Even though Nikon was the first DSLR out of the gate with 24p video, it was Canon that really made a splash with the Mark II not long after. Nikon tried to get back some of that market with the D800 and D4 aimed at video shooters, and now they are pushing even harder with the new D810, which adds 1080p 60fps, higher ISO capabilities, and simultaneous recording to both internal cards and an external recorder. While there is a big push to add 4K recording to these kinds of cameras, neither the newer D4s nor the new D810 have it.

Here is the product tour:

And here is Nikon's promo film, followed by the making-of:

From The Verge, here are some of the other video improvements:

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.

Even though some Nikon cameras don't allow changing certain functions while in Live View, the D810 (and D800 before it) does not have these limitations, and is adding another interesting feature:

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.

Here are the specs:

  • 36.3MP FX-Format CMOS Sensor
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • 3.2" 1,229k-Dot LCD
  • 1920 x 1080: 60 fps, 30 fps, 24 fps, 50 fps, 25 fps
  • 1280 x 720: 60 fps, 50 fps
  • 5 fps Continuous Shooting in FX Mode
  • ISO: Auto, 64-12800 (High Sensitivity Mode: 32-51200)
  • CompactFlash & SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Multi-CAM 3500FX AF Sensor w/ 51 Points
  • Electronic Front Curtain Shutter
  • 1/8" Headphone & 1/8" Microphone
  • HDMI C (Mini) & USB 3.0
  • Availability: July 2014
  • Price: $3,300 Body Only

And some more videos showing off the camera:



Nikon added some minor updates to the D4s, and they've done much of the same with the D810, though many of the updates are important for video shooters. Being able to record internally to the cards and externally to a recorder is huge since the D800 could only do one or the other, and not both. While it shouldn't really affect video too much, the D810 also takes after the D800E by not having a low pass filter (though Nikon's solution was a little more complicated than that). The ability to have zebras while shooting is also helpful, and even though Nikon allowed you to create picture profiles and load them onto the camera in the past, having a log profile built-in is great.

Image quality may have a slight improvement, but for the most part the footage doesn't seem to look too different from the D800. Back in 2012 when I took a look at both the Canon 5D Mark III and the Nikon D800, it was clear that the Nikon had the edge in sharpness, even though the Mark III was far better in low light. Nikon has added a stop of ISO capability to the high end (up to 12,800), and another stop (up to 51,200) in the expanded ISO from the D800 which maxed out at 6400 and 25,000 in expanded mode. We'll have to wait and see though how much of an improvement this actually is in video mode.

While you may not need 4K, the tide is certainly heading in that direction, so it's interesting that Nikon still hasn't tried to include it in any of their higher-end cameras. I did not expect them to have it in the D4s, and while they have mentioned that they are looking into 4K, they seem to be a rather slow-moving company, so it may take a few more models before we see higher resolutions. Nikon has also introduced higher-end features into lower-end cameras, so it would not surprise me if a far cheaper camera got 4K first.

Link: Nikon D810 -- B&H

[via Nikon Rumors & The Verge]