I have been a Nikon user for the last 15 years, always using professional-grade SLR/DSLR like the Nikon F100, Nikon D200, and Nikon D300s. The reason for this is that my working environment is always full of dust, mud, moisture, and rain. All my camera gear is inside tank bags and panniers bouncing around. So heavy duty construction and weather resistance are an absolute necessity. Endurance is my number one priority!
In 2017 I decided that is it was about time to upgrade my aging camera gear, but since I wanted to upgrade everything, lenses included, it was perfect timing to look at all possibilities. The only serious contenders, that would endure my usage and offer professional-grade performance are Nikon, Canon, and Sony. The last was quickly rejected when I watched some rain-resistance tests between the three brands and Sony fails miserably. I also disliked the feeling when I picked the Sony Alpha a7R III in my hands. it is a baby-sized body, not suitable for users with large hands.
I also rejected the Nikon D5 and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II because of their steep price tag. They both fulfill all possible technical requirements but are too expensive to throw around in a tail bag. This left me with three choices: The Nikon D500, the Nikon D810, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. It was a tough call since I had to choose between the better sports camera that is lacking in landscape photography versus the full frame beasts with limited features as sports cameras. Thankfully this back and forth gave Nikon enough time to introduce the 45,7 million pixel FX Titan Nikon D850 (CMOS 35,9 mm x 23,9 mm) !!
The Nikon D850 is a professional-grade full-frame digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) produced by Nikon. The camera was officially announced on July 25, 2017 (the 100th anniversary of Nikon’s founding) and is the successor to the Nikon D810. This 45.4 MP sensor beast was awarded best Professional DSLR camera at the 2018 TIPA World Awards and is the first DSLR camera to achieve 100 points on the DxOMark sensor review. Last, the D850 won Camera Grand Prix Readers Award and Editors Award in 2018.
Image quality is beyond any criticism, so is file size if you need to print or crop. The D850 is so radical because it is the first large megapixel full frame camera that can be used as an action/sports camera at the same time!
7 fps are more than enough when you shot adventure motorcycles, but you can go all the way up to 9 fps if you add the Nikon MB-D18 grip and the special Nikon EN- EL18b battery (plus the regular battery in the body). That is D500 speed with more than twice the file size! That is ridiculously awesome and it is incredible how much can you crop and still get stunning image quality.
The D850’s crowning achievement is its images. Nikon has once again outdone themselves with an incredible sensor. They have designed both the sensor and the data processing software/firmware behind it. At ISO 64, the Back Side Illuminated sensor just about matches current medium format digital cameras, with crazy 45-megapixel files and insane dynamic range. At higher ISOs, the D850 offers slightly improved shadow recovery and slightly better overall dynamic range compared to the D810.
Body Size & Handling
Picking up the D850, you started to realize that this camera feels “old school”. It is physically a beast, a heavy magnesium block and feels like a Pro camera should. You know that it will take everything you throw at it and survive. No worries at all. The only issue you might have is that it requires XL/2X glove-size hands to operate with ease since the buttons are widely spread across its huge back.
The Nikon D850 is the DSLR that I would trust at a Mongolian Expedition or in a cold winter mt Olympus Tour.