There are two ways to look at an incrementally improved DSLR: either the company missed an opportunity to improve something that has fallen behind the industry standard, or they are leaving well enough alone and not ‘fixing it if it ain’t broke,’ so to speak.
Nikon’s replacement for both the D800 and D800E, the D810, falls into that latter category: an incrementally improved DSLR that probably won’t receive too much flack for it.
Of course, by ‘incrementally improved,’ we don’t mean to say there aren’t features worth upgrading for, and D800 owners in particular will be tempted. Nikon is quick to point out that the D810 and its all-new 36.3-megapixel FX CMOS sensor without Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF) offers the ‘best image quality in Nikon history.’
Beyond the new sensor and the COMPLETE lack of an OLPF (the D800E had one, but the anti-aliasing properties had been ‘canceled’), Nikon also packed the D4s’ powerful EXPEED 4 processor inside the updated camera, making sure that moire is suppressed as much as possible to make up for the missing filter, and pushing the hardware to greater heights.
ISO now runs from an impressively low 64 all the way up to 12,800 (expandable to 32-51,200) with the same noise reduction performance Nikon was boasting about for the D4s. The camera is also said to run 30% faster thanks to the new processor, while simultaneously saving battery.
And speaking of speed, the new processor coupled with the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module (15 cross-type points and 51 points total) and some fancy focusing algorithms first seen in the D4s push the burst mode performance up to 5fps at full-res, 6fps at 25.1 megapixels (1.2x mode) and 7fps at 15.4 megapixels (DX mode).
Finally, the last of the notable updates to the much-loved Nikon D800/E duo includes the ability to shoot space-saving 12-bit sRAW (a highly-requested feature that alone might push some people to upgrade), bumping the 3.2-inch LCD screen up to 1229K-dots, and the addition of 1080/60p video capability.
The button layout and ergonomics have also been changed ever-so-slightly to make for a more comfortable experience, but none of those changes are overly dramatic.
For a full rundown of the new features — including lots of fun press speak that calls the D810 everything from ‘the next benchmark in D-SLR image quality’ to ‘the ultimate in versatility and capability’ — head over to Nikon’s Press Room.
The Nikon D810 will become available in late July at a suggested retail price of $3,300, but you can already get your pre-order in today by clicking here.