Why You Shouldn’t Buy Nikon’s New D810a or the D750 Filmaker’s Package

Nikon released details on two new products. Well, technically one new product and one new bundle – but you get the idea. The Nikon D750 Filmaker Kit and the Nikon D810a aren’t bad products, but if you’re shooting video or starting a video business – we wouldn’t recommend either.

First the Nikon D810a. Great camera, but it’s designed specifically for astrophotography and according to Nikon “Is not recommended for general photography”. There are very, very few people who will want a camera that is only used to shoot one, VERY specific scene (the night sky) – and be willing to pay $3,800 for it. If I win tonight’s Powerball jackpot I’ll probably pick one up, but unless you’re Shane Black (a terrifically talented Astrophotographer) – this camera isn’t going to make much sense for you.

Nikon D810a vs D810 comparo Astrophotography

Color temperatures, realistic tones, matching color, and color grading is hard enough on footage captured on DSLRs that aren’t advertised as distorting normal color balances – don’t make it harder on yourself.

The second release is the D750 Filmaker kit. For $4,000 you get:
Nikon Filmaker Kit D750
• Nikon D750 camera body ($2,300ish – currently on silent recall due to flare issue)
• AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G ED lens ($600)
• AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G lens ($500)
• AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G lens ($215)
• Two additional EN-EL15 batteries ($25)
• ME-1 stereo microphone ($129)
• Atomos Ninja-2 external recorder ($700)
• Tiffen 67mm and 58mm variable neutral density filters 8-Stops ($130 + $110)
• Custom foam inserts for transportation

So you’re saving in the neighborhood of $700 – OR, basically getting the external recorder for free. The thing is, if we were starting over and only had $4,000 to spend to put a kit together – it wouldn’t look like the D750 Filmaker Kit. The D750 is a great starting point, but we’d probably get an extra batter and the 24-70. That setup is nearly the same price and will be more versatile than a bagful of prime lenses.

If you’re looking at wedding videography with a DSLR – I’ve never seen or heard of anyone using an external recorder for that type of work. I can’t imagine running around the fast-paced day worrying about extra cords and the recorder. I’m sure the Atmos is a great product (it has great reviews), it’s just not something we would invest in if we were starting out (or even now), and this kit is targeting beginners.

Both the D750 Filmaker Kit and the Nikon D810a are great if that’s exactly what you’re looking for:

1. A $3,800 camera for Astrophotography only, or
2. Spending $4k and only getting focal lengths between 35mm and 85mm across three different lenses.