The name will be Nikon D800, the sensor will be 36MP (99% probability)

Nikon D700

On September 29th, digicame-info published those Nikon D800 specs (Google translation):

  • What number of pixels is 36 megapixels.
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting in body only, about 6 frames per second will be used to DX mode with the optional battery pack.
  • A little late to be released by the model resolution sought to eliminate the low-pass filter.
  • Full HD video in 1920 × 1080/30p.
  • Headphone jacks, can be input from an external device such as a PCM sound recorder. Corresponding to USB3.0. Be available in new small wireless transmitter.
  • 86K pixel split control, AF, exposure, white balance, etc. compatible. Face Recognition AF features.
  • Larger LCD monitor, automatic brightness adjustment, the structure is not cloudy.
  • Two media CF card and SD card slot.
  • Shutter durability of 200,000 cycles.
  • Market price is about 300,000 yen. The announcement on October 26, released on November 24.

I initially did not post this online, but after receiving some additional info I can now confirm with a 99% probability only the name "D800" and the sensor size of 36MP.

The D800 will basically be a mini-D3x. Do not expect the same high ISO performance as in the D3s. This is probably Nikon solution to separate both product lines (before the D700 and D3 had the same sensor). Please note that I cannot yet confirm the remaining specs above but I believe most of them correct. I am still working on the details and will have some addition info later today or tomorrow.

Stay tuned, it has begun! If the specs are out, expect announcement before the end of the year (I would say 30-60 days from now).

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  • Wilson

    I’m Pretty damn excited I think nikon has reached the point where they can make higher res sensors that can equal or out perform the previous lower res sensors in terms of iso performance and I think the 5d mk3 is gonna face a beast of a camera. The other thing that I could see happening is a d400 or something slightly higher level that makes the jump to full frame and makes for a cheaper entry for The full frame market seeing as nikon went from $2700 with the d700 to seemingly over $4000 with the d800 and left a gap

  • Chikasok

    I am saying bla bla bla to reach 800 comments.

  • Vincent

    Me too !! Me too !!

  • Good call! 791?

  • Painted Rays

    Anyone have a clue what “86K pixel split control” means?

  • yogi_bear

    im an amateur. and would love an affordable FF .. the D700 is too old, so im waiting for a replacement. the d800 seems way too expensive. maybe i’ll just spend the money on film.. is the d800 aimed at pro’s only ? do amateurs spend $4000 on a body ? i’ve got about $ $2000 invested in lenses that are not DX lenses. I dont know how many others are out there like me, who want FF but an affordable one.

    from a business point of view i dont understand Nikon. i wont buy the high end DX body’s because i have FF lenses. i cant spend $ 4000 on a body. so im not buying anything.. why not come up with an affordable FF which is a small upgrade on the d700 ?

    im still using my D40. and i still love my F4. and i like prime lenses. im under 40 but im not a gadget guy. am i in a minority?

    • w.




      I’m so surprised by the number of people that are apparently either A) sending cash off to their favorite retailer for the rumored, highly anticipated, possibly coinciding announcement of a potential replacement for the camera they may or may not have purchased years ago, or B) placing an order for the competition’s years-old equivalent.

      All we know is this: we don’t know anything. It’s a rumor. Conjecture. Myth. Legend. Speculation. Guesswork. Assumption. Hope. It’s not even definitely faith, since faith is belief in something that is true but not seen. We aren’t even that certain yet, hence the 99% probability.

      So, in essence — Nikon knows very well who you are, what you are willing to spend, and what they need to satisfy your expectations. They may or may not find you worth their strategic muscle power, but my guess is you are in their field of view. If the rumored camera is indeed real, then we’ll need to see what place Nikon intends it to fill in the market. If it isn’t real, then we’ll see what camera is. Either way, I wouldn’t count on this being the last camera Nikon ever produces. In the meantime, while you’re waiting, why not sign up for shutterstock or istockphoto, upload some great images taken with your current camera and lenses, and earn a little dough toward your next whatever-it-will-be.

      And trust me: the D700 is not too old. It’ll be around and being used by fine photographers for years to come.

    • Jan

      I’ve had a D700 for 3 yers and I’ve tried D40 just for fun. And there is so huuuuuuge gap between them so I think D700 is a real upgrade for you and a good idea. Of course, you can wait until the D800 is released and the D700 will get cheaper. 🙂 It will be exactly what you want: a cheap but very good FF camera.

      • paul filters

        you are right..and ferrari is way similar to bmw…

        • Ray

          You Nikon trolls (no disrespect intended)…. crack me up. Just focus on what Nikon can do for those using the Nikon platform, without endlessly comparing it to Canon or to how you are better. Both brands have repeatedly leapfrogged each other and currently Nikon wins with ISO. Canon has other advantages and features (I am not inviting a major debate here to feed salivating Nikonians, I recognize Nikon’s place just as much), let’s see where both platforms go and enjoy it. BMW and Ferrari… label-conscious much? 😉

    • @ yogi bear

      The d700 is a great camera if you want the full frame. and although it isnt exactly the newest camera it is still wonderful, very sharp. And just because it’s old doenst mean it’s obsolete, it’s still better than most nikon’s newer cameras, although it doesnt have video but if you’re an amature and on a limited budget then you wouldnt have much need for the video aspect. All in all if you have a bunch of full frame lenses then buying a d700 would be a great move.

  • yogi_bear


    Thanks for your reply. I hope you are the Global Head of Market Strategy for Nikon.. and you are listening .. 🙂

    My initial plan was to wait for the D800 and then be the clever one and buy a D700 but the 2nd hand price of the D700 is still too high in my opinion and new ones arent no sale anymore. Now I can either wait a few months when the rumoured new FF cameras will start shipping and then there may be more D700’s on offer in the secondary market. However, there may be a lot of people thinking like me which means that there will be ample demand for the D700’s so the price will still not budge from around $1500-2000

    I would happily buy a used D700 for $1000, thats good value in my eyes and then buy in 2 years time the D800.

    Still.. from Nikon’s perspective they would be better off if they offered a D700 replacement for $2500 which I might actually buy, rather than letting me hunt for a second hand D700 and holding off on buying a new camera for possibly years

    • I’ve said elsewhere (on this maze of a thread 🙂 ) that I’m confident this is NOT the D700 replacement, but instead a D4x jr, or even a D4x replacement. Like you, I still see huge potential for Nikon to release a more moderate pixel count FX camera to replace the D700. That said, I do think it’s very likely we’ll see this camera released as the D800 (with no word on Nikon’s roadmap), and 3-12 months later get a surprise with the D700s, D750, D900 — whatever they’ll call it — as the official D700 replacement.

      Also, I don’t see the D800 (at the current, rumored specs) as being a mutually exclusive purchase against a body closer to the D700 specs, say 18-24mp. I think they’d both sell in droves to a number of photographers (like me) who would love to have high MP AND high ISO/low noise image quality.

      Again, I could be wrong, but I think there are a number of factors (price, MP count, shooting speed, noise levels) that are encouraging signs that this is one of a few new FX prosumer-sized bodies on the horizon. Certainly the market is ripe for them, and Nikon now has plenty of experience and sales under their belt with this segment.

      I’m sure if I were the Global Head of Marketing Strategy for Nikon I’d be getting paid a whole lot more than I do now. If you’d like, feel free to put in a good word. 😉

      • Richard

        I agree that far too much is being made of the (D 800) name in the rumor.

        Nikon, like most manufacturers, has price points or marketing targets which they generally follow. Simply put, the rumored price of this product indicates that it is not the D700 replacement.

        One of the big arguments about the Canon 5D MKxx cameras is that they offer full frame sensors at a lower price point. That is its niche. Whether Nikon will choose to play in that segment remains to be seen, but the rumored D80 is not that product either.

        Plainly, wedding, sports & action shooters want and are accustomed to higher frame rates than the rumored D800’s specs so, yes, there is a place for both in the market.

        • “Plainly, wedding, sports & action shooters want and are accustomed to higher frame rates than the rumored D800′s specs so, yes, there is a place for both in the market.”

          Right. Now, for frame rates alone (and I suppose price for that matter) Nikon may be deciding to point those folks to the higher-end pro bodies, lower-end prosumer (DX) bodies, or away to the competition. But I don’t think so. I am betting Nikon is looking to fill the gap at each $1k mark after ~$2k, and they’d do so very nicely with a D700 replacement, D800, D4, and D4x (if that will continue in the lineup). And yes, the D400 fits in this lineup as the step down from the D700 replacement, if I’m even mildly close on the predictions.

          I hope I am. Of course, Nikon knows where they want to go, and the D3/D3s/D3x/D700 were all strategically very strong moves for them. I am excited to see what they’re ‘cooking up’ for the next round. Things are starting to get hot around here!

          • Richard

            “Things are starting to get hot around here!”

            Indeed they are and we have not even seen Nikon’s in house sensors yet.

            I think the D400 (or whatever) will be a very important camera for Nikon sales and so they should take their time and get it right from the start.

    • Rich in tx

      best of luck getting a D700 for under $1500, even used, even once the D800 hits. The market will remain for the D700.

      I had mine for 2 years, shot 40,000 images with it, and sold it on ebay for $2300. That was $100 less than I paid for it brand new.

      • tony

        sure you did bro, did you also have to pay 300 dollars in ebay and paypal fees?

  • Richard

    P.S. 800 posts!

  • Carlos Coelho

    Does more MP necessarily bring about less iso sensitivity? Why?

    What about dynamic range? with more MP post processing can also help HDR files without the need of bracketing… no?


    • chicken

      Megapixels are a measurement of resolution. The higher your resolution, the better your image quality will be when blowing your images up (think of zooming in). From what I understand, Megapixels have very little, if anything at all, to do with iso sensitivity.

  • Try to shot in tiff mode (32 megabyte file), and then try to upload on mac, elaborate, etc

    have you ever try to upload 100 tiff shots with nikon transfer directly from cam?..crash!

    …this is d800’s nef. I think our gears are not ready for 32 megapixel shot.

    with ssd, thunder port…probably yes.

    i will wait d900 (i bought d700 few months ago) and 11nm Intel Chipset, ssd and d900 with thunder port

  • Starbuck Jones

    I highly doubt Nikon would release a prosumer model camera with 36MP prior to the release of the D4/D4x. So, I’m calling bunk at this. Nikon like anyone else in the biz has market price points and targeted demographics, and anytime there is a generation changing of the guard at Nikon, the pro-model gets the massive spec bumps first, not the presume models. If anything, it is likely that the D4 would come first, followed by a D400./F800, then consumer models.

    • Read my previous/other comments on why Nikon’s old top —> down approach has likely been replaced by a new bottom —> up strategy. It actually makes a lot of sense for Nikon to take this approach for a number of reasons, and it could be a real boon to their bottom line.

      • Richard

        I certainly hope that you are right. There is a lot of money “on the table” in the lower end of the market. The news people are showing pix or video of all sorts of events that members of the public captured because they just happened to be carrying some sort of camera. “Everybody” has one. It’s a huge market segment.

        The “Pro Market” is important as a matter of prestige and pride. It can influence consumer purchases to some extent, but the product and how well it meets consumers’ needs are more important in buying decisions. The pro market makes some money, but, I think, nothing lie the rest.

        All the camera companies, not just Nikon, are being pressured from below by cell phone cameras and so I believe it is critical that Nikon address the lower market segment first. Much as Nikon and Canon want to get their new pro gear out for the upcoming Olympics (and it may be a problem doing so with all the disasters which have affected them) neither of these companies will suffer greatly if there is a delay. The pros will buy the gear when it becomes available. Both of them need to convince consumers to keep buying cameras.

      • Richard


        One thought about the bottom up approach.

        Once upon a time, when GM meant General Motors, Oldsmobile got the new technology so that it was proven technology before being incorporated in the top of the line Cadallac. The same was true of Evenrude and Johnson outboard motors. That way you wins up with a rock solid premium product.

        The only fly in the ointment with this approach for Nikon is that there really is not sufficient time to do this and incorporate feedback into the design of the D4 if Nikon intend to introduce the D4 before the London Olympics.

        Even so, it does provide time to ramp up production of the sensors and other chips. I guess we shall see which path Nikon have chosen soon enough.


  • Lty

    Ehh…since when did Nikon get a piece of the medium format market ~_~?

    • Lty

      O crap!! It’s the medium format pixel numbers but on the 35mm equivalent sensor!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOise!!!!+ not much change regarding dynamic range…

  • MW

    99% sure it’s Not going to be 39MP!
    24MP with good moderate iso performance (to 12800) would be a doubling of resolution of the D700 and more then enough..
    3 Card slots (2CF And SD slot) highly unlikely. How will they fit a screen larger then 3″ and why!? This seems like a Hoax to me!

  • JuanCarlos-H

    They mention potentially two versions of the D800… with the D3x/D3s could there be a D800x/D800s …aka High MP version / High ISO performance version which would also mean two differently priced cameras… I believe that’d be awesome

  • JBorg

    I support the idea of a Foveon like sensor by Sony (they were reported to study some similar solution to Sigma) i.e. 12 MPixel x 3 colour layers for D800. In fact I am quite satisfied with 12 MPixel of D700.
    I do not see how otherwise to improve s/n ratio at high ISO, moreover anti-aliasing free version could be much easier with a Foveon like sensor, not a Bayer sensor.

    • JBorg —

      VERY interesting thought, and a good catch. 12mp x 3 (RGB) = 36mp!

      I recall a few years back NR reporting on a Nikon patent wherein the sensor recorded RGB in three different buckets, all from the same pixel site. Maybe the individual RGB buckets were routed using specially coated mirrors on the underside of the sensor?

      If this is the case (12mp output, but 36mm distinct photosites sans bayer array), then this really is the D700s —— “S” for Steroids. It could dramatically improve sharpness, dynamic range, color fidelity, and even potentially noise performance. Sure, it’s still 12mp, which no doubt will disappoint a slew of whiners. But if the performance is revolutionary, then it might just turn out to be another game changer for Nikon.

      @Admin — any chance this is where the 36mp number is coming from?

      • @Ron, I remember reporting on this patent, but I really don’t know if that’s the case with the D800.

          • Yup. Thanks for digging around and finding it.

            The more I think of it, the more I question whether this is the new 36mp sensor that’s being reported. My guess is that it’s equally as probable that 36mp actually means 36mp output (through a traditional bayer pattern sensor) as it does 12mp output (through a true RGB sensor).

            The factors that don’t align are price, and possibly frame rate. Specifically would this new sensor really justify a $1k-$1.5k price increase despite it still being 12mp final output? I suppose Nikon may need to keep the pixel density low so they can accommodate the extra stuff below the sensor, but I would think they’d want to put this technology in a new sensor with a bump in pixel density as well.

            That said, it’s pretty well known that the D3/D3s/D700 sensors amount to roughly 17mp or 18mp equivalent compared to the competition. The pixels are clean, and the sensor is a terrific performer. If this yields cleaner, sharper images, then who knows, maybe it’s the equivalent of 20mp or higher from the competition. And if that’s the case, then it’d come all at the lower cost of 12mp file sizes — less processor power, less hard drive space, more shots per card, etc.

            The tough part would be selling the public on this, though results really do tend to speak for themselves. Look at the iPad, or iPhone 4 for instance. The outspoken, whiny few (e.g. tech pundits) blathered on about how badly these devices would fail. And yet, the public said “good enough”, took the plunge with their wallets, and were ultra satisfied — so much that most of them will be Apple customers for life.

            Same story for the folks that switched from Canon for the D3 or D700. THEY know the difference, even if the few whiners here on NR don’t. Don’t believe me? Head over to CanonRumors. Nikon is all those folks can talk about these days. 😉

            • james

              who would make the sensor? Sony wouldn’t let nikon have a 36meg sensor without it being in a sony camera first. Unless sony has a new model coming out at CES before the D800 hits the streets

  • Anonymous

    I am a Japanese and have just read this info at digicame-info.

    This info in digicame-info is written that “I got this information(D800) from a reader of digicame-info”.
    It never be an info of 99% probability.

  • allen23

    given the fact that Nikon has made a whole series of cheaper and better FX lens like the 16-35mm f4, 28-105mm f4…… I bet that they see this next FX release the key to success in the market. I mean just think about the amount of people will be moving from DX to FX, that measn sales for millions of new FX lens as well as bodies.

    it wil l be affordable and heaps better than the D700, just think about the things D700 doesn’t have that will make people want to go for d800 rather than saying: yeah, i can still live with my D700….

    And I think it will be affordable just like the D700.

  • It is bullshit. There is no way to release 36Mpx D800. Why D3x then??? Nikon will not destroy D3x bussines, because of D800. My guess: 16-18Mpx and price slighltly higer that current D700.

  • Dayn Cederstrom

    36MP? Bull Cookies!

  • Anonymous

    Well, Canon EOS-1D X seems to have nicest balance on newest DSLR bodies.
    Nikon D800 looks like similar to 5D Mark II.

  • Anonymous

    digicame-info which leaked this announced “Nikon won’t announce about Nikon’s new products October 26”.

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