Fujifilm X-T1 versus Nikon D850
The Fujifilm X-T1 and the Nikon D850 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2014 and July 2017. The X-T1 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D850 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-T1) and a full frame sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 16 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 45.4 MP.
The physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-T1 and the Nikon D850 are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the X-T1 – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D850 is considerably larger (56 percent) than the Fujifilm X-T1. Moreover, the D850 is substantially heavier (128 percent) than the X-T1. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-T1) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D850). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T1, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications
|Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ rgt)||129 mm||90 mm||47 mm||440 g||350||YES||2014||1,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D850 (⇒ lft)||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||YES||2017||3,299||latest||check|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||YES||2014||1,799||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||141 mm||83 mm||46 mm||495 g||350||YES||2016||1,699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-T2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||92 mm||49 mm||507 g||340||YES||2016||1,599||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||118 mm||83 mm||41 mm||381 g||350||no||2015||799||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||40 mm||350 g||410||no||2015||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||no||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||no||2013||699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||117 mm||67 mm||39 mm||330 g||350||no||2013||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||140 mm||82 mm||43 mm||450 g||300||no||2012||1,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||YES||2016||6,499||latest||check|
|Nikon D810 (⇒ lft | rgt)||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||YES||2014||3,299||discont.||check|
|Nikon Df (⇒ lft | rgt)||144 mm||110 mm||67 mm||760 g||1400||YES||2013||2,749||latest||check|
|Nikon D800 (⇒ lft | rgt)||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||..||YES||2012||2,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D800E (⇒ lft | rgt)||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||1000 g||..||YES||2012||3,299||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt)||133 mm||93 mm||84 mm||560 g||500||YES||2014||1,499||discont.||check|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-T1 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 48 percent) than the D850, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-T1 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D850 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D850 is 133 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 45.4MP, the D850 offers a higher resolution than the X-T1 (16MP), but the D850 has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 4.80μm for the X-T1). Yet, the D850 is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 5 months) than the X-T1, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D850 (⇒ lft)||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-T2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||-||-||-||-|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/24p||-||-||-||-|
|Nikon D5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|Nikon D810 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|Nikon Df (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||no||24.6||13.1||3279||89|
|Nikon D800 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.3||14.4||2853||95|
|Nikon D800E (⇒ lft | rgt)||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/30p||25.6||14.3||2979||96|
|Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||4K/30p||23.2||12.8||791||74|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the D850 provides a better video resolution than the X-T1. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-T1 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D850 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Fujifilm X-T1 and Nikon D850 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. The full specs-sheets can be found in the camera manual or, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||tilting||no||4000||8.0||no||no|
|Nikon D850 (⇒ lft)||optical||YES||3.2||2359||tilting||YES||8000||9.0||no||no|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.0||1040||fixed||no||8000||10.0||11||no|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1620||fixed||no||8000||8.0||no||no|
|Fujifilm X-T2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||tilting||no||8000||14.0||no||no|
|Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||8.0||5||no|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2360||no||3.0||1040||fixed||no||4000||7.0||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||no||no||3.0||920||tilting||no||4000||5.6||7||no|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||1440||no||3.0||1230||fixed||no||4000||6.0||no||no|
|Nikon D5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||2359||fixed||YES||8000||14.0||no||no|
|Nikon D810 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||1229||fixed||no||4000||5.0||12||no|
|Nikon Df (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||921||fixed||no||4000||5.5||no||no|
|Nikon D800 (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||921||fixed||no||8000||4.0||12||no|
|Nikon D800E (⇒ lft | rgt)||optical||YES||3.2||921||fixed||no||8000||4.0||12||no|
|Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt)||2359||no||3.0||1036||swivel||YES||8000||12.0||17||no|
The D850 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the X-T1 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on ebay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the X-T1 was succeeded by the Fujifilm X-T2.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Fujifilm X-T1 better than the Nikon D850 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Fujifilm X-T1:
- More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
- More compact: Is smaller (129x90mm vs 146x124mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 565g or 56 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (48 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in January 2014).
Advantages of the Nikon D850:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (45.4 vs 16MP), which boosts linear resolution by 69%.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
- Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (2359k vs 1040k dots).
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1840 versus 350) out of a single battery charge.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 5 months of technical progress since the X-T1 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D850 is the clear winner of the contest (11 : 6 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the X-T1 and the D850 in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites. The detailed reviews can be accessed, respectively, on the websites of cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.
|Fujifilm X-T1 (⇒ rgt)||HiRec||84/100 Gold||5/5||4/5||5/5||2014||1,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D850 (⇒ lft)||HiRec||89/100 Gold||4.5/5||..||5/5||2017||3,299||latest||check|
|Canon 7D II (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||84/100 Silver||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||2014||1,799||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||83/100 Silver||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2016||1,699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-T2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||86/100 Gold||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||2016||1,599||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-T10 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||80/100 Silver||5/5||4/5||5/5||2015||799||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-A2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2015||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-E2 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||80/100 Gold||4.5/5||-||5/5||2013||999||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-M1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||Rec||77/100 Gold||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||699||latest||check|
|Fujifilm X-A1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||-||4.5/5||-||4.5/5||2013||399||discont.||check|
|Fujifilm X-Pro1 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||79/100 Silver||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||2012||1,699||discont.||check|
|Nikon D5 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||89/100 Gold||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||2016||6,499||latest||check|
|Nikon D810 (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||86/100 Gold||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||2014||3,299||discont.||check|
|Nikon Df (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||81/100||4/5||4/5||4/5||2013||2,749||latest||check|
|Nikon D800 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||82/100 Gold||5/5||5/5||5/5||2012||2,999||discont.||check|
|Nikon D800E (⇒ lft | rgt)||-||84/100 Gold||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||2012||3,299||discont.||check|
|Panasonic GH4 (⇒ lft | rgt)||HiRec||85/100 Gold||5/5||5/5||5/5||2014||1,499||discont.||check|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.
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