Among a flurry of new Coolpix models to arrive from Nikon, the manufacturer also announced its first ever FX-format DSLR dedicated to astrophotography – the Nikon D810A. Here's what you need to know

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Nikon D810A First Look

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The release of the D810A is a modification of the popular D810 model and comes with a host of specialised functions to capture the finest images of the cosmos at a 36.3MP resolution.

Much like Canon developed a variant of the EOS 60D in the form of the EOS 60a for deep sky photography back in 2012, Nikon’s D810A features a redesigned infrared (IR) cut filter, making it four times more sensitive to reddish light from the H-alpha spectral line.

The result – the redesigned IR cut filter allows the true colour of the nebulae that emits on the hydrogen-alpha wavelength to be captured without requiring any modifications to the camera – a must-have for those who’d like to capture the cosmos as accurately as possible.

Built on the full-frame characteristics of the Nikon D810, the D810A’s standard ISO range runs between 200-12,800, with the option for it to be expanded to a setting equivalent to ISO 51,200. Furthermore, the D810A has been carefully designed to ensure it takes into consideration some of the challenges astrophotographers face when shooting the cosmos, starfields and star landscapes.

Alongside Bulb and Time settings, a new Long Exposure Manual mode has been introduced, allowing photographers to dial in exposures of up to 900 seconds. To minimise internal vibrations during exposure, photographers also have the option to activate the camera’s electronic front-curtain shutter and reduce the risk of micro-blur in subtle details.

With Live view activated, a virtual exposure preview for Bulb and Time settings is on hand to aid focus and framing, while as with the D810, the Live view image can be magnified up to 23x – ideal for making critical focus checks to be made with precision before the shutter is fired.

Added to these specialised functions is a new red-lit virtual horizon display that lets you confirm leveling when shooting through the viewfinder.

D810A_14_24_frontWhile the D810A is clearly a DSLR aimed a very specific audience, Jeremy Gilbert, Group Marketing Manager for Nikon commented at the UK launch ‘It’s a significant product for us and shows our support for niche photography markets.’

He went on to add ‘We see the product being very successful for us.’

Though there was no sample of the D810A to handle at the launch, we were told D810A users could expect an identical body and control layout to the D810. The D810A will be available to purchase from the end of May at a price of £2999 (body only).