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Preview: Motosports photography with the Nikon D850

Singapore, 27 August 2017 – The new Nikon D850 introduces some hot engineering breakthroughs that elevates the D850 to Nikon’s pantheon of greatness. For starter’s, the D850’s new full=frame CMOS image sensor packs a whopping 45.7 megapixels of resolution for unrivalled dynamic range and razor-sharp detail. The D850’s also flaunts a broader ISO sensitivity range of 64-25600, allowing long-exposure work to be accomplished even without an ND filter. It’s also the first Full-Frame Nikon D-SLR to support 4K 30 UHD video and even 8K Time-lapse recording*.

Coupled with 153 autofocus points and you’ve got a action-photography powerhouse in your hands, and what better way than to try that out than at the Singapore MX Beach Race 2017, held at Sentosa’s Tanjong Beach! Thrill-seekers and bike enthusiasts thronged the sands to watch their favourite bikers battle it out in the dunes. Nikon Singapore had invited us down to try out the D850 and there was ample room for me to get some high impact shots, armed with the Nikon D850 FX D-SLR, and the Nikkor 20-70mm f2.8 zoom lens.

With 153 Autofocus points and VR stabilisation, I was able to keep much of the action in focus, even while shooting handheld – the D850 comes in a medium DSLR body with an optional battery grip that not only boost battery life but also increases continuous frame rates from 7fps to 9fps.(Shot wide at 24mm f5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 125)
It was quite an overcast day, yet the D850’s new backside illumination sensor was able to capture moving subjects in rich detail, even under low light. It accomplishes this by doing away with an optical low-pass filter. (Nikon D850, shot at 70mm f5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 125)
Inhaling the exhaust fumes was worth the excitement! Our bikers hit the course as a pack, but only a few would make it through! (Nikon D850, shot at 27mm f6.3, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 125)
Kicking up some sand here.  This image was actually cropped in later. I liked how the D850’s generous 45.7 megapixel sensor allowed me to crop closer into the scene and still preserve the shot’s dynamic range, sharpness and detail. (Nikon D850, shot at 40mm f4.5, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 125)
It’s amazing that the D850 could freeze this scene in vibrant colour and detail. (Nikon D850, shot at 28mm f5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 125)
Man down! It’s amazing nothing bad happened to him. The D850’s touch screen (touch shutter release) and 153 point autofocus system allowed me to bring points of interest into sharp focus, even if it’s in the background. (Nikon D850, shot at 65mm f5.6, Shutter Speed 1/500, ISO 125)

Frankly, the D850’s continuous shutter speed of 7fps (up to 9fps with the optional MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack) isn’t the fastest in this day and age, but it’s a very easy camera to shoot action with. All these rapid-fire shots were taken handheld under cloudy skies and saved onto an XQD card, and the pictures turned up way better than we expected! The D850’s custom 45.7mp image sensor was also pulling in enough light that I never had to ramp up the ISO, open up the aperture or reduce the shutter speed. With this new Nikon flagship, beginners and advanced photographers alike could really do some amazing work.

Note: The D850 we tried out were sample units and not for sale, and at the time of this article Nikon Singapore have yet to firm up the release date and retail price of the Nikon D850. In North America and Europe this camera will be available in September for approximately USD$3,299.95.

*8K Time-lapse video is recorded as still images on the D850, requiring post-processing work. 4K Time-lapse videos can be natively recorded.

Aaron. T.
Aaron's dream is to meet the celestial man in the sky who blessed him with huge ears, and shake his hand with a big smile. His typical day is split between getting Rekt on Battlefield 1 and making exciting YouTube reviews at www.youtube.com/loudwirelesssingapore

3 thoughts on “Preview: Motosports photography with the Nikon D850

  1. Fine photos but probably not the best way to test motorsport photography. I would love to see how the camera reacts with faster vehicles like Formula 1 cars. Thanks!

  2. Doug

    So, is that 20-70 f2.8 lens a new release that we should know about??

    “Nikon Singapore had invited us down to try out the D850 and there was ample room for me to get some high impact shots, armed with the Nikon D850 FX D-SLR, and the Nikkor 20-70mm f2.8 zoom lens.”

  3. Shawn Chung

    Hi Doug,

    As we mentioned in the article the D850 we tried was a sample unit and not the final production version, and Nikon had with a number of lenses available to try with the camera.

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