Nikon D810 first look review – new full frame Nikon DSLR

In search of the perfect photo? Nikon hopes you’ll consider the new Nikon D810, a brand new premium DSLR with a whole host of high-end features.

It’s the successor to Nikon’s D800 camera and sits just below the flagship D4S in the manufacturer’s product line-up. Simply put, this isn’t a camera for point-and-shoot snaps. Professional photographers will be investing in the D810, and they’ll be expecting a lot of it. We got hands on with the new Nikon to assess its key features.

DSLR reviews – our test lab verdict on the top cameras

Nikon D810 – five key features

Higher ISO range, ‘new’ sensor – Nikon claims the D810 has a new 36.3Mp (megapixel) full-frame sensor is brand new. Since the D800 offered the same resolution, its expanded 64–12800 ISO range is of greater note. This should make for even better shots in low light with a lavish amount of detail, even close-up.

Sharper image processing – the most notable improvement to the D810 is its Expeed 4 image processing chip, a step up from D800’s Expeed 3 chip. This means improved noise reduction and better image definition – especially when it comes to HD video. To get the best out of this you’ll be wanting to shoot in the RAW file format. Speaking of which…

Smaller RAW files – RAW files are essential for adding post-production finesse, but they take up a lot of space. That’s why Nikon has introduce a RAW size S file format, which allows for less time between shots and is kinder on your memory card. A nice touch if you’re all set for a day of intense outdoor photography.

No 4K, but better HD – while it’s disappointing to see the Nikon hold back on 4k footage with the D810, it’s hardly surprising. Sony and Panasonic embraced the ultra-high-definition standard so that their cameras might drive TV sales. Nikon doesn’t need to do the same, and you’ll actually be able to watch its 50/60fps 1080p footage on your TV or computer.

Faster burst rate – sports and wildlife photographers need a rapid burst rate so that they can track fast moving objects. The Nikon D810 offers up to 7 frames per second in the DX crop factor and 5 fps in full resolution. A small but useful step up from the D800’s 6fps in DX mode and 4fps in full-frame.

Which? Expert Verdict: ‘This what £2,700 worth of camera gets you’

Rob Leedham profile imagePriced at £2,700 for its body only, the Nikon D810 is a product made with dedicated photographers in mind. Between now and its release on July 17th, you can bet professional snappers will be mulling over this new model.
Is it a worthy upgrade from the D800?

The D800 and D810 share the same 36.3Mp resolution and 51 autofocus points, while its 7fps burst rate and 3.2-inch 1229k-dot monitor represent slim improvements on what came before. This means its new Expeed 4 processor and expanded ISO range are the key improvements on show. That and the ability to record HD video at 60 fps, instead of the D800’s meagre 30fps.

If you dabble in photos and video, the D810 begins to look like enough of a step up to justify the investment. Especially when you consider its flat flat video profile, which makes editing your footage in post-production a lot easier. It should be an excellent camera either way.
Robert Leedham – Senior Researcher

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One reply

  1. I have a Nikon D800E which is excellent for sharpness. If you’re new to this level of camera performance then clearly the D810 is going to exciting but as with any camera it all depends what sort of subjects you like to take pictures of. For me there are not enough new features of benefit for my needs to want to upgrade. .

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