"The D850 is the best of both worlds: image quality and the look of medium format when I want it."
The main thing was the megapixel count.
Dixie Dixon was one of the first photographers to shoot with the D850, and the camera's 45.7 megapixels was the first thing about it to grab her attention. "In addition to fashion, I shoot a lot of commercial work," she says, "and I realized that now there was no need to use medium format even if I had to shoot a billboard."
There's also no need for medium format for its square image, as the D850's image area choice provides a quick switch from the familiar 36x24 DSLR rectangle to a 24x24mm square for composition and output.
"I used medium format in the past when I had clients who asked me to shoot it for jobs where they'd be enlarging the image for something like the side of a building," Dixie says. "I liked the results, but not working with the medium format camera. I felt I had to be on a tripod and couldn't be really candid with my subjects; it was harder to get that real, natural moment. The D850 is the best of both worlds: image quality and the look of medium format when I want or need it."
And there's also the other well-known benefit of a high pixel count: maintaining picture quality when an image is cropped. "A lot of times I'll shoot a horizontal and the client will crop to a vertical, and sometimes a wider-angle shot will be cropped to more of a tight shot."
Dixie had every reason to believe that the speed and accuracy of the D850's autofocus system would be up to the high-performance standards she'd come to expect from Nikon, but still it was a special concern. "I'm very conscious of focus," she says.
Which is an understatement, as she went on to say, "I get freaked out if everything isn't tack sharp, and the D850 gave me peace of mind. The AF works beautifully. I was looking through some JPEGs at one point, and I didn't see one photo that wasn't tack sharp. When I focused on the model's eye, there was every eyelash and every detail."
he also liked that she could quickly review images in detail as she was shooting. "I'd just swing out the touch screen and [pinch] zoom in and out really quickly to see what I was getting. That's super cool. Fashion is all about detail, and I think that’s where this camera really excels. There's so much detail in the files, and the skin tones look beautiful. It's amazing, and for what I do, it's my personal dream camera."
***Dixie Dixon is a Texas born and bred commercial fashion photographer. Her passion has led her to shoot internationally in places such as Cannes, Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Ibiza and Barcelona for various brands, TV shows, commercial campaigns and editorial projects.