Utilizing a back-illuminated design for the first time in a Nikon DSLR, the D850 houses an all-new 45.7MP FX-format BSI CMOS sensor. This updated sensor offers increased resolution over its predecessors while the BSI design achieves improved image quality and reduced noise when working at high ISO sensitivities, up to an extended ISO 102400. The sensor’s design also omits an optical low-pass filter in order to gain the greatest sharpness and detail possible.
Working in conjunction with the sensor, the EXPEED 5 image processor—the same one used in the flagship D5—brings a wealth of speed to the D850. Despite its high-resolution recording capabilities, the D850 is also capable of fast shooting at up to 7 fps for up to 51 consecutive 14-bit lossless compressed raw files. When paired with the optional MB-D18 Multi Power Battery Pack and an EN-EL18a battery, a shooting rate of up to 9 fps is possible.
In addition to still photography, the D850 is also adept as a versatile multimedia camera. Video recording is possible at 4K UHD, using either the full-frame or a DX crop recording area, and 30p, 25p, or 24p frame rates. Full HD 1080p recording is also possible up to 120p for slow motion playback. Besides straight video, the D850 can also record time-lapse sequences at an 8K resolution, which can then be output as 4K movie files directly from the camera.
Also from the flagship D5, the D850 uses the robust Multi-CAM 20K autofocus system, which features 153 total phase-detection points, including 99 cross-type points, for accurate, quick, and flexible focusing control as well as improved subject recognition. Benefitting the use of telephoto lenses and teleconverters, 15 points are compatible with an effective aperture of f/8, and all 153 points support an effective aperture of f/5.6 or brighter. A dedicated AF engine maintains quick response times and also benefits tracking moving subjects, especially when working at the top 7 fps shooting rate.
Reaping the benefits of the D850’s high-resolution captures, an Automatic Focus Shift mode expedites working with focus stacking post production techniques by recording up to 300 sequential images within 10 different focus steps while automatically shifting the focus between exposure to achieve a greater depth of field. A dedicated Negative Digitizer mode has also been specifically designed for photographing your film negatives and slides in conjunction with an AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED lens.
A fully weather-sealed magnesium alloy body houses both a large 3.2” 2.36m-dot tilting touchscreen LCD monitor and a high 0.75x-magnification pentaprism optical viewfinder. Dual memory card slots include one XQD slot for high-speed recording, which is well-suited to 4K video and fast continuous shooting, as well as an SD slot for overflow or segregated file type storage. Additionally, built-in SnapBridge wireless connectivity allows you to share low-resolution files to a mobile device as well as gain a remote live view from your smartphone or tablet. For faster wireless transfers, the optional WT-7a Wireless Transmitter is available.