I received my Nikon D850 24 hours ago and can comfortably state that this is the best all-around camera Nikon has ever produced. It excelled at every single situation I threw at it. Nikon makes other cameras that specialize at specific aspects like frame rate (D5/D500), high ISO performance (D5). But nothing combines all the features (resolution, dynamic range, high ISO performance, frame rate, autofocus, buffer depth, ergonomics, image quality) like the D850.
During the last 24 hours, I’ve put it through a pretty good representative sample of outdoor photography situations including:
– Macro (focus stacking)
– High dynamic range panoramas
– Black and white conversions
– Architecture at sunset
– Night football at ISO 25,600
– Cross country meet
Here are photos with captions to show some background information and exposure details.
I’ve posted PDF versions of our famous setup guides for the Nikon D800/D800E and the Nikon D4 cameras. The guides show my personal recommendations for setting up menus, buttons and dials in four configurations: Travel/Landscape, Portrait/Wedding, Sports/Action, and Point and Shoot.
The guides are free to download and print out for your own use. If you are interested, you can order laminated copies from us for $6.50. Order instructions are on the setup guide web page.
Here are the direct links:
We also have setup guides for most of the other popular Nikon dSLR cameras including the D7000, D700, D300, D300s, D3s, D3, D3X, etc. Click this link to go to our Nikon camera setup guide page. Scroll down to the bottom for the camera setup guides.
After a long wait, the new Nikon D800 is here. The camera has quite an impressive resume and will be a boon for photographers who need super-high resolution in a moderately-sized body. All of the initial reports from photographers who shot the D800 advertising campaign are glowing. They are all fawning over the amazing resolution and massive file sizes.
Keep in mind that this camera is not for everyone. If you shoot sports or action, then I don’t recommend this as your main body since it “only” shoots at 4 frames per second. Also, if you are looking for a camera to record snap shots from your vacation or cruise, then it probably isn’t the right choice either because of the massive file size of each image. However, if you are a dedicated landscape or studio/advertising photographer, then it should definitely be at the top of your list. The D800’s 36 MP sensor will create files that open at over 200 MB each in Photoshop!
You should also keep in mind that the larger image files will require more computing power. You’ll probably need an upgrade in RAM and potentially CPU processing. That goes with the territory though and has now become par for the course after each new leap forward in camera technology.
I ordered mine this morning. You can order your’s today from B&H using our affiliate links:
New photographers often ask me what is the “best” lens for their photography. Often, they own the standard kit lens with their new SLR and are concerned that it isn’t good enough for great photography. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. The reality is that the lens is far less important than the skill of the photographer.
Here’s an email question from a reader from Bangalore this morning:
I was on your webpage and found it inspiring. I really enjoy photography and so far I’m doing some experimental work with my Sony Cyber Shot digicamera.
Recently I brought the Nikon D7000 with 18-105 Vr lens. Since I’m just getting into photography, can u send me some suggestions for the young growing photographer?
Photography is my hobby. I’m basically an architect. Would you please suggest some lenses that I can use for portraits and landscape photography? I’ll also be using it on occasion for weddings. It will be good if you suggest me lens and flash devices.
With Best Regards
Hi Ed –
The key to getting better photos doesn’t have much to do with the lenses you buy. It has much more to do with practice and determination. My biggest advice for you is to take pictures every day. Also, take pictures with a purpose. For example, decide that you want to document your neighborhood and the people who live there. Spend two months doing this and you’ll see the quality of your photographs improve exponentially.
I use all kinds of lenses including the Nikon 18-105mm. I have macros, telephotos, wide angles, f5.6, f2.8, f1.8, etc. Each has a different purpose, but again, the key to great photography is knowledge and experience. The 18-105mm will work great for portraits and weddings. In fact, I was at a wedding last weekend where the official photographer used this specific lens on a Nikon D80. There are just too many lenses out there to suggest a specific one for you. I encourage you to shoot with the 18-105mm until you find an actual need for another lens. Once you find the 18-105mm is limiting your creativity or capability, then it is time to buy a new one that solves your problem.
For flashes, I like the SB-900 and SB-700. Both work well for most of my lighting requirements.
One last suggestion: go back through my previous newsletters and participate in our monthly GOAL Assignments. These will encourage you to keep practicing and growing your skill set.
Follow the link below to download the new Nikon D7000 Setup Guide. This PDF shows how I recommend setting up the custom settings menus, shooting menus and autofocus system for four different shooting scenarios.
We also have setup guides for many of the other popular Nikon dSLR cameras posted at this link: