Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:13 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:49 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
This is our official thread for the Nikon D810! See Gordon's Nikon D810 preview for more details.

Image

For me only two "issues" of the D800 stand out, that I hope Nikon has improved:
- The aliasing artifacts in LiveView at 100% magnification that make it very frustrating to find optimal focus in MF
- Auto-ISO does not recognize whether VR/IS is switched on or off on a lens. Nikon should have added an additional parameter in the Auto-ISO menu letting the user select by how much the shutter-speed could be reduced when VR/IS is engaged.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:16 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
I completely agree on your Live View comment Thomas, for me that's one of the most infuriating things about trying to focus in Live View on Nikon's cameras - as you magnify the image for a closer look, there's no extra detail, just a fuzzy mess that's impossible to confirm.

I'll check as soon as I get to play with the camera again...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:17 pm 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 3:32 pm
Posts: 9975
Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
'Look Ma, no Wifi!' I'm feeling underwhelmed with the Nikon D810...

Earlier today Nikon announced its latest high-end DSLR, the D810. This is the $3300 successor to the D800 and D800e, a model which sits close to the top of Nikon's range, under only the flagship D4s. It's a camera which, at this price and position, should be absolutely stunning. Indeed Nikon describes it as no-compromise, and yet I can’t help feeling underwhelmed. Judging by the usual sycophancy online, I also feel like I'm in the minority for pulling it up, so am I missing the point? Here's my case.

Sure, the D810 sports a number of key enhancements over its predecessors, but they mostly feel like they're addressing a few annoyances with the earlier models rather than offering anything genuinely new. Anyone who owns a D800 or D800e will doubtless nod with appreciation at a shutter mechanism which suffers from less vibration, the availability of RAW files at a lower resolution, a brighter screen and a broader native ISO range. It's also nice to inherit the AF system and EXPEED 4 processor from the D4s which equips the D810 with zoneable AF, 1080p video at 60p, and an extra 1fps of continuous shooting in FX mode.

But what about the innovation? The pushing of the envelope that's expected in a product of this price and class. To me, the only really new things here are the highlight-weighted metering, the split-screen magnified display which lets you monitor two different parts of a composition, and a flat picture profile for those who intend to tweak in post. Nikon may claim the sensor and processor deliver its best quality yet, but the rumourmills are grinding it's the same sensor in the Sony A7r, so if you're processing RAW files there may be little if anything between them.

Now don't get me wrong, the D800 and D800e are still fantastic cameras, so by improving on them even slightly, the D810 becomes even better. I've also no reason to doubt Nikon's claims that the D810 delivers their best quality images to date, at least at lower ISOs. So the D810 becomes one of Nikon's best DSLRs to date. I can see long exposure specialists especially loving its lower vibrations and lower ISO values.

But this ranking only applies within Nikon's own range. What really frustrates me is how Nikon and Canon seem blissfully unaware of what their competition is doing, and how people beyond their core customers are taking and using their photos. They'll even avoid certain features within their own ranges to avoid canibalising sales of other models.

While all this is going on, I see more and more people moving away to mirrorless rivals which in some cases match the same quality, but in smaller, lighter, cheaper and better-featured packages. People who used to scoff at equipping cameras with Wifi are now seeing the potential of using their smartphone as a remote control or tagging their images with GPS co-ordinates at no extra cost. People who weren't sure about video in a stills camera have not only come round to the idea, but now actively seek 1080p at high frame rates or 4k capabilities. People who'd traditionally only use lenses from their actual camera manufacturer are now also adapting those from multiple systems and exploiting technologies like peaking to focus more accurately and easily than ever.

This is happening today. Right now. On cameras that are not only more portable, but much cheaper too. Now I know some feature-sets are constrained by budget or even physical size, but lest we forget the D810 is a large and expensive camera that's only one step down from the company's flagship. To me it is unforgiveable to launch a new high-end camera without Wifi, focus peaking or 4k video that costs over three grand and is likely to remain current well-into 2016 and possibly 2017. The feature set is behind the curve in 2014, so how's it going to look in two or three year's time? At this price you want a camera that shouldn't just serve your needs now, but also anticipate those well into the future.

I know there's a faithful set of owners who'll argue that they don't want or need these features, and I believe them too, but it's a shrinking group and I reckon many of those who already own D800 or D800e's won't see enough here to warrant an upgrade. Then there's the other group of photographers who do want these features, if not now, then almost certainly within the lifespan of the camera. These are the people who are abandoning Nikon and Canon for more innovative companies like Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm and especially Sony.

If I'm sounding harsh it's because I have a great fondness for Nikon, both as a reviewer and an actual owner in years gone by. I don't want this company to go away, but fear it could be in serious trouble if it keeps launching products which don't appeal beyond a core faithful. I guess the one thing we can all agree on though is the hope the new shutter block doesn't suffer from any issues with oil.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:43 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 12:48 pm
Posts: 8032
Location: UK
The D810 was never going to be radical was it? It is the standard mid life refresh model, presumably called 810 instead of 800s or whatever since it effectively succeeds both non-e and e models. As such, it is not expected to be a "must have" upgrade models for existing D800 users. On focus peaking, I thought I saw zebra stripes on the feature list, or was I imagining things?

Even as an early adopter with the E-P1, I'm still not sold on the mirrorless systems available today. I'm not wedded to DSLRs by any means, and will want the best tool for the job, but mirrorless still has major weaknesses. Good enough for some, but far from all. Where are the high end telephoto lenses? Actually, outside micro4/3, where are the lenses? Even there, while there is a lot of choice, there is also a lot of duplication in the mid range. Size is only a significant benefit if you restrict yourself to certain areas, and with such limitations I find the high end compacts more appealing and flexible anyway.

Mirrorless pricing isn't that great, unless you buy the last generation that didn't sell which is now on fire sale. Want a mirrorless alternative to the D810? There's the A7r and possibly a Leica of some kind. Hardly a cheaper choice, and again lens choice isn't exactly a strong point of either.

I think we are seeing a bit of a diversification of where cameras are going, and not every camera has to do every possible job. A smaller body is not beneficial, possibly even a disadvantage once you put a 300mm+ class lens on it. I remain to be convinced I want to use an EVF over TTL OVF. Thanks to Fuji I now appreciate that non-TTL OVF is not for me as I loose contact with the end result from lack of seeing the actual focus.

If you were to ask me if things like Wi-Fi or focus peaking were something I'd want in the next DSLR body, I'd probably say yes. But they remain wants, not needs. A "nice to have" addition.

Business sense wise, I think Nikon (and similarly Canon) have a hard line to follow, but with DSLRs they're doing what they need to. Doing something radical, making changes in the hopes of picking up more new users will risk upsetting the existing user base, and is going to be a bigger problem for them (remember New Coke?). That's not to say they don't get new users, as in recent years I still have seen many select a DSLR over mirrorless when starting off. Also this doesn't preclude them from doing something extra, and I think Nikon's 1 system has great potential apart from the silly pricing. On the other side, I guess we can look at Sony as a transition company. Again in a business sense, I think they're doing the right thing by reducing attention on their DSLR range which never really penetrated the top two, and striking hard at the system formerly known as NEX is providing them better growth opportunities. They had little to lose, and more to gain than if Canon or Nikon were to attempt similar. Thinking more, Olympus did the same. The 4/3 DSLRs never really went anywhere, so a shift for them was an easy move.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:12 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
I can follow many of your arguments, popo.
The question for me is: how hard can it really be to integrate some of "yesterday's" technology (like WiFi) into a top-level camera body. And what light does this shed on the focus or ability of Nikon's R&D...
But regarding importance, I have the same feeling: A better Live-View and auto-ISO would have been much more important to me than ANY of the current improvements.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:55 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9822
Location: UK
.
Maybe there are issues with shielding of any W-Fi signal which would require a total redesign of the D810's magnesium alloy body? Has anyone offered 4k from a sensor with 36 megapixels? Maybe it's difficult to do without introducing jaggies as I presume you'd have to bin pixels together and maybe the resulting architecture would either compromise stills IQ or potentially cause heat issues in video mode?

These are questions for which I have no answers. It sounds as though I'm defending Nikon and maybe I am so far as the D810 is concerned but on the wider question of why Nikon (and Canon) have CSC offerings with such abysmal market share I think the answer is easy. If they compete at full throttle they threaten their own products, particularly glass where, for most of the catalogue, R&D costs were paid off a long time ago!

That conservatism suits me just fine as it gives the likes of Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony a generous window in which to continue innovating and broadening the range of glass available for their respective systems safe in the knowledge that the big two (Canon and Nikon) have essentially declined to take large slices out of the cake that represents CSC (mirrorless) sales. :P

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 894
Location: SE Texas
The D810's specifications actually seem to suit me quite well. Assuming positive long-term results, the D810 will probably replace the D800E on my mid-2015-to-mid-2016 wish list. (This is what I consider to be the opening of my retirement "launch window.") Its main competitors, that are in current production, are the D4s and 1D X, if I decide to prioritize birds, but I may well decide to buy one body for landscapes/seascapes, and another for birds, eventually, anyway.

On the other hand, if new-old-stock D800E cameras are available at temptingly reduced prices, I could exercise that option. Notably, this did not happen with D700 cameras, at least not in the USA.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 6:31 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
Ah yes, and the only other niggling I have about the D800: Nikon should either provide a less transparent viewfinder screen to facilitate manual focusing and better dof preview or should offer exchangeable screens.
Wonder whether that changes with the D810.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:17 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
Oh no: The viewfinder screen is the the same BriteView Type B / Clear Matte Mark VIII as before. And nowhere in the manual a hint that you could swap it.
By the way: it's the same as in the Df, which is said to be easier to focus manually. Wonder where that comes from...

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 6:12 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
And btw.: While the Nikon Df body is 710g why does the D810 still need to be 880g?

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:04 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
The DxOMark test seems to indicate a 0.5 EV better dynamic range. That could fit with the base ISO being 64 instead of 100 now.
This could point to a better full-well capacity of the new sensor: You could throw more light at the sensor without blowing-out the highlights...

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:04 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7955
Location: Germany
Some test-shots over at DPreview leave some questions open:
- the center of the D810 looks clearly better than the D800
- but the lower left corner of the D810 looks slightly worse than the D800
- some slightly different coloration of black&white areas of the target indicates that focus was not exactly the same. Although you would expect that to be of no consequence at f5.6. (the lens being the Nikon AF-S 85/1.8G, see my review there)
- The images are jpg's straight out of the camera (afaik) and both cameras might develop their RAW-images a bit different. So I'd wait for a final verdict on how much clearer the D810 is than the D800 when Adobe has updated ACR for conversion of D810 RAWs.

Interesting is their part on shutter-slap. It looks like the D810 with its electronic front-curtain can really and visibly reduce shutter-induced vibrations. But only in mirror-up mode.
That would be a nice improvement as I often fought with residual vibrations even on my super-sturdy tripod.
But still no word on whether Nikon improved on the crappy magnified liveview aliasing artifacts.

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:41 pm
Posts: 366
Actually, I really enjoy viewing my D800 images at 1:1, but any time I have had to actually use the images I have needed to reduce resolution because of the capacity of the devices (printer, TV) that I have.

So I can't imagine what I'd to with more detail than the huge amount I already have. The very slight softness at pixel level is appreciated by an old film user (still current - I do use film too), and can deliver a "film like" quality.

On the other hand, if they have reduced the mirror slap it will be a good thing. I can cope with it, but it does affect the slower hand held shots. In contrast the D610 is so smooth.

But, basically, the camera is beyond criticism for me because of the image quality it delivers. And with the 50/1.8G it's quite an easy camera to hold and work with. Just wish it had an infra-red remote!

_________________
HCC
Nikon DSLRs, film cameras from Leica to Linhof


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:55 pm
Posts: 894
Location: SE Texas
I had the opportunity to handle a D810, and immediately noticed the better (for my right hand) gripping area, compared to the D800. (I never bought a D800.) This is one improvement that is significant for me, as I place a high premium on the tactile experience when shooting. For a landscape/seascape camera, to be used on a tripod, a comfortable grip is less important, but the D810's AF performance indicates it to be a candidate for much more than studio/landscape/seascape.

_________________
Canon 7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6, D700, FM3A, & Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 28-135 EF, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 14 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group