First Impressions of D810 from a former D700 owner...

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westerner
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First Impressions of D810 from a former D700 owner...
3 weeks ago

I have been spending every spare second tinkering with my new D810 today. A few things I have noticed, compared to the D700:

Tons more customization options in the menus. Love being able to really set up all the buttons and controls to do useful things. Probably like the "record" button on top being set to change crop modes when in stills mode the most.

This camera feels very much like a hybrid between the D7100 and the D700, since I have been shooting each of those alongside the other for the last few months. D700-like in feel, closer to D7100 in control position & function (except for AF-on button, of course, which is non-existent on the D71k - I use the AF/AE lock button for AF-on on that body). Speaking of AF-on button, that is a major sore spot for me...the button is too small, too hard to push, and does not push in far enough. I can see my thumb getting fatigued operating this new button on extended shoots. The D700 button was much softer, shaped better, and pushed in far enough & easy enough to make it a breeze to operate. It also stuck out a little, even when fully depressed. The D810's is just about flush when pushed in. Not a very good feel to it, IMO.

Frame rate and buffer seem very adequate, even with my older Sandisk Ultra CF cards (slow 30MB/sec ones) so no problems there. D700 was fine too. Way better than D71k - it's buffer is a joke.

Shutter sound (or lack thereof) is fantastic! Much quieter than the clunky D700 shutter. This is a welcome change for me.

I have heard several D810 owners say they have been able to shoot most or all of their lenses with no AF fine-tuning. I find that my lenses need very similar adjustments with mine that both my D700 and D7100 needed. The same lenses that needed + adjustments, also needed similar + adjustments on the D810. I tended to doubt the reports that the D810 could miraculously make lenses that needed fine-tuning on other bodies practically perfect, and it appears I was correct in my skepticism. At least I am not seeing it with my lenses. However, tuning was easy, and my lenses are all functioning satisfactorily.

Love, love, love the 1.2x crop mode. I will use it frequently to reduce file sizes when I don't need full resolution or don't need the widest end of my lenses. This is one reason I decided to go ahead with the D810, even though the D750 was coming. 24MP would suffice for me, but the flexibility of having 36MP, or using less as the situation dictates, was pretty appealing. And I will not go without the AF-on button on my primary body. Leaked images of the D750 show a D610-like body with a swivel screen. I would have no desire to own it if that turns out to be true. I prefer the larger body since it balances better with large, heavy lenses, like the 70-200 f2.8.

High ISO shots are surprisingly good. This was one area of concern for me, since I shoot 3200 to 6400 frequently at dance competitions and recitals. I hoped that the D810 would produce at least equal quality shots to my D700, and I feel confident that I can comfortably exceed that expectation. Based on what I have observed thus far, I believe the D810 is easily one stop better. Honestly, ISO 12,800 looks equal to 6400 D700 images, with a much finer grain that is far easier on the eyes. I am very, very impressed with this, and consider it to be quite a remarkable achievement.

Overall, I must say that I am pleased with just about everything so far. The D750 is no longer any concern to me, no matter what it turns out to be. Looking forward to getting more familiar with this thing. Feels like Nikon's got a winner here, and I couldn't be happier...

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K.B.

 westerner's gear list:westerner's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +5 more
Nikon D610 Nikon D700 Nikon D7100 Nikon D810
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