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Nikon D850: Metering and Autofocus

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

Nikon D850

I am often shooting in dim lighting (dusk in particular), so this got my attention, the metering. Even the autofocus can be helpful because Live View can become quite grainy on the D810, making manual focus difficult. Good metering in dim light can be very useful, because at dusk the lighting is changing continually.

Convenient shooting with ND filters — Low-light metering down to -3 EV — the D850 employs a 180K-pixel RGB sensor with superb low-light sensitivity, the same as the flagship D5, offering metering down to -3 EV*. This helps enormously when shooting low-light scenes.

It is also invaluable when capturing long-exposure shots with ND filters (such as seascapes or running water), as it allows you to rely fully on the camera’s AE and AF without needing to detach the filter.

Furthermore, the Advanced Scene Recognition System uses the RGB sensor’s increased pixel count to enhance the accuracy of various auto controls such as auto white balance, i-TTL balanced fill-flash, auto-area AF, 3D-tracking and Active D-Lighting, making it easier for photographers to achieve their desired results.

Avoid white clipping and preserve tones in highlights

Highlight-weighted metering Imagine shooting a white-clad karate athlete under a spotlight against a dark background. If you want to retain the subtle tones and nuances of color in the clothes, try highlight-weighted metering. This setting delivers a richer tonality in images by giving priority to the brightest portions of a scene and avoiding white clipping.

Auto white balance and Active D-Lighting are JPEG features, but maybe this stuff is aimed at sports photographers.

Low-light AF can be very useful, assuming I’m not shooting my favored Zeiss lenses.

Powerful AF in the dark and more compositional freedom — 153-point AF system and AF down to -4 EV The D850’s powerful 153-point AF system — the same acclaimed technology used in the flagship D5 — delivers over 130% of the D810’s frame coverage, with 99 cross sensors offering powerful detection. Thanks to a Multi-CAM 20K autofocus sensor module, developed to keep noise to an absolute minimum, the central point functions at -4 EV* and other focus points at -3 EV*.

Accurate AF is possible in challenging low-light or low-contrast situations — a great asset for landscape photographers shooting in the hours when light is scarce, such as at sunrise and sunset, and especially useful for capturing nighttime scenes. * At ISO 100 and 20°C/68°F.

The metering under artificial light sources is improved too:

Consistent exposures under artificial light sources: Flicker reduction minimizes exposure variances

Artificial light sources such as mercury lighting often produce flickering, causing undesired variations in exposure and color in consecutive shots. The D850’s flicker reduction function avoids this problem by detecting the peak brightness level and automatically shifting the release timing slightly to avoid underexposure and color casts. This gives you stable exposures even during continuous shooting*.

In movie shooting, using “Auto” flicker reduction makes the camera automatically switch exposure control according to the frequency of light sources, preventing the occurrence of banding in footage.

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