Nikon D850 goes on holiday: Ultimate shooting joy
PHOTOGRAPHING a baby koala as it holds out its little paw, the magic of Nikon's flagship D850 camera is revealed.
The magic is repeated again while zooming in on a beautiful Osprey eagle.
On holidays and walking along a Queensland beach, a friendly local, noticing my impressive camera kit, asks me whether I had seen their three 'locals' - the eagles perched up on the white jetty just after sunrise.
I couldn't believe my luck. Shooting with a 70-200mm lens, I managed to get a nice full frame shot of the majestic birds at a distance.
As I walked closer and closer, I couldn't believe they weren't flying off. I managed to get within a metre of one of them so
I probably could have got a decent shot on the latest iPhone.
But nothing offering the level of detail or sharpness as achieved on the D850.
Focused sharply on one eye, the result is an image you'd be happy to frame and put up on your loungeroom wall.
And thankfully, it wasn't just a one-off.
The superb D850, with its 46 megapixel CMOS censor, captured a beautiful series of photographs almost everywhere I took it.
It was certainly no slouch at surfers or bodyboarders in action, shooting at 7fps in automatic exposure and focus mode.
Add a battery grip and it can achieve even higher speeds.
The focus system is incredibly versatile with a range of options using a 153-point system linked to a 180,000-pixel metering system.
It also captures video nicely at 4K, though there are far better and more compact options if you are just into video. That said, it can do 1080p video at up to 120 frames per second.
There's also a range of time-lapse options including in-camera 4K video creation.
The camera has a 3.2 inch tilting LCD touchscreen with illuminated controls.
We tested a Nikkor 24-70mm F/2.8 lens and a 70-200mm variety.
The long lens was pretty heavy set of glass to carry around Australia Zoo all day but boy did it deliver some beautiful images and nice stable video.
Photographing a baby koala, owl, or the zoo's newest tiger on the move, the photographs were so good, you had to show people shooting with their phone cameras. Cue the envy factor.
Even as birds flew across Steve Irwin's Crocoseum, it managed to pick them out from the crowd, capturing reasonably crisp images.
There were other times where the focus was not as spot on but probably more due to user error in not choosing the right focusing mode for the situation, than the camera itself.
The D850, given its level of sophistication and shooting options, is probably a camera you would need to use for a good year before you start to make the very most of it.
That's the beauty of photography, there's always another way of shooting, another setting to try and plenty of videos to watch from experts who really know how to get the most out of their gear.
With a price tag of more than $3000 for the D850 body, plus almost that again for the 200mm lens, this is a kit for the professional or super serious photographer.
Wouldn't it be nice.