Nikon D810 initial thoughts

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GlenGrambo
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Nikon D810 initial thoughts
2 months ago

I've lurked here for quite awhile and thought I'd finally contribute something - even if it's just a few quick thoughts. I've had my D810 bodies for a day now and am fortunate enough to have some Merlins ( falcons) living in our backyard trees. After a few days of shooting with my D800e, I was able to shoot with the D810 today. A few random thoughts:

1. incredibly quiet compared to the D800 series and that extra frame a second seems to make a lot of difference!

2. Autofocus is a HUGE improvement. I've owned 3 D800's and 3 D800e's over the last two years, and although they were my favourite cameras, the AF was good but not great. With the D810, I get faster and more accurate initial acquisition, much better focus tracking and overall better sharpness. My keep rate is much, much better with the D810. Also, I expected the Group AF to be a boon and it has been, but I didn't expect that all the other AF settings would be better as well. I used a lot of Continuous AF with 9 box dynamic and it was much, much more accurate than with the D800e. I was using the 80-400 AFS for these and there was much less of that AF chatter when it doesn't quite know what to settle on.

3. I've not shot scenics yet, but trying to manual focus with the live view in a dark room was very easy - especially compared to the D800 series. The D810's screen was noisy, but easily sharp enough to focus.

4. I can't speak to high ISO noise yet as I usually use Lightroom and am forced to use the new Nikon Capture NX-D with the D810 files. I feel that Capture might be cooking the files a bit, but I believe we'll see an improvement in high ISO. I shot a merlin in low light this morning at 6400 iso and a large crop that seemed usable (more than usable actually) and it would not have been with the D800e in that light. Time will tell, but it seems better there.

Anyway, just a few initial thoughts from about 1000 shots after two years of D800/e shooting. I've attached a couple files - sorry for the crappy post processing, I basically just opened them in Nikon Capture and I had the picture control set on neutral with no sharpening.

Juvenile Merlin

Adult Merlin

Nikon D810
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