Is the D850 the swan song of DSLR’s, or as Gordon Laing (of CameraLabs) said on Valérie Jardin’s Podcast, “a last hurrah”?
Sharky James is running a competition on his excellent Petapixel Photography podcast, to win the camera of your choice, offering the Nikon D850 or Sony A7r III as key prizes, but also offering somewhat lower priced cameras as the prize, including Olympus and Panasonic Lumix models. As always when entering these competitions, you run through the “what if” - my gut feel was definitely the D850, in part I guess because of my many years with Nikon cameras.
I stand by my thoughts that the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark ii remains my ideal “single system for everything” camera - taking size, cost and performance into account. It would also likely remain my choice in the hypothetical one system, money no object choice.
The Nikon D850 is in my opinion, the best 35mm equivalent full frame camera, taking into account both sensor performance, user interface and ergonomics - but of course it works only in a situation when a camera of this price, size and weight is acceptable and for me the sheer versatility of the Olympus has meant I have had no regret compromising image quality and moving away from my beloved Nikon D750 and lenses and am no longer tempted to purchase the D850.
The Nikon D850 reminds me of the Nikon F6 which was probably the most advanced film camera ever released, but released at a time when digital was clearly the future. The D850 is desirable, and would be my choice should I win Sharky’s competition - but in anything other than a professional photographer’s situation, where effectively it is simply a business asset, who would really buy one when mirrorless is dominating and there is a new Nikon system on the horizon?