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Nikon D850 versus Fujifilm X-Pro2

The Nikon D850 and the Fujifilm X-Pro2 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2017 and January 2016. The D850 is a DSLR, while the X-Pro2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a full frame (D850) and an APS-C (X-Pro2) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 45.4 megapixel, whereas the Fujifilm provides 24 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Nikon D850 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon D850 and the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 – the D850 – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Nikon D850 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2
Compare D850 versus X-Pro2 top
Compare D850 and X-Pro2 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is considerably smaller (35 percent) than the Nikon D850. Moreover, the X-Pro2 is substantially lighter (51 percent) than the D850. 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 Nikon Lens Catalog (D850) and the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-Pro2). Mirrorless cameras, such as the X-Pro2, have moreover the advantage that they can use many lenses from other systems via adapters, as they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance.

Concerning battery life, the D850 gets 1840 shots out of its EN-EL15a battery, while the X-Pro2 can take 350 images on a single charge of its NP-W126 power pack.

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 camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D850» 5.7 in 4.9 in 3.1 in 35.5 oz 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« 5.6 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« » 5.7 in 4.4 in 3.0 in 27.0 oz 1200 Y Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« » 5.2 in 3.6 in 1.9 in 17.9 oz 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » 5.5 in 3.2 in 1.7 in 15.9 oz 300 n Jan 2012 1,699- i
Nikon D5« » 6.3 in 6.3 in 3.6 in 49.9 oz 3780 Y Jan 2016 6,499 i i
Nikon D500« » 5.8 in 4.5 in 3.2 in 30.3 oz 1240 Y Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D810« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i
Nikon D610« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Oct 2013 1,999 i i
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Nikon D600« » 5.6 in 4.4 in 3.2 in 30.0 oz 900 Y Sep 2012 2,099- i
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i
Nikon D700« » 5.8 in 4.8 in 3.0 in 37.9 oz 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999- i
Sony A99 II« » 5.6 in 4.1 in 3.0 in 29.9 oz 490 Y Sep 2016 3,199 i i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-Pro2 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Nikon D850 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the 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 Nikon D850 features a full frame sensor and the Fujifilm X-Pro2 an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the X-Pro2 is 57 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Nikon D850 and Fujifilm X-Pro2 sensor measures

With 45.4MP, the D850 offers a higher resolution than the X-Pro2 (24MP), but the D850 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.35μm versus 3.92μm for the X-Pro2) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the D850 is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the X-Pro2, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. 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.

D850 versus X-Pro2 MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Nikon D850» Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
Fujifilm X-Pro2« APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Canon 6D Mark II« » Full Frame 26.0 6240 41601080/60p24.411.9286285
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-Pro1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/24p----
Nikon D5« » Full Frame 20.7 5588 37124K/30p25.112.3234388
Nikon D500« » APS-C 20.7 5568 37124K/30p24.014.0132483
Nikon D810« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
Nikon D610« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.4292594
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989
Nikon D600« » Full Frame 24.2 6016 40161080/30p25.114.2298094
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996
Nikon D700« » Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832-23.512.2230380
Sony A99 II« » Full Frame 42.2 7952 53044K/30p25.413.4231792

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the D850 provides a higher video resolution than the X-Pro2. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Fujifilm is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Nikon D850 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the X-Pro2 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 Nikon D850 and Fujifilm X-Pro2 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Nikon D850»optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 9.0 n n
Fujifilm X-Pro2«2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n
Canon 6D Mark II« »optical Y 3.0 1040 swivel Y 4000 6.5 n n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T2« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »1440 n 3.0 1230 fixed n 4000 6.0 n n
Nikon D5« »optical Y 3.2 2359 fixed Y 8000 14.0 n n
Nikon D500« »optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 8000 10.0 n n
Nikon D810« »optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Nikon D610« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 6.0 Y n
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n
Nikon D600« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 Y n
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D700« »optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 8000 8.0 Y n
Sony A99 II« »2400 Y 3.0 1229 full-flex n 8000 12.0 n Y

Both the D850 and the X-Pro2 are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The X-Pro2 replaced the earlier Fujifilm X-Pro1, while the D850 followed on from the Nikon D810.

Review summary: Nikon D850 vs Fujifilm X-Pro2

So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D850 and the Fujifilm X-Pro2? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D850:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (45.4 vs 24MP) with a 38% higher linear resolution.
  • Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging 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 an LCD display on top to control 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 1620k dots).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (9 vs 8 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1840 versus 350) on a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 1 year and 6 months after the X-Pro2).

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Advantages of the Fujifilm X-Pro2:

  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More compact: Is smaller (141x83mm vs 146x124mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
  • Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 510g or 51 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can use many non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (48 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in January 2016).

If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D850 is the clear winner of the match-up (12 : 6 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera.

D850 12:06 X-Pro2

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the D850 and the X-Pro2 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Nikon D850»HiRec89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro2«Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Canon 6D Mark II« »Rec80/1004.5/54/54/5 Jun 2017 1,999 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-T2« »HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Fujifilm X-Pro1« »HiRec79/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2012 1,699- i
Nikon D5« »-89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 6,499 i i
Nikon D500« »HiRec91/1004.5/55/55/5 Jan 2016 1,999 i i
Nikon D810« »-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i
Nikon D610« »HiRec87/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 1,999 i i
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Nikon D600« »HiRec87/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 2,099- i
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i
Nikon D700« »89/100HiRec4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999- i
Sony A99 II« »-85/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 3,199 i i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you cannot find the camera you are interested in, please contact me, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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