The Nikon D800 is a top of the range full frame high-resolution Digital SLR camera.
The Nikon D800 made all the the headlines when it was announced. This was despite the actual top of the range Nikon D4 being announced at the same time.
The 36MP sensor
The Nikon D800 has one of the highest resolutions of any Digital SLR camera. It’s 36MP sensor has the level of detail is what you would associate with a medium format camera. This is great for giant posters or cropping to improve your initial framing. This will of course show up your technique – any jogged shots and slight mis-focusing will show up. Any full-frame lens than might be soft at the edges will also be detectable! It will not be any worse than with a lesser resolution camera but to truly get 36MP of detail you will need to be extra careful. Whilst the Nikon D4 is the camera to go for in the Nikon range for the press photographer it only has a 16MP sensor so the D800 with 36MP was eye catching. The Nikon D800 is the ideal for when you want the detail and don’t necessary need a rapid frame rate. So it is good for Weddings, Landscapes and portraits.
Nikon D800 is even good in low light!
To everyone’s surprise when tested the camera was also very good in low light. Nikon D800‘s Canon nearest match is the Canon 5D Mark III. This has 24MP and in theory should have been slightly better in low light but only was just about equal. The Canon 5D Mark III does however score better with it’s frame rate of 6fps. The Nikon D800 is 4fps and the Nikon D4 is 10fps.
The Nikon D800E
There is also a variant called the Nikon D800E, which has more detail but potential problems with fine patterns. You can read about it in the specs. Most people should go for the standard D800. And did I mention the price? None of the camera’s we mention here are cheap! You can check out the price in our Where to buy Section.
The Nikon D800 Image Gallery
Here are the details of the Nikon D800 / D800E that was announced on February 7, 2012.
Nikon D800 Press release
A new Nikon FX-format digital SLR camera with the world’s highest effective pixel count–36.3-million pixels–for noteworthy definition and image quality
TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Nikon D800 FX-format digital SLR camera. The D800 offers the world’s highest* effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels, and is equipped with the new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine and a 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor for overwhelming definition and image quality. Nikon will be exhibiting the D800 at the CP+ CAMERA & PHOTO IMAGIING SHOW, to be held Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12 in Yokohama, Japan. This exhibition is open to the public.
*Among interchangeable lens digital SLR cameras equipped with image sensors conforming to the 35-mm film size as of February 7, 2012 The D800, a new FX-format model offers a noteworthy effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels. At its core is superior image quality equal to that achieved with medium-format digital cameras. The D800 is also equipped with a number of new functions for a high level of added value, all in a compact and lightweight body.
In addition to a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor and the new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, specifically optimized for Nikon digital SLR cameras, the D800 is equipped with a new 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor that supports the Advanced Scene Recognition System with its noteworthy advances in scene recognition performance. The camera is also equipped with a number of new functions, including Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie that enables movie recording using either the FX-based movie format or the DX-based movie format.
For users who demand an even greater sense of definition, Nikon also releases the D800E, a model that offers increased resolution for images with more dimension. D800 Development Background
Reflecting Nikon’s efforts to respond to a number of demands, including those for a higher pixel count, better image quality, and a smaller and lighter camera, the D800 is a digital SLR camera developed to capture still images with the superior resolution and record movies with the true high-definition picture quality demanded not only by advanced amateur photographers but also by professionals.
Nikon is responding to the needs of users who demand more from photographs and movies with the recently announced D4, a flagship model that combines excellent definition and image quality with superior high-speed performance, and the D800, a model that offers the ultimate in resolution demanded for nature and studio photography.
D800 Primary Features
New Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor
The D800 is equipped with a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor and the new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine for Nikon digital SLR cameras. This new image-processing engine is faster and offers greater performance. The camera also offers the world’s highest* effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels. When combined with the sharp rendering of NIKKOR lenses, images exhibiting resolution equal to that achieved with medium-format digital cameras are possible.
The D800 also responds to the demands of professional photographers with a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100–6400, and additional support for equivalents of ISO 50 (Lo 1) and up to ISO 25600 (Hi 2), for superior image and picture quality in dimly lit situations, such as just before sunrise and just after sunset, with shooting of still images as well as movie recording.
*Among interchangeable lens digital SLR cameras equipped with image sensors conforming to the 35-mm film size as of February 7, 2012 New 91K-pixel RGB sensor for the more accurate Advanced Scene Recognition System
The D800 is equipped with a new 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor. When a human face is detected in the frame, 3D Color Matrix Metering III bases exposure control on the brightness of that face so that the face is optimally exposed even with backlighting. In addition, the superior resolution of the metering sensor, which makes full use of an incredible 91,000 pixels, enables extremely precise analysis of the scene for more accurate control over autofocusing, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control, and auto white balance.
*There is no display in the viewfinder that shows when a face or faces have been recognized.
Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie for movie recording using one of two movie formats
The D800 records movies exhibiting superior resolution with optimal processing of information acquired from the 36.3-million pixel image sensor. Recording of 1920 x 1080p/30-fps full-HD movies is supported, and users can choose to record using the FX-based movie format or the DX-based movie format according to recording conditions. The FX-based movie format offers a shallow depth-of-field with an emphasis on blur characteristics while the DX-based movie format enables recording of movies that bring subjects closer when lenses with short focal lengths are used. The D800 is also equipped with a headphone jack and supports precise adjustment of microphone sensitivity. In addition, it supports simultaneous display of movies or the movie live view display in the camera monitor and on an external monitor. Further, the D800 responds to the needs of professionals who require uncompressed movie files with the ability to record movies directly to an external HDMI recorder in movie live view mode. The D800 also offers a time-lapse photography function that captures images at a selected interval and then combines the images to create a time-lapse movie that shows the changes in a particular scene that occur over time.
Viewfinder frame coverage of approximately 100%*1 and a lightweight and durable water- and dust-resistant body The viewfinder built into the D800 supports a frame coverage of approximately 100%*1 and magnification of approximately 0.7x*2. Adoption of a magnesium alloy for the body gives the camera the same level of durability as the D700 with a weight approximately 10% less.
*1With FX-format image area *2With 50-mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1 Support for high-speed continuous shooting and a variety of battery types with the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D12 (optional)
The MB-D12 supports the Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries EN-EL15 and EN-EL18, common AA batteries, and the AC Adapter EH-5a/b (with Power Connector EP-5B). When the MB-D12 is mounted on the D800, high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 6 fps* using the DX-format image area is possible. The MB-D12 also offers the added convenience of controls, including shutter-release button, AF-ON button and multi-selector, for vertical shooting. What’s more, the same seals as those used for the D800 with its magnesium body offer superior resistance to dust and water.
*When powered by the AC adapter, or AA batteries or Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL18 with the MB-D12. Measured according to CIPA guidelines.
Other D800 Functions and Features A 51-point AF system for improved subject acquisition and focus performance under dim lighting. In addition, 11 focus points (five at center with an addition three to each side) are fully functional when lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8 are used.
A 3.2-inch, approximately 921k-dot LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle
A virtual horizon that shows the degree to which the camera is tilted sideways (roll), or forward or backward (pitch) with display in the monitor and viewfinder A new shutter unit that has passed testing for 200,000 cycles and supports a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 s and flash sync speed of 1/250 s
Continuous shooting at 4 (FX-format/5 : 4 image area) or 5 (DX-format/1.2x image area) fps*
*When powered by a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL15 CompactFlash and SD dual memory card slots
Support for SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) The D800E with specifications for even greater resolution with an effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels
In-camera disabling of the aliasing and moiré pattern reduction operation performed by the optical low-pass filter built into the D800E allows light passing through a NIKKOR lens to strike photodiodes directly for even greater resolution. This makes this model optimal for landscape and artistic photography with which higher resolution and clear definition is demanded. With the exception of the modification indicated above, all other functions and characteristics are the same as with the D800.
Aliasing and moiré patterns may be more noticeable in images captured with the D800E with some subjects, scenes or shooting conditions. Optical low-pass filter IR coating and anti-reflection coating performance is the same with both the D800 and the D800E.
Nikon’s USA website page for the D800 is here.