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Nikon's D810 DSLR is all about filmmaking

Nikon's D810 DSLR is all about filmmaking

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Nikon has been trying to take the throne from Canon as the champion of DSLR video, and today it’s unveiling a new camera designed to step up the fight: the Nikon D810. The D810 is the successor to the D800, Nikon’s first real shot at taking down Canon’s highly regarded 5D series. The D800 made a really strong case for itself with generally comparable features to the 5D Mark III and a lower price, and the D810 builds right off of that.

Zebra stripes, flat color profile, and better audio

The D810’s most striking improvements over the D800 are its video features. For one, Nikon is introducing a flat video profile, which should make coloring footage much easier for shooters to do in post. The D810 is also able to display zebra stripes while filming, helping the camera operator tell whether or not a shot is properly exposed. The new camera also includes two microphones on the front, allowing it to record in stereo rather than mono, and those capturing audio with an external mic will be able to split the recording into a separate wide range and voice range.

Nikon also wants to make filming a little easier while moving the camera around. The D810 is able to film in an auto ISO mode that still allows for manual control over aperture and shutter speed, letting those two factors stay locked down while the camera adjusts to changes in lighting. Nikon says the transition between ISO should happen smoothly too. Other filming improvements on the D810 include the ability to capture 1080p video at 60p (NTSC) or 50p (PAL).

There are also a number of basic improvements to the camera body itself, including a denser display resolution and OLED elements in the viewfinder. There are improvements for photography too, including faster image processing, longer battery life, an expanded ISO range, and a slightly faster continuous shooting speed. And while its full-frame sensor has the same megapixel count as the D800, the D810 has no option to come with a low-pass filter.

The D810 will be available body-only for $3299.95 worldwide beginning around July 17th. That makes it a more expensive of a camera than the D800, but it still comes in at a slightly lower price than the 5D Mark III. That certainly strips it of one of the D800’s biggest advantages, but the D810’s all-around video improvements might be enough to make up for that in the mind of new shooters.