Nikon D810: A sport photographer's impressions
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Nikon D810: A sport photographer's impressions

UK-based sports photographer Guy Swarbrick recently got the opportunity to shoot the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Just before the games he took a delivery of Nikon's latest full-frame DSLR the D810, and in this article he shares his experiences of using the camera.

I’m unusual – but by no means unique – among sports photographers in shooting Raw plus (small, basic) JPEG. My workflow at events involves using the JPEGs to deliver timely content for online customers, then switching to the Raw files for print work. When the D800 came out I was tempted by the idea of using it as a high-resolution second body alongside my D4, to supplement my old D300. In the end though, I decided that the workflow for 36MP files was likely to be simply too slow and the amount of landscape work I did simply wouldn’t justify the expense.

By the time the D810 was announced, the D4S was my main camera, my D300 was broken and I was again considering a higher-resolution backup body. The two things that clinched the deal in favor of the D810 were the addition of the excellent Group Area AF mode from the D4S and my accreditation to the Commonwealth Games, with the prospect of some great backdrops at the mountain bike and road events.

The D810 arrived just over a week before the start of the Games, while I was covering some elite road races in Yorkshire. This gave me an opportunity to get used to the D810 and another recent addition to my camera bag, the 80-400 VRII. Quickly I was impressed by the flexibility that the D810 gave me, and at just how well it performed as an out-and-out sports camera.