Nikon D810 - Announced

The finest Nikon camera yet?

Yesterday Nikon announced its latest DSLR: the Nikon D810. It arrives with the bold claim of providing 'the highest image quality in Nikon history', building on the impressive performance of the D800 and D800E.

The redeveloped sensor benefits from Nikon's latest Expeed 4 processor, previously featured in the top-end Nikon D4S, Expeed 4 gives the D810 a 30% overall boost in performance and the new processor delivers a range of benefits, including a wide ISO sensitivity range (64-12,800) for improved low-light performance (expandable to ISO 32 and 51,200), a 1fps increase in continuous frame rate to 5fps, and the claim of improved white balance performance.

Other more subtle changes are numerous. For example, the Nikon D810 features redeveloped shutter and sequencer mechanisms that enable the improvement in continuous shooting speeds as well as delivering a smoother shutter action that will benefit macro and long exposure shooters.

As the 36.3-megapixel sensor produces some pretty large Raw files, Nikon has introduced new Raw 'Size S files' which - at a quarter of the resolution and half the file size of standard NEF files these will suit timelapse photographers and the like. Other areas to benefit from incremental improvements include the camera's AF and Metering performance. The AF system has been improved to be sensitive down to -2EV, while in DX crop mode the D810's 51 AF points cover the entire scene.

The metering system, meanwhile, now benefits from a new 'Highlight Weighted' metering mode that, as the name suggests, ensures that the highlights in a scene remain correctly exposed. This setting will prove particularly useful for landscape photographers.

A final area of improvement is the LCD screen. Out goes the RGB array and in comes an RGBW array, with the new set-up delivering an increased resolution of 1,229k-dots and the promise of increased brightness, contrast and colour rendition. The D810's finder gains an OLED panel, exposure/shooting information is sharper and easier to read in the finder. The OLED viewfinder info display also found in the Nikon D7100 is a big improvement I think.

Highlights - What's new?

Nikon's latest Expeed 4 processor will provide a 30% overall boost in performance and includes better moire suppression.

A new version of the 36mp sensor, without the AA filter gives detailed and crisp images.

Wide ISO range 64-12800 - expendable to 32-51200 (D800/E was 100-6400)

Huge buffer.

The group autofocus addition first introduced on the D4s.

RGBW LCD Screen with white pixels is a bit brighter in sunlight compared to the D800.

OLED viewfinder info is easy to read and not too bright.

Frame rate improved to 5 fps (6 fps in 1.2x and DX crop, 7 fps with MB-D12)

Live View now utilizes an electronic first curtain shutter, which minimizes shutter shock.

Video now supports 1080P/50/60

Stereo Microphones

A slightly lighter (1/2 ounce, 20g) and improved camera body.

Slightly changed right hand grip, and three side doors over the connectors are the newer style.

New highlight preservation metering mode.

Zebra stripes shows highlights in video mode and split-screen in liveview gives easy manual focus.

What do I think?

The Nikon D810 retains a host of the key features from the models it replaces, yet there are no huge overhauls when it comes to the D810's specification in comparison to its predecessors, Nikon has certainly paid attention to fine-tune the elements which remain.

One result of the complete filter removal should be a far greater level of detail captured with the new model. The Nikon D810 might be the best high resolution camera from Nikon to date! and as a mid-life update it is perfect I think, the only downside is its price, which is higher than the D800E model, but soon it will drop a bit I'm sure, but it is still a bargain compared with large-format cameras.

The price is interesting, because it makes huge gab in Nikon´s DSLR line! There is nothing between the D610 and D810, the Df is on its own, but I think that Nikon might bring us a new camera in near future to fill that gab? - that would be very welcome indeed.

Will I buy one? I don´t think so! I currently use a Nikon D610, which is a much better camera than my previously camera the D700, which I've had for five years. The D810 is absolutely an even better and professional camera, but I don't need it at the moment; I will rather invest in lenses!!!.

The Nikon D610 gives me the opportunity to use the inexpensive ML-L3 remote instead of a cable and it has the U1 and U2 user settings, which I think is a huge advantage over the D810, I might wait for the D900 in two years time?.

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