Nikon D850 Field Test
Nikon D850 Field Test Part I
Nikon's megapixel monster is more versatile than ever
Back in 2012 when Nikon launched the D800 and D800E, those models, in a sense, reignited the megapixel race amongst camera manufacturers. At the time, no other DSLR offered that kind of resolution. Yet despite the high megapixel count -- which has the potential to be detrimental to image quality, particular at higher ISOs -- the Nikon D800-series, both the original and successor D810 model, have all earned rave reviews for image quality performance.
These high-resolution Nikon DSLRs, while an excellent choice for crisp, detailed photos of slower, more deliberate subjects such as landscapes, portraiture and architecture, often compromised on speed, namely continuous burst shooting rates. Now, don't get me wrong, the D800 and D810 weren't slow, sluggish cameras, but at about 4fps and 5fps, respectively, for their maximum burst rates, they weren't exactly designed as the go-to choice for professionals when it came to photographing sports and action subjects.
Nikon D850 Field Test Part II
Nikon's new DSLR shines in the field - is it their best camera ever?
In William Brawley's Nikon D850 Field Test Part I from Bend, Oregon, he covered a lot of the camera's features and functionality. If you have yet to read his Field Test, click here. In this Field Test Part II, I am going to take a closer look at working with D850 RAW files and discuss how the camera performs in the field with respect to wildlife and night photography. Further, I'll write about my experiences using the D850 as a longtime D800E user.
Working with the D850 RAW files
In-camera RAW processing
Like other Nikon cameras, the D850 offers in-camera RAW processing. This allows you to take RAW images and perform a variety of edits to the file before exporting it as a JPEG. You can change the JPEG quality, image size, white balance, exposure compensation, Picture Style, strength of high ISO noise reduction, color space, vignette control and Active D-Lighting settings. You can also get a live preview of the changes you're making on the display. Once you've made the desired processing selections, you can then export the JPEG file of your choice to either memory card slot. What makes the D850 special though is that you can perform batch RAW processing to either selected images, all images on a chosen card or all images together. Not only is this a great feature, but it works really well and is very quick, with RAW files being processed and exported as JPEGs in only a couple of seconds.
Nikon D850 Field Test Part III
Is the D850 the best Nikon DSLR ever for video?
In my Field Test Part II, I discussed RAW files from the D850, how the D850 compares to the D800/D810. I also touched on using the D850 for wildlife and for night photography. In this Field Test Part III, I will discuss the camera's built-in timelapse functionality and video features.
Built-in timelapse functionality
The D850 has extensive timelapse functionality, including built-in 4K timelapses as well as an 8K timelapse function, although these 8K sequences are not compiled in-camera like the 4K timelapses.
When shooting 4K timelapses in-camera, you have control over the shooting interval, total shooting time and whether exposure smoothing and "silent photography" is enabled. I like how much control over the timelapses you have with the D850. Another nice touch is that as you adjust the settings, the camera automatically updates the total shooting time and the length of the final timelapse sequence, which is of course dependent upon interval, shooting time and the frame rate of the final video.