Nikon D810a DSLR Camera Review

The Nikon D810A DSLR is a modified version of the Nikon D810 that is specifically designed for those who want to photograph the night sky. It includes an optical infrared cut filter that allows you to photograph distant nebulae and other astronomical phenomena with the highest level of clarity and color accuracy.

The D810A’s architecture has been updated to include a specialized filter to pass H-alpha (656.28nm) wavelengths, allowing it to represent nebulae and other objects without the presence of undesired infrared interference, resulting in improved color neutrality.

This specialized DSLR, which benefits from the adjustment to the sensor filtration, also has an expanded shutter speed range and a new M* exposure mode for more accurate exposure times of up to 15 minutes, as well as a Virtual Live View Exposure Preview feature to aid in clear focus and composition confirmation when making such long exposures.

Nikon D810A FX-format Digital SLR

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Last update was on: December 1, 2023 10:58 pm
$1,350.00 $3,796.95

Aside from these small, but significant differences, the D810A and D810 have the same set of basic characteristics that enable them to capture images with high resolution and fine detail.

The D810A is equipped with a 36.3MP FX-format CMOS sensor that does not have an optical low pass filter, allowing for very crisp and detailed still images. Because of the inclusion of the EXPEED 4 Image Processor, performance speed has been enhanced as compared to the EXPEED 3, and noise has been successfully reduced across the ISO range of the camera.

The maximum continuous shooting speed in FX format is 5 frames per second, while the maximum continuous shooting speed in DX format is 7 frames per second. Additionally, the full HD video capabilities include 1080p capture at 24, 30, and 60 frames per second.

Additionally, the enhanced efficiency of the CPU allows for up to 1200 pictures on a single battery charge and up to 40 minutes of video recording on a single battery charge. A high dynamic range and a large native sensitivity range (from ISO 200 to 12800, with an option to increase the range further to ISO 32 to 51200) have resulted in improved low-light performance.

Additional capabilities include recording in both FX and DX formats, as well as simultaneous recording to memory cards and an external recorder, as well as recording 60p output to an external recorder, which is particularly advantageous for a camera that is also specialized for video capture.

The 3.2 is the result of a calculation “Improvements in coatings on the optical viewfinder components result in brighter images and more accurate colors, while an LCD with 1,229k-dot resolution allows for clear playback viewing and live view, and improved coatings on the LCD provide clear playback viewing and live view.

The Live View feature now incorporates a split-screen display zoom for still images, as well as a zebra highlighting display while shooting video. It is possible to use full aperture metering while shooting in live view for still images.

Exposure smoothing is now available for interval and time-lapse photography, and the maximum number of shots per sequence has been increased to 9,999. Additionally, the D810A has two media ports, one for Compact Flash and the other for SD cards, allowing for increased picture storage capacity as well as automated in-camera file backups.


A specialist astrophotography-focused DSLR built on the legendary D810, the D810A varies from its general-use sibling in a number of ways to make photographing the night sky more enjoyable:

An optical infrared cut filter has unique transmission qualities that make it more effective in capturing nebulae and distant galaxies that produce light at the H-alpha wavelength, which is 656.28nm, than a standard cut filter.

Because this spectrum contains less reddish and hazy nebulae and other cosmic phenomena, you can picture them more correctly and in a crisper, more bright manner than you could with standard hot mirrors and other IR-blocking devices found in most cameras.

There is now an M* (Long Exposure Manual Mode) in addition to the usual P, S, A, and M exposure modes. This mode allows for additional flexibility when making exposures lasting longer than 30 seconds in addition to the other modes.

As a result of operating in the M* mode, presets are available for intervals ranging from 4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60 seconds to 120 seconds. There are also presets for times spanning 240 seconds, 300 seconds, 600 seconds, and 900 seconds (15 minutes).

A virtual preview of the image is displayed on the rear LCD for improved focusing and composition accuracy while photography with exposures longer than 30 seconds and up to 900 seconds, thanks to the Virtual Live View Exposure Preview function.

The base sensitivity has been increased to ISO 200, while the maximum native sensitivity has remained at ISO 12800, as has been previously stated. Lo, and Hi values can be changed to the equivalents of ISO 32 and ISO 51200 using the expanded Lo and Hi values.

Despite the fact that the white balance presets are identical to those found on the normal D810, color reproduction and accuracy may vary depending on lighting circumstances, and the photographs produced may have a reddish hue to them.

This is most noticeable when photography under fluorescent lights or in other settings when there is a high amount of infrared transmission (IR transmission). It is thus not suggested to use the D810A for general photography.

Nikon D810a Sensor & Processor

Nikon’s 36.3MP FX-format sensor, which is a true high-resolution sensor, benefits from the absence of an optical low pass filter, which results in improved sharpness and detail when shooting. With its rapid channel reading, broad dynamic range, rich tones, and better image at high sensitivities, the sensor is a powerful tool for photographers.

The EXPEED 4 CPU outperforms the EXPEED 3 processor in terms of performance and low noise imaging over the whole ISO range, as well as overall image quality.

This model has support for 1080p video capture at 60 frames per second, and the processor’s greater efficiency allows for up to 1200 still images and 40 minutes of video recording on a single battery.

Autofocus control is quick and precise thanks to the camera’s versatile AF modes, which include 9, 21, and 51 points as well as 3D tracking.

When shooting in low light, the autofocus sensitivity may be reduced to -2EV, and 15 cross-type sensors are compatible with AF NIKKOR lenses with an open aperture of f/5.6 or faster.

With an aperture of f/8, the eleven central focus points are able to work. Improved ‘lock-on,’ expanded the store by orientation,’ and additional choices for AF mode limits are among the new features.

Nikon D810a Image Quality

The shutter/mirror box construction of the D810A, as well as the electronic front-curtain function, both contribute to improved overall image clarity. During high-speed photography, the shutter/mirror system decreases picture shaking, resulting in a stable viewfinder image with minimum blackout and little blackout.

If the electronic front-curtain shutter is enabled, it lowers the likelihood of blurring in even the finest details by reducing internal vibrations during the exposure process.

A new feature, exposure smoothing, is available in the time-lapse and interval shooting modes, and the number of photographs that may be recorded has been extended to 9,999 images.

In FX mode, the D810A can record up to 5 frames per second, and in DX mode, it can capture up to 7 frames per second when using the optional MB-D12 battery handle and AA batteries.

As an added bonus, the revised Sequencer/Balancer Mechanism allows for the use of Quiet Continuous Mode, which allows for near-silence sequential shooting.

3.2 The number 3.2 refers to the number of syllables in the word “second” and the number of syllables in the word “third.” “LCD Monitor with a resolution of 1,229,00 dots

In addition to comprehensive playback watching and live view capturing, a high-resolution LCD allows for fine-tuned color balance and brightness customization.

The use of a split-screen display zoom when capturing still images allows you to evaluate sharpness and exposure between two expanded locations in the image.

Improvements in the coatings on the optical components result in brighter and more accurate colors, and the Organic EL information display makes it simpler to make changes in bright and dim lighting settings, respectively.

Full HD 1080p video capture at 60, 30, and 24 frames per second

There is the capability for video recording in both FX and DX formats, with an ISO range ranging from 200 to 12,800. It is now possible to record to memory cards as well as to an external recorder at the same time.

When shooting in manual mode, auto ISO adjustment is available for smooth exposure transitions. Random noise, distortion, and flicker are reduced while shooting at high sensitivities thanks to Nikon’s 3D noise reduction technology. Using the Zebra mode on the camera display, you can see exactly where the highlights are located.

There is a built-in stereo microphone, as well as connections for an external microphone and headphones, to accommodate your needs. Both before and while recording, you may fine-tune the audio levels in isolation, and you can choose the sound range (wide/voice).

Nikon D810a Specs

Body typeMid-size SLR
Max resolution7360 x 4912
Other resolutionsFX: 5520 x 3680, 3680 x 2456; 1.2: 6144 x 4080, 4608 x 3056, 3072 x 2040; 5:4: 6144 x 4912, 4608 x 3680, 3072 x 2456; DX: 4800 x 3200, 3600 x 2400, 2400 x 1600
Image ratio w:h5:4, 3:2
Effective pixels36 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors37 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorEXPEED 4
ISOAuto, 200-12800 (expandable to 100-51200)
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
Boosted ISO (maximum)51200
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW + TIFF
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal, basic
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points51
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots1,229,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD (RGBW)
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (tunnel)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.7×
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesNo
Built-in flashYes
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (via hot shoe, flash sync terminal, wireless)
Flash modesFront-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, redeye reduction, redeye reduction w/slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync
Continuous drive5.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 5, 10, 20 secs for up to 9 shots)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weight highlight-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±5 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2-9 exposures in 1-3 increments)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesUncompressed output over HDMI with simultaneous writing to memory card
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC, CompactFlash (UDMA compliant)
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (mini-HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notesvia WT-5A or Eye-Fi
Remote controlYes
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL15 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)1200
Weight (inc. batteries)880 g (1.94 lb / 31.04 oz)
Dimensions146 x 123 x 82 mm (5.75 x 4.84 x 3.23″)
Timelapse recordingYes
GPS notesvia GP-1 or GP-1A

Nikon D810a Price

4 used from $1,350.00
as of December 1, 2023 10:58 pm