Is the Nikon D810 Still Good?

  • Reading time:8 mins read
You are currently viewing Is the Nikon D810 Still Good?

The Nikon D810, 10 Years Later

Nikon released the D810 DSLR in July of 2014 for around $3,000 (USD) as a follow-up to another popular camera, the D800. So what’s so special about the D810? For starters, it’s a 36.3 MP Full-Frame DSLR that is capable of taking amazing photos AND shoots video. Additionally you can pick one up used now for around $500 now, sometimes even with a kit lens included. So the real question becomes, is the Nikon D810 still good 10 years later?

Nikon D810 Specs

I’ve had my D810 since around 2018. At the time, it was around $1,000 (USD) used and mine had maybe 5K shutter actuations. The D810 felt similar in my hand to my Canon 5D Mark II,  which was already 10 years old at that time.  So why did I choose the D810?

The reason I chose a used D810, over say the Canon 5D Mark III, was because I was already using a D800 in the military, which I loved. The D800 also had a 36-Megapixel sensor, to which I had grown accustomed to shooting, and the 5DMKIII was only 22MP (Even the 5D Mark IV, released in 2016 was only 30MP). At the time, the D800 was great at focusing in low-light, so the D810 seemed like the obvious upgrade. So, with all that in mind here are the D810 Specs:

  • Base ISO of 64
  • ISO Range 64-12,800 (Expandable ISO 32- 51,200)
  • Dual CF & SD Card Slots
  • 1080/60 Video (Slow-Motion)
  • 51 AF Points
  • New EXPEED 4 Image Processor (D800 had the EXPEED 3)
  • 5 FPS Full Frame (FX), 7 FPS (DX) Cropped
  • And it’s Weather Sealed!
Presley portrait photoshoot at pool bar in nashville.
Portrait shoot with Presley in Nashville. Settings: 50mm, f/2, 1/80th, ISO 64. (Run N Gun Photography)

Nikon D810 Photo Quality

The 36 MP photos coming out of the this DSLR are fantastic! For a long time, the D810 was my primary DSLR for weddings (secondary was my 5D Mark II). The D810 does not have an optical low-pass filter, so the images are super SHARP. So this camera quickly became my go-to for Landscape and Portrait Photography. 

Speaking of portraits, I recently did a photoshoot for a country music artist, and decided to pull my D810 out of storage.  I used the 24-70mm f/2.8 for 95% of this shoot and used an 85mm for a couple shots where I just wanted to blur the background to bokeh oblivion. It was also DARK in the bar, and I pushed the D810 to its limit. So, when it came to autofocus, I truly gave this 10-year-old DSLR a run for its money. And it performed — take a look at the imagery for yourself!

Low-light D810 Portrait Photoshoot. Settings: 35mm, f/4, 1/30th, ISO 320. (Run N Gun Photography)

Shooting Video with the Nikon D810

In all honesty, the D810 wouldn’t be my first pick out of a line up for any of my current video productions. But, after shooting some test footage for this review, I was actually surprised how good the 1080P footage from the D810 looked. So is the D810 any good for shooting video?

I believe Full-HD (1920×1080) is plenty for most folks who post to social media. If your final product is going to Instagram, Tiktok or Youtube, chances are the vast majority of your audience is watching on their phone at no larger than 1280×720 (HD).

Do you truly need 4K? While I prefer to shoot 4K personally, HD still looks good on YouTube if you light your scenes. Add light and the D810 will shine! If you’re a run and gun filmmaker on a budget, don’t scoff at the D810… just look at the video samples from my review, up-scaled to 4K.

If you’re primarily shooting stills 80-90% of the time, with some video clips here and there, a Nikon D810 is more than enough to get the job done. The Full HD 60 FPS slow-mo option is also quite useful. Remember the D810 was released about a decade ago and yes, video technology has come a long way since then. Just how the 5D Mark II was a game changer 15 years ago, when it came to Full-HD, 24-Progressive FPS video.

Nikon D810 video still frame, 1920x1080 up-scaled to 4K. (Run N Gun Photography)

Is the Nikon D810 Still Good Today?

So, the ultimate question: Is the Nikon D810 still good, 10 years later? And if so, who exactly is this camera for? In my opinion, the Nikon D810 IS still a good camera today. It’s perfect for someone who shoots mostly still photography, but may want to dabble in video. Of course, there are “better” options if you’re looking for a tool that primarily captures video… every 6 months there will be. But, always remember a camera is just a tool, and don’t let anyone tell you the D810 can’t do video — it certainly will. 

Above all else, the photo quality is great! If you enjoy landscape, portraits or street photography, the D810 might just be the camera for you. Additionally, it’s a solid, reliable camera body for any wedding photographer. I currently pair it with my Nikon Z6 for event photography. And, at the going used rate of about $500 USD, you can’t really beat it.

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the Nikon D810 camera body. If you found value in this article, please Subscribe to my Newsletter (below), and to my Photography Youtube Channel. Until next time, get out and go shoot!

Subscribe to the Blog

* indicates required