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Nikon D850 vs Sony a7R IV Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

Sony a7R IV

Sony a7R IV
Nikon D850
Sony a7R IV
a7R IV
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
July 16, 2019
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Sony a7R IV edges out the Nikon D850 with a score of 84/100 compared to the D850’s 82/100. Both cameras share similarities, such as being released in the 2017-2019 period and having a launch price above $3000. However, the Sony a7R IV’s higher score stems from its mirrorless design, which allows for a more compact and lightweight body at 129 x 96 x 78mm and 665g.

On the other hand, the Nikon D850 is a DSLR, giving it a larger and heavier build at 146 x 124 x 79mm and 1005g. Despite its size, the D850 still offers exceptional quality and performance. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras comes down to personal preference for size and camera type, with the Sony a7R IV being the more portable option and the Nikon D850 offering a traditional DSLR experience.

Nikon D850 vs Sony a7R IV Overview and Optics

The Sony a7R IV outperforms the Nikon D850 in optics with a score of 85/100 compared to the Nikon’s 79/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, and similar processors (Expeed 5 for Nikon and Bionz X for Sony). However, the Sony a7R IV has superior specs in certain areas, while the Nikon D850 also excels in some aspects.

The Sony a7R IV boasts a higher megapixel count at 61.2, compared to the Nikon D850’s 45.7, resulting in better image resolution. Additionally, the Sony a7R IV has a faster shooting speed of 10 frames per second (fps), compared to the Nikon D850’s 7 fps. Furthermore, the Sony a7R IV features in-built image stabilization, which the Nikon D850 lacks. This provides the Sony a7R IV with an advantage in low-light situations and while using longer focal lengths.

On the other hand, the Nikon D850 has a slightly higher DXOMARK score for its sensor at 100, compared to the Sony a7R IV’s 99. This indicates that the Nikon D850 might have a marginal edge in image quality, particularly in terms of dynamic range and color depth.

Taking these factors into account, the Sony a7R IV emerges as the winner in terms of optics, primarily due to its higher megapixel count, faster shooting speed, and image stabilization. However, the Nikon D850 also holds its ground with a marginally better sensor score. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras would depend on individual preferences and specific photography requirements.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
45.7 MP
61.2 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
9504 x 6336 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
23.8 x 35.7 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
Sony FE
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 5
Bionz X
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
5,760,000 dots

Nikon D850 vs Sony a7R IV Video Performance

The Nikon D850 and Sony a7R IV both receive a video score of 70/100, indicating that they have comparable video capabilities. Both cameras offer 4K video resolution with maximum dimensions of 3840 x 2160 and a maximum frame rate of 30fps. Additionally, they both have built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Nikon D850 and Sony a7R IV share these common video specifications, which make them suitable for various video applications. Although they have the same score, each camera may have unique features that can make them more appealing depending on the user’s preferences and needs.

For the Nikon D850, its strengths lie in its compatibility with a wide range of Nikon lenses, making it an excellent choice for those already invested in the Nikon ecosystem. The D850 is also known for its robust build quality, which can withstand harsh conditions and ensure durability during extended video shoots.

On the other hand, the Sony a7R IV’s advantage is its compact and lightweight design, making it ideal for videographers who need a portable and easy-to-carry camera. Additionally, the a7R IV features advanced autofocus capabilities, which can be beneficial for tracking moving subjects and ensuring sharp focus throughout the video.

Despite their differences, both cameras deliver high-quality video performance and share essential features, such as 4K resolution, 30fps frame rate, and built-in time-lapse functionality. Users should consider their specific needs and preferences when choosing between these two cameras. It is essential to remember that the video score of 70/100 for both cameras reflects their capabilities but does not define their overall quality. Both the Nikon D850 and Sony a7R IV are excellent options for videographers, each with its strengths and weaknesses.

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
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.
XAVC S, AVCHD Ver. 2.0, MP4

Nikon D850 vs Sony a7R IV Features and Benefits

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Sony a7R IV in features, scoring 87/100 compared to Sony’s 83/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including touchscreen capabilities, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity. Neither camera has GPS functionality.

The Nikon D850 has a larger screen size of 3.2 inches, compared to the Sony a7R IV’s 3-inch screen. Additionally, the D850 boasts a higher screen resolution of 2,359,000 dots, providing clearer and sharper image previews than the a7R IV’s 1,440,000-dot resolution. These advantages make the Nikon D850 a superior choice for photographers requiring more detailed image review and a larger display for better composition and framing.

However, the Sony a7R IV excels with its flip screen feature, offering more flexibility for shooting at different angles and accommodating various shooting scenarios, such as vlogging or capturing low-angle shots. This advantage sets the a7R IV apart from the Nikon D850, which lacks a flip screen.

Considering these points, the Nikon D850’s higher feature score is primarily due to its larger screen size and superior screen resolution. These improvements enhance the user experience, particularly for photographers who prioritize image review and composition capabilities. On the other hand, the Sony a7R IV’s flip screen offers versatility for shooting in diverse situations. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the individual photographer’s preferences and requirements.

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
1,440,000 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 Sony a7R IV Storage and Battery

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Sony a7R IV in storage and battery with a score of 84/100 compared to 79/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as having two memory card slots and accepting SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards (UHS-II compatible).

The Nikon D850 has a superior battery life, providing 1840 shots per charge, while the Sony a7R IV offers only 670 shots. Additionally, the D850 accepts XQD cards, which are faster and more reliable than SD cards.

On the other hand, the Sony a7R IV has the advantage of USB charging, allowing for more convenient and flexible charging options. This feature is absent in the Nikon D850.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon D850 has a clear edge in terms of battery life and storage options. The Sony a7R IV’s USB charging feature, though beneficial, cannot compensate for its shorter battery life and limited storage capabilities. Therefore, the Nikon D850 emerges as the better option in this comparison.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
SD / SDHC / SDXC (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
670 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 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
14.8 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 D850 and Sony a7R IV

Nikon D850 vs Sony a7R IV 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 Sony a7R IV:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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