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Nikon D850 vs Z7 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

Nikon Z7

Nikon Z7 camera image
Nikon D850
Nikon Z7
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 and Nikon Z7 are both top-notch cameras, each earning a score of 82/100. Both cameras were announced in August, one year apart, with the D850 in 2017 and the Z7 in 2018. They share similar launch prices, with the D850 at $3300 and the Z7 at $3400.

The Nikon D850, a DSLR camera, is larger and heavier, measuring 146 x 124 x 79mm and weighing 1005g (2.22lbs). This size and weight may be preferred by photographers who appreciate a more substantial feel.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z7 is a mirrorless camera and is more compact and lightweight, measuring 134 x 101 x 68mm and weighing 675g (1.49lbs). This makes it an ideal choice for those who prioritize portability and ease of use.

Both cameras excel in their respective categories, with the D850 offering a solid DSLR experience and the Z7 providing a more portable option without sacrificing quality. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras comes down to personal preference in size, weight, and camera type.

Nikon D850 vs Z7 Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z7 wins the optics comparison with a score of 86/100, while the Nikon D850 scores 79/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including 45.7 megapixels, CMOS sensor type, full-frame sensor size, and the ability to shoot in RAW format. However, the Z7 outperforms the D850 in certain areas, making it the superior choice in terms of optics.

The Z7 has a faster shooting speed of 9 frames per second (fps), compared to the D850’s 7 fps. This enables the Z7 to capture fast-moving subjects with greater ease. Additionally, the Z7 features the Expeed 6 processor, an upgrade from the D850’s Expeed 5 processor. This results in better overall performance and image processing capabilities.

Furthermore, the Z7 has built-in image stabilization, which the D850 lacks. This feature allows for sharper images and smoother video capture, particularly when shooting handheld or in low light conditions. The Z7 also uses the Nikon Z lens mount, which is designed for mirrorless cameras and offers a wider range of compatible lenses.

On the other hand, the D850 has a slightly higher DXOMARK sensor score of 100, compared to the Z7’s 99. This means the D850’s sensor has a marginally better overall performance in terms of color depth, dynamic range, and low-light capabilities. However, this difference is minimal and may not be noticeable in everyday shooting situations.

Considering these factors, the Nikon Z7 is the better choice for those prioritizing optics. Its faster shooting speed, advanced processor, image stabilization, and mirrorless lens compatibility make it a more versatile option. While the D850 has a marginally higher sensor score, the Z7’s additional features outweigh this advantage.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
45.7 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.
8256 x 5504 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.
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
9 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 Z7 Video Performance

The Nikon Z7 outperforms the Nikon D850 in video capabilities, boasting a video score of 83/100 compared to the D850’s 70/100. Both cameras share some common video specifications, including a maximum video resolution of 4K and maximum video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, they both have time-lapse functionality built in, making them suitable for capturing stunning time-lapse sequences.

The Nikon Z7’s superior video score is primarily due to its higher maximum video frame rate of 60fps, compared to the D850’s 30fps. This allows for smoother video playback and greater flexibility in post-production, such as slow-motion effects. Furthermore, the Z7’s higher frame rate ensures that fast-moving subjects are captured with more clarity and less motion blur.

The Nikon D850 does not offer any significant advantages over the Z7 in terms of video capabilities. Its lower maximum frame rate of 30fps may be sufficient for some users, but it does not provide the same level of versatility as the Z7. As a result, the D850 may be more suitable for photographers who prioritize still images over video performance.

Considering the video capabilities, the Nikon Z7 is the clear winner between the two cameras. Its higher video score, coupled with its 60fps maximum frame rate, make it a better choice for videographers and photographers who require top-notch video performance. While the Nikon D850 is still a capable camera, its video capabilities simply do not match those of the Z7.

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 Z7 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7 both have a feature score of 87 out of 100, making them equal in this aspect. They share several specs, including a 3.2-inch screen size, touchscreen capabilities, and the absence of GPS. Both cameras also come with WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Nikon D850 has a higher screen resolution at 2,359,000 dots, compared to the Nikon Z7’s 2,100,000 dots. This means the D850 offers a more detailed and sharper display, providing a better viewing experience for users.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z7 stands out with its flip screen feature, which the D850 lacks. This advantage makes the Z7 more versatile for various shooting angles and situations, such as capturing low or high angle shots and self-portraits.

While both cameras have impressive features, the Nikon D850 excels in providing a higher screen resolution, resulting in a crisper display. The Nikon Z7, however, offers greater flexibility with its flip screen. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the user’s preferences and needs. If a higher screen resolution is a priority, the Nikon D850 is the better choice. If versatility in shooting angles is more important, the Nikon Z7 is the preferred option.

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 Z7 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon Z7 in storage and battery with a score of 84/100 compared to the Z7’s 35/100. Both cameras use XQD memory cards, but the D850 has two memory card slots, accepting SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II compatible) cards as well. This provides more flexibility and storage capacity for photographers. The D850 also boasts a significantly longer battery life of 1840 shots, using the EN-EL15a battery type.

Although the Nikon Z7 has a lower score, it offers USB charging with its EN-EL15b battery type, making it more convenient for on-the-go charging. However, its battery life is limited to 330 shots, and it only has one memory card slot, accepting XQD cards.

The D850 clearly excels in storage capacity and battery life, making it a better choice for professionals who require ample storage and extended shooting times. The Z7’s USB charging capability is a handy feature, but its limited battery life and single memory card slot may not be suitable for demanding photography sessions.

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
330 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
26.3 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
14.6 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 Z7 Alternatives

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