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Fujifilm X-T2 versus Nikon D810

The Fujifilm X-T2 and the Nikon D810 are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2016 and June 2014. The X-T2 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the D810 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on an APS-C (X-T2) and a full frame (D810) sensor. The Fujifilm has a resolution of 24 megapixel, whereas the Nikon provides 36.2 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison: Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D810

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Nikon D810. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the X-T2 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Snapsort Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D810
Compare X-T2 versus D810 top
Compare X-T2 and D810 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D810 is considerably larger (47 percent) than the Fujifilm X-T2. Moreover, the D810 is substantially heavier (93 percent) than the X-T2. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. A larger imaging sensor will tend to go along with bigger and heavier lenses, although exceptions exist. You can find an overview of optics for the two cameras in the Fujinon X Lens Catalog (X-T2) and the Nikon Lens Catalog (D810). Mirrorless cameras, such as the Fujifilm X-T2, have moreover the advantage that they have a relatively short flange to focal plane distance and can thus use many lenses from other systems via adapters.

Concerning battery life, the X-T2 gets 340 shots out of its NP-W126S battery, while the D810 can take 1200 images on a single charge of its EN-EL15 power pack.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-T2» 5.2 in 3.6 in 1.9 in 17.9 oz 340 Y Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Nikon D810« 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 34.6 oz 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299- i
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Fujifilm X100F« » 5.0 in 3.0 in 2.0 in 16.5 oz 390 n Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« » 4.8 in 2.9 in 1.7 in 11.9 oz 350 n Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.5 oz 350 n Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« » 4.6 in 2.6 in 1.6 in 12.0 oz 410 n Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« » 5.1 in 3.0 in 1.5 in 12.3 oz 350 n Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » 5.6 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« » 4.6 in 3.3 in 1.6 in 13.4 oz 350 n May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-T1« » 5.1 in 3.5 in 1.9 in 15.5 oz 350 Y Jan 2014 1,699- i
Nikon Df« » 5.7 in 4.3 in 2.6 in 26.8 oz 1400 Y Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Nikon D800« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« » 5.7 in 4.8 in 3.2 in 35.3 oz 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299- i
Sony RX10 IV« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.7 in 38.6 oz 400 Y Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony RX10 III« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 5.0 in 37.1 oz 420 Y Mar 2016 1,499- i

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The X-T2 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 52 percent) than the D810, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

 

Sensor comparison: Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D810

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Fujifilm X-T2 features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon D810 a full frame sensor. The sensor area in the D810 is 134 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 1.0. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.

Fujifilm X-T2 and Nikon D810 sensor measures

With 36.2MP, the D810 offers a higher resolution than the X-T2 (24MP), but the D810 nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.88μm versus 3.92μm for the X-T2) due to its larger sensor. However, the X-T2 is a much more recent model (by 2 years) than the D810, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

X-T2 versus D810 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Fujifilm X-T2» APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Nikon D810« Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187
Fujifilm X100F« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-T20« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40004K/30p----
Fujifilm X-A3« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-E2S« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-Pro2« » APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T10« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Fujifilm X-T1« » APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p----
Nikon Df« » Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280-24.613.1327989
Nikon D800« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
Nikon D800E« » Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996
Sony RX10 IV« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p----
Sony RX10 III« » 1-inch 20.0 5472 36484K/30p23.112.647270

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the X-T2 provides a higher video resolution than the D810. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/60p.

 

Feature comparison: Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D810

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the X-T2 has an electronic viewfinder (2360k dots), while the D810 has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Fujifilm X-T2, the Nikon D810, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.

Core Features
  Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Fujifilm X-T2»2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 8000 14.0 n n
Nikon D810«optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 4000 5.0 Y n
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n
Fujifilm X100F« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E3« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 4000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T20« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-A3« »- n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 4000 6.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-E2S« »2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 4000 7.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »2360 n 3.0 1620 fixed n 8000 8.0 n n
Fujifilm X-T10« »2360 n 3.0 920 tilting n 4000 8.0 Y n
Fujifilm X-T1« »2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting n 4000 8.0 n n
Nikon Df« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 4000 5.5 n n
Nikon D800« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Nikon D800E« »optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 8000 4.0 Y n
Sony RX10 IV« »2359 Y 3.0 1440 tilting Y 2000 24.0 Y Y
Sony RX10 III« »2359 Y 3.0 1229 tilting n 2000 14.0 Y Y

The X-T2 is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the D810 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the D810 was succeeded by the Nikon D850.

Review summary: Fujifilm X-T2 vs Nikon D810

So what is the bottom line? Is the Fujifilm X-T2 better than the Nikon D810 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Fujifilm X-T2:

  • Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (14 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x92mm vs 146x123mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 473g or 48 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (52 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years of technical progress since the D810 launch.

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Reasons to prefer the Nikon D810:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (36.2 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 23%.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Easier setting verification: Has a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1229k vs 1040k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (1200 versus 340) out of a single battery charge.
  • Easier fill-in: Has a small integrated flash to brighten shadows of backlit subjects.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in June 2014).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the X-T2 comes out slightly ahead of the D810 (10 : 9 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.

X-T2 10:09 D810

In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the X-T2 or the D810 handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The full reviews are available by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review scores
  Camera cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Fujifilm X-T2»HiRec86/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2016 1,599 i i
Nikon D810«-86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299- i
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i
Fujifilm X100F« »Rec83/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299 i i
Fujifilm X-E3« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-T20« »HiRec82/1005/5-4.5/5 Jan 2017 899 i i
Fujifilm X-A3« »-74/1004.5/5-4/5 Aug 2016 399 i i
Fujifilm X-E2S« »-77/1004.5/5-4.5/5 Jan 2016 699- i
Fujifilm X-Pro2« »Rec83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Jan 2016 1,699 i i
Fujifilm X-T10« »HiRec80/1005/54/55/5 May 2015 799- i
Fujifilm X-T1« »HiRec84/1005/54/55/5 Jan 2014 1,699- i
Nikon Df« »-81/1004/54/54/5 Nov 2013 2,749 i i
Nikon D800« »HiRec82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999- i
Nikon D800E« »-84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299- i
Sony RX10 IV« »Rec84/1004.5/5-5/5 Sep 2017 1,699 i i
Sony RX10 III« »Rec84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Mar 2016 1,499- i

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

 

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to locate and add the respective data to the application.

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