Photography News 95 - Web

Pre-loved kit

Used corner

Nikon D810

In the first of a new regular series, PN spotlights great pre-loved buys. We kick off with a digital full-frame classic, dating back to 2014

SPECS ›  New price (2014) £2699 body only

The D810 was blessed with a new sensor compared to its

NIKON’S D800 SERIES of full-frame DSLRs has proved deservedly popular, and the current D850 is still one by which others are judged. Its ancestor was the D810, a 36.3-megapixel camera that was announced in June 2014 – and which I tested way back in issue 11 of Photography News . The D810 had a guide body price of £2699; that’s a lot of money now, never mind back then. But it gives you a good idea of its status at the time. I found pre-owned models online at prices ranging from £800 for good-condition models, to £1200 for excellent examples. With many photographers keen to exploit the image quality of full- frame, the D810 could be the value- for-money way to go. The feature set, robust build and quality performance are all hugely impressive.

predecessors, the D800 and D800E, even though they share the same megapixel resolution. The two older models both had sensors fitted with an optical low-pass filter (OLPF), meaning the finest detail could be compromised in return for defeating moiré and colour fringing. The D800E had an OLPF, but its effects were removed to give the best resolution of fine detail. The D810’s sensor was OLPF- free – just one important upgrade among many. Other benefits included a faster maximum shooting rate at 5fps instead of 4fps, with no frame limit. This reached 6fps in cropped DX mode, or 7fps with the optional power grip. Also valuable were a lower bottom ISO speed of 64 for maximum dynamic range, and an electronic front-curtain shutter with a tweaked reflex mechanism, to minimise mirror shock. A high megapixel count can mean a compromise in image quality at higher ISOs, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue here, despite the D810’s 36.3 megapixels. The native ISO range was 64-12,800, and you can set ISO 1600 – or even 3200 – for very crisp images without particularly prevalent digital noise. At these levels, noise is neutral and quite fine – and easily improved in software. The D810 may not be up there with current leading

›  Used price £800-£1200 body only, depending on condition ›  Format FX format, 35.9x24mm ›  Sensor CMOS 36.3 megapixels, 7360x4912 pixels ›  Processor Expeed 4 ›  ISO range 64-12,800, expansion to ISO 32 and 51,200 ›  Autofocus 51 focus points including 15 cross-type, detection range -2 to +19EV. Single-point, dynamic-area, 3D-tracking, auto-area AF, group-area ›  Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 0.3, 0.5, 1EV steps ›  Shutter 30secs-1/8000sec, bulb, flash sync 1/250sec ›  Metering patterns Matrix, centre-weighted, spot ›  Shooting speed 5fps full-frame ›  LCD screen 3.2in TFT monitor ›  Focusing system Intelligent hybrid AF (TTL phase/contrast detection) with face detection ›  Video 1920x1080 at 60p/50p/ 30p/25p/24p, 1280x720 60p/50p

INTHE STUDIO Dancer Rachel Gittins was photographed with studio flash, using the D810 fitted with the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens, and an exposure of 1/125sec at f/5.6 and ISO 100

lights for high ISO performance, but it still holds up well. At the lower ISOs – the sort of speed most frequently used by landscape, portrait and studio workers – the image quality from the D810 is first-rate. This is true whether you want out-of-camera JPEGs, or Raw files that can be edited

to your heart’s content – and you have the option of recording 12- or 14-bit Raws. Camera handling rates highly, with most key shooting functions adjusted with physical buttons and dials. Typical of a DSLR, battery life is very good. The D810’s control layout is user-friendly, most notably around

›  Format MPEG-4, H.264 ›  Storage media Dual slot: SD and CompactFlash ›  Dimensions (wxhxd) 146x123x81.5mm ›  Weight 980g body only ›  Contact

DOUBLING UP FOR SAFETY The D810 has dual slots – one for SD, the other for CompactFlash

Issue 95 | Photography News 21

Powered by