Nikon D850 Exposed - Unboxing, Capture, Process and Print

A Little Camera History

My first full frame camera was the Nikon D600 which was released in September 2012.  As many people know this camera had a few problems with oil leaking onto the sensor.  Despite a number of product recalls the product was eventually replaced by the D610 in October 2013.  I was lucky though as Nikon replaced my D600 with a new D610 under warranty. 

In July 2014 Nikon announced the Nikon D810 and this was followed up by the release of the D750 in September of the same year.  After only a short time with the D610 I decided that I was going to upgrade again.  I looked at both cameras but at the time I felt I couldn't justify the cost of the D810, nor would I probably benefit from what it offered.

The D750, on the other hand, had a few of killer features.  It had the flippy out LCD screen, high ISO capabilities, and WiFi built in.  While the latter two would only really benefit my music photography, the flippy out LCD would be great for my landscape work.  So I sold my (almost new) Nikon D610 and purchased the D750.

It's Finally Here

The D750 continued to be my main camera for the next three years until the D850 appeared on my doorstep the other day.  I had been considering an upgrade for around a year but there was nothing really to upgrade to.  The Nikon D810 was still a great camera, but I would miss some of those great D750 features.  

I wasn't going to change camera systems either.  Sure the Sony mirrorless technology is very attractive, and the new Fuji mirrorless medium format camera is a landscape photographers dream,  However, the transition to either system would be costly and neither was that well suited to my music photography.

So when I saw the D850 announcement and looked at the specification list it ticked all my boxes.  When pre-orders became available I was ordering within minutes!  This was going to be a significant investment for me but I feel I'm at a point in my photography journey that I can justify the upgrade.  Thanks to part-ex with WEX I can offset some of the cost by trading in my D750.

Using the D850

So now that I have the D850, what is it like?  To document my experience from unboxing to capturing my first landscape image, processing it and finally printing it I have created this video.

I would have like to have used the camera for the first time in better circumstances but the weather was just proving too problematic.  Venford Falls was a good option but looking at the images a lot of foliage is being blown about by the wind.  The falls really look their best in spring time when everything is green, fresh and lush.

However, even with the challenging conditions, the camera was able to produce images with great tones, colour, and contrast.  

A metered exposure of 30 seconds gives great results.

This image is the same as the previous image but at 8 seconds this image was deliberately underexposed.  However, there was no apparent loss in quality when the darker areas of the image were recovered.

I really liked the handling of the camera it made the capturing of images just a little easier than it is in the D750.

More to Learn, More to Shoot

I've only had the D850 for a few days so there is so much more to learn about this camera.  There will be the enhanced features over the D750 as well as some new capabilities that I can learn about.  I guess it will take a while before I really start leveraging what the D850 has to offer, but it's going to be fun learning.

So will the D850 make me a better photographer?  Of course not!  Only by practising the craft of photography will I become a better photographer.  The D850 is a tool and it will help me capture my images, but it can't improve my creative eye.  As David duChemin says, "Gear is good, but vision is better".

So have you bought or considered the new Nikon D850?  Have you recently replaced your camera?  Have you changed camera systems before?  Let me know in the comments below.