Nikon D810 Vs. Nikon D850 2021

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Getting an advanced camera is not a simple choice. You have to keep in mind the essential factors and find the one that best suits your demands. This will take a lot of research and you might feel confused after some time. 

But there is no need to worry, as we will be comparing some of the best Nikon cameras here.

This time, the battle is between Nikon D810 vs D850.  Let’s take a closer look at the camera comparison now.

nikon d810 vs d850

Standards For Comparison

To find out which camera is better, there have to be some basic grounds on which they could be judged. These standards are some of the features that are quite essential in an advanced camera.

Here’s hoping these will make things easier for you to conclude.

The basic standards are:

  • Physical Features
  • Build & Design
  • Lens 
  • Sensors and Processors
  • Battery Life
  • AF (Auto- Focus) System
  • FPS (Frames Per Second)
  • Viewfinder
  • Video System
  • Area of Photography

A small disclaimer, the Nikon D850 was released 3 years later than the D810. Therefore, there are high chances that the differences between them could be quite significant.

Which One Is Better?

Now let’s have a look at all the features and compare them one by one.

1. Physical Features

First of all, we will take into account the size and weight of the cameras.

a. Size

The Nikon D810 has external dimensions of 146 x 123 x 82 mm (5.75 x 4.84 x 3.23″), whereas the dimensions of the Nikon D850 are 146 x 124 x 79 mm (5.75 x 4.88 x 3.11″). There is a slight difference between them. 

Usually, people prefer smaller cameras as they are easily portable. However, this does not bring any major change to the table in this case.

b. Weight

The approximate weight of the Nikon D810, including the batteries, is, 980 g (2.16 lb / 34.57 oz), whereas that of the Nikon D850 is 1015 g (2.24 lb / 35.80 oz). Again, people prefer to go for lightweight cameras, as it is much easier to carry them around. Here, it does not bring a lot of difference. 

c. Weather Sealing

This feature protects your camera from water and dust. Therefore, if the camera already has weather sealing, it would not be a problem to shoot outdoors, irrespective of the weather conditions. 

Both Nikon D810 and D850 come with a weather sealing.

d. Screen

Both the cameras have the same screen size of 3.2”.

However, there is a small difference between the two. The screen of the Nikon D850 is a tilting one. You can easily tilt the screen as you want, and shoot from any position you like. The Nikon D810 has a fixed screen.

2. Build & Design

Let us look into the build and depth of the cameras.

a. Build

Both the cameras are made of magnesium alloy. Though they are made of the same alloy, there have been a lot of changes and tweaks in a lot of places.

b. Design

The grip of the Nikon D810 is quite good, however, the one for D850 has been re-worked a bit. The grip for the latter is deeper and hence, more comfortable. 

In Nikon D810, the designers have introduced an “i” button on the back of the camera. This is different from the D810’s predecessors. 

This button will give you access to key settings like Active D-Lighting and Bracketing. This would come handy if you shoot videos in Live View or Video Mode, as this would enable Split Screen View. 

There are many changes in the Nikon D850 too. The first change is in the placement of the ISO button. The button now is just behind the shutter button, which makes it easier to use while shooting. 

Another notable addition is that of the AF Joystick. This joystick will enable you to select your desired focus point with efficiency and accuracy. 

3. Lens

The lens of the camera will help you to showcase your creativity to the maximum level. One of the important factors is to find out how many types of lenses your camera will support. The more, the better.

Both models, in this case, have the same Nikon F mount lens. In total, they support 309 native lenses.

The main lens types that are compatible with both the cameras are:

  • Standard Zoom
  • Standard Prime
  • Wide Angle Zoom
  • Wide Angle Prime
  • Telephoto Zoom
  • Telephoto Prime
  • SuperZoom
  • Wideangle Fisheye Prime
  • Macro Prime
  • Perspective Control Prime
  • Telephoto Mirror Prime

However, there is something that you have to keep in mind. Neither of the cameras has the image stabilization feature. This means that it will be quite difficult to click pictures if the subject is in motion. 

To cope with this difficulty, you have to find out if the lens has the Optical Stabilization Feature. 

4. Sensors & Processors

This is one of the most important features of a camera. The sensor and processor will determine the amount of richness and sharpness in the pictures, and the efficiency of the camera, respectively. 

Nikon D850 has a 46.0MP full-frame sized BSI-CMOS sensor whereas, Nikon D810 has a 36.0MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor. Therefore, it is quite clear that the Nikon D850 is better, with its extra 10 MP.

The Nikon D810 has an EXPEED 4 processor, contrary to which, the Nikon D850 has an EXPEED 5 processor. Therefore, it is again quite clear that the D850 will be faster than the other one.

It is safe to say that in this area, it was a clear win for the Nikon D850. 

5. Battery Life

A professional photographer requires a long-lasting battery life. Therefore, it is essential to find a camera that has better battery quality and life.

The Nikon D810 has an EN-EL15 battery, which will give you an approximate of 1200 shots before it dies. On the other hand, there is the Nikon D850 which has an EN-EL15a power pack battery. This will provide you with an approximate of 1850 shots before the battery dies.

In the end, the Nikon D850 has a really good battery, even after its high-speed processors and great sensor.

6. AF (Auto-Focus) System

The Auto-focus system in a camera is another vital feature. This system helps to focus on the subject automatically if you set it to the AF mode. 

You can use the manual mode and focus on the subject by yourself. However, the AF system helps you to save a lot of time. The more the auto-focus points and sensors in a camera, the better.

The Nikon D810 has the Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX as its AF system. This includes 51 focus points and 15 cross-type sensors. Before getting into the difference, we have to understand the concept of cross-type sensors.

A cross-type sensor helps in sampling the feature that has the correct orientation to activate the sensor. This will ensure that the focus system works properly and all the focus is on the subject.

The Nikon D850 has the Multi-CAM 20K AF module. This includes 153 focus points and 99 cross-type sensors. Another impressive feature of this camera is that out of 153 focus points, the user can select 55 of them. This will provide the photographer with a wide range of creativity. 

Therefore, it is quite clear that the precision and efficiency of the Nikon D850 is unbeatable in this aspect. 

7. Frames Per Second (FPS)

Frames Per Second or Burst shooting is the number of frames your camera captures within a second. This feature helps in capturing a moving subject. This means the greater the FPS, the better the camera will capture the subject in motion.

The Nikon D810 can capture at 5 fps very easily. If you want to capture at 6fps then you can set your camera at 1.2x or DX crop modes. 

The camera can even capture at 7fps. For that, you just need to switch to MB-D12 Battery Grip. With a 7fps, you can easily capture moving traffic on a highway. 

The Nikon D850 will also provide you with a burst shooting from 5-7fps. However, if you switch to the MB-D12 Battery Grip, then you can get a 9fps! This is far better than any of the advanced DSLRs available in this specific price bracket. 

With a 9fps, you can almost capture any animal sprinting across in a field. Therefore, this feature helps a lot in wildlife photography. 

To conclude, it is very easy to understand that the Nikon D810 stands nowhere near the AF system of the Nikon D850.

8. Viewfinder

As mentioned above, both models have the same screen size of 3.2”. However, the Nikon D850 has a tilted screen as opposed to the Nikon D810’s fixed screen. The Nikon D850 also has a touch screen, which helps the user to access the focus and other settings with a lot of ease.

Both models have an optical viewfinder. This helps you to see the screen even when you are under the direct sunlight. Therefore, if you have to shoot outdoors on a sunny afternoon, you have nothing to worry about. 

The field of view for both the cameras is 100%. However, the magnification of the Nikon D850 is 0.75X, whereas that of the Nikon D810 is 0.70X. 

The Nikon D810 has a built-in flash. This is not present in the Nikon D850. However, the light of the flash is not that strong, but it can be used as a fill-in light at times of need. 

Both models have a built-in intervalometer. The intervalometer helps the camera to capture time-lapse videos. Usually, DSLRs of a lower rank cannot capture it with the help of external devices. Therefore, this added feature will help you to save on some extra costs.   

9. Video System

The Nikon D810 has a video system of 1080p video at up to 60p. There are many new features added to the video system of this model in comparison. One such feature is the Zebra Highlight warnings.

This feature helps to find the areas in the video clip that are either underexposed or overexposed. You will find several lines over the area that the feature is trying to point out. 

With this feature, however, you cannot change the exposure. You have to do it either while editing or during shooting. This feature only points out the area. 

Another feature of the Nikon D810 is the headphone socket and the microphone input. Lastly, there is a Flat Picture Control feature for recording videos. This helps to deal with high contrasting scenes. 

The Nikon D850 also has similar features but gets an upper hand for its 4K UHD capture. You can also capture slow-motion videos at 1080p with 120 fps. The better video system among the Nikon D850 vs D810 is of course the D850. 

10. Areas Of Photography

Photography has a vast scope, and there are a variety of niches under it. Being an advanced photographer means you could be an expert in more than one of these niches. Therefore, you would want a camera that would help you in more than one niche.

Hence, we will look into some of the niches to find out which camera is better suited for which area.

a. Portrait Photography

For portrait photography, a camera should have a good sensor and resolution, as this would ensure that the picture has rich details and great sharpness.

Both models have the same type of sensor. However, the Nikon D810 has a resolution of  36.0MP, whereas that of the Nikon D850 is 46.0MP.

However, both face the same disadvantage of lacking in image stabilization. However, this problem could be solved by getting lenses that have the Optical Image Stabilization feature.

Overall, D850 is a good choice for portrait photography. 

b. Street Photography

In this area, a good sensor and resolution are required. Additionally, a live-view and face detection feature would only add brownie points.

We have already discussed above, that the Nikon D850 has a better resolution. Moreover, it also has an added advantage of the tilted and touch screen. This ensures that you can showcase your creativity to the maximum potential.

Again there are some drawbacks too. Both models lack image stabilization and have a large body, which makes it tiresome to carry them around all the time.

c. Sports Photography

For sports photography, the more technically advanced the camera is, the better.

At the base level, both models seem to be very similar in all the features except the resolution. The resolution is much better in D850. However, there are many aspects where D850 proves to be a better choice than D810. 

The Nikon D850 will provide you with a 7fps, which means you can get clear shots of any sports match; as opposed to the D810 with 5fps. The D850 has a better battery life than the other one, with 1840 shots till the battery dies. The AF system of the D850 with 153 focus points and 99 cross-type focus sensors is the icing to the cake. 

Therefore, it is clear to say that the Nikon D850 is a very good catch for sports photography.

d. Daily Photography

You do not require much for daily photography. A camera with a good sensor and resolution will work. However, people also prefer cameras that are lightweight and compact.

In that respect, the Nikon D850 has a better resolution. However, the Nikon D810 is a bit lighter than the other one. If you think that portability is more important to you than the resolution, then we would say that the Nikon D810 caters to this area.

e. Landscape Photography

Both models seem to be good enough for landscape photography. Both have the weather sealing feature, which means one can easily capture images even in bad weather. The Live-View helps to record videos too.

However, the resolution of D850 makes us give it a few extra points.

FAQs on Nikon d810 vs d850

Q1. Is Nikon Replacing The D850?

According to recent news, Nikon has already announced two mirrorless cameras in 2021. However, it is speculated that the replacement for Nikon D850 might be announced in 2021.

Q2. What Replaced The Nikon D810?

The Nikon D810 was replaced by the Nikon D850.

Q3. Is The Nikon D810 Discontinued?

According to Nikon’s website, the D810 has been discontinued.

Q4. Will The Nikon D850’s Price Drop?

Recently, it has been announced that the price of the Nikon D850 has reduced by $200.

Q5. Is The Nikon D850 Good In Low Light?

The Nikon D850 has -4 EV low-light sensitivity. This means that your pictures will be very clear and rich in detail even if the lights are a bit low. Even in dark environments, the AF system of the camera works efficiently. 

Q6. Is The Nikon D850 Good For Wildlife Photography?

For wildlife photography, a good AF system along with a good bursting speed is required.

The Nikon D850 comes with an amazing Auto-focus System and has a great bursting speed which can go up to 9fps. These features and others make it one of the best cameras for wildlife photography.

Q7. Is Nikon better than Sony?

These are among the best companies in the photography world. Nikon has its collection of impressive DSLRs, and Sony has its amazing collection of mirrorless cameras. Therefore, it depends on the type of camera you want.

Q8. Is The Nikon D850 FX Or DX?

The Nikon D850 is an FX camera, owing to its impressive 46.0 MP.


In the end, you are the one who will be making a decision. Therefore, we usually suggest going for the camera that suits your requirements.

However, for the sake of the curiosity you hold, we do have a winner. The result surely is not very shocking as we have seen it getting a thumbs up on most parameters set for the comparison. So here is the result of the battle of Nikon D810 vs D850.

The Nikon D850 is by far the better choice with its technically advanced, efficient, and accurate settings and systems. This camera will ensure that you can professionally showcase your creative potential.

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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