Nikon D800, D800E announcement

The Nikon D800 is now officially announced:

Press release:

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) – Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers. A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for today’s creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality
The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions. Internal sensor design, an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute to a sensor capable of excellent low light ability despite the extreme resolution. Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create astounding tonal gradation and true colors, whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are also able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as 5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2X crop for a slight telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for more lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4-megapixel (4800×3200) resolution.

Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps professionals create images and HD video with amazing resolution, color and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color, rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency, affording the ability to shoot longer.

The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor now has the ability to detect human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed scene analysis for more accurate autofocus (AF), Auto exposure (AE), i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Color Matrix Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system that more accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture, and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s Active D-lighting for balanced exposure. Another new feature is direct access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters on the fly, such as sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience
The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more efficient workflow. The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video capability with minimal noise, letting filmmakers capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Users are also able to have full manual control of exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in live view for an accurate representation of the depth of field in a scene. Whether shooting for depth of field in FX-format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain full 1080p HD resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene. Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle.

For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. This image can also be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality, such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording. Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30 steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to be activated through the shutter button, opening a world of remote applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy
Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced 51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and algorithms to significantly improve low light acquisition, for precise focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also places an emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes nine cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths (single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits or static subjects, users are also able to select multiple AF modes, including normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking to best suit the scene.

The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.12 seconds, and is ready to capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (fps) in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery. Further enhancing the speed of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.0 standard for ultra fast transfer speeds.

Construction and Operability
The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage. For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and video to the other. For high speed recording and transfer, data can be recorded to recent UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also employs sensor cleaning. The D800 also features a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.

D800E – Maximum Resolution Unleashed
In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95. The D800E version will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95.

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  • Bip

    It finally happened!

    • djh65

      So it finally makes sense why the 800e is more, you can turn the AA filter on and off, sold!.

      • Mark J.

        I just skimmed through it(on my phone right now) and did not see where it said it could be turned on or off. Anyone got the quote? If it’s true i don’t see why
        ANYONE would want the standard 800 now since the E is so little more.

        • djh65

          It is in the pdf on the Nikon site for the D-800e.

          “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.

          • Mark J.

            Good catch dj, and thanks for the heads up. That just sealed the deal for me. $300 extra for ability to use it, or not is just amazing.

            • Andrew

              Based upon my research, if you are a casual photographer or an enthusiast, you should purchase the D800 and not the D800E. The print quality will be comparable at regular or slightly larger print sizes. The moiré distortion which can occur in a lot of different situations with the D800E will frustrate most shooters.

              The adage is, if you do not fully understand moiré distortions, then stay far away from anything that introduces it. There is good reason why Nikon has over the years introduced AA filters to greatly reduce moiré. Do not spend $3,300 if you do not fully understand what you are getting into. I for one wanted the D800E, but after my research, the D800 would be my choice.

              The D800E does not contain the AA filter as some have alluded – it is false information.

          • John

            “In-camera disabling….”

            That doesn’t really indicate whether that is a “disabling” by Nikon in the manufacturing process, or, a “disabling” by the user selectively by a novel menu function.

            I really want to get excited about the disabling being optional from one shot to the next. That the “E” option is user decided upon.

            BUT, the filter is a physical element right? Not a merely an electronic one? So surely it is either manufactured to be there or it’s not. I hope someone can clarify this one for us…….

            Either way, so excited by this camera!!!! 😀

        • Maladat

          Not true. Quote from brochure:

          Nikon engineers have developed a unique alternative for those seeking the ultimate
          in definition. The D800E incorporates an optical filter with all the anti-aliasing
          properties removed in order to facilitate the sharpest images possible.
          This is an ideal tool for photographers who can control light, distance and their
          subjects to the degree where they can mitigate the occurrence of moiré. Aside
          from the optical filter, all functions and features are the same as on the D800.
          Note: The D800E carries an increased possibility that moiré and false color will appear, compared to the D800.
          IR cut and antireflective coating properties of the optical filter remain the same with both versions.

          • AXV

            Yes, so it means “In camera disabling” as: Permanently disabled in camera.

            • djh65

              If so, my mistake, I read the “on-camera” thing literally. Silly me.

          • InfraRed

            You can also read thai as “waiver”, “consequential damage waiver” and “limitation of liability”!

        • djh65

          looks like to took the “In-camera disabling of the aliasing” literally as you might be able to control this, it does not look like this will be possible, maybe for the d900.

        • Sahaja

          You can’t turn AA off and on silly – if they could do that, they would have made only one D800 model . “In-camera disabling” is Nikon marketing speak for “permanently removed” – or rather, not there in the first place.

          36mp is heaps of resolution even with an AA filter. Don’t be tempted to buy the “E” model for even more fine detail and then come back and bitch about the moiré. Sometimes it is very difficult to remove.

          I can see sales of “soft focus” filters going up.

      • Nick

        Um I’m not sure that’s the case from what I am reading…

      • Badburro

        Based on info at the website, the AA filter is already removed from the optical filter. AA filter is not a software controlled item.

      • OLH21

        no AA is cancelled definitly … you can’t put it back! it’s a different glass they put in … see nikon official web site for explanations

  • hem vaidya

    woot! it has begun!! thanks to Admin for his dedication.


    It is here at last!!! All delay is forgiven.

  • Amen


  • YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • hem vaidya


  • Been there guy

    Nikon has done two things right for me. The D800 specs are what I wanted, and price is right TOO!

    Nikon, I forgive you about the Nikon 1 now.

  • piahi

    thank god it’s only $3000/$3300!! now i’m definitely going to buy it… the D800E, that is.

  • Can’t wait to pre-order my D800E tomorrow. Or the next day or so. What a wonderful price break for a magnificent camera!!! Landscapes are calling me even louder now 😀

  • Surfsama

    Just post the order button!

  • Nice Price!

    I’m thrilled to finally see/read this, but at the same point, there’s some minor points of disappoint~ Will wait for some samples~

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    Whoa baby, I’m likin’ that!

  • scoobysmak

    Seems impressive, I still want to see the difference with and without the AA filter.

    • lUIS

      NIKON.IMAGING.COM has comparison samples showing the difference between the D800 and D800E. They even have an example of nasty moire.

  • Bip

    This seem to replace both the D700 and D3X, make it less likely to see a D3X replacement.

    • Sahaja

      Well SAR says Sony are coming out with a 100mp+ FX sensor in 2013-14. Maybe that will go in a D4x. 36mp is going to look low-res compared to that.

      Even if they just scale up the DX sensor they already have in the A77 / NEX7, you get 54mp.

      • Andrew

        I would not want a 100mp camera even if you gave it to me (except for very specialized use). The D800 at 36 MP gives the maximum resolution most professionals will ever buy. The low light performance at 100 MP will be awful. You will not be able to take a picture in your house with natural light without a flash or lots of lighting.

  • Rob

    I was so freaking wrong on the price. I guess that’s why I’m not CFO of a major company.

    • Andrew

      I got the price right at $3,000 because I thought that the D7000 with its Magnesium alloy body set the precedence of how aggressive Nikon can be.

  • Hamuga

    100% frame coverage!!!

  • Looking forward to hearing the reviews on the low light image quality and dynamic range with the new sensor! Also looking forward to seeing the video capabilities that come from the new D800!!

    • 2nd that! I really want to see it’s low light & DR performance first! If both is much better than D700, sign me up for one please! 🙂

    • Andrew

      Since Nikon is claiming for the D800 an ISO of 6400, same as the D700, is it possible that Nikon is also considering this camera as a D700 successor contrary to the general view? If the D800 performs similar to the D700 in low light situations, this will come as a surprise to many people.

  • Gareth

    now, to convince the wife i need this…

    • Stacey

      We shoulg get married cause I am thinking of ways how I can convince the husband I need this LOL

      • Gareth

        where do you live? LOL

    • Single

      Thank God I’m not married and don’t have to convince anyone of anything and can do as I please.

      • John Richardson

        Some guys have all the luck…wait, I am lucky, but still that convincing the boss thing…

  • No new lenses? 🙁

  • Wow I’m impressed by the price! Haha to all the nay-sayers.

  • Wow. Insane!

    • Admin —

      Any word on whether rebates on the current crop of lenses will be available with either of the D800s or the D4? $2,400 is a tough pill to swallow when it was 25% lower a few months ago. Even the $400 off with rebates was a better price than MSRP.

    • Also, any word on that sweet nighttime motorcycle shoot we heard about a few months ago?

  • Two for me please with Cheese!

  • Myl3s

    After 2 years, finally!

    Great job Peter!

  • devariot


  • zack

    So, Nikon D800E is better for video, is that correct? Anyone?

    • Monkey Nigh Mow

      I’d say no, because Moiré is very hard to reduce in video. You need a AA filter for video.

      • Andrew

        Is it better to get the D800E and then buy an AA filter? Would you get the same image quality with an optional add-on filter for the D800E compared to the D800? So the question is, will Nikon sell an optional AA filter for the D800E?

  • ZMXX

    I checked the samples on Nikon’s website, there is no high ISO sample yet…

    • There is an ISO 640 example but it’s kind of noisy.

      • Joseph

        Oh my God are you kidding me?? You have ridiculously high standards. That’s less noisy than ISO 100 film from 6×7 I would wager, having shot lots of it.

      • That’s actually really not bad at all. Do keep in mind we’re pixel peeping like crazy, and once these get out there, the algorithms will get better.

        Also, when you down-size these images to normal working size, that also will reduce apparent noise as well.

      • Bintang

        That picture is fantastic if no noise reduction was applied in it.
        Resample the pic to 12/16Mpixel and you can compare the true quality with the D3s/D4 as well. I’m almost sure there won’t be any advantage by the D4 in that iso setting.

  • Mike

    The E model sounds like how it should be done – provide an on/off feature! Looks like Nikon paid more thought to usability than usual. Great job!

    Sure looks like a D400 killer to me – whenever that one sees the light of day 🙂


    • OLH21

      sorry you still have to choose the d800e comes with the aa permanently disabled …

  • souvik

    HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KUDOS TO YOU ADMIN!!!!

  • D700 is still well good enough I think. That is unless video is needed.

    • Andrew

      But Nikon is claiming ISO 6400 for the D800, same as D700! We will have to wait and see if the low light performance is exactly the same for both cameras.

  • me

    Whoaaaaahhhhhhh, mamma. The 800E is a game changer.

    Nice. Especially the price.


  • Zim

    sounds good

  • Badburro

    First on my local camera store wait list for the D800E…woohoo!

  • “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.”

    Able to turn the AA filter on and off as needed. No need to choose a model without it, just spend the extra 300 and buy the E model. AWESOME!

    I was convinced before, but wasn’t sure what model to choose. Easy now, will pre-order asap.

    • maladat

      Doesn’t sound like it…

      Nikon engineers have developed a unique alternative for those seeking the ultimate
      in definition. The D800E incorporates an optical filter with all the anti-aliasing
      properties removed in order to facilitate the sharpest images possible.
      This is an ideal tool for photographers who can control light, distance and their
      subjects to the degree where they can mitigate the occurrence of moiré. Aside
      from the optical filter, all functions and features are the same as on the D800.
      Note: The D800E carries an increased possibility that moiré and false color will appear, compared to the D800.
      IR cut and antireflective coating properties of the optical filter remain the same with both versions.

      To me “an optical filter with all the anti-aliasing properties removed” sounds like no AA is available at all. Especially given the warning note at the end.

      • Interesting, I took the quote off the site. Those two quotes seem to contradict one another.

    • Sahaja

      You can’t turn the AA off and on.

  • Tuan

    The press release stated that the sensor is “Nikon developed”. To me this is a surprise.
    What does this truly mean? Is it a Nikon designed sensor, or just microlensing by Nikon, Design and fabbed by Sony?

    • Sahaja

      They said the same thing about the D4x sensor. You can “develop” something someone else makes by adding something small

  • rhlpetrus

    Samples are very good, especially #4. Nikon did it right this time, to glass and good photogs.

  • i am wanting.

  • AM

    Congratulations, Peter…. you’ve shown again that you and the NR are the “King”… you got it right……. MONTHS ago..

  • J0rge

    Hats off to Nikon. They had to rebuild the Sendai and Thailand factories and in less than a year they came out with two superb high end cameras. Completely amazing.

  • AXV

    “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. ”

    “Aliasing and moiré patterns may be more noticeable in images captured with the D800E with some subjects, scenes or shooting conditions.”

    So what does that mean rally? Has the filter been removed or not? Or can you “Disable it” at will?
    It still sounds as if the “E” one will present more moiré than te regular one, even if you haven’t “disabled” the filter (if you can).

  • Chandra

    The video shot in Chicago is on Nikon website

  • Groosome

    I knew it wouldn’t be more than $3500 and I’m not surprised about it being $3000. Kudos for the 100% viewfinder and built in flash. I would have been happy with less than 20mp though 🙂

  • derek

    HD video Samples on Nikon usa

  • Any idea of when they’ll begin shipping?

  • nathanael

    does anyone know if you can reduce the MP?

    • Sahaja

      It will make a great 6mp camera.

  • Pierre

    Looked at the image samples in the PDF, not impressed, but it could be the brochure quality or PDF artifacts. D4 images looked better.

  • Ethan

    From the sample photos Nikon has provided the camera just doesn’t seem to resolve detail very well, and the color- dynamic range seems noticeably flat and limited.

    • BartyL

      Yes I’m sure it will be awful and no-one will ever take a good photo with it. Are you switching?

  • Nau

    go for black with yellow laces will match the camera strap 🙂

  • Adnan

    Now lets see the new revised D700 price!!

  • yhannoby

    I hope this Camera is a IR capable camera. I would be more happy if they do.

  • I’m really happy at the price. $4000 + $350 grip + $250 L-Bracket may have put it out of reach for me.

    1.2 crop at 5fps is nice. So, is the 4×5 aspect ratio.

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