Nikon D850 Digital SLR

Last updated date: October 2, 2020

DWYM Score

9.0

Nikon D850 Digital SLR

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We looked at the top DSLR Cameras and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best DSLR Camera you should buy.

Update as June 14, 2021:
Checkout The Best DSLR Camera for a detailed review of all the top dslr cameras.

Overall Take


In our analysis of 132 expert reviews, the Nikon D850 Digital SLR placed 9th when we looked at the top 20 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

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.

Expert Reviews

Expert Summarized Score

9.5
8 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

9.6
143 user 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

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

An Overview On DSLR Cameras

At one time, you couldn’t get the same high-quality picture with a digital camera as you could with traditional, film-based cameras. But DSLR cameras changed all that, providing high-quality, professional results without the need to go through the process of developing prints. This allows professional photographers to service the many customers who now prefer digital files to paper-based photos. It also lets amateurs refine their photography skills without the cost of film developing.

But if you’re in the market for a DSLR camera, be prepared to spend some money. Top-notch DSLR cameras can cost in the thousands, making it tough for hobbyists to make room in their budget. However, you can find a DSLR camera for a few hundred dollars, so it’s important to go into your shopping trip knowing exactly what features you’ll need.

First up is image quality, which is likely a top consideration, no matter how advanced your photography skills are. A bad camera can make it tough to provide images that have that “wow” factor, even if you have all the skills. There are multiple things that factor into whether a camera shoots well, though, including the lenses you use and the build of the camera itself. Little things, like whether your camera can shoot higher-quality images when lighting isn’t ideal, can make a big difference.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or someone still learning your trade, there are times when you’ll want to rely on autofocus. It can especially come in handy with action shots, where you don’t have an abundance of time.

Another important factor with action shots is whether or not your camera supports continuous shooting. The faster your camera can grab images at sports games, live performances or even red carpet events, the less likely you’ll miss that all-important shot. This is measured in frames per second, and the top cameras are all in a similar range. However, if you’re comparing two cameras and all other features are equal, frames per second can tip the scales.

If you plan to shoot outdoors even occasionally, you may want to consider your camera’s level of weather resistance. Some cameras are built specifically to withstand the rain and debris that you’ll at least occasionally encounter on outdoor shoots. A camera with that feature can come in handy over the years.

The DSLR Camera Buying Guide

  • Every camera promises to produce great images, but how do you know that’s what you’re getting? There are quite a few factors playing into whether your pictures look great, starting with range. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera offers high image quality whether you’re shooting wide-angle or using a telephoto lens to get up close and personal.
  • Trying to find the perfect lighting can dramatically shorten your shooting window each day. If you have a camera that can snap sharp images in a variety of lighting situations, you’ll give yourself a great headstart. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera can shoot sharp images even in low lighting situations with no flash. Although the Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR offers some of the best image quality you’ll find in a camera, it really shines in low-lighting situations.  It can lock onto a subject and create a great picture in just 0.7 seconds, even in extremely dim light.
  • Noise is also an issue in images. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR displays very little noise disruption in images, especially between ISO 100 to 1600.
  • Today’s DSLR cameras can also handle video, but not all cameras are created equal in this area. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera records 4K video, allowing you to even capture 8.8-megapixel screen grabs from each video frame. As an added bonus, you’ll get high-quality audio recording in video mode, as well. However, it can’t output 4K over HDMI, which means by the time you export it, you’ll find it drops down to 1080p.
  • The sensor on your camera will also play a big role in image quality. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera has a 26.2-megapixel sensor that can output impressive image quality, even at a higher ISO range.  With the Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera, you get a 24.7-MP sensor.
  • When shooting events, the pressure can be intense to get that perfect shot. Continuous shooting can lend a big hand. You’ll get the best results from the Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera, which offers shooting speeds of 7 frames per second. Even when you aren’t aiming for a burst of continual images, this model is faster at getting ready for the next shot than comparable cameras. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR also has impressive shutter speed, offering 5 frames per second at full resolution.
  • If you’re toting your camera around a while, you probably won’t want a camera that weighs you down. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera weighs only 0.86 pounds, making it among the most portable in its class. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera weighs 3.45 pounds.
  • Although many photographers know autofocus has its weaknesses, technology has pushed the feature well beyond what it used to be. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera uses Canon’s specialized dual-pixel technology, which puts phase-detection points on the camera’s imaging sensor.
  • Even professional photographers don’t want to deal with complicated features that take hours to learn. The easier a camera is to use, the faster a photographer can get to work. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera is designed as entry-level cameras, so it’s ideal for the photographer who is still learning. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera can be complex, but a touch-sensitive screen helps take some of the sting out of learning.
  • You won’t exactly have access to a wall outlet every time you want to snap photos. That makes battery life an essential feature to consider. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera has great battery life, having increased by 30 percent over its previous model. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera also has an impressive battery life.
  • Camera prices tend to increase with the experience level of the photographers they’re built to serve. Keep your skill level in mind when looking at price.
  • One feature that’s increasingly important in newer cameras is Wi-Fi connectivity. Not only does this make it easy to move your photos from your camera to other devices for editing and sharing, but it also allows you to post your photos on social media. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The Nikon D750 DSLR Camera has integrated Wi-Fi, which also lets you use your smartphone as a remote control for your camera.
  • If you shoot outdoors, you’ve likely experienced the frustration of being limited by the weather. The right weatherproof camera lets you capture images even when it’s raining or snowing outside. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR is both gasketed and sealed to keep dust and moisture out. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera is also weatherproof.
  • Before setting aside part of your budget for a camera, make sure you know how much you’ll have to spend on accessories. The Nikon D3500 With AF-P DX NIKKOR Camera comes with an 18-55mm lens, as well as an optional upgrade to include a bag. You can also upgrade to a 55-mm lens, but it will bump the cost up by a couple hundred dollars. The Canon EOS 6D Mark II Wi-Fi Enabled Digital SLR Camera has no built-in flash, and you’ll need to purchase a high-quality lens. There are a variety of bundle options, though, that will cost more but possibly save you money on buying the items separately. Look for a camera that comes with multiple accessories, including a rubber eyecup for the viewfinder, caps, a strap, a powerful battery and a built-in charger. Some models also come with an optically-stabilized lens.