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Nikon D850 vs Z6 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

Nikon Z6

Nikon Z6 camera image
Nikon D850
Nikon Z6
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.
August 23, 2017
August 23, 2018
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D850 edges out the Nikon Z6 with a score of 82/100, compared to the Z6’s score of 81/100. Both cameras were announced in August, with the D850 in 2017 and the Z6 in 2018. They share similarities in launch price, with the D850 at $3300 and the Z6 at $2000.

The D850, a DSLR camera, has a larger size (146 x 124 x 79mm) and is heavier (1005g) than the Z6, which is a mirrorless camera with dimensions of 134 x 101 x 68mm and a weight of 675g. This makes the D850 more robust and suitable for professional use.

On the other hand, the Z6 is lighter and more compact, making it more convenient for casual photography or travel. Despite being a point behind in score, the Z6 still offers excellent performance and quality.

Taking all factors into account, the Nikon D850 is the better option for professional photographers, while the Nikon Z6 is the ideal choice for those seeking a more portable and affordable camera.

Nikon D850 vs Z6 Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z6 emerges as the winner in the optics comparison with a score of 83/100, while the Nikon D850 trails behind with a score of 79/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a full-frame CMOS sensor, which ensures excellent image quality. They also have different lens mounts, with the D850 featuring a Nikon F FX mount and the Z6 having a Nikon Z mount.

The Z6 outperforms the D850 in several aspects. Its Expeed 6 processor is more advanced than the D850’s Expeed 5, allowing for faster image processing. The Z6 also has a higher shooting speed of 12 frames per second, compared to the D850’s 7 frames per second. This makes the Z6 a better choice for capturing fast-moving subjects. Additionally, the Z6 offers image stabilization, which the D850 lacks. This feature helps reduce camera shake and results in sharper images.

On the other hand, the D850 has a higher megapixel count of 45.7, compared to the Z6’s 24.5 megapixels. This allows the D850 to capture more detail in images, making it a better choice for landscape and portrait photography. The D850 also boasts a DXOMARK sensor score of 100, which is higher than the Z6’s score of 95. This indicates that the D850 has a better overall sensor performance.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Nikon Z6 is the better choice for those who prioritize shooting speed, image stabilization, and a more advanced processor. Meanwhile, the Nikon D850 may be more suitable for photographers who require a higher megapixel count and better sensor performance. Both cameras excel in their respective areas, and photographers should choose the camera that best fits their needs and preferences.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
45.7 MP
24.5 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
8256 x 5504 px
6048 x 4024 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.
23.9 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.
7 fps
12 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 Z
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 5
Expeed 6
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)
Viewfinder Resolution
3,690,000 dots

Nikon D850 vs Z6 Video Performance

The Nikon Z6 outperforms the Nikon D850 in video capabilities with a score of 83/100, compared to the D850’s score of 70/100. Both cameras share certain specifications, such as a maximum video resolution of 4K and maximum video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both cameras have time-lapse functionality built-in.

The Nikon Z6’s superior video performance is evident in its higher maximum video frame rate of 60fps, while the D850’s maximum video frame rate is 30fps. This higher frame rate allows the Z6 to capture smoother and more detailed footage, especially in fast-paced or action-packed scenes. The Z6 also benefits from its mirrorless design, which can provide better video autofocus performance compared to traditional DSLRs like the D850.

On the other hand, the Nikon D850 has some advantages in other aspects of its performance, such as higher resolution for still photography. However, this does not impact the video performance directly. Therefore, when considering video capabilities alone, the D850 falls short in comparison to the Z6.

Taking into account the video performance of both cameras, the Nikon Z6 is the clear winner with its higher video score, faster frame rate, and better autofocus capabilities. The D850, while an excellent camera for still photography, is not as competitive when it comes to video performance. For those prioritizing video capabilities, the Nikon Z6 would be the recommended choice over the Nikon D850.

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.
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.
3840 x 2160 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
60 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 D850 vs Z6 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D850 and Nikon Z6 both have a feature score of 87 out of 100, indicating that they are relatively equal in terms of their capabilities. They share several specifications, such as screen size, touchscreen functionality, GPS, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity. However, there are some differences between these two cameras, which we will discuss below.

The Nikon D850 has a higher screen resolution of 2,359,000 dots compared to the Nikon Z6’s 2,100,000 dots. This means that the D850’s screen provides a clearer and more detailed image for photographers to review and assess their shots. Additionally, the D850 has a higher resolution sensor, offering 45.7 megapixels compared to the Z6’s 24.5 megapixels. This allows the D850 to capture more detail and produce higher quality images.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z6 has some advantages over the D850. It is a lighter camera, weighing 675 grams compared to the D850’s 1,005 grams. This makes the Z6 more portable and easier to carry around for extended periods. Furthermore, the Z6 has a faster continuous shooting speed of 12 frames per second, compared to the D850’s 7 frames per second. This makes the Z6 better suited for capturing fast-moving subjects and action photography.

After examining the specifications, it is clear that both the Nikon D850 and Z6 are excellent cameras with similar feature scores. The D850 is better suited for photographers who prioritize image quality and resolution, while the Z6 offers advantages in portability and action photography. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on the individual photographer’s needs and preferences.

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.
2,359,000 dots
2,100,000 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 D850 vs Z6 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon Z6 in storage and battery, with a score of 84/100 compared to the Z6’s 35/100. Both cameras use XQD memory cards, but the D850 has the advantage of accepting SD/SDHC/SDXC cards as well. Additionally, the D850 has two memory card slots, while the Z6 has only one.

The D850 also has a significantly longer battery life, providing 1840 shots per charge, compared to the Z6’s 310 shots. Both cameras use similar batteries, with the D850 using the EN-EL15a and the Z6 using the EN-EL15b.

However, the Z6 has the advantage of USB charging, which the D850 lacks. This feature allows for more convenient charging options, especially for photographers on the go.

Taking these factors into consideration, the Nikon D850 is superior in terms of storage and battery life, making it a better choice for photographers who require more flexibility and longer shooting sessions. The Nikon Z6, while offering USB charging, falls short in comparison due to its limited storage options and shorter battery life.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
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.
1,840 shots
310 shots
USB Charging
Photography Genre
Graded from the first-hand experience of one of our writers
Beginner Friendly
Sports and Action
Value for Money
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.'
26.4 bits
25.3 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.'
14.8 EVs
14.3 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'

Nikon D850 vs Z6 Alternatives

If you’re not sure which camera to go for, don’t stress! Our recent articles on the best Nikon camera for low light or the best Nikon beginner cameras may be helpful. Or, if you prefer to keep researching specs, here are some more popular comparisons:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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