Nikon D810a Review

With the release of the Nikon D810a, Nikon has entered the market for astronomical imaging, despite the company’s relatively tardy start in this area.

At first glance, the only discernible distinction between the Nikon D810 and the Nikon D810a is the small, white letter ‘A’ located on the front of the shell of the D810A. The D810A is, in essence, a tweaked version of the immensely popular Nikon D810.

The Nikon D810a has several Astro-specific functions besides the standard D810; the most exciting and impressive is a modified infrared-cut filter.

However, beyond its 36-megapixel resolution, which is the highest in the Nikon range, the D810a also has several other Astro-specific functions.

See: Best Lenses for Nikon D810a | Best Memory Cards for Nikon D810a | Best Flash for Nikon D810a

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Nikon D810A FX-format Digital SLR

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:17 am
$1,350.00 $3,796.95

Nikon D810a Remote cable.

The D810A was simple to set up, and we only needed to reference the user guide once—to locate the option for front electronic curtain shutter control, which can be found in one of the custom menus. Other than that, we didn’t require the manual at all. In this mode, the effects of the mechanical vibration are no longer present.

The camera’s focal-plane shutter comprises two curtains: the front curtain, which opens to begin each exposure, and the back curtain, which shuts to conclude the exposure. After the front curtain of a camera with an electronic front curtain shutter opens, the direction begins to be electronically controlled, and it continues until the rear curtain is returned.

Opening the mechanical shutter before the exposure begins may eliminate vibrations induced by the shutter, which in turn helps to reduce blur. Although a countdown timer would have been helpful for us when taking photos with lengthy exposures, this is a minor criticism of the product overall.

Barnard’s Loop in Orion and a peek of the Wizard Nebula in Cepheus were captured using a single exposure that was five minutes long, set at f/2.8 and ISO 1000, and tracked using an Astrotrac mount. This resulted in the presentation of accurate star colors.

To evaluate the deep sky, we paired the D810A with a Takahashi FSQ106. As a result, our stacked photograph of the Heart and Soul Nebulae in Cassiopeia (comprised of 20 exposures at ISO 1000, each five minutes long) displayed outstanding clarity and superb color, even though the first quarter Moon was high in the sky.

It has been well worth the wait for Nikon to make their entrance into the market for astrophotography. The Nikon D810A is an excellent camera with a high resolution, produces appealing shots, and excels in Astro capabilities.

It would be ideal if Nikon incorporated an articulated display screen and a timer countdown display for use during long exposures.

Nikon D810a Lighting

All single-lens reflex cameras feature a filter in front of the sensor, reducing the amount of red light reaching it. This allows the camera to reproduce colors accurately while shooting in natural light.

Unfortunately, the transmission of the hydrogen-alpha spectral line at 656.28 nm, responsible for the red color in many emission nebulae, is decreased. This hurts astroimaging.

Getting the DSLR changed by entirely removing this filter is a specific solution, but doing so has several significant drawbacks: first, autofocusing is rendered inoperable, and second, the color balance of daylight photographs is shifted toward the red end of the spectrum.

The solution that Nikon came up with for this issue was to change the filter in front of the sensor on the D810A such that there is an increase of nearly four times in the amount of transmission allowed for the hydrogen-alpha area of the spectrum.

Using the D810A to take photos in broad daylight will still produce images with a slight pink color cast; however, this issue is easily correctable in Lightroom or Photoshop using a user-defined preset.

Nikon D810a Live View

A preview image equal to the one acquired at 30 seconds is presented when the long-exposure mode is used with shutter speeds longer than 30 seconds; live view photos may be enlarged up to 23 times.

When framing photos and choosing a star to focus on, we discovered that this combination was beneficial.

Nikon D810a Aperture

When the electronic front curtain rather than the mechanical front curtain is enabled (a choice that may be made in the ‘Mup’ mode), exposure time is conducted electronically, which removes the potential for mechanical vibration caused by the automatic front curtain.

We discovered that this produced images with more excellent sharpness when utilizing lenses or telescopes with a longer focal length.

Nikon D810a Intervalometer

We found the intervalometer particularly helpful when putting up time-lapse and star trail sequences because it enables the capture of up to 9,999 individual frames in a single series.

There is also an option called Timelapse, which, if you do not own movie editing software, may automatically make a movie file for you.

Nikon D810a Manual Mode

In addition to the P/S/A/M settings, there is now a manual mode for long exposures called M*. In addition, there are options for the shutter speed of four, five, eight, ten, fifteen, twenty, thirty, sixty, one hundred and twenty, two hundred and forty, three hundred and ninety, and bulb and time.

With this function, there is no longer a requirement to use an external timer remote.

Nikon D810a Sensor

If you want the most outstanding results, pair your full-frame sensor with optics of the highest possible quality. For example, lenses and telescopes that can provide an image circle of at least 44 millimeters would be ideal.

When the RAW data are stored as uncompressed 14-bit photos, the 36.3-megapixel sensor creates files that are 74.5 MB in size.

Nikon D810a Specs

TypeSingle-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mountNikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)
Effective angle of viewNikon FX format
Effective pixels
Effective pixels36.3 million
Image sensor
Image sensor35.9 x 24.0 mm CMOS sensor
Total pixels37.09 million
Dust-reduction systemImage sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires Capture NX-D software)
Image size (pixels)FX format (36×24): 7360 x 4912 (L), 5520 x 3680 (M), 3680 x 2456 (S)1.2x (30×20): 6144 x 4080 (L), 4608 x 3056 (M), 3072 x 2040 (S)DX format (24×16): 4800 x 3200 (L), 3600 x 2400 (M), 2400 x 1600 (S)5:4 (30×24): 6144 x 4912 (L), 4608 x 3680 (M), 3072 x 2456 (S)FX-format photographs taken in movie live view: 6720 x 3776 (L), 5040 x 2832 (M), 3360 x 1888 (S)DX-format photographs taken in movie live view: 4800 x 2704 (L), 3600 x 2024 (M), 2400 x 1352 (S)
Note: Photographs taken in movie live view have an aspect ratio of 16:9; A DX-based format is used for photographs taken using the DX (24×16) 1.5x image area; an FX-based format is used for all other photographs
File formatNEF (RAW): 12 or 14-bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed; small size available (12-bit uncompressed only)TIFF (RGB)JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality compression available (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control systemCan be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, and Flat; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Storage mediaSD (Secure Digital) and UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards; Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant)
Dual card slotsEither card can be used for primary or backup storage or separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG images; pictures can be copied between cards
File systemDCF 2.0, DPOF, Exif 2.3, PictBridge
ViewfinderEye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverageFX (36×24): Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical1.2x (30×20): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical (24×16): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical5:4 (30×24): Approx. 97% horizontal and 100% vertical
MagnificationApprox. 0.7x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint17 mm (-1.0 m-1; from the center surface of the viewfinder eyepiece lens)
Diopter adjustment-3 to +1 m-1
Focusing screenType B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with AF area brackets and framing grid
Reflex mirrorQuick return
Depth-of-field previewPressing the Pv button stops the lens aperture down to the value selected by the user (A, M, and M* modes) or by the camera (P and S modes)
Lens apertureInstant return, electronically controlled
Compatible lensesCompatible with AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G, E, and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC lenses), DX lenses (using DX (24×16) 1.5x image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (exposure modes A, M, and M* only); IX-NIKKOR lenses, lenses for the F3AF, and non-AI lenses cannot be used: The electronic rangefinder can be used with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster (the electronic rangefinder supports the 11 focus points with lenses that have a maximum aperture of f/8 or faster)
TypeElectronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane mechanical shutter, electronic front-curtain shutter (in mirror-up release mode)
Speed1/8000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, time, X250
M* mode: 4, 5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 30, 60, 120, 180, 240, 300, 600, or 900 seconds shutter speed, and Bulb and Time settings are available
Flash sync speedX=1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/320 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320 s)
Release modeS (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed), Q (quiet shutter-release), QC (quiet continuous shutter-release), Self-timer, MUP (mirror up)
Frame advance rateWith EN-EL15 batteries
(FX/5:4) CL: Approx. 1 to 5 fps, CH: Approx. 5 fps, QC: Approx. Three fps
(DX/1.2x) CL: Approx. 1 to 6 fps, CH: Approx. 6 fps, QC: Approx. Three father power sources
(FX/5:4) CL: Approx. 1 to 5 fps, CH: Approx. 5 fps, QC: Approx. Three fps
(1.2x) CL: Approx. 1 to 6 fps, CH: Approx. 6 fps, QC: Approx. Three fps
(DX) CL: Approx. 1 to 6 fps, CH: Approx. Seven fps, QC: Approx. Three fps
Self-timer2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 s
MeteringTTL exposure metering using a 91K-pixel RGB sensor
Metering methodMatrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G, E, and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if the user provides lens dataCenter-weighted: Weight of approx. 75% given to a 12-mm circle in the center of the frame; the circle’s diameter can be changed to 8, 15, or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on the average of the entire frame (non-CPU lenses use a 12-mm circle). Spot: Meters 4-mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when the non-CPU lens is used)Highlight-weighted: Available with type G, E, and D lenses (equivalent to center-weighted when other lenses are used)
(ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F)
Matrix, center-weighted, or highlight-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EVSpot metering: 2 to 20 EV
Exposure meter couplingCombined CPU and AI
ModeProgrammed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture-priority auto (A); manual (M); Long-exposure manual (M*) mode
Exposure compensation-5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV
Exposure bracketing2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV; 2 to 5 frames in steps of 2 or 3 EV
Exposure lockLuminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)
ISO 200 to 12800 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 100 equivalent) below ISO 200 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 51200 equivalent) above ISO 12800; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Active D-LightingCan be selected from auto, extra high, high, normal, low, or off
ADL bracketingTwo frames using selected value for one frame or 3 to 5 frames using preset values for all frames
AutofocusNikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, fine-tuning, 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors; f/8 supported by 11 sensors), and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5 to 3 m/1 ft 8 in. to 9 ft 10 in.)
Detection range-2 to +19 EV (ISO 100 equivalent, 20°C/68°F)
Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); predictive focus tracking automatically ac tivated according to subject status manual focus (M): Electronic rangefinder can be used
Focus pointCan be selected from 51 or 11 focus points
AF-area modeSingle-point AF, 9-, 21- or 51-point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, group-area AF, auto-area AF
Focus lockFocus can be locked by pressing the shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or pressing the AE-L/AF-L button.
Built-in flashA manual pop-up with button release and a guide number of approx. 12/39, 12/39 with manual flash (m/ft, ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
Flash controlTTL: i-TTL flash control using 91K-pixel RGB sensor is available with built-in flash; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
Flash modeFront-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync, off; auto FP high-speed sync supported
Flash compensation-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV
Flash bracketing2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV; 2 to 5 frames in steps of 2 or 3 EV
Flash-ready indicatorLights when built-in flash or optional flash unit is fully charged; blinks after flash is fired at the total output.
Accessory shoeISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting
System (CLS)
Nikon CLS supported; commander mode option available
Sync terminalISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
White balance
White balanceAuto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored, spot white balance measurement available during live view), choose color temperature (2500 K to 10000 K); all with fine-tuning
White balance bracketing2 to 9 frames in steps 1, 2 or 3
Live View
Live view modeLive view photography (still images), movie live view (movies)
Lens servoAutofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time servo AF (AF-F)Manual focus (M)
AF-area modeFace-priority AF, wide-area AF, normal-area AF, subject-tracking AF
AutofocusContrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
MeteringTTL exposure metering using the primary image sensor
Metering methodMatrix, center-weighted, or highlight-weighted
Frame size (pixels)
and frame rate
1920 x 1080; 60p (progressive), 50p, 30p, 25p, 24p1280 x 720; 60p, 50pActual frame rates for 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively; all options support both high and normal image quality
File formatMOVE
Video compressionH.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Audio recording formatLinear PCM
Audio recording deviceBuilt-in or external stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable
ISO sensitivityExposure modes P, S, and A: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 200 to Hi 2) with selectable upper limit exposure mode M: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 200 to Hi 2) available with selectable upper limit; manual selection (ISO 200 to 12800 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV); can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 51200 equivalent) above ISO 12800
Other movie optionsIndex marking, time-lapse photography
Monitor8-cm/3.2-in., approx. 1229 k-dot (VGA; 640 x RGBW x 480 = 1,228,800 dots) TFT monitor with 170 ° viewing angle, approx. 100% frame coverage and brightness adjustment
PlaybackFull-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images) playback with playback zoom, movie playback, photo and movie slide shows, histogram display, highlights, photo information, location data display, auto image rotation
USBSuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0 Micro-B connector); connection to built-in USB port is recommended.
HDMI outputType C HDMI connector
Audio inputStereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter; plug-in power supported)
Audio outputStereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter)
Ten-pin remote terminalIt can be used to connect optional remote control, optional WR-R10 (requires WR-A10 Adapter) or WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller (M* mode not supported), GP-1/GP-1A GPS Unit, or GPS device compliant with NMEA0183 version 2.01 or 3.01 It (it requires it optional MC-35 It GPS It Adapter It Cord and cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)
Supported languages (may differ by country or area)
Supported languagesArabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power source
BatteryOne EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
Battery packOptional MB-D12 Multi-Power Battery Pack with one EN-EL15/EN-EL18a*/EN-EL18* Rechargeable Li-ion Battery or eight R6/AA-size alkaline, Ni-MH or lithium batteries
* Available separately; Requires optional BL-5 Battery Chamber Cover
AC adapterEH-5b AC Adapter; requires EP-5B Power Connector (available separately)
Tripod socket
Tripod socket1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
(W x H x D)
Approx. 146 x 123 x 81.5 mm/5.8 x 4.9 x 3.3 in.
WeightApprox. 980 g/2 lb 2.6 oz with battery and SD memory card but without body cap; approx. 880 g/1 lb 15.1 oz (camera body only)
Operating environment
Temperature0 to 40°C/32 to 104°F
Humidity85% or less (no condensation)

Nikon D810a Final Verdict

  • Product
  • Features

Nikon D810A FX-format Digital SLR

Last update was on: April 13, 2024 10:17 am
$1,350.00 $3,796.95

The Nikon D810a is a specialist digital single-lens reflex camera that was intended exclusively for amateur astronomy photographers. It is loaded with a variety of functions and has been optimized in such a way that it is an effective instrument for taking breathtaking pictures of the night sky.

The D810a’s improved infrared (IR) filter is one of its most notable characteristics. This filter enables the camera to have increased sensitivity to the H-alpha red tones that are released by nebulae. The upshot of this alteration is the capture of astronomical photos that are more accurate in terms of color, as well as more colorful and detailed. Because of this alteration, the D810a is advised primarily for use in astrophotography and may not be as adaptable for use in general photography. It is vital to keep in mind that this modification is the reason for this recommendation.

Even at higher ISO settings, the D810a’s 36.3-megapixel full-frame sensor is capable of producing high-resolution photos with good dynamic range and low noise performance. This is all thanks to the camera’s low noise performance. This is especially helpful for astrophotography, which places a premium on capturing minute details while reducing background noise as much as possible.

Nikon D810a FAQs

Is Nikon D810a discontinued?

The Nikon D810a is no longer being produced as of the year 2023.

Is Nikon D810a good for astrophotography?

Yes, the Nikon D810a was developed with astronomy photography in mind from the beginning, with features like an infrared cut filter ideal for recording minute details of the night sky.

How much is Nikon D810a?

There is a range of possible prices for the Nikon D810a, depending on when and where it is purchased. However, given that it is no longer manufactured, locating new versions currently for sale may be more challenging.

Is the Nikon D810a outdated?

Even though the Nikon D810a may not have the most recent features and innovations, it is still a capable camera that can be used for various photographic purposes. Moreover, because of its high resolution and other sophisticated features may be a suitable option for certain kinds of photographs.

Is D810a a full frame?

The Nikon D810a is, in fact, a full-frame camera that features a sensor capable of capturing 36.3 million pixels.

Is D810a worth buying?

Whether or not the Nikon D810a is a worthwhile investment depends on the specific requirements and inclinations of the buyer, particularly those interested in astrophotography.

How long does D810a last?

The lifetime of a Nikon D810a can change depending on how it is used and how well it is maintained, but you can anticipate that it will last for several years if you take care of it properly.

Is the Nikon D810a good in low light?

Due to the sophisticated sensor technology and high ISO capabilities of the Nikon D810a, the camera can achieve good results even in low-light settings.

Is Nikon D810a suitable for wedding photography?

Even though the Nikon D810a was not created with the sole purpose of photographing weddings in mind, it is still a capable camera that can take high-quality pictures in a wide variety of illumination scenarios.

Is Nikon D810a weather sealed?

The Nikon D810a does, in fact, feature weather sealing, which makes it impervious to dust and dampness.

What is the maximum shutter count for Nikon D810a?

According to the manufacturer, the Nikon D810a has the highest shutter count certified for up to 200,000 actuation,

Is the Nikon D810a suitable for sports photography?

The Nikon D810a may not be the best option for photographing fast-paced sports. Still, thanks to its sophisticated autofocus system and quick continuous recording speed, it can be a good choice for photographing certain sports.

What is the Nikon D810a shutter rated for?

The shutter on the Nikon D810a is certified for up to 200,000 actuation in its lifetime.

How many megapixels is D810a?

The image sensor in the Nikon D810a has a resolution of 36.3 megapixels.

Does Nikon D810a have wifi?

Unfortunately, the Nikon D810a does not have a built-in wifi connection.

Does Nikon D810a have face recognition?

The Nikon D810a cannot recognize faces, unfortunately.

Is the Nikon D810a suitable for Landscape?

Because of its high resolution and other sophisticated features, the Nikon D810a can be a good option for landscape photography. These qualities allow the camera to capture even the finest of details.

Does Nikon D810a have auto mode?

The Nikon D810a has an automatic setting that allows for candid photographs using the point-and-shoot method.

How many fps is D810a?

The Nikon D810a can shoot up to 5 pictures per second in continuous photography mode.

Where is the Nikon D810a made?

The Nikon D810a is a Japanese-made camera.

Is the Nikon D810a a medium-format camera?

The Nikon D810a is not a medium-format camera, as that description would imply. Instead, this is a DSLR camera with a full-frame sensor.


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