Nikon D850

      Photo Review 9
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      In summary

      Nikon’s D850, which replaces the popular D810, brings a lot of the technologies from the D5 to a ‘full frame’ camera for serious enthusiasts and imaging professionals.  

      Clearly, Nikon has an all-round winner in the D850.

       

      Full review

      Nikon first unveiled the D850   in a ‘development announcement’ on 25 July, following up a month later with a full reveal of the camera’s specifications and product shots. It’s a neat way of generating excitement about a new product and many serious photographers will be hoping the D850 lives up to the hype. Photo Review has published an initial ‘First Impressions‘ report by editor, Don Norris, based on a weekend’s hands-on experience. Now we have a camera we can put through our standard suite of tests.    

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      The Nikon D850, shown here with the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR lens. (Source: Nikon.)
       

      We tested the D850 with the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens, which we reviewed in November 2012 and also used in our review of the D810 camera (although not for the Imatest tests). This lens covers a popular focal length range and performed well in our tests using the 24-megapixel D600 camera. But it’s not the ideal match for a 45.7-megapixel sensor (see the Performance section below).

      Who’s it For?
       The D850 will appeal to purchasers of the D800/D810 models that preceded it: professional photographers and serious enthusiasts with relatively deep pockets who enjoy shooting with larger cameras and lenses.  It steps in as the new flagship model in Nikon’s ‘pro-sumer’ line-up.

      Designed as a generalist’s camera, it can handle most shooting genres, from portraits to landscapes, sports, low-light and close-ups, depending on which lenses are fitted. It also offers higher resolution than its predecessors plus many of the generational changes introduced in the D5.
       

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      Like the D810, the D850 has dual card slots but the new camera replaces the CF slot with one for the faster, more robust XQD cards. (Source: Nikon.)

      Twin SD and XQD memory card slots cater for the camera’s fast burst shooting modes and 4K movie recording, while the D850 sports a new mechanical shutter that is optimised for low impact and minimal viewfinder blackout. This enables the camera to offer a silent shooting mode.

      What’s New?
      Given the popularity of the D810, there will be a lot of expectations riding on the new camera. Among the changes included in the D850 you’ll find:

      1. The fixed monitor on the D810   is replaced by a tilting 3.2-inch touch-sensitive monitor screen with 2,360,000 dots and a 170 ° viewing angle. The touch capabilities are more extensive than the D5’s and resemble those in previous Nikon cameras with touch screens. They include support for regular gesture controls to enable touch focus,  touch-accessible menus and touch playback zooming and full-frame playback flicks.

      2. The pentaprism viewfinder is essentially the same as the D5’s but offers 0.75x magnification, making it the largest and brightest so far in any Nikon DSLR.

      3. New additions to the rear panel include a joystick for moving the focus point and a Fn2 function button at the bottom of the array on the left side of the monitor. There’s been some minor control shifting to accommodate these additions, the largest involving moving the info button to above the Live View controller.

      4. The new shutter mechanism is optimised for low impact and minimal viewfinder blackout. It has a top speed of 1/8000 second plus Bulb and Time modes. Flash synch is at 1/250 second or slower. The camera also provides an electronic shutter that supports silent shooting at up to six frames/second (fps) in Live View mode ““ or 30 fps with DX crop, where it can deliver 8-megapixel frames.

      5. 4K video recording is supported with no frame cropping. Resolution is the same as the D5’s and D500’s, at 3840 x 2160 pixels, with a top frame rate of 30 fps. However, the DCI  resolution standard of 4096 x 2160 pixels is not supported.

      6. Improvements have been made to the autofocusing system, with 153 points (with 99 of them cross-points), covering a larger area along with more flexibility thanks in part to thumb-stick control of the focus point. Focus peaking has been added to the AF assist functions.

      7. Built-in focus bracketing via the Focus shift shooting setting, with selections covering the near focus distance, the distance increments in the sequence (10 options) and the number of shots (up to 300 per sequence). Exposure smoothing is also available to even out changes in subject brightness over the time taken to capture the shots. Silent shooting and the use of flash are supported and sequences recorded in this mode can be used subsequently for focus stacking ““ although not in the camera.

      8. A new auto white balance setting, Natural light auto, provides improved colour rendition, particularly with respect to balancing sunlight and shade when shooting in available light.

      9. The Flat Picture Control in the D5  is replicated in the D850, along with the Auto Picture Control introduced with the D7500, which analyses the scene and automatically generates the appropriate tone curve.

      10. The D850 also provides built-in Wi-Fi and low-power Bluetooth interfaces to support the latest SnapBridge facilities. (GPS data for geotagging images has to be acquired via your smartphone.)

      11. Other additions include a 1:1 aspect ratio setting (although not a 16:9 aspect ratio crop). The split-screen display has also been improved, along with battery life.

      12. Movie recording options also include a 4x slow-motion mode and an 8K time-lapse setting, which enables users to shoot an 8K (4320p) time-lapse movie.  You need to use the Interval timer shooting setting in the Photo shooting menu. This setting includes exposure smoothing for eliminating flicker plus a silent shooting setting. Users can also set the interval and total recording times. The frames are shot with full resolution so they must be downsampled and assembled into a sequence using a third-party program.    

      Build and Ergonomics
       The body of the D850 is not dissimilar to the D810, although it’s 35 grams heavier and, at 146 x 124 x 78.5 mm, a bit taller, though not quite as deep. It’s 155 grams heavier than the DX-format D500 but 320 grams lighter and significantly smaller than the D5.
       

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      Front view of the Nikon D850 with no lens fitted. (Source: Nikon.)  

      The closest Canon rival to the D850 is the EOS 5D Mark IV, which has a body weight of  810 grams and measures 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9 mm. The 5D IV offers a lower 30-megapixel resolution but supports the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI)  4K resolution standard of 4096 x 2160 pixels, which is used by professional video cameras.

       Since the D810, Nikon has made a few changes to the external design. Like the D5, the D850 has no built-in flash, which means the AF-assist LED is only used for the self timer and remote control.
       

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      Top view of the Nikon D850 with no lens fitted. (Source: Nikon.)

      The AE-L/AF-L button has also been removed. The microphones have been moved to sides of the viewfinder, while the speaker   is now above the monitor, just left of the joystick controller.
       
       

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      Two rear views of the D850, the lower one showing the tilting monitor screen. (Source: Nikon.)

      The ISO and mode buttons have swapped places in the new camera, with the mode button moving to the cluster atop the drive mode settings and the ISO button relocated just in front of the data LCD. The card write indicator LED now sits just below the multi-selector.

      There’s only one 10-pin terminal on the front panel, which is dedicated to the various Nikon remote controllers, including the WT-7, which is required for wireless tethered or Ethernet-based shooting. Above it is a flash sync terminal for Nikon flashguns.

      Aside from these changes, most controls provided on the previous model are unchanged.

      Sensor and Image Processing
      The sensor in the D850 is a new backside-illuminated CMOS chip with gapless microlenses, no anti-aliasing filter and a total of 46.89 million photosites. Although it covers a larger area, it has a similar pixel density to the D500 and delivers an effective resolution of 45.7 megapixels.

      The EXPEED 5 processor from the D5 and D500 is ported across to in the D850, where it enables the camera to support a native sensitivity range of ISO 64 to ISO 25600. Lo and Hi extensions to ISO 32 and ISO102400 are also available.

      As well as recording images with the full frame of the sensor, the D850 also offers several frame crops, including DX, 1.2x, 5:4 and 1:1. In each case, masks in the viewfinder will grey-out areas of the frame not covered with the selected crop. Large, medium and small image sizes are available for each crop, with pixel dimensions for each size shown in the table below.

      Image area setting

      Dimensions

      Crop factor

      Image size

      Pixels

      FX

      36 x 24 mm

      1x

      Large

      8256 x 5504

      Medium

      6192 x 4128

      Small

      4128 x 2752

      1.2x

      30 x 20 mm

      1.2x

      Large

      6880 x4584

      Medium

      5152 x 3432

      Small

      3440 x 2288

      DX

      24 x 16 mm

      1.5x

      Large

      5408 x 3600

      Medium

      4048 x 2696

      Small

      2704 x 1800

      5:4

      30 x 24 mm

      1.1x

      Large

      6880 x 5504

      Medium

      5152 x 4120

      Small

      3440 x 2752

      1:1

      24 x 24 mm

      1.2x

      Large

      5504 x 5504

      Medium

      4128 x 4128

      Small

      2752 x 2752

      With the supplied EN-EL15a  battery, the D850 can support continuous shooting at up to seven frames/second (fps) for the full frame size, improving on the five fps rate in the D810. When the DX crop is selected, the camera can also record 8-megapixel frames at 30 fps in Live View mode.

      With an extra battery in the optional vertical grip, the frame rate increases to nine fps. You will need a fast   XQD card to capitalise upon the D850’s maximum continuous shooting speeds since the camera is only as fast as the slowest card loaded.

      Like the D810, the D850 can record NEF.RAW files with 12 or 14 bit depth, uncompressed or with lossless compression. TIFF files are also supported and RAW+JPEG pairs cane be recorded with fine, normal or basic compression.

      The buffer memory can accommodate 200 JPEGs of any size and quality or up to 200 compressed 12-bit raw files or 51 losslessly-compressed 14-bit raw files. The table below provides details of file sizes and buffer capacities for images recorded with the FX (36 x 24 mm) image area.

      Image quality

      Image size

      File size

      Images/64MB card (approx,)

      Buffer capacity

      NEF.RAW lossless compressed 12-bit

      Large

      41.5MB

      763

      170

      Medium

      30.0MB

      1000

      94

      Small

      21.9MB

      1400

      56

      NEF.RAW lossless compressed 14-bit

      Large

      51.6MB

      589

      51

      NEF.RAW compressed 12-bit

      34.2MB

      1000

      200

      NEF.RAW compressed 14-bit

      43.8MB

      865

      74

      NEF.RAW uncompressed 12-bit

      70.3MB

      763

      55

      NEF.RAW uncompressed 14-bit

      92.0MB

      589

      29

      TIFF (RGB)

      Large

      134.6MB

      408

      32

      Medium

      76.6MB

      718

      35

      Small

      34.9MB

      1500

      39

      JPEG fine

      Large

      22.0MB

      1900

      200

      Medium

      12.6MB

      3200

      200

      Small

      6.6MB

      6700

      200

      JPEG   normal

      Large

      11.5MB

      3800

      200

      Medium

      6.8MB

      6400

      200

      Small

      3.4MB

      13,000

      200

      JPEG basic

      Large

      4.2MB

      7400

      200

      6192 x 4128

      2.8MB

      12,500

      200

      4128 x 2752

      1.8MB

      24,500

      200

      When you shoot raw files with the smaller Medium and Small image sizes the camera defaults to 12-bit lossless compression. We’re not sure why you’d want to use the smaller raw sizes unless it’s to pack more images onto a memory card. It certainly doesn’t save space in the buffer memory as you can see in the table above.

      Video
       As with all DSLR cameras, movies can only be recorded when the Live View mode is selected. The D850 has the usual lever switch on the rear panel for choosing between photo and video modes with a central LV button for engaging Live View. Recording is started and stopped by pressing the red movie-record button behind the shutter button-on/off switch.

      Electronic VR (vibration reduction) stabilisation is available in movie mode, although not with the 4K and slow-mo settings. Engaging the function will narrow the angle of view of the lens by cropping the edges of the frame to allow shake to be counteracted.

      Users can also choose the image area from the options provided for shooting still pictures and select between MOV and MP4 recording file formats. They can also choose which card slot will be used for movie recordings and set a three-letter prefix to define the movie files.

      The P, A, S and M settings can all be used when shooting movies but ISO can only be adjusted in the M shooting mode, although you can set the maximum sensitivity limit for all shooting modes. The two Hi ISO settings aren’t available when Electronic VR stabilisation is engaged.

      White balance and Picture Control settings are the same as for stills shooting. Active D-Lighting defaults to off but if engaged works the same as it does for stills. The same applies to noise reduction.  

      The D850 lists the following frame sizes and rates and movie quality settings in its Movie menu. They include the 60p and 30p rates for NTSC system users (Japan and North America) and 50p/25p rates for the local PAL system. The table below shows the options available.

      Setting

      Resolution

      Frame rate

      Max. bit rate
       High/Normal quality

      Max. movie length

      2160P*30

      3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)

      30p

      144 Mbps*

      29 min. 59 sec. (Individual file length limited to 4GB)

      2160P*25

      3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)

      25p

      2160P*24

      3840 x 2160 (4K UHD)

      24p

      1080P*60

      1920 x 1080

      60p

      48/24 Mbps

      1080P*50

      1920 x 1080

      50p

      1080P*30

      1920 x 1080

      30p

      24/12 Mbps

      1080P*25

      1920 x 1080

      25p

      1080P*24

      1920 x 1080

      24p

      720P*60

      1280 x 720

      60p

      720P*50

      1280 x 720

      50p

      1080×4 30

      1920 x 1080; 30p x 4 (slow-mo)

      120p

      36 Mbps **

      Recording: 3 min.

      Playback: 12 min.

      1080×4 25

      1920 x 1080; 25p x 4 (slow-mo)

      100p

      1080×5 24

      1920 x 1080; 24p x 5 (slow-mo)

      120p

      29 Mbps **

      Recording: 3 min.

      Playback: 15 min.

      * When the 4K UHD resolution is selected, movie quality is fixed at High.

      ** When a slow-motion setting is used, movie quality is fixed at normal and the image area is fixed at DX, regardless of the lens used or camera setting.

      By default, movies are always recorded in the sRGB colour space, which is supported in all playback devices. Flicker reduction is available when recording under fluorescent lights or other light sources that can produce banding and the camera will post a warning on the screen if flicker is detected. Wind noise reduction can be switched on or off and an attenuator setting is provided for controlling potential distortion when recording in noisy environments.

      Autofocusing is slower with Live View shooting, regardless of the lens fitted to the camera. The user manual recommends using an AF-S or AF-P lens and avoiding teleconverters as well as filters that modify the image, such as star filters. Most of the regular AF modes are available in movie mode, except for Pinpoint AF.

      Peaking highlights can be displayed in Live View mode to show what’s in focus. with four colours available (red. yellow, blue and white) and three intensity levels. It’s not available when the 4K and slow-motion settings have been selected. The D850 doesn’t provide zebra striping to assist correct exposure.

      The touch-screen monitor can be used to set and re-position the focus point, provided the focus selector lock is on the dot, rather than the L (Lock) position. This enables focus pulling by touch.

      Still photos can be captured during movie recordings, provided Take photos is selected in Custom Setting g1.  The aspect ratio is fixed at 16:9 and the image size is dictated by the Image size setting in the photo shooting menu. It’s important to note that pressing the shutter button to take a photo will end the movie recording.

      The D850   can also record movies directly to an external recording device via the HDMI setting in the setup menu, which lets users determine the resolution and frame rates for the recordings. In this mode, the camera controls can be used to start and stop recording, except when the 4K and slow-motion settings have been selected.

      The movie menu also includes a Time-lapse movie setting for recording movies assembled by frames captured at specified intervals over a pre-determined period of time. Frame sizes and rates are the same as for normal movies.

      Playback and Software
       Playback options are similar to the Nikon D5, which has similar touchscreen capabilities and in-camera retouching options.   No software was supplied with the review camera but the printed user’s manual provides URLs for linking to Nikon’s download centre, where you can find ViewNX-i and Capture NX-D, the recommended programs.

      ViewNX-I is a browser/file management application for still images and videos. It provides a launch pad for Capture NX-D which is used for processing raw files from the camera.

      NEF.RAW files from the D850 were supported by both Adobe Camera Raw and Capture One Pro 10.2 conversion software when this review was published.

      Performance
       Subjectively, we were seriously impressed with the first images we shot with the review camera, even though the lens supplied for the review was not exactly ideal. (Readers interested in lenses that can meet the challenges of the D850’s 47.5-megapixel sensor can check out Nikon guru Thom Hogan’s list.)

      We have rated the imaging performance in our Imatest tests with this lens in mind because Imatest measures the camera+lens combination; not the camera alone. It’s a challenge for any camera with such high resolution to meet the defined expectations for a 47.5-megapixel  sensor. Allowances must made for a lens that’s slightly below par.

      Tests on NEF.RAW files converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw (our preferred raw file converter), showed centre resolution fell just short of the defined expectation level, which is impressive in these circumstances. JPEG files were a little lower but still very good, justifying our high ratings.
       
       

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      Resolution for both file types remained high through to ISO 1600 and tailed off gradually thereafter, as shown in the graph of our Imatest results above. It’s worth noting that the steep fall-off we found in the resolution of JPEGs with the D810  was not replicated in these files with the D850,where the decline was more gradual.

      Imatest showed colour accuracy to be slightly lower than we found with the D810, although the differences between the two cameras were minor. Subjectively, we judged the colour quality in the D850 images to be excellent and quite similar to those we obtained from the D810.

      Both autofocusing and auto exposure were quick to respond and generally very accurate in adequate lighting. However, we had difficulties capturing sharp images of birds in flight when they were close and flying towards us and also encountered some hunting for focus in very low light levels.  We put both issues down to the lens, rather than the camera.  

      Long exposures in low light levels contained impressive amounts of detail. Images captured in the native ISO 64 to ISO 25600 range were generally sharp with natural colour levels.  Little noise was evident up to ISO 25600, after which softening and noise became progressively more noticeable.

      Contrast and colour saturation were noticeably reduced at the Lo1 and ISO Hi1 setting and granularity was obvious in the latter. All three factors were emphasised with the Hi2 setting, which we would advise photographers to avoid.

      Having no flash, we could only test the review camera with tungsten, fluorescent and warm-toned LED lights.   The auto setting delivered neutral colour rendition under fluorescent lighting and almost counteracted the slight warm cast of the LED lights. But it failed to remove the warm cast imparted by incandescent lights, although the residual bias was slight enough to be easy to correct in Photoshop.

      There’s no white balance pre-set for LED lighting and the presets for tungsten and fluorescent lighting tended to over-correct. Fortunately, plenty of in-camera adjustments are available for tweaking colours on-the-fly and they are straightforward to use.

      Video clips had a wider than expected dynamic range with the default settings and the quality of the clips was high for each resolution and frame rate we tested. As expected, the highest level of detail was captured in movie clips recorded with 4K resolution, although the other clips looked very good.

      Autofocusing was surprisingly fast when movie clips were recorded, despite the inevitable slowing that occurs in Live View mode. When a subject was focused before recording commenced, the camera seemed able to keep it sharp, readjusting quickly if people passed in front of the camera. Exposure readjustment was just as rapid. In dim or low-contrast lighting, we found occasional brief delays while   the camera locked onto a subject, but exposures adjusted more quickly.

      The built in microphones delivered decent soundtracks and the zooming and re-focusing with AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens produced no apparent interference to audio recordings. Without an external microphone or recording device, we were unable to test all the audio recording capabilities of the camera.

      Our timing tests were carried out with a Lexar Professional 64GB SDXC II U3 memory card, which claims a transfer speed of 300 MB/second and is the fastest card in our collection.  The review camera powered-up in less than one second. It took marginally longer for the Live View to engage after the LV button was pressed.

      When the viewfinder was used, capture lag times averaged less than 0.05 seconds without pre-focusing and were effectively eliminated when shots were pre-focused. In Live View mode, lag times averaged 0.2 seconds with pre-focusing. We found occasional instances of lags over half a second if shots were not pre-focused.

      On average it took 0.25 seconds to process each JPEG or NEF.RAW file or a RAW+JPEG pair and 0.3 seconds for each TIFF file. Shot-to-shot times in the single-shot mode averaged 0.5 seconds for the first four shots, after which the camera paused while the files were processed. In Live View mode, shot-to-shot times extended to 0.8 seconds on average but the camera still paused for processing after four shots.

      In the high-speed continuous shooting mode, the camera is capable of capturing up to 200 frames without interruption. We recorded 32 Large/Fine JPEG frames with maximum quality in 4.8 seconds, which equates to just under the specified seven frames/second. Processing was completed within 2.5 seconds of the last frame captured in this burst.

      The low-speed mode enabled the camera to record 20 frames in 4.8 seconds, which equates to a frame rate of 4.2 fps. Processing was completed within 1.2 seconds of the last frame captured.

      Swapping to RAW+JPEG capture with the high-speed continuous shooting mode, we recorded 21 frames in 5.1 seconds. Processing was completed within 1.5 seconds of the last frame captured. With the TIFF format, capture rates were the same as for JPEG and raw files but the processing time extended to about 10 seconds after the last frame was recorded.

      With the Silent Live View Mode 1, the camera was able to record 40 Large/Fine JPEGs in 9.7 seconds, which is equivalent to 4.1 frames/second. With Silent Live View Mode 1, the camera recorded 90 frames in 2.9 seconds with high-speed continuous shooting. This equates to just over 31 frames/second.

      When the image size was reduced to DX format, the high-speed continuous shooting mode recorded 32 frames in 4.5 seconds, which is only marginally faster than the FX format frame rate. Processing times were not reduced.

      Conclusion
         Whenever a new camera is released, photographers who own the previous model must decide whether the new model is worth the cost of upgrading. And that’s a choice each individual must make, based upon their own requirements, which can vary widely.

      Clearly, Nikon has an all-round winner in the D850. But if you already have a D810 that does everything you need, how vital is it to upgrade to the new camera? The comparatively small difference in resolution between the D810 and D850 may not compensate for the approximate difference of AU$2000   in their price tags.

      Give some consideration to the following questions:
       1. How useful is the extra resolution to your photography?

      2. Do you have the lenses to capitalise on the extra pixels?

      3. Will the photographic genres you specialise in require the D5-sources autofocusing technologies?

      4. Can you work without the built-in flash?
       5. can you utilise the small gain in continuous shooting speed the D850 has over the D810 (7 fps AT the full 45.7 megapixels vs 5 fps at 36 megapixels)?

      As far as recording movies is concerned, we don’t recommend any DSLR camera as a primary capture device, even if it supports 4K recording. By design DSLR cameras are inherently difficult to use for recording movie clips since you’re forced to shoot in Live View mode, which is often problematic in bright outdoor lighting.

      But if recording movies is an occasional task and you work in controlled lighting and don’t require easy integration into a professional movie workflow, having 4K capability could be handy, even though it’s the consumer version of the format. Wedding photographers could find it useful to extract 8-megapixel JPEG frames from recordings for printing since this resolution is high enough for albums and modest framed enlargements. However, restricting the clip length for 4K movie clips to 4GB will limit the use of this capability.

      The D850   is made in Nikon’s factory in Thailand and is priced at US$3299.95 in the Nikon USA online store. Unfortunately, Nikon Australia doesn’t disclose local RRPs to reviewers but based upon an online search of re-sellers listing the camera on their websites, you could expect to pay around AU$5399, plus or minus $100 to $300.

      It’s early days for the D850 and, although a few local re-sellers had it listed on their website for pre-ordering when we posted this review, there wasn’t much discounting. When we compared the local prices with overseas re-sellers, the three main US online re-sellers had it listed at the equivalent of around AU$4200 but few would ship back-ordered items.

      Once the camera comes off back-order, you’ll need to include the costs of shipping and insurance, along with GST. So it will probably end up cheaper to purchase the camera locally (which we recommend). You’ll certainly get it much sooner.

       

      SPECS

       Image sensor: 35.9 x 23.9 mm backside illuminated CMOS sensor  with 46.89 million photosites (45.7 megapixels effective)  
       Image processor:  EXPEED 5
       A/D processing: 12 or 14 bit (for lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed NEF.RAW   files)
       Lens mount: Nikon F mount, (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
       Focal length crop factor: 1x
       Image formats: Stills: JPEG (DCF 2.0, Exif 2.31), NEF.RAW, RAW+JPEG, TIFF; Movies: MOV, MP4 with H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
       Image Sizes: Stills ““ FX (36ø—24) image area (L) 8256 x 5504 ( 45.4 million) (M) 6192 x 4128 ( 25.5 million) (S) 4128 x 2752 ( 11.3 million) 1.2x (30ø—20) image area (L) 6880 x 4584 ( 31.5 million) (M) 5152 x 3432 ( 17.6 million) (S) 3440 x 2288 ( 7.8 million) DX (24ø—16) image area (L) 5408 x 3600 ( 19.4 million) (M) 4048 x 2696 ( 10.9 million) (S) 2704 x 1800 ( 4.8 million) 5 : 4 (30ø—24) image area (L) 6880 x 5504 ( 37.8 million) (M) 5152 x 4120 ( 21.2 million) (S) 3440 x 2752 ( 9.4 million) 1 : 1 (24ø—24) image area (L) 5504 x 5504 ( 30.2 million) (M) 4128 x 4128 ( 17.0 million) (S) 2752 x 2752 ( 7.5 million) FX-format photographs taken during movie recording (L) 8256 x 4640 ( 38.3 million) (M) 6192 x 3480 ( 21.5 million) (S) 4128 x 2320 ( 9.5 million) DX-format photographs taken during movie recording (L) 5408 x 3040 ( 16.4 million) (M) 4048 x 2272 ( 9.1 million) (S) 2704 x 1520 ( 4.1 million)
       Movie Sizes:   3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) @ 30p (progressive), 25p, 24p; 1920 x 1080 @ 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p; 1280 x 720 @ 60p, 50p; 1920 x 1080 (slow-mo); 30p x4, 25p x4, 24p x5 Actual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; quality selection available at all sizes except 3840 x 2160 (when quality is fixed at “high”) and 1920 x 1080 slow-mo (when quality is fixed at “normal”)
       Image Stabilisation: Lens-based; electronic VR available in movie mode
       Dust removal: Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (Capture NX-D software required)
       Shutter (speed range):Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter; electronic front-curtain shutter available in quiet shutter-release, quiet continuous shutter-release, and mirror up release modes, 1/8000 to 30 seconds in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV, bulb, time, X-synch at 1/250 sec.
       Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV in 1/3EV,   1/2EV or 1EV steps  
       Bracketing options: Exposure, Flash, White balance, ADL
       Self-timer: 2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s
       Intervalometer: Yes
       Focus system: Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, and 153 focus points (including 99 cross-type sensors and 15 sensors that support f/8), of which 55 (35 cross-type sensors and 9 f/8 sensors) are available for selection
       Focus modes: Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C) ; predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status Manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
       Exposure metering:  180,000-pixel RGB sensor with TTL metering;  3D colour matrix metering III (type G, E, and D lenses); colour matrix metering III (other CPU lenses, Centre-weighted and Spot metering patterns
       Shooting modes: Programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M)
       Picture Control modes: Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat ; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
       Colour space options: Adobe RGB, sRGB
       ISO range: ISO 64 to 25600 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV Can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 32 equivalent) below ISO 64 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 102400 equivalent) above ISO 25600; auto ISO sensitivity control available
       White balance: Auto (3 types), natural light auto, incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored, spot white balance measurement available during live view), choose colour temperature (2500 K to 10,000 K), all with fine-tuning.
       Flash: Manual pop-up with button release and a Guide Number of 12/39, 12/39 with manual flash (m/ft, ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F)
       Flash modes: Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off
       Flash exposure adjustment: ““3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV
       Sequence shooting: 7 frames/sec.  for normal shooting; 30 fps for silent shooting in Live View mode
       Buffer capacity: 200 JPEG or 51 NEF.RAW (14-bit lossless compressed)
       Storage Media:Dual slots for XQD and SD, SDHC, SDXC cards (UHS-I and UHS-II)
       Viewfinder: Eye-level pentaprism with 100% FOV coverage, 0.75x magnification, 17mm eyepoint, -3 to +1 dpt adjustment,   Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with AF area brackets (framing grid can be displayed)
       LCD monitor: 3.2-inch tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with approx. 2,359,000 dots, 170 ° viewing angle, approximately 100% frame coverage, and manual monitor brightness control
       Playback functions: Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, playback zoom cropping, movie playback, photo and/or movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, picture rating, and auto image rotation
       Interface terminals: SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0 Micro-B connector); Type C HDMI connector; 3.5 mm stereo mini-pin jacks for audio in/out; ten-pin remote terminal
       Wi-Fi function: IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g Operating frequency: 2412 to 2462 MHz (channels 1 to 11) Maximum output power: 8.5 dBm (EIRP) Authentication: Open system, WPA2-PSK; Bluetooth Low Energy: 2402 to 2480 MHz
       Power supply: EN-EL15a  rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack
       Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx. 146 x 124 x 78.5 mm
       Weight: Approx. 1005 grams with battery and XQD memory card but without body cap; approx. 915 grams body only

      Distributor: Nikon Australia,1300 366 499; www.nikon.com.au.

       

      TESTS

       Based upon JPEG files.

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       Based upon NEF.RAW files (14-bit, uncompressed) converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Adobe Camera Raw.

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      SAMPLES

       All images captured with the AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR lens.
       

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       Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

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       Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.
       
       

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      Auto white balance with warm-toned LED lighting.
       
       

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      30 second exposure at ISO Lo1,45mm focal length, f/4.2
       
       

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      30 second exposure at ISO 64, 45mm focal length, f/4.5.
       
       

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      15 second exposure at ISO 400, 45mm focal length, f/6.3.
       
       

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      8 second exposure at ISO 1600, 45mm focal length, f/8.
       
       

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      5 second exposure at ISO 6400; 45mm focal length, f/13.
       
       

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      3 second exposure at ISO 12800; 45mm focal length, f/13.
       
       

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      2 second exposure at ISO 25600; 45mm focal length, f/14.
       
       

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      1 second exposure at ISO Hi1; 45mm focal length, f/16.
       
       

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      1/2 second exposure at ISO Hi2; 45mm focal length, f/16.
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/320 second at f/9, ISO 100.
       
       

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      Crop from the centre of the above image at 100% magnification.
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/100 second at f/4.5, ISO 8000.
       
       

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      Crop from the centre of the above image at 100% magnification.
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/250 second at f/8, ISO 100
       
       

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      Crops from the centre of the above image at 100% magnification. Unsharp masking has been applied to the lower image.
       
       

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      Wide brightness range subject; 24mm focal length, 1/125 second at f/5.6, ISO 100.
       
       

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      Strong backlighting with light source at the edge of the frame; 24mm focal length, 1/400 second at f/10, ISO 100.
       
       

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      Strong backlighting; 62mm focal length, 1/200 second at f/11, ISO 100.
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/160 second at f/6.3, ISO 100.
       
       

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      48mm focal length, 1/200 second at f/11, ISO 100.
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/500 second at f/9, ISO 200.
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/200 second at f/7.1, ISO 100.
       
       

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      48mm focal length, 1/250 second at f/8, ISO 100.
       
       

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      36mm focal length, 1/400 second at f/6.3, ISO 100.
       
       

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      67mm focal length, 1/250 second at f/8, ISO 200
       
       

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      85mm focal length, 1/125 second at f/4.5, ISO 100.

      The following video clips were all shot from the same position.
       

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      Still frame from 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD) video clip recorded at 25p.

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      Still frame from 1920 x 1080 video clip recorded at 50p.

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      Still frame from 1920 x 1080 video clip recorded at 25p.

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      Still frame from 1280 x 720 video clip recorded at 50p.

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      Still frame from 1920 x 1080 video clip recorded in slow-motion mode at 25p x4.

       

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      Still frame from 1920 x 1080 video clip recorded in slow-motion mode at 24p x5.

       

      Rating

      RRP: AU$4,997 (estimate); US$3,299

      • Build: 9.0
      • Ease of use: 8.5
      • Autofocusing: 9.2
      • Still image quality JPEG: 9.0
      • Still image quality RAW: 9.3
      • Video quality: 9.0

      Buy