First Impressions of D810

I received the Nikon D810 after dark yesterday so I didn’t do anything with the camera besides charging the battery and looking through the menu items. This morning I walked to school with the camera around my neck hoping to make some decent test photos in the nice morning light. I felt slightly superstitious about making my first photo with the camera. I wanted to have a good first photo and this would somehow ‘bless’ all following pictures. Well, I found an interesting rusty door and pressed the shutter release button. Screwed it up. I had set the image format to 5:4, forgot about it, didn’t see the lines in the viewfinder, and cut the top and bottom off the door. The camera is cursed now so I may as well sell it . . . . .

Silliness aside, the first thing I noticed about the camera is that it isn’t very heavy. This was something I was worried about when trying to decide between the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Nikon D810. But I’ll have no problem carrying it around all day. It is much bigger than the mirrorless cameras, though, so I’ll have to mind it when going through narrow spaces. The camera is very comfortable in my hand and I’m happy about that.

Another thing I’m happy about it the light meter in the camera. Exposure is spot on (ha ha) and photos don’t come out slightly dim like the X-Pro 1 and other digital cameras I’ve used. The Nikon D300 I used to have exposed conservatively as well. The D810 performs like the film cameras I’ve used. The Standard Picture Control produces great photos without any adjustments at all. Just like slides. I thought I might regret not buying the X-T2 because of the great Fujifilm colours but the D810 also produces lovely colours. Better than the D300 I used to own.

I’ve complained about the autofocus in the X-Pro and although many people say the X-T2 has excellent autofocus I’m not sure I can believe it. The D810 autofocus works without hunting or delay and the only thing preventing sharp photos is me not being careful.

I was also worried about the D810’s viewfinder because the eyepoint is only 17mm and I wear glasses. But I can see everything in the bright viewfinder, including the shooting information underneath. I must say I really like an optical viewfinder much more than an EVF.

The D810 is a complicated camera and it’s going to take me quite a while to familiarise myself with all the modes and controls. I should probably download the Nikon camera manual application so I can look up things when I’m outside trying to figure out autofocus modes, etc.

I didn’t do much with the camera today except make test photos for colour and autofocus but this photograph of a stadium turned out okay.

Gangneung 2018 Olympic Stadium, Nikon D810, VSCO Film Simulation


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