Nikon D850 Review

It’s finally here!

The long awaited Nikon D850 review is finally finished! It took me 11 states, two countries, eight weeks, and 16,000 images to get it done, but here it is! This is a true field test loaded with real world examples, advice, and tons of tips for getting the most from all the new features. 

Yes, it’s a bit of a long review, but I didn’t want to simply tell you about the new features, I wanted to show you how to use them as well. Nothing more frustrating than a review that tells you about some amazing new feature but leaves you clueless when it comes to using it, right? Well, rest assured this will give you all that and more. So, sit back, kick your feet up and enjoy!

BTW – you can help support this site and these reviews if you order your D850 (or anything else) through my Amazon link – Nikon D850 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body  

Thanks!

Extras!

I also wanted to include some extras here on the blog to go along with the video. These are either items that people have frequently asked about or that I referred to in the video. Oh, and if I have any updates to share down the road, I’ll put them on this page as well. Here’s what we’ll cover:

My Bird In Flight Settings For The D850
Nikon Approved Lenses
ISO Comparisons 
My Buffer Findings
My Settings For Focus Shift Shooting (Focus Stacking)
Some Sample Photos

Also see my post on my initial D850 setup here.

D850 Bird In Flight (BIF) Settings

One of the questions I am getting a LOT is about bird-in-flight (BIF) settings. As with my other cameras, this sensor sees a lot of flying feathers, so you’re in luck!

As always, keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you and that’s cool – we can still be friends. 

Focus Mode: AF-C of course. Since I use BBAF, I’m always in AF-C. However, if you’re more of a shutter release shooter, you’ll want to make sure you remember to switch to AF-C for action or face cards full of 46MP disappointments. AF-C is the only mode that can track / follow your subject, so, if you’ll pardon the pun, it’s the only way to fly!

AF Activation – For me, it’s always Back Button AF. It gives you the best of both AF-S and AF-C without all the switching back and forth. Rather than ramble on, I’ll refer you to this good-looking guy who did a video on the subject:

AF Area Modes – On the D850, I found myself once again gravitating towards Group AF for BIF shots, however, I also used the super-small D9 Dynamic Area as well – especially when the subjects were a bit slower or I needed more precise focus. Group AF likes to grab whatever is closest to the camera, so sometimes that can lead to sharp wingtips and cottony soft eyeballs. D9 gives you a little more precision in that department, BUT it is more difficult to keep on target. 

Speaking of which, if you find D9 / Group is too tough, try a larger area like D25 or F72. As a general rule, always use the smallest AF area you can manage for whatever subject you’re after. Only go bigger if you can’t seem to stay on target. 

For more on how Nikon’s AF modes work, see this video. Note that this was done prior to the D850 (and D500 / D5), but the way the modes (Group, 3D etc) work is the same.

Focus Tracking With Lock On (custom function A3) – I mention this in the video, but I’d like to go into more detail here since Nikon has made some changes from the D810 to the D850. The first part of this setting is, “Blocked Shot AF Response” and the idea here is that if something comes between you and your subject for an instant, the camera won’t jump to the obstacle but instead hesitate just a bit and stay with your target until the obstacle has past. Very handy if you’re tracking a bird flying by and a tree jumps between you and your subject as you pan.

The setting allows you to choose a value from 1 to 5. The higher the number, the “stickier” the AF system is. Of course, when people read that, the first thought is often to crank it up to 5 and call it a day. However, if the system is too sticky it will make it tough when you need to switch between subjects. Additionally, it can cause hesitation when you have an AF point on the wrong area of the subject and are trying to lock back onto the eye. I usually have this set to 2 or 3, but it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it option either. You may want to dive in and switch things up if the AF is letting go too easily or when it’s stickier than a three year old who just discovered the maple syrup jar. 

The other part of this setting is “Subject Motion.” This new setting is a way for you to let the camera know how erratic or steady your subject is – especially when it’s coming at the camera. If you have a subject that likes to start and stop suddenly, you want “Erratic.” On the other hand, for a subject coming steadily at the camera, switch to “Steady.” For wildlife and BIF shots, I usually have good success just leaving it in the middle. 

Custom Controls (Custom Setting F1) The D850 also has some exciting new options for the preview button, sub-selector, function button, and AF-On button. Here’s how I have a couple of mine set up.

For the PV (preview) button, I have selected the “AF area mode” option, “Single Point AF.” This setting allows you to press the PV button on the front of the camera and regardless of what AF area mode you’re currently in, it will switch you back to single point as long as the button is held in (demo in the video). This is really handy when you’re in Group AF and your subject gets into a tight area (since Group AF loves to focus on the vegetation around the critter instead of on the critter itself).

For the Fn1 button, I have it set to cycle through Image Area Mode (1.2X, 1.5DX, etc.). The reason for this is that the buffer capacity of this camera is somewhat limited and switching to a crop mode will increase buffer depth. And, if I’m going to crop back home anyway, I figure I might as well just do it in the field and enjoy the gains. 

To set, head to custom setting F1, and choose Fn1 button + dial turn (the right hand column). Select “Choose image area” from the resulting menu. You’ll also notice an arrow on the right of this menu. Give it a press and you can even select which image areas you want to scroll through. Way faster than setting this stuff via the menu!

Oh, and another cool option for crop modes is called “Masking” and is found under the Photo Shooting Menu > Image section. Look for an item called Viewfinder mask display. Turn that on and kiss those useless crop outlines goodbye. Instead, you’ll have a handy, semi-transparent mask to show you your image area. Try it, you’ll like it!

Frame Rate – This is set to maximum frame rate (7 or 9, depending on if you have a grip). Keep it at maximum for the best variety of wingbeats / expressions and shoot in short, controlled bursts whenever there’s something cool under your AF point. 

Shutter Speed – I’ve been keeping my shutter speed at 1/3200 or higher for most of my birds in flight shots and that seems to keep my success rate pretty high. I have gone with lower speeds, but my keeper rate gets progressively more disappointing as my shutter speed drops (exactly like the D500 in fact). For faster birds, don’t be afraid to go to 1/5000th or higher if you have enough light. 

F/Stop – This really depends on how much light I have at my disposal. Most of the time, I shoot wide open to keep noise to a minimum (usually F4) and capture those creamy, subject isolating  backgrounds.  However if it’s bright enough, I’ve been known to drop down to F5.6 for a little added depth-of-field fudge factor – especially with fast, tricky subjects. 

ISO – This varies depending on the light of course, but I tend to cap out around ISO 6400 (preferring to keep it under ISO3200). Beyond that, I feel like I’m losing too much detail in the fur and feathers of my favorite subjects. About the only exception to that would be if something extraordinary was happening, but if I can get basically the same shot the next day in better light, I’ll wait (or grab the D5 🙂 ).

Also, I generally use Manual Mode with Auto ISO if I’m in an autoexposure kind of mood. With this method, I just set in the ISO range I want and choose the shutter speed and F/Stop I want to use. From there, the camera will float the ISO to give me a proper exposure. It’s either this or full manual mode, depending on the subject / scene.

 See this video for more:

 

Nikon Approved Lenses For The D850

Now, for the “Nikon approved” lens list. As noted in the video, this list is chock-full of current lenses that Nikon wants to sell you. Many older discontinued lenses are NOT listed but would work just fine (like any big prime for example).  Ditto for excellent third party glass. So, for what it’s worth:

Primes:

AF-S NIKKOR 20 mm f / 1.8 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24 mm f / 1.4 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 24 mm f / 1.8 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 28 mm f / 1.4 E ED
AF-S NIKKOR 28 mm f / 1.8 G
AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm f / 1.4 G
AF-S NIKKOR 35 mm f / 1.8 G ED
AF-S NIKKOR 58 mm f / 1.4 G
AF-S NIKKOR 85 mm f / 1.4 G
AF-S NIKKOR 85 mm f / 1.8 G
AF-S NIKKOR 105 mm f / 1.4 E ED
AI AF DC-Nikkor 105 mm f / 2 D
AI AF DC-Nikkor 135 mm f / 2 D
AF-S NIKKOR 200 mm f / 2 G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm f / 2.8 G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 300 mm f / 4 E PF ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 400 mm f / 2.8 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 500 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 500 mm f / 4 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 600 mm f / 4 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 800 mm f / 5.6 E FL ED VR
AF – S Fisheye NIKKOR 8 – 15 mm f / 3.5 – 4.5 E ED

Zooms:

AF-S NIKKOR 14-24 mm f / 2.8 G ED
AF – S NIKKOR 16 – 35 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70 mm f / 2.8 G ED
AF – S NIKKOR 24 – 70 mm f / 2.8 E ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 24 – 120 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200 mm f / 2.8 G IF-ED
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 mm f / 2.8 G ED VR II
AF – S NIKKOR 70 – 200 mm f / 2.8 E FL ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 70-200 mm f / 4 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 80-400 f / 4.5 – 5.6 G ED VR
AF-S NIKKOR 200-400 mm f / 4 G ED VR II
AF-S NIKKOR 200-500 mm f / 5.6 E ED VR

Macro / PC

AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60 mm f / 2.8 G ED
AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105 mm f / 2.8 G IF-ED
PC-E NIKKOR 24 mm f / 3.5 D ED
PC-E Micro NIKKOR 45 mm f / 2.8 D ED
PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85 mm f / 2.8 D
PC NIKKOR 19 mm f / 4 E ED

D850 ISO Comparisons

Next we have the actual images from the video for ISO comparisons (100% crops, the D850 downsized to D5 and D810 size. The D500 was downsized to D850 DX size). Just click to enlarge and it will open on a new tab. Once on that screen, you may need to click it again to see it full size. I highly recommend viewing these at full size – if you don’t you won’t get a proper comparison!

First, the D850 Vs The D810:

 

Now, the D850 Vs The D5:

 

 

Now, the D850 in DX mode Vs The D500

 

 

Finally, the D850 full frame downsampled to the D500 at ISO 6400:

 

D850 Buffer Findings

Next, we have my buffer test findings. I may add more down the road, but for now this should get you started. 

First, results from my normal, outside test scene (again, these can and will vary depending on the scene, don’t take the number as gospel).

14 bit 7 fps

FX – 35
1.2 – 80
DX -200

14 bit – 9 FPS

FX – 23
1.2 – 36
DX – 46
12 bit – 7fps

FX – 84
1.2 – 200
DX – 200

12 bit – 9fps

FX – 44
1.2 – 70
DX – 86

Now, some figures I got with the lens cap on and viewfinder shutter closed. (The results are higher because it’s easy for the camera to compress and create a file when it’s just black.)

12 bit FX 9 fps = 48 
12 bit 7 FPS = 193
14 bit FX 9 FPS = 26 
14 bit FX 7 FPS = 51

I also tried a few rounds with higher ISOs. As you can see, the higher the ISO, the shallower the buffer:

12 bit 7 FPS ISO 6400 = 67
14 bit FX 6400 = 25 
14 bit FX 5000 = 36
14 bit FX 3200 = 43
14 bit FX 1600 = 46
14 bit ISO 800 = 47
14 bit ISO 400 = 50

D850 Focus Shift Shooting Settings (Focus Stacking)

I also wanted to share the settings I typically set with I use Focus Shift Shooting (I wish they would have called it focus stacking, but what do I know…) Be sure to see the video for a quick intro – or check out my Nikon AF book for an even more detailed lesson. 

Landscapes:

Number Of Shots: 50+ (since the system stops at infinity)
Focus Width: 4
Interval Until Next Shot: 0 or 1
Exposure Smoothing: On (Off if you’re in manual mode)
Electronic Shutter: On

(I usually shoot landscapes between F/6.3 and F/8)

Macros:

Number Of Shots: 20 (you can add more if needed)
Focus Width: 4
Interval Until Next Shot: 0 or 1 (set to 3 or 4 if electronic shutter is off)
Exposure Smoothing: On (Off if you’re in manual mode)
Electronic Shutter: On
(I usually shoot macros between F/8 and F/11)

D850 Sample Photos

Finally, a few sample photos 🙂

 

 

 

~Steve

PS…

If you enjoyed this review, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography and Secrets To The Nikon Autofocus System. They’re filled with hundreds of pages of information just like this. Check it out – click here (hey, it’s free to look 🙂 )

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This entry was posted in Nikon Gear, Opinions, Photo Trips, Reviews.

55 Comments

  1. Dakota Shae November 23, 2017 at 6:34 pm #

    Hi, I’m wondering if you can comment on the video capabilities of this camera? I know the photo side is amazing, but am also a videographer and am interested in seeing what it can do in that realm. Thanks.

  2. Ben Hearthside November 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

    Hello Steve,
    Thank you for your superb review, as usual.
    Could you tell us whether the Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 lens is usable with the focus shift feature on the D850?
    Thank you.

    • Steve Perry November 22, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

      Nope – only AF-S / AF-P lenses 🙁

  3. F P D Cotterill November 21, 2017 at 10:28 am #

    Hi Steve
    Came across this review that concurs on the more than adequate AF performance of the D850. Some other interesting comments and comparisons
    https://www.cameralabs.com/nikon-d850-review/

    thanks

    • Steve Perry November 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      Thanks – I’ll take a look 🙂

  4. al hart November 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    Hi, Steve –
    Steve, I’m interested in focus “shifting” but confused by the 850 setup parameters.
    My question #1: The Menu Guide offers Focus Step Widths from 1 to 10. I asked Nikon Tech Support (NTS) to tell me what units are associated with those steps. NTS said “none, they’re just a range from narrow to wide”. If true, how does one decide on a proper step for a given subject?
    My question #2: The manual and the Menu Guide are silent as to the time units associated with the Interval Until Next Shot. 850 shows a range of 0-30 with a symbol suggesting “seconds” but other writings negate the idea of “seconds.” NTS says again, no unit is applicable. So how do I decide?
    Steve, I’d appreciate your comments. Thank you.

    • Steve Perry November 22, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

      The short answer is just set it to 4 and forget it 🙂 I have a very limited internet connection right now, so I can’t find the spot in the video, but it is covered extensively in there.

  5. David Glatz November 19, 2017 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi Steve – fantastic review of the D850! Also wanted to say the update (primarily addressing D850) to your Nikon autofocus book also is excellent. Re-read the entire book. Question for you on the D850 with the grip. Just got my grip and trying to make sure I’m set up for max frame rate. I have the D5 battery and everything needed to use it in the grip. My question is: do I need to remove the regular D850 battery (from the camera itself not the grip) in order to achieve 9 fps using battery grip and D5 battery? I know Nikon recommends you remove the SD card and go with XQD only when trying to max frame rate. Just not sure about the battery set up. Thank you for your help. Keep up the great work.

    • Steve Perry November 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm #

      Nope, leave the battery in. If you want to make sure it’s working, set you CL frame rate to “7” and then compare to CH – you should hear the difference. Also, make sure you have enough shutter speed – slow shutter speeds will slow the frame rate (keep it above like 1/250th for example).

    • Dave Glatz November 23, 2017 at 2:24 am #

      Thank you Steve!

  6. Beert Chris van 't Hul November 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you very much for this review.
    I have a note/question about the ‘D850 Buffer Findings’ section. You do not mentioned the used shutter time. According to my own experience this has great impact on the buffer capacity.

    Thanks,

    BC

  7. Christophe Bailly November 12, 2017 at 8:09 am #

    Hi Steve, from France,
    I saw you, in your (excellent) video, using an AF-D 200 mm f:/4.0 macro lens. But you didn’t mentioned that the new focus stacking mode wasn’t useable with older AF-D lenses (?). Or is it my mistake ?

  8. Kishore Bhargava November 11, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

    As always a brilliant review. I just bought a D500 less than 4 months ago, the D850 was not yet on the cards. The D500 was an upgrading my D300S. While I was extremely tempted by the D850, I guess I will stick with my D500 for a while. My second body will remain the D300S and at some point when I decide to go full-frame, I might get myself a D850. Sad to see you retiring the D500. For me, that means, no more articles/videos about that wonderful camera. But life goes on.

    Once again, thanks for all the wonderful articles and videos and the photos. Keep up the great work and we shall always support you in whichever way can remotely. I will keep buying the brilliant books.

    From an ardent fan in India.

    Cheers…Kishore

  9. David Hillock November 10, 2017 at 8:09 pm #

    Hi Steve,

    High-quality review!

    What’s the difference between Exposure Delay (D5) and using the timer?

    • Steve Perry November 10, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

      Mostly, the timer give you more time – probably blinks the little light too 🙂

  10. Ken November 10, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Steve: Being a strict wildlife photographer, would you recommend still the D500 over the D850 for this type of photography?

    Great review by the way, and thanks for writing the ebooks 🙂

    • Steve Perry November 10, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

      Depends on how close you normally get. I prefer full frame for wildlife – I like the shallower depth of field I get due to the closer distance to the subject for a given focal length. However, if you’re gonna just crop to DX all of the time, the D500 is no slouch and is an exception performer.

  11. Paul November 9, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    Thank you for another wonderful article, and for the obviously huge amount of time and effort spent. 2 questions:
    You are obviously sensitive to every nuance which affects your images, and stated that you really like the color rendition of the D850. Have you compared using Nikon View or Nikon Capture compared to Adode or other non Nikon software? I’ve read some claims that only Nikon knows the color algorithms for its cameras, so only Nikon software gives the best color rendition.
    And, does the focus stacking feature make Nikon PC lenses obsolete for getting max depth of field?. I realize their use in architectural photography, but that’s not important to me (or you?). I don’t think I’ve ever read about PC (tilt/shift) lenses from you. The 19 mm PC is more expensive than a D850!
    Thanks for your great articles! So helpful!

    • Steve Perry November 10, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

      The truth is, I can’t stand Capture NX on my Mac, not one little bit. I’m very happy with what I see from LR, so I stick with that. All the images you see in this review were processed with Adobe software 🙂

      PC lenses can still get the scene in a single shot, although I personally have used focus stacking instead for years now – and the D850 makes it even better. I love the PC lenses, but find only having a handful of focal lengths too limiting. For me, when shooting landscapes, perspective is paramount so I prefer quality zooms to get the exact crop I want from the position I want to shoot from. When you “zoom with your feet” you change your perspective and that’s not often a compromise I want to make. I personally would rather sacrifice a tiny bit of pixel peeping sharpness and use the zoom + stacking 🙂

      • Ferdy November 11, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

        hi Steve,

        First, thank you for a wonderful site, only discovered it now and already purchased the Nikon focus book and watched the video review. Awesome how you bring down complicated stuff to real-world actionable advise.

        I had the same question as Paul and need some help with your answer. I fully agree that color rendition on the D850 is awesome. I tend to use the vivid picture control in combination with the new auto daylight WB, or whatever it is called. The results on both the LCD and in View NX is stunning, more importantly, identical.

        I don’t understand why you love what LR renders, as by default it seems to destroy the color tones upon import. Understandably so, as it doesn’t know some of Nikon’s proprietary stuff. So what am I missing? Are you using some standard import profile that brings colors closer to actual “Nikon colors”, or do you hand craft this per image in LR?

        Would love to know your default post processing flow after a LR import.

        Thanks!

  12. John Koerner November 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Great review.

    The only error is where you say the D850 is not as good in low light, featuring Bill Claff’s graph. In point or fact, Mr. Claff rescinded/revised his graph, after an extensive questioning and debate:

    http://nikongear.net/revival/index.php/topic,6649.msg107154.html#msg107154

    Appreciate the time and effort that went into your presentation.

    • John Koerner November 9, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

      Per above, this was with respect to the D750. The D850 has better base ISO DR, not less.

    • Eric November 9, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

      Funny how he “revises” his data on a 3-year-old camera when it turned out that it actually beat the 850. Even now, 0.1 stop difference? That’s basically meaningless, and the 750 is better at many other portions of the graph. From the samples I’ve seen, I still prefer the IQ of the D750’s sensor.

    • Steve Perry November 10, 2017 at 12:43 am #

      I mention the D850 isn’t as good in low light / high ISO as the D5, not the D750. 🙂
      Also in the video I mention “low ISO dynamic range” not base ISO dynamic range (because they don’t have the same base ISO to compare apples to apples). Overall, from 100 ~ 380, the D750 is better on all the charts, the D850 only edging it out by a quarter stop or less between ISO 100 and 64. However, from 64-400, overall the D750 has better low ISO dynamic range. But, as I noted it the video, it’s only a slight edge (and frankly, not one we’d notice in the real world).

      • John Koerner November 12, 2017 at 2:31 pm #

        Steve, pardon me, I meant Base ISO, not low light.
        The ability to use Base ISO 64 is pretty much the only area that matters for landscape.
        Also, if one checks DXO, the D850 is ahead the whole way, not just in DR, but markedly so in color sensitivity.
        https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-D850-versus-Nikon-D750___1177_975

        Eric, Photons to Photos was the only entity lauding the D750 as ‘the king’ of DR and Base ISO.
        Even Nikon never lauded the D750 as a Base ISO champ, nor did anyone else.
        Only Photons-to-photos did, which It now now longer does.

  13. Eric November 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

    One more quick question for you: as a pure wildlife camera, would you recommend the D850 over the D500 for most people, or vice versa? I see that you are mainly shooting with a huge, 600mm f/4 prime. In this case, I would choose an FX camera, too. However, my longest lens is the 200-500, and I like to hand hold. I also like to crop frequently because I just can’t get close enough. In my case, I think the D500 is the wiser choice.

    • Steve Perry November 10, 2017 at 12:35 am #

      I agree – If you can fill the FX frame most of the time, I think the D850 is the better choice, but to me it doesn’t makes sense to buy one and just crop it to DX all of the time.

  14. Eric November 9, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

    I recently bought the new Sigma 14mm prime, after my 14-24 Nikon started to give issues. Wonderful upgrade coupled to my d750, Just so much better managing refractions. Put the 14-24 on my d3500 getting some fun stuff.
    Try it

  15. James November 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

    Great review as always well worth the wait. I had a question on 12 bit vs 14 bit. You mentioned that above 400 iso there isn’t much of an advantage to 14 bit and I was just wondering why that would be. Thanks

    • Steve Perry November 10, 2017 at 12:33 am #

      My understanding is that bit depth is tied into dynamic range (although in my research some of this seems like it’s the topic of debate), so as DR decreases, the extra two bits are only recoding detail of the noise in the file (not adding noise, just recoding it better), so the info isn’t useful. The truth is, most of the time if you get exposure within a half stop or so, 12 bit will do the trick. 14 bit is handier when you need to push the files more in post – but again, it seems like it doesn’t help all that much above ISO 400.

    • Jason November 10, 2017 at 3:55 am #

      The difference between 12 and 14 bit seems small but is vastly different in terms of rendered tones. 12 bit will render 68.7 billion tones whereas 14 bit will render 4.4 trillion possible tones. Research does suggest that the human eye can only detect 10-12 million but in a field that is riddled with OCD personalities, the clear choice for the most accurate tonal range is 14 bit.

  16. Jacek Myrcha November 9, 2017 at 6:24 am #

    Hi Steve, got your book and going to read it today on the train (6hrs :)), but quick question for D850. for panning fast cars, handheld, would you switch off VR ? (70-200 lens) ? any other suggestions on AF how to set it to get in-focus shots (while background panned.blurred) – usually i get like 20% of shots in focus…

    • Steve Perry November 9, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

      Thanks for the book purchase 🙂

      Depends on the shutter speed – if you’re really fast, I’d just shut VR off. For slower stuff (say, 1/1000th or less), use “Normal” VR mode – works best for panning. Also, panning to get sharp subjects with blurred backgrounds simply takes practice – no shortcuts there. You have to get your timing perfect – and the higher res the camera, the lower the keeper rate.

  17. Jay November 9, 2017 at 6:05 am #

    As always just find your vids that best. Bought all your guides too… love em’. I was very tempted by the 850 but nowadays only seem interested in bird photography and like the 1.5 benefit so – I’m saving my money. That said, (to use a SP phrase) – I still would love the 850 and if I win the lottery – well, you know… Thanks for the thoroughness you bring to your vids. I know doing so pays the bills (brings the viewers) – but hey, we benefit to. Cheers –

  18. Eric November 9, 2017 at 2:42 am #

    Thanks a bunch! The ISO comparisons are very interesting. It’s amazing how close the D500 is since it’s “only” a DX camera. I see no reason to upgrade.

  19. John McCormick November 9, 2017 at 2:29 am #

    Steve, thanks for all of the information in this review. I bought your Nikon Autofocus book as soon as you had completed adding the D850 information. I got the first couple of chapters read before my D850 arrived. I’m now about 300 pages into it and learning a ton. I highly recommend it. I’ve always been an AF-S, single point, shutter release focuser with my D7100. But now I am getting started with BBAF and other focus modes. I’m looking forward to getting a longer lens and seeing what I can do with some birds. If that gets me out of the studio more, perhaps I will need to buy your Wildlife Photography book.

  20. Satyakki Bhatacharje November 9, 2017 at 2:05 am #

    Steve, you are brilliant!!
    Wish to hire you as my photography coach
    Warm Regards @ Think about it
    Satyakki Bhattacharjee
    India

  21. Sherm Barr November 9, 2017 at 12:42 am #

    Steve when you shoot with high shutter speeds, do you shut off the VR?

    Thanks

    Sherm Barr

    • Steve Perry November 9, 2017 at 1:06 am #

      Yes, for the most part (I forget sometimes and my 600 doesn’t seem to mind VR at higher speeds – although my 300 PF and 200-500 will sometimes drop a bit of acuity).

    • Sherm Barr November 9, 2017 at 1:53 am #

      Thanks for the reply Steve. I use a Sigma 150-600 Sport lens and I notice that I get a lot
      of blurry photos when the OS is on at speeds above 1200, but other people I asked say that
      I should leave it on. I thing that you are correct and I will do some testing with this lens.

      Thanks again Steve and I love reading your articles and looking at the great photos.

      • Steve Perry November 9, 2017 at 2:02 am #

        When you test, remember that VR can behave differently while panning vs still.

  22. Vincent VdB November 9, 2017 at 12:11 am #

    Hi Steve, a terrific review once again. One question. I believe you mention that you mainly use liveview for your focus stacking (around +/- 27:30).
    Is it not so that focus stacking can only be used in liveview?
    Keep up the good work Steve.

    • Steve Perry November 9, 2017 at 12:14 am #

      Nope, you can use focus stacking with or without Live View. I just like using it with Live View better.

  23. Dave Clayton November 8, 2017 at 11:52 pm #

    I enjoy all your videos, thanks for this one which is up to your usual high standard. If I may follow up on what you say about shutter speed. At shutter speeds higher than 1/300 sec, hand held, do you use VR ?

    Thanks

    • Steve Perry November 9, 2017 at 12:13 am #

      Depends on the lens. Most are fine up to 1/500th, and many really don’t care how fast you go. However, some VR systems don’t like faster shutter speeds (the 200-500 and 300 PF seem to fall into that category), so you have to test your lens and see.

  24. Tim Karels November 8, 2017 at 11:46 pm #

    This is by far, the best review I’ve seen. I’ve had the camera now for about 2 months and learned even more. I was surprised by the relationship between ISO and buffer capacity. How does increase ISO reduce buffer capacity? Are high ISO files larger?

    • Steve Perry November 8, 2017 at 11:53 pm #

      I honestly don’t know the science / physics behind it – although I would like to know the answer too. I’m sure someone will help us out eventually 🙂

    • Ean November 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm #

      I’d expect it’s because the random noise produced by high ISO settings results in the images being less compressible overall.

  25. Greg November 8, 2017 at 11:12 pm #

    Hi Steve,
    Just watched your review on the D850… outstanding all round !
    and the extra bits of general information is great
    Thanks heaps
    G

  26. Michael Pogttiger November 8, 2017 at 10:28 pm #

    Thanks for this great review and all of the extra information.

  27. John Patton November 8, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

    Very helpful and thorough video and great photos. Thanks.

  28. john peoples November 8, 2017 at 8:29 pm #

    Cannot complete the sign in process. Never received the email to complete the process.

  29. Brian Bernard November 8, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    This is terrific and will take some time to go through the content. Thanks so much for putting this together, Steve!

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  1. […] his work, check out his website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. This article was also published here and shared with […]

  2. […] About the author: Steve Perry is a nature photographer and the owner of Backcountry Gallery. You can find more of his work, words, photos, and videos on his website, Facebook, and YouTube channel. This article was also published here. […]

  3. […] About the author: Steve Perry is a nature photographer and the owner of Backcountry Gallery. You can find more of his work, words, photos, and videos on his website, Facebook, and YouTube channel. This article was also published here. […]

  4. […] About the author: Steve Perry is a nature photographer and the owner of Backcountry Gallery. You can find more of his work, words, photos, and videos on his website, Facebook, and YouTube channel. This article was also published here. […]

  5. […] Nikon D850 Review […]

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