The Nikon D810A Is Targeted at Astrophotographers


Today, Nikon is announcing a brand new version of the Nikon D810: it’s being coined as the Nikon D810A and is targeted at Astrophotography. The secret behind the camera is a modification for the infrared cut filter for the hydrogen alpha wavelength–and it really targeted at both pros and hobbyists.

According to the press release:

“The infrared (IR) cut filter has been optimized to allow transmission of the hydrogen alpha spectral line, resulting in four times greater sensitivity of the 656nm wavelength. The resulting images capture the brilliant red hues of diffuse nebulae and constellations in striking detail and fidelity. While not recommended for general photography, the D810A is an excellent option for photographing the universe with either NIKKOR lenses or third-party adaptors for telescopes.”

And while that is quite enough as it is, Nikon is packing in even more features for astrophotography. There is a new long exposure manual mode, has the same ISO sensitivity from 200-12,800, and adds a new visual exposure preview mode. At its heart is still a 36.3 MP CMOS sensor with an electronic first curtain shutter mode to minimize vibrations when shooting subjects like this.

Additionally, Capture NX now has a new Astro Noise Reduction feature.

Pricing will be announced later and availability will be late May 2015. Specs are after the jump.

Nikon D810A


Launch Time and Date Monday, February 9, 2015 at 11:01 P.M. EST
Product Name Nikon D810A
Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens Mount Nikon F bayonet mount
Picture Angle n/a
Effective Pixels 36.3
Sensor Size 35.9mm x 24mm
Image Sensor Format FX
Image Sensor Type CMOS
Total Pixels 37.09
Dust-reduction system Image sensor cleaning
Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX-D software required)
Dust-Off Reference Photo Yes
Image Area (pixels) Image Area (L) FX 7,360 × 4,912
Image Area (M) FX 5,520 × 3,680
Image Area (S) FX 3,680 × 2,456Image Area (L) 1:2 6,144 × 4,080
Image Area (M) 1:2 4,608 × 3,056
Image Area (S) 1:2 3,072 × 2,040Image Area (L) 5:4 6,144 × 4,912
Image Area (M) 5:4 4,608 × 3,680
Image Area (S) 5:4 3,072 × 2,456Image Area (L) DX Format 4,800 × 3,200
Image Area (M) DX Format 3,600 × 2,400
Image Area (S) DX Format 2,400 × 1,600
File Format Still Images NEF (RAW): lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed 12 or 14 bit; small size available (12bit uncompressed only)
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx 1:4), normal (approx 1:8), or basic (approx 1:16) compression
JPEG: JPEG-baseline-compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
Picture Control Flat
User-customizable Settings
Storage Media SD
CompactFlash© (CF) (Type I, compliant with UDMA)
Card Slot 1 CompactFlash© (CF) card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card
File System DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras)
Viewfinder Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex viewfinder
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Viewfinder Frame Coverage FX (36×24): Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
Viewfinder Frame Coverage 1.2× (30×20): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical
Viewfinder Frame Coverage DX (24×16): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97% vertical
Viewfinder Frame Coverage 5:4 (30×24): Approx. 97% horizontal and 100% vertical
Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x
Viewfinder Eyepoint 17 mm (-1.0 m¯¹)
Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment -3 to +1 m¯¹
Focusing Screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII with AF area brackets (grid lines can be displayed)
Reflex Mirror Quick-return type
Lens Aperture Instant-return type
Depth-of-field Control Yes
Lens Compatibility at a Glance*** AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
Metering with AI lenses
Compatible Lenses AF NIKKOR lenses, including type G, E, and D lenses (some restrictions apply to PC lenses) and DX lenses (using DX 24 x 16 1.5x image area), AI-P NIKKOR lenses, and non-CPU AI lenses (exposure modes G and H 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).
Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane
Shutter Speed 1/8000 to 30 sec.
Long exposure M* mode: 4,5,8,10,15,20,30,60,120,180, 240, 300, 600, 900 seconds, bulb, time
Fastest Shutter Speed 1/8000 sec
Slowest Shutter Speed 900 seconds (15min) (Long exposure M* mode)
Flash Sync Speed 1/250 sec.
Synchronizes with shutter at 1/320s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320s)
Bulb Shutter Setting Yes
Shutter Release Modes Continuous low-speed [CL] mode
Continuous high-speed [CH] mode
Mirror-up [Mup] mode
Quiet Shutter Release
Quiet Continuous Release
Self-timer Mode
Single-frame [S] mode
Frame Advance Rate n/a
Continuous Shooting Options Image area: FX/5 : 4 CL:1–5fps – CH:5fps – QC:3 fps
Image area: DX/1.2× – CL:1–6fps – CH:6fps – QC:3 fps
Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution 5 fps FX format
Self-timer 2, 5, 10, 20 sec.; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 sec.
Exposure Metering System TTL exposure metering using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
Metering Method Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8 mm circle in center of frameMatrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses)Spot: Meters 4 mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus pointHighlight-weighted: Available with type G, E, and D lenses; equivalent to center-weighted when non-CPU lens is used
Metering Range 0 to 20 EV (3D Color Matrix, center-weighted metering or highlight weighted metering)
0 to 20 EV (spot metering)
Exposure Meter Coupling CPU
Exposure Modes Aperture-Priority (A)
Long exposure M* mode
Manual (M)
Programmed auto with flexible program (P)
Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
Digital Vari-Program Modes n/a
Shooting Modes n/a
Advanced Scene Modes n/a
Automatic Exposure Scene Modes n/a
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Exposure Lock Yes
Mirror Lock Up Yes
ISO Sensitivity ISO 200 -12,800
Lo-1 (ISO 100)
Hi-1 (ISO 25,600)
Hi-2 (ISO 51,200)
Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity 200
Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity 12,800
Lowest Expanded ISO Sensitivity Lo-1 (ISO 100 equivalent)
Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity Hi-2 (ISO 51,200 equivalent)
Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options Lo-1 (ISO 100 equivalent)
Hi-1 (ISO 25,600 equivalent)
Hi-2 (ISO 51,200 equivalent)
Long Exposure Noise Reduction Yes
High ISO Noise Reduction Low
Active D-Lighting Auto
Extra High
D-Lighting Bracketing 2 frames using selected value for one frame
3-5 frames using preset values for all frames
Single-point AF Mode Yes
Dynamic AF Mode Number of AF points: 9, 21, 51 and 51 (3D-tracking)
Auto-area AF Mode Yes
Autofocus System Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection
Detection Range -1 to 19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)
Lens Servo Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used
AF-area mode 9, 21 or 51 point Dynamic-area AF
Auto-area AF
Single-point AF
3D-tracking (51 points)
Group-area AF
Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)
Focus Modes Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
Continuous-servo (AF-C)
Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only
Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only and D-Movie only
Manual focus (M) with electronic rangefinder
Normal area AF
Single-servo AF (AF-S)
Wide area AF
Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points 51
Autofocus Sensitivity -2 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
Autofocus Fine Tune Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV
Built-in Flash Distance 39 ft. (ISO 100)
X-Sync Speed 1/250 sec
Top FP High Speed Sync Up to 1/8000
Flash Control TTL: i-TTL flash control using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, SB-400, or SB-300; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighting metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
Flash Sync Modes Front-curtain sync (normal)
Rear-curtain sync
Red-eye reduction
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
Slow sync
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when built-in flash or optional flash unit is fully charged; flashes after flash is fired at full output
Accessory Shoe Yes
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) CLS Supported
Flash Sync Terminal Yes
White Balance Auto (2 types)
Choose color temperature (2,500K–10,000K)
Direct Sunlight
Fluorescent (7 types)
Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
White Balance Bracketing 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3 EV
Live View Shooting
Photographjy Mode (Still Images)
Movie Mode (Video)
Photography Live View Mode
Movie Live View Mode
Virtual Exposure preview in Bulb/Time setting
Live View Shooting
(Handheld mode
tripod mode)
Live View Lens servo Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F)
Manual focus (MF)
Live View AF-area mode Face-priority AF
Wide-area AF
Normal-area AF
Subject-tracking AF
Live View Autofocus Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
Live View Scene Auto Selector n/a
Movie Metering TTL exposure metering using main image sensor
Movie Maximum recording time 20 minutes
Movie File Format MOV
Movie Video Compression H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Movie Audio recording format Linear PCM
Movie Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 60 fps
Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 50 fps
Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps
Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 25 fps
Full HD 1,920×1,080 / 24 fps
HD 1,280×720 / 60 fps
HD 1,280×720 / 50 fps
Movie Audio Built-in microphone, stereo
External stereo microphone (optional)
Monitor Size 3.2 inch
Monitor Resolution 1,229,000
Monitor Type Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD
Monitor Angle of View 170 degrees
Monitor Adjustments Monitor Adjustments Automatic
Brightness control using ambient brightness sensor
Monitor Adjustments Manual 5 level
Virtual Horizon Camera Indicator Yes
Also visible in LiveView Modes
Also visible in Viewfinder (Illuminated in Red)
Playback Functions Auto Image Rotation
Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images)
Histogram Display
Image Comment
Movie Playback
Movie Slideshow
Playback with Zoom
In-Camera Image Editing Color balance
Color outline
Color sketch
Distortion control
Edit movie
Filter effects
Image overlay
Miniature effect
NEF (RAW) processing
Perspective control
Quick retouch
Red-eye correction
Selective Color
Side-by-side comparison
Image Comment Yes
Voice Memo Function n/a
Interface Audio input: Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter; plug-in power supported)
HDMI Output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Headphone Connector
Super Speed USB 3.0
Wi-Fi Functionality Eye-Fi Compatible
UT-1 Communication Unit + WT-5A Wireless Transmitter
GPS GP-1, GP-1A GPS unit
Save/Load Camera settings Yes
Total Custom Settings 54
My Menu Yes with customization
Recent Settings Yes
Supported Languages Arabic
Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil)
Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings Yes
World Time Setting Yes
Battery / Batteries EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life (shots per charge) 1200 shots per charge
AC Adapter EH-5b AC Adapter; requires EP-5B Power Connector (available separately)
Battery Charger MH-25a Quick Charger
Tripod Socket 1/4 in.
Approx. Dimensions
(W × H × D)
Approx. 5.8 × 4.9 × 3.3 in. (146 × 123 × 81.5 mm)
Approx. Weight
(include footnote)
approx. 1 lb 15.1 oz / 880 g (camera body only)
Operating Environment 0–40 °C (+32–104 °F)


Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.