Full frame Rev­e­la­tion!

Full-size sen­sor, 36 mil­lion pix­els, re­designed from the in­side out... is this the best D-SLR ever?

NPhoto - - Front Page -

With a full-frame FX-for­mat sen­sor pack­ing 36.3 mil­lion pix­els, the orig­i­nal Nikon D800 set new stan­dards for res­o­lu­tion. Two years later, it still had no ob­vi­ous ri­vals – ex­cept its twin, the D800e, which had a weaker anti-alias­ing fil­ter so that it could de­liver sharper de­tails. Now the suc­ces­sor to these cam­eras has been an­nounced. The 36.3-megapixel Nikon D810 re­places both mod­els and ditches the an­tialias­ing fil­ter al­to­gether.

The pro­fes­sion­als

So what could Nikon pos­si­bly do to top the D800? The ef­fec­tive res­o­lu­tion is the same, so is this a rou­tine up­date, or is there more to it?

Like the D4s, the D810 is aimed at pro­fes­sion­als and en­thu­si­asts. The im­prove­ments are de­signed for pro­fes­sional users, and based on feed­back from pros, so you can’t ex­pect the same head­line-grab­bing num­bers game you get in the am­a­teur cam­era mar­ket.

Given the high pixel count of the D800 it’s no sur­prise that the D810 has the same pixel count, but we are told that it uses a newly de­signed sen­sor, cou­pled with Nikon’s EXPEED 4 pro­cess­ing en­gine. This should be good news for noise con­trol; in fact Nikon claims the D810 is ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing ‘the high­est im­age qual­ity in Nikon’s his­tory’. The move to the EXPEED 4 also pro­vides a boost in the max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing rate at full res­o­lu­tion to five frames per sec­ond. Al­ter­na­tively, the D810 can shoot at seven frames per sec­ond in DX for­mat and record 15.3-megapixel im­ages.

Sen­si­tiv­ity may be set in the na­tive range ISO64-12800 and from there ex­panded from ISO32-ISO51200, giv­ing greater scope for shoot­ing at wide aper­tures or in bright con­di­tions as well as bet­ter low-light ca­pa­bil­ity.

Other changes from the D800 in­clude a higher res­o­lu­tion LCD screen, the abil­ity to record smaller RAW im­ages (as seen with the Nikon D4s), and the in­tro­duc­tion of Grou­parea AF mode, also seen in Nikon’s flag­ship cam­era. The D810’s buf­fer is re­ported to be more than dou­ble the size of the D800/ (think 47 12-bit un­com­pressed RAW files com­pared with the D800/ 21).

Pic­ture this

The D810 also gets the new Pic­ture Con­trol 2.0 sys­tem for ap­ply­ing dif­fer­ent looks to im­ages pro­cessed in-cam­era as JPEGs. The new sys­tem adds a ‘Flat’ mode for max­i­mum dy­namic range, and it’s pos­si­ble to ad­just im­age clar­ity or mi­cro con­trast to give an im­pres­sion of greater (or re­duced) sharp­ness with­out overem­pha­sis­ing strong edges.

The D810 takes a big step for­ward from the D800/ in terms of movie ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Video (and stills) may be shot in FX or DX for­mat and there’s a clean HDMI out, plus the abil­ity to cap­ture full-res­o­lu­tion footage in­cam­era and on an ex­ter­nal recorder si­mul­ta­ne­ously. When shoot­ing video in man­ual mode, sen­si­tiv­ity can be set from ISO64 to ISO51200, while the Auto ISO func­tion al­lows you to spec­ify the max­i­mum sen­si­tiv­ity set­ting to be used. This is use­ful when com­bined with the abil­ity to

use power aper­ture and set the two but­tons next to the lens mount to open up or close down aper­ture. It should en­sure stead­ier footage with less op­er­a­tional noise.

In a first for a Nikon, there’s a new Live View split-screen zoom mode that al­lows you to check sharp­ness in two ar­eas at the same time. This looks like mak­ing life eas­ier when shoot­ing land­scape and macro scenes, where depth of field is im­por­tant.

Any D800 user who picks up a D810 will feel right at home be­cause only a few sub­tle de­sign changes have been made. The grip, for ex­am­ple, feels more solid and the mem­ory card door more durable. Nikon has added its ‘I’ but­ton to the back of the cam­era, giv­ing quick ac­cess to key set­tings and pro­vid­ing the means of ac­cess­ing the split-screen view.

We’ll have a full re­view of the D810 for you next is­sue.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.