Nikon announces D810 variant for astrophotography




Nikon has announced the D810A, the first astro camera with a full frame sensor. The camera is based on the 36.3 megapixel D810, but contains a special IR filter more red light transmission, allowing the colors of nebula to better capture.

Cameras with full frame sensors are already used for astrophotography, but optical filters restrict the transmission of red light with a long wavelength to avoid a red hue. This makes them less able to take photos of nebula radiating the H-alpha wavelength. Fanatical astrophotographers who mount their cameras on telescopes, let therefore often modify their cameras where the infrared and the lowpass filter for the sensor is removed. The D810A is equipped with an optical filter in comparison with the D810 four times as many red light of the hydrogen spectral line-alpha – a wavelength of about 656 nm – to pass through.

Furthermore, the D810A has some special features which should make life easier for astro photography. In addition to the positions bulb and time there is a new mode for long exposures which allows exposure times up to 900 seconds. The camera also includes an electronic first-curtain shutter to reduce vibrations. The virtual horizon is now red instead of yellow, which is more comfortable while working in dark conditions. In the live view image can be enlarged 23x for precise manual focus. The D810A can handle light sensitivities of ISO 200 to 12,800 and is expandable up to 51,200 ISO. Like the D810 has two card slots for SD and CompactFlash memory.

The supplied EN-EL15 battery according to Nikon good for 3680 shots per battery charge, and in addition there is a MB-D12 battery pack available which is good for 10 660 photos on a single charge. Finally, the camera can be connected to the mains with an adapter.

Canon has also released special astro cameras in the past, such as the EOS 20Da and 60Da. But it is now for the first time that a full frame camera is displayed for this group. The Nikon D810A is available from late May for a suggested retail price of 3799 euros.

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