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Nikon Announces D810 Full-Frame DSLR

By Michael Low & Marcus Wong - on 26 Jun 2014, 4:56pm

Nikon Announces D810 Full-Frame DSLR

Nikon photographers take note: a new update to the D800/D800E cameras has just been announced! More emphasis has been placed on video this time, with support for 1080/60p Full HD movie recording, and the image sensor has been optimized to provide images with a greater sense of definition and depth.

Movies are recorded using IPB compression and the H.264 codec, ensuring high image quality with a compact file size, while a new method of video signal processing reduces moire and false color while enhancing definition. Also, the D810 now can record in Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) at 60p (up to a max. of 20 minutes) to be played back at 24fps for smooth 2.5x slow motion.

Power aperture control allows you to adjust the aperture without rotating a control dial, and the D810 gains a stereo microphone that can now be checked visually using the LCD monitor’s sound level monitor.

The D810 is meant to be a full-fledged movie recording camera.

The D810 steps up to the EXPEED 4 image-processing engine, which provides high-speed processing and allows the camera to deliver a range of ISO sensitivities from 64-12800. This can be decreased to ISO 32 (Lo 1) or pushed up to ISO 51200 (Hi 2), and represents about two stops more than the D800/D800E.

The adoption of a new CMOS sensor with the EXPEED 4 allows the D810 to deliver a higher continuous shooting rate of 5 (frames per second) fps in full-frame format mode, and approximately 7 fps in the cropped DX-format with the optional MB-D12 Multi Power Battery Pack attached.

A new highlight-weighted metering mode picks up the brightest areas of a scene and determines the appropriate exposure to preserve highlights, while the Highlight Display feature automatically identifies and indicates areas that will appear blown-out when in video mode, prompting you to adjust exposure accordingly.

Meanwhile, the 51-point autofocus system has also been improved to provide what Nikon says is the highest accuracy in the history of Nikon DSLRs, with a new “group-area AF” mode that avoids focus falling on the background when you’re trying to capture images of moving subjects. This works by using five focus points at once instead of a single focus point, thus detecting the subject more securely without focus shifting to the background.

At the heart of all the new developments lies the Expeed 4 engine.

Night shooters will be pleased to learn that the D810 now includes an electronic front-curtain shutter, which will minimize internal mechanical vibration by using the image sensor to act as the front curtain of the focal-plane shutter, thus providing stability and minimizing blur during those long exposures. This is only available in mirror-up mode (with the fastest shutter speed is limited to 1/2000s), but Nikon has also redesigned the sequencer/balancer mechanism of the D810 to limit mirror shock and allow the motor-driven mirror/shutter unit to operate at low revs in Q and QC modes.

Thanks to a new image sensor readout method, the D810’s live view monitor can now be used to more easily find the focus peak even when zoomed in, allowing you to quickly confirm that you’ve achieved pinpoint focus. Playback images can be magnified up to approx. 46x (Large-size images in FX format) for quick and precise focus confirmation.

Like the D800E, the D810 is designed without an optical low-pass filter and features a robust, weather-resistant design that offers sealing against dust and water droplets. A new shutter is also loaded on the D810 which is rated at 200,000 cycles for years of trouble-free image capture.

Pricing has yet to be announced for the D810, but it will be available around late July, and we'll be sure to bring you updates as soon as we get them.