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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  • Roeder

    Nikon could release a camera that would have everything any photographer could ever ask for, and someone on here would complain, “NO CAN OPENER?!? YOU FAILED ME NIKON!”

    • nikonlover

      hahaha you can bet on it

    • Darklight

      Haha so TRUE!….Now give me that 1080/60p!!

  • Neo-Colonialist

    Can someone please recap the 474 comments so far?

    • NanDub

      1. It’s so late, I’m switching to Canon!
      2. I don’t need so many pixels, I’m switching to Canon!
      3. Too bad high ISO, I’m switching to Canon!
      4. Still a low-pass filter? I’m switching to Canon!
      5. No low-pass filter? I’m switching to Canon!
      6. No integrated grip? I’m switching to Canon!
      7. No on-sensor phase detection focusing? I’m switching to Canon!
      8. Only 4FPS? I’m switching to Canon!
      9. No translucent mirror? I’m switching to SONY!
      10. ……

      • canontard

        Bout right.

        Listening to the fools who post here nikon should have gone BR long ago.

      • Jesus_sti

        +100 … You forgot the video point ……. D700 is beter than 5dMkII why switching to Canon … I still don’t know !

      • El Cabong

        To be fair, a lot of people are claiming that they’ll just stick to their current camera (mostly D700s). We’ll see how long that lasts once the D800 is actually available.

        Me? Looking to see if there’s $4000 worth of change under the couch cushions.

      • lol


      • Haha! Well said!

      • jack

        10. *crying* Nikon doesn’t know what they are doing
        11. *crying* I can’t afford it
        12. *crying* I want a D3s in a D700 body for under $1500
        13. *crying* Who needs 36 megapixels, my computer can’t process it….cannot store it… [reply: bullsh!t, storage costs $50 per terabyte]
        14. *crying* What about ISO performance?
        15. *crying* I need more than 4 fps?
        16. *crying* It’s not a RED.
        17. *crying* It doesn’t have a dedicated Flux Capacitor button.

        • mandrake

          Smart and fast storage is VERY expensive.

          • my main storage is a free filing cabinet I found in a dumpster. my film fits in it quite nicely.

        • Storage not only mean for HDD or SSD.

          It’s mean for Memory card, RAM and others.

      • KnightPhoto

        LOL Nandub! At least there was one “I’m switching to Sony” for variety’s sake in there ;-).

        We’ll have to keep you around…

      • mandrake

        A translucent mirror is one of the few things that would stop me from getting one.

        • jake

          yeah, SLT design really sucks and Sony knows it , it is just a temporal stop gap solution for better AF.

          in case you are curious the A77V is a crap , I have one still but probably returning it soon.

          • mandrake

            Not holding out for it’s new firmware to fix all it’s issues? I have a 5n and will stick with their mirrorless solution for now.

      • nikonlover


  • Rosco

    Recap? Easy…. “A photographer is only as good as the equipment he uses…. etc etc” 😉

    • Anthony

      Clearly you only shoot static subjects.

      • Greg

        Clearly you didn’t get the reference

  • CAT


  • geecen

    As admin said, seems likely this will the the fabled 5d beater. People have been calling out for a smaller body camera with the higher pixels. Even though everyone on here is going on about wanting low light capabilities, the 5d2 sold like the proverbial hot cakes, and all nikon had to compete in mp terms was the much more expensive d3x. OF COURSE they will release a sports/journo camera as well. Don’t panic everyone, that’s where nikon have shined with the d3s and they are not going to lose that market share to canon (again).

    • jake

      well, many people use many brand systems , I personally use Sony Nikon and Canon for now, I once had Pentax K5 too but replaced it with my current D7000.

      I was trying to replace my D7000 , A900 with just one camera the A77V but I did not like it and I ‘d return it.

      any way , if this camera had come out a year earlier , I wouldn’t have bought my 5Dnk2 and A900.

      I dont really care about high ISO, creepy high ISO like ISO6400 but I need good detailed ISO100 IQ.

      I wonder all people here just shoot high ISO and not interested in low ISO IQ?

  • zoobzone

    The original source site always said:

    The successor for D3S will come next year Feb with about 18 megapixels, 10-11fps.

    There most likely won’t be a D3X successor.

    • Richard

      I wonder if this just might be the D3X successor. One of the major complaints about the D3X was its size and weight for hauling around for nature/wildlife/landscape photography and such. This would respond to that criticism. The other major criticism was that the D3X is terribly expensive, even for a professional.

      Two things that might mean it is not a replacement for the D3X are the CF and SD card formats. CF is the Pro format and carrying two different formats is not something I have heard a lot of requests for. The other is weather sealing. That is unknown, but the D xxx bodies have not had the weather sealing of the D x bodies. When released, we will see whether this is even one camera and, if so, whether is has the features Pros demand.

  • Viktor

    Anything about Full HD @ 25p?


  • Jesus_sti

    Can we have a pop-up flash please !!!! come on Nikon !

    • Abaham Collins

      No. Get a speedlight and get the same useless xerox-flat lighting.

    • pgore

      pop up flash? really? your buying a $4000 camera only to ruin it with a pop up flash? shame…

      • Abaham Collins


      • Ruin it how? I’ve known plenty of serious shooters that occasionally lament its absence on a pro body. Handy as a commander and sometimes just enough fill.

        • agreed! They could update the ol’ pop up though. Maybe something that articulates that gets it a bit higher from the lens axis

    • Josh

      Kinda stupid don’t you think?… With Nikon Full Frame semi-pro/professional cameras you’d be using speedlights which has more power over pop up flash & more flexibility.

      Plus imo, pop up flash sucks… and it goes only in one direction. +1 to speedlights.

      • Worminator

        For commander mode. Though for that I wonder if they couldn’t just use the AF assist lamp instead…

  • henry

    36MP sounds good, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I was not expecting Nikon skip 24MP to go 36MP, but that could only mean that 5DmkIII will be 48MP. Nikon D800 with 24MP would have been DOA against 48MP 5DmkIII. 36MP with tried and true “lower MP but with less noise” should work for Nikon. But parts of the spec does not feel as convincing as Nikon usually is.

    4FPS is disappointing. If it is 4FSP, then it most likely will be 2FPS 14-bit raw at 36MP. Make it 6FPS (without the grip) and at least 4FPS at 14-bit raw at 36MP. That would just hit the spot for speed shooting and landscape shooting. 4FPS sounds like something Canon would do. Just don’t go there.

    I suspect the new sensor is a D7000 sensor scaled to FF because it makes numerical sense, 16 * (1.5^2) = 36. However, at three times the price, I would expect D800 to have better noise handling and DR than D7000. D7000 was highly anticipated. But when it actually arrived, it fizzled. I thought I wanted one, but when it did, I was glad I had went for D700 during the pre-announcements discounts. Please do not fizzle, please.

    • Ralph

      I switched to Pentax 645D and don’t regret it, the sensor is much larger at 33×44 and 40MP it’s perfect for landscape and I have the D7000 for general stuff. I really don’t see any point in going over 36MP on 24×36 there just aren’t any lenses tha can deliver that sort of resolution. I think the next area of improvement will be reduced noise at higher iso and hopefully better dynamic range.

      • nobody

        Good lenses don’t show any problems on a D7000 with its 16mp DX sensor. So they will not show any problems on a 36mp FX sensor with the same pixel pitch either.

        • somebody

          Lol, and as we all know , lenses are resolving corners and edges of the FX frame even better than the sweet spot 1,5x crop.

  • enought with the nikon bargains. all this time people were able to buy a D3 at half the price in a D300 body superb image quality, af and build quality compared to the canon rival, and all they did was complain that it had no video and megapixels. serves you right now, i’m enjoying my D700.

  • mandrake

    Where’s the second half of the announcement?

  • Unless I am missing something, there has been no announcement. Why is everyone SO excited over nothing?? A set up for disappointment later/

    • mandrake

      Debbie Downer #324. 😉

  • grumps

    Nikon was always saying it will NOT be competing with Canon on the high MP race, so why now go 36MP?

    Most Nikon shooters want to see significant improvements with DR and high ISO, together with higher MP, but not forsaking DR or low noise in high ISO. A lot of people here say they ‘think’ the D700 is better than the 5DMarkII, well yes in some area, but I’ve sold my D700 at cost and still keep my 5DMkII. I personally think that’s a lot of fanboy talk and I prefer the IQ and the colors on Canon.

    If it translates to USD4k in costs, because it is offering a 36MP. I’m sure people will pony up for one, but this a just blatant overpricing by Nikon is that is retail over here in the US. If Nikon can successfully dampen the mirror with delay and almost noise free, together with increased DR and high ISO, then at 4K, it’s a winner no doubt. Right now its still a lot of speculation, but I really wonder even with the current new primes can resolve at this new high resolution if it is really so!

    And seriously if you shoot sports and want to shoot faster than 4fps, just buy the D7k, otherwise the D3s. You don’t need a new camera otherwise!

  • yckim

    Can’t wait. Gonna preorder as soon as they announce it. Probably have to wait until early December to arrive~

  • Moth Flopwell

    WOW…I thought? well anyways….Kiddies..this 36MP Sensor is the same one in the New Sony A99!!!! How bout them facts!!!! And clocking in at 3000 dollars…not bad…

    BUT..i think i am going to wait on Sony A99 and see what it will do.

  • David La Roche

    this is exactly what I want. I do a lot of studio work and I’m not too concerned about frame rates and ISO performance. I’ve been looking at medium format digital because for the work I do, none of the current Nikons (except the D3x) have enough resolution. And why buy a D3x when the Hasselblad kits with a 31MP backs are less than twice the price?

    So something like this will be amazing for me if it does turn out to be the case!

  • One More Thought

    This would be fabulous!

    It amazes me how some are actually complaining…again! With so many people it seems no matter what they will find something to complain about. As Abe Lincoln said, most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

    When I read these comments, I think of what LBJ said about the presidency: if I were to walk on water people would complain that I couldn’t swim.

    I think that’s the way it is with this too: unless Nikon releases a camera that can see into the future, they won’t like it and will find something to moan about.

    • if it could see into the future, they s moan about why the camera cant be like that D4000,000 in 2050 =P

  • Moth Flopwell

    This is Sony’s new Sensor on their new Sony A99. I will wait on this one. I need a new Nikon…but will relax and wait.

  • O.M.G. Bring it! Good thing I took a break from writing my reviews to check NR! Although, I’m a little late to the party.

  • Eric

    No way the D800 has a 36 mp sensor. It will have whatever the D4 has.

    Besides, who wants files that big? It’s just nuts.

    • Rob

      Why would it have the D4 sensor? So that nobody buys a D4? If there was going to be a D800 with a D4 sensor (like the D700 with D3 sensor), it would come out only when they have a D4s or D4x sensor getting ready to be released. i.e., 18+ months from now.

      That’s what they did with the D700, so I don’t know why ANYONE would think that they’d release their top sensor in a lower priced body before all the pros have bought the higher priced body.

  • unohu

    36 MP FX yields a 15 to 16 MP DX. I would have expected the D400 to use the same sensor as the D7000, but with this D800, why bother making a D400 at all?

    If I think of the D800 as the D300 replacement, plus having the ability to shoot 36 MP FX when I want, it makes total sense and sounds great!

    • Rob

      Because $1200 to $4000 is quite a price gap.

  • Pete

    It’s all bollony… until an official release. Why so much excitment, haven’t we learned our lessons yet?

    • Geof

      > It’s all bollony… until an official release

      You do realize you’re reading

      • Richard


  • Dino B

    WOW all the complaining for something that doesn’t even have exact specs like helloo its only 99% probable what about the 1%….. but seriously until official anouncment comes and camera is reviewed STFU whiners, I’m sure Nikon the new generation of SLRs are going to be great Nikon sure as hell knows what they are doing and if it happens to be even 36MP it will still have better ISO performance and 4FPS sounds a bit odd…. but than again its only a rumor remember?…. you want to go to Canon, Sony go; to their forums and complain about their products because you know you will.
    as it looks like EOS 5D Mark II replacement is rumord to be at 40MP .. and i’m sure that Slr will be an improvement over the curent.
    same people complaining look like are the same ones complaining about the coments nikon made on facebook so:

    – Stop complaining
    – Stop doing calculations ur not skientists and don’t pretend to be
    – and dont complain about my grammer or spellling mistakes its good e-nuf

    • not a skientist??? i’ll have you know good sir that i didn’t go to 4 years of skientist school for no reason!

    • Adam

      Dude … you hit the nail right on the head. Well said.

  • “can now confirm with a 99% probability”, translated, “I will get you suckers to keep coming back to my site for the next 60 days so I can make money, even though my posted rumors are no more certain than your guesses”! Enough of your bull shit, find another way to make money or become a palm reader!

    • Travis, you must be new here. If you knew a little bit about myself and this site, you would know that this is not true. Let’s talk again in 2 months from now.

    • to-mas


    • arizonaSteve

      Whoa?!?! Really?!?!? If you don’t like the site, don’t visit.

    • awwww bummer. you figured it all out!

  • eddie

    – when canon cash on high MPs, ppl criticise Nikon for not following same. When nikon gave you what you want, high MPs, much lower price, ppl screw them again
    – when Nikon came out with video D90, ppl criticise Nikon for bringing some ‘non-standard non-essential features’ to SLR camera. Now Nikon got screwed for not making it better.
    – when nikon doesn’t follow mirrorless camera, nikon got screwed, when nikon comes out with mirrorless, ppl still screw them, even when nikon come out with some cool ideas. Smaller sensor though, but high FPs and some cool features. In future, ppl will also screw Nikon when nikon can’t keep up with others that will COPY these new features of Nikon into their mirrorless solution.
    – AND no one screw Canon for not coming out with mirrorless solution
    – AND everyone says “i will buy Canon, screw Nikon!!!”

    well, good luck guys, Nikon ain’t and can’t satisfy everyone needs. I SERIOUSLY think many of the comments here are posted by CANON “DIE HARD” fans rather than Nikon users.

    Screw NIKON!! Get CANON!!! – YEAH rite. go ahead.
    I would say Screw CANON!!!! Get NIKON!!!!!

    if Canon comes out with SLR below. I will defnitely buy Canon.
    -> super high MPs 50+
    -> super high FPs 15+
    -> super high def
    -> super ISO capability
    -> super ergonomics and tough body
    -> super autofocus mechanism
    -> super cheap <$2000

    just a normal (non-pro) Nikon user 🙂

    • Jesus_sti

      CAnon aren’t able to do AF !

      • That’s what I thought, right !! That is, until I mounted the 70-200VR on my D700 and tested it next to a 70-200ISL on a 1Dmk3. Boy I can tell you, that canon is fast.

  • this_is_not_the_d800

    as a few folks said, it is basically D7000 FX. 24*(1.5)^2 = 36.

    not quite the D800 most of the folks was hoping for actually, I was expecting 24MP with noise quality a bit better than the D700. If the photosites are the same size as the D7000 on a per pixel basis, how much more photons can we capture?

    Indeed I just built a new RAID 6 array using 6 x 1TB disks, expecting it should be sufficient for 2-3 years worth of 24MP image and 1080p video. The 36MP rumor does led me to think maybe I should have used 2TB disks as the building block instead….

    • Rob

      2TB disks in general have a much higher failure rate than the 1TB disks. It’s usually safer to get twice as many 1TB disks (especially so with Caviar Blacks).

      • Anthony

        … and put them where?

        • Abaham Collins

          In your Antec 1200 case.. or a Drobo.

    • jake

      why can it be called D800?

      Do you think Dxxx camera should be high ISO only 12mp junk like the D700?

      I dont need that, I much prefer low-ISO high resolution camera like this one to any kind of high ISO, low resolution camera(only PJ needs that).

      it would be a great camera for detailed landscapes or fashion.

  • Karma

    Looking at the specs I must say that I almost digicame.

  • Cool WHip

    $4000? Really? Didn’t the D700 come out for under $3000 on release?

  • Tarepanda

    Hi NR Admin,

    Could you confirming that….it is a single CMOS with 36MP or it is a 3-layer CMOS with 36MP?

    With 3-layer CMOS(just like the Sigma one), it makes more sense as it is actually 12MP file but having 36MP

    • Tarepanda

      The reason why I am saying that is one of the specification mentioning that “A little late to be released by the model resolution sought to eliminate the low-pass filter.”

      Usually, when using a Bayer array method, a low-pass filter is a must to be existed. The current situation looks like that Nikon will use the 3-layer CMOS as the one we seen on the Sigma Foven sensor

    • paf

      I’ve been wondering about that myself — and reading some of the comments I think it makes it into a possibility — a 36mp camera for intermediate/pro entry cam would be not like Nikon. I suspect it’s 3 layer sensor which could actually be quite the catch (drooling)….

      • Tarepanda

        I think it is the only way the new sensor can have 36MP.
        It doesn’t make sense for Nikon to bring the sensor MP from 12 to 36 by skipping the 24 one

        Also, according to those review and testing report on the Sigma Foven 3-layer CMOS, it almost solve all the problem existing in the Bayer array method. As a innovative company like Nikon, I think they are going to use the 3-layer CMOS.

        Also, it will be more easy to seperate from those mirrorless with APS-C sensor(like NEX).

  • Michael Devonport

    I will wait and see what happens. Most of these rumors are 99% wrong, I won’t hold my breath.

    • Visualiza

      You obviously haven’t been here long. The rumors on this site predicted all 3 of the 1.4 primes last year, the name and specs of the D7000, the D5100, the 3100, and so on. MOST other rumor mills, like the entertainment industry at large are full of it, but the photography rumor mill is a lot more accurate. If you really feel that way anyway, stop stressing yourself out and just don’t come back.

    • then you must be getting your rumors from some other website

      • BRO

        Is the Q code that I gave you correct?

        • Not sure yet, do you have a price for it?

  • jimmyjonjamjam




  • BigEater

    My question is how are you going to hold a lightweight, mirror-flippin, focal-plane snapping 36mp camera steady enough for sharp photos? The need for absolute bedrock steadiness increases dramatically with higher megapixelage; studios use leaf shutters and studio camera stands for a reason. Maybe it’s time to buy stock in Gitzo?

  • Up $#!t’s creek

    What’s going to happen to this website when the d800 finally gets released?

    • enesunkie

      They won’t be happy and will still be waiting for the next body to solve their photographic problems.

  • Respect! I agree chief!
    – isn’t complaining about how other people complain still complaining?

    • Michael Devonport

      Have you ever heard of the story Little girl cried wolf or There’s a sucker born every minute by BT Barnum ?

      • Troll Boy

        No, but I’ve heard of P.T. Barnum.

  • Chris P

    At least we now know why we have USB3 ports on PCs and Thunderbolt on the Apple Mac 😉

  • jimmyjonjamjam

    Wireless tethering!!!

  • Tony

    I’m 588.

  • Benjamin

    Well 36mp is a lot different for Nikon’s tradition. Let’s see what D3X’s gonna react… 😀

  • General Athur

    you guys need to learn your shit.

    all Nikon lenses will have *NO PROBLEM* passing 36 MP worth of resolution. Or 60mp or higher.

    If a 60 year old smaller, inferior, prime lens can fill 8×10 film with 320 mega pixels worth of resolution… than i’m pretty sure MODERN Super ED glass elements will have no problem passing 36mp to a digital sensor.

    36mp is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things. certainly not in camparison to film .

    • Visualiza

      It’s typical internet FUD. Seems like everyone posting on the internet these days subscribes to the age old “the sky is falling” mentality. They’re practically a cult.

    • powertoold

      lol, yea, I find it funny when people question a lens’ ability to resolve a certain number of megapixels.

      They only seem to do it with zooms. Somehow primes are immune to megapixels.

  • One More Thought

    This is just the first hint at the amazing new FF dslrs that Nikon has planned. Expect the D800 to be a showstopper. Once it is released the critics will shut up.

    The images on this beauty will be amazing…just amazing…

    • Troll Boy

      I agree, this camera will make even the beginning photographer take pictures like the top seasoned veterans.

      • Monkey Nigh Mow

        LOL all people need to do is shoot 14mm and crop.

  • Geof

    OK, from what I’ve read (and hints of other rumors buried in these 500+ comments from “soon-to-be Canon owners” I think there will be two releases:
    D800 as described so far… 36 MP w/ all the bells-whistles of latest exspeed, etc and an EVF
    PLUS a D700s (or maybe it’d be a D400) with the D3S 12 MP FF sensor, plus all the bells/whistles as the D800.
    D7000 is the top of the range DX for the immediate future (no D400 DX)

    Then someday in the future, the D4 comes out with user-exchangeable sensors that is the best of both worlds (with the price to go with it), just pick your need, MP or Iso…

    These seem like logical steps to me and very plausible from an engineering viewpoint, and cover 90% of the pro/semi-pro market probably.

    Just want to get my guess in writing officially documented and all that…

  • Rich

    First: Im extremely excited for this, it’s always exciting when the next generation of cameras are released. I’ve been waiting for years (I was never really impressed by the d700) don’t get me wrong, it is great camera but a little lacking in resolution, Nikon was stuck in 12mp mode since 2004. Even more excited to see what ever replaces the D3s.

    The thing that Im a little disappointed in is the price, I hope $4000 is incorrect. What made the 5d markII enticing to me was the price $2300 for a full frame is nice even with the crappy autofocus and all (and I don’t care about Sony.)

    I am stoked about it I really am! I just hope I can afford it with the economy being in the crapper. What made the 5d a best seller was the price not the over all package.

  • Nick

    I still believe that they won´t release two FX-cameras at the same time.
    With no proof, I think that they will release a D400 and a D4. And after we bought either of them, they will give us the D800, so we can moan, sell our new camera and buy the D800. Good for the manufacturer, reasonably good for us:-)

    That is of course if the previous D300/D3/D700 setup failed its goal the last time. Did it?

    Anyhow, I eagerly await the D400 (or D700 if it´s reasonably priced).

    • Nick

      Sorry! I eagerly await the D400 or the D800, not the D700, alltough I don´t mind if somebody decides to give me one:-)
      Have a nice day, and remember that there are other things in life than gadgets!

  • Bernardl

    Regarding the price, it should be understood that the US$ lost more than 35% to the Yen since the 5DII was released (Sept 2008).

    Canon did a lot to keep the price pretty constant in US currency since the product had already been released, but you can expect the 5DIII to correct this anomaly.

    The initial street price of the 5DII was also significantly higher than what it currently is (around 2700 US$ if I recall correctly).

    All in all, the 5DIII is likely to start with a street price around 3.200 US$.


    • Rich

      I think it was $2500 when it came out. I believe it was priced cheaper intentionally by Canon as a direct blow to the more expensive D700. I remember everyone being shocked and excited that they were putting the EOS 1Ds mark iii sensor in it, at such a reasonable price. Was hoping Nikon would be able to put out a full framer in the 2500 range. Who knows really until it comes out?

  • 6shooter

    Maybe when this comes out it will drop the D700 into my price range. I might be in the market for a used body with low shutter actuations.

    • D700 FTW!

      Amen brother. I was waiting for D800, but if it’s 36MP no way. D700 all the way.

  • kvy

    just test.

  • The faithful cameras girl was here for Nikon D800

  • marco

    I can not understand why this change of direction Nikon ….???
    36mpx is too long, there is a risk of worsening performance and speed ISO?!
    18 or 21mpx were enough for me … to continue on the same guideline “d700 model”.
    YEN 300,000 are also 3,000 euros, is not it?
    1000 euros more than the d700!
    we hope it is just a rumor!

  • Landscape Photo

    Even as a landscape photographer mainly, I’m sceptical to 36mp, due to optical resolution of the lenses. It is 1.73x linear resolution compared to that of D700. Another important issue is earlier set diffraction. Higher detail will give less perceived DoF, but there won’t be any room left for stopping down. I feel stuck at f/8, or exchange better DoF for some IQ (arguably better on print than f/16 if with D700). Center/corner sharpness difference will be more noticeable, which calls for more stopped-down apertures.

    It will be very difficult to fully utilize the total 36mp resolution in practice. Most of the images will anyway end up being as if photographed with a 18-24mp camera, due to inevitable motion blur, imperfect focus, optical aberrations, etc. Tecnical perfection at all frames is not achievable in the field.

    Therefore, a $3000 24mp body would have been a wiser decision, but I think there must be a technical reasoning since D800 may have a FX-scaled up sensor of D7000.

    The good news is that it will include a 16mp DX (yes, a lot expensive), or any level of usable crop (on PS, e.g 21mp 1.3X or 9mp 2X) New range of opportunities are brought.

    Though I may not always utilize the whole 36mp in practice, it will be nice to own a very capable beast under optimum conditions, for $3500-4000.

    I don’t think high-iso performance will be an issue on print. Knowing D7000’s performance, it will likely be at least on par with D700, due to pixel count. Frame rate is no problem, beacause a good photographer should guess the exact time to press the shutter, but not depend on sheer chance. How many FPS did Henry Cartier Bresson’s camera had? 🙂

    Is there any info about whether the viewfinder will have 100% coverage?

    • wyatt

      Paint the town yellow!

  • Landscape Photo

    Even as a landscape photographer mainly, I’m sceptical to 36mp, due to optical resolution of the lenses. It is 1.73x linear resolution compared to that of D700. Another important issue is earlier set diffraction. Higher detail will give less perceived DoF, but there won’t be any room left for stopping down. I feel stuck at f/8, or exchange better DoF for some IQ (arguably better on print than f/16 if with D700). Center/corner sharpness difference will be more noticeable, which calls for more stopped-down apertures.

    It will be very difficult to fully utilize the total 36mp resolution in practice. Most of the images will anyway end up being as if photographed with a 18-24mp camera, due to inevitable motion blur, imperfect focus, optical aberrations, etc. Tecnical perfection at all frames is not achievable in the field.

    Therefore, a $3000 24mp body would have been a wiser decision, but I think there must be a technical reasoning since D800 may have a FX-scaled up sensor of D7000.

    The good news is that it will include a 16mp DX (yes, a lot expensive), or any level of usable crop (on PS, e.g 21mp 1.3X or 9mp 2X) New range of opportunities are brought.

    Though I may not always utilize the whole 36mp in practice, it will be nice to own a very capable beast under optimum conditions, for $3500-4000.

    I don’t think high-iso performance will be an issue on print. Knowing D7000’s performance, it will likely be at least on par with D700, due to pixel count. Frame rate is no problem, beacause a good photographer should guess the exact time to press the shutter, but not depend on sheer chance. How many FPS did Henry Cartier Bresson’s camera had? 🙂

    Is there any info about whether the viewfinder will have 100% coverage?

    • sade

      I must agree with you! 36MP is way more than what lenses can resolve.
      What I really hope for is that this rumor turns to be a false one, or if true, pixels are located in hexagonal manner (like fuji S5 Pro) or they are in faveon shape (like new sigma).

      • What is the comment ‘way more than lenses can resolve’ based on? I haven’t seen any info on this with respect to any of the Nikon bodies? Assuming good glass (holy trinity, 85mm f/1.4, etc.) does the d3x sensor already have enough MP? Or is there room still beyond that?

        Also, doesn’t it make sense to have a sensor that can utilize 100% of the lens resolution, even if there is headroom beyond that and the lens is the limitation? If I’m using a 14-24, I want the MOST out of it, I don’t want the body being the limiting factor.

      • Me

        Thirty six mp is around what 35mm film resolves to when scanned. Scanning at 40 makes bigger files but no practical difference.

        No issues with a sensor doing thirty six.

        Am I the last person here shooting film?

        • Zeppo

          What’s film?

        • …not even Kodak or Fuji will quote numbers to back up figures like that.

          …and if you’re really bored:

          In conclusion: most consumer film looks like 2mp worth of info. Good pro films might have almost 6mp. That’s it.

          And a comparison I did in 2007:

          • You’re awesome, Micah.

            I’ve been hearing these ‘film is xx MP equivalent’ since way back in the days of 3-6mp pro cameras (late in the game, I know). Then the common notion floating around was that anything less than a 26mp DSLR sensor was inferior to 35mm film. This is joke, if ever I heard one.

            I was getting stuff from my 6mp Kodak DCS760 that was rivaling the prints I was pulling from my Mamiya RB6x7. I would laugh at that crowd of blind believer WPPI-goers that had their panties around their neck preaching that the DSLRs were terribly under-ressed. All the while I was selling digital images like crazy to customers that couldn’t be happier.

            Not to mention all the pros that would see my prints and constantly ask me what kind of MF camera and which stocks of film I was using to get such organic images. 😉

        • Richard

          There are more people out there still shooting film OCCASIONALLY than a lot of people realize. That said, the convenience of digital capture is compelling. The use of film keeps driving the demand for improved image resolution as people realize there is more to be had from their lenses. There awesome issue with movement that higher resolution sensors that people are learning to deal with.

          I wonder about the 4 FPS though. What ever became of the super duper dual processor system that was the subject of a prior rumor. The processor has been the choke point of the frame rate for quite some time, but is also essential to processing the actual image file from the sensor to achieve high IQ. I guess that Nikon have been forced to throttle the frame rate to achieve tolerable battery life without the external battery pack. Unfortunately, this means that there are many circumstances where the user may have to forego the benefit of smaller size and lighter weight because of the need for a greater frame rate. At least you will have the choice.

        • paf

          No, there are still few that shoot film like me. Since I don’t shoot for money I enjoy fewer quantity of shots that I can tweak to my liking. But man it is getting harder and harder to develop film locally these days!

        • Swappable sensor?


          There are very successful, professional, photographers such as Ken Duncan that only shoot film. Yesterday morning, I was standing next to someone shooting with a panoramic camera (probably the same as Ken Duncan uses.)

          There are no panoramic backs or digital cameras to rival these.

          Then there’s 8×10. People with good scanners are getting a lot more resolution from a good scan than an 80MP digital back.

          There are a lot of professional photographers still using film for situations when only the best will do and time is not an issue.

    • Richard

      Is this a slightly warmed over D3X sensor? If not, it seems strange to jump from 12 MP straight to 36 MP even taking into account that the D7k sensor probably gave Nikon a lot of insight into the issues you discuss.

      One does have to wonder just what the D4 sensor will be like in view of this. Can it be that there are multiple candidates for the D4 sensor depending upon what the opposition research division is able to uncover about Canon’s next body?

      • I don’t think you can “warm over” one sensor design and arrive at a new resolution. Requires complete redesign of the circuits. (Although I think there are some designs that are related through enlarging/shrinking…but that’s a different issue than using more or less pixels)

        It’s based on/related to a Sony sensor that’s also in the pipeline. I suspect Nikon will have some tricks as it did with the D3x sensor to differentiate it in terms of performance.

    • tigrebleu74

      Well, with an anti-aliasing filter, 36 Mpix on a FF sensor is like 16 Mpix on an APS-C sensor. The high ISO quality of the15 Mpix D7000 isn’t bad, so I’m sure Nikon could do very well at high ISO on a D800 too. And 36 Mpix isn’t so high that only a handful of lenses could resolve that… In fact, there’s quite a few lenses that can match that resolution.

      And even if not all lenses do, a 36 Mpix D800 would offer Nikon users a choice between low res and high ISO performance (D700 or D800s-like) or high res and lower high ISO performance (D800x-like).

      But if a 36 Mpix D800 with no anti-aliasing filter is available, then that could be a different thing.

      With 36 Mpix, resolution is so high that moiré is no longer a major issue… In fact, most available digital backs are 30-80 Mpix and don’t have AA filters. At such resolutions, the AA filter just becomes an obstacle in obtaining better quality images, so by removing it, you could pull a little more resolving power from all lenses. All of a sudden, 36 Mpix (which again, isn’t more than 16 Mpix on APS-C) doesn’t seems that much.

      Still, I would’ve prefered a D800 with 24 Mpix and a weak AA filter. But I guess Nikon didn’t want to stick to 24 Mpix with the actual competition around (Sony A77 and upcoming Canon FF DSLRs).

      Just my two cents.

      • tigrebleu74

        I meant a “16 Mpix D7000”, not “15 Mpix”. It’s just a typo.

      • It’s surprising to me that so many people believe 36mp is a natural upgrade from 12mp. Ok, fine — Nikon may be taking this tack. It could be a harebrained strategy that they believe will give them some massive advantage over the competition. And it may indeed. After all, 25k ISO at 3x the resolution is something (especially considering the D3x is spanking the closest competitor with their inferior-resolution sensors).

        But think of the other factors (outside of MP). First and foremost, the framerate for stills is slow enough that some may balk at the slow down. I’m not saying that going from 5fps to 4fps has as much real world impact as some here no doubt think, but the perception is an issue. Also, many photographers may struggle to justify purchasing when the files take such a leap in size. Lastly, the price is not targeted at the segment that purchased the D700. There are a good number of people I personally know that bought the D700 just barely affording it (not pros, nor even prosumers). This is a market that Nikon would be leaving behind if they intended this to be the D700 replacement.

        I don’t think so. I’m betting that Nikon will have another FX body that is the same size/weight as the D800, but which offers somewhere to the tune of 16-24mp. It’s the logical conclusion.

        And remember, these are still JUST rumors, despite the (exciting) 99% probability rating from Admin.

        Breathe, people. Just breathe.

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