Unveiled: Nikon's New Multimedia Masterpiece, the D810

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Succeeding one of the more noteworthy and exciting cameras released in recent history, the new Nikon D810 DSLR improves upon the D800/D800E in numerous ways, yet still retains much of the allure that made the original D800 series so enticing. When the D800 and D800E DSLRs were released, in early 2012, they were characterized as the highest resolution full-frame DSLRs available, along with impressive dynamic range and color-rendering abilities. Its AF system was top notch; impressive video capabilities and generally fast performance were also accurate descriptors. And, in regard to the D800E specifically, it was one of the first cameras to pursue the now popular technological innovation of neutering the effects of the conventional optical low-pass filter to increase image sharpness and resolution.

Now, Nikon has announced the D810, which the company intends to further add to the already impressive spec list of the D800/D800E, especially in regard to video recording, overall speed throughout the camera system, and image quality. The D810 maintains the same 36.3MP resolution, yet features a newly designed FX-format CMOS sensor that sees the complete removal of the optical low-pass filter (OLPF) from its design, compared to the D800E that still had an OLPF, but negated its effects through additional filtration. This new DSLR also incorporates the EXPEED 4 image processor, replacing the EXPEED 3, and gains additional processing speed, lower image noise throughout the sensitivity range, support for 60p video recording, and increased battery life (1200 shots per charge versus 900 previously). The combination of these two technologies also helps to realize an increased native sensitivity range, from ISO 64–12800, which can be further expanded to ISO 32-51200.

One of the most welcomed additions brought by the D810 is an increase in continuous shooting capabilities, with a 1 fps bump in shooting rates for 5 fps with the FX and 5:4 formats; 6 fps when shooting in the DX and 1.2x crop modes; and up to 7 fps when the MB-D12 Battery Pack is attached and loaded with AA batteries. Furthermore, when working in Continuous Hi or Lo shooting modes, unlimited continuous shooting is possible, between 4 and 30 seconds in total, for up to the limit of the installed memory card. Additionally, borrowing a feature from the recent D4S, the D810 can also now record in the RAW SIZE S format, which will yield 12-bit uncompressed RAW files to help with a more efficient post-production workflow.

Another feature recently recognized by the D4S that is also incorporated into the D810 is Group Area AF, which employs five points within the total 51-point array to form a Group that is especially adept at subject tracking and maintaining critical focus on moving subjects. For maintaining stability while shooting in live view, a newly implemented electronic front-curtain shutter feature utilizes the image sensor as the front curtain to reduce internal vibrations, which will greatly benefit working with telephoto lenses and when making long exposures. Also available are improved Quiet (Q) shooting modes, which are enhanced by a redesigned sequencer and balancer mechanism, for even quieter operation. Also dedicated to working in live view, the Spot White Balance feature is now available on the D810 for selective white balance control using a selected portion of the scene being photographed. Picture Control modes have also been updated for this new DSLR, and now permit fine-tuned adjustment of settings in 0.25 steps. A Clarity slider has also been added as well as the option to work within a Flat Picture Control mode, which is ideally suited for RAW post-processing and video color grading. While shooting, a highlight-weighted metering mode has also been added to better balance exposure results when spot-lit or when strong backlilight conditions prevail.

Beyond these improvements, the video-recording capabilities of the D810 have also undergone notable improvements when compared to the D800/D800E. First, the D810 gains the ability to record in full HD 1080p at 60 fps, including the ability to record uncompressed 4:2:2 8-bit 60p video to an external recorder via an HDMI connection—simultaneous recording to both memory cards and external recorders is also now supported. A new Power Aperture Control function is available for smooth exposure transitions and Auto ISO is available, too, when working in manual shooting modes, to maintain aperture and frame rate settings if working in mixed or changing lighting. A new Zebra Stripes function can be used to help detect overexposures, as well. Beyond the external mic and headphone jacks that have been carried over from the previous version, the D810 sees improved audio control by way of selectable audio frequency range and a built-in stereo microphone versus the D800/D800E's monaural mic. Among other video features, the D810 also sees an increase in the number of frames that can be recorded within a time lapse—now up to 9,999 compared to 999—and interval timer exposure and time-lapse exposure smoothing settings are available for more realistic playback of time lapse sequences.

As far as the physical design of the D810 goes, not too much has changed from the previous version; the D810 accepts the same EN-EL15 batteries, as well as the MB-D12 battery grip. The overall form factor has been revised slightly, with a new deeper handgrip and an added i-button for easier access to certain camera controls. And, like the D4S, the color settings of the rear 3.2" 1,229k-dot LCD monitor can now be customized to one's own personal preferences.

With the launch of the D810, Nikon is also running a Switch & Save promotion in conjunction with the purchase of a D810 camera body. When the body is purchased along with $1,750 of NIKKOR lenses or Speedlights, you will receive a $200 voucher for future Nikon purchases. If the body is purchased with $3,500 of lenses or Speedlights, you will receive a $400 voucher, and if $7,000 or more in NIKKOR lenses or Speedlights is purchased, then you will receive a $1,000 voucher toward the purchase of additional Nikon imaging products.

Highlighting the improved video qualities of the camera, it is also being featured as part of a dedicated D810 Filmmaker's Kit, which includes the camera body along with 35mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8, and 85mm f/1.8 prime lenses; two additional EN-EL15 lithium-ion batteries, an ME-1 Stereo Microphone;  the 18-inch-long HC-E1 HDMI cable; the Atomos Ninja 2 Video Recorder; and 58mm and 67mm Tiffen Variable Neutral Density Filters. Devised as an all-inclusive kit for the aspiring videographer, this bundle plays into the strong video assets of the D810 and includes the necessary components for utilizing the full extent of movie recording capabilities from the D810.

The D810 is expected to ship on or around July 17, 2014.

  Nikon D810 DSLR Nikon D800 / D800E DSLR
Lens Mount Nikon F Nikon F
Image Sensor CMOS, FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS, FX-format (35.9 x 24mm)
Effective Pixels 36.3MP 36.3MP
Total Pixels 37.09MP 36.8MP
Maximum Resolution 36.3MP: 7360 x 4912 36.3MP: 7360 x 4912
Aspect Ratio 3:2, 4:5 3:2, 4:5
Still Image File Format JPEG, RAW (12-bit and 14-bit NEF, 12-bit uncompressed RAW SIZE S), TIFF (RGB) JPEG, RAW (12-bit and 14-bit NEF), TIFF (RGB)
Optical Low-Pass Filter None D800: configured with anti-aliasing properties for greater reduction of false color and moiré
D800E: modified filter not configured with anti-aliasing properties, in order to achieve maximum sharpness
Image Processing Engine EXPEED 4 EXPEED 3
Storage Media SD
SDHC
SDXC
CompactFlash
SD
SDHC
SDXC
CompactFlash
Card Slot 1x SD, 1x CF 1x SD, 1x CF
Viewfinder Type Eye-level pentaprism Eye-level pentaprism
Frame Coverage 100% 100%
Magnification 0.7x Approx. 0.7x
Eyepoint 17mm (-1.0 m) 17mm (-1.0 m)
Diopter Adjustment -3 to +1 m -3 to +1 m
Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane (with  electronic front-curtain shutter)  Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/8000 sec., bulb 30 - 1/8000 sec., bulb
Flash Sync Speed Up to 1 / 250 sec. Up to 1 / 250 sec.
Drive Modes Continuous low-speed (CL), Continuous high-speed (CH), Mirror-up (Mup), Quiet Shutter Release, Quiet Continuous Release, Self-timer, Single-frame (S) Continuous low-speed (CL), Continuous high-speed (CH), Mirror-up (Mup), Quiet Shutter Release, Self-timer, Single-frame (S)
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 5 fps in FX/5:4 Crop Mode
6 fps in DX/1.2X Crop Mode
7 fps in DX Crop Mode with
MB-D12 with AA batteries

Unlimited continuous shooting in CL and CH Mode: 4-30 sec. exposures for as long as memory cards and battery life allow
4 fps with AF/AE
5 fps in 1.2X and DX Crop Mode
6 fps in DX Crop Mode with
MB-D12 with AA batteries
Self-Timer 2, 5, 10, 20 sec.; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 sec. 2, 5, 10, 20 sec.
Interval Recording Yes; up to 9,999 Yes; up to 999
Exposure Metering System TTL exposure metering using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor TTL exposure metering using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
Metering Method 3D Color Matrix Metering, center-weighted average metering, spot metering, highlight-weighted metering 3D Color Matrix Metering, center-weighted average metering, spot metering
Metering Range 0-20 EV 0-20 EV
Exposure Modes Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority Aperture Priority, Manual, Program, Shutter Priority
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps +/- 5 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps
Exposure Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV steps 2 to 9 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV steps
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 64-12800 (expandable to ISO 32-51200) Auto, ISO 100-6400 (expandable to ISO 50-25600)
Autofocus System Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX Autofocus Sensor Module Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX Autofocus Sensor Module
Number of Focus Points 51 AF points (15 cross-type) 51 AF points
Focus Modes Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Manual Focus (M), Focus Lock AF Area Mode Single-servo AF (AF-S), Continuous-servo AF (AF-C), auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), Manual Focus (M), Focus Lock AF Area Mode
Autofocus Sensitivity -2 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F / 20°C) -2 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F / 20°C)
Built-In Flash Yes Yes
Flash Control i-TTL flash control i-TTL flash control
Flash Modes Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported, front-curtain sync (normal), rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, slow sync, off Front-curtain sync (normal), rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow sync, off
Top FP High Speed Sync Up to 1/8000 sec. Up to 1/8000 sec.
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps -3 to +1 EV in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps
Flash Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV steps 2 to 9 frames in 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV steps
External Flash Interface Hot shoe, PC terminal Hot shoe, PC terminal
White Balance Modes Auto, Color Temperature (2500-10000K), Cloudy, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Fluorescent (7 types), Incandescent, Preset Manual (6 values can be stored; spot white balance measurement available during live view), Shade Auto, Color Temperature (2500-10000K), Cloudy, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Fluorescent (7 types), Incandescent, Preset Manual (4 values can be stored), Shade
White Balance Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in 1, 2, or 3 EV 2 to 9 frames in 1, 2, or 3 EV
Movie Recording 1920 x 1080p; 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 fps
1280 x 720p; 60, 50 fps
1920 x 1080p; 30, 24 fps
1280 x 720p; 60, 30 fps
Movie Metering TTL exposure metering using main image sensor TTL exposure metering using main image sensor
File Format MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 MOV, MPEG-4 AVC/H.264
Compression H.264 H.264
Audio Recording Built-in stereo mic with selectable audio frequency range Built-in monaural mic
Audio File Format Linear PCM Linear PCM
External Microphone Input 1/8"  1/8" 
Headphone Jack Yes Yes
Maximum Recording Time 20 min. at highest quality; 29 min., 59 sec. at normal quality 20 min. at highest quality; 29 min., 59 sec. at normal quality
Monitor 3.2" 1,229k-dot LCD with color customization 3.2" 921k-dot LCD
Monitor Viewing Angle 170° 170°
Interface Nikon 10-Pin
USB 3.0
HDMI C (Mini)
Nikon 10-Pin
USB 3.0
HDMI C (Mini)
Wi-Fi With optional WT-5A With optional WT-4A
GPS With optional GP-1 or GP-1A GPS Unit With optional GP-1A GPS Unit
Power Source 1x EN-EL15  Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.0VDC, 1900mAh 1x EN-EL15  Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Pack, 7.0VDC, 1900mAh
Battery Life 1,200 shots per charge 900 frames shots charge
Operating Environment Temperature: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
Humidity: 0 - 85%
Temperature: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
Humidity: 0 - 85%
Dimensions 5.8 x 4.9 x 3.3" / 146 x 123 x 81.5mm 5.7 x 4.8 x 3.2" / 144.8 x 121.9 x 81.3mm
Weight 1.94 lb / 880 g body only D800: 1.98 lb / 900 g body only
D800E: 2.20 lb / 1.00 kg body only

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Nikon,

What about bluetooth GPS compatability for the new D810 series. (like the D2X).

I need the 10 pin connector for other applications, which limits the use of an external GP-1A.

There is no sort of BlueTooth GPS device that we recommend.  The D810 does feature the ability to accept SDHC and SDXC type memory.  Eye-Fi brand of SD cards does offer an SD card which will geotag images for you.  See the link below for details on this option:

http://bhpho.to/RvgMH6

A nice summary.  But what about expected shipping date?  Your audience has trips planned and needs to know if the D810 will be available.

Thanks,

John Howard

We anticipate receiving the first batch of D810s beginning July 17th.  We are accepting pre-orders for the camera, and will ship those in the order they were placed.

I'm really looking forward to buy this camera.  But what about expected shipping date?  I have a trip planned and needs to know if the D810 will be available. I'll be in NY on the 22th to 28th july.

Please advice if it will be available by this date.

Thanks,

Daniel Pinheiro

www.danielpinheiro.com.br

We currently are accepting pre-orders on the camera, and Nikon anticipates to start fulfilling pre-orders on/around July 17th (this is an “anticipated” date and is not "guaranteed").

 Please note however that with pre-order/special order items, there is not any option to collect the purchase in our store location.  The item must be shipped.  Additionally there is no way for us to know how many units Nikon will supply us with compared to the amount of pre-orders we have accepted.  It could take several shipments to fulfill the amount of pre-orders we take.

As such for travelers looking to purchase newly announced products we discourage placing the order, as we have no ability to confirm if the item will be able to reach your destination during your travel time frame. We advise that you wait for the item to be a regularly stocked item.   If the item were to be a regularly stocked item in our inventory we could accept your order for in-store collection. 

Acabo de comprar hace menos de 20 días, mi NIKON D800E, de haber sabido que iba a salir esta, me habría esperado para tener lo último, pero espero que el rendimiento de mi cámara adquirida con anterioridad, no diste mucho en las diferencias que tiene esta nueva cámara D810, a mi cámara ya le hice el primer firmware, espero que con esto quede resuelto el problema que salió en el foro de la no correcta aplicación en su enfoque, fuera de esto quiero decirles que estoy muy agusto con mi cámara, ya hasta le compré dos objetivos, muchas gracias NIKON, seguiré al pendiente el curso y opiniones de esta nueva D810.

Buy less than a month ago my D800E, and with her two goals, so far I have not taken many pictures, I hope to do in brief on a family holiday, and i would have liked very much like to know that he was going to leave this D810, for than expected and acquire it, but that is the way things are, congratulations on your new D810

Save for lenses

NIKON needs to do better with it's rebates. If I had $10,000 to spend on new eq. I probably wouldn't care much about the $1,000 rebate.

What is the length of continuous filming for video?

When recording to a memory card, the camera has a max clip length of 29min 59 sec shooting 1080 at 30, 25, and 24 fps, and a max clip length of 20 min shooting 1080 at 60 and 50 fps.  If you record to external video recorder, there wouldn’t be a max clip length.

The improvement in D810 does not have significant attractions to upgrade from D800 / D800E for the still shooter. I will wait another generation from D8xx series to save my another $3k.
 

Now I need to find a 10 pin Y connector to attach my GPS unit and my shutter release.  Come on Nikon!

Send all information on 810

Any and all information we have about the D810 can be found on the item’s page on our site.  If you click the image of the D810 above, it will link you to the D810’s page.

Regarding metering features, where is average metering on D800?

The manual does not mention it; how can I find this 'hidden' feature?

The full term is “center-weighted averaging” meter, and the D800 does in fact have the option.  Nikon’s manual for the D800 refers to it simply as “center-weighted” under the “Metering” header.  Pages 115 and 289 feature details on the exposure mode for you to regard.

Hi,

When the D810 is available ......?????

Thanks........

The anticipated delivery date is the last sentence in the article.... July 17, 2014

We anticipate receiving the first batch of D810s beginning July 17th..  We are accepting pre-orders for the camera, and will ship those in the order they were placed.

I was planning on getting the D4s as my primary cam and use my D800 as my 2nd and backup. Now I think I should wait for this cam to be released and reviewed before jumping. 

toyinspix.com

Does it have the same speed lite commander ability as the D700?

The D810 is compatible with the same Speedlights and Speedlight Commander Unit (SU-800) as the D700.

When does the Nikon D810 going to be available?

We are accepting pre-orders for the D810, and anticipate the camera shipping beginning July 17th.

Hi dear B&H staff:

What is the "Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane (with  electronic front-curtain shutter)"  intended for?

I mean: with P&S cameras having elec.shutter, flash sync is possible at any shutter speed: is the same with this feature in the new D-810 ?

Thanks a bunch!

Hi dear B&H staff:

What is the "Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane (with  electronic front-curtain shutter)"  intended for?

I mean: with P&S cameras having elec.shutter, flash sync is possible at any shutter speed: is the same with this feature in the new D-810 ?

Thanks a bunch!

The electronic front-curtain shutter feature utilizes the image sensor as the front curtain to reduce internal vibrations, which will greatly benefit working with telephoto lenses and when making long exposures.  It is not the same as point and shoot cameras and does not allow for a higher shutter sync speed than previous models.  The camera will sync at any shutter speed when combined with a Nikon SB910 type flash which supports High Speed Sync.

Hi

Can you see picture alive on camera LCD monitor Prior to and during  capturing  whether still or video?

When taking video images and using Live View, you can view the image before and during capture.  When taking still images, you can use Live View to preview the image, but the screen will briefly black out during the exposure as the mirror inside the camera must reflex to allow the shutter to open and capture the image.

I'm considering buying the D810 to shoot architecture, but I'm concerned that the removal of the OLPF will increase the level of moire in some cases. Have any hands-on tests been done to address this issue? If so, can you provide links to that information?

Many thanks!

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any hands on reviews for the D810 yet.  I’m sure that once the camera is released, reviews will start coming out.  That being said, with current sensor technology, the incidences of moiré aren’t as great.  Nikon removed the AA filter from some of their lower end cameras, and I haven’t heard complaints about moiré from those.  I can't imagine the D810 would have issues that their lower end DSLRs don't seem to have.  Also, if you do find that a certain shot is getting moiré, changing the angle of the camera slightly can help eliminate this.

Hello, wondering if you have experience with Pocketwizard flex and mini as far as firmware upgradesand functionality? I'm planning on getting a D810 but am concerned I won't be able to use my flash units off camera until an update.  Do you know if the units will work or work with limited functionality?

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a way to predict what the level of functionality will be with a new camera, as it all depends on what Nikon changes in the camera internally.  I contacted PocketWizard, and they said:

we've found that with current firmware, even though they're not technically compatible, most of the new Nikons actually work fine up till X-sync and some can even use HSS up to at least 1/500 or so. Except the D4s, but if you put an AC3 or Master flash on it, it behaves incredibly well. Canons are a COMPLETELY different story, they almost never work until we've changed our firmware.

That being said, the D810 should at least be able to work with the Flex and Mini in the Basic Trigger mode without a firmware update.  And as soon as the D810 is released, PocketWizard will start working to get a firmware upgrade released as soon as possible.

Hey thanks Christina! I know it can get a tad annoying answering questions whose answers can be found in the article, so I'm doing my best to make certain I haven't missed any information either!  

Nikon is undoubtedly the most innovative DSLR manufacturer,

When will Nikon come out with a D5 capable of 4K video?  Nikon has so many eminent designers and engineers, I think it's a matter of time.

A Nikon enthusiast since 1960