Nikon D810

Nikon’s original D800 and D800e 36MP monsters, launched in 2012, were impressive — even groundbreaking — but also flawed in some ways. The company’s new D810 is an evolutionary refinement of the pair. Though lately most innovations in the digital camera industry have happened on mirrorless cameras, Nikons workhorse DSLRs still have a very large audience. But will the changes they’ve made to the D810 be enough to keep the Nikon faithful locked into the brand? And where to from here?

On the plus side, this new camera is definitely a “pro” tool, and has that signature Nikon heft and build quality. Anyone who’s shooting Nikon will certainly lust after this body. And any photographer (with the proper skills) using this camera will undoubtedly produce some amazing images.

In this episode of All About the Gear, Doug and Frederick explore the updated model, specifically looking at what changed, whether the changes justify an upgrade and whether the question of “What/who is this camera for?” has changed since the D800/e releases.

  • Frederick asks why didn’t Nikon just make this mirrorless? I, for one, wouldn’t want it with the state of current mirrorless technology. Doug accurately explains some of the deficiencies of mirrorless, but having stood out in the rain shooting with a weather sealed camera, and having the ability to look through an optical viewfinder makes it no contest for me. The mirrorless camera makers may fix those deficiencies in the future, but we SLR shooters have been saying this for several years now, and they still haven’t been fixed (nor for wildlife or sports shooters has the autofocus gotten sufficiently proficient, not to mention the lack of adequate long lenses). So for those of us to whom that matters, that’s why some of us aren’t enthralled with mirrorless. Mirrorless is great for street photography. Not so great for most other applications.

  • When I was in Iceland a month ago, I was the only one with mirrorless cameras. Everyone else had Nikons and Canons. While most of the other shooters went to some trouble to protect their gear from the rain, I didn’t bother. And while perhaps a third of them had trouble with their cameras, the only issue from mine was that water drops triggered the sensor that automatically switches between the LCD and EVF. I just had to disable that auto function. So while I think autofocus is still the big weakness for most (but not all) mirrorless cameras, I don’t think weather sealing is as big a deal. Having said that, even most of the DSLRs aren’t as weatherproof as a 1DX or D4s.

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