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Proving that speed and resolution can indeed coexist, the Nikon D850 is a multimedia DSLR that brings together robust stills capabilities along with apt movie and time-lapse recording. Revolving around a newly designed 45.7MP BSI CMOS sensor and proven EXPEED 5 image processor, the D850 is clearly distinguished by its high resolution for recording detailed imagery. The back-illuminated design of the sensor is able to acquire greater detail and clarity when working in low-light conditions, and the sensor also forgoes an optical low-pass filter for improved sharpness. Working in conjunction with the sensor is the EXPEED 5 image processor, which together afford a 7 fps continuous shooting rate for up to 51 consecutive frames, an expandable sensitivity range from ISO 32 to 102400, and 4K UHD video recording using either a DX crop or the entire area of the full-frame sensor. An 8K time-lapse recording mode is also available, as well as additional specialized recording modes for digitizing film negatives and for focus stacking applications. Benefitting the imaging capabilities is an advanced Multi-CAM 20K 153-point AF system, which debuted with the flagship D5 and offers 99 cross-type sensors for refined focusing accuracy in a variety of lighting conditions. Checking off a number of boxes for multimedia image-makers, the D850 positions itself as not only a high-resolution DSLR but also as a camera for speed, movies, and low-light shooting needs.
Balancing the versatile imaging features, the D850 is also equally refined in its physical design. A large optical pentaprism offering a wide field of view and 0.75x magnification affords photographers a bright, clear, and realistic view for critical shooting needs. Conversely, a 3.2″ 2.36m-dot LCD touchscreen is also available for live view shooting, playback, and menu navigation, and features a tilting design to suit working from high and low angles. A weather-sealed design is also employed, to suit working in a variety of environmental conditions, and the optional MB-D18 grip can be added to boost overall shooting times and continuous shooting rates. Additionally, built-in SnapBridge allows for wireless sharing of low-resolution imagery and remote live view use on a linked mobile device, and an optional WT-7a Wireless Transmitter can also be used for faster wireless transferring of files.
Benefitting the sensor is the apt EXPEED 5 image processor, which affords a wealth of speed throughout the camera system, including the ability to shoot continuously at 7 fps for up to 51 consecutive 14-bit lossless compressed raw files in a single burst. When working with the optional MB-D18 grip and EN-EL18a/b battery, this shooting rate can be increased to 9 fps, and up to 30 fps shooting is possible when working in a DX crop mode during Silent Live View.
Managing the abundance of focusing points is a dedicated AF engine, which offers quick response times to benefit tracking fast and randomly moving subjects, even at the top 7 fps shooting rate. The AF engine also contributes to enhanced focusing sensitivity, with all points capable of focusing -4 EV for working in very dark, low-contrast situations.
Furthering the versatility of the focusing system, different AF-area modes can be selected to support varying types of subjects matter:
Lastly, a unique auto AF fine-tune function can be employed to ensure the best possible focus for each mounted lens. Rather than relying on photographing distance charts, this function lets you achieve precise focus manually in live view, and then have the AF system calibrate itself to the fine-tuned focus position in order to alleviate front- and back-focusing issues.
Benefitting video recording, a dedicated power aperture button (Pv) makes it possible to achieve smooth, continuous exposure transitions when switching from light to dark areas, and Auto ISO can also be used to maintain a consistent brightness when working in changing lighting situations. Focus Peaking can be used to benefit manual focus control and a Zebra Stripes option is also available to help detect over-exposed areas within the frame. Audio recording can be handled using the built-in stereo microphone or an optional external mic can be added via the 3.5mm stereo jack for greater control over quality, and live monitoring is possible via the headphone jack.
The D850 also blends both still and video capabilities with the ability to produce 8K time-lapses using the Interval Timer Mode or in-camera 4K time-lapse movies, with the ability to record up to 9999 exposures for either method. This system also makes use of a silent interval timer, which produces no shutter noise, does not contribute to wear on the shutter mechanism, and is energy efficient to maximize battery life.