Nikon D850 vs. Canon 5D Mark IV

It is quite obvious that Nikon D850 and Canon 5D Mark IV are direct competitors of each other. Both of these DSLR cameras are quite well-rounded, so they are suitable for a variety of purposes. So, which model is actually better? Below, we will see the comparison between Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV to answer the question.

In this article, we are going to discuss about:
– The design and ergonomics of each DSLR camera here
– The display and viewfinder of each model
– The sensor and image quality of each model
– The comparison of their autofocus and photo burst performance
– The video quality of Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV
– Which DSLR camera that is generally more recommended

These two cameras are similar that they both have magnesium alloy construction and high-quality weather sealing. Both cameras are really tough and durable. You can take them to any harsh environment without having to worry about their survivability. See also: Nikon D850 vs D810.

Nikon D850 is slightly bigger and heavier. It measures 146 mm x 124 mm x 79 mm, with a weight of about 1,015 grams. On the other hand, Canon 5D Mark IV is a bit more compact and noticeably lighter at 151 mm x 116 mm x 76 mm and 890 grams. Nevertheless, the differences here aren’t really huge, and both cameras are still very solid and comfortable to hold.

In the end, Nikon D850 still manages to score better because of one nice feature of it: illuminated buttons. The backlit buttons will allow you to operate the camera easily even in complete darkness. This is very useful when shooting in low-light situations. Canon 5D Mark IV doesn’t have illuminated buttons.

Display and Viewfinder
Both Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV are fitted with 3.2-inch touchscreens. But there are notable distinctions that set them apart here. First of all, Nikon D850 has a tilting display, so it can deal with tricky compositions without much of a problem. It also allows you to shoot from a different angle when facing strong light. Canon 5D Mark IV has a fixed display, so the positioning won’t be as flexible.

Second, the display of Nikon D850 comes with a significantly higher resolution, which is 2,359k dots. It will give you a better, more detailed view of what you are capturing. Meanwhile, the display resolution of Canon 5D Mark IV is lower, 1,620k dots, so the image preview won’t be as sharp and detailed.

Third, both models here come with pentaprism viewfinders that provide 100% coverage, but Nikon D850’s viewfinder has a higher magnification at 0.75x, compared to Canon 5D Mark IV’s 0.71x viewfinder. A higher viewfinder magnification will help you see your photo subjects more clearly and enhance your framing.

Image Sensor
So far, Nikon D850’s image sensor has made one of the biggest headlines. It is indeed amazing. It is a back-illuminated FX-format image sensor that offers a whopping resolution of 45.7MP without any low-pass filter. Currently, it is the highest-resolution image sensor among Nikon DSLR cameras.

The image sensor is paired with the powerful Nikon EXPEED 5 processor. Nikon D850 supports an ISO range of 64 – 25,600, and is expandable to 32 – 102,400. Due to the very high pixel count, images produced by Nikon D850 will be highly crop-resistant; you can crop them as many times as needed without compromising the quality. You can also make large-sized prints of them in excellent quality.

Canon 5D Mark IV is not bad at all. It is armed with a 30.4MP CMOS image sensor, which is paired with a powerful Canon DIGIC 6+ processor. It has an ISO range of 100 – 32,000, which is also expandable to 50 – 102,400. This camera also allows you to do some cropping and print large-sized images, but still, it is not as great as Nikon D850.

Autofocus and Continuous Shooting
Nikon D850 features the Multi-CAM 20K autofocus system. This is the same AF system as the one on the company’s flagship, Nikon D5. It has a total of 153 AF points, with 99 cross-type points, and it has the ability to focus at -4EV. In other words, the AF system is very much usable in low-light situations.

The standard continuous shooting speed is 7.0 fps. However, if you use Nikon D850 with the optional battery grip, the photo burst rate can be increased to 9.0 fps. This doesn’t seem like much, but it is actually very nice for shooting fast-moving subjects.

On the other hand, Canon 5D Mark IV has a total of 61 AF points with 41 cross-type points. The AF system won’t be as fast and precise as Nikon D850’s, but it is still quite reliable. Besides, it does have some distinctive benefits.

First, all of the AF points are f/8 rated, so you can use all of them even when using a teleconverter on your lens. Second, it comes with Dual Pixel AF and Dual Pixel RAW. These two features are especially great for videos. You will be able to use the touchscreen to pull the focus smoothly across different parts of the scene.

The standard continuous shooting speed is also 7.0 fps. Unfortunately, Canon 5D Mark IV doesn’t have any battery grip that can boost the photo burst rate to a higher level.

Video Quality
Both Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV are able to record 4K videos in 30fps. Both cameras are also capable of recording videos in 120fps (slow-motion). Both have external microphone ports, headphones ports, and HDMI ports. However, there are some important differences.

Nikon D850 records 4K in the Ultra HD format (3840 x 2160 pixels). It does not implement any crop factor, so the framing will be much easier. In addition, it records slow-motion videos in a higher resolution, which is 1080p Full HD. And it can create 4K and 8K time-lapse in post production.

On the other hand, Canon 5D Mark IV records 4K in the DCI format (4096 x 2160 pixels). Of course, the resolution is actually higher, but it has a crop factor of 1.64x, so the framing may be a bit tricky. It records slow-motion videos in 720p HD. This camera is only able to create 4K time-lapse and not 8K time-lapse.

Nikon D850 vs Canon 5D Mark IV

- Nikon-designed back-side illuminated (BSI) full-frame image sensor with no optical low-pass filter
- 45.7 megapixels of extraordinary resolution, outstanding dynamic range and virtually no risk of moiré
- Up to 9 fps1 continuous shooting at full resolution with full AF performance
- 8K6 and 4K time-lapse movies with new levels of sharpness and detail
- Tilting touchscreen, Focus Shift shooting mode, outstanding battery performance and much more
- 30.4 MP full-frame CMOS sensor for versatile shooting;Aspect ratio 3:2
- Up to 7.0 frames per second continuous shooting speed
- 61-point AF system with 41 cross-points for expanded vertical coverage
- ISO range 100-32000 with 50-102400 expansion. Providing approximately 12 stops of dynamic range, even in low light
- 4K video recording at 30p or 24p and in-camera still frame grab of 8.8MP images

In the end, Nikon D850 is much more recommended. Although Canon 5D Mark IV is also a very good camera, Nikon D850 holds many advantages across different sectors. It has illuminated buttons, a tilting display with a higher resolution, and a higher viewfinder magnification. It has a better image sensor with a more powerful AF system. Plus, the 4K video recording doesn’t have a crop factor.

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