I love landscape photography.
It's always been my passion in this field, and my selection of cameras over the years is testament to that.
I bought a Nikon D800 back in the day. It was a great camera that was perfect for my landscape photography.
Then, I upgraded to a Nikon D810. Again, it seemed like a perfect camera for capturing landscapes (even more so than the D800).
But now that I have a Nikon D850, it's clear that this camera is tops when it comes to landscapes.
Here's a few reasons why I think the D850 is simply the best camera for landscape photography.
Editor's Tip: If you're in the market for a new camera, you can sell your pre-owned camera to help offset the cost. MPB is one of the best marketplaces in the world for selling (and buying) pre-owned gear. Visit their website to see how to sell your old camera and to check out their inventory of quality pre-owned photography gear.
The Sensor is Second-to-None
Here's the short version of the D850's sensor description - it is the only sensor ever to earn a perfect score from DxO Mark. It is simply unparalleled in terms of the quality of the images it produces.
The longer version of the description is as follows...
At 45.7-megapixels, this sensor isn't exactly a slouch. It's even back-side illuminated, a first for Nikon full frame cameras.
Besides, the 5-megapixel difference won't have much (if any) impact on your ability to make large prints, which, if you're a landscape photographer, you probably want to do.
Trust me - you won't have any resolution problems when you make large prints of photos taken on a D850.
It Has Excellent ISO Performance and Dynamic Range
Given that the D850 sports a back-side illuminated sensor, it's able to create images that are highly resolute and they have improved dynamic range.
When you take a photo of a landscape, you often find that the sky is very bright and the landscape itself is very dark, creating a dynamic range that's simply too much for most cameras to handle.
When I shoot with my D810, I need a graduated ND filter to help even that dynamic range out.
However, when I shoot with my D850, I find that there are occasions when I don't need a graduated ND at all - this camera is that capable.
It's got tremendous ISO performance, too.
As the light fades, I can shoot at ISO 3200 and above with little noise. That allows me to speed up the shutter and shoot handheld deeper into dusk than ever before.
It's ISO range extends from 64 up to 102400, too, though I wouldn't recommend pushing the ISO that high if you've got designs on getting sharp, noise-free prints.
You'll Love the LCD and Viewfinder
The D850 has an excellent LCD screen that's not only touch-enabled, but it's also tilting.
That means when I want to get an ultra low-angle shot (or even a high-angle shot), I don't have to wrench my body around to try to see the LCD.
It's a big screen, too, with 3.2-inches of display area and a whopping 2.35-million dots of resolution. In other words, it's big, bright, and beautiful.
I like the fact that it has a virtual horizon built in as well!
As for the viewfinder, well, it's big and beautiful too.
The D850 lacks a pop-up flash, which means that Nikon could dedicate a little more room to the viewfinder.
As a result, it's got a 0.75x magnification factor, which is the largest of any Nikon camera.
I also appreciate the fact that Nikon thought to add an eyepiece shutter, which helps prevent light leakage during long exposures.
A bonus of not having a pop-up flash is much-improved weather-sealing. That means you can shoot in the rain, sleet, snow, fog, and other elements and worry less about your camera getting damaged and more about the shots you take.
Focusing is a Breeze
Yet another great thing about the D850 is that its focusing system is top-notch.
It's got a 153-point autofocus system, 99 of which are of the cross-type variety. That makes getting sharp photos of wildlife and other moving objects in your landscape photos much easier.
Of course, with the larger, brighter LCD, manual focus in Live View is much easier as well.
The display is crisp and the touchscreen function is precise, allowing you to quickly select the focus point and get the shot.
If you give a D850 a test drive before purchasing one, I'm betting that you'll be blown away by its ability to lock focus and track moving objects with ease.
Helping matters is the addition of a multi-directional joystick right above the LCD panel that makes for quick adjustments to which autofocus point is selected.
Editor's Tip: Need a new lens for your camera? Buying a pre-owned lens lets you stretch your dollar further and get a higher-end lens for a lower price. MPB has tons of lenses for Nikon and other cameras. Check out their inventory here.
Too Many Features to Even List!
Though the features above are awesome for landscape photographers, they aren't the sum total of incredible features that Nikon has packed into this camera.
It's got 7fps burst shooting, 4K video, a buffer that can accommodate 170 12-bit RAW files, built-in focus stacking and focus peaking, and a wireless shutter.
It's also got Nikon's SnapBridge, which gives you wireless control over the camera right from your smartphone.
Additionally, if you're already a Nikon shooter, the D850 will feel familiar in your hands.
With a similar form factor as the D810 - but with a beefier grip - and a similar button layout, you'll be able to pick up the D850 and feel comfortable almost immediately.
If you're in the market for a new camera for your landscape photography, it's hard to go wrong with this rig!