Nikon D850 user’s manual now available for download

The Nikon D850 user's manual, menu guide and SnapBridge connection guide are now available for download here:

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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  • Nick M


  • Kobi L

    Now that I have the user manuel , Where is my D850 ?

    • peter w

      You probably didn’t read it fully?
      Perhaps learn it by heart first…

      • Andy B

        Because everybody reads and absorbs the manual by heart… I read the part of mine that said “D750 manual” then YouTubed anything I didn’t know about…

        • peter w

          And, did you get your D850 by YouTubing?
          If so, I’ll sure be following your strategy.

          • Andy B

            Well without wanting to sound like “that guy” not many of us have our D850 yet do we… but im also quite sure im not alone in not reading and absorbing camera manuals cover to cover.

            • peter w

              I have some time to read the manual, because I am waiting a bit, until It feals somewhat more justified… When it is there, there are probably better things to do.
              Wish yours will be there soon.
              I did actually read the manuals of D70, D200 and D300. After that, well, some things about the autofocus system and settings.

    • jojo

      Always read the small print: “The Manual are for customers who have purchased our products. We may be unable to respond to inquiries from individuals who have not purchased our products.” 🙂

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      You have to pass a test first.

  • silmasan

    Peter: “I am going to slow down my Nikon D850 coverage as the camera starts shipping this we…”

    Nikon: “NOT SO FAST!” *trickles updates*

    (…Fri 9/8 Nikon customers were pleasantly surprised to find a box of “100th Anniversary”-engraved chocolate cookies inside their D850 delivery package)

  • thomas fox

    Thanks for manual link Peter…going to start reading now….keep up the great work…..much appreciated….Tam

  • Alex

    Looks like we’re still not getting the live view overlay that Canon has for multiple exposures. Bummer

  • ZoetMB

    I happened to be at B&H today. They had a D850 on display with the latest 70-200 E lens attached. (I currently use a D800 with the 2003 70-200 VR). I was blown away. Focusing was 3x faster than my combo. It was perfectly accurate. Every exposure was perfect. Skin tones were fantastic. I then ran ISO up to 16,000 and everything still looked really good (on the rear LCD – didn’t have a way to see it on a computer screen). Shot some 4K video and while the AF was still a bit slower than would be desired, was actually usable. (It’s not useable on my D800). Didn’t have a chance to try 1080p focus peaking. Although the button layout is slightly different than my D800, it didn’t bother me – was very usable. Didn’t try the joystick.

    I was actually hoping it wasn’t going to be that great. I’m going to bring my D800 to Photo Plus Expo to see if I can determine how much of that quality was due to the E lens and how much is due to the D850 body. But it now looks like I may have to bite the bullet and find the money because this seemed to be a vast improvement over my current equipment, I didn’t expect that. (I caught a major national trade magazine using one of my photos without permission yesterday, although the article they used it in is five years old. Think I can sue them and win enough money to pay for the new body?)

    • Aldo

      If you liked skin tones, that was probably the camera. This is the one area where canon seems to be more popular… mostly straight out of the camera though. I hope the d850 has improved.

    • Proto

      Yup, tried the same – D850 + 70 200-E and D810 + 70-200E. D850 seems to grab focus much quicker. Also, D850 shutter sounded strong and nice. Did not have the empty soup can sound from D750. The D850 view finder is large!

      Also tried a D500 with the 200-500mm zoom… D500 focuses very fast too.

      Skin tone seems better. . not as yellowish as D800. Example from of a Joe McNally looking guy in store, taken with D850. Click image too zoom in

      • Richard Haw

        holy sheet! he does look like Joe!

        • Proto

          yup. And noticed that SB5000 flash is not fat as my sb910.

          I buy all online so rarely see any products in hand. So, this Nikon rep’s visit was fun!

      • Michiel953

        What did you focus on Proto, and what was the aperture?

        • Proto

          This was f/ 2 with their new 105mm 1.4 lens. This Nikon rep had all the goodies to try… D5, D500, 105/1.4 the 70-200E, 24-70E, few fat telephotos.

          Focusing was turned on to multiple points — and were planted along his side-face

          • Michiel953

            Ok. I would have gone for the near pupil or at least the eyelashes, and would have wondered if it would have caught on the spectacle arm.
            Group AF seems pretty useless to me in this case.

    • I have got the new 70-200 E earlier this year to replace the old VR I. model. The differences are huge. On my D810 the focus was suddenly fast and accurate, I feel the camera sees better in dark with that lens. Extremely sharp, especially if you compare it to the VR I. lens.

      • …oh holy crap yeah. I’m still on the V1, and it’s not all that sharp at 200 wide open. Even at 200mm ƒ/5.6 the 200-500mm is a touch sharper.

        Still…I’m used to it and can make it work. It’s not unusable. It’s just not the tool I grab unless I need ƒ/2.8 at 200mm.

        At shorter than 135mm, it’s actually quite sharp though.

    • Something I’m noticing on the D500 is that it’s underexposing a little. Probably to protect highlights, but…a little to much IMO. Stuff that looks good in camera is about a stop under what I want.

      Wonder how the D850 compares? Something to look for…

    • ninpou_kobanashi

      “I was actually hoping it wasn’t going to be that great.”

      I’m so glad you were wrong -> Lol (^_^)

  • You should not worry – this is just a patent, it doesn’t mean anything.

  • ckuklbac

    Curved sensors have to be shaped for one lens only at the moment. It is my understanding that each different lens (different focal length) needs a dedicated curvature. This is because at the current state of the art existing sensors are planed to make them thinner and then vacuum formed to a rigid mold of an exact and unchangeable size and shape. In order for the sensor to be able to accept other focal length lenses, the technology will have to evolve to a truly flexible sensor that can be transformed in camera at will to suit the lens. Or, the lenses will have to be produced so that they all project their image circle to the exact same spherical dimensions.

    • L ee

      Yes, you are right. That article from the Optical Society clearly revealed the potential of a curved sensor. But at least I got some comfort, for now…

    • MB

      That is the most interesting research …
      It clearly demonstrates that lenses can be made much simpler, lighter and cheaper if they are using optimized curved sensor and still vastly outperform traditional flat field ones … maybe the future is the lenses with built in sensors, that makes perfect sense to me 🙂

      • peter w

        Where to put the shutter… 🙂
        You get eigther a rather modular system (like large format camera’s, or like red), or fixed lens / sensor camera’s.
        Real gain is for wide-angle lenses.

        • MB

          Shutters? We don’t need shutters where we’re going 🙂 Broaden your mind and welcome to the future 🙂
          At least not mechanical shutters …
          Also it would be nice if you read the article before commenting …
          OSA actually tested 50mm f/1.2 lens, and although it was Canon I doubt Nikon would do much better because experiment shows more than double in the center and up to 5x towards the edge improvements in MTF30 performance and nearly 4 stops less light falloff in the corners …
          They also studied 28mm f/1.7 and 80mm f/1.8 lenses on full frame 24 x 36 mm sensor and results were similarly stunning …

          • peter w

            (First have to read the manual of the D850…
            and do some work in between the micro-pauses at NiRu.)

            Since curvature is dependent on focal length, I do remain thinking that the difference will be most important for wide-angle lenses. I don’t think the images of 500mm F4 will get better when paired to a 28mm optimised sensor. Until, off course, I read something which shows otherwise.

            • NiRu – I like that 🙂

            • peter w

              And now a read something which doesn’t show otherwise, but different. Interesting. I think (asume) it is partly due to characteristics of the sensor and the angle of incidense on it, rather than the lenses. ?

      • TurtleCat

        So what you’re saying is Ricoh was ahead of everyone on that concept? 🙂

      • ninpou_kobanashi

        It’s like your eye?

    • Thom Hogan

      The only currently built prototypes I know of, yes, that’s true. But there are also proposals for sensors that change shape to solve the one-lens issue.

  • Thanks Peter, great set of posts to wake up to. Really helpful. Two days to go!

  • Thomas

    it’s ironic about Nikon, the manual is available for download but if you use their advertised App, Nikon Manual Viewer, it still doesn’t list the manual as available for downloading!

    • I noticed that too! I reported it as a bug. I can’t believe it’s using some set list in the software–it must pull from a database online. If not…someone needs to be fired…

  • Mine being delivered tomorrow and I am not NPS.

  • Dino Brusco

    Thanks Peter ! Now let’s see if I can get it before Christmas !

  • JXVo

    Weird how they keep on pushing buttons around on the outside but no polishing of the user interface for the powerful but archaic banks of memory settings. I’m a big fan of the banks, they give multiple cameras in one, but the HMI for setting and using them is hopeless.

    Now that the manual is out it seems there has been no development here other than adding controls for the new features like focus stacking etc. The settings bank system is practically unaltered from D200 days. Although much more powerful and versatile than the U1, U2 settings on prosumer bodies it needs an update in thinking.

    – ability to automatically revert to pre-programmed settings after a shoot where adjustments were needed.
    -ability to share settings over wifi between bodies
    – a method to select banks more easily
    – more than 4 slots in each of the 2 banks.

    Merge the useability of U1/U2 with the versatility of the banks and you suddenly have a very powerful menu system.

    The other big let down for me is the built-in wifi having only the b and g protocols which are simply too slow for any practical use with 46Mp raw files.

    In all other respects an awesome upgrade from a D750 or D810

    • Maya

      Nikon not fixing the bank system is something that I’ve found puzzling for years and is one of the major deterrent for me to buy their higher end cameras. It’s incredibly easy to do, and yet nada.
      Regarding bank selection, on recent bodies you can assign a button to quickly change between banks by pressing it and rotating a dial. But perhaps you still find that solution not good enough ?

      • JXVo

        Yes the selection is better now with button/dial option. Interesting that the system puts you off ….I won’t buy a body that doesn’t have it…. even though there is massive room for improvement.

        I find that most owners of cameras with the bank system either don’t use it or don’t get nearly the full potential from it.

        The utility of it varies a bit with your workflow. In the days of CNX2 and now with the less wonderful NXD, image processing done in camera is retained in the raw files on import, so the selections in your banks can integrate nicely and save you time in post processing with Nikon’s own software. You can even reverse or change the in-camera processing in post – this is systems thinking that shows.

        But, if you use 3rd party software like LR, much of the image processing is discarded on import of raw files and you must reapply it in the 3rd party software. This reduces the utility of the banks somewhat and makes several of the Shooting Menu options moot unless you shoot jpeg. The built-in ADL, HINR, Picture Controls, vignette and distortion controls etc are all worthless if you shoot raw and process with 3rd party applications

        • Maya

          The fact that a customised default set for each bank can’t be saved, or that they can’t be configured to be sticky (i.e. every time you switch, it goes back to default settings, like the U1/U2 memories) is a problem since I use custom modes / memories to quickly change several settings while shooting (such as for example minimum shutter speed).

          • JXVo

            You can save your bank settings to the SD card and reset them or share them with other cameras from there…but it’s a clumsy workaround. Just the fact that this feature exists is proof that they could have easily implemented it internally if they had bothered.

            It’s like neglecting to put the finishing coat of varnish on your new front door.

    • Thom Hogan

      I agree. But the answer to your first bullet is already there: Save Settings, Load Settings. Works across banks.

      • JXVo

        Yes but I still have to remember to do something after a shoot when I made changes.
        Most people want the U1/U2 type logic where the camera automatically reverts to saved settings when you change modes or switch off. If you want to keep any new settings, you have to consciously save them. This is fundamentally a better fit for human laziness and fallibility…. 😉

  • TinusVerdino

    So focus shift only works with AF-s or AF-p lenses

    • ToastyFlake

      Well that sucks. My Micro 60mm 2.8D was looking forward to this feature.

      • Eric Calabros

        Nikon is giving you a reason to upgrade when its AF-P version released 🙂

      • As was 200mm macro.

      • I too will have to change mine. Wonder how it will be with third party micros.

      • Honestly, I like the D better than the VR one! There’s no legit reason for this–the screw drive can make fine enough movements.

        • ToastyFlake

          I have the Micro 105 2.8g, but unless I need the reach or the VR, I like the images I get with the 60mm 2.8d better.

  • António

    Thanks for the links Peter.

    I don’t know if I read it well but I found rather strange to read what’s said in these two pages of the manual:

    Page 285
    “The lenses listed below are not recommended for long exposures or photographs taken at high ISO sensitivities, as due to the design of the vibration reduction (VR) control system the resulting photos may be marred by fog. We recommend turning vibration reduction off when using other VR lenses.
    AF-S NIKKOR 24–120mm f/4G ED VR

    Page 351
    “The camera and lens can be purchased as a kit. Lens information is provided below.

    AF-S NIKKOR 24–120mm f/4G ED VR”

    Does it mean that even turning VR off the same lens that can be bought with the camera as a kit is not recommended for long exposures and high ISO shots?

    • Someone

      The statement on page 285 has been in other user manuals.

      Not sure why that happens but you wouldn’t use VR in long exposures anyway.

      • António

        As far as long exposures imply the use of a tripod (or similar) it is well known that most VR systems are supposed to be turned off but high ISO is a different story – why wouldn’t I use VR in a light situation requiring ISO 3200 to shoot at 1/250s for instance?

        Aren’t you thinking about using VR at high speed shooting as its use is not recommended above 1/500s?

    • JXVo

      That’s odd. Does this apply even when VR is turned off? Maybe the 24-120 doesn’t lock the moving group firmly enough in place when VR is turned off….or VR continues to operate but at reduced amplitude. With 46Mp in play I guess this might become visible.

      • António

        The problem is that unless changed the VR design at a certain point in time but continued to use the “old” design to manufacturer certain lenses (even the ones with the golden ring) it’s strange to see some lenses in the list and some marketed before not being there.

        As I replied to another user, long exposures should need an advice for particular lenses as it is said it should be off on a tripod but for high ISO values is a different story and I also would like to know if the restriction really applies to all status of VR.

    • Vince Vinnyp

      Same as the D5 manual and the D810A supplement. I have the 24-120 F4 but hardly use it with the D5s

      • António

        You’re right about the manual as not only D5 but also D500’s one show the same warning and listed lenses.

        Will this mean that F mount backward compatibility is severely restricted for owners of these lenses namely the long tells that to reach the necessary shooting speeds force to raise the ISO with VR off or to do the same to shoot bellow 1/500s with VR on within certain light situations?

    • Thom Hogan

      Here we go again ;~).

      It’s on my All About Nikon VR page ( Has been for a long time. And it comes up with every new camera.

      Old VR used small, very low output LED lighting in positioning. With really long exposures or really high ISO values, that lighting can spill into the image. Been true since the beginning of VR. Recent VR systems went to a different design when the ISO ranges of cameras started to reveal this issue.

      • António

        You’re right about your page on VR including the listed lenses and it makes clear that the problem existis even with VR off.

        There is only one doubt left to me: when you refer to “old VR” and “recent VR” why some newer lenses show the problem (like the 16-35) and older ones (like the 105 macro or 14-24) are not listed.

        • 24×36

          Well the 14-24 doesn’t have VR, so that would appear to answer that part of your question.

          • António

            You’re absolutely right my mistake.

        • Thom Hogan

          I think it’s more of when the lens design was finalized, not when the lens came out.

          • António

            Thanks VM for your opinion and that can already be the case.

            However, besides Nikon never gave precise information on the subject as you say in your article it’s quite strange that a VR II (according to them) lens as the 16-35 suffers from a problem a lens using the VR first generation (105 micro) is not referred as also showing.

            • Thom Hogan

              The 105mm Micro-Nikkor is a unique design, partly because it has to deal with a lens that works normally up to a point where it begins strong focal length breathing in order to avoid extension. I suspect that Nikon simply used a different VR approach in it.

      • JXVo

        Thanks Thom
        Never heard of this issue or encountered it before. My long exposure shots are normally done with other lenses.

      • Nick M

        Hey Thom,
        Can you confirm/debunk something for me?
        My 16-35 f4 suffers from this problem (I bought one as soon as they were available), but I was under the impression later batches of the lens had this problem corrected.
        Do you know what the actual story is? I’m sure I’ve spoken with people that seemingly haven’t had the same problem as me (red banding at high ISOs).

        • Thom Hogan

          Hasn’t been changed that I know of.

  • Vince Vinnyp

    Just flicking through and a couple of minor things I was not aware of have popped out. Of course it may be I hadn’t seen them.
    In movie you can use the multi selector for power aperture and exp comp which I can see being useful.
    2 levels of Zebra sensitivity in video.
    Some negatives:
    When using the negative conversion feature you are limited to Jpeg only which if I was going to us it would be a downside. That said for positive i.e slides I think you could use Raw.
    The slow motion feature is only available in DX crop mode.
    Small and medium raw files are 12 bit lossless only.
    It has the same cross sensor restriction for third party, non AF-S and some AF-S Nikon Lenses as the D5 which is what I expected/feared.

    • TurtleCat

      If you want to use their negative reversal picture control then it makes sense to be jpeg. You can shoot raw but you’ll have to manage the reversal on your own. Makes sense to me.

    • Constantine Aivazidis

      Vince which are the cross sensor restictions for third party lenses? As of page 95 for third party lenses there are “only” 45 cross sensors. I didn’t know that. Many thanks.

    • Thom Hogan

      I’m not sure how you’d reverse the negative in raw. It’s not a simple color-for-color swap. The EXPEED engine is used to generate YCrCb values, and once you have those you’re past traditional raw. Didn’t notice if you can select TIFF yet. That would actually be what you’d want.

      • A. F.O.

        Hi Tom
        Off topic here: do you remember when you told me “yes” when I’ve ask you if you knew somebody that touched/used the D850 (somewhere in August if I remember right) when Peter was giving us some specs…?
        That person was not yourself, right?!

        • Thom Hogan

          You are correct, it was not me.

          • A. F.O.

            ok. thanks. 🙂
            (I always visit your site everyday!)

    • 24×36

      I see no mention of “third party” at all in the cross sensor restrictions. Where are you getting this?

      • Vince Vinnyp

        If you look at the manual Page 95 there is a chart. For non AF-S Lenses and indeed a few listed AF-S lenses irrespective of maximum aperture, you are restricted to the centre 45 points as cross sensors The others still function as linear sensors so it is not that big a deal. It is the same as the D5 and I have tested it on that.
        The first time I actually noticed was with the Nikkor 200-400 which was the biggest pain, but I can recreate it with all my third party and non AF-S lenses I have tested. (From memory Sigma Art 24 and 35 1.4 and the 15mm fish. Tamron 35mm 1.8, and 120-600, Tokina 17mm 3.5 and then the above 200-400, 135 F2 and 50 1.8D Nikkors.

        • 24×36

          Yes I saw the chart, but again no mention of “third party” lenses in the chart. Do third party lenses with AF motors not constitute “AF-S” type lenses? Is that where the third party lenses’ restriction comes from?

    • There is no point in using raw anyway as there is limited latitude in negative. Maybe it is possible to shoot tiff?

  • Thom Hogan

    Let me ask you a question back: exactly what are you seeing with your super telephoto lens that indicates it needs a different sensor sitting behind it?

    • L ee

      Speaking figuratively, I like my window 7 system which satisfies all I need plus most of my legitimate software are on it. However, when microsoft stop providing support, abandoning an old product and new technologies evolved, don’t you think a temptation come from new one? A possibility which prompts your productivity and give you more fun. If this doesn’t lure you at all, then I cannot answer your question.

      • Thom Hogan

        Given that Nikon’s claim to fame is hardware legacy, they’d be fools to abandon their advantage.

        Moreover, hardware is different than software.

  • Connor
    • Andrew Jay

      So, you must be picking up in store. The best I can hope for tomorrow is notification that my order has shipped! Fingers crossed.

      • Connor

        Nope being delivered had email confirmation and tracking will be with me in the morning 🙂 although that’s in the UK not sure how it’s working for anyone state side

        • Andrew Jay

          Lucky you, enjoy!

  • As of now, B&H hadn’t received their first shipment yet… so the sales person said.

  • looks like Adobe Camera Raw is out with added D850 support (and recent Nikon lenses).

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    “Be careful not to put your fingers or fingernails in your eye when using the sub-selector.”

    • JXVo

      As a left eye shooter I never have that problem.. ☺

    • ckuklbac

      Yeah! I enjoyed that comment as well!


    I’m glad Nikon included how to mount the lens to the body — otherwise, we wouldn’t know what to do with the D850 and the 600 f4.

  • L ee

    It is unnecessary to put the printed manual in box. Nikon please take it back and offer an discount, let’s say – 50$ : )
    All I need is camera itself, warranty, battery and the box, take the rest back, if you want.

    • Michael

      They can keep the flapping mirror too.

  • Michiel953

    Just received the message (10:30 AM Amsterdam) that MY D850 has arrived!

    And no, I’m not an NPS member.

    • Michiel953

      Unboxing now…

      My dealer got nine 850’s.

  • Connor

    Wish the delivery driver would skip everyone else and bring me my D850 already haha

  • Vince Vinnyp

    I have just picked my order as well. The manual is also now available on the viewer app.

  • Thom Hogan

    Real (#1) versus hypothetical (#2) analysis will always pick #2 because you assume that it’s perfect or better. In reality, when #2 actually appears it isn’t necessarily better or not better in enough ways to support paying the extra money to get it.

    We have far too many people already chasing “dream pixels” without actually needing them as it is. Imagining a hypothetical is easy, delivering it with a clear, cost effective improvement is really tough. Rarely happens.

    So let me throw it back at you: would you rather have a clearly hypothetical curved sensor with matching lens or a 600mm f/5.6E PF? Given how good the 300mm f/4 is, I can tell you what my answer would be.

    • L ee

      Probably, you didn’t read that essay at all. #2 would be not only better but also cheaper.

      For me, 600mm f/4 is great, 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 is very playful but I would warmly welcome if they get lighter and cheaper.

      • Thom Hogan

        I read it carefully. They speculate it would be cheaper. Indeed, it probably would for some primes in the 25-85mm range. But I’m not at all convinced that it would be true for complex zooms and long telephoto exotics.

  • Thom Hogan

    As for Project Vermont (please go read Microsoft’s actual literature), its goal was to eradicate the need to design lenses that correct field curvature (which is what we use aspherical elements for, among other things).

    But notably absent among any of Microsoft’s publications are any concrete results. It’s a research project that’s being hyped up for some reason.

    Plenty of folk have studied this issue. The real question is whether it really solves a terrible problem in a fundamentally less expensive way than it is currently being solved. I see no data that suggests that it does.

  • Vince Vinnyp

    Couldn’t think of where to post this but in case anyone else was interested the D810 L bracket doesn’t even come close to working with the D850.

  • Lol 🙂

  • r2d2

    Just wanted to shout out a big ‘Thank you’ to Peter.

    Have mostly been a lurker. But NR helped me in deciding on what to do. Got mine couple of hours back with few more goodies.

  • Did the dog bit the postman?

  • silmasan

    The camera wasn’t wrapped in plastic? Lol the guys that handled it must be a in a frickin hurry!

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