Nikon confirms the D850 DSLR is in development, but details are scarce

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Nikon is updating the D810 (above) with the D850, but images, full specs and a release date are not yet available.

Nikon will soon be adding another high-end, full-frame camera to its ranks. Today, July 25, on the company’s 100th anniversary, Nikon announced the development of the successor to the D810, the Nikon D850. While few details on the upcoming camera were released, Nikon says the camera is a high-resolution, high-speed DSLR.

Nikon is incorporating feedback from users of the D810, originally launched in 2014, into the camera. Nikon calls the D850 a “formidable tool” for landscapes, weddings, sports, fashion, commercial work, and multi-media, as well as serving as another option for hobbyists.

Nikon hasn’t released any specific details about the camera — just the camera’s name and that it will be able to shoot 8K time-lapses. Assuming the camera improves on the D810 is, of course, a pretty safe bet, but improvements may not be across the board — Nikon’s update to the D7200, the D7500, for example, steps down in megapixels to step up in low-light performance.

The launch of the D750 made the choice between Nikon full-frame bodies a tougher one — naming the camera the D850 instead of the D820 suggests the camera could have some similarities with the D750. While the D750 doesn’t have the resolution of the D810, it added more speed as well as being Nikon’s first full-frame to include a tilting LCD screen.

Enhancing speed has been a common thread among Nikon’s latest and pricier DSLRs, with the D7500, released earlier this year, adding a faster burst speed, and the D500, launched last year, hitting 10 frames per second. Both cameras use Nikon’s Expeed 5 processor, while the D810 uses the older Expeed 4.

Nikon also has been adding more video capabilities to its high-end DSLRs, equipping the D7500, D500 and D5 with 4K resolution. With the D850 capable of capturing 8K time-lapses, 4K wouldn’t be surprising. If Nikon jumps to 4K, the move would make 4K available in a full-frame DSLR camera at a lower cost. Compared to Canon, whose flagship also has 4K, its more affordable DSLRs haven’t yet adopted the features, with Canon saying it is approaching 4K with caution.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are also becoming standard options for Nikon, now even included in the budget D3400. Adding connectivity to the Nikon D850 wouldn’t be surprising, considering how common the feature is now compared to when the D810 first launched in 2014.

For now, Nikon has only confirmed that the D850 is under development, leaving the specifications and launch date up to speculation until the company releases more official information. Stay tuned.

Update: Added sample time-lapse footage and confirmed 8K time-lapse feature.