Last Saturday I took my new D810 for the first time to document a wedding. I have previously owned the D800 but I wasn’t a big fan of the mammoth files which was the main reason I returned it to Nikon. So when I heard about the sRaw option in D810, I was quite intrigued.
Being a wedding photographer, I need a camera that has fast and accurate autofocus, great metering, awesome ISO and is “work-flow” friendly. So except for the couples location shoot, I shot only in sRAW. After all who is going to be printing a 2x3 meter images from a church ceremony or a reception.
Reading the specs of the D810 got me slightly excited. But there is only so much you can read on, ultimately you have to put it to the test to see how it holds up.
So here is my first impression of the performance of this little beauty. Mind you this is my personal “feel” of the camera in real life.
The speed and accuracy is on par if not better then the D4 which I’ve been using since released. Even in dim lit situation like church and reception hall it didn’t let me down. Please note I use prime lenses wide open in these situations which is even more impressive how accurate the focusing is. I remember I used to discard 3-4 out of 10 images on my D3. With the D810 I only discarded like 1 in 10 if that.
This is a tricky one. Shooting sRaw the ISO is not bad up until 6400. Not bad means that you can crank up noise reduction in LR up to 30 and have clean, still reasonable crisp image with minimal loss of details and sharpness. In full RAW however, 6400 was quite noisy. Again nothing LR can’t salvage, quite the opposite, due to the 36 megapixels there is so much detail that even at 50 points noise reduction in LR you are getting great results.
I shoot a lot in AUTO ISO in Aperture priority mode. It seems this camera can recognize face very well and as advertised it does expose for the face! This is a great feature for me cause there is a lot of changing scenarios during a wedding where exposure can fluctuate is a split of a moment but D810 is so fas and adjusts perfectly 90% at the time. Even in back lit situation I was getting nice exposure for the face.
I did 1500 shots and still had 2 bars left on a battery… that's decent IMO.
Soooo good, camera feels very well in my hand, well balanced, not heavy (compared to D4), buttons are placed as usual exempt for the Mode button but it only takes a minute to get used to.
Menu and Fn buttons
I hate Nikon for not allowing to set Fn button to swap between RAW and sRAW. Instead you need to set this as a first item in My MENU, which can be recalled by pressing one of the FN buttons…. arrrggg
Shooting with a 36 megapixel camera
This camera is so sharp, that even the slightest handshake, object movement, shutter/mirror tremble and you will see an in-perfect, blurred image. My recommendation is not to go below 1/250 on a shutter speed if shooting hand held, unless of course you don’t drink as much coffee and smoke 100 cigarettes like me…
If you are considering buying this camera, you will not be disappointed. It is awesome and straight away it has become my favorite camera which I’m pretty sure will become my “work-horse” during a wedding.
Here are some images for you guys to look at:
P.S. You can follow me on Instagram: michalkrieschstudios and see more images shot with Nikon equipment.