Summary

Review Price £2,699.99

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Key Features: 36.3-megapixel sensor; 32-51,200 ISO range

Manufacturer: Nikon

The finest Nikon camera yet?

Nikon has today announced its latest DSLR: the Nikon D810. It arrives with the bold claim of providing 'the highest image quality in Nikon history', building on the impressive performance of the D800 and D800E.

The Nikon D810 retains a host of the key features from the models it replaces, yet looks to do enough to appease those hungry for further developments from Nikon's high-end DSLR line-up.

We attended a Nikon press briefing ahead of the camera's announcement and went hands-on with the new Nikon D810 to see just how Nikon has improved on what was an already impressive pair of models.

Nikon D810

Nikon D810 - What's new?

While there are no huge overhauls when it comes to the D810's specification in comparison to its predecessors, Nikon has certainly paid attention to fine-tune the elements which remain.

For example, the D810 retains the same 36.3-megapixel sensor seen in its predecessors, although the sensor itself removes its anti-aliasing filter.

While the D800E was said to lack an AA filter, closer inspection of the specification reveals that in fact it had two - with one negating the effect of the other. One result of the complete filter removal should be a far greater level of detail captured with the new model.

The redeveloped sensor benefits from Nikon's latest Expeed 4 processor, previously featured in the top-end Nikon D4S.

Nikon D810 3

The new processor delivers a range of benefits, including a new extended ISO sensitivity range of 32-51,200, a 1fps increase in continuous shooting range to 5fps, and the claim of improved white balance performance.

Other more subtle changes are numerous. For example, the Nikon D810 features redeveloped shutter and sequencer mechanisms that enable the improvement in continuous shooting speeds as well as delivering a smoother shutter action that will benefit macro and long exposure shooters.

As the 36.3-megapixel sensor produces some pretty large Raw files, Nikon has introduced new Raw 'Size S files' which - at a quarter of the resolution and half the file size of standard NEF files these will suit timelapse photographers and the like.

Other areas to benefit from incremental improvements include the camera's AF and Metering performance.

Nikon D810 2

The AF system has been improved to be sensitive down to -2EV, while in DX crop mode the D810's 51 AF points cover the entire scene.

The metering system, meanwhile, now benefits from a new 'Highlight Weighted' metering mode that, as the name suggests, ensures that the highlights in a scene remain correctly exposed. This setting will prove particularly useful for landscape photographers.

A final area of improvement is the LCD screen. Out goes the RGB array and in comes an RGBW array, with the new set-up delivering an increased resolution of 1,229k-dots and the promise of increased brightness, contrast and colour rendition.

Nikon D810 1

First Impressions

The real headline feature of the Nikon D800 and D800E was the high-resolution sensor, and it's good to see that the Nikon D810 has retained the 36.3-megapixel count.

That being said, the range of incremental improvements throughout the specification means that the new model is one that it's easy to get excited about.

The higher burst mode and improved AF performance are just two features which make the camera more of an all-rounder, and while the D810 isn't exactly cheap it's certainly competitively priced.

Next, read our best digital cameras round-up

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