Long term review: The Nikon D810

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Cold forest I

It’s very easy to write a polarized review – positive or negative – about a new piece of equipment; it’s much harder to commit to really using and learning it inside out for months until you are intimately familiar with its peccadilloes and able to extract every last drop of performance from it. It’s obviously not practical to do this for everything; it’s clear that some bits of hardware just don’t quite make it as long term tools after a few days of use. But the ones that stick are probably the ones that are really interesting.

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The Nikon D810 has been with us since the end of June 2014, and available from not long after that. I’ve had my own camera since the end of July – making it the better part of a year. Initially, my thoughts were that nothing much changed between the D800E and D810 – and an upgrade was not justified at all if you already had two of the former. Several conversations later with other pros and shooters I trust including Lloyd Chambers convinced me this was not the case: there were a lot of little changes, and they added up to something a bit more material. I took the plunge after holding one in hand and finding it ergonomically much more comfortable than the D800E, which caused cramps in my fourth and fifth fingers after extended use. Fortunately, most of the time it lived on a tripod, so this was not such a big deal in practice.

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I initially envisioned it as a second body to be shot in parallel with the remaining D800E (I traded one in) when the situation required two bodies – either for documentary work or in parallel for on-assignment B-roll. The reality was not only somewhat different, but rather unexpected for me. I’m not superstitious, but I’ve always felt my first D800E has some special mojo – left focus and first batch warts and all. Probably because it’s shot the vast majority of my commercial jobs in the last few years, and because I know it inside out and could navigate the menus without looking at either LCD. At some point in the last six months, it’s been replaced by the D810. Somehow, that transition happened without me really noticing; reviewing files shows me picking up one and then the other interchangeably.

I put it down to the D810 really being what the D800/E should have been: AF that’s solid and back to having the tracking abilities of the D3/700 generation; ergonomics that are more comfortable in hand, and just a little bit more responsiveness in live view and for sequential shooting. The shutter and mirror assembly are quieter, faster and better damped – meaning a bit more handholdable shutter speed. The electronic front curtain is a big bonus for tripod work, and there is now no excuse for camera shake or shutter vibration – at all.

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Phantom lamp

I thought I was getting everything out of that 36MP sensor with the D800E, but the D810’s files just have an extra little bit of crispness especially when tripod based – I put that down to some minor shutter/mirror vibration that’s now gone. There’s one final little difference that’s largely gone undocumented by I now hugely appreciate: the ability to use bulb and timer mode without a separate remote. You trigger the shutter (EFC, M-UP with 3 sec delay) with one press, then a light tap closes it – no shake because you’re at the end of a long exposure on (hopefully) a sturdy tripod anyway. That alone has made very long exposures more readily accessible. And the extended battery life – in practice, up to 50% – helps greatly too.

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Even horses get cold

But by far the biggest difference is on the output and image quality side. There were claims of a new sensor, then a derivative sensor, and in the end I think nobody quite knows which precise bit of hardware is in it – but it doesn’t matter, because something fairly major in the image processing pipeline changed. In effect, the D800E was a conventional CMOS camera of the old generation; the D810 responds in a far more natural manner. And they cannot be shot in the same way for optimal results. Unfortunately, this is very confusing in practice, because you might land up with optimal exposures that differ between the two cameras by as much as two stops under certain situations.

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Lunar balance

Allow me to explain: the D800E has a very linear tonal response, with low shadow noise, and highlights that clip fairly abruptly. This means you want to expose to the right just to the precise point of clipping; your dynamic range maximization comes from bringing up the shadows – since there is minimal penalty in color accuracy or noise. The D810 is the opposite: it is nonlinear and all of the extended dynamic range appears to rest in the highlights. What appears to be clipped even on the flattest picture control setting (the histogram is read off the preview jpeg embedded in the raw file) often still has a stop or more of highlight recoverability in ACR 8x, process 2012*. So you effectively need to have quite a bit of the frame blinking to make the most of the D810’s extraordinary highlight latitude. However, it’s still subject to the laws of physics, so this headroom has come at the expense of the deep shadows – whilst you can still recover a surprising amount of information, this comes at the expense of mainly color fidelity and separation. Recovered shadows somehow just look muddy – I suspect something in the ADC conversion has forced a ‘toe’ curve upstream of writing the raw file. If you expose properly it’s a non-issue in practice.

*This is covered extensively in Photoshop Workflow 2

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Rio Pearl by night

Personally, I find I really prefer the highlight rendition of the D810 to any other camera – at present – simply because it looks natural. Our eyes work that way: blacks do clip to black and lose saturation; whites have to get very, very bright before we are unable to make out any details. It shows in print, too: there’s something very transparent about D810 files that I find it nearly impossible to achieve with the D800E, and moderate to difficult with even the 645Z. That said, all three cameras still have enormous dynamic range – easily more than 13 stops, and perhaps as much as 15 allowing for some software recovery magic.

Tonal rendition aside, the D810 has the most accurate native color I’ve seen from a DSLR so far; my calibration profile with an Xrite Passport requires the smallest shifts of any camera I’ve calibrated (and I make a profile for everything I shoot, even my iPhone). It also has extremely high pixel integrity with the right lenses; acuity is excellent but punishing of optics that aren’t well corrected or lack resolving power. I find myself using it with the PCEs (24, 45, 85) or apochromatics such as the Zeiss 55 or 85 Otuses, 2/135 APO Planar and Voigtlander 180/4 APO-Lanthar. Some of the Nikon zooms aren’t too bad, but they lack the optical correction and can’t deliver the same performance. That said, VR helps immensely with shooting envelope – so there are actually situations in which I’d prefer to use the zoom simply because I know I won’t be able to achieve better results from lack of stability or shutter speed. Here, I liked the 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/4 VR and 80-400/4.5-5.6 VR G. Regardless, it’s pretty punishing of poor shot discipline.

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Untitled inversion

Although the D810 is perhaps the most accessible high resolution machine yet – Canon’s untested 5DSR and the smaller-shooting envelope Pentax 645Z aside – it really shines when used with the care and deliberation befitting a larger format, even if you can run and gun and get away with it some of the time. It seems the benefit of proper support and shot discipline are far more noticeable with this camera than say a D750; I’d still shoot the latter handheld almost all of the time, but the D810 conversely lives a good portion of its life with L-bracket mounted on a tripod. It’s nice to have the option of flexibility, though: the reason I’ve sold all of the other system cameras is because there is really no need for a D4 if you have a D810: just downsample the files in half if you have to work under marginal conditions, and you’ll actually land up with comparable pixel quality. The D750 is a bit of an exception because it’s slightly cleaner at the pixel level even at comparable output sizes, and the presence of an AA filter is actually a good thing for video.

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Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago

This brings us to a somewhat surprising conclusion. I’ve always thought of my Nikon system as the Swiss Army Knife of photography; whilst I might have specific scalpels for certain things, if I need something done with minimal risk, I go back to the Nikons. The D810 has actually changed the way I shoot; I find it encourages me to work in a far more deliberate, considered way – very much the role medium format previously played. But at the same time, it’s at home shooting documentary work and even film snippets with the Zacuto and Otuses; if anything, its repertoire is even wider than its predecessor. Nothing is perfect, though, and I leave with a list of things I’d like to see in the next generation:

  • Live view still needs to be improved. There should be an option to switch the camera on and have it go straight to live view; shot to shot times and blackout duration has to be much, much faster. We need another way to return to center if the multi selector has been assigned to magnify (or give us another button to assign to magnify).
  • A histogram that represents the actual raw exposure is needed. When you’ve got 1-2 more stops in the highlights than what the histogram is telling you, you’re leaving a lot of image quality on the table since you’ve got to do some recovery afterwards.
  • A tilting screen, please – both for varied-height shooting and video work.
  • Add U1 and U2 settings to the virtual mode dial – everything that can be changed in software (e.g. exposure delay, LV on, EFC, auto-ISO on/off) should be allowed for these modes. Why can I switch quickly between a tripod setup (base ISO, exposure delay, manual) and a documentary one (aperture priority, auto ISO) by turning the dial one position on a D750, but you can’t on any of the pro cameras? I’ve got to dig into menus and change things manually. It’s actually annoying enough that I thought about buying a second D810 and leaving one set up to run and gun, and one for tripod.
  • The built in flash rattles and feels a little loose –this is a build quality issue.

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Occluded observation (a few limited edition Ultraprints remain)

What does bother me is the relatively minor nature of most of these improvements and the changes between D800/E and D810 – surely a lot of these things would have been ironed out with a little real-world testing time. Either they’re not hiring photographers, the photographers aren’t doing their jobs, management isn’t listening, or they just want to have an intermediate generation because we’ll be frustrated enough and invested enough to buy it. At least third parties have stepped up to the plate to solve the lens challenge – the Otuses are obviously the stars, but there are some capable zooms, and if you want AF, Sigma’s Art series has you covered. Aside from those actually relatively minor things, it’s probably the best all-round camera you can buy right now. And as mine rolls over the 25,000 mark, I’m still not really tempted by anything else out there. I do admit to some curiosity about the 5DSR, but it depends on whether the camera can match the D810 on dynamic range. No doubt Nikon has some competition up its sleeve. I suppose the real acknowledgement is that the D810 has now become the first thing I reach for. MT

The Nikon D810 is available here from B&H and Amazon.

The selection of images in this article is somewhat random – but represents some of my favourite D810 images shot in the last 9 months.


Images from this article are available as Ultraprints on request here


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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. calebcourteau says:

    I just discovered your website and am devouring your camera reviews. You have a very personal and refreshing style of writing that beautifully expresses the synergy between tool and artist while deftly avoiding the muck of specs, graphs, and all that detritus that accompanies most camera reviews. Your reviews don’t just fan the flames of my desire for competent cameras, they inspire me to think more deeply about why we bother using them in the first place. In other words, your camera reviews make me think about photography as much as the camera itself. Quite some talent you have, both through the viewfinder and through the pen.

    • Thanks! Most of the time I write about things that contribute to making better images: philosophy, psychology, technique; not so much gear. Or images themselves. I think there needs to be more distinction between camera collectors and actual photographers… 😛

  2. Finally, I got one! Sold all my Canon and starting fresh with the D810. I want to grow with this camera. I think even at this current moment it’s still the benchmark. So now I have zero lens and I want to start with an okay line of AF lenses. Since budget is not that deep I will use my GR for my wides and get a 50/1.8 G lens as my first lens (I’m a 50mm guy) or should I save up more for the Sigma 50/1.4? Thanks!

  3. Luis Cunha says:

    Hi Ming, back In March 2015 you wrote:
    “Nothing is perfect, though, and I leave with a list of things I’d like to see in the next generation”.
    In the space of two years, has any of those software corrections been solved via firmware upgrade? If so, which ones? I am not Nikon user (for now .-) so I am not aware. Thank you.

  4. Excellent review. Though I’d already bought an D810 via a D700 and then D600. I think ergonomics are really important and Nikon gets this more than canon, especially in the so-called “pro-sumer” bodies. However after I sold my D700 to embrace mega-pixel madness I really felt let down by the D600, which although in terms of image quality was quite likeable, was simply not in the league of the D700, which invited me to use it anytime, anywhere, to experiment with anything. Now with the D810 I feel more at home, although the resolution is too much and imposes much discipline (as you say in your review), and certainly closer in feel to the D700, one of the main reasons why I held off on the D800. Still I wonder about all this resolution that we’re given (or forced to adopt). I’d be quite happy with a D700 with a sensor with no OLPF and the software upgrades in the newer cameras, á-la Sony 7 12mp camera.. I think there’s room for that, essentially a D4/D5 in a smaller more manageable body, leaving this D810 to it’s almost MF spot. Although anyone who has to print larger than A2 may disagree, I challenge most DSLR users to print even A3 with a 12mp and say that it’s not enough. Yes, cropping ability in post, yes, DX shooting in the field with faster frame rate, yes that wonderful ability to zoom in endlessly and see the hairs of a buffalo at a 1000 paces.. But that’s our intrinsic desire for detail, and to 90% of us in 90% of the cases doesn’t improve our printed output. Sure professionals shooting commercial work will need it, I don’t deny so I believe there’s a place for this D810.. But even for those shooters, having a lighter (in the sense of megapixels) camera with a smaller image might be the ticket. I really enjoy my D810, miles better than the D600, but not more than my D700 and the images in low-light I’ve shot with the latter still look “better” than my D810. Nothing to detract from your wonderfully detailed review Ming, and to echo all the other comments, really REALLY nice pictures in your article. Thankfully no blank walls!

    • The 600 wasn’t really a replacement for the 700 – it was more of a cheaper entry into FF with an updated sensor, though arguably a used 700 may be a better buy all round. The 810 isn’t really a replacement for the 700, either – I suppose that’s the 750.

  5. Great write up Ming. I currently shoot with a D800. I’m looking to upgrade my lenses and body, but at diffetent times. Its a cost thing. I do mainly landscape work. Also getting into n8ghtime sky/star and Milky Way photography as well. Im looking at several of the Zeiss lenses. The Distagon 2.8/15, Milvus 1.4/50 and 2/100 macro. Also looking at the Nik9n 70-200/4. What other focal length and lense lines should i look at? I have also been looking hard at the D810. However, with the recent talks of a new version/replacement looming for the 810, is the 810 worth the upgrade now or woud I benefit more by waiting on the next model?

    • Please see my reply to you in the other post. I will add the caveat that it’s impossible to make a firm recommendation because you can shoot any subject with any perspective…

      If you’re doing a lot of astrophotographers the D810a might be useful, though you will need UVIR cut filters for accurate color otherwise in daylight. As for future products…you can waste time speculating now, or making photographs with the most of what’s available now. I prefer the latter 🙂

  6. I recently started shooting with nikon d810, as I have been a long time canon shooter. And while I have greatly appreciated the improved dynamic range, I have noticed that the d810 (at least with my limited experience in the last 5 months), seems to be less efficient in focusing in low light situation (including live view) than my 5D III. And the live view is much brighter in the canon than the nikon. Anyone else have a similar experience?

    • Nikon LV has two modes – exposure preview and auto gain. You have to press OK (from memory) to switch between the two. As for low light acquisition – it depends on lenses. I find the Nikons slower than the 5DSR but somewhat more accurate in low light.

  7. Very nice, Thank You

  8. Robert Estiandan says:

    Hello Mr. Thein,

    Fantastic long-term review! Enjoyed a great read!

    I’m thinking of jumping ship to Nikon. I’m a Canon shooter for more than a decade (ever since the 5D 1st gen. came out) and today, I had an opportunity to test drive the D810 for a couple of hours. I think I found the missing ingredient. Dynamic range…I am sold! You are spot-on on your review. It only adds insult to injury….haha! This camera is enough to justify to switch to Nikon. The only reason I am still using Canon is because of one lens…135mm f/2L. I’ve owned few full frame cameras from Canon (5D, 5DII, 5DIII, 1DX and 6D) and none of them have evolved to where the D810 is at today. My plan is to have the D810 w/24-120mm, Otus 85, and Ricoh GR (for everyday snaps). I think that works! For now. 😉

  9. Has the Sony A7Rii changed your preferences? Are you still grabing the 810 first? What about the 645z will you ditch it for the A7Rii?

    • I sold the 645Z some time back because we needed to buy a larger house after the birth of our first child. I still prefer the D810 for critical work.

  10. Hi Ming
    I enjoy reading your reviews which are detailed and easy to understand.
    I have been using D600 after reading raving reviews at your blog and been enjoying it very much. The other day I got the chance to look at the pictures shot with Sony A7r and really liked the details a sensor without low pass filter provides.

    I am very much interested in buying D810 for the same reason but had concerns around camera shake. Since majority of my shots are taken hand held it is very important for me to find out if D810 can be hand held without blurring the pictures. Please share your views.

    • Impossible to say without knowing your technique or lenses. I can hand hold it without blurring, but obviously not at 1/5s or something like that, and not if you don’t have a stable platform or good shot discipline.

  11. Stephan says:

    Well Ming, by the end of March I wrote that I was intrigued by the D810 because of your review. What should I say… I took the plunge and upgraded from my D750 to the D810. I wasn’t let down. The image quality is nothing short of stellar and the camera feels well refined after the D800E I used to own a while ago, especially when it comes to smooth operation. Everything feels more fluid, the menues, playback etc.

    But I found a peculiarity after the first couple of pictures I shot: in the image playback focus always looked like I nailed it and that was with 100% magnification and a display loupe. I was very surprised after I opened the results in Lightroom, that pictures that were virtually indistinguishable in the camera playback had noticable differences in sharpness on my computer screen. It’s what makes the difference between tack sharp and slightly off.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if all my recent cameras behaved that way but with the D810 “slightly off” looks bad on a computer screen whereas with the D750 I might have said “Well, slightly off, but still OK”.

    Do your observations concur with mine and if so: What do you do to work around this issue?

    • Stephan says:

      OK, I found the mistake myself. In zoomed in image playback the camera shows “names” like 101-4, 101-5 and so on. I thought the .NEF files had the same numbers but since I already deleted some images from the memory card the numbers vary.

      Now that I am looking at the correct images in camera playback I can see the differences in sharpness, too. But still I can only see them if I have a tack sharp image as reference. If I hadn’t it would be quite hard to tell difference between sharp and slightly off. That’s a bit disappointing because I don’t want to shoot 10 pictures every time and hope that I nailed focus with one of them.

    • Good to hear. What you’re seeing is probably a difference between your default ACR raw settings and your JPEG settings (responsible for in-camera playback/preview). I would be surprised if it’s anything else – I use playback as a guide only, everything else is going to be reprofiled anyway. It’s also possible that your focus or camera shake is slightly off and aggressive JPEG/ picture control sharpening is hiding that. Sounds like a software/conversion issue more than anything (highly unlikely to be hardware). In general: if it looks sharp on camera, it’s sharp on screen for me.

      • Stephan says:

        Thank you for your thoughts on that issue. I use “Sharpening: 5” which is the standard setting I believe.

        I think after a little getting used to I can tell the difference with a display loupe and without a sharp picture for reference. Do you also use a loupe for image review because without one I find it much harder to check for correct focus.

        And one last question: I am a bit disappointed that the phase detection AF seems to have slightly missed 2/3 of the time. I shot with the AF-S 70-200/4 VR at more than 100m distance wide open so the depth of field should have been sufficient and there definitely was enough light (2 hours before dusk). Is it really necessary to use contrast based AF in live view in order to nail the focus? I know that phase detection AF is not as precise as contrast based AF but I thought with enough depth of field it would be fine.
        I just want to know if I have to send my D810 to Nikon or if phase detection AF just can not do better.

        • I have mine set to 9 because it carries through to LV and allows easier differentiation of critical focus.

          You will probably need to do some AF fine tune. But note that all lenses – Nikon and Canon – with direct DC motors (AFS, SWM, USM) still have some backlash when changing direction. You will find that the focus point when approaching from the near limit or from infinity is slightly different; it wasn’t noticeable until the current generation.

          • Stephan says:

            Ok, thanks. So it’s probably best to fine tune the lenses for approaching the focus from either the near limit or from infinity and to manually focus slightly in that direction before using the phase AF.
            Interesting what one has to keep in mind with such a MP count. I guess the reason why I haven’t really noticed all that with the D800E is that I mostly used manual lenses with LV from a tripod back then. And with the bigger pixel pitch and the AA filter from the D750 it didn’t seem to be that much of an issue.

            • The more resolution you have, the harder it is to deploy all of it. Most people either never figure this out, or figure it out the hard way – and you may well find that most of the time, if you can only get 90% of the required ducks in line – you may well be better off perceptually with fewer pixels.

              • Stephan says:

                Now I’ve spent the last two hours fine tuning my lenses with a Spyder LensCal. It’s almost impossible to do it right as the focus varies with the distance and especially with the aperture. I know about focus shift but I didn’t expect it to have such a huge impact, especially with my AF-S 28/1.8 G and AF-S 50/1.8 G primes. But even the relatively slow AF-S 70-200/4 VR exhibits some focus shift.

                The conclusion can only be to use live view and manual focus or contrast detect autofocus whenever it is possible. Good that I shoot mostly static subjects anyway 🙂

                • Sadly, this is always going to be the case with current optics and AF systems. You’re going to need a LCD magnifier and Otus-class lenses before these problems go away. Funny thing is when you count only the pixel-perfect images, then the hit rate with MF is much higher than AF because of all the issues you encountered.

                • Indeed, you have to use Spyder Lenscal correctly: Lowest Aperture number and widest focus possible. Furthermore, ensure that your camera chip is parallel to the lenscal. That worked great on my two bodies. 😉

  12. Rex Gigout says:

    Thanks for this review. It helps me, as I consider adding a high-resolution body Nikon body, and if so, whether to buy a Nikon-refurbished D800e, or a new D810. (My current Nikon digital cameras are D700 and Coolpix A, and I have limited access to my wife’s D7000 and Df bodies.) A D800e would, probably, live on a tripod, whereas a D810 would, it seems, be the better choice for a general-purpose camera. Either way, I would probably keep using my D700 bodies.

    Thanks, again!


  13. Arnaud Dubanchet says:

    Thanks for this great review.
    Your comment “D810 has the most accurate native color I’ve seen from a DSLR so far” interests me as I have always had concerns with the color rendition of my D800 that I find to yellow/greenish. In fact it would be the only reason that could make me switch to D810.
    Did you specifically compare D800/800E and D810 on this point?
    Thanks a lot.

    • Well, I’ve shot about 80k frames on two D800Es and 25k on my D810, often side by side, so I’d say the observations are probably about as close a comparison as you’re going to get. However, I don’t see the casts you do – perhaps because my cameras are all profiled. What I do find is that the D810 required much less hue/saturation/luminance shifting than the D800E to hit neutral, and in some of the highlight tones, the D800E cannot actually hit neutral at all.

      • Arnaud Dubanchet says:

        Thanks for the quick reply! When you speak about profiling your DSLR, I guess you mean adjusting hue/saturation/white balance, etc. on the DSLR menus? Regarding the yellow/green cast (maybe it is my DSLR as it was an early batch), whatever adjustment of the white balance I do, it is not as it used to be on a D700, D300, needing sometimes some tweaking but usually for outdoors pictures fine just out of the camera. As far as I understand you, you don’t have this white balance issue with the D810, but again I have the feeling it comes from my DSLR even if Nikon never acknowledged it.

        • No, I mean photographing a known color chart and then creating a default HSL adjustment profile that is applied by ACR to every raw file you open. You only have to do it once for any camera, but it is critical for getting perfect color. I cover this and color management workflow in much greater detail in Photoshop Workflow II.

          • Arnaud Dubanchet says:

            OK, thanks!

          • Sorry I am a little late to the game. I have been shooting a D3s for quite a while and purchased a D810 about 6 months ago. There is no comparison here. The D3s blows the D810 out of the water. If I use the AWB setting on my D810, then I might as well just prep myself for some major disappointment when it comes to my workflow. When I snap a photo with my D3s I can assume that 99/100 times the color will be PERFECT. With the D810 it’s more like 10/100 that the color will be right.

            Should I just accept this as the reality of my purchase or is there something I can do to correct this horrible inaccuracy that causes me to dream of throwing my D810 out of a speeding car? Please, Please Please help me!

  14. Michiel953 says:

    Great and informative review Ming! Two questions.

    First, is this more than “rational love”, as per your D800E? I’m a D800E user, and kind of love the camera for its abilities and its peculiarities, but also get frustrated by it every now and then. Yes, a better grip, better AF, quieter shutter/mirror and slightly brighter viewfinder all come in handy, but these are all incremental improvements rather than jumps.

    Second question: the difference between the two in sensor response (linear vs non-linear) really comes down to some loss in “speed”, doesn’t it? The 800E allows you or rather wants you to underexpose up to a stop in many situations while the 810 deosn’t. Do you agree?



    • I feel more connected to the 810 than I did to the 800E; I feel the 800E keeps you on your toes and you have to check what it’s doing especially AF-wise. Less so with the D810, and 51-point 3D tracking is usable again. Yes, again the sensor gains cost you a bit of speed. I keep the 800E around for low light work, but it’s not exactly great there owing to the AF…and we go around in circles again: there is simply no perfect camera. 🙂

      • Michiel953 says:

        Thanks Ming! A “perfect” camera. Sounds boring.

        • Well, the forums and review sites would go all out of business…

          • Michile953 says:

            And then where would we be? Anyways. Another question.

            I’m sure you have had your 800E body checked for AF accuracy (“within spec”), left AF points and all, and fine tuned the body to all lenses you use on that body. And still you find the AF unreliable?

            I still find it a mesmerizing camera, because it can do so much (and fail so often, ha ha). A real challenge. The 810 certainly appears to be closer to “perfect”, but last summer I decided to save 400 eur for budget reasons (trading in my 800), so there you are.

            • Yes, even after fine tuning and recalibration etc. it’s still just not as accurate as the D810. It’s the difference between second guessing and trust, I suppose…a bit like wondering if he fired five shots or six and if you’re feeling lucky* 🙂

              *Cinematic reference.

  15. Great review and pictures as always Ming.
    Now I am intrigued by the “natural look” of the D810. To be honest: I don’t have time and nerves to calibrate every camera (I only calibrate my Screen twice per year) and find the optimal curve for a natural highlight rolloff.

    So do you think under that circumstances it would be a good idea to take the plunge and replace my D750 with a D810? Or in other words: Is the D750 really that much worse when it comes to color accuracy and highlight rolloff?
    I don’t need the resolution of the D810 otherwise it would be a nobrainer. But I rarely print larger than 20×30 inches and even then 24 MP are more than enough at a reasonable viewing distance.

  16. I came for the D810 review, and stayed for the WONDERFUL photos of Chicago! I’ve seen lots of great photos of that city, but yours are a step above, and I mean that with all sincerity.

    As to your review, you’ve touched on a chord that I believe resonates with a host of Nikon faithful in that while their products can make some outstanding images, there are certain things about the cameras themselves in terms of controls and features that makes you scratch your head and ask “What were they thinking???” I know Thom Hogan of bythom.com has made a living out of this sort of thing, but I do wish Nikon (and some of the other camera companies) would find a way to interact with their pro and semi-pro users in a more positive fashion to improve their cameras.

    But thank you for this long-term review! It seems Nikon has certainly done a lot of things right with the D810, and we can always hope they improve things even more when the D820 comes out.

  17. Ming-what picture control choice (flat, neutral, etc) and settings (ie contrast, clarity and sharpening) would you recommend for the D810 in an attempt to make the histogram most closely represent the RAW data ie try to create as closely as possible a RAW histogram? Thank you for your thoughts and for a great review.

    • Neutral, low contrast, neutral clarity (clarity adjustment is a local effect that can make a mess of the histogram), high sharpening (to check focus, doesn’t affect histogram). Flat appears to have a nonlinear tonal response that reflects colours inaccurately.

  18. Thanks for your thorough review on the D810.
    Since I have just manual focus lenses and I am going to add the Zeiss 135mm APO to my arsenal, autofocus performance wouldn’t be a deciding factor for me so a used D800E and the Zacuto Z-Finder could be a good combo for me but I’ve heard that 1:1 zoom in live view would be terrible on this camera. Do I really need to magnify the live view or the Zacuto 2.5x magnification is enough for accurate manual focus? If the D800E live view is a real deal breaker, is the D810+Zacuto combo good enough or I’d better wait for the rumored Sony A7RII?

    • LV with the D810 is definitely better and more usable/fluid than the D800E. The Zacuto only adds stability for the D800E, not any extra magnification.

  19. Thanks Ming. Great Review. Always appreciate your technical reviews

    Note that there is a typo in the following paragraph “alck” and no need to display this comment

    “That said, VR helps immensely with shooting envelope – so there are actually situations in which I’d prefer to use the zoom simply because I know I won’t be able to achieve better results from alck of stability or shutter speed. Here, I liked the 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/4 VR and 80-400/4.5-5.6 VR G. Regardless, it’s pretty punishing of poor shot discipline.”

  20. Lucy march says:

    Count me as a fan of Cold Forest I, Recession and Untitiled Inversion. Though it is now oficially spring, temperatures in the 30s are forcing me to appreciate my own cold forests!
    For those also in NYC, I highly recommend the Marc Riboud exhibit at the Rueben Museaum, a retrospective of his work in Asia during the 1950s. It’s a great reminder of what kind of work can be done without all the bells and whistles of current technology.

  21. I love the D810, mostly for ergonomic and auto white balance reasons. I find that some of the Mamiya 645 lenses with an F mount adapter perform beautifully. Yes, very sharp but also beautifully rendered out of focus areas. The 80 standard and the 150 in particular are beautiful. I also use the D4 and tend to take that for indoor work. I think the crossover in quality between the 2 cameras hand held at weddings seems to be around the ISO 400 mark. Above ISO400, I’ll prefer the heavier D4.

    • If you downsize the D810, you’ll probably find it outperforms the D4 above ISO 400 too – I did, and sold my D4…

      • I did downsize the D810 to match the D4. The D4’s extra mass may help with a slightly steadier handheld shot. The extra DR of the D810 disappears pretty quickly as we up the ISO. Perhaps a Tripod and allowing a higher exposure on the D810 would equalise the pictures. In day to day wedding work, the D4 is the first choice once the light starts to dim. I love the D810 and think there is a better wedding camera with a different sensor inside it.

        • That may well be the case; I found the difference in practice to not justify keeping around a second body – but my work biases towards optimal or tripod conditions more than run and gun…

  22. Ming,

    How are you able to ascertain that the D810’s additional highlight headroom is a function of the sensor and not a function of metering differences nor differences in how ACR renders the files from both cameras?

    • Shoot the same scene with the D800E, with the same metering settings and picture controls (affects preview histogram, which is derived from jpeg). The D810 will show some additional highlight room in its on-camera histogram. And this carries through to ACR – you cannot push the D800E as far before it starts clipping irretrievably. It may well be a bit of both camera and ACR interaction though – there’s no easy way to tell.

      • Thanks Ming. If you ever have the opportunity to shoot the same scene with both bodies and can share the resulting NEFs I’d be happy to examine them and report back. Ideally both bodies should use the same lens, preferably one with a manual aperture ring like a Zeiss so that the identical physical aperture can be assured – the aperture lever on Nikon bodies is prone to calibration differences.

  23. Heinrich says:

    Thanks for another excellent article & sharing your superb works of course ;)!
    Love the clarity and transparency of the files!
    The D810 and Otussi combo showing their class-leading capabilities/outstanding features here if used appropriately…

    And it has to be said the B&Ws coming close to the B&W files of the GR… 😉 ;)!

    PS: By the way Ming, I think your thoughts/experience with the Nikkor 20 1.8 lens used on the D810 in a short five minute article would be really welcomed by a lot of readers, if it is optically better performing on the D810 than your sold Nikkor 28 1.8 etc. (lot of people struggle to choose between Nikon 20 1.8 vs. upcoming Sigma 24 1.4 Art….)

    • I am embarrassed to admit that whilst I’ve bought it (20/1.8), I haven’t had a chance to properly shoot with it yet…just the kind of brick wall testing that really doesn’t say very much other than whether your sample is defective or not.

      • If it’s worth anything DXOmark gave the Nikon 20mm f1.8 33 points on a D810 where as the previous king the Zeiss Distagon 21mm f2.8 got 25 on a D800. I have both lenses and just the fact the Nikon is faster, AF comes as a bonus. And then there’s the price to consider too.

        I can’t report on differences between them since my Zeiss is for Canon and I don’t own a Canon body.

        • I honestly thought the Distagon has a nicer rendering, but that said I haven’t used the 20mm enough – and I think it’d be much easier to deploy most of the 20mm’s potential because of AF as you say…

  24. Daft question – can you alter the histogram blinkie points like you can on an OM-D?

  25. Martin Fritter says:

    Outstanding piece of journalism. Exceptionally thoughtful and considered. Very clear. Excellent sample shots. Brings out the best in you on a number of levels. Thanks for all your hard work and please keep it up!

  26. Lunar Balance is really stunning. Great job.

    It would be interesting to see if anyone does a three-way comparison between the D810, Pentax 645Z and the EOS 5DSR down the line. I’m not in the market for these sort of cameras, but pixel peeping can be fun sometimes(even though it all comes down to the quality of the image taken)

    • Thanks. I think it’d take a person with a) a lot of experience with all three systems, b) deep pockets, c) the right lens sets and d) the shoulders of a mule, which rules me out.

  27. btw that “cold forest” shot is primo. stunning combo of tones/detail.

  28. Many thanks indeed for this work, Ming: as you say, these kinds of review are quite rare, and all the more valuable for that. As a D800E shooter, I share your closing frustrations about Nikon product iterations, from the other side of the fence, esp. re. the lack of electronics with the shutter in the E. I won’t be able to upgrade again for another year and a half, and it will be interesting to see how things have changed again by then. At least I’ll be well practised in shot-discipline…

  29. I found quite a few differences personally, but then I think it was because I have a D800 and not a D800E. The D810 has more accurate colour, the LiveView is a serious improvement and the 64 ISO option is massively appreciated. Front shutter curtain: big fan. Things I don’t like: they moved the BKT button, they took away the metering dial and stuck it in a place where it’s annoying, replacing the BKT button on the top left dial where I am always grabbing it by reflex. But, I think it’s overall a big improvement and was well worth the cash.

    • Pixel acuity is the only difference between 800 and 800E as a result of the differing AA filters, so all of the other points apply. You’d probably see more of an image quality gain coming from an 800 though.

  30. You shoot the D810 but still own and use the Pentax 645z right ? Can you tell me what the Pentax is doing better or why you prefer shooting it occasionally ? I am much interested in the Pentax but i wonder if it is worth the extra money and the things you give up like fast AF or AFC. No doubt the Nikon is the more versatile system in my mind but i am shooting architecture and landscape mainly and i am very picky then it comes to image quality. And i like to print big. Thanks.

    • I sold the 645Z because the economic realities of being a photographer mean some compromises are required when you have to buy a house, and it just cost too much for me to have a backup body (critical for assignment work).

      AF is fast and AFC will track, so you’re not missing out there.

      • I totally understand that and this is true for me as well. That is why i asked what reason there would be to go with the pentax.

  31. Ron Scubadiver says:

    Great write up. [Paragraph #2, do you mean former or latter?]

    • Former – sorry, my bad.

      • Ron Scubadiver says:

        You make the D810 sound delightful, but I don’t shoot from a tripod or own Otus glass. OTOH, I use a 24-120 f/4 vr a lot. I thought about buying a small camera, but think it isn’t for me. Right now I only have a D800. If it breaks on a trip, I am SOL or shooting from a mobile phone.

        • Yes and no; I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t need the resolution.

          • Ron Scubadiver says:

            The D750 offers less mass, but not as much cropping is possible. My D800 has 23,000 clicks, just getting broken in.

            • Mass is not a bad thing for stability. I went to 25k on one D800E body and the other has about 70k and is still going. Heavy use considering most of those 70k were on a tripod or in a studio situation…

              • Ron Scubadiver says:

                Tripods can be hard on a camera frame, which is why an L bracket is a valuable piece of gear. There are reports of D800 frames breaking from tripod stress.

  32. I always enjoy your reviews Ming, even when I have no interest in the camera. As I read, I couldn’t help but feel that the 810 is a dino-cam, soon to be referred to as a survivor from the DSLR age. Without features like a hi-res EVF, reliable focus peaking, in-body image stabilization and perhaps even some new tech like sensor shift, the thing just feels archaic and esoteric and HUGE. I would only use it with the Otis collection on a tripod, it just doesn’t inspire me at all. That said, I can certainly understand your shift away from mirrorless as you dove headlong into the hi-res, hi-megapixel pond. Selling my first 1500 ultra-print would have most likely had a similar effect me as well 😉

  33. Hi Ming how would the 50/1.2 ais perform on this I wonder. Does 810 offer anything special for manual focussing?

    • Poorly, and unfortunately not. The newer options are better because the 50/1.2 simply does not have the resolving power necessary to keep up with the sensor unless heavily stopped down – then you might as well save some money and gain AF with the 50/1.8G.

  34. Thanks Ming for taking your time and share your thoughts.

    Seems you have just read my mind about the 810 which you time back pointed out could become my new friend. Coming from the near perfect D750 lately my experience with the 810 is it ‘can’ dig that notch deeper into reality than any other FF camera given the adequate shooting discipline.
    I was so frustrated in the beginning because my handheld shots in so and so light came out shaken and blurred or turned out robbed optimal DR and colors due to early auto ISO kick in and so on, image stabilized lenses really does save my dinner since I regard a sharp image better than an ultra high transparency recording. It is just then liberating to know should there be enough light for ISO 64 and relative fast shutter speeds my ART primes comes into play, or if bright light is not the case and I still want pin sharp images, then a good stable tripod and LV MU EFC/3sec just kick out truly impressive files.

    Now after some 3000 shots with the 810 I am about to say it became more a friend rather than an enemy and I really have to thank you for the advices you have given before this article came out. Without those the 810 would have been tossed right out of the window.

  35. Richard Southgate says:

    A very interesting read Ming, thanks. Long-term tests seem to be rare in the photography world, although quite common in other fields. They are perhaps the most relevant of reviews in many ways. Like others, I tried the D750 as a replacement for my D700. The 750 is undoubtedly a great camera, but somehow it just didn’t feel right ion my hands. This is important to me. The D700 has been my workhorse for a number of years, and from the moment I picked one up it just felt right. Size, weight, button position, build quality. I guess haptics are key here. Conversely, having ruled the D810 out initially, mainly due to its high resolution and the associated need for stricter shot discipline, I went back and borrowed one for a day. For me at least, the 810 ‘feels’ like what I want from a successor to my D700. The results I got were nothing short of stunning, clearly a very significant step up over my 700. Perhaps my shot discipline is better than I gave myself credit for. I really wanted to like the D750, but it wasn’t for me in the end. I went out and ordered a D810 yesterday, so your long-term review is very timely. Thanks again, Rich

    • It may be because are obsessed with he next best thing. This creates a pervasively bad cycle: you land up with superficial reviews from people who don’t bother to learn the camera and how to get the best out of it. Having just rolled over 20k shots under just about every condition…I think I’ve probably out it through its paces. Enjoy your camera!

  36. Ming, thank you for another great article. I often shoot with MF (non CCD) but also own a D810 and find that the 810 comes the closest in quality to my MF. My experiences have been nothing short of spectacular with the 810 for most tasks at hand and I could relate to your findings. Additionally, I appreciate your comment about the need to pay attention to one’s shooting techniques when using the 810… I concur it does best on a tripod with lots of attention to shooting details. Lastly, in my opinion, your composition is solid — even to a point of making me envious at times. You always manage to take even the most mundane subject or building and make it interesting. Couple that with your mastery of technical technique (sharpness, exposure, DR…), and most images are brilliant. Far better than the images I see by so many other reviewers. Keep up the great work and thank you for taking the time to share your findings with your fellow photographers.

  37. For the amateur it’s still a tough decisionbetween the d750 and d810. I’ve seen what you can get out of the D810 and once seen its very hard to go back. But shot discipline is no joke which favours the d750.

    But again, the files are amazing… (oh, good write up too!)

    • A decision I just faced, and after lots of waffling I ordered the D750. Many of the cons/negatives (of both cameras) that forum monkeys like to gripe about are mostly irrelevant. Ming’s ‘casual’ review of the D750 summed up my needs rather nicely, I think — it’s just enough of everything to be a more complete package for my style of shooting.

      As always, I came back to the 810’s mp, and I would always push back thinking how often I’d ever print above 20×30 (or try something demanding like an ultraprint). And the 24 vs 36 continually tripped me up, even though the 810 is really only (iirc) 22% more mp. The cropability and resolution on paper wasn’t enough to sway me (in practice though… sigh, I guess I’ll never know 🙂

      I’m tickled to be a new D750 owner in a few days. I’ve accepted what I gave up, and I think I ticked more boxes for my own personal shooting envelope. For my run-and-gun style of heading into a dark, empty church and shooting iconography, and then heading out into the bright afternoon sun and finding something that catches my fancy… I think the D750 is going to be glued to my hand much like my D90 was!

    • 🙂

    • Speaking as a D810 and D750 owner, the truth is you’ll get higher resolution results from the D810 for any purpose at or below ISO 1600. The reasons to get the D750 are size/weight, high ISO, FPS, articulated screen and wifi. Of the two, the D750 is the camera I would sell at a push. The D810 amazes in a way that’s extremely compelling

      • sgoldswo, from what I’ve gleaned, your comments are spot on. My D750 was delivered today and couldn’t be happier. I may travel to Mongolia next year, and it would be terrible if I had to save for a D810! 🙂

  38. Some really superb pictures illustrating your article (Rio Pearl by night is fascinating !).

    I’m tempted by the D810 but the biggest showstopper for me is the wide angle T/S option. I’ve compared the Leica S 24mm against the Canon 24mm TS mkII. There’s a huge IQ difference in the borders and corners in favor of the S 24mm. In the end I get better results with the S24 + software keystone correction than with the Canon 24mm without correction (used on a Sony A7r).
    The Nikon 24mm TS is less celebrated for its IQ, some even call it a bitch… due to its challenging focussing.
    Considering your ‘master’ level in architecture photography I wonder how you deal with the D810 + 24mm TS IQ for large prints (say 40 inch wide) ? Are you satisfied enough by this combo ?

    As the OVF of the D810, although better than the Canon 5DS (compared during a trade show), is considerabily worse than the one of the Leica S (better clarity, contrast, colors), I would also favor the use of an EVF with zoom options for manual focussing.
    A tilt LCD would be great indeed.
    Some points to address and the next Nikon D810 would be irresistible I think.

    Kuddos for your work,
    All the best,


    • Thanks. The 24PCE is a difficult lens to use because of field curvature and focus shift. Master it’s peculiarities – f4 and f11 are optimal – and it’s actually pretty good. I was initially on the fence but after some time with it, I think it’s not bad…

      • I just recently picked up this lens. Do you mean to shoot between f4 and f11, or is there something unique about those two apertures? Wonderful site, by the way!

        • No, f4 OR f11. By f11 DOF has overcome field curvature and focus shift so that what you see is reasonably accurate and you don’t have a strange bowl-shaped DOF plane. Between, it’s possible to get things in the near foreground in focus at the edges but the centre area will only be in focus near infinity. F4 appears to be flatter.

          • Thank you. You have just saved me a lot of time and headache. I’m sure I’ll experiment for myself, but at least I will be able to understand what is happening when certain parts of the image are out of focus. I’m really liking the various elements of light and color in Occluded Observation.

  39. Ming,

    I never thought I would say that, but many of those above photographs are missing composition. The light is good though.
    It is eerily like watching some B-Rolls from a master…I don’t know what to make of it.

  40. I believe, that the best times of the two big camera manufacturer are over. Behind the curtains, they are working very hard on the new technologies called “mirrorless”! Not, that the photographer needs it, but the new technologies are more profitable and faster for technical upgrades. That’s my opinion!

    • Well, it’s certainly about time something changes. I doubt they’re working on anything other than cramming more pixels in though – innovation is not the way of the big two…

      • Ming, I agree, more pixels are lot cheaper, as changing the whole row of lenses to improve the present optical qualities! If people with their new 50MP cameras are enlarging the images over 100% on the monitors, they will start crying and have tears in their eyes, about the optical quality of their glasses.
        To my opinion, the Zeiss OTUS lenses have already the optical qualties for the digital future!

      • Agreed! An EVF option on the D810 for example…

  41. Interesting read, and very similar to my own experiences. The D810 has replaced all my cameras for most uses. It’s that versatile. Mirrorless is gone, the D300 and D2Xs that I used for motorsports are gathering dust, and the D700 is only being used for family outings and action shots at night. It’s the most versatile camera I’ve used since I went digital years ago.

  42. Bruce Hansen says:

    Ming, I had the 800 and wasn’t going to upgrade,but I started to notice some the the left focusing issues. I contacted Nikon. They said I was out of warranty and would charge around 450 to repair it. I went to my Nikon dealer. They offered me almost as much on trade that people were getting off E-bay. I went for it and glad I did. I’ve never had to fine tune any of my lenses, and push the auto ISO to 6400, no worries. I’m just finishing up a 6 week tour of New Zealand and Australia. Keep up the good work.

  43. Great Read Ming! Any thoughts as to running with 50/1.8G?

    • It’s a compromise all around simply for size. Optics are so-so and it exhibits focus shift, field curvature and soft edges. Best used at f2.8 upwards. Center is okay at f1.8 though.

    • Peter Boender says:

      Hey Eric! I have the 50/1.8G, primarily to couple with my D750 (which makes for a very nice run and gun package). Going through some reviews prior to purchase, some of them even put the optical qualities of the 50/1.8G above the 50/1.4G. My experience? I’m somewhat underwhelmed… Like MT says, optics are so-so. It’s a rather soft lens. I guess we get what we pay for… Optically, I have the Sigma 50 Art on the shopping list (I’d like AF), but that’s a big lens. Some time ago, we had an exchange of ideas (off site) about a current optimal camera w/AF-50 combo. We couldn’t come up with one… Compromises all over…

  44. Good thoughts!
    Having now shot with it for some time I could not agree more re the histogram more accurately reflecting the Raw file. I would really appreciate that..
    I also wish that both live view and zooming all the way in while reviewing images were rendered in higher quality on the screen so I could be 100% sure of sharpness in the field at night. I can be pretty sure what’s what before loading the files into the computer but I’d like even better.
    Other than that…between the electronic front curtain, physical shutter damping, improved AF, and all around impressive nature of the sensor it’s great. I’ve never felt less of a need for invasive editing, HDR, etc because of the quality of the files.
    Looking forward to putting some of that Art line glass to see how much farther that can push things.
    Side points: by all indications the new high res Canons seem to have (obviously) slightly higher resolution but the same inferior DR as the 5Dmk2, etc.


  1. […] at nearly full capacity even if one or more bits of hardware fail. An example of this might be a D810/24-120VR as primary, with a D800E and 50/1.8G as backup. This becomes harder if there are no […]

  2. […] admit there are tradeoffs, and sometimes it isn’t the best tool for the job. I could use my D810 and a fast prime or the 24-120/4 VR Swiss Army knife, but what I think of as the overall […]

  3. […] H5D-50c and the 35-90mm and 24mm when on-site or in places where I had setup time; otherwise, the Nikon D810, 24-120/4 VR and 24/3.5 PCE when I had to run and gun. There was quite a bit of the latter – […]

  4. […] greater detail (and probably more than most readers would want to know). Images were shot with a D810, 85 PCE and speedlights, and processed with Photoshop/LR Workflow III. I cover the basics of watch […]

  5. […] (1); 501CM/CFV-50c (1); H5D-50c (23); H6D-50c (3); Sony A7RII (1); iPhone 6+ (1); Leica Q (1); D810 (1). The only absentee camera I used but had no representation was the Canon 100D, which was mostly […]

  6. […] series was shot with a Leica Q, Nikon D810 and Zeiss 28 Otus, 180 APO-Lanthar, Sony A7RII and Zeiss 85 Batis. You can also look over my […]

  7. […] series was shot with a Leica Q 116, D810/ Zeiss Otus 28, A7RII and Zeiss Batis 85 and post processed with PS Workflow II. You can also […]

  8. […] series was shot with a Leica Q, D810/ Zeiss 28 Otus, A7RII/ Zeiss 85 Batis and processed with Photoshop Workflow II. You can also look […]

  9. […] clouds and light. Enjoy! MTThis series was shot with a variety of equipment (Leica Q, Sony A7RII, Nikon D810, Zeiss Otus 1.4/28 APO) and processed with Photoshop Workflow II, or The Monochrome […]

  10. […] clouds and light. Enjoy! MT This series was shot with a variety of equipment (Leica Q, Sony A7RII, Nikon D810, Zeiss Otus 1.4/28 APO) and processed with Photoshop Workflow II, or The Monochrome […]

  11. […] series was shot with a variety of equipment (Leica Q, Sony A7RII, Nikon D810, Zeiss Otus 1.4/28 APO) and processed with Photoshop Workflow II, or The Monochrome […]

  12. […] series was shot with a Leica Q, Sony A7RII, Zeiss Batis 1.8/85, Zeiss FE 1.8/55, Nikon D810 and Zeiss Otus 1.4/28 APO Distagon. You can also look over my shoulder at the underlying […]

  13. […] using this on a 16MP body, I suspect the story would be quite different. Using DX crop mode on the D810, the lens looks good enough throughout most of its zoom range; focus in the middle and something […]

  14. […] and you can really only aim it in one direction before you start to see window edge or engine), the D810/ Zeiss Otus 85, the Canon 5DSR and 40/2.8 STM, the Pentax 645Z and 90 SR Macro, and the A7RII** and […]

  15. […] series was shot with a Leica Q, Canon 5DSR and 40 STM, Nikon D810 and 85/1.8 G and processed with Photoshop Workflow II. You can also look over my shoulder at the […]

  16. […] or client applications. (I was also thinking if this could in some way replace another D800/810 body and occasionally used tele zoom for location work, then I’d gladly take the weight […]

  17. […] From The Arches of Prague. Very, very few lenses maintain that kind of contrast and shadow separation when faced with such intense backlight, and very few cameras can hold that dynamic range (almost nothing is actually clipped in this image, making for a very natural tonal transition in the print) – cue the Otus 85 and D810. […]

  18. […] series was shot with a Nikon D810, mostly the 24-120/4VR and processed with Photoshop Workflow […]

  19. […] cameras (notably those with extended dynamic range and very smooth shadow transitions such as the D810, D800E and 645Z) is the ability to neatly manage shadow zones such that we can still leave in […]

  20. […] all accessible to the working pro or the reasonably affluent amateur. There is the all-rounder Nikon D810, the resolution-champ Canon 5DSR, the tech-heavy Sony A7RII, medium-format-on-a-budget Pentax 645Z […]

  21. […] to carry. Rethinking my travel kit, I’m fairly sure it’d be something around a Leica Q, D810/ 24-120VR, 5DSR/ 70-300L and one or two fast primes – perhaps the 40 STM and 85 Otus. With a […]

  22. […] series was shot in several countries with a Nikon D810, 24-120/4 VR, 45 PCE, 85/1.8G and Voigtlander 180/4 APO lenses. Postprocessing and color management […]

  23. […] series was shot with a Nikon D810, 24 and 45mm PCE lenses, a Zeiss 1.4/85 Otus, a Voigtlander 180/4 APO Lanthar and processed with […]

  24. […] slightly with the A7RII, by the time you factor in the extra batteries required compared to say a D810, the camera is no lighter. It is both telling that the notoriously stingy Sony not only includes […]

  25. […] when I have time to work slowly with a static subject. I’d like to have the set of PCEs and D810 for challenging dynamic range situations and things that must be straight. I’d like to have […]

  26. […] series was shot mostly with a Nikon D810 and the 24-120/4 VR, with additional contributions from the 24 PCE, 85 Otus and Voigtlander 180 […]

  27. […] series was shot almost entirely with a Nikon D810 and the 24-120/4 VR, with the exception of one image with a Ricoh GR. I post processed using PS […]

  28. […] series was shot with a Nikon D810, 24/3.5 PCE, 24-120/4 VR, Zeiss Otus 85 and Voigtlander 180/4 APO and postprocessed with Photoshop […]

  29. […] come to this review as primarily a Nikon D810 shooter. I make no secret of the fact that I have not that much experience with Canon other than a […]

  30. […] series was shot with a Nikon D810, 24-120/4 VR, Ricoh GR and Zeiss Otus 1.4/55 and processed with Photoshop Workflow […]

  31. […] series with shot with a Nikon D810, various lenses and processed with Photoshop Workflow II and The Monochrome […]

  32. […] D810 and 5DSR are a pair of cameras that represent an increasingly specialised niche – ultra high […]

  33. […] Long term review: The Nikon D810 […]

  34. […] series was shot with a Nikon D810 and 24-120/4 VR, which is probably about as flexible as you can […]

  35. […] a very soft file at actual pixels and 64MP. It appears to resolve at a comparable level to the D810: the latter has better pixel level acuity even after the E-M5II file is downsampled to match, but […]

  36. […] series was shot with a Nikon D810, Zeiss 1.4/55 and 1.4/85 Otuses, the 45 PCE, and mostly the AFS 24-120/4 VR. It was processed with […]

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