Keen hobbyists and professional photographers go for full-frame cameras for a myriad of reasons, not just in the expectation of shooting images of higher quality than their crop-sensor counterparts.
The camera’s durability and robustness is also of paramount importance, especially for those who shoot out and about in a range of challenging conditions.
Nikon released its latest full-frame DSLR, the D850, in 2017, and the $3,300 device soon received plenty of praise for its rock-solid, weather-sealed design, as well as its ability to capture high-quality images on its 45.7-megapixel sensor.
Keen to highlight its sturdy design, the Japanese camera giant has just released a video offering some insight into the planning that went into creating the D850.
“From conducting drop, impact, and vibration tests, to simulating temperatures and humidity levels far beyond operating range, the D850 has proven its durability in harsh and extreme weather conditions,” Nikon claims on its YouTube page.
In the video, professional nature photographer Marsel van Oosten describes the importance of a solid design when shooting in demanding environments such as locations in southern Africa.
“The temperatures get either super-hot or it gets very cold,” van Oosten says. “It can be very windy, and when it’s windy here you’ll know it, because it gets extremely dusty.”
Nikon’s Seiya Nakazato explains how the D850’s operating temperature range is specified as zero to 40C, but adds that the camera has been designed to function effectively in more extreme conditions.
Packed with electrical components, today’s digital cameras can be vulnerable to big changes in temperature and humidity. But Nikon wanted to be sure the D850, which sports a magnesium-alloy frame, could handle such changes. Dust and water can also find its way into DSLRs, so the company built its latest professional camera with extensive sealing to keep out the grit, grime, and splashes.
Covering the camera in dirt and dust, engineers went hands-on with the D850 to ensure that it continued to function properly, and also to confirm that the operational feel remained effective and comfortable in the hand.
Reviewing the D850 here at Digital Trends, we headed to a dusty motocross track for a shoot, an experience that the camera handled comfortably.
While there seems little doubt about the camera’s ability to cope with extreme conditions, it’s important to know that the D850 is a hefty bit of kit, tipping the scales at two pounds — and that’s before attaching a lens. You’ll also need to fork out an extra $550 for a power pack and battery if you want to push the frames-per-second rate from seven to nine.
If you’re in the market for a DSLR but are more of a beginner than a pro, then check out Digital Trends’ updated list of the best cameras on the market today. More experienced photographers might want to check out these models.