Nikon D800 to D810

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by caledonia, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. I would like to ask all the D800 owners,if any are thinking of trading in to go for the D810,my reason for the question is I have two d800 bodies,one i have had since they came out and a second added a few months ago. When I got my first body i was blown away with the files,dynamic range and that amazing detail,two years on i feel just as exited every time i open a file.
    I have downloaded the full size raws from the new d810 and put them through my workflow and to be honest i find the difference negligible, also over here the trade in loss would be considerable. I don't doubt the tweaks especially the new shutter mechanism would be excellent, also the changes to video,but i think i will wait and see what a D900 may bring. Whats your thoughts or plans!
  2. I always say skip at least one generation.
    Depending on how you use any given camera, the very next model in its class is likely to yield identical results, whether that is D7000 to D7100 or D800 to D810.
  3. When it comes to IQ and IQ only, there will not be much of a difference between the two bodies (especially after post processing RAW files).
  4. Nope - still very excited about my D800 - no urge to upgrade!
    A second body (FX) would be welcome though.. let's see what
    SantaPhotokina brings.. ;-)
  5. I too got a D800 shortly after the first release, basically because the need for use of my back up D3 never arose (my main D3 kept ticking and clicking) and I thought it wise to upgrade to a higher megapixel body now the occasion was there ( and I at that moment could still get a decent price for my back up D3)
    Just like you I too have nothing but good words on the D800's DR, details, etc. Although, even if I do have a computer system that can easily handle them, the mere size of the files at times is a bit overwhelming, and the camera is quite unforgiving for a sloppy shooting technique ( I used to shoot a lot of surf and still do a lot of catwalk photography, and it's not always possible to, when trying to capture the action, shoot with the utmost care to prevent eg camera shake and sloppy focusing)
    When the D810 came out the only things that really caught my attention were the Group AF and the quieter shutter. But since I no longer shoot much surf and don't need a quiet shutter for catwalk, I too have decided to let it pass by. To be quite honest I don't even see the need for another/newer high megapixel body for me personally, since the D800 already fulfills that job for me. As a matter of fact I even got a DF a few months ago. Not so much for the 'retro' thing, but rather for the smaller size and lighter body, while the lower megapixel sensor allows me more freedom for my at times casual style of shooting.
  6. I do landscapes with my D800 and see no need to upgrade. My second FX camera is my nearly 6 year old D700 which is still an awesome camera and it sees occasional use birding with my old 80-400 AF-D lens. Like the D800 no need to upgrade to the uber expensive AFS 80-400 VR lens, after 10 years it still does the job.
  7. I'm shooting with a D800E. I plan to add a D810 in the coming months. The improvements that interest me include:
    • group autofocus
    • better LCD resolution (including split screen)
    • extended ISO range
    • electronic front shutter curtain in MLU mode
    • lack of delay after live view exposures
    • highlight priority mode (I don't know how well this will work, but it might be useful in conjunction with the flat preset)
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have had a D810 loaner for a couple of days, and I have used the D800/D800E since their introduction. Nikon manages to improve a lot of small things on the D810, but I wouldn't say it is a major improvement from the D800E. Live view returning without waiting for the entire image file to be written onto the memory card is nice. The quiet mode is a lot quieter and there is also now the Continuous Quiet option. However, I have been very happy with the D800E's AF, so I am not sure how big an improvement it really is.
    Maybe check out Ming Thien's comparison:
    But more importantly, exactly which features on the D800 that you are unhappy with and therefore are looking for improvement? To me, I think Nikon has already done an excellent job on the D800. There are a few minor issues as I mentioned above. Otherwise, a lot of the improvements are video related.
  9. I'll add that all in all, the D800E is the finest camera that I have ever used. But there are situations where improved autofocus and high ISO capability would be welcome. If the D810 autofocus performs as well as my Canon 5D3, I'll be tempted to sell my Canon gear.
  10. Douglas, I have no major complaints about my D800 and the only interesting improvement for my amateur stuff would be the lower vibration shutter...but the familiar is more compelling than the unknown and with the recent price drop, I could be very happy with a D800e as a second body.
  11. EFCS visibly improves the sharpness of macro shots made in dim continuous light, and I would expect it to help a lot when doing telephoto landscape photography.
    The automatic orientation based switching of the active AF point (selected manually in each orientation) is great and I think it will save me a lot of time and frustration in event photography. The D810 is the first camera which focuses my 24/1.4 accurately and reliably in dim(ish) indoor light. The variation in AF finet tune required by my D800 was considerable from lens to lens (standard deviation 9; previous cameras were more consistent with much less variation) and while I haven't yet done systematic testing of my D810 from lens to lens, at least initial results are promising. One area where the D800 had difficulty in particular was when photographing people indoors at wide apertures; the colour of the light affected focus error and this was sometimes annoying in concert lighting as the lighting can be so dim that manual correction is difficult or impossible (AF was especially erratic when combining artificial lights with skylight at dusk because a part of the light was very high K and a part very low KI). This has been fixed in hardware of the AF system according to the designer's of the D810.
    I like the thicker grip it fits my hand much more comfortably, if only they could do the same to the MB-D12. The viewfinder seems slightly more clear and contrasty. The sound is more elegant due to the slowing down at the end of the movement of the mirror. Live view now displays a high resolution image when zoomed in.
    To me, any of the changes (except the AF system which to my way of shooting appears to be a considerable improvement) could be considered minor but together they make the camera easier to use to get consistent results.
  12. Thank you all for your response, I am sure i am no different when it comes to new Nikon cameras,especially an upgrade to an already wonderful camera. My initial response was wow, I would love to trade in one of my bodies for this upgrade,but after trying the camera,downloading and trying raws from it using my usual processing and reading numerous test reports i regained sanity.
    Over here in the UK to change to the new body would probably mean losing about £1,000 to gain a negligible quality difference.
  13. I'm a D800E owner, and I'm considering the upgrade. To quote myself from another thread:
    • No more hanging after live view shots, reducing the need for fast and expensive cards.
    • More reliable autofocus. I just don't trust my D800, especially with some lenses. Also group AF.
    • Split live view. I've been asking for this since I got my D700, though I really wanted completely independent quadrants (at reduced frame rate if necessary) for tilt/shift work, to work out whether the whole focal plane is positioned correctly. The D810's arrangement can just about be used.
    • Quieter shutter. I'm finding the D800's clacking to be increasingly intrusive, and I have a wedding to shoot for friends next year.
    • Reduced vibration from the electronic shutter (and maybe the mechanical one), and a small improvement in sharpness (allegedly).
    • Bigger buffers.
    • Highlight metering. I end up shooting people in this situation a lot. Though I'd really like dedicated ETTR.
    • A little more low-light handling. I'm in candlelight a fair bit. When I can't use minimum ISO in daylight, I'm usually in the dark, and every bit of performance helps.
    • Fix the line skipping in live view.
    • Brighter LCD.
    • Better prism coatings. (Not clear how much, though.)
    • Faster frame rate. (Because, occasionally. I do have a V1, though.)
    • Better video support. (Also, because occasionally. But also the aforementioned wedding, though I might look into 4K for that.)
    Of those, the only one that really affects image quality is the vibration reduction from the shutter - though there appears also to be some reduced clipping around the black level that might help a bit, especially with ISO 64. I really don't expect an appreciable image quality enhancement - though there have been reports about better noise handling and the D810 matching the D4s, I can't tell how much of that is noise characteristics in the raw file and how much is improved JPEG processing, which matters less to me. I'm really not expecting much more than an additional stop of performance out of any impending camera without a serious change in technology - we're not far from theoretical sensitivity limits. While the lower-resolution generation (D4/D4s, D3s, 1Dx, Df, 6D, A7s) seem to have a small advantage at higher ISOs (and depending on what cooking of the raw file seems to be happening in the A7s, I'm not sure that it's a big advantage), there's not that much in it. The D3-D3s jump was big at high ISO, and the D700-D7000 jump was big at minimum ISO. I don't believe there's been a major advance in pixel quality since these generations. The D810 is supposed to add a bit of dynamic range in the sensor well (it's not the same sensor as the D800), but I'm not holding my breath for a lot.

    There are lots of (each minor) reasons for me to update my D800E to a D810, but they're not to do with image quality. I'm slightly on the fence - I bought my D700 just before going on a rare holiday, and my D800 just before the London Olympics, but I'm not actually in a rush this time, and I'm not expecting the huge image quality jump that my Eos 300D-D700 and D700-D800e upgrades gave me. I do have a friend's wedding next year, which would be a reason to have a quieter camera. Full frame cameras don't come around all that often (well, replacements don't - Nikon seem to be on a shipping binge), so waiting for a D900 might take time. I have enough trouble making the most of 36MP, so I'm not holding my breath for a 50MP camera, for example - though there'd be something to be said for the DX crop of the sensor being 24MP to offer the best of both worlds.

    But the D810 is clearly better in lots of little ways that would make it more flexible and nicer to use for me, giving me a better chance of getting the shot, even if the image quality of a correctly-exposed image is roughly unchanged - essentially, I'm in the same boat as Ilkka. You may have your own feelings about the priority of this. For me, I'm at least going to wait a few months for prices to drop (and for the raw converters and white dots to finish getting sorted out).
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    It is amusing to see NAS is full swing as some people are coming up plenty of reasons to upgrade. In reality, I think the upgrades are minor. For example, to me, the electronic front curtain feature is not going to make any difference, because in order to take full advantage of 36MP, I want to use the D800/D810 on a tripod as much as I can anyway, with shutter delay. So in reality, the electronic front curtain won't make any difference at all.
    When Nikon introduced the D4 in 2012, I was disappointed to see the Multi-CAM 3500 AF module again. I know that Nikon would not fundamentally change that for another 4 years until the D5 appears. In other words, Nikon DSLRs will continue to lack cross-type AF points away from the center three columns. To me, that is one thing the Canon 1DX and 5DIII have an advantage: more cross-type AF points away from the center. As long as Nikon uses the basic Multi-CAM 3500 design, that limitation is not going away. That is an issue I pointed out since the D3.
    Yesterday, I found out that the D810 is a lot more picky with memory cards. I took the D810 to take pictures with friends after dinner, but both memory cards I had on it didn't work: one Lexar CF and one SanDisk SD, both showing error. Both cards previously worked fine on several DSLRs, including a D800E. However, my year 2002 256M "no name" CF cards works on the D810, although the capacity is only 3 frames. So if you upgrade to a D810, you may need to spend more money on memory cards.
    Never mind about the memory card part. I realized that the D810 I have on loan is defective. It works fine shooting JPEG with any one of the 10 or so memory cards I have used on it, mainly SanDisk or Lexar, either SD or CF. However, shooting RAW, the D810 shows card error after 2, 3 frames. I haven' found one memory card that works fine with it.
  15. Shun - at least some experiments (I couldn't tell you where I saw them, I'm afraid - possibly even on this forum) suggested that it's in the mirror lock-up situation that the D810 helps: the electronic front shutter helps when the cause of the vibration is the moving of the mechanical front shutter. It makes much less difference when you're not using mirror lock-up, because the shutter and mirror are still introducing vibration. The suggestion seemed to be that it makes much more difference on longer lenses, which isn't surprising. I don't know how much a long lens support might help. I'm sure the difference is usually small, however, and the effect on sensor heating might worry me slightly. Still, it's optional, and I'd rather have it than not.

    I'm a little disappointed that the Multi-CAM 3500 layout (if not actual hardware) hasn't changed more too, especially with the D4s coming out some time after the 5D3 and 1Dx. The changes that have been made seem to help a bit, but I'd certainly have liked to see a more radical update.

    The memory card issue worries me a bit - I've certainly seen reports of failures to format, but I'm interested to hear of other problems, especially given that I currently use what might be exactly the same card combination as Shun (since they were the fastest cards on the market when I got my D800E). There were a few issues with the D4s and memory cards, but this seems to be more. I'm hoping for a BIOS update before I get around to buying.

    If there weren't reasons to upgrade, I don't think Nikon would have produced the camera. I think most of us can agree that the changes are relatively minor (but then, if you ignore the sensor changes, the D800 isn't that much of a change over the D700). For some of us, the changes are enough to be useful (in my case, not useful enough to justify until the UK price drops a bit), and I accept that there are people who are already finding the cumulative effect significant. I'm eventually expecting to be one of them.

    NAS would be me feeling that I should be saving up for the new 400 f/2.8 rather than the older one. Though that has the convenient effect that the chance of me ever getting to the stage of having the money to buy one is quite small, thus meaning I'll never spend the money.
  16. Shun (and Douglas)

    One thing I have found that almost no other reviewers have mentioned that is new to the D810 (it may have there in the
    D4s as well but it missed it) was highlight biased metering mode. This is a spot metering mode that is "spot metering with
    brains. It is useful when photographing people on stage, a subject in motion, or in similar situations where you have a
    brightly lit subject against a darker background or the subject is lit with a strongly colored light.
  17. in order to take full advantage of 36MP, I want to use the D800/D810 on a tripod as much as I can anyway, with shutter delay. So in reality, the electronic front curtain won't make any difference at all.
    EFCS vs. no EFCS does make a difference to sharpness on solid tripod (with M-UP and delay, or with M-UP+MC-30) with many telephoto lenses at many shutter speeds.
    Kasson used a rather substantial tripod and head in his experiment. I think this feature will be standard in new higher end cameras because of the obvious benefits. What Nikon should do next is incorporate the ability to use high frame rate together with EFCS in live view operation, as the 5D Mk III allows this, facilitating the use of automatic bracketing for exposure blending in landscape photography.
    I tested EFCS with my 120mm Apo Rodagon on my tilt/shift bellows (at about 1:1.5 magnification) and the image with EFCS was clearly sharper, but in my case it was a studio shot with continuous lighting and 1/20s, so arguably these settings are on the difficult side. Nevertheless for winter landscape and ice detail photography it is a typical shutter speed in my latitudes, if a bit on the fast side. This is a relatively short lens obviously; greater differences are expected at longer focal lengths. Notice also that in Kasson's testing, the fast speeds (1/500s) are not immune to shutter induced shake with the 400/2.8.
  18. The highlight metering mode seems to work very well when in an environment that is predominantly dark but has some spot-lit area. It exposes for this light area quite accurately and I think it may turn out useful for stage photography.
  19. I'm curious about the highlight metering mode - and I often shoot in situations where there's a lit subject surrounded by a lot of darkness, although more "people in front of a window in a pub" than stage photography. I was really hoping for an expose-to-the-right mode, which this doesn't quite seem to be (it would be nice if active D-lighting had this effect on raw files, but I don't believe it does), but something that can handle bad lighting situations better is welcome. I feel I've had more trouble with the D800's meter than I did with the D700's. I look forward to experimenting.
  20. to someone who doesnt already have a d800, the improvements in the 810 make it a more compelling camera. of course working pros will upgrade to the latest and greatest, but for those who can't justify the cost and/or dont have a need for a 36mp sensor, it might be worth it to wait a little while and see what Nikon's Photokina offerings are, and whether the rumored d750 materializes.
  21. only use my D800 in the studio to photograph my artwork. Images are amazing. I see no need to upgrade...ever. Good luck with your decision.
  22. It all depends on what you want, or in the case of a pro, need from a camera.
    The main things I had issues with in the D800 was how loud the clacking shutter is, slow the frame rate is and how hit and miss the focus was.

    I'm about 16,000 frames into the first D810 I bought, picked up a second a few weeks ago when I saw how much better the metering is in the D810 over my previous backup, the D610.....same with the AWB. I don't do landscapes with the D810 or any digital for that matter, that is the realm of medium and large format black and white film for me. What I *do* use it for is high end action oriented advertising & corporate journalism where quiet is king.

    So for my needs, the D810 blows the D800 out of the water in nearly every regard. Even the resulting files have a bit more bite if great glass is used. And the shutter D800 was damn near as loud as a Hasselblad in overall head turning effect and the D810 is by far the quietest 35mm SLR I have ever used. The vibration is virtually nonexistent, for kicks during a recent ad shoot I hand held my 35mm 1.4G in starlight at ISO 12,800 for one second. In five frame bursts, two of the three were TACK sharp!

    Everyone is different, I despised the shutter and mirror in the D800, especially after it blew apart on a shoot at 85,000 frames. The D810 is a *Killer* upgrade for me.
  23. Has adobe lightroom come up with an update that will work with the 810 NEF's? I'd make sure you know how your going to process those raw files.
  24. From what I understand both LR 5.6 and ACR do process D810 files but there is a glitch which causes image artifacts with some of the provided camera profiles. This in turn has been fixed but the fix is only available as a beta version that you can download from Adobe. I use NX-D personally.
  25. I have been using Lightroom 5.6 with D810 14-bit lossless compressed NEFs, mostly converted to DNG FORMAT, since it
    was released and have not run into any of the glitches Ilkka references. Mostly I use a custom dual illuminant profile that I
    created using an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport target and Adobe DNG Editor software.
  26. As much as I ultimately came to love my D800, it was a difficult love affair. I wrestled with fine tuning most of the lenses I used on it, and it really only "sung" with a few... noticeably the 24-70G, 70-200 VRII and especially the Sigma Art 35 f/1.4. I sent it in to Nikon for the AF point recalibration like most owners, but that and other idiosyncrasies didn't sour me on the camera.

    I also knew as soon as the D800E images started posting later in 2012, that the aliasing was a truly noticeable difference. I had to work hard at technique, tuning and a bit of luck to get the keepers I was seeking, and finally got in a groove with the D800.

    None of this proved to be the case with the D810. For starters it transformed my 80-400 G VRII into the truly awesome sharp lens I had hoped for, and negated the focus chatter.

    I did fine tune a few other lenses, and yes, I'm sure the work I put into mastering the D800 helped, but I was getting virtually instant gratification in the form of high quality keepers with the new D810.

    Yes, I got soaked a bit selling the D800 and I can't afford to throw money around. I'm glad the guy who bought mine got a good deal on a clean D800. But I am totally satisfied with my decision to bump up to the D810. I don't allow myself to get bogged down in perfecting my set-up, but now it's all more about the sheer joy of shooting! Nikon got this camera right.
  27. Maybe I'm not as picky, but as a film photographer since about 1970, 35 and 6x6; I have worked with the Nikon F, F2, F3, F5, Pentax 6x7 and Hasselblad 500C. My introduction to digital was a little disappointing with the D2. I was shocked by the performance of my 800E. I shot a theater production in a darkened theater anywhere from 6 to 60 feet, and the exposure quality was spectacular. It's going to take a lot to get me to move up now.
  28. Hugh:
    Go to the Adobe website. There is a new camera RAW that covers the d810.
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon has changed the button layout on the D810 a bit. The quiet shutter mode is now really quiet, but I am most happy about the new quiet continuous option. The metering mode button is moved to the top of the camera, replacing what used to be the bracketing button to accommodate the four different settings (with the new highlight biased mode Ellis mentioned earlier).
  30. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D810 is now made in Thailand, instead of Japan for the D800 and D800E. I see no difference in quality, but unfortunately the lower labor cost doesn't translate to lower prices so far.

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