Weekend reading: 90 pages Nikon D850 brochure (with D850 vs. D5 vs. D750 comparison)

Nikon uploaded a 90 pages Nikon D850 brochure online - a lot of useful information is included. Near the end, there is a detailed specifications comparison between the D5, D750, and D850 full frame DSLR cameras (see also the D850 vs. D810 comparison):

Pre-orders: B&H | Adorama | Amazon | BuyDig | WEX | Jessops

Nikon D850 Facebook Page | Nikon D850 Facebook Group

Nikon D850 directory

This entry was posted in Nikon D850. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Jeffrey G. Bank

    Mt first question , given the PRICE and specs of the D850, is why would anyone buy a D5, at this point?

    • Well for some use cases it’s still better. But I’ve always wondered why amateurs buy a camera like a D5 – and that happens more often than you’d be inclined to think. So yes for those people ánd for many PJ’s who don’t do much sports e.g. – the D850 will be a better camera.

      • John Mackay

        The D5 is the only sports full frame camera Nikon makes, so if you want high fps it’s that or nothing. The D500 has the af and speed, but is still apsc. D850 obviously changing that

      • Lladnar

        People with money often want to buy the most expensive option not realizing or caring if it’s of any real benefit to do so. I think one reason Nikon released the newest flagship pro camera 3/4 of a year before the prosumer model is to insure that pros and Richie Richs will buy it instead. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1e5486a1473ff8f1a089a4599688261bfdd727be0dfc503a70eb372c93530e1.jpg

        • Nikkor300f4VR

          Thumbs up for Richie Rich!

        • ZoetMB

          Very true. Back in the film days I was absolutely shocked when an acquaintance of mine who knew absolutely nothing about photography (and who didn’t have all that much money) showed up with a brand new F4 in the days when I was shooting with just an N80. He was insulted when I said, “that’s way too much camera for you.” The only thing he ever shot was family vacation photos. To this day, he still doesn’t really know what an F-stop or ISO means. I advised him that he should have bought a cheaper body and bought better lenses instead, but he didn’t get it.

          People think if they buy the top-of-the-line it means their photos will be better, but sometimes it’s the opposite as the complexity gets in the way of their photography. That same guy is still shooting with a D80 today, as his wife won’t let him spend more money on photography, but he always shoots on Auto. He still doesn’t even understand how to offload images from the memory card.

          And then there’s the people who buy the top-of-the-line because price is no object and they like showing off that price isn’t a consideration for them. But whatever floats their boat and it helps the camera companies and a lot of those cameras show up used in near-perfect condition because they were never used much, so everyone benefits.

          • In my experience, it’s not always the “people think their photos will be better if they buy the top of the line”…

            Often times, the people I run into are very down-to-earth folks who simply happen to be absurdly wealthy, and they’re just spending an “appropriate” amount of money on their hobby, considering their net worth. When I was touting a D70 and third-party APS-C zooms, I knew a guy who had a 1DX and a full set of Nikon 2.8 full-frame zooms. He had no delusions about his skills as a photographer, he simply wanted gear to never be an excuse for bad photos. I’ve run into plenty of 1Ds / D3 / D4 etc. folks over the years who were still humble and eager to learn.

            Of course I’ve also run into plenty of “uncle bobs” at weddings who think they’re some sort of artistic master whose gear takes no bad pictures, ever. 😉

          • Either way, I’m grateful that these folks exist, because make no mistake, they account for at least 50% or more of the actual “professional” flagship camera / lens sales. They are effectively subsidizing cheaper cameras for the working pros who need gear at an affordable price.

            Now is probably an especially fantastic time to set an alert for dirt-cheap, mint-condition D810’s on eBay or Fred Miranda. Might even find a low-actuation one for $1000-$1500 in the next month or so, who knows!

          • I can’t even count how many trade shows I’ve been to where someone is walking around the show floor with a D4 or D5, and an 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 DX kit lens.

        • Yup. Nikon gave the D3 a solid year of *insane* sales before they released the D700. That was absolutely by design, since 50-75% of folks who bought the D3 really only “needed” the D700.

          Same thing with why Nikon did the D3X, period. They knew that some folks would pay $8K for it. Canon had gotten up to three generations of $8K cameras, with the 1Ds series, and Nikon wanted a piece of that pie before it was too late. Now that the market is saturated with solid, high-performance DSLRs for $2-3K, both Canon and Nikon have quietly killed their $8K price point altogether; their priciest flagships now range $5-6K.

          Translation: I can’t wait to see how many of these D850 features trickle down to the D760!

          • The D700 was definitely in the field, being tested in 2006. They could have released it then. In fact, I strongly suspect it was developed before the D3. (sorry if I’ve said this before)

            About that D3x: the files from the D3x are still superior to the D750. I’m not sure if it was something cheapened in the circuit for profit, or decision to protect the D3x, but having shot both, that’s a thing. (at least in raw–I don’t doubt that the D750 benefits from updated in camera processing for jpegs)

            • Huh? The D3X is behind even the D600 in every possible metric. The D600 sensor was an incredible leap forward for full-frame sensors, and the D750 takes that a step further.

              Unless you’re one of those people who talks about “that look” that certain high-end cameras seem to have, a subtle color difference that is somehow preferable, even though it’s largely arbitrary and ambiguous.

    • Brian Hess

      Maybe file size and ISO could be a factor.

    • John Mackay

      Durability, weather sealing, frame rate, shutter life, ergonomics, buffer.

    • D5’s Low light high iso performance is likely superior and if you need that and those 12 FPS and an enormous buffer, there’s no other Nikon FX choice. If I shot stadium/night time sports it would be the only serious choice. D850 more general purpose and not as niche.

    • Duncan Dimanche

      Wayyyy better ISO and the ergonomic faster shutter speed…
      But Yeah it’s a good question… It’s awesome that Nikon put it all in that D850 !
      What a champ !

      The ONLY way that they could have made it better would have been to add in-body IS… sigh

      • Tom

        When Nikon updates their models we complain about some feature that is left out that handicaps the camera to prevent it stealing sales from another model. Maybe making the D850 feature rich is Nikon’s way of making a DSLR swan-song as it enters the mirrorless world?

    • People have said this since the D700 came out. If it has flagship AF and achieves roughly the same FPS with a battery grip, why buy the flagship?

      In short, there are plenty of reasons, but we are all too plebeian to want, let alone need, most of the features / reasons.

      The long answer is, however many D5 sales that the D850 steals, it will make up for in sheer volume of D850, since even at $3300 there’s still a decent profit margin in it for Nikon. Maybe someone like Thom Hogan can give a better estimate on how many D850’s would need to sell in order to make up for one lost D5 sale, but I’m betting it’s a number that is highly discussed at Nikon HQ when they are giving their engineers a target budget.

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      Nikon word choice is pretty careful, I think.

      D5 -> Sports Photographer
      D850 -> Commercial Sport Photographer

      9 < 12 by 25%

  • alphab

    Auto AF fine tune: if this works, I like it!

    • BVS

      It’s been in several other cameras already – D5, D500, D7500. It works, but check out Steve Perry’s video on how to use it properly.

  • Toby Vidnes

    The REAL question is: When will we see a Nikon DF2? With tilt-screen and max 21-24mpx…:-)

    • Gosh1

      good question.
      new HR sensor + the D5’s AF system and focus also stacking, and why not the superb tilting screen (purists can keep it tucked in)… These can shape the Df2 into the leading retro FX DSLR, especially for landscapes and macrophotography

    • Without a split prism, micro prism, or some other kind of manual focus aid in the view finder, the Df is just a gimmick.

      It’s just not the old analogue manual focus experience without something like that.

  • Brilliant! Thanks Peter. All we need now in the user manual 🙂

    • the manual should come right before shipping

      • Do you think there will be anything else of substance this year from Nikon?

    • Ed Hassell

      I’d rather have Thom Hogan’s book than Nikon’s user manual: but that will probably take 6 months or more.

      • Lladnar

        I’m sure Tony N will do a thorough walkthrough youtube video.

  • Gosh1

    It is intriguing to see how Nikon exploit their advantages in the innovations we see condensed into the D850.
    Leveraging the advantages of the D5 AF system in the D500 and now the D850, the new HR sensor will be a killer feature in forthcoming Nikon’s that combine the D5 AF and focus stacking with ergonomics of the D500 and now D850….

  • Eric Calabros

    Even DPR is spreading fake news. EFCS is available in Q and Qc modes.

    • Lee

      Fake news is intentionally misleading scare tactics, not overlooked or mistaken details.

  • alphab

    What do you think, is the extended battery life simply due to the fact that there is no flash anymore?
    If I am well informed, according to CIPA half of the shots must be taken with, and the other half without flash. And when there is no flash, well there is no flash.
    Might be interesting to know for those like me who never used the flash on the D810, maybe the battery life is then actually lower in comparison.

    • That’s what I thought as well, but it seems about the same increase is there for video shooting (see page 84), where the flash is not involved anyway. So there’s hope for actual increase in better life.

  • PeterT

    What is “Picture Control Auto”?? How does it differentiate from “normal” or “standard”???

    • Lladnar

      I think it just decides which one to use as with the Auto option for Active D-Lighting.

  • Allan

    3 questions:

    How often do they update the EXPEED processor?

    Is the D”n”, full-frame flagship camera, always the first to receive the new EXPEED? I was surprised that the D850 didn’t have a new EXPEED.

    What does “pure potential” mean?

    • Lladnar

      The D810 has EXPEED 4, even so I also wondered if the D850 might introduce an EXPEED 6, but in reality this is trivial if the current processing hardware can support the awesome specs of this camera. Keep in mind every model has it’s own unique firmware that acts as an operating system for the camera.

      “Pure Potential” means someone in Nikon’s marketing department needs to be fired.

      • Allan

        “Pure Potential” means someone in Nikon’s marketing department needs to be fired.”


        • Allan

          I can definitely see some photographers using the impure potential of this camera. 🙂

          • Lladnar

            Cheers to that.

            • Allan

              Good one.

      • Just potential means that some of it won’t be realised…

  • Nikkor300f4VR

    Thanks, I was just looking after some material to read about the “inferior D750” which is cannot be compared to a pro model by performace.. However the fact, everybody comparing it to them since it was released. LoL!

  • bonem

    That’s an interesting read! I’d love to see that for the whole D8xx lineup to compare progress.

  • No active D lighting for 4k but 1080p? Wonder if that’s a processing limitation. Any slow motion video samples spotted in the wild?

  • ZoetMB

    I think it’s interesting that just 10 lenses are highlighted in this brochure and that the 500, 600 and 800mm aren’t among them (unless I missed something). I wonder if Nikon considers only the lenses they included to have the resolving power for this body.

    The lenses shown are:
    8-15 fisheye E, 14-24G, 24-70E, 70-200E, 20 1.8G, 24 1.4G, 28 1.4E, 105 1.4E, 400 2.8E and the 19mm Tilt-Shift E.

    • Eric Calabros

      It just means selling these lenses have higher priority for marketing department.

    • They probably chose to mainly showcase E aperture lenses, for their added timelapse-friendliness. (less / zero flicker)

    • Considering how off-the-charts most of the “big gun” lenses’ sharpness is, I doubt that any of them have reached their resolving limit somewhere between 36 and 45. There’s a good chance that we’ll NEVER out-resolve the latest versions of those big gun lenses, IMO.

      • Ben Brayev

        are you saying that only because of the mtf charts? because when you stop down a lens like that, the 500mm f4E for an example you do actually see a difference in sharpness. so i assume you dont speak out of experience. obviously the 500mm f4’s are sharp as hell, but even on the d810 you can clearly see a difference between f4 and f8.

  • Any pictures of the BOTTOM of the camera? I’m curious to see if they’ve re-oriented the battery like on the D750 and D500.

    • FerpectShotz

      There is one on the last page of the brochure. It looks like they didn’t go the D500 route and managed to make in the grip itself. which would be great to use with L brackets, D500 is a bit annoying as i have to loosen the bracket every https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7fec99304c11e7673a4fa98189b9cc3fd503b5399048efb7a4899d84e70ff693.png time i have ti change battery.

      • If you get a “legit” L bracket, (Really Right Stuff) …you don’t have to loosen the bracket every time you want to change the battery. 😉

        I would definitely rather have the in-body battery orientation and have to spend the extra few bucks for a new / different tripod plate.

        However, I also suspect that flipping the battery 90* also caused Nikon to have to slightly shrink the AF module in the D750, which is obviously a non-option for the D850. If they had to keep the battery in-grip on the D850, I’ll be happy if they at least significantly deepen the grip itself, although I don’t think this will be as strong as it could be. I already had a problem with one of my D700’s when I dropped it o the bottom corner and bent the grip metal a tiny bit, it became slightly difficult to get batteries in and close the door.

    • there is one here:
      I have one more that will post online in my next post

  • koenshaku

    I really didn’t expect Nikon to make a camera this good… >_<

  • The_Incomparable_Douche

    Peter is English your first language?

    • I thought that was obvious – no, it is not 🙂

      • The_Incomparable_Douche

        Not at all obvious! But what gave it away just now was the use of the phrase “a 90 pages brochure”, which most native speakers would write as “a 90-page brochure”. Anyway, your English is excellent. 🙂

        • there you go – but it is more than 1 page, so it should be plural, right 🙂 lol

          • The_Incomparable_Douche

            True, English doesn’t make sense!

            • I know, I usually try get my teenage daughter to spell check but she is out today 🙂

          • Adam Fo

            …a brochure of 90 pages

      • “I thought that was obvious – no, it is not”

        It wasn’t obvious to me. 🙂

        • Then I should have kept that info private 🙂

          • I had no idea. What is your native language?

  • Miguel Lecuona

    Great brochure for a great camera. Even small details like the new 1:2 crop size will find use. I had a project a few years ago for 4’x8′ canvas wraps. This will simplify the most important part — the upfront composition of the image — and streamline the workflow a ton. Ditto for wide-format websites on SquareSpace et al.

    Speaking of workflow, what do you think about the In-camera Raw batch processing. Is it really gonna be a time saver for you?

  • Delmar Mineard Jr

    Excellent chart. Thanks Peter.

  • Aldo

    Cant wait to see low light medium nef (25mp) from the d850 vs d5 files. Something tells me we are in for a good surprise

  • XT

    The brochure has a short discussion and figures for the new sensor design. Also, lots more on autofocus functionality.

  • I have a friend who is the photographer for a small university athletic department. He had a D4 and lenses to boot. Recently switched to D500. I know he had some back trouble and that D4 didn’t help. I’ve used D500 several times and it’s a nice camera.

  • Where is the auto mode on the D810 ? 😉

  • not too liberal

    This is definitely a “shut the f*** up and take my money” camera. LOL

  • surgeon67

    Excellent…Just what I needed- something to make me want to go check and see if I moved up on the waiting list again LOL

  • Back to top