Coming exclusively to the U.S. market, Nikon announced a new Filmmaker’s Kit centered around its high-end D850 DSLR on March 20. The 46-megapixel, full-frame camera is Nikon’s first to shoot 4K video from the full width of the sensor, making it the company’s best video camera yet. Priced at $5,500 and available at the end of March, the Filmmaker’s Kit includes everything a filmmaker needs to get up and running, including three lenses, an external video recorder, and other accessories.
Those lenses are three primes in the f/1.8 series that cover a decently broad focal length range: the AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED, AF-S 35mm f/1.8G, and AF-S 85mm f/1.8G ED. If you’re a still photographer, you may be scrambling to look up individual pricing on those three lenses right now, because this kit probably sounds pretty good to you, too. Let us save you the trouble: Buying a D850 body and all three lenses individually would come out to just over $5,100, so this kit is not for you.
If you are a filmmaker, however, you’ll be pleased to learn the D850 Filmmaker’s Kit also includes an Atomos Ninja Flame external 4K recorder, valued at $795. By piping video into the Ninja Flame from the D850’s HDMI port, you can bypass some of the limitations of internal recording. For one, it allows users to continue recording beyond the 30-minute clip length limit, which is great for documentary interviews and live events. It also bumps up the image quality, offering 4:2:2 color subsampling for improved color accuracy, as well as higher bitrates in the Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR formats.
Additionally, the kit includes the Nikon ME-1 stereo microphone and ME-W1 wireless microphone. The weather-resistant ME-W1 can record audio from both the transmitter and receiver unit, a rather unique ability among wireless mics, and can also be connected to the ME-1 to turn it into a wireless stereo mic.
An extra EN-EL15A battery is also included, which should take total recording time up to two hours based on Nikon’s estimates. Everything will come packaged together in a hard case with custom foam inserts.
The Filmmaker’s Kit has a rather niche appeal, but it could be a valuable deal for users looking to get the most out of the D850’s video capabilities, while simultaneously getting one of the best still cameras on the market.
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