The D810 is fantastic, and I’m truly grateful that Nikon made such an incredible camera. I was really disappointed when I gave up on the D800, which eventually boiled up to the surface when I was ready to give up Nikon entirely in a move over to Leica. This was a financially straining step, but I was naive enough to believe I was moving away from quality control issues to something perfect. That backfired badly, returning four faulty Leica M Monochrom cameras and one de-centred 28mm Elmarit lenses, shattering my dream to ever own Leica. I was lucky my intentions were to sell the Nikon gear only after a successful move to Leica.

Luckily, the early D810 user feedback was so promising, that I was willing to try Nikon again. When I finally purchased the camera, a cautionary few months after it’s announcement, it left me feeling nothing short of impressed. The D810 isn’t cheap, especially with Nikon South Africa’s stupendous pricing system, but it feels worth it. The justification to upgrade from a D800/D800E is difficult, since the difference in their resell value relative to the cost of a new D810 is fairly substantial. In practice, the D810 is a significantly improved camera, and some have justified the upgrade merely on the merits of the improved autofocus system and live view.

For me, the most impressive new features of the D810 are...

  1. -The greatly improved Live View

  2. -The lack of an OLPF on the sensor stack

  3. -The more accurate and consistent AF

  4. -The much improved ergonomics

  5. -The quiet and dampened mirror and shutter assembly

  6. -The lower base ISO of 64

  7. -The prettier OLED viewfinder display

My feature wish list...

  1. -Extended manual exposure times beyond that of 30 seconds, much like those found on the D810A or even the Nikon F5!

  2. -Manual brightness control of the red viewfinder illumination and OLED display.

  3. -User defined Custom Firmware modification. Paid for or not, I don’t care

  4. -RAW RGB histogram

  5. -Electronic Front Curtain Shutter with more flexible implementation outside of Mirror Up mode

  6. -The ability to disengage the body to lens Ai tab, like the Nikon Df.

  7. -Spring loaded memory card door actuated by a lever, much like the D200 and D300

The D810 is a camera that rekindled my joy for digital again. It’s impressively refined compared to the D800, and I highly recommend it!