Monday, October 2, 2017

First impressions of the Nikon D850

A few weeks ago I received a call from my New York camera store, Fotocare, that my new, early release Nikon D850 had arrived from Nikon and was ready to be shipped to me in Florida. Unfortunately, this call came only days before hurricane Irma was to hit my area, and I reluctantly told them not to send it but to release it to someone else and hold one for me from the next batch. Broke my heart to do that, for after reading all the specs on this new machine, I knew it was going to be a real winner chuck full of features that were right up my alley. There are so many new features in this camera, it is hard to even know where to begin checking them out.

My new camera finally arrived a little over a week ago and I've been out shooting with it almost every day. First I went into the Everglades to test it out shooting some landscapes. Here I learned just how the new 45.7MP high resolution sensor could deliver images that looked like they might have been shot on medium format, especially when shooting at the base ISO of 64, as I did for the four black and white images below. I tend not to push the ISO of a high resolution camera because I generally use it for its ability to deliver high image quality. I am, however, eager to try it out on one of my night time helicopter shoots where using a high ISO is a necessity.








After that test, I next made several morning trips to Delray Beach to photograph some calm, post-hurricane ocean sunrises. Here, photographing breaking waves and diving pelicans, I was able to experience the quick focus and also take advantage of the fast 7fps continuous shooting (9fps if you use the new battery grip) at up to 51 frames of RAW images. As a former V-Hasselblad shooter, I love using a square format, and found myself taking advantage of the D850's square crop mode capable of still delivering a hefty 30.3MP square format image.














One new feature of this camera is its ability to do in-camera focus stacking.  I use stack focus for many of my still life shoots, and this automated feature is going to make that task a lot easier. I have already done some tests to try it out, and this week have a large food still life shoot planned to utilize this feature. I'll be doing a future blog post on the results. 

On paper this camera looks like it might have reached the pinnacle of convenience, quality, and all-around features for a full frame DSLR. At first glance it looks to me like it is the best full frame DSLR camera ever made. 


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