The Nikon D850 DSLR is crowned TheProCamera’s best rated DSLR camera for 2019. After heavily testing dozens’ of top models available on the market, the D850 is a clear step ahead of it’s competition. Featuring superb dynamic range, a huge sensor, and incredible 4k video capability, these features plus more layed out below illustrate why we picked it.
But first, if you do decide to buy: click here for the latest and best price on the Nikon D850 body available from Amazon. MSRP upon release was $3296, but it’s on sale currently. We love to provide reviews, and your support allows us to continue to offer succinct and non biased information to let you make informed decisions on camera gear. Now on to the fun stuff…
Nikon’s D850 allows photographers to capture fast action in 45.7 megapixels of dazzling resolution. Nikon improved upon the prior generation D800 and D810 with significant advancements —sensor design, autofocus, dynamic range, sensitivity, Speedlight control, battery life, shutter and mirror drive mechanisms, Silent Photography in Live-View mode, focus shift capability, tilt screen, 4k capability and more—this is easily the most impressive, well-rounded premium DSLR we’ve seen available on the market in the early months of 2019.
45.7 Megapixel Back-side Illuminated CMOS Sensor. At the heart of the D850 is a back-side illuminated (BSI) FX-format full-frame CMOS image sensor with 45.7 megapixels and no optical low-pass filter. The filter provides extraordinary image quality, enhanced light gathering efficiency, faster data readout and truer color.
153 Point Autofocus System. Combined with 99 cross type sensors, AF is mind bogglingly good, and images even blow up large on prints are stellar. This was only available previously on the nearly twice as expensive D5.
Full Frame 4K Video Quality. Taking advantage of the large CMOS sensor, it allows excellent 4k cinema-like output even at high ISO, and with sellect full frame Nikkor lenses has a zero crop factor.
120 Frame per Second Slow-Motion. While slow motion capability is available in other models from Canon and Nikon, this feature is much cleaner on the D850 and creates dazzling and very fluid slow-mo sequences.
Dynamic Range down to ISO 64. One of the D850’s main claims to fame. As of its’ introduction, the D850 had the lowest base ISO of any camera on the market.
Excellent Battery Performance. Nikon has tested and rated to 1,840 still images on a single fresh battery charge. This dwarfs the prior generation D810 at a still good 1,200 images/charge. Add on an the optional MB-D18 Battery grip available here, and you can get thousands of shots without changing batteries.
SnapBridge image transferring software is so-so.
No built in flash. If you’re spending this kind of money on the body, an external flash is a good idea regardless. Take a look at the Nikon SB-5000 which pairs great, or if you are looking for a more “thrifty” option, we like the Godox TT685N, which is under $180.
The Nikon D850 is compatible with AF Nikkor lenses, types G, E, and D, DX(some cropping). Also compatible with equivalent third party Nikkor lenses from brands like Tamron and Sigma. If you’re looking for a good lens pairing for the D850 body, here’s a few we’d recommend wholeheartedly:
This lens is an excellent every-day shooter. Tack sharp and super fast, it allows both close up subjects (as close as 14.9 inches) and mid range distances, and has an excellent depth of field. It has 3 ED (low dispersion) glass elements that enhance sharpness and contrast, thereby creating brilliant and natural images. Like other top end Nikon lenses it offers SWM technology (Silent Wave Motor), which enables ultra high speed auto focusing while being very quiet. The 24-70MM is also quite light at just under 24 ounces.
Nikon’s 50mm 1.4G is a great match with the D850. It lets you capture a very shallow depth of field, which lets your subjects stand out from the background to create an excellent bokeh-like blurred background effect. It has a fast f1.4 apperture which will allow you to take excellent pictures even in low light situations. It’s a lightweight and accurate lens, perfect for shooting pets, family, and more.
Super lens for sporting events, wildlife, birding, and more. This is one of the most cost effect long distant telephoto Nikon mounts on the market. Also has a sports mode with 4.5 stops of VR (vibration reduction). A tripod is a must for any telephoto lens pairing with the D850 to reduce image shake. Conveniently, the 200-500mm has a tripod mount making it balance much easier than if you used the D850 tripod mount. This lens can produce some splendid out of focus background shots too.
Curious what other models we looked at in our quest to find the best DSLR in the market for 2019?
Our Scoring Metrics allow a grade of 0-100 based on 4 key factors with additional weighting to image quality:
1.) Top notch image quality – Combination of sensor quality, AF, and color reproduction
2.) Value – Best bang for your buck
3.) Useability – Natural and intrinsic useability from menu to physical comfort
4.) Future Proof – Does the camera offer the latest and greatest in terms of sensor size and video quality?
#1 Nikon D850 DSLR Body
Summary is above of course. Click here to see latest best price on Amazon
Canon’s latest rendition of it’s masterful full frame 5d line is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Coming in a close second to the Nikon D850, this camera offers some excellent features. The sensor size is smaller at 30.4MP, but has identical ISO output to the D850. Same size LCD as the D850, but lower resolution. The 5D Mark IV also has dual pixel AF, which is proprietary Canon autofocus technology that is superb.
This camera is Nikon’s first high end pro/prosumer Mirrorless cameras. As of time of release it’s a little more expensive than the D850 with an MSRP of $3396. Feature set is very similar to the D850, and has a smaller footprint and is lighter weight. Superb introduction by Nikon. Main downfall is a lack of Nikon or 3rd party lenses that fit the Z mount, as it’s a brand new mount for Nikon.
Sony just released their latest A7 III Mirrorless camera in February of 2018 with an MSRP of $1999. A full $1k less than the D850, this is a great option for photobug’s on a budget. It doesn’t have quite the ISO capability or AF that the D850 offers. It does however offer excellent 4k video output, if you are looking for a cinematic option primarily, the A7iii is a great option.
This is the little brother of the D850. It’s been out for a few years, and while at MSRP of $2799, it’s not a good value in comparison to the D850, it is available on the used market for under $1,500, creating an excellent value. Sensor size is a bit smaller than the D850, but if you are primarily shooting stills, the D810 could be a good option. Check it out used here.