It was finally time to try the Nikon D810, it arrived from Hire a Camera on Friday, in preparation for some weddings later in the year. The intention being to get use to it.
The shoot was with a Hana, a model I hadn't worked with before. The shoot I had organised with a model I knew fell through. It gave me a chance to work inside. The original plan was to shoot by the Thames. But considering the weather was not as nice as it had been, the change in plan worked very well. And the 8th floor roof terrace was a bonus.
So what are my thoughts on the D810?
First there is memory. If you are going to use the largest RAW size; and why wouldn't you? A 32gb card gets you 394 pictures. And if you are backing up to a second card. That is a lot of storage. I have seen wedding photographers offer 600 or more pictures. So the number they must take has to be considerably more. It's a big jump up from my D700. I feel stupid admitting I didn't factor it in to my plans. I have a 32gb and an 8gb in both CF and SD and a 16 in CF format so only 689 pictures. I have never had a card problem, or lost any pictures to an accidental deletion, but if it did happen on the big day doubling up on the cards to provide a backup would be money well spent.
The shutter is as quiet as the reviewers say, if you set it to Qc. The standard setting is nearly as loud as the D700, which is surprisingly loud compared to my old cameras, the D70 and 90.
For me the improvements are not going to compel me to upgrade just yet. My D700 has a resolution sufficient for my needs. Having an immediate backup of my pictures isn't a concern. Focusing is still too centre weighted, being little better than my present camera. I know it's a technical limitation with the location and size of the mirror, it's something a mirrorless cameras don't have. Nikon are working on this technology, do I wait or not? The big question about changing will also be whether they change to lens mount. If they do, meaning I would have to buy new lenses, it could be time to jump ship to maybe Sony. They have full frame mirrorless cameras with lenses to match already. So second hand examples will be available. I never thought I would be contemplating this type of move.
The next wedding will mean I hire the D810 again. Second hand they are too much for me to justify buying at the moment.
Here are the pictures from the shoot. The look was lifestyle, editorial. Hana got the outfits right, the room suited my plan, and the roof terrace was a bonus. Although being eight floor up it was very windy and cold. We didn't stay there long.