Nikon Learn & Explore

D850: Power Player

The D850 is the best of both worlds: image quality and the look of medium format when I want it.
Dixie Dixon photo of a woman wearing a hat, shot with the D850 DSLR

© Dixie Dixon

"This was a natural-light shot using the D850's square format setting, which gives an image a whole different dimension. I used flash on the shoot, but I think natural light adds a lot more mood."

The main thing was the megapixel count.

Dixie Dixon was one of the first photographers to shoot with the D850, and the camera's 45.7 megapixels was the first thing about it to grab her attention. "In addition to fashion, I shoot a lot of commercial work," she says, "and I realized that now there was no need to use medium format even if I had to shoot a billboard."

Dixie Dixon photo of a woman photographed in B&W with the D850 DSLR

© Dixie Dixon

Dixie shot a number of black-and-white portraits to showcase the D850's capture of rich tones and subtle details.

There's also no need for medium format for its square image, as the D850's image area choice provides a quick switch from the familiar 36x24 DSLR rectangle to a 24x24mm square for composition and output.

"I used medium format in the past when I had clients who asked me to shoot it for jobs where they'd be enlarging the image for something like the side of a building," Dixie says. "I liked the results, but not working with the medium format camera. I felt I had to be on a tripod and couldn't be really candid with my subjects; it was harder to get that real, natural moment. The D850 is the best of both worlds: image quality and the look of medium format when I want or need it."  

And there's also the other well-known benefit of a high pixel count: maintaining picture quality when an image is cropped. "A lot of times I'll shoot a horizontal and the client will crop to a vertical, and sometimes a wider-angle shot will be cropped to more of a tight shot."

Dixie Dixon photo of a woman on a swing, shot with the D850

© Dixie Dixon

One of Dixie's locations for her D850 shoot was the White Sparrow Barn, a wedding venue in Quinlan, Texas. "We got this just before it started to rain," she says. The camera's seven-frames-per-second advance caught the lift of the dress for this 1/250-second strobed image.

Dixie Dixon photo of a model on a ladder with a large great dane dog, shot with the D850 DSLR

© Dixie Dixon

"We kind of matched the Great Dane's spots with her dress," Dixie says. "I love to have dogs somewhere in the shoot."

Dixie had every reason to believe that the speed and accuracy of the D850's autofocus system would be up to the high-performance standards she'd come to expect from Nikon, but still it was a special concern. "I'm very conscious of focus," she says.

Which is an understatement, as she went on to say, "I get freaked out if everything isn't tack sharp, and the D850 gave me peace of mind. The AF works beautifully. I was looking through some JPEGs at one point, and I didn't see one photo that wasn't tack sharp. When I focused on the model's eye, there was every eyelash and every detail."

Dixie Dixon D850 DSLR photo of a model in a blue dress

© Dixie Dixon

The D850's Matrix meter easily handled the contrast and tonal range of this low-angle shot.  

Dixie Dixon photo of a model in a yellow dress with a really long train, shot with the D850 DSLR

© Dixie Dixon

Dixie took this photo from the second floor of the barn, capturing the flood of natural light and the dramatic drape of the fabric.

Dixie Dixon D850 DSLR photo of a model looking at the camera

© Dixie Dixon

"I love the way the lighting gives this shot such a dream-like vibe."

She also liked that she could quickly review images in detail as she was shooting. "I'd just swing out the touch screen and [pinch] zoom in and out really quickly to see what I was getting. That's super cool. Fashion is all about detail, and I think that’s where this camera really excels. There's so much detail in the files, and the skin tones look beautiful. It's amazing, and for what I do, it's my personal dream camera."

All the features and tech specs of the extraordinary Nikon D850 are right here.

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