Today, Nikon announced the D810, an HD-SLR camera for professional photographers and cinematographers. The D810 features a new 36.3-megapixel, full-frame FX-format (7360 x 4912 resolution) sensor without an optical low pass filter (OLPF), bolstered by Nikon’s EXPEED 4 image processing engine, which provides enhancements to overall performance while suppressing instances of false color and moiré. Additionally, EXPEED 4 enhances noise reduction performance, and helps to achieve a wider ISO range, from 64 to 12,800, to improve low-noise image capture in a variety of lighting conditions. The ISO range is also expandable from 32 (Lo-1) to 51,200 (Hi-2).
Nikon says that the addition of EXPEED 4 allows for an overall 30% boost in performance, as well as a faster burst speed and enhancement to overall energy efficiency. Now the D810 is capable of shooting at 5 frames-per-second (fps) at full resolution and 5:4, 6 fps in DX or 1.2x modes, (15.4-megapixel, 25.1-megapixel, respectively), and 7 fps in DX mode (15.4-megapixel), with battery pack. For workflow versatility, the D810 also gives users the option to shoot in full resolution 14-bit RAW/NEF file format or the new RAW Size Small format. This 12-bit file format is half the resolution and approximately 1/4 the file size of full RAW files, for increased flexibility when speedy downloads are desired or memory space is at a premium.
Nikon has also implemented a new features aimed at improving overall image quality for all types of photographers. Nikon’s Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III provides balanced exposures in difficult scenes. The system analyzes each scene to recognize factors such as color, brightness and human faces with startling precision to determine what type of subject a user is shooting. The system then compares all the data using an image database to adjust exposure, AF, auto white balance, i-TTL flash control and enhances subject tracking.
A "Clarity" setting has been added to the available Picture Control adjustment parameters, which adjusts mid tones to enhance details within an image. To help preserve the most amount of detail in shadows and highlights, the new "Flat" Picture Control Profile is now available, allowing both photographers and filmmakers to get the widest tonal range out of their cameras for maximum flexibility in post processing. For further customization of Picture Controls, users are now able to make adjustments in .25 step increments for the maximum level of custom color, saturation and brightness levels. Additionally, the D810 employs a new highlight-weighted metering option, which detects the brightness in a scene and determines optimum exposure.
The D810 also supports capturing of Full HD 1920 x 1080 video capture at a variety of frame rates, including 60/30/24p.
"FX" and "DX" crop modes give users a telephoto boost when needed, a feature that has been very popular with camera operators because of its added flexibility on set.
A "Flat Picture Control" is a neutral color profile for video that gives the user maximum flexibility in post-production.
The D810 can relay uncompressed digital video to an external recorder via HDMI, while simultaneously displaying the video on the rear LCD display and external LCD monitor. Operators can also record both to the internal card (compressed) and to the external recorder (uncompressed) simultaneously.
Like the Nikon D4S, the D810 uses an auto-exposure setting to help create smooth exposure and tonal transitions for professional results with time-lapse and interval-time shooting.
The D810 also features a built-in stereo microphone, and an external microphone can also be attached.
With the Power Aperture setting, it is simple to adjust the exposure and depth of field on the fly while recording to an external recorder or SD/CF cards. In manual mode, users can also control shutter speed and ISO while recording. Additionally, white balance and exposure compensation can be adjusted prior to recording.
The camera's focus system has 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and works with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes 11 cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters (aperture value up to f/8), which is useful for wildlife photography. In addition to normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking modes, the D810 also features the new Group AF mode for enhanced accuracy, even while tracking subjects.
The camera is equipped with a 1229K-dot, 3.2-inch LCD screen, and is compatible with a full range of Nikon’s remote systems, including the new wireless remote system with the WR-1 to trigger the camera remotely.
The Nikon D810 will be available in late July for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $3299.95. The MB-D12 battery pack is currently available for $616.00 SRP. A new Capture NX-D software package will be available mid-July for download at no additional cost.
Additionally, Nikon will be offering two kits designed for videographers and filmmakers; the D810 Filmmaker’s Kit consists of the D810 body, AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G, AF-S NIKKOR 50mmm f/1.8G, AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lenses, 2 additional EN-EL15 batteries, ME-1 Stereo Microphone, Atomos Ninja-2 External Recorder, and Tiffen 67mm and 58mm Variable Neutral Density Filters (8-Stops). For stop motion applications, the D810 Animator’s Kit features the D810 body, AF-S Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G ED VR lens, EH-5b Power Adapter, EP5B Power Supply Connector and Dragonframe Stop Motion Software plus Dragonframe USB Keypad Controller.