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Nikon D850 vs Z7 II Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

Nikon Z7 II

Nikon Z7II camera image
Nikon D850
Nikon Z7 II
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
October 14, 2020
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon Z7 II edges out the Nikon D850 with a score of 85/100 compared to 82/100. Both cameras share similarities, such as being released by Nikon within three years of each other and having similar launch prices ($3300 for the D850 and $3399 for the Z7 II). However, the Z7 II has a more compact and lighter design, measuring 134 x 101 x 70mm and weighing 705g, making it easier to carry around.

On the other hand, the Nikon D850, a DSLR camera, has a slightly larger and heavier build at 146 x 124 x 79mm and 1005g. Despite its size, some photographers may prefer the D850 for its traditional DSLR feel and handling.

Considering the score, size, and weight, the Nikon Z7 II is the better option for those seeking a modern, portable camera. The Nikon D850, however, remains a solid choice for those who prefer a classic DSLR experience.

Nikon D850 vs Z7 II Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z7 II outperforms the Nikon D850 in optics, with a score of 86/100 compared to the D850’s 79/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a 45.7-megapixel CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, and a DXOMARK score of 100 for the sensor. However, there are key differences that contribute to the Z7 II’s higher score.

The Z7 II boasts a faster shooting speed of 10 frames per second (fps), compared to the D850’s 7 fps. This advantage allows for capturing fast-moving subjects with greater ease and precision. Additionally, the Z7 II features a dual Expeed 6 processor, providing improved performance and image processing capabilities over the D850’s single Expeed 5 processor. The lens mount on the Z7 II is the newer Nikon Z mount, which offers a wider range of compatible lenses and better adaptability to future lens technology.

One significant advantage of the Z7 II is its built-in image stabilisation, which the D850 lacks. This feature allows for sharper images and improved low-light performance, as it compensates for camera shake during handheld shooting.

The D850, on the other hand, uses the established Nikon F FX lens mount. This provides access to a vast selection of lenses, many of which are more affordable than their Nikon Z counterparts. However, this advantage is not enough to outweigh the benefits of the Z7 II’s superior optics performance.

The Nikon Z7 II’s faster shooting speed, dual Expeed 6 processor, newer lens mount, and built-in image stabilisation make it the clear winner in terms of optics. While the D850 has the advantage of a wider range of affordable lenses, the Z7 II offers improved performance and future adaptability, solidifying its position as the superior camera in this comparison.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
45.7 MP
45.75 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
10 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
Dual 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 II Video Performance

The Nikon Z7 II outperforms the Nikon D850 in video capabilities, with a video score of 91/100 compared to the D850’s 70/100. Both cameras share some common video specifications, such as a maximum video resolution of 4K and maximum video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both cameras have built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Z7 II’s superior video performance comes from its higher maximum video frame rate of 120fps, which is four times higher than the D850’s 30fps. This allows the Z7 II to capture smoother slow-motion footage and provide more versatility for videographers. The higher frame rate also enables better performance in low light conditions, as it reduces motion blur and provides clearer images.

While the D850 does not offer any significant advantages over the Z7 II in terms of video capabilities, it is worth noting that its lower score does not necessarily imply a lack of quality. The D850 still produces high-quality 4K video at 30fps, which is suitable for most videography needs. However, its limitations in frame rate and low light performance make it less versatile than the Z7 II.

Considering the video capabilities of both cameras, the Nikon Z7 II is the clear winner due to its higher video score and superior performance in frame rate and low light conditions. The Nikon D850, while not as versatile, still provides satisfactory video quality for most users. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the individual needs and priorities of the videographer.

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
120 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 II Features and Benefits

The Nikon D850 and Nikon Z7 II both have a feature score of 87/100, making them equally strong contenders in terms of their features.

Both cameras share several specifications, such as a 3.2-inch screen size, touchscreen capabilities, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. Neither camera has GPS functionality. These common specifications make both cameras versatile and user-friendly.

The Nikon D850 surpasses the Z7 II in screen resolution, boasting 2,359,000 dots compared to the 2,100,000 dots of the Z7 II. This higher screen resolution allows for clearer and more detailed image previews on the D850, enhancing the overall shooting experience.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z7 II has a flip screen, which the D850 lacks. This flip screen offers greater flexibility when composing shots at different angles and is particularly useful for vlogging or capturing selfies. This added functionality gives the Z7 II an edge in terms of adaptability and convenience.

While both cameras excel in various aspects, the Nikon D850 stands out for its superior screen resolution, providing a better image preview experience. The Nikon Z7 II, however, offers greater flexibility with its flip screen, making it more adaptable to different shooting scenarios. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the individual photographer’s preferences and requirements, as both cameras showcase impressive features and strong performance.

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 II Storage and Battery

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon Z7 II in storage and battery, scoring 84/100 compared to the Z7 II’s 71/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and support UHS-II compatible cards. The D850 accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC and XQD cards, while the Z7 II takes SD and CFexpress Type B/XQD cards.

The D850’s superior battery life of 1840 shots, using the EN-EL15a battery, is a significant advantage over the Z7 II’s 420 shots with its EN-EL15c battery. This difference makes the D850 more reliable for extended shooting sessions. However, the Z7 II has the benefit of USB charging, allowing for convenient charging options on the go.

Despite the Z7 II’s USB charging feature, the Nikon D850’s longer battery life and versatile memory card compatibility make it a stronger choice in terms of storage and battery capabilities.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
SD, CFexpress Type B / XQD (UHS-II compatible)
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
420 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
14.7 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 D850 and Z7 II

Nikon D850 vs Z7 II Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D850 or the Nikon Z7 II:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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