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Nikon D810 - part 1 of 1 2 3 4 5 6

by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2016

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The layout of the D810 will be familiar to many Nikon users.

When the Nikon D700 was replaced by the groundbreaking D800 in 2012 it represented a massive leap forward in terms of resolution, moving from 12.1MP to 36.8MP. The D800 was billed as a studiocum- landscape camera and was certainly not as agile as the D700 which is renowned for its low light performance, comfortable at 6400 ISO and more.

Users of either a D700 or D800 will be able to move seamlessly to the D810, most things are almost identical. There is little to be gained from regurgitating the 500-page manual. Suffice to say that the 810 is an alloybodied, mid-sized DSLR with a full-frame, 36.3MP CMOS chip and movie capabilities. It is not as agile as the D700; the framing rate is 5fps compared with 8fps. The D810 has slower ISO capabilities, the base being 64 ISO compared with 100 ISO for the D800 and 200 ISO for the D700. This can be useful for the landscape shooter; a Lee Small Stopper almost becomes a Big Stopper!


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VR, of course, has no effect on subject movement! Here the dog's tag is moving in the wind.

Operational Differences
The 36MP chips differ radically in practical use from the 12MP of the D700. The additional file size slows everything down, writing to cards, transferring files to your computer, caching thumbnails in Bridge, scrolling images in Bridge and so on. This is the price you pay for the massive increase in file size. The extra resolution also shows every flaw in your optics and technique. Some of this is psychological; you look at files at higher zoom sizes because you can and so what might have gone un-noticed on a small file is suddenly there for all to see. Camera shake and subject movement are magnified at the higher resolution.

One of the important operational differences is that the D810 has a new 'electronic first curtain shutter' operation to reduce the movement of the body as the shutter is brought to a standstill from just short of the speed of sound. This works with mirror-lock-up and when used with a delay of about 3 seconds to allow the shutter slat to die away, you should get back to lens-limited performance.


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1st Published 01/02/2016
last update 01/08/2018 14:48:25

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