Nikon D850 - Honest Review & Test 2024

By Julius
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Nikon D850 camera

The Nikon D850 full-frame DSLR is one of the fastest cameras on the market and a true powerhouse.
This underwater camera is one for professional photographers and those who aspire to be.
Highly extendible, great image quality and incredible shutter and autofocus speeds are just three of many features that make this camera stand out.

Scuba diver photographing wreck
Nikon D850 Review - Table of Contents
(Click to expand)

Of course, we also read other opinions online but in the end, nothing beats real world experience. So we took the time for a thorough Nikon D850 test and review! Below you find everything you need to know, including features, specs and what we like, and don't like about it.

Our Rating

5 / 5.0

What We Like

  • The fastest underwater camera out there
  • Incredible image quality
  • Bright and big screen
  • Autofocus is extremely fast
  • Nice handling once you practiced with it
  • A camera for the pros

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not optimal for videos
  • Touchscreen useless underwater
  • Not for beginners!

Get it here

First Impression

In a hurry and looking for the gist of things? Here is our review in short. Keep reading for the entire version.

If there is one word to describe this camera, it’s “speed”.

This thing is lightning fast, takes absolutely stunning underwater photos, and if you follow some professional BBC and NatGeo underwater photographers on Instagram or TikTok (like me), this is one of the cameras that keeps popping up again and again.

I first used this one during the BOOT convention in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2018, and quite a few times since then on different liveaboard cruises.

I think it’s a thing of beauty, really intuitive to handle and did I say it’s fast?

By fast I mean, fast enough to capture some elusive underwater species such as blue sharks, swordfish, and the likes at ultra-high resolution and wide angles.

If you have ever tried to take a picture of fast-moving animals underwater, you know how frustrating it can be to be limited by slow focus speeds. Not so with the Nikon D850.

If you are looking for a professional underwater camera with the goal to make money with it, this could be the one.

Sharks swimming underneath water surface.
Even with poor lighting, a DSLR will still outperform other cameras in terms of image quality.

HOWEVER, if you are a beginner scuba diver, or even a semi-professional photographer looking for an easy upgrade from your compact camera…this is NOT for you.

The cost is just too prohibitive in most cases, considering this the D850 is in the $3,000 range, excluding lenses, housing, and so on.

Moreover, even if budget is not a factor, there are a lot of moving parts that play a role when trying to take professional underwater photos…the camera is just one of them.

I repeat, if you are a beginner scuba diver or underwater photographer, get a cheaper alternative and learn to take great photos first, before ever considering a tool like this!

Last but not least, if you are more into video than photo, go for the Sony A7 instead.

The Canon D850 is like an unfair advantage for wide-angle photographers underwater. Fast, crisp image quality and a professional tool all around. Unless you work for NatGeo or BBC etc…you will not need a higher-tier model ever.

Specs & Features

TypeFull Frame DSLR Camera
Weight0.9 kg (2.02 lb)
Resolution20MP (photo), 4k at 60fps (video)
Good forPhotos, Videos
Media TypeMicro SD
Other Features

If you have any other questions or need advice, leave us a comment below and get the conversation started.

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Where to Buy

Nikon D850 camera
MSRP: $2499
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About the author

Hey! I'm Julius, professional scuba instructor, diver, outdoor lover, entrepreneur and CEO and founder of Social Diving. I write about scuba diving (including tech, cave, sidemount, and freediving), travel, and love what I do. If you have any questions, send me a message. :-)

©2024 Social Diving. All rights reserved. The content presented here is the exclusive property of Social Diving and may not be copied or distributed, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Social Diving.

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