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Image credit: Nikon

Nikon goes after video pros with the D850 Filmmaker's Kit

You get an Atomos recorder, three fast lenses and microphones for $5,500.
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Until recently, Nikon had been wasting an opportunity to make its cameras more appealing to filmmakers. It doesn't have a pro video camera lineup to cannibalize, unlike Canon and others, so by adding 4K and other video features to DSLRs, it could have made taken sales away from rivals. Thankfully it started to catch up with the D850, which features 4K with no cropping and 1080p,120fps slow motion. Now, Nikon has made its clearest pitch for videographers yet with the Filmmaker's Kit.

For $5,500, you get the D850, AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8, 35mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8 lenses, an extra battery, the ME-1 stereo microphone, the ME-W1 wireless Bluetooth microphone, an Atomos Ninja Flame 4K external recorder/display.

Gallery: Nikon D850 Filmmaker's Kit press images | 13 Photos

That kit should make up for some of the D850's weaknesses, namely the lack of focus peaking in 4K and poor contrast-detect autofocus for video. The Ninja Flame recorder supports focus peaking, and Nikon's FX lenses offer excellent manual focusing with an automatic AF override when you grab the focus ring.

The kit should thus tempt videographers that might have been considering the Canon 5D Mark IV. The latter significantly crops 4K video, while the D850 doesn't, using intelligent line skipping to minimize moire. On the other hand, the Canon 5D Mark IV has excellent video autofocus, and despite the D850's excellent phase-detect photography AF, its contrast-detect video AF system is pretty bad.

In comparison to Sony's A7R III, however, the D850 doesn't hold up as well, as the A7R III has both a no-crop 4K option and decent autofocus system. Still, the D850 is currently the world's best DSLR, and for photographers that also shoot a lot of video, the Filmmaker's Kit is saves you around $700 over buying the parts separately.

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