Nikon has released a new v1.3.0 firmware update for the Nikon D850 DSLR, six years after its initial release in 2017. Widely regarded as one of the best DSLRs ever made, it’s largely been usurped by the Nikon Z7 II, but there are still plenty of Nikon D850 bodies out there, and they’re still available to buy new. So, Nikon continues to support them.
The new firmware update introduces the Portrait Impression Balance feature, which was introduced with the Nikon Z6 II and Z7 II mirrorless cameras. This feature allows photographers to correct skin colours in-camera using hue and brightness adjustments. And while this won’t be a big deal to those who shoot raw, it will be for those who shoot jpg (or raw+jpg) or video (certain conditions apply).
The complete patch notes for Nikon D850 v1.3.0 firmware look like this:
- Added [Portrait impression balance] to the photo and movie shooting menus. For more information, see Supplementary Firmware Update Manual. To view NEF (RAW) pictures taken using firmware version 1.30 or later on a computer, you will need to update NX Studio to version 1.3.1 or later and Picture Control Utility 2 to version 2.4.14 or later.
- Fixed an issue that resulted in attempts to initiate [Lock mirror up for cleaning] in the [SETUP MENU] causing the camera to display the message “Disable [Network connection] in the Bluetooth menu” and lock the mirror in the down position, preventing it being raised for cleaning, when [Enable] was selected for either of the following [SETUP MENU] items:
- [Bluetooth] > [Network connection]
- [Airplane mode]
To read more about how the Portrait Impression Balance feature works, check out Pages 8-10 in the Z6 II and Z7 II Portrait guide from Nikon. enabling the feature allows you to adjust the hue and brightness of portraits with three different “Mode” presets. These can then be applied to raw images you’ve already shot that you want to process in-camera and save out as a jpg, or they can be applied automatically to new jpg images you shoot (or raw files processed with Nikon’s NX Studio software).
While the effects are only really applied if you’re shooting jpg, many photographers shoot raw+jpg so that they have a selection of jpgs to quickly scan through on a tablet or to post to social media while leaving the heavy lifting of raw processing to be done on the computer at home. So, it’s not just for those who only shoot jpg. It’s also quite handy for those who use the D850 to shoot video and want an easier time colour-correcting in post, especially for things such as interviews.
The adjustments you make using Portrait Impression Balance are unavailable if “Monochrome” or “Creative Picture Control” is selected for Set Picture Control. You also can’t use it if N-Log or HDR (HLG) is selected for HDMI output.