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Nikon D800 vs D850 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D800 camera image

Nikon D850

Nikon D850
Nikon D800
Nikon D850
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
February 07, 2012
August 23, 2017
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon D800 with a score of 82/100 compared to 69/100. Both cameras are DSLR models, announced in 2017 and 2012, respectively. They share similar dimensions, with the D850 measuring 146 x 124 x 79mm and weighing 1005g, while the D800 is 146 x 123 x 82mm and 1000g.

The D850’s higher score reflects its improved performance and features. Despite being slightly heavier and more expensive at $3300 compared to the D800’s $2999 launch price, the D850 justifies the extra cost with its advancements in technology.

However, the D800 still holds its ground as a reliable and more affordable option, particularly for those on a tighter budget or just starting in photography.

Ultimately, the Nikon D850 proves to be a superior camera, offering better performance and features to justify its higher price point, while the Nikon D800 remains a decent, budget-friendly alternative.

Nikon D800 vs D850 Overview and Optics

The Nikon D850 emerges as the winner in the optics department, scoring 79/100, compared to the Nikon D800’s 74/100. Both cameras share some key specifications, including a CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, Nikon F FX lens mount, and absence of image stabilization. However, the D850 outperforms the D800 in several aspects, while the D800 has some advantages as well.

The Nikon D850’s superiority is evident in its higher megapixel count of 45.7, compared to the D800’s 36.3 megapixels. This difference allows the D850 to capture more detail in images. Additionally, the D850 has a faster shooting speed of 7 frames per second, compared to the D800’s 4 frames per second. This makes the D850 more suitable for capturing fast-moving subjects. Furthermore, the D850 boasts an Expeed 5 processor and a DXOMARK sensor score of 100, compared to the D800’s Expeed 3 processor and DXOMARK sensor score of 95. These factors contribute to the D850’s better overall image quality.

On the other hand, the Nikon D800 does have some advantages, though they are limited in comparison. The D800’s lower megapixel count and slower shooting speed may be suitable for photographers who do not require extremely high-resolution images or rapid shooting capabilities. The D800’s Expeed 3 processor and DXOMARK sensor score of 95 are also respectable, considering its lower price point compared to the D850.

In comparing the optics of the Nikon D800 and D850, the D850 is the clear winner due to its higher megapixel count, faster shooting speed, and superior processor and sensor scores. However, the D800 may still be a viable option for photographers with specific needs and budget considerations.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
36.3 MP
45.7 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
7360 x 4912 px
8256 x 5504 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 35.9 mm
23.9 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
4 fps
7 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F FX
Nikon F FX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 3
Expeed 5
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D800 vs D850 Video Performance

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon D800 in video capabilities with a score of 70 out of 100, compared to the D800’s 57. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a maximum video frame rate of 30fps and built-in time-lapse functionality. However, the D850 boasts significant advantages that contribute to its higher score.

The most notable advantage of the D850 is its 4K video resolution, offering a maximum video dimension of 3840 x 2160. In contrast, the D800 only supports Full HD video with a maximum dimension of 1920 x 1080. With the D850’s 4K resolution, users can capture sharper, more detailed footage, making it ideal for professional videography and high-quality content creation.

While the D800 does not have any specific advantages over the D850 in terms of video capabilities, it is worth noting that its Full HD video resolution is still suitable for casual or amateur videographers who do not require the increased detail provided by 4K resolution. The D800’s video quality is satisfactory for general use and sharing on social media platforms.

Taking into consideration the significant difference in video resolution, the Nikon D850 is the clear winner in terms of video capabilities. Its 4K resolution provides a substantial improvement in video quality, making it an excellent choice for professionals and enthusiasts seeking superior video performance. On the other hand, the Nikon D800 offers adequate video quality for casual users, but falls short when compared to the D850’s advanced video features.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Full HD
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
1920 x 1080 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
30 p
30 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D800 vs D850 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon D800 with a feature score of 87/100, a significant 30-point difference from the D800’s 57/100. Both cameras share some specifications, such as a 3.2-inch screen size, no flip screen, no GPS, and WIFI capabilities. However, the D850 surpasses the D800 in several aspects, making it the superior choice for photographers.

The D850’s screen resolution is substantially higher at 2,359,000 dots compared to the D800’s 921,000 dots, providing a clearer and more detailed display. Additionally, the D850 has a touchscreen feature, which allows for more intuitive navigation and control. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity in the D850 also gives it an edge over the D800, as photographers can easily transfer images and remotely control the camera through compatible devices.

The D800, on the other hand, does not offer any significant advantages over the D850. Its lower feature score and lack of certain specifications, such as a touchscreen and Bluetooth, make it less appealing to users who seek advanced capabilities in their DSLR cameras.

Taking all these factors into account, the Nikon D850 clearly outshines the Nikon D800 in terms of features and performance. With a higher resolution display, touchscreen capabilities, and Bluetooth connectivity, the D850 offers a more refined and versatile experience for photographers. Although the D800 has some similarities with the D850, it falls short in delivering the same level of innovation and functionality that the D850 provides.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
921,000 dots
2,359,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D800 vs D850 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon D800 in storage and battery, scoring 84/100 compared to the D800’s 71/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and do not support USB charging. However, the D850 accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible) and XQD memory cards, while the D800 accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I compatible) and Compact Flash memory cards. This gives the D850 an advantage in storage options.

In terms of battery life, the D850 clearly surpasses the D800, offering 1840 shots per charge compared to the D800’s 900 shots. The D850 uses an improved EN-EL15a battery, while the D800 uses an EN-EL15 battery. The D800 does not have any advantages in storage and battery over the D850.

Considering these points, the Nikon D850 proves to be a better choice for photographers requiring extended battery life and versatile storage options, while the Nikon D800 falls short in these aspects.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-I compatible), Compact Flash
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
900 shots
1,840 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
25.3 bits
26.4 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.4 EVs
14.8 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Alternatives to the Nikon D800 and D850

Nikon D800 vs D850 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D800 or the Nikon D850:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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