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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  • Sahaja

    Yes I want to see lots of photos of shiny ducks too – especially taken with the D800E model. An almost perfect subject to illustrate the benefits of an AA filter.

  • I’ve got a D4 on order, and will probably pick up a D800 within a year or so. That said, the dual card thing on both cameras is a little screwy. To use all the available slots, you would have to carry THREE card types – CF, XQD, and SD. That’s a little ridiculous. They should have simply put two CF slots in all of them, or, if the XQD is the way to go, then CF and XQD. If they were so gung ho on XQD, why not put it in both? And if it’s not all its cracked up to be, why not stick to CF for both D4 slots?

    Gotta say, it’s got me reconsidering my D4 order, but I want the ultra high ISO and fast FPS.

    • The SD slot makes me wonder it the D800 was originally due to come out before the D4. You know, before all the earthquakes, floods, and raining frogs.

    • R!

      SDXC UHS 1 95 MBS SANDISK 64 G for 220$ try to beat that !!
      SD is the best cheap light fast long moovie capable card ever……CF is almost dead and to expensive and to big, xqd is smaller faster,but more expensive and not sure of a real future ,I love the CF /SD cards slots they ‘re the BEST!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous


        Excellent explanation.

    • Harry

      I am disappointed! Bring on the real D700 replacement…what is this crap?!?

      • Anonymous

        Why do you need a D700 replacement? It is a great camera.

  • Gallon

    This isn’t right. There is nothing here about the coolpix line.

    • Willis

      Nice one Gallon

      • Harry

        +1 Gallon!

  • The facial detail on the Geisha photo is outstanding; sharpening set at 2, the final *.jpg is excellent.

    Not quite certain why it’s save in AdobeRGB; and not certain why High ISO NR is enabled at ISO 100. But, in any event, the final product is very, very good.

  • Jorge

    Wow! Can’t wait to get mine, primarily for documentary filmmaking. A small disappointment though is the Audio Level indicators seem to disappear after pressing the record button. See it on Digitutor. It’s unclear whether you can leave the histogram on during recording.

  • Mr. Biswas

    Here’s the announcement at Imaging (cross my heat, hope to die; it’ll probably get corrected soon):

    “36-Megapixel Nikon D300 Announced! See our Hands-on Preview”

  • Edwina Del Rey

    Which one to order? the d800 or the d800e? I’m so confused now…I’m going for the d800 because I don’t think that I will need the anti-aliasing removed…..

    • Anonymous Maximus

      To come to a conclusion, we must first see a direct comparison of the same scene with same parameters & technique applied.

      • Mighty

        Im still unsure which too order as well. I’m a landscape photographer but also architectural, so its no an easy choice. The d800E is perfect for landscape but I might get this moire pattern on the architectural images. The reason I say this is from the images provided on the Nikon site… the comparisons you talk of

  • I am really annoyed to see that on the front they have replaced the C , S , M switch with an A / M switch it seems and EVEN WORSE … on the back they replaced the focus mode selector and replaced it with a crappy picture / video mode selector. What is this a consumer camera? I want professional still photography controls. GRRR!

    Please tell me Nikon (or anyone else) that these two functions can still be controlled somehow without having to dive into the electronic menus on the back?!!!?!!?!

    • It has the same AF area and AF type controls as the D7000, which reportedly works quite well for most (no need to go into menus).

    • Calibrator

      I second what Frisian says: It works well with the D7000 but you may have to get a little used to it at first (there is a center button on the A/M-selector!). Later on you wouldn’t mind.
      Personally, I guess this could become a good replacement of my D7000 in a few years when it’s either dead or I need something better.

  • Landscape Photo

    I’ve compared vs

    Both images have similar texture, but I couldn’t see much of extra detail improvement with the D800E samples in comparison to D800. In-focus areas look equal sharp.

    Is it really worth getting The D800E instead of D800?

    • John Richardson

      I see what you mean. I dunno if it will make a difference for me, time will tell … but if you can swing the extra bucks, I guess it will not hurt to go 800E, we can always fix in PP if the situation arises.

      • Anonymous Maximus

        It will be possible to tell the real difference only if someone can make a direct comparison of same scene while all other parameters are kept fixed.

      • Landscape Photo

        I have an impression that D800 has already got a weak AA filter.

  • The Manatee

    I worry that there are no full size higher ISO samples available.

    • Asko V

      That’s the same I am looking for but haven’t seen any… But if this is more studio/landscape shooter biased body then high ISO isn’t that important. Still I would like to know what is the low light capability.

    • Jean

      Exactly! They show a shot @ 6400 on the Nikon site for the D4 but nothing higher than 640 for the D800. As a wedding photographer I can deal with 4fps vs. 10fps but there are always situations when I need to be above iso 800. However, I really don’t want to have to spend an extra $3000 dollars to get there!

      There has got to be some sort of compromise available out there. I know that some would say that the compromise is the D3s, but I with that model being phased out, I think that Nikon is leaving a really large hole in their product line!

      They need something in the FX sensor/16-20MP/clean iso up to 3200/7-8fps/51pt AF/1080P 30fps range. I’d even be willing to shell out D800 money for something like that. I just really don’t want to give that money to Canon when the 5D mkX comes out. Come on Nikon!

  • Sahaja

    Here’s why some of you may prefer getting the D800 rather than the D800E

    • Monkey Nigh Mow

      Wow, at first I thought. Man that has to be fake. But then I saw it’s from the Nikon site. :-O

  • It’s sound like the d4 is a little bit overpriced
    double price (3000$) for:

    Higher shoot rate
    Higher iso
    and.. more weight ?

    • Calibrator

      What exactly has changed vs. the D3s / D700 ?

  • DPreview has a hands on

  • AnoNemo

    Did I get this right? In the D800E you can disable and enable the AA filter? Then this is the patent we saw.

    • Anonymous Maximus


      • AnoNemo

        The it is not clear from the Nikon specs page because this is what they say:

        In-camera disabling of the aliasing and moiré pattern reduction operation performed by the optical low-pass filter

        See at the bottom of this page:
        Look at under the specs tab.

        The sentence can be interpreted that actually you can disable or enable the AA filter.

        • Monkey Nigh Mow

          Well if you go to the “features explained” page it says:

          “The D800E incorporates an optical filter with all the anti-aliasing properties removed in order to facilitate the sharpest images possible.”

          So the filter itself (the physical filter) is changed/removed.

          read it here:

  • Landscape Photo

    Here is a direct comparison:

    The difference looks minimal. I applied unsharp mask 70 0.3 0 to D800 image & it almost equalled D800E.

    OTOH, the D800E image did not comfortably accept further sharpening as producing unnatural texture.

  • Jon

    For those wanting to see hi ISO samples (small ones!) and the differences between the two cameras with regard to sharpness, moire, etc. click o the Nikon Imaging link at the top of this page and find the ‘features explained’ page.

    • Anonymous Maximus

      Do you mean this page?

      I’m afraid the ISO samples are not 100% crops but downsized thumbnails only. Because they look so alike & sharp with virtually no noise – too good to be true.

      We must see 100% size high-iso samples.

      • Monkey Nigh Mow

        Agree. A 36MP sensor downsized to thumbnails means very little.

  • phil

    one question i hope that hasn’t been answered yet:
    will there be some sort of ipad/iphone migration like on the d4?
    this would be very perfect for shooting in studio like situations outside and for presenting to customers but i haven’t found any infos about it.

  • Sonny Censor

    Well Well Nikon, the spec’s where not a surprise but the MSRP is a surprise. DPreview says it will be € 2800’ish in europe. I expected >= € 3200,–

    Are you trying to sucker-punch some of your competitors?

    I suspect you’ll be happy with a lower margin and make up for it by volume. I hope you have geared up your manufacturing and don’t run into shortages and delays for the next year, as with that lower margin you have to sell to keep the cash-flow going.

  • Cyntha

    Cool. Peter, thanks for the prefun and the current fun. D800, here I come

  • Sonny Sensor


    Which Nikkor lenses will be able to deliver the 36mpx goodies (aside all other techniques like Mirror-Up, tripod, remote release and not stopping down a lens too much)?

    • joe b low

      If you’re so clueless you think you’ll need special lenses, then this camera is not for you. Try a coolpix instead.

  • Cameramm

    I get my d4 Next thursday , and Need a Second One to shoot Sports …. What to do? Beside the fps the d800 could Be my Camera for half the Prize! is the high iso of the d800 like the current D3/d700 ? Is the autofocus System the Same like in the d4? Image the crop possibilities of Action Happening on the other Side of the Field with 36 mp …

  • gerry

    Has anybody read if this will be able to be controlled via a smart phone like the D4 is capable of?

  • Martin Rock

    I preordered the D800 on Amazon, the D800 does not clearly increase the sharpness, but the moire is very noticiable. The D800 looks fantastic!

    • Anonymous Maximus

      “the D800 does not clearly increase the sharpness, but the moire is very noticiable”

      Did you mean D800E above?

      • Martin Rock

        yes, it’s a slip. It seems that the d800 is the ideal candidate for photography in all its aspects except perhaps sports and very low light.

    • Martin rock

      I was referring to d800e for moire.

  • AndyClick

    Nikon seems to have left the serious hobbyist wildlife (birds in my case), sport / action photogtapher out in the cold. The D4 is hugely expensive and the D800 is wholly unsuitable. One of the images on Nikon’s site, a portrait of a bride, is riddled with noise at ISO 640. I would have thought that they would release a prosumer level camera with moderate resolution and excellent noise control. Wonder why not???

    • Sean

      Sounds like you’ll have to wait a while if these two class leading cameras aren’t good enough…

    • mikils

      I am a birder myself and do not agree in the least: In shooting in wildlife location D800 will assure extremely detailed landscapes (try and go to Iceland for birds and do not shoot landscape!) with the 14-24 and at he same time we could use the same camera in DX crop at 6 fps with an still excellent detail. Who says that 6 fps to shoot birds is not enough? well, one must be a very very young photographer!. And I will have my trusty D3s warm in the backpack for the really tough situations. I never or really seldom go over 400 (800 in emergencies) Iso

  • from DPreview: 36.3MP .NEF files will take up approximately 76.5MB on a memory card

    8 O

    • Anonymous Maximus

      That must be for uncompressed NEF @ 14bit. Try compressed NEF @ 12bit if you’re concerned about storage space, it will be reduced to around 25MB. I bet you won’t notice any difference in IQ.

  • Serg

    Bullshit. Megapixel diarrhea.

  • Martin Rock

    I have only one regret for the video: crop mode in the 2 MPX 1920×1080 as the D4.

  • Landscape Photo

    I may prefer the D800 but not D800E.

    Though mainly shooting landscapes, I also do citiscapes quite often with repeating patterns. The risk for moire & aliased (jaggy) edges does not justify for a little, debatable gain in micro detail. I’d rather apply a little more sharpening to get there. A cleaner image would welcome more sharpening than other with unnatural texture.

    • Martin Rock

      Save images to your pc and use FSViewer you will see that they are still better. But you are right the risk of Moiré scared …

      • Anonymous Maximus

        With a little sharpening to D800 on the left, both look almost identical. I already tried on PS.

        • Martin Rock

          Yes I agree. What is needed is two identical compositions taken with the d800 and d800e. About me, I already pre ordered the d800 but I still hesitate …

  • Leonardo

    Viewfinder has (finally) 100% coverage, which for some isn’t a plus. But on this top level class it would have been a minus if not so.

    36mp means I would be careful to shoot if I could not take a week to PP a single CF card… but I can stick to lower res images (if IQ remains the same downsizing in-camera) wherever I don’t need hi-res files… and I can still take advantage of DX-crop factor (or 1.2x as in D3s/D4 if I don’t have long DX lenses) for some needs (though I’m limited in bird/wildlife photography for not-so-quick burst, but I can practice with it).

  • AndyClick

    Sean, I think you misunderstand. I have no doubt that they are both (or all three should I say) brilliant cameras. It is just that the D800 is not suited to my purpose and the D4 is extremely expensive. Have a look at this site – These photographs, to the best of my knowledge, and I have spent time in the bush with Albert Froneman who shoots with a D3s and mostly a 500mm f4, were all shot with a D3s. The action shots are invariably at high shutter speed and high ISO. These are the sort of images I aspire to and I don’t believe the D800 could produce these results. Noise control and the slow fps are both disadvantages. The D4 is unfortunately beyond my reach financially. Maybe as the D4 gains popularity there will be good used D3s’ on the market. This might well be the direction I go in. My comment was simply to illustrate that there is a market segement which Nikon, for the meantime at least, seems to have overlooked.

  • Judging by full-res samples, there’s no gain in anything over D700. Dirty noisy images at low ISOs, smearing and whooping resolution bump which makes most lenses look like crap. I’ll stay on the downshifting side.

  • Bobe

    You would have to be half retarded to consider the iso 640 sample to be ‘riddled with noise’.

    • AndyClick

      You would have to be fully retarded and half blind not to.

      • Bobe

        You’re just pissed you didn’t get a D4 for half the price. Boo hoo.

        • bobby

          I said retard to myself too

    • Anonymous Maximus

      There’s a touch of graininess & some chromatic noise (greenish discoloring) in the dark brown background, but far from something to be called “riddled with noise” 🙂

      I wonder the ISO 6400, like everybody here.

  • Russ

    Anyone know if you can shoot RAW images at less that 36.3MP?

    (possibly something more ‘standard’ like 12 or 16MP)

    • Eric

      The only possible sRAW would be 9.1MP. That is, merging 4 pixels into 1.
      I would love to have this possibility, with very good DR and High ISO.
      I didn’t see it mentionned, though.

  • AndyClick

    Not really, but something between a D700 and a D3s would have been nice.

    • Bobe

      I believe they will eventually. I also believe Nikon in that the D800 is equal to the D700 in iso. Can’t make up my own mind until samples are available. I think that is great progress. The features for the price make this a home run. I think you’ll get your small body high iso update sooner or later.

      • Sonny Censor

        i wonder, how do they define this: D800 36mpx downrezed to 12Mpx and then compared to D700 or D800-36 versus D700-12 and then both printed as 16×20″ ?

        • Nikonnut

          Yeah I’d like to know that too

        • Guenther

          D700 released 2008, D800 released 2012 and you want compare them?
          There had been no development if the D800 would not be better!

  • TokyoAce

    Can’t believe the tools we’ll have in a couple of months for stills and film at a great price range!
    I’ll be checking out the D800 here in Tokyo at the Camera Photo Show (Feb. 9th thru 12th) at Pacifico Yokohama in a couple of days. If there is anything you want me to confirm, let me know…

  • Gordon

    I must commend Nikon to listening to their customers and acknowledging that is what the did in the D800 press release:

    The D800 is Nikon’s response to demands by advanced amateur photographers and professionals for a higher pixel count, better image quality, smaller, and lighter digital SLR camera that captures still images with superior resolution, and records movies with true high-definition picture quality.

    Nikon is responding to users and their needs, who demand more from photographs and movies. The company recently announced the D4, a flagship model that combines excellent definition and image quality with superior high-speed performance; and has now released the D800, a model that offers the ultimate in resolution for nature and studio photography.

    Can’t wait to get one added to my kit and using it in the field.

  • Need to elaborate:

    > See every important element in your frame clearly and precisely. The D800/D800E offer approx. 100% frame coverage (in FX format) from its slim pentaprism, giving you the visually comfortable FX-format advantage and an unobstructed view when shooting still images. The viewfinder image is not only large and bright — the focusing screen is also carefully designed to help you sense sharp focus intuitively, be it manual or autofocus.

    Does this mean my prayers about precise focusing screen were listened?

  • Sonny Censor

    A dutch retailer now lists the D800 body as € 2899,–

  • d

    the ‘hollywood’ shutter sound in the promo video kills me 🙂

  • Gay Maisel

    Cliff Mautner on the D800:

    • Asko v

      Aww crap You made the site to crash 😉

  • Cyan

    I don’t know if this has already been posted, but there are some high ISo samples on the D800 microsite… One of them is at ISO1000, but again it’s a bit small to be able to tell much really 🙁

  • lensdude

    First up: Thanks and congrats, Peter, for a job well done. I’ve enjoyed the ride. 🙂

    Many of the above comments or questions – especially some from people claiming to be pros or wedding photographers – make one thing quite clear: This camera will overwhelm users who lack the necessary background knowledge about technical aspects of DSLR photography. This is not slander, but good advice: If you don’t know for certain that these are the right cameras for you (800/800e) then stick to or pick up great used cameras (d700, d3s) at great prices in the coming months.

    1. An AA-filter is a physical entity
    which means it CANNOT be switched on or off. This is utter nonsense! A camera giving the user the option of an AA filter would have to provide a slot or other physical access to insert/remove a filter tray of some sort while ensuring its perfect positioning in from of the sensor without any risk to the sensor. Such technical feat would probably cost more than owning both announced cameras. And it would seriously overwhelm many users (see above).

    2. If you have no clue what aliasing is
    then you probably have no clue about analog-to-digital-conversion and the challenges it offers. That would also explain the many questions about Moiré. I strongly suggest that you google and read a couple of the many sources available on the subject on the web before making a purchase for $3000. Do not blame Nikon if your pictures of stockings, woven fabrics or dense patterns in metals or buildings are unsusable.

    They give you a choice which is awesome but they expect you to be an informed buyer who is ABLE TO CHOOSE.

    3. The higher price of the 800E
    is totally understandable from the above point of view: Nikon of course expects D800E sales to be far far inferior to the D800. Smaller production batches with another component (different filter assembly) reduce economies of scale, thus the higher price.

    4. If you do not own or plan to buy the very best glass
    for use with either model, you’re wasting your money on the body. Seriously. Fine detail at that pixel pitch requires the very best analog (lens) resolution before digital conversion (sensor). The sensor will always give you the same “numerical” resolution but whether it actually contains more relevant information than a 12MP image is a totally different matter. Again: Read up on alalog-to-digital conversion.

    I will get flamed for this by the “creationists” of photography who deny the reality of optics and physics, but: Forget you 16-35 f/4. Just an example. Forget your 17-55. Forget all AF-D lenses. Start saving for “the trinity” and selected primes although even theses will finally show their physically inevitable weaknesses at the border regions and corners. (Note: My 85/1.4 will live on this camera). Bottom line: If you don’t have these lenses, prepare to spend A LOT MORE than “just” $3000 for a new body.

    5. The 1.2x crop
    is an noteworthy feature in this respect. The 1.5x DX crop makes sense because it allows more people to switch and buy. And maybe the use of a DX specialty lens, if you don’t have any alternative. But why is the 1.2x crop interesting as an in-camera feature (you could crop shots with DX lenses in PP after all)? It helps with 2 limitations that Nikon cleary saw themselves:
    a) The smaller data size allows for faster processing and thus a faster frame rate.
    b) It cuts away the worst of the corner/border weaknesses of “challenged lenses” in-camera and allows the shooter not to worry about quality across the frame in PP. (Pros: To little time. Amateurs: Possible lack of technical knodledge. “Why are my lenses soft? The camera is faulty!”). That is a simple and very elegant solution! Even better if the whole frame is shown in the finder (i.e. darkened) and the crop area indicated! In that case I’ll probably use it a lot. The 14-24 would then be an effective 17-29mm and with much more even sharpness across the frame. Same with every other lens, of course, but the limiting effect would be at the super-wide-angle and here 1.2x seems quite bearable.

    6. Comparing the output of the D800 and D800E
    without in-depth testing and – especially – access to unsharpened RAW files is utter nonsense! The few shots published by Nikon are JPEGs for Christ’s sake. Just look at the snowy mountain forest shot (D800E, f2.8/70-200 II): It’s clearly impaired by JPEG compression in the finer details. And it has to be, that’s just another aspect of technical reality. Hold your horses. The difference will be visible – if you use the best lenses – otherwise Nikon would not bother to produce a 2nd body!

    7. If these bodies do not suit your needs
    or are out of your budget or if you are happy witch your current model (as am I), pretty please with sugar on top stop bitching about a camera that you haven’t even tried yet. It’s pitiful. Get the best available gear for your needs that you can afford and shoot. You’ll be a lot happier.


    PS: Home with the flu. So yes, I had time to kill. 😉

    • Zim

      I think the 17-55 2.8 will be fine. Hope you feel better

      • lensdude

        Thanks Zim! Killing time on the web certainly helps. 🙂 Of course the 17-55 will be fine, but it won’t use the sensor’s potential. Just don’t pixelpeep! 😉

    • Meh

      Thanks for insulting people by using the word “creationist” as an insult. Nice work bro.

      Perhaps you need to brush up on the topic of tolerance and stop being a bigot (yes I’m using the proper use of the term).

      • lensdude

        If you’re a creationist, then by all means do feel insulted. I have no patience for people who choose ignorance in the face of overwhelming scientific proof and the hard-earned fruits of enlightenment. Hence the comparison.

        Bigot: Even as a non-native speaker I can tell you do need to look up the term again. I certainly am intolerant towards this group of fanatics but it is not a matter of personal opinion and/or prejudices (a necessary part of the definition of bigotry). It is a matter of exasperation about people who refuse to accept scientific proven facts, then have the audacity to call them “opinions” and then call the scientist bigots. Get a life “bro”, maybe a medieval one would be best.

  • jorg

    *sorry, if this was already explained (at work i cannot check all the threads)*

    nikon gospel says: “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”

    to me that sounds like there is a switch and some mechanicsenabling or disabling the aa-filter, or am i wrong here? (not a native english speaker + found nothing on my native about it)

    • lensdude

      *argh* Dude, just read a couple of lines above. “An AA-filter is a physical entity”. It’s not that hard…

      • jorg

        yes, sorry. had not seen the other one before writing/posting.

    • jorg

      ok, saw the post before mine. the mechanical explanation sounds reasonble. would have been too good to be true 😉

      • lensdude

        No problem. And yes, it would’ve been to good to be true! 🙂

  • onebranch


    Sorry if this question is already asked, just wanna know if this has “SRaw” features like canon? aside from the DXmode?


  • mrs. choo

    nice work NR. i have been quiet sceptical about the rumored specs- now i am impressed. but there are still some questions left…

    i’d be really glad to see a high iso comparison of the D700 (or D3 or D3s) to the D800(/E) from base to 25600. one in 100% and another with the 36mp downsampled to 12mp. and i guess there are a lot of people interested in this. yeah!

    if you happen to get your hands on this new baby and some time to do some serious test you’d propably make a lot of indecisive guys happy… plz!

    and thx for all the interesting infos on your site. love it.

  • Sonny Censor

    ppffffff my purchasing pipeline for the forseable future:

    D800 / 24-70 / 70-200 to replace my D300 / 16-85
    sturdier tripod and head
    24″ or 44″ printer to replace my 17″ one
    new computer, bigger and better monitor
    look for a new wife as the current one probably left me somewhere during all these purchases………..

    • lensdude


      Been using the 70-200 II and 85/1.4 on a D7000 so I know they can feed the sensor’s “pixel density” (same pixel pitch)… But the D700 will have to go and the 14-24 is a must-buy now *sigh* 🙂

  • ericnl

    “and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape”

    I guess they put the weddings in there because they were reading NikonRumors.
    personally I don’t think the D800 is a step up from the D700 for wedding or street-photography, especially because both can be happening in less than perfect lighting conditions.

    I will wait for full-sized high ISO comparison pictures before making a choice.
    (EU prices right now: €2149/D700 and €2899/D800)

    • ericnl

      cons D700: 4 year old technology, and no video
      cons D800: 36MP, and no improvement on base iso.

      I guess that as a (mainly) street/live music photographer I was hoping for:
      new tech, 24MP, video, 1 more stop base iso.

      • parallax

        I think you just described the dream camera I was hoping for.

        I had honestly thought that the megapixel race was over…

        If ISO 6400 is essentially noise free, I’ll eat my words, but I’m guessing that by 1600 noise is starting to rear its head – usually the highest claimed ISO is usable only for emergency situations, and the step below that is getting iffy.

        I’ll admit I’m judging without the benefit of seeing the output, but in my mind the D700 was a high ISO, natural light champ. This isn’t the successor to that camera, this is a completely new direction.

        Guess I’ll have to vote with my dollars. Is there a good way to let someone at Nikon know that I’m voting with my dollars?

  • braedough

    Here are some crops at various ISO settings from the D800E

    • braedough

      Click on the ‘Photos’ link to the left and the first album should be ‘Preview of Nikon D800’

    • UA

      Seems to be very OK, although its difficult to say much about such small crops. Details keep up to the ISO6400, but shadows start to show noticeable grain. This is not a real problem, since the detail is more important and shadow grain is easy to hide in post processing, unlike bringing back the missing details.. and the resolution even helps.

      Dunno, D800 has pretty much the same pixel density that D7000 has.. and D7000 produces excellent results up to the ISO6400. If this is the result, well done Nikon, well done.

      • Sonny Censor

        Yup, given the size of the crop to the total image an assuming not beeing fooled by that guy….those high iso dont look too shabby. 🙂

  • nicks65

    even Jerry (after explaining why he became a Nikon shooter again) does not know what else can buy now..

  • Jan Boudestein

    Did I just read ‘miniscule’ in stead of minuscule in that product tour video (from 0:25)? What a blunder for such a big company that prides itself on attention to detail 🙂 Anyway, the camera is just fine, surely, not one little faulty element 😉

    • north

      Both are correct.

    • St.

      Hey Admin,
      Stop the promotional video on 1:13 and see the frame!!!!!
      It’s exactly as the rumored image, that everyone was thinking it’s fake, because of the distortion!!!

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