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Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV


Because there are a lot of options available in the market today, it can be really tough to find a camera that can fulfill your needs. In this case, determining which camera is the best from Nikon D850 and Canon 5D Mark IV is really hard, because these are both cameras that boast an impressive specs sheet, however, which one is right for you? We’re about to find out in this review.

To divide their purpose a bit, let’s just point out that the Nikon D850 is perhaps one of the most anticipated camera releases of 2017, due to the high-resolution camera body which came as a great surprise to the camera industry, while this particular model is also the D810 successor, being the most versatile DSLR on the market. From landscape and architecture photography, to sports and wildlife, Nikon D850 has managed to stay on top of the chain for years, while it can satisfy even the most demanding customers on the market.

Later in this review, we will be explaining and assessing the camera from many different angles, while we will compare its specs and features to Canon 5D Mark IV. Both are hard to beat, and both rank similarly, so if I can’t manage to determine which one is the best, it’s going to be your choice in the end.

Okay, but let’s have a look at Canon 5D Mark IV, shall we?

Yes, just as you thought, this is another DSLR camera, which builds on the powerful legacy of the 5D series. They are widely known and used worldwide from professional photographs, video shooters, filmmakers, etc. Are you wondering how this one got its reputation? Well, it offers an amazing refinement in image quality, performance, and versatility.

This brand has a commitment to imaging excellence, while this camera can be the ideal choice for wedding and portrait photographers, nature and landscape shooter, and as we mentioned, for creative videographers.

No matter in which category you find yourself in, you will appreciate the brilliance and power that the 5D Mark IV provides. Oh yes, let’s not forget, the image quality is superb, and it is achieved with Canon’s 30.4 Megapixel full-frame sensor, but let’s not get too deep into details, because as we said, we’re going to compare both products later in this review, so let’s start already, shall we.

Similar Comparison: Canon 1D X vs Canon 5D Mark III

Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D850

Nikon D850 4

We said a couple of things about this camera during our introduction, and as stated, this camera was a real game-changer in 2017, but despite the fact that almost 3 years have passed, there’s not much competition with this one yet.

There were many upgrades made, such as the big resolution, the continuous shooting capabilities, and the increase ISO range above all. Apart from that, the D850 offers an impressive 7fps continuous shooting speed as standard, however, you can always boost it to 9fps with the optional MB-D18 battery grip.

Nikon D850 has such specifications that can accommodate practically any subject type or shooting situation, which brings up the fact that this Nikon DSLR is still the top option of professional full-frame cameras, and you’re going to witness this yourself.

To get more into the specifics, this particular model, the D850 has a 45.7-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor which in the time of its release, was not seen previously in any other camera, so you can imagine already how good this camera is. But we noticed something, in fact, it didn’t come as a surprise that this model didn’t have an optical low pass filter, because many other Nikon models don’t have one.

However, that’s not all, since the sensor features gapless on-chip micro-lenses along with the latest back-illuminated design which is great because it maximizes its light-gathering capabilities. In terms of ISO range, the Nikon D850 has the advantage over many other cameras in this price range, and some of the above, offering 64-25,600, but also expandable to 32-102,400.

To continue, you’ll be happy to know that Nikon D850 uses the Expeed 5 image processor, which is basically the cause of what allows for 7fps continuous shooting speed, and 9fps with the MB-D18 grip, although, these do come at an additional cost, while you’ll also need an EN-EL18 high-power battery to achieve these frame rates.

Some of the camera’s most impressive features are the autofocus modes that include auto-area, 3D color tracking, single-point AF and the option that allows you to select a number of continuous focus points from a group of 9, 25, 72 or 153. Since we mentioned the autofocus system, the D850 has 153 focus points, from which 55 are user-selectable, and includes 99 of the more accurate cross-type AF sensors, while 15 will work with the lens and teleconverter combinations at an aperture of f/8.

Other than that, in Live view, there is a new pinpoint AF mode subject in the rame, while the D850 relies entirely on slower contrast detection for autofocus.

Moreover, before we end, exposure metering is also present and it is kept by Nikon’s premium 180,000-pixel RGB sensor. Overall, the Nikon D850 is an all-rounder and an excellent choice for professionals, and for those who use their camera basically for everything, landscapes, video graphing, photographing, and so on.

Nikon D850 Sample Images:

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Canon 5d Mark IV

Now we reach the tough part, because we have to compare the Canon 5D Mark IV with the Nikon D850, however, we won’t really be specific on which one is the best, but depending on what the camera is best for, you’ll be able to tell if it’s right for you or not.

Saying all that, let’s just start by stating that the Canon 5D is a full-frame DSLR camera which has the ability to capture Full HD video capture, and at the time of the release, it was the first camera to have this feature.

Now, a major change from its predecessors is that the Canon 5D Mark IV jumped from a 22.3MP sensor straight to a 30.4MP, which is great because now, you’ll definitely get more details, quality, and colors.

More on that, the native sensitivity runs from ISO100-32,200, while being expandable to 50-102,400, but we’re not really surprised here since it doesn’t have much change from the 5D Mark III, but it has definitely enhanced the noise-processing algorithm for improved results at higher sensitivities, while it is also similar to the Canon’s closest competitor, the Nikon D8500.

When it comes to performance, you’ll definitely see here a lot of improvement, while when you compared it to other competitors on the market, the Canon 5D Mark IV will outperform every other camera. To be more specific, the 5D Mark IV uses both a Digic 6 and a Digic 6+ processor, while one is used for metering, the other Digic 6+ handles everything else, including the 61-point AF system with 41 cross-type sensors.

What we also like is that the 5D Mark IV has the same Canon Dual Pixel AF technology that most high-end Canon cameras have, which brings up the fact that there are phase-detection points on the imaging sensor itself. Thus, this will result in a quicker AF acquisition than we saw on the Nikon D850, and a performance a lot faster than most mirrorless cameras.

Now, regarding the display, this particular model features a 3.2-inch display that boasts an impressive 1,620,000 dots and touchscreen functionality, and yes, don’t worry because unlike its predecessors, the Canon 5D Mark IV’s touchscreen is functional all the time, not only during Live View, as it was on the 1D X Mark II for example.

Another great feature that we should mention before we end is the DCI 4K video capture. Accordingly, the 5D Mark IV can capture 4K video at 4096 x 2160 pixels, at 30/25/24fps, which also means that you can extract 8.8MP JPEG images from 4K video if you want to, while this is all possible with the help of the Motion JPEG file format, which is available only in 4K capture.

Finally, this camera also has advantages over other competitors on the market, and to Nikon’s D850 features set with the dual SD and CompactFlash card slots which can accept fast UDMA 7 cards, while the 5D Mark IV also features both Wi-FI and NFC connectivity for transferring images to another compatible device. But that’s not all, because GPS unit is also a part of this camera, so as you can already tell, this is truly a premium camera mainly built for professionals, considering its features and performance.

Canon 5d Mark IV Sample Images:

Similar Comparison: Canon EOS R vs Canon 5D Mark IV

Nikon D850 vs Canon 5d Mark IV Feature Comparison

  Nikon D850 Canon 5d Mark IV
Camera Type Full-Frame DSLR Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels 45.7 30.4
ISO Range 64-25,600(32-102,400) 100-32,200(50-102,400)
Flip-Out Screen Yes No
Microphone YES YES
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen No Yes
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size CMOS CMOS

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As we stated, the Nikon D850 is a great all-rounder which comes at a relatively lower price than the Canon 5D Mark IV, however, it has similar specs and features with a decent performance.

On the other hand, the Canon 5D Mark IV comes at a way more expensive price than the D850, but it definitely pays the debt in image quality, and some extra features such as the touchscreen, the built-in Wi-Fi, and so on. The Canon 5D Mark IV is oriented towards the professional photographers that need a heavy workhorse.

The guideline is, depending on which category you find yourself in, that’s what specifies which is the best camera for you, but from my experience, I find the Canon 5D Mark IV to be a tad ahead from the Nikon D850.

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