Nikon D810 Wants EOS 5D’s Video Crown

With the new D810 DSLR, Nikon wants to take the crown from Canon's video champion, the EOS 5D Mark III.

Nikon was the first to introduce video in DSLRs, but that pioneer position did not stop Canon from taking the sceptre and running to the front. It has been this way since then, but a new era might have started: Nikon is back on the fight, with the Nikon D810, a camera conceived with video in mind. The new DSLR is launched with a mission: conquer Canon’s territory in terms of video. Specifications similar to the EOS 5D Mark III and a competitive price are part of arsenal Nikon has provided the D810 with. But there is more to discover in this new camera.

The D810 is the full-frame DSLR that cinematographers, camera operators and multimedia photographers using the Nikon brand have been waiting for. It may even lure some others to choose the Nikon D810 as their video camera. The Full Frame 36.3MP sensor offers proven and remarkable image quality and dynamic range to 1080p videos recorded at 60/50/30/25/24p uncompressed to an external device like the Atomos Ninja-2, compressed to an internal CF/SD card or both simultaneously.  But there is more: you can move between dark and light scenes without any iris or frame-rate adjustments thanks to ISO Auto Adjust and also smoothly change a shot’s depth of field with power iris control.

Nikon has also learned from Canon mistakes and the long time it took them to create picture styles for video. The camera comes with a flat picture style that enhances dynamic range and streamlines post-production work.  You can also enjoy, says Nikon, broadcast-caliber audio control right in the camera. Furthermore, the D810 even displays zebra stripes while filming, to help the camera operator tell  if a proper exposure is achieved, something Canon’s DSLR usually only achieve through third party software, Magic Lantern, that is not available for Nikon.

Nikon is so serious about their offer in terms of video that they even created two kits, one for filmmaking the other for animation, offering special discounts for those buying the whole pack. Both kits contain everything you need to get started:

  • The filmmaking kit contains a full-frame Nikon DSLR with the latest video features and three fast, versatile NIKKOR prime lenses will bring mind-blowing image quality to every production. An Atomos Ninja-2 HDMI Smart Production Recorder gives you the most advanced way to record, monitor and review your footage, while an ME-1 Stereo Microphone, two extra batteries, Tiffen Variable ND filters and an HDMI cable ensure you capture every sight and sound. This kit costs $4.999,95.
  • The animator’s kit contains what you need to get started in the incredibly fun and exciting medium of stop motion animation. A full-frame Nikon DSLR with the latest image features combined with the AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED is the first step of the process. Together with the stop motion animation software Dragonframe, used on many Hollywood blockbusters, you’ll be up and running in no time. To ensure the motion doesn’t stop, included in the kit is an EH-5b/EP-5b Power Supply and Connector for continuous power to the camera. The price is $3.995,95.

To find more about the new camera visit Nikon’s D810 DSLR page.


Jose Antunes

Jose Antunes

I am a writer and photographer living on the West Coast of Portugal, a place I tend to call the Atlantic Realm. An area of rugged cliffs and sandy beaches overlooking the sea, a coastal area sitting between the Atlantic Ocean waves and hills and forests with some of the most magical palaces, castles and prehistorical sites for you to visit and photograph. Little hamlets, vast fields, inviting you to a contemplative state of mind. That’s where I live, and the landscape surely makes you what you are.