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Nikon D850: How Will it Compare to Medium Format?

See my Nikon wish list and get Nikon D850 at B&H Photo.

Nikon is claiming substantially higher image quality for the Nikon D850 than the Nikon D810. That is almost hard to believe given how good the Nikon D810 is, but four years of sensor development surely are going to bear some sweet fruit in the D850.

I want to be clear on any Nikon D850 comparisons with medium format: these will go into Medium Format. I do not put higher-end gear into “lower end” publications as a rule, with rare exception and only for good reason. All subscribers can upgrade to full at any time for a fixed yearly fee.

This year we have seen two breakthrough mirrorless medium format cameras: the Hasselblad X1D and the Fujifilm GFX. While I have the X1D here on loan, it has to go back a week before the D850 arrives—pity.

Still, I have a very solid idea of the image quality of those two medium format cameras image quality out in the field, particularly the Fujifilm GFX—they eclipse the Sony A7R II in pixel quality, and edge out the Nikon D810. So how the D850 compares will be intensely interesting. I will get to that, but getting loaners of medium format is harder and it may be a bit of time before I can make it happen. I will be buying the Nikon D850, so it will be on hand for when I can get medium format loaners to compare.

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