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What will an upgrade from Nikon d710 to d810 get me in terms of video?

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Andreas Ahston
What will an upgrade from Nikon d710 to d810 get me in terms of video?
on Aug 30, 2014 at 4:20:19 pm

I love my Nikon d7100, which I chose over a canon, primerily because my old Nikon primes fits directly on it. I'm positively suprised about the video quality. Still i've started thinking about getting a fullframe camera. One of the most important reasons is that with the crop factor of the smaller sensor on the d7100, and the fact that the widest lense I can get in the ais series is 24mm, I can't get very wide shots. I have a few questions about the upgrding to a fullframe camera that I hope to get some input on. I am a videophotographer, so anything that has to do only with stills, is not very important to me.

Is the d800/d810 the only or the obvious choice if I want to get a fullframe Nikon to shoot video? Are there any other models that I should consider?

Are there any issues or limitations with the d810 that I should be aware of?

Is Canon 5D still superior on dslr video or has Nikon now caugth up? (were they ever lagging behind?)
Is there any good reason why I should consider to go with Canon instead?

Will the D810 get me any other real improvement in video quality (over the D7100) apart from the wider angle and a smaller depth of field?

Is the depth of field difference between the D7100 and the fullframe a big difference. Is it something to be appreciated?

I've heard that it's possible to prores record video to an external recorder through the HDMI port with the d810. Is this also possible with my D7100 and if so, is it worth the trouble?

Thank you for reading. I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences.


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David Rehm
Re: What will an upgrade from Nikon d710 to d810 get me in terms of video?
on Aug 31, 2014 at 6:43:37 pm

Canon is not better than Nikon and vice-versa when it comes to producing a great picture. The difference comes in features.

I went with Nikon even though I knew Canon had the edge on the video side. I have a D7000 (you have its successor the D7100). The video is amazing on the D7000 but Nikon, for some reason has the issue with changing the aperture in live view mode on many of their models (Yes I think even the D7100 you won't be able to change the aperture while recording video).

This aperture limitation was never a problem for me as I always shoot in a controlled environment (my basement - I make my own videos of various lectures). This did pose a problem when I filmed my wife's bother's wedding. Luckily it didn't get ruined but I had work to do (and I ran a second camera for the ceremony which was outside - we had sun/cloud issues). If I could have changed aperture more easily it would have been smoother.

The D800 or 810 is Canon's direct competition to the 5d Mark iii. If you go to Youtube and type "D800 vs. 5d Mark iii", and you'll get comparisons. What I find is the Canon will do better in low light when you bump up the ISO really high. The Nikon starts to fall apart while the Canon's is more useable. Other than that these 2 cameras are a tie.

When I get the money I want to get the D810. Remember also full-frame will just give you a better picture but sometimes it's hard to tell. But the bottom line is knowing how to use the camera - that makes the difference.


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Andreas Ahston
Re: What will an upgrade from Nikon d710 to d810 get me in terms of video?
on Aug 31, 2014 at 7:02:45 pm

Hi David

Thank you for your reply. I too read about not being able to change the aparture while in video-mode. I have not had a problem with that. Maybe because I use old as/ais lenses where I change aperture directly on the lense ring. But I can also change the ISO and shutter speed while recording. Maybe the problem have been fixed on the D7100?

What you write pretty much confirms what I thought was the case. I've seen some comparisons on youtube where canon clearly beats the D800 on the ISO in low light. I wonder if the D810 has improved since the d800 on iso?

I remember reading somewhere that one of the most important things in dslr video, is how the camera transforms the much bigger chip, to create a HD video image. I've had the impression that this is where Canon have outpaced Nikon and become the leading brand in dslr video. Do you know anything about this? While reseraching before I bought the D7100 I got the impression that Nikon have been fixing some real issues with their dslr video, but I'm not clear on what these issues might be or how they have improved?


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Rob Manning
Re: What will an upgrade from Nikon d710 to d810 get me in terms of video?
on Sep 10, 2014 at 7:45:01 pm

Hello Andreas,

As far as Nikon and video are concerned, the D810 exceeds other iterations, including the D4S because of the density even at the 2MP file level of 1080 video. That's my logic anyway.

I shoot a D7000 and the D800 ongoing for small venue work (music) and when the budget allows the D810 will be added to the locker.

We will add the D810 because of the improvements including a lower base ISO, the expanded higher ISO (akin to my D3S), Zebra stripes in LV, in camera adjustments to lighting as film is rolling and so on.

This video spells it out well enough:

There are other ungraded test shot videos on YT as you may have seen

Other than say the Sony A7 series, the Panasonic or the BMD for 4K and because almost any content being shot within a production budget is down scaled (down rezed?) from a number of high end devices, (RED etc.) staying with my herd of Nikkor glass collected since the D90 hit and NOT having to use a Meta Bones or other adapter to change from 'F' mount, is key.

Should an event or shoot arise which demands a 5k camera, then surely we can rent. Until such time, the D810 stands above the other Nikons and Canons in the under $5,000 realm, at least for 1080 based content.

This is my opinion, others may have differing viewpoints.


Rob Manning

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charles meadows
Re: What will an upgrade from Nikon d710 to d810 get me in terms of video?
on Oct 13, 2014 at 5:22:30 pm

Got to say I prefer the Nikon picture (far crisper and quite cinematic at times), especially now with the D810 etc, they've definitely ironed out the moire and other such irritants. However, we've just traded in one of our D810's for the Sony A7S and after 2 shoots with it we're pretty blown away, the video image is breath taking though the rolling shutter is pretty dire.

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa

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