Nikon D810A Astrophotography DSLR

Posted by on February 9, 2015

Nikon D810A Astrophotography DSLR

If you’re gonna go niche, you’d better go big. That’s exactly the strategy with the new Nikon D810A astrophotography DSLR, a “turn-key, ready to go astro-camera.” Nikon’s new digital SLR shares the same body and 36-megapixel full-frame sensor as its sibling the D810 (read our Nikon D810 article). However, the Nikon D810A has been customized for astrophotography. The standard infrared filter has been replaced with a custom unit that allows the D810A to capture light in the far red, H-alpha (Hα ) portion of the spectrum. That makes the D810A 4x more sensitive to 656 nm light, a wavelength invisible to the human eye but critical for capturing detailed images of celestial bodies. It also makes it possible for the D810A to capture colors you wouldn’t get with photos made with a normal camera.

Nikon D810A Astrophotography DSLR Features & Specs:

  • 36.3-megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor
  • Custom infrared sensor
  • EXPEED 4 image processing
  • Sensitivity: ISO 2000 to 12,600
  • 51-point AF system
  • Full HD 60p video with built-in stereo sound
  • Uncompressed HDMI output
  • Built-in intervalometer with Nikon’s smooth in-camera time-lapse metering
  • In-camera time-lapse video mode
  • 3.2-inch 1.3-million-dot RGBW LCD display
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • Weather-sealed magnesium alloy body

The custom IR filter isn’t the only thing Nikon did to customize the D810A for astrophotography. Because it’s designed for low light photography, the sensitivity range starts at ISO 2000 and goes up to 12,600. Of course, it has a Bulb (B) mode. But they’ve added a new, “Long Exposure Manual Mode,” offering shutter speeds from 4 to 900 seconds; as well as a new feature called, “Virtual Exposure Preview Mode,” which offers a Live View preview of images with exposures of 30 seconds or longer. And to minimize vibration and camera shake during long exposures, the D810A has an Electronic Front Curtain Shutter Mode.

Nikon D810A Astrophotography Camera - Top View

Although it looks, feels and behaves much like a regular professional DSLR, the D810A is actually a very specialized camera designed specifically for astrophotography. It’s not to be confused with other DSLRs and it will not produce normal colors of standard terrestrial subjects. But for astronomy hobbyists, schools and night sky photographers, the D810A is a very special camera that merges serious astrophotography features with full-frame DSLR performance.

The Nikon D810A astrophotography camera should be in stores in late May of this year. Pricing for the D810A has not yet been announced.

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