Nikon D850

This go­liath of a DSLR mar­ries high-res­o­lu­tion with high-speed shoot­ing

Australian T3 - - TESTED - $5,299 (Body only)

As you’d ex­pect from a cam­era that costs the same as a de­cent sec­ond-hand hatch­back, the D850 is a beast. With weather seal­ing and a chunky hand­grip, this is a cam­era which can han­dle some scrapes.

But­tons and di­als adorn the D850, giv­ing you in­stant ac­cess to all your most-needed set­tings. Your thumb nat­u­rally falls upon the handy joy­stick to set the AF point when you’re shoot­ing through the bright viewfinder (the largest mag­ni­fi­ca­tion ever found on a Nikon DSLR by the way).

Al­ter­na­tively, you’ve got the 3.2-inch screen, which, still rel­a­tively un­usu­ally for a full-frame DSLR, tilts and is touch­sen­si­tive. A new silent mode means you can shoot with­out mak­ing a sound if you need to re­main dis­creet - wed­dings, for ex­am­ple.

The D850 uses the same speedy and ac­cu­rate AF (aut­o­fo­cus) sys­tem as the top-of-the-line D5. Un­like com­pact sys­tem cam­eras, all of the AF points are clus­tered to­wards the cen­tre of the frame - some­times you need to fo­cus and re­com­pose. A mi­nor nig­gle, but an an­noy­ance at times.

Nikon’s Snap­bridge func­tion­al­ity is great for quickly trans­fer­ring your shots across to your mo­bile phone ready for shar­ing on so­cial net­work­ing sites and the like. That is when it wants to play ball - there are oc­ca­sions when it seems the Blue­tooth con­nec­tion just doesn’t want to co-op­er­ate.

Im­age qual­ity is frankly su­perb. De­tail, as you’d prob­a­bly ex­pect from an of­fer­ing of 45 megapixels, is re­solved in su­per-fine de­tail, while colours are nicely sat­u­rated with great dy­namic range. The high ISO, low-light per­for­mance is also im­pres­sive, par­tic­u­larly for some­thing boast­ing so many megapixels. Ex­po­sures are nicely bal­anced, while au­to­matic white bal­ance pro­duces ac­cu­rate colours in the ma­jor­ity of cases.

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