Nikon D850: sample photos, best memory cards, how to open NEF files and more

Several readers have already received their Nikon D850 cameras. Adobe has not yet updated their software with D850 support. You can use a free binary editor like HHDsoftware and change one byte of the string "D850" to "D810". This will allow both Lightroom and Photoshop to open the D850 RAW files.

Additional Nikon D850 coverage:

→ New D850 sample photos published by Francesco Spighi, TechRadar, Nikonland, Photomeike.

→ The first Nikon D850 screen protector is already released (check availability).

→ A quick list of the fastest SD and XQD memory cards:

SD Memory Cards Max. Read Speed Max. Write Speed
Sony SF-G UHS-II SDXC 300 MB/s 299 MB/s
Lexar Professional 2000x UHS-II SDXC 300 MB/s 260 MB/s
SanDisk Extreme PRO UHS-II SDXC 300 MB/s 260 MB/s
Hoodman Steel 2000x SDXC UHS-II 300 MB/s 260 MB/s
Delkin Devices Cinema SDXC UHS-II 280 MB/s 250 MB/s
Sony M Series UHS-II SDXC 260 MB/s 100 MB/s
Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II SDXC 150 MB/s 75 MB/s
XQD Memory Cards Max. Read Speed Max. Write Speed
Lexar 2933x XQD 2.0 440 MB/s 400 MB/s
Sony XQD G Series 440 MB/s 400 MB/s
Sony XQD M Series 440 MB/s 150 MB/s

→ I am going to slow down my Nikon D850 coverage as the camera starts shipping this week. I will continue to update the Nikon D850 Facebook page and Nikon D850 Facebook group with additional material in the future. If you are planning to purchase the camera, I encourage you to follow my D850 coverage on Facebook. If you have any questions, feel free to address them on the [NR] forum (illustration by broxybear).

And finally the Nikon D850 unboxing video:

Nikon D850 top photos credit: Connie Luk

D850 pre-orders: B&H | Adorama | Amazon | BuyDig | BestBuyWEX | Jessops
Facebook: Nikon D850 Page | Nikon D850 Group
Additional coverage: Nikon D850 directory

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  • silmasan

    What’s interesting:
    8256×6192 Fuji GFX 50S
    8256×5504 Nikon D850
    8256×5504 Sigma sd Quattro H after 133.33% or exactly 4/3 x resize

    (The sdQH’s output is 6192×4128, which is the same res as D850 mRAW.)

    Get full size samples of the sdQH shot with the 135A (a good set was published recently on Nikonland Italian forum). 🙂

    • The lower resolution color sub-sampling of the new Foveon chips has me at a loss…isn’t the point that they can have better color resolution, with full color at each pixel? The way their doing actually has the disadvantages of BOTH Bayer and Foveon!

      • Jeffry De Meyer

        Because the top layer does capture rgb and promotional materials present you with a simplified model of the technology.
        That give you the wrong impression.

      • silmasan

        But they do still have separate RGB capture (well, “mostly”… it quickly gets very complex). Seems like it’s the most economic way for them to boost mp count at the moment.

        Another interesting thing is that if they could (or would :p) scale the same sensor to 35mm full frame, we’d probably get exactly the same 45.4mp pixel count (the crop ratio is also about 1.34x). And that’d be a real 45mp foveon quattro file that can challenge 80mp digital back.. at least in terms of detail.

        As for colors, I’m not sure I follow what the Merrill lamenters are saying now.. The files still have a distinct look that is unmatched by bayer sensors.

        • Put another way: RGB is captured for every pixel, but not at full resolution.

          Which gives some interesting data, but unfortunately, the math to interpret said data is very under-cooked at the moment.

          Yeah, doing it this way gives them less pixels to sort out, which allows for more speed given the same hardware, but…it’s still not that fast. It seems to me that these cameras are most popular with folks who shoot slow and want the Foveon’s qualities. Why not just give them what they want? 3×3 colors.

    • jtang128

      if you look at 40 Megapixels to 50MP range, to compare some of the cameras as Canon 5dsr or Fuji GFX 50S about the image, Nikon D850 still far away to compare.

  • Delmar Mineard Jr

    Nice job Peter. Tons of good stuff to read on this new GEM. Like your idea to slow down posting of new items.

  • Andrew Jay

    Phase One won’t say if and when they will update Capture One Pro to support the D850. At least they won’t tell me. Anybody have any intel on this?

    • silmasan

      Don’t worry, it’s not a Fuji 😛
      so it will be supported very soon…

    • nek4life

      Probably be in the next update. Sign up for the C1 Beta program and you’ll know what cameras are supported when they roll out new builds. They’ve been pretty good, but I got the same thing from support when I wanted to use my brother’s new D5600. Once they released the next minor version it was supported. D850 will definitely be supported.

      • Andrew Jay

        Thanks for the info. Also pretty sure they will support it relatively quickly.

  • Mark Schuver

    Has anyone posted a D850 manual yet? Nikon website doesn’t have it up yet.

    • Not available yet – should be in the next 2 days.

      • silmasan

        Peter Capture NX-D 1.4.6 is just out!!!

        Yay… I’ve been refreshing that page for a week! 😀

        Capture NX-D
        Ver. 1.4.6

        • silmasan

          • Added support for the D850.
          • Added support for the D850’s new White balance > Natural light auto option.
          • Added the following features to support D5 “C” firmware version 1.20:

          – Added support for group-area AF (HL) and group-area AF (VL).
          – The color temperature for pictures shot using auto white balance can now be viewed in the metadata tab.

        • Lol, just a few minutes after my post 🙂

  • Photoman

    How long does it usually take Adobe to update their software?

    • ToastyFlake

      I saw in another comment that they just released a compatible update.

  • Nick

    Peter have you heard anyone in the US taking delivery other than ambassadors and influencers?

    • I saw several people on Facebook and I got a few emails but I am not sure if they are located in the US.

      • Nick


  • ToastyFlake

    My B&H order changed from “backordered” to “processing” today. I hope that means I’ll get my D850 soon.

    • MSchuver

      Both my D850 and MB-D18 are also listed as “processing” now at B&H. I suspect that’s a good sign.

      • Nobody Cares

        Sigh…mine is still back ordered. Did you order it in the middle of the night or the day before that?

        • MSchuver

          I had my order in within a couple of minutes after it went up for pre-order on B&H, which was a little after 2 a.m. Central time.

          • Nobody Cares

            Guess I was just a little slower. So far I’m still backordered. That said, if you’re NPS, that might give you an additional advantage. Yup my confirmation email arrived at 2:04am

            • MSchuver

              Not a NPS. Just a regular Joe. 🙂

            • Nobody Cares

              Then there’s hope! Though I need them to give me that free overnight upgrade (like Adorama does) cuz I leave town on Tuesday (don’t have to have the camera, but I’ll be gone for most of the week and if they don’t let the office sign for it, then it might get shipped back before I can sign for it.

      • Timmy

        What time did your order go through when you purchased?

        • MSchuver

          I received my confirmation email from B&H at 2:07 CST

          • Timmy

            Cool. Thanks for responding. I got my confirmation at 2:02am, still says backordered though. Hopefully that changes tomorrow

            • Nobody Cares

              Mine was 2:04am and also still back ordered

            • Paradox Wolf

              Mine was 3:11AM EDT and is still back ordered.

            • ESHPhoto

              I got my order confirmation at 5:12 AM Eastern time. The B&H app has always said “processing” so maybe the status doesn’t mean too much. Also not NPS here.

      • rex360hype

        Did you check the status using your mobile device or the computer? My iPhone says “processing” while the status with my mac says “backordered”. I think if you’re using a mobile app then that might be the difference. If you’re seeing this through the computer then good for you! If through your phone then sorry to ruin the moment… Hopefully we all get them soon!

        • MSchuver

          You’re right. The B&H app on my phone says “processing,” but when I check on my PC it still says “backordered.” Still hoping for a September 7 ship date and September 8 delivery. I have plans to give it a good test run over the weekend!

        • ToastyFlake

          Yep. App says “processing” and web says “on order” or “back ordered” depending on what page you are on. So I called B&H to see what it means; I didn’t really get an answer as to why they are different, but she looked at the preorder list and told be I should be in the first batch out and, with luck, that should be tomorrow.

    • I81U812

      Mine has said processing for the past 4 days.

  • Jeff Miller

    Fingers crossed that Amazon comes through this week, I pre-ordered right at announce. 🙂

  • silmasan

    This is the list of new releases in the download center (no D850 manual yet)

    2017-09-06 WT-7 Firmware Version 1.2

    2017-09-06 Wireless Transmitter Utility Version 1.7.0
    2017-09-06 Picture Control Utility 2 Version 2.3.1
    2017-09-06 ViewNX-i & Capture NX-D Version 1.17.020
    2017-09-06 ViewNX-i Version 1.2.9
    2017-09-06 Capture NX-D Version 1.4.6

    • MSchuver

      Got my late night reading material now. Thanks!

  • Tadao_Isogai

    Mr. Spighi’s images are stunning. Wow.

  • Paradox Wolf

    Just an FYI on the binary editing trick. Along with accepting the file itself, Adobe also adds calibration data about the sensor and its performance to the “Adobe Standard Profile” which helps get a good start for editing the image. This is also why it can take some time to add support for cameras in Lightroom.

    Although the pixel data may be similiar to read, considering the alleged differences in sensor tech from the D810 to the D850, just keep in mind things like color & light linearity may not be as accurate as they could be until Adobe adds proper support.

    Of course, you can always break out an X-Rite Color Checker and solve that problem by generating your own profile.

    • The photo resolution is different too…

      • Paradox Wolf

        True, while I don’t know if it would affect initial image accuracy, things like distortion compensation & chromatic aberration correction may act strangely for sure.

  • Bob T in MT

    Only 1 D850 per dealer. I was at a local D850 event this evening and the Nikon rep said that they were told by Nikon today that all the D850’s in the first batch are going for NPS orders except that each dealer will be shipped 1 additional camera for presales. I asked what was being done with the major players, B&H, Adorama and Amazon. She said that they also were only getting one camera from the September 7th batch. She said the next batch of cameras will be coming in on September 15th that will start chipping away at the presales. Don’t shoot the messenger, if this is really true I’m very disappointed as I know many others will be too. I’m very interested if anyone else has been told the same thing today.

    • I believe big dealers will get more than one camera.

      • Bob T in MT

        Thanks Peter for giving your opinion. I found it rather crazy but she was a very sincere and knowledgable individual. I sure am hoping it is not the truth.

        • Yes, it’s possible – this was just my opinion, I could be wrong.

      • Dealers are definitely getting lots more. I am not the first in the queue and not NPS but I have just had dispatched for delivery tomorrow confirmed by Wex.

        • FL13OH16

          @MarkLF, this is a NikonUSA issue only, does not affect UK and other countries. I confirmed with the owner of the Nikon US dealer where I ordered, and others on various forums have now confirmed the news also according to local dealers, and even B&H and Adorama. All *US* dealers only receive 1 D850 from the first allocation on 9/7 due to a high number of NPS preorders.

      • FL13OH16

        @Peter, I can confirm what @Bob T in MT reported – the owner of a sizable and highly reputable Nikon dealer in the eastern US told me today in email that all dealers in the USA are only getting 1 D850 on Sept. 7, because all other stock from this initial allocation is filling NPS preorders. The 2nd allocation will be Sept. 15, and the 3rd will be early October. This is a NikonUSA issue only, not applicable to other countries.

    • James

      I was told by B&H, today, they were shipping out 2,500 cameras on Thursday, Sept 7th.

      • Bob T in MT

        I sure hope this is correct.

      • That number sounds too high.

        • Daniel Guinn

          Peter, I was one of the few able to get the Pre Order confirmed by B&H the day before the official pre orders went up. I contacted B&H today because my order still says Backordered. They confirmed I am at/near top of the list of pre-orders but said I would have to wait 1-3 weeks to get my camera due to supply. This was from Executive Offices, not floor staff.

      • Nobody Cares

        I hope that’s true, but that’s a huge number of cameras for one dealer. My gues is that’s their number of preorders.

        • Yes, unless Nikon decided to stockpile a huge number of cameras for the launch, this number is too high.

        • James

          I was told they had over 3,000 back orders. I’m hoping I’m correct, about the 2,500 shipping out on Thursday. My order was supposedly around the 350th order placed.

          • Matt Comerford

            What time did you order, James?

            • James

              I placed my order on 8/24 at 2:06am, pacific time.

            • Matt Comerford

              Thanks, James. if you’re #350, than I’m screwed! I ordered at 9am pac time… oops. Hopefully I get ‘er by the end of the month.

            • Nobody Cares

              Say the same as above, check if your order can still be cancelled. Don’t know if it means anything, but mine can’t.

            • Nobody Cares

              Check your order now. Mine can no longer be cancelled, which to me implies it’s going to ship tomorrow.

            • James

              The B&H site is temporarily out of order. I’ll keep trying. Thank you.

            • James

              My order still states “Backordered” status. Hopefully that changes to “Shipped”, tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

            • Nobody Cares

              But can you still modify your order? (it’s right under print). Mine still says back ordered, but the option to modify it is gone. That said I’d requested an upgrade to overnight and they did it 10:30, but as of now it’s still back ordered.

            • James

              Looks like I can still modify or cancel. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Good luck, to you. I saw a video today, of someone unboxing the d850 then giving it a kiss. I can totally empathize with that sentiment. So, looking forward to shooting with this bad boy.

            • Nobody Cares

              Hmm…maybe that means I really will get one on Friday. Getting excited.

            • James

              My order is not shipping out today, according to the B&H rep I just spoke to. Hopefully you get yours tomorrow. I’ll have to live vicariously through the YouTube unboxings and reviews for a while longer, haha.

            • Nobody Cares

              Nope. I could change the order by the time i logged out. I got excited when I saw processing on my phone app, but when I looked on line it was still backordered. In another thread, I read that they couldn’t even fulfill all NPS orders.

    • Not wishing to argue but this makes no sense and dealers with fewer NPS would kick up. I am not NPS and I have my D850 confirmed for dispatch tomorrow.

      • Bob T in MT

        Are you in the US? It seems there is much less of shortage in other markets.

  • Heeeyy I was featured! Thanks for the plug!

  • Thomas

    I have just downloaded Capture NX-D Ver 1.4.6 that supports D850 NEF files. I’ll only be using it until something other than Nikon’s software allows me open the files. I’m picking up my 850 on Saturday (Australian time) so I’ll know by then.

  • Dino Brusco

    Great job, Peter, thanks again !

  • Fred

    I’d like to stir a pot here.

    Has anyone else noticed that the bokeh displayed in images from cameras without any AA filters is noticeably harsher than in images taken with cameras that do have AA filters?
    I’ve noticed this particularly with the Nikon D810 compared to other cameras and it appears to be the same with this D850.

    Would be interesting if someone else sees the same thing.
    Or maybe my eyes are seeing things????

    • Alex

      Can you share an example? I never noticed that when I used a D810 alongside a D750. Could it be the extra resolution and sharpness fooling your eyes?

  • NJD

    So we spend all night refreshing the screen to order…. We spend all day refreshing the screen to see if “backordered” status has changed….Such is life…

    • D700s

      Add to that checking my email continuously since my brick and mortar sends an email with link to pay when it’s available and ready to pickup or ship. It’s like being a kid and waking up Christmas morning to look under the tree.

  • sanosuke yap

    anyone noticed that the contours of the vertical grip seem way off from the bottom of the D850? Look at the left where the last finger is placed when holding the camera in landscape mode. Seems like the 3rd party got the wrong body shape.

    • br0xibear

      I think that’s been the case with all of Nikon’s grips.
      Maybe it’s on purpose so there’s no mistaking it for a flagship (D3-D5) lol.

    • Rick Jansen

      Yeah I saw that before. Seems like a poor design job indeed.

    • silmasan

      OK I see where you’re referring to now… Yeah it’s different to the grips for D700 and D800/D810. It’ll be a bit embarrassing if another 3rd party takes advantage of it and then advertise “our grip fits better than the OEM part”.

    • Wedding_Shooter

      Yeh I noticed how crap this looks. Do they not know what the bottom of the camera they designed looks like?

  • Wedding_Shooter

    How many full size raws on a 128GB SD card? (Lossless compressed). Go…

    • D700s

      My guess, 1950

      • Wedding_Shooter

        For me as a wedding photographer, I am thinking about getting the slower UH1 SD card that’s 95mb a sec, and back up to the XQD. Yeah I know some might say crazy it’s an expensive camera, buy the fastest card, but I’ll rarely use the motor drive and I get 50 frames before the buffer fills at full speed right? So no point paying x2 the money for the memory card (checked this out.)

    • XT

      My D810 RAW files average around 43 MB. If I scale this up to a 48 MP image, they would average 57 MB assuming the same lossless compression format. 131,072 / 57 = 2,299 images.

      I compared the verbiage between the D810 & D850 manuals and it appears that the compression algo is the same since indicate a 20-40% compression rate for lossless RAW compression.

    • Polsloe

      12 bit 1526, 14 bit 1178, info on page 362 of manual

  • disqus_hlLLDdz9K1

    new to Nikon. Can I use this camera with a single XQD card without a SD card?

    • FL13OH16


    • Nobody Cares

      Ideally that’s what you’d want to do, because apparently the SD card slows it down, even if it’s not being used.

  • Nobody Cares

    OK I can’t promise that this means anything, but my order now says, “New Order” and under print it says, “No Longer Returnable,” so I think this means I’m getting a camera (now I can only hope that they looked at my messages asking for a change to overnight delivery, since i’ll be leaving by the time 3day delivery arrives.

    Edit: down lower it still says back ordered, but earlier today I had the option to modify/cancel the order.

  • Yanny Nao
  • Yanny Nao

    These are 100% crop of D850 files at 25600 ISO
    1. RAW without noise reduction
    2. RAW noise reduction in post
    3. Jpeg in camera High ISO Noise Reduction, normal.

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