It’s an exciting moment for any photographer when it comes time for a new toy. I’ve been eyeing the D850 for a year or so now and I was finally able to justify the purchase. I’d planned to move my D810 to my secondary camera and retire my D600 (passing it along to my second shooter for weddings). Of course, buying a camera is never just the price of the camera itself, because there are always things that you don’t factor in. In my case, I had to upgrade to adobe creative cloud from my old desktop version of Lightroom. I’d been putting this off forever since I wanted to save the $10/month but my version of Lightroom was the last one made before adobe switched to cloud based and they no longer update it. Sadly, it was too dated to read these new RAW files. So, I grumbled and made the switch. But, I must admit, I’m very happy that I did. It’s much faster, very user friendly and includes a new “dehaze” feature that has been really useful for landscape work. Sometimes forced change is good, and this is one of those times.
In terms of mechanics, the D850 is very similar to the D810. I was initially a bit surprised by how much louder the shutter was, but this is likely because the 850 has a lot let plastic parts and after a week or two of shooting with it as my first camera, I barely notice anymore. The colors straight out of the camera are beautiful and it’s super sharp and much easier to focus in low light. The low light capabilities of this camera really are quite impressive. It also has some really fun features that likely won’t be useful everyday but are nice to have. It allows you to control the shutter from your phone which is great for long exposure photography (eliminating any camera shake and allowing you to trigger longer than 30 seconds) as well as if you’re ever compelled to take a DSLR selfie…you never know. It also has a silent mode, which is super quiet and very cool but sadly, can only be accessed in live view. Generally, when I want to be super silent (when shooting set or production stills), I also don’t want the constant light of the display. That said, this may be a useful feature during wedding ceremonies. It’s definitely something to play with.
I bought this camera right around the time that Nikon announced their new mirrorless line and I really did consider it, because I believe mirrorless is the future of the industry. That said, these new cameras won’t be compatible with current Nikon lenses and the prospect of having thousands and thousands of dollars of equipment rendered useless was just too daunting. I wasn’t quite ready to start from scratch. Frankly, without any sort of tie to Nikon for the equipment that I already have, I might look to Sony who has been excelling at mirrorless cameras for quite some time. I am brand loyal, but only to a point.
Overall, I’m really liking my new D850. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a solid body that I hope proves to be a workhorse for a number of years and I’ve been happy with the results so far. They’re still hard to get your hands on, but I ordered from Unique Photo and it arrived in just a week, so don’t be put off by out of stock messages. They’re coming in pretty quickly.
Next week, back to regularly scheduled photo story programing! Below are a couple of D850 images that I’ve taken so far: