Nikon has announced an upgrade to their professional level mid-range DSLR, the D810. With tweaks across the board from the older D800, the Nikon D810 is being hailed as a multi-media camera, with features appealing to both photographers and videographers. This high performance DSLR is creating quite a stir--here's a Nikon D810 review based on prerelease specifications.
The much-loved resolution of Nikon's full frame D800 is getting a boost in the new D810. The Nikon D810 still has a 36.3 megapixel full frame sensor, but with the optical low pass filter removed, images should see a little boost in clarity. The D800E still had some elements of the anti-aliasing, while the D810 has all the anti-aliasing elements removed.
The ISO range on the D810 has also been expanded from 64 to 12800. ISO can be expanded even further with high and low settings to 32 to 51,000. Combined with the large sensor, the expanded ISO range is, for some users, a very enticing feature.
While the big resolution is the D810's biggest superpower, it means huge file sizes. Nikon has added a new Small RAW file, in addition to the regular RAW, when memory space is a premium. It's a feature Canon has had for a while, but a welcome addition for RAW shooters.
Handling all of that resolution is a newer processor. The EXPEED 4 processor gives the D810 a 30 percent boost in speed over the older D800. Burst speed is improved from 4 fps to 5 at full resolution, though using the crop mode and the extra battery pack can get you up to 7 fps.
For videographers, the D810 can shoot at up to 60 fps in 1920 x 1080 HD. With manual mode features and full time autofocus, Nikon is looking to attract videographers looking for big resolution as well. Uncompressed video can be recorded through the HDMI port to an external recorder. Flat picture control offers a neutral color profile that allows for more control in post processing. When you need more zoom power, the DX crop mode is available for video too.
While Nikon DSLRs are commonly much quieter than brands like Sony and Pentax, the D810 should be even more subtle with a few internal changes. The redesigned mirror sequence plus the front curtain shutter help keep the camera quiet, while also offering a bit of a boost in stabilization.
The design of the Nikon D810 hasn't changed much--but that follows along the lines of, if it's not broken, don't fix it. The D810 is weather sealed to withstand some dust and precipitation. The magnesium alloy construction means the camera is quite durable too.
The Nikon D810 has a high performance and resolution and is a well-rounded camera. At a list price of $3,299.99, it's certainly only a camera for serious photographers, but an excellent one at that.