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Nikon D850 vs Canon 5DS R


Having a passion or love for photography is one thing, but having those and working as a photographer is another. DSLR cameras are premium options, mostly, because they also come at a cheaper price, but that’s not the case with these two models, since they come at a very expensive price, but are they really worth it? We’re about to see in just a few.

There are quite somethings you should consider before purchasing one of these DSLR cameras, such as the type of photography you make, are you a professional or a hobbyist, the DSLR camera maintenance, and the price.

Now, we mentioned that you should know for what type of photography you need the camera for because some cameras are better for still photography or portrait photography, while some cameras with better tracking abilities are most suited for sports, wildlife, action, and so on.

Nonetheless, I’m going to give you all the information you need, and by the end of the article, hopefully, you’ll have enough arguments to support your decision.

I’m also pointing out which camera is most suited for what, and which one outperforms the other in another situation, but take in mind that they vary greatly in price, whereas the Canon 5DS R comes at a price doubled if you compare it to Nikon D850, nonetheless, as we said, depending on what you need the camera for, you’re going to find which one meets your requirements the most, so let’s start, shall we?

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Head To Head Comparison

Nikon D850 4

The Nikon D850 is a premium DSLR camera which has been a popular option among enthusiast photographers, hobbyists, and professionals for quite some years now. However, there are other options now available, but again, for a camera of this price range, you won’t find a better one.

Design-wise, this particular camera boasts a magnesium alloy chassis which adds extra strength and rigidity to its construction, while it’s also sealed to prevent moisture, dirt, and dust. Compared to its previous models, the grip in the D850 is made slightly deeper than it was, however, it’s still comfortable to hold and it can accommodate even the largest hands while leaving your index finder resting comfortably on the shutter release. I also like the textured spots which do not only deliver a satisfying feeling while you hold it, but it’s also great because it makes the camera look more high-end, more well-built.

As we move on, let’s also mention some interesting facts about the LCD screen. Well, for those who’ve used the D500, this model features the exact same 2.36m-dot LCD, while it tilts upward and downward for shooting from different angles and viewing positions, however, you can’t tilt it sideways, so you’ll be a tad limited. To be more precise, this screen design allows you to shoot better in landscape, or portrait format, sort of.

Nonetheless, you’re still going to find the angle of tilt to be decent, good for high-angle or low-angle shooting, while the touchscreen can now be used for optimizing and changing settings in the menu, as well as scrolling through images, and much more.

Okay, enough said about the design, let’s get more into the specifics now, and see what else is this camera capable of.

Let’s first mention that the viewfinder is also pretty fantastic which has a field coverage of 100% with its 0.75x magnification, in other words, you’ll end up with a very pleasing image preview and quality when you take your shots, it will be exactly as you see it with your own eyes.

The D850 challenges many other cameras in the mass market, having a 45.7-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, while you also get a gapless on-chip micro-lense with the sensor, and for more convenience, it has the latest back-illuminated design that maximizes the light-gathering capabilities. This makes it a great all-purpose camera for taking photos at night.

Regarding the ISO, the D850 offers ISO 64-25,600, while it is also expandable to ISO 32-102,400. So, as you can see, even though it has a high resolution, it still brings a high ISO range.

The autofocus is also something to be acknowledged in this camera, featuring 153 focus points, while 55 are user-selectable, and 99 of the more accurate cross-type AF sensor with 15 that work with lens and teleconverter combinations with an aperture of f/8. Now, due to the sensitive point, that is -4EV, and the rest -3EV, this camera is also enabled to focus quickly even in low-light conditions.

In addition, you also get autofocus modes from which you can choose from, such as the auto area, 3D color tracking, single-point AF and the option to select the number of continuous focus points from a group of 9, 25, 72 or 153. Also, the camera has a continuous burst shooting rate of 7fps, which is okay, but for the price, I must say I hoped for more.

Now, for videographers, they’ll be happy to know that the D850 includes in-camera 4K recording at 30fps using the full width of the sensor, and despite the fact that you record at 4K, there won’t be any crop factor in the 4K video mode, while your wide-angle lenses will remain wide-angle the whole time.

Before we end, let’s also mention that the D850 has Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth capabilities, which means that you can share or transfer your images anytime you want, while there is also another option to do this via the Snapbridge app, which you download using a smartphone device or tablet.

All and all, this camera is a great all-rounder, however, I would not recommend the D850 to people that are just starting out, due to the plethora of features which can be unknown to novice users, and the fact that it is a DSLR which doesn’t come at a cheap price, so if you would want to change to another camera type later, you’d just end up wasting money. However, for those seeking a reliable and high-performing DSLR, then this would be your ideal choice.

Nikon D850 Sample Footage:

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Canon 5DS R

For the users that demand a high-resolution capture, and wanting the most ultimate experience they can get in a camera, the EOS 5DS R is the answer, and we’re going to show you why in a few. It is the kind of a camera which captures details perfectly while retaining them in the original image, it is perfect for those people looking for a DSLR that is great for landscape and commercial applications. I think you already get the idea for what kind of camera we are talking about, so let’s dive in more now, and see what else is there to talk about.

In terms of the design, don’t let anyone fool you by saying that this camera comes in lightweight construction, because it is large, bulky and heavy, let’s make that clear. It measures 152×116.4×76.4mm and weighs around 930grams. Considering the size, the decent grip, quality and the durable construction, this camera immediately gives that impression that it can withstand years of punishment, while it boasts a magnesium alloy shell which is 100% weather-sealed, and it can be used in different weather conditions and environments, so as you can see, you will be well-equipped with everything indeed.

Now, when it comes to the rear screen, I must say that it is kinda poor in terms of features, starting with the non-touch display, and doesn’t articulate at all. So, for those that are used to working with a touchscreen display that tilts, you won’t have that here. However, in terms of quality, it’s amazing. It features a 1.04-million-dot resolution across the entire 3.2-inch screen, and you can also work on it in sunlight, and low-light of course, due to the ambient light sensor that alters the brightness to suit the environment. The button layout offers incredible manual controls, which not only offers direct control, but you can also customize the way that controls works across the entire body, so versatility is also a strong part of this camera.

Everything is pretty impressive till now, except the screen which lacks some major features, however, now, let’s talk a bit about the performance, shall we?

Now, we say this camera has an ultra-high-resolution because of the 50.6-megapixel full-frame sensor, which not only delivers stunning images with detail, sharpness, and vibrancy, but it also runs two DIGIC 6 processor which ensure that the enormous amount of data from this sensor to be processed quickly.

Although, I must say that the native ISO doesn’t quite match the other specifications, offering an ISO sensitivity of 100 – 6,400 expandable to 50 – 12,800. We’ve seen other cameras do better at even lower price ranges, so for the price, I think Nikon could’ve done better.

Regarding the AF, the Canon 5DS R features a 61-point High-Density Reticular AF, while up to 41 of them are cross-type AF points. But what’s really good is the Canon’s iTR Intelligent Tracking and Recognition system that synchronizes the active AF point with the subject’s motion, which basically ensures that the AF precision is maintained properly.

Now, considering the fact that it has an ultra-high-resolution, the Canon 5DDS R burst speed doesn’t quite compete with some of the high-end models, since it can shoot continuously at 5 frames per second, which is not that groundbreaking or impressive.

Also, for those users that are seeking 4K, you won’t find that in this camera, since Canon didn’t include 4K capabilities in the 5DS R. This is also an area where I’m truly disappointed at, because this camera has a pretty high-price, and it does not offer some of the most common features used in lower-priced cameras, but nonetheless, I’m still satisfied with the overall performance of the camera.

In terms of connections, you only get to transfer files using a USB 3.0 digital terminal for fast transfer to PCs and printers, while for Wi-Fi, you can do that by using the W-E1 Wi-Fi accessory, which as for as I know, it comes at an additional cost.

Simply put, for those looking for a camera with an ultra-high-resolution and a stunning image quality, this is the camera to go with, however, in terms of features, the Canon 5DS R is really poor. So in other words, it’s not the perfect camera in terms of versatility and features, but it’s the perfect camera for those seeking quality and performance.

Canon 5DS R Sample Footage:

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Nikon D850 vs Canon 5DS R Feature Comparison

  Nikon D850 Canon 5DS R
Camera Type Full-Frame DSLR Full-Frame DSLR
Megapixels 45.7 50.6
ISO Range 64-25,600(32-102,400) 100 – 6,400 (50 – 12,800)
Flip-Out Screen Yes No
AF Points 153 AF points 61 AF Points
Viewfinder Yes Yes
Touchscreen Yes No
Video Recording Yes Yes
Sensor Size CMOS CMOS

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As we reached the end of this article, I must say that both of these cameras are great for the purpose that they serve, however, in terms of value, I think that the Nikon D850 delivers more value for money than the Canon 5DS R, as it is also more feature-rich.

So, to divide them by usage, I would recommend the Nikon D850 to those enthusiast photographers who are looking for a feature-rich camera that can do pretty much everything, take stunning images, capture 4K, track fast-moving subjects, and so on. It’s the perfect camera for landscape and portrait photographers, and if you find yourself in this category, don’t hesitate to purchase because you simply can’t go wrong with this camera.

As for the Canon 5DS R, this one is more oriented towards those professional photographers who are looking for an ultra-high-resolution with dazzling image quality with details, sharpness, and vibrancy. It is the perfect camera for studios and other commercial applications. However, it is pretty poor in terms of features, that’s where the Nikon D850 outmatches the Canon 5DS R, despite having a lower price.

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