Nikon has taken the wraps off of the D810, a DSLR camera replacing both the D800 and D800E, just like the rumor mill has predicted a few weeks ago.
Forget everything that you were told. The Nikon D810 is officially here, so it is time to put an end to all speculations and rumors in order to take a closer look at the next-generation high-megapixel full frame DSLR camera unveiled by one of the biggest digital imaging companies in the world.
Nikon unveils D810 DSLR, the company’s best camera ever in terms of image quality
Nikon is touting the D810 as the camera with the greatest image quality ever provided by the Japanese company. The shooter features a new FX-format 36.3-megapixel CMOS image sensor without an optical low-pass / anti-aliasing filter that offers a wide dynamic range and rich colors.
The OLPF / AA filter has been removed completely from the D810, whereas it has been cancelled in the D800E. Its removal provides an amazing image sharpness that is possible by using each individual pixel at its maximum potential.
Furthermore, the new DSLR is powered by the EXPEED 4 processor that is 30% faster than the EXPEED 3 processor found in both the D800 and D800E.
As a result, the Nikon D810 is capable of capturing up to 5fps at full resolution, 6 fps in crop mode, and 7fps in crop mode with the MB-D12 battery grip. This is 1fps faster than what its predecessors used to offer.
One-stop better low-light performance and 30% faster image processor added to the D810
The new Nikon D810 comes with one-stop better low-light performance when compared to its predecessors. The native ISO sensitivity will range from 64 to 12800 and it can be expanded using built-in settings from 32 to 51200.
Photographers should not be afraid of capturing pictures at high ISO, says Nikon, as the EXPEED 4 image processor offers improved noise reduction technology.
In addition, the software has been improved to suppress moiré and to reduce false colors. The Advanced Scene Recognition System consists of a 91K-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III that will offer “unbelievably balanced exposures” in challenging scenarios.
Since image quality is very important in a 36.3-megapixel camera, Nikon has added a “Clarity” option to Picture Controls, which is aimed at improved mid tones that emphasize the details in a scene.
Additionally, a “Flat” option is available, too, that captures the broadest tonal range possible so that photographers have “maximum flexibility in post-processing”.
Another important feature is the ability to fine tune Picture Controls in 0.25-steps for users who prefer to customize these settings.
Nikon D810 employs amazing new videos features to take on the Canon 5D Mark III
The D800 and D800E have been fighting against the EOS 5D Mark III. However, Canon has adopted a different strategy with its full frame DSLR, a strategy that focused on superior videography features.
This time Nikon will not remain behind as the D810 comes with a lot of improvements in the video department. The D800/D800E replacement is capable of recording full HD videos at a maximum frame rate of 60fps.
Built-in stereo microphone is available, too, for superior audio quality. Pro videographers can make use of the HDMI port, which allows the D810 t0 output uncompressed video to an external recorder. Additionally, users can choose to record compressed video on the SD or CF card while outputting the uncompressed footage to the recorder.
Auto ISO is finally available in Manual mode and during video recording. It ranges between 200 and 51200 which means that users will no longer have to adjust the shutter speed or aperture, as the Auto ISO will take care of the exposure.
A Zebra pattern can be added to the Live View mode, allowing users to spot blown-out areas with ease. Highlight weighted metering is now supported, too, another feature that will prevent overexposed areas from appearing in your frame.
Getting back to manual mode, there is a Power Aperture option that can be used to set the exposure and the depth-of-field during video recording. Shutter speed and ISO can be easily changed when shooting videos but white balance and exposure compensation can only be altered before recording movies.
New autofocus system shows that the D810 is an “evolution”, not a “revolution”
All of these would mean nothing without an improved autofocus system. The Multi-Cam 3500-FX autofocus sensor features a new algorithm that delivers more precise autofocus in low-light conditions.
There are 15 cross-type AF points, which are also great at detecting faces when looking through the optical viewfinder. Perhaps the more important addition is the new Group Area AF mode that comprises five AF points. It can be useful when taking photos of multiple subjects located within the group of five AF points.
Other than that, there are still 51-focus points with 3D Tracking support. The optical viewfinder offers a coverage of 100%. However, you can use the 1,229K-dot 3.2-inch LCD screen on the back as a Live View mode.
There is a Split Screen Display Zoom option that zooms in on two focus points located on the same line, allowing users to see whether they are “level and in-focus” or not.
A hidden gem in the Nikon D810 specs list is the fact that the electronic front curtain now turns into an electronic front shutter in Live View mode or when composing shots with the mirror locked up.
This feature is great for time-lapse photography, astrophotography, and long-exposure photography.
“No” to GPS and WiFi, “Yes” to RAW S file size option
The Nikon D810 supports 12-bit and 14-bit RAW shooting as well as uncompressed 12-bit RAW S, just like the Nikon D4S. The resolution is cut in half, while the file size is reduced to one quarter of a regular RAW file.
This DSLR comes with built-in flash and AF assist lamp. However, users can attach external accessories to the D810, courtesy of its hot shoe.
Nikon has added an “i” button that gives users faster access to the most important settings depending on the selected shooting mode.
Additionally, the shutter speed will range between a maximum of 1/8000th of a second and a minimum of 30 seconds. Photos and videos can be stored on either SD/SDHC/SDXC, Eye-Fi, or CF cards.
The connectivity department also includes a USB 3.0 port. Unfortunately, the reports that it may feature GPS have turned out to be false. There is no WiFi, as expected, so you will need to purchase additional accessories to get such features.
Weathersealed Nikon D810 to be released in July for about $3,300
Nikon has confirmed that the D810 weighs 980 grams / 2.16 lbs / 34.57 ounces with the EN-EL15 battery included. Speaking of which, a maximum of 1,200 shots will be provided by this Li-ion battery on a single charge.
The dimensions of the camera are 135 x 123 x 82mm / 5.75 x 4.84 x 3.23-inches. The D810 is a weathersealed camera, allowing photographers to use this device in harsh environments without worrying about its well-being.
The release date of the Nikon D810 has been scheduled for late July for a price of $3,299.95. This is an identical price to the one of the D800E. You can pre-order the new shooter at Amazon and B&H PhotoVideo for under $3,300.
It is worth mentioning that the D800 and D800E prices have not been reduced, despite being replaced by the D810, so they are available for around $3,000 and $3,300 at Amazon, respectively.