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Nikon D800 vs. D4 specs comparison

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Here is a quick comparison between the Nikon D800 and Nikon D4 based on the specifications listed on Nikon's website:

 Camera  NikonD800 Nikon D4
Effective Pixels 36.3 million 16.2 million
Sensor Size 35.9mm x 24mm 36.0mm x 23.9mm
Lens Mount Nikon F bayonet mount Nikon F bayonet mount
Effective Pixels 36.3 million 16.2 million
Sensor Size 35.9mm x 24mm 36.0mm x 23.9mm
Image Sensor Format FX FX
File Format Still Images JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4), Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression
NEF (RAW): lossless compressed 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed
TIFF (RGB)
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline-Compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4), Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression
NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single Photograph Recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG Formats
TIFF (RGB)
Picture Control Landscape
Monochrome
Neutral
Portrait
Standard
User-customizable Settings
Vivid
Landscape
Monochrome
Neutral
Portrait
Standard
User-customizable Settings
Vivid
Storage Media CompactFlash© (CF) (Type I, compliant with UDMA)
SD
SDHC
SDXC
CompactFlash© (CF) (Type I, compliant with UDMA)
XQD Type Memory
Card Slot 1 CompactFlash© (CF) card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card 1 CompactFlash© (CF) card and 1 XQD memory type card
Viewfinder Frame Coverage FX (36x24): 100% Horizontal and 100% Vertical Approx.
1.2x (30x20): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
DX (24x16): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
5:4 (30x24): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
FX (36x24): 100% Horizontal and 100% Vertical Approx.
1.2x (30x20): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
DX (24x16): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
5:4 (30x24): 97% horizontal and 100% vertical Approx.
Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x Approx. 0.70x Approx.
Interchangeable Focusing Screens -- --
Lens Compatibility at a Glance*** AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
Metering with AI lenses
AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
Metering with AI lenses
Fastest Shutter Speed 1/8000 sec. 1/8000 sec.
Slowest Shutter Speed 30 sec. 30 sec.
Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution 4 frames per second 10 frames per second
11 frames per second (AE/AF Locked)
Scene Modes -- --
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Mirror Lock Up Yes Yes
ISO Sensitivity ISO 100 - 6400
Lo-1 (ISO 50)
Hi-1 (ISO 12,800)
Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)
ISO 100 - 12,800
Lo-1 (ISO 50)
Hi-4 (ISO 204,800)
Dynamic AF Mode Number of AF points: 9, 21, 51 and 51 (3D-tracking) Number of AF points: 9, 21, 51 and 51 (3D-tracking)
Auto-area AF Mode Yes Yes
Focus Modes Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
Continuous-servo (AF-C)
Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only
Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only
Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder
Normal area
Single-servo AF (AF-S)
Wide area
Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
Continuous-servo (AF-C)
Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only
Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only
Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder
Normal area
Single-servo AF (AF-S)
Wide area
Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points 51 51
Built-in Flash Yes --
Flash Bracketing 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV
Top FP High Speed Sync Up to 1/8000 Up to 1/8000
Flash Sync Modes Front-curtain sync (normal)
Rear-curtain sync
Red-eye reduction
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
Slow sync
Auto FP High-Speed Sync supported
Front-curtain sync (normal)
Rear-curtain sync
Red-eye reduction
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
Slow rear-curtain sync
Slow sync
Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) CLS Supported CLS Supported
White Balance Auto (2 types)
Choose color temperature (2500K–10000K)
Cloudy
Direct Sunlight
Flash
Fluorescent (7 types)
Incandescent
Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
Shade
Auto (2 types)
Choose color temperature (2500K–10000K)
Cloudy
Direct Sunlight
Flash
Fluorescent (7 types)
Incandescent
Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
Shade
White Balance Bracketing 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3 EV 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3 EV
Live View Shooting Photography Live View Mode
Movie Live View Mode
Photography Live View Mode
Movie Live View Mode
Movie HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps
HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 30 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 24 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps
HD 1,920x1,080 / 30 fps
HD 1,920x1,080 / 24 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 30 fps
HD 1,280x720 / 60 fps
Movie Audio Built-in microphone, monaural
External stereo microphone (optional)
Built-in microphone, monaural
External stereo microphone (optional)
Monitor Size 3.2 in. diagonal 3.2 in. diagonal
Monitor Resolution 921,000 Dots 921,000 Dots
Monitor Type Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD
Playback Functions Auto Image Rotation
Full-Frame and Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar)
Histogram Display
Image Comment
Movie Playback
Movie Slideshow
Playback with Zoom
Slideshow
Highlights
Auto Image Rotation
Full-Frame and Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar)
GPS data display
Highlights
Histogram Display
Image Comment
IPTC information embedding and display
Movie Playback
Movie Slideshow
Photo information
Playback with Zoom
Slideshow
Voice Memo
In-Camera Image Editing Color Outline
Color Sketch
D-Lighting
Distortion Control
Edit Movie
Filter Effects
Fisheye
Image Overlay
Miniature Effect
Monochrome
NEF (RAW) Processing
Perspective Control
Quick Retouch
Red-eye Correction
Resize
Selective Color
Side-by-Side Comparison
Straighten
Trim
Color Balance
Color Balance
Color Outline
Color Sketch
D-Lighting
Distortion Control
Edit Movie
Filter Effects
Fisheye
Image Overlay
Miniature Effect
Monochrome
NEF (RAW) Processing
Perspective Control
Quick Retouch
Red-eye Correction
Resize
Selective Color
Side-by-Side Comparison
Straighten
Trim
GPS GP-1 GPS unit GP-1 GPS unit
Battery / Batteries EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery EN-EL18 Lithium-ion Battery
Battery Life (shots per charge) 900 Battery Life (shots per charge) (CIPA) 2,600 Battery Life (shots per charge) (CIPA)
AC Adapter EH-5b AC Adapter
Requires EP-5B Power Supply Connector
EH-6b AC Adapter
Requires EP-6 Power Supply Connector
Approx. Dimensions Width 5.7 in. (144.78mm)
Height 4.8 in. (121.92mm)
Depth 3.2 in. (81.28mm)
Width 6.3 in. (160mm)
Height 6.2 in. (156.5mm)
Depth 3.6 in. (90.5mm)
Approx. Weight 31.7 oz. (900g)camera body only 41.6 oz. (1180g)camera body only
 Price $2,999.95 $5,999.95
This entry was posted in Nikon D4, Nikon D800. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • http://www.tracymaisch.com Nikon Lady

    OK so I’m a wedding photographer currently shooting with a D700. I am running in and out of dark buildings, so high ISO capability is a plus. I am shooting moving subjects, so motion blur is a challenge, as are chromatic aberration (wide angles, shooting into the sun, etc.) and white balance. In the film days I was a Mamiya shooter and weight doesn’t bother me. So my question is, which camera is for me? Am I just as well off to keep my D700? As a wedding photographer, what is my tradeoff for having Nikon cram 36 megapixels onto that tiny sensor?

    • Andrew

      You just answered your own question – The D4 gives you cleaner night shots with its higher ISO: 12,800 versus the D800 with an ISO of 6400. The D4 eliminates blurry images in more situations with its faster frame rate: 11 fps, versus the D800′s frame rate of 4 fps. Plus you get a battery life for the D4 of 2,600 shots per charge versus the D800′s batter life of 900 shots per charge. Finally, the D4 gives you a shutter life-cycle of 400,000 versus the D800 which has a shutter life-cycle of 200,000. So the D4 wins for your needs.

      • Your Father

        Son, sit down; we need to have a chat. I see you’re not doing very well in photography class. Ah, I see. You think FPS dictates whether you get a clear photo or not? Son, have you been only chatting with your friends during class? I see that’s why all your friends only know how to talk specs and don’t know basic photography concepts. Shutter speed is the setting that dictates whether your image is sharp or blurred when your subject is in focus. In fact, more FPS is NOT what “eliminates blurry images in more situations with its faster frame rate.” In fact, it will give you almost 3 times as many blurry images. Hoped you learned something son. ^_^

        • Granpa

          I agree with what you just said although I strongly disapprove of the attempt at cuteness at the end.The young ones’ve much to learn i see…(stroking imaginary beard)

        • Dafffid

          Sadly, as so often, one’s parents always think they know everything, but are only half right. Whilst you will need a higher shutter speed to eliminate motion blur, fps is very useful for eliminating camera shake. If a slow shutter speed is the best you can get and for whatever reason you’re working without tripod and using a lens without VR, then firing a burst of shots is an effective way to work around that. Try it. Handhold at a slow speed, fire off a stream – one of the ones in the sequence will almost always be usable. And the faster your fps, the more chance you have of catching both the perfect moment for the shot, and the moment of stillness in your hands. Hope you’ve learned something Dad

          • Keyser Soze

            Being relatively new to photography I must say that Andrew’s comment re fps did throw me a bit at first. Then I thought of what Dafffid later described and it does make sense. I really enjoy sites like this and learning from guys like Your Father but I must say that it does annoy me when ‘experienced’ photographers mock comments that they do not agree with. At some point in time everybody here knew absolutely nothing. Knockers belong below a woman’s neck.

          • Your Father

            What you say is true.

            You missed the point though. Did you read the original post? “I am shooting moving subjects, so motion blur is a challenge.” Her subjects are mostly people, many times moving. Shooting a series of frames at a low speed in this kind of situation will result in a series of blurred frames. A tripod or VR will not solve this issue. When do professionals leave things up to chance anyways? What do you tell your client if perchance your shots of the bride walking down the isle are blurred? “One of the ones in the sequence will almost always be usable,” just not this time. Tough luck. I’m sure that will be one happy client. Next time take a look at the whole picture before rushing in with justice.

    • B V

      For weddings no matter what camera you use…. you should use flash. No motion blur, great skintones etc. I am a wedding photographer and just ordered 2 D4′s and 2 D800′s. How can I do this? I book jobs. sadly lots of jobs but I have kids so I have to work. Don’t give deals. Don’t give discounts. Don’t give free engagement shoots. One of my D3′s has over 800k on it. D700 with 500k so i need new gear. If you don’t need new gear don’t buy just to buy. Oh and use flash. ;)

  • http://www.jabarihunt.com Jabari

    I’d much rather see a D800 vs D3X comparison…

  • Rex Cadungog

    I look at the whole picture, there is no one camera, it’s either speed or resolution, it’s like having a race car or 4X4, it’s like Speed? or Space? look at the whole picture:

    D3S+D3X=13,300 Dollars

    D4+D800=9,300 Dollars

    To me, that’s a huge plus with all the improvements.

    At the end of the day, what matters most is a the ability to post a pic that is stunning and mind blowing, and I noticed most of the best out there don’t even have the time to argue, they put all their efforts to improve their pics.

    • MG

      D3S+D3x is not a proper comparison to D4+D800.

      It’s D3s + D700. Most likely there will be a D4x down the road so you’re not really comparing apples to apples.

      • Anon.

        Comparison is fair.
        Rex is comparing the price points of the newest highest-speed-and-highest-megapixel-combo against the recent highest-speed-and-highest-megapixel-combo it supersedes.
        Some apples are not the apples you think they are.

    • jonf

      excellent

  • InfraRed

    Please pardon my question if it’s already been discussed in previous posts: Is the D800 made in Japan or Thailand?

    • Andrew

      The D800 is manufactured in the Sendai plant in Japan. Nikon makes its high-end DSLR cameras and high-end lens in Japan, such as the D700, D3, and D4. Only lower-end Nikon cameras and lower-end lens are made in Thailand.

  • ArthurNava

    I think it is best to compare the D800 to a low end medium format camera. Now to be honest the dynamic range won’t be there, the medium format will take it any day. But if you’ve ever shot a phase one p25+ or P30 back you know that when you want to use high ISO you’ve got yourself a problem.

    If you want the big pixel dimension of an image in case you’re doing a big print, and you don’t want to go with a $10k system since you already own Nikon glass, I believe this is what you will want.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know medium format cameras are superior, but this to me does offer a nice midway point for jobs where you can’t justify spending $600 dollars to rent a medium format camera for two days. I’m rather excited for this release.

  • CHD

    So…basically if you buy the D4 you get fast frames per second, a tonne of more weight, no flash, and half the resolution???

    Personally I am not into sports photography so there is no way I would spend an extra $3k for the D4…..

  • RobertKrasser

    Well, I ordered a D800, but I am not happy.
    no IPTC in Camera! mo GPS no _WIFI
    just more pixel

    Robert

  • gavan Caldwell

    I sold my D3s in order to buy a D4 but the D800 is so impressive!!
    I do mainly motor cycle racing photography and just wondering if D800
    will do the business at 6 frames per second — I am on a budget now and the D4
    is simply to expensive.

    • http://www.akfotografia.com AkFotografia

      You did it wrong!! If you can’t buy D4 cuz it’s too expensive for you, D800 will not be the answer for motorcycle racing photography! It’s too slow! It’s 6fps at DX mode. 4 fps at FX. You need a fast camera like your ex-D3s.

      Now, you can cry.

    • fred

      You sold your D3s to buy a D4, but you can’t afford a D4? Better go buy a D3s.

    • gavan caldwell

      I bought the Nikon 7100 + 35mm and 10-24mm lens – brilliant camera okay not super-fast but my pictures this year have been even better than the D3s – really glad I did not buy the D4 which will soon be replaced — the price of cameras are just to high and now that phone camera are getting better and better its time that Nikon to lower their prices!!

  • Camaman

    Well I see about $1000 difference, and 40% of those are software.

  • B V

    I ordered 2 of ea so I’ll be happy…. can’t wait til mid March. :)

  • rudy

    Wow. You guys are not getting it. You are equating specs on paper. I guarantee you that, once the D4 and D800 are tested side by side in the real world, the D4 will produce a SUPERIOR image. It’s physics, really… 16MP vs 36MP on the same size sensor is obvious. The 16MP will have larger photosites, producing a much better image. Just wait, you’ll see.

    • battousai

      D4 would defintely be the one to produce high quality images, but the details on the photo is not comparable to the details produced by the d800. Nikon have a clear separation of the market for d4 and d800… unlike the d3/d700 era… d800 will bow to D4 when it comes to low light and action/sports photography… but when it comes to landscapes or studio portraits, d4 can never have that crisp details of the d80o…

  • F5 Forever

    I want full res. shots from the D4! I do so love the details from inside the models noses from the D800 pictures.

  • Bee shooter

    How do D800 & D4 compare for insect photography?

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jan_f_rasmussen/sets/ Jan F. Rasmussen

      Well, if you like to shoot handheld, natural light I think a D4 will be best, if on the other hand you always use tripod and often flash d800 must be better… I wish I could afford both for this exact purpose ;-)

    • http://www.samueljoubert.ca Samuel Jackson yo

      HI Bee Shooter!
      For an ONLY insect shooter, I would say the D800. I always want to crop more and more when I shoot insects, so having a 36MP sensor, you would be able to see your nose hairs in the eye’s reflection of the fly! D4 has better ISO but I would never shoot insects over ISO 1000. That’s what I do with my D300 and it kicks ass…

  • Andy Greenhalgh

    The comparison doesn’t mention the built-in web server for the D4? It seems to be missing from the D800 spec. Also, I don’t think Nikon have revealed the buffer specification for the D800 (which I suspect will be limited given the file sizes).

  • F9800

    So speaking only of picture quality, is there any difference between D800 & D4?

  • ActionJunky

    There is much talk about which camera is better suited for which purpose. I am an advanced amateur and they are suited for different purposes, if you can even justify the D4. I am replacing my D300 with the D800. The D300S was not enough to motivate a change. I will be gaining 2 stops of light, video, resolution and an SD card slot for EyeFi use. I will be only be losing a small bit of speed. I will be dropping from 8 FPS to 6FPS (with extra battery). I am willing to live with that loss.

    To say that I cannot shoot sports or fast moving objects with this is overstated. If I were a pro and could justify the cost of the D4 with one job, it would be a no-brainer. We all know that photography is 90 percent photographer and 10 percent camera. If my D300 can take outstanding sports photos and the D800 is better in nearly every way, I am quite sure it will meet my needs.

    If the camera buffer becomes a problem, then I should be able to shoot in DX mode (provided it has one). Now, I have a 24 MPx DX camera with 2 stops more light.

    If you earn a good living and have the disposable cash for a D4, go for it. If you are a professional, earning your bread and butter in sports photography, go for it. If you are an advanced amateur and skip a house payment or delay your kid’s college contribution to purchase the D4, you need some help. Or, you could just wait a couple of months. Obama will pass another stimulus package and I will end up paying for your mortgage.

    With 2 less frames per second, it seems that I will just have to time my shots a little better. Then again, isn’t that a skill that a more advanced photographer should possess?

    Now, what can I get with the $3,000 I am saving? How about a grip, new lens, and GPS package?

    Thanks for your input everyone.

  • http://TLovejoy.com Thomas Lovejoy

    I just sold my house, truck, dog, wife, and children.Got a really good price for them.
    I can now buy (barely) a D3x AND a D4.

  • ykh

    Dear Admin,

    I have two questions about RAW files. I have checked many places but not seen any answers. I see the Image Area in terms of pixels in the tech specs (attached below), but don’t know how to read it. For example, FX has a S form with 3680 X 2456, that’s exactly half the size of the L form in each dimension. It has 9MP.

    My first question is: how do they do it? Since they still call it FX, the pixels have to be scattered on the whole sensor, covering an area 36 X 24mm. Thereore basically 4 pixels on the sensor make one pixel in the S image.

    They could simply connect four in parallel way to make each pixel in the S image (if it’s possible in practice), that would virtually make it a 9MP camera with pixels four-times as large, thus very high ISO; they could take a (weighted) average of four pixels on the sensor and make one in the S image, then that would greatly “average-out” noise (also meaning great ISO), and efficiently compress moire pattern. (In fact, that’s how scanners handle moire pattern. They say if you are willing to sample in double resolution, moire is not a problem.) I have consulted with people who work in image procession (in acadamia though), they confirm the above. (Actually, I work in some area of computer graphics too).

    The second question is, do D800/D800E put all the “areas” below in RAW files, or only in jpeg file. If they put them in RAW, it would be really great since in many cases I don’t need 36MP, and prefer small files, high ISO, and moire-free.

    Thank you so much.

    —————————————————-
    Image Area (pixels)

    FX-format
    (L) 7,360 x 4,912
    (M) 5,520 x 3,680
    (S) 3,680 x 2,456

    1:2 format (30 x 20)
    (L) 6,144 x 4,080
    (M) 4,608 x 3,056
    (S) 3,072 x 2,040

    5:4 format (30 x 24)
    (L) 6,144 x 4,912
    (M) 4,608 x 3,680
    (S) 3,072 x 2,456

    DX-format
    (L) 4,800 x 3,200
    (M) 3,600 x 2,400
    (S) 2,400 x 1,600

  • Allison

    Can someone please tell me when Nikon is going to start shipping the D4? I pre-ordered mine back in January. B&H has no updates. I’m getting impatient! This is a huge upgrade. You guys don’t even want to know what camera I’ve been shooting with since 2005.

    • floradora

      Just heard from nikon .. delay on delivery until March 15th

  • Attia Ur REHMN

    Please let me know D800 having any problem in focusing
    Thank you
    Attiq ur Rehman

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