If you follow any rumor mills, the night before a product is announced, we almost always know what it's going to be and the main features behind it. Even a few photos might leak. Apple is the only company that can keep such a tight lid on its releases, and even they have trouble. So we should have known something wasn't quite right when we didn't have any good information on the new D850 that was supposedly going to be announced today. Instead, Nikon simply announced the camera's development.
It's always good that companies are developing new products, but it's also a given. The announcement of the development of the D850 is a letdown, because it means we won't see the actual camera for some time still. Furthermore, we barely have new details to share based on the announcement. In a statement that coincides with Nikon's 100th anniversary day, Nikon announced the "development of the next-generation full-frame, high-resolution, high-speed digital SLR cameras with the upcoming release of the highly anticipated Nikon D850."
The statement continues to share information about the types of scenarios you might expect to use the D850 to shoot:
The D850 will be a formidable tool for creators who will not compromise on exceptional image quality and versatility, including aspiring and professional photographers, as well as hobbyists who shoot landscapes, commercial sports, fashion and weddings, and multimedia content creators."
Thanks to the above teaser video, we also get to see some admittedly sharp-looking time-lapse footage, but it's not even uploaded in the 8K format that it sounds like the D850 will be able to do in-camera. Still, it's a nice tid-bit of information that lets us know it'll at least be 33 megapixels.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this is Nikon's highlighting of speed. Will this camera be a high-megapixel and high-frame-rate body? Will it merge the features of the D810 and the D750 with D500-like speed to create what would then surely be the highest selling DSLR in modern history? Perhaps that's why we're skipping the D820 moniker (D750 plus D810). Alas, that would be asking quite a bit.
Nikon could certainly simply be engaged in some basic marketing here in claiming that the D850 will be able to shoot just about everything. You could take a point-and-shoot camera and shoot sports, technically. But it's still interesting to consider the emphasis in both sports and high resolution.
Unfortunately, the big celebration that we could have had along with Nikon for its 100th anniversary isn't going to be happening when all we get is an announcement that they're working on something we would only hope they'd be working on.
Time for speculation. What do you think Nikon will build into the D850?
UPDATE: Some people are confusing 8K time-lapse capabilities with 8K video. To clarify, the 8K time-lapse functionality only proves the image sensor will feature a resolution that will cover 8K still images, at least. This camera will definitely not have 8K video (i.e. 8k at 24/30fps). It does, however, seem like it will have the ability to create in-camera time-lapses with great detail in low light...from still images.