Someone recently asked me if I agreed with all the buzz about the D850 being the best all around camera…i.e. it can do everything great. For my photography this is an easy answer; yes! High res portraits…check. Landscape camera cable of producing huge prints…check. Sports camera with 9fps using MB-D18 grip…check. Travel camera that you can change raw file size if you don’t want 45mp…check. Wedding camera with silent shooting mode similar to mirrorless cameras….check. Wildlife camera with excellent group-area auto focus…check. Battery life that goes for a week…check. Industry leading dynamic range (first camera to get 100 at DxOMark)…check.
So why would anyone want any other kind of camera? The one group that might choose another body are sports photographers that need 12FPS and a huge buffer. Professional sports photographers on the sidelines don’t just shoot a couple of bursts at a time. They crank through constant long bursts, and they can’t have their buffer get full and miss a critical shot. Also, chances are they don’t need 45MP either. So the D5 with its endless buffer and blazing 12FPS is a better choice.
But what about durability? I originally started using Nikon 30 years ago because I photographed adventure sports in very rough conditions. Imagine waking up in a tent at 20,000 feet and seeing your Nikon FM2 bodies frozen? But after a little thawing they worked just fine. And by the way, the all manual FM2 still took pictures without a battery. You just had to calculate exposure…remember the Sunny F16 rule?
Here is a video Nikon released showing the weather sealing of the D850. So far I have shot mine at -25F in Alaska photographing northern lights, in constant rain while photographing bears in Alaska, and at 100 degrees in Nevada. My D850s have not missed a shot. Durability…check.