honed professional-level technology so that beginners and aspiring photographers alike can take stunning photographs every day. Having a high-quality camera, like a Nikon DSLR, will make a significant difference in the photos that you take, no matter how incredible you might think the built-in camera on your phone is.

DSLR cameras were made to capture impressive scenes, minute details and everything in between. DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera and was designed to mimic its predecessor, the single-lens reflex film camera. As such, the DSLR cameras have similar design features. The camera body is equipped with a viewfinder and a reflex mirror and connects with an interchangeable-lens system.

DSLR cameras come in a wide range of prices and features. If you want to take the most beautiful photographs, they are unparalleled in image-capturing technology. They boast the highest image quality, speed and user-friendly design. Similarly, they can match basically any type of photography you can dream up. A DSLR camera is generally the first step toward serious photography for many people. While there are reasonably priced models, any DSLR camera purchase will be an investment. As such, it’s important to understand the DSLR cameras available so you can select one that best fits your personal needs.

Nikon DSLRs are among the wide array of digital cameras available on the market today. Canon and Sony are competitive camera manufacturers. There are models suitable for beginners, professional photographers and everyone in between. DSLRs are the leading camera technology available today, and Nikon is often the camera of choice for professional photographers.

Unlike basic digital cameras, when buying a DSLR camera, you’ll likely purchase at least two parts. These two main components are the body and the lens. Generally, these pieces are sold separately, and there are specific lens options for each camera body. For beginners, you can purchase a kit that includes the body and one or more lenses as a package. Generally, these lenses are lower performance than those sold individually. The DSLR camera body contains a mirror that reflects the light onto an optical viewfinder that displays the image viewed through the lens.

It is with various lenses, not camera bodies, that you will notice the biggest difference in photos and capabilities. As such, one of the most important characteristics to think about is the system of lenses compatible with each camera body. While you may begin with one or two lenses, you will likely invest in more over time as your photography grows. Each camera body connects with a different system of lenses.

Even though Nikon is well-known as a top camera choice for professional photographers, there are plenty of beginner-friendly Nikon DSLR cameras too. These cameras, like the Nikon D3400 and D5500, are especially appealing because they have reasonable starting price points (around $300 and up). They also have helpful automatic photography settings. That means you will have high image quality but less control over the camera settings. As such, these are aimed at beginners and could be frustrating for more advanced photographers. Armed with a variety of preset effects, you can rely on these and gradually learn how to handle a DSLR camera.

The value pick, the Nikon D3400, is an excellent first DSLR camera for beginners and costs around $400. It delivers solid image quality and shutter speed for its class at a good value. That means it is fast enough to capture kids and pets. For a step up in performance without a significant price increase, the D5500 offers upgrades across the board. At around $600, this camera is one of the lightest Nikon DSLR cameras and features a more comfortable grip.

If you’re familiar with photography and want a bit more control and range in a Nikon DSLR, you may be ready for a higher priced and higher performance intermediate category camera. There are many intermediate options for aspiring photographers as well as professionals. If you’re looking for innovative technology, this is an exciting category.

For example, the Nikon D7200 costs around $700 and offers upgraded features, such as the 51-point autofocus system and native range of ISO100-25,600.

The top pick Nikon D850 DSLR camera boasts many impressive features. It shoots up to 45.7 megapixels resolution, one of the highest resolutions on the market today. It also has an upgraded 153-point autofocus system, advanced 181,000-pixel RGB metering system and 7 frames per second continuous shooting speed. By design, this camera outperforms others in low-light. Overall, it’s a powerful, professional camera that commands an equivalent price tag.

Within Nikon’s range of DSLRs, there’s a camera and a price point that’s perfect for every photography skill level. As the company innovates, the cameras are constantly improving, boasting more features and improved image quality at ever more reasonable prices.

DYWM Fun Fact

Digital cameras seem like they’re everywhere these days. Before Steve Sasson at Eastman Kodak built the very first digital camera, there weren’t any hanging from tourists necks. The first digital camera was very low quality, at only .01 megapixel and weighing eight pounds.

Nikon’s first DSLR camera debuted in 1999 with the D1. It was the beginning of multiple generations of constantly improving DSLR cameras. Now, Nikon has progressed into the D7000s, as well as offering Z series mirrorless and full-frame DSLR options.

Today’s most impressive DSLR cameras, like the Nikon D850, can capture images with as many as 45.7 megapixels. These files can be blown up to 20-inch by 30-inch poster size and maintain a crisp, clear image.

The Nikon DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Entry-level DSLR cameras generally incorporate an APS-C-sized sensor and polycarbonate construction. These two components help make them compact and lightweight. However, those new to DSLRs will notice they are heavier and more unwieldy than standard point and shoot.
  • Beginners should look for features like guide modes when buying their first DSLR. These entry-level DSLR cameras help teach new photographers about the controls and settings with the ultimate goal of understanding exactly how to produce specific types of imagery in mind.
  • DSLR cameras tend to have superb battery life because the optical viewfinder uses minimal power. Depending on the length of time you’re shooting, DSLR cameras can take thousands of photos on a single battery charge
  • DSLR cameras can range from around $200 on the low end to $1,000 and up for the high-end cameras professionals rely on. Nikon DSLR prices tend to be a bit higher than competitors because each level of camera includes enhanced performance features.
  • Be careful when changing lenses to not touch the mirror or sensor or get dust on the inner components. If anything does get on the sensor, some cameras include an auto-clean mode, or you can use specialty cloths to clean.
  • Some DSLRs have more rugged weather sealing. However, most require a separate housing to be waterproof and weatherproof. You should be careful in adverse weather conditions or wet or dusty areas to protect the sensitive camera.