Nikon D810 put to the test

New Nikon D810 surpasses expectations

After more than a year of saving money from the sale of my fine-art prints and portrait sessions, I clicked the button to purchase a new camera body — the newly released Nikon D810, a full-frame camera that came with promises of better metering and all-around higher performance than my old D300s. After four agonizing days, the new camera was delivered and I tore into the box with great anticipation.

Nikon D810 photography

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For the first couple of hours, I read the manual and tweaked some of the settings, assigned function buttons and learned where the different buttons were located. It was overwhelming, mainly because this camera has so much more functionality than my older body.

Finally, I just started shooting a few test shots. The first images were hand-held images at extremely high ISO settings – and the noise was unbelievably low. Almost not there.

And, as fate would have it, my wife had a meeting to go to that evening, and that left me open for a run to Baton Rouge for a real test. I had been wanting to capture some nighttime images the downtown business district, and this was the perfect opportunity.

An hour later, I was perched atop a parking garage taking images of the River Center with the full downtown area in the background. These kinds of shots normally have required HDR processing to bring out bring out some details in the shadows without blowing out the highlights. I could tell by looking at the LCD screen on the camera that this might not be necessary with this camera in all situations.

Nikon D810 test

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And that proved to be true. Although I did process the images through my favorite plugin (Perfect Photo Suite 9) to do a bit of tweaking, the images were really nice right out of the camera – and were pretty danged great with only some Lightroom adjustments.

I have always said that the camera body wasn’t as important as the skills of the photographer — and to a great degree, I still hold to that. However, stepping up to the Nikon D810 has convinced me that skills matched with superior equipment is a combination that produces amazing photography. There is still a lot I need to learn about this body, but I’m looking forward to mastering it.

And I can’t wait for my first portrait session to see how it performs.

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About Andy Crawford

Andy Crawford has been a photographer and writer for more than 20 years, with thousands of images and articles published in magazines and newspapers around the country. He now focuses on Louisiana photography, landscapes, HDR photography, urban prints and other fine art photography. He also is a portrait photographer.