Nikon D800 press release

In case you missed the Nikon D800 press release (Google translated):

Sao Paulo, February 6, 2012

Nikon introduces its long-awaited release, the HD-SLR D800, which offers resolution never seen before, amazing picture quality and valuable video resources, still optimized for professional multimedia photographers and videographers. With unparalleled balance between precision and functionality, the Nikon D800 brings innovations such as the CMOS sensor 36.3 megapixel FX-format, 91,000 pixel RGB sensor, advanced Scene Recognition System and many other new features.

Exceptional Image Quality

The new 36.3 megapixel CMOS sensor (7360 x 4912 resolution) and FX format (35.9 x 24mm) is the largest in terms of resolution so far developed by Nikon, and come meet nikonzeiros numerous requests from around the world. It is ideal for situations where you can not compromise the fidelity, such as weddings, photo studio and record landscapes. A resolution of this magnitude gives the photographer the ability to portray even the smallest details with stunning clarity. Every aspect of the sensor of this model was designed to ensure clear images in low light, so it has enhanced features like OLPF converter and a 14 bit A / D to minimize the noise around the picture.

The D800 lives up to Nikon’s reputation of being the sovereign ability to capture in low light thanks to the standard range of ISO 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1) and 25600 (Hi-2), which helps create gradient amazing colors when shooting JPEG or RAW.

All these image data are directed to a channel of 16 bits for maximum performance. Photographers can also take advantage of the lenses in FX format lenses for more options and increased focal range (1.5X), while still maintaining the clarity and detail in high resolution of 15.3 megapixels (4800×3200).

The D800 has an advanced Scene Recognition System with its array of colors (3D Color Matrix Meter III), which provides precise measurement in the most challenging lighting conditions. At the heart of this system is the innovative RGB sensor that analyzes each scene meticulously, recognizes factors such as light and bright and then compares all the data using the unique database of 30,000 images from Nikon. This new sensor still has the ability to detect faces with high accuracy even when shooting through viewfinder. The Color Matrix Meter also prioritizes the faces detected, allowing the right exposure even when the subject is backlit.

Novelty is also the exclusive image processing engine Nikon’s EXPEED 3, which controls the entire system and is the catalyst behind the responsiveness of the camera’s auto focus and performance. The new Nikon image processing engine is capable of processing huge amounts of data, with perfect color and tone perfect. 3 The EXPEED also contributes to energy efficiency, allowing the user to use the camera for longer.

Featured in the new and improved white balance system of this model that more accurately recognizes both the sources of natural light and artificial ones, and gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting.

Users can also capture a greater dynamic range with the HDR function and enjoy the benefits of Active D-Lighting for balanced exposures even in backlit scenes. In addition, the camera offers a dedicated button for quick access to Nikon’s Picture Controls to adjust the parameters of photo and video in real time, such as color, sharpness and saturation.

True Cinema Experience

The Nikon D800 is a compact and lightweight which is ideal for the production environment. Its features are very practical and functional usable by both filmmakers in the field and in the studio or filmmakers. Filmmakers have the option of multiple resolutions and frame ranges, including Full HD 1080 and HD 720 30/24p to 60p. By using the method of data compression B-Frame, the user can record video in H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC up to 29:59 minutes per clip. The optimized CMOS sensor reads the image data on rates incredibly quick results almost instantly.

The D800 also allows videographers to keep the resolution high definition (1080p) regardless of the selected scene mode. Users can also compose and easily check critical focus for HD LCD monitor 3.2 “and 921 000 pixels with reinforced fabric, automatic control of brightness and wide viewing Anglo.

For professionals, it is important to have a camera that has digital recorders and external monitors. With the D800 is possible to transmit an uncompressed HD signal directly off the camera for an HDMI output (8 bit, 4:2:2). This signal can be transmitted to a display, digital recording device or routed through a monitor, eliminating the need for multiple connections. The image can also be viewed simultaneously on the LCD screen and an external display screen while excluding the state data of the camera for streaming media.

The D800 also includes features to enhance the audio quality, as a specific output for headphones used to monitor the audio levels during recording, which can be adjusted within 30 steps. Have the onboard microphone can be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for the faithful reproduction of sound. To complete the recording can be configured to be activated via the shutter button.

Shutter speed and performance with amazing accuracy

The autofocus system Advanced Multi-Cam 3500 AF is the next generation of the proven 51-point AF system Nikon. The fully customizable system offers users the ability to capture fast moving subjects in focus and accurately track, or select a single AF point with absolute precision in detail. The focus system uses 15 sensors of the type AF Crusaders for accuracy and the system also emphasizes human faces even when the viewfinder is used. The D800 also employs 9 cross-type sensors fully functional when used with compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters aperture f / 8 or smaller.

For maximum versatility in different situations, users can also select multiple AF modes, including normal, expanded area and tracking of faces and objects / people, even the optical viewfinder.

Ready to shoot in less than 0012 seconds, the Nikon D800 can capture files in FX mode and resolution up to 4 fps, or up to 6 fps with DX mode with the optional battery pack MB-D12 battery and compatible. To further improve the speed of the camera and the overall workflow, the D800 uses the new standard USB 3.0 for fast transfer.

Format and operability

The structure of the Nikon D800 is designed magnesium alloy for maximum durability and reliability. The camera body is closed and sealed with gaskets to resist dust, moisture and also to electromagnetic interference. You can easily picture of the composition through the viewfinder of course, which offers 100% coverage of the scene.

The shutter was tested to withstand 200,000 cycles, ensuring maximum durability, while the sensor cleaning is made by the vibration of OLPF. The self-diagnostic shutter unit also includes a mirror balancer to minimize the residual impact of the “bounce”, improving the AF and zoom viewing time. Furthermore, the display is coated with a new finish protection thermal which serves to resist to overheating during prolonged use. For storage, the D800 has dual card slot for CF and SD cards, offering the user the possibility of recording up when a card is full, recording RAW / JPEG, separately, and the added option of recording still pictures to and video card to another. For recording and transfers at high speed, data can be recorded on the latest UDMA-7 and the cards SDXC/UHS-1.

The D800 also features built-in flash, and is compatible with the acclaimed Creative Lighting System Nikon, including the Command Mode for embedded control Speedlights wirelessly.


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  • BUT I’m going for the D4.

    • yrsued

      Two different animals!!

      The D4 and the D800 are two cameras for two different markets!!

      Not even remotely close in specs or Target Markets

      • Agree 100%

      • Yes, and I see D800 is not for me unfortunately…

  • Mike

    Did anyone notice that it also supports HDR function?

    I think that’d be killer function for obtaining quick HDR images, while traveling or vacationing – when you don’t always have enough time to run hundreds of images through NX2 / Photomatix / Photoshop.

    Ofcourse, many others would still be able to find time to continue with bracketing for HDR as usual. But it does look like a very usable option to me.


  • Marcus

    This site is true journalism. Not controlled by corporations. Not controlled by government. Not controlled by anything. Any and all info is given to the public. No contracts, no stupid agreements, no favors.

    • This is how I like to keep it.

      • Matt_XVI

        Thank you. =)

  • Gordon

    Finally a D700X has arrive, just in the guise of a D800. This is going to be the perfect compliment to my D700, I’ve been waiting for this day for ages. I hope a new wide-angle PC-E lens is announced also, then all my dreams will of come true.

  • Somsak

    Yrsued, when you said the D4 and D800 are for 2 different markets, can you elaborate? I’m just a novice when it comes to FX cameras.

    • I don’t have the cyber-breath to get into this again, but the fundamentals that follow whoever does answer your questions work as a blanket statement for al DSLRs, not just FX.


    • Mim

      $3000 vs $6000 isn’t it clear?

      • No. The D3 and D700 have a similar price difference, with the same sensor.


    • Josh

      Some people need a camera that functions fast and clean, where good low light performance and snapping off a ton of images at once is important. Like photo journalist? Or guys just walking the streets hoping to snag a good shot in lighting conditions that often aren’t ideal. Also people that are shooting fast moving objects and need that extra performance like less noise with a higher iso so they can stop down more and retain the fast shutter speed, or shoot sports indoors where lighting isn’t as great really suitable. These people would get the D4, or the D700…

      Others need a high pixel count and aren’t concerned as much about lighting condition because they’re in a studio or have a tripod. This would be people that do general studio photography (like portraits, product shots, etc?) and landscape photographers. This one would be for the D800/D3x crowd

      At least that’s what I’ve come to understand from reading people’s comments.

      • I don’t have it in my hands but I’m pretty sure the D800 camera will out perform the D3 (my current camera) in low light conditions. But Mark you’re right. D4- sports D800- portrait, or commercial photogs that need to make their pics into billboards.

      • Emanuel Papamanolis

        I have a D700 and rarely shoot above 2000ISO …If the D800 handles the same at 2000ISO Im sold….video is something I wanted as well so I am excited not to mention the 36mp WOW and the the price come on guys this sounds like a fantastic deal!!

  • Nikonian

    I was wondering, with that high mpx, does this mean D800 replace D3X? Why not nikon build D3X replacement with the same D3X or D4 body?

    • KT

      Unless they are planning on upgrading the D3X with another different high-MP sensor, rumor has it that Sony developed 2 new FX sensors. The 36 MP you see in the D800 is one of them, perhaps they are saving the 2nd for the D4X replacement of the D3X

  • nikonnut

    Im glad that the D800 has a DX mode. I assume that these 15.4 megapixels are larger full frame pixels compared to my D7000 therefore better light absorbtion = better iso, IQ, DR performance compared to the D7000…..right? Someone please say it could be true……..

    • Luis

      Considering the DX mode is 3200 x 4800 pixels, and the D7000 is 3264 x 4928 pixels, all things aside other than just resolution, I doubt you’ll be able to tell the difference. The D7000 only bests the D800 DX mode by 64 x 128 pixels. The photo site sizes will be virtually the same. The D800 DX mode will take the center 3200 x 4800 pixels. The point is to be able to use DX lenses on it, which don’t provide a sufficiently large image circle to cover the FX frame size.

      • Luis

        Now – that being said it is still possible that the D800 DX mode will outperform, or be the same as, or even worse than the D7000 image quality. We won’t really know for sure until people start providing comparison tests.

        • nikonnut

          Thanks for your comment Luis, i hope they include the dx mode samples during the official release!

      • nah

        the pixels are smaller on this camera than the d7000

  • KT

    Funny how Google translates cross-type AF point into AF Crusader, what I find interesting is that the whole press release doesn’t make any mention of the D800E, anti-AA filter, you would think something that important would be front and center in the press release. Did anyone come across any official Nikon document that mentions the D800E ?

    • I was a little concerned that the D800E or a model without the A/A filter was missing from the press release. Let’s hope the full release tomorrow has this info and it wasn’t just a dream from all the rumour mongers!

  • RR

    Is the D800 made in Japan?

  • Is this it, for real?

  • I’ll be putting a deposit on mine tomorrow, been on the wait list a long time.

    I only see two things that are disappointing:
    – 4fps, it’s even slower than my D90. Yes, it’s a high-res 4fps but c’mon.
    – CF and SD, would prefer two of the same slots even if it means I get rid of my cards and have to buy new ones.

    Getting the matrix and AF out of a D4, sign me up. 36mp, awesome. Despite being slow, I’m still getting one the first day I can.

  • It’s amazing the change of tone around these parts when the announcement is on the horizon, and the price is reduced, of course.


  • Rob

    I’m a bit sceptical as to this camera, its a surprise that the D4 has a lower resolution and is the flagship of the Nikon range. I was expecting something like the D4 size resolution so its a companion camera.

    I realise that its only doubled a D7000 resolution sith the same pixel density.

    Is this all too much 36Mb or is there an imminent release of an upgraded D4? or D4x. How popular was the D3x at 24Mp

    Great for large prints but then again my D100 (6Mp) images were used at 1×1.5 metre prints.

    After the multitude have tested the camera then will we know its worth. (or blind worth if they are Nikon fans.)

    Have Nikon gone overboard?

    • I think Nikon has calculated their moves perfectly. The D800 will sell like there’s no tomorrow, and there’ll be no need to make a D4X. What could they possibly add to the D800 to make it worth $8,000 instead of $3,000? Maybe it comes with a 200mm f/2.o?

      Nikon has got the market very well handled in my opinion. As long as the D4 can stack up against the 1DX, it is fairly clear that the D800 has “killed” the 5D mk2 replacement, if Canon is going to play stubborn and focus on video yet again, staying at 22 MP for the sake of better 1080p rendering.

      Canon would have to give the 5D mk3 6-8 FPS and flagship AF for it to make D800 users jealous. Otherwise, this is another generation for Nikon as champ.

      Then in 1-2 years time we’ll probably see a couple more full-frame bodies, Nikon will probably slap the D4 / D3s sensor in a D700s, or a D7000, and Canon will probably slap a 5D mk2 sensor in a 60D or something. But by then we’re really getting into crazy-talk territory, lol…


  • “up to 4 fps, or up to 6 fps with DX mode with the optional battery pack MB-D12 battery”


    Without the battery pack it will become very slow 🙁

    • Gordon

      You have to take into consideration that this camera is not meant to be about speed but resolution.

  • skipiggy

    Didn’t the press conference in Thailand just start?

    • Mhmmmmmm. :):)

  • George P

    I think it’s odd that they refer to the D800 as a wedding camera! I’m really curious how the high ISO performance will be???

    • Luis

      Considering the D800 is:

      ISO 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1) and 25600 (Hi-2)

      and the D700 is:

      ISO 200-6400, expandable to 100(Lo-1) and 25,600(Hi-2)

      I would make a completely unsubstantiated guess that they might be very very close in ISO performance.

      • dimalozz

        ISO 100-6400 this is only a digits, who knows how it will looks like…
        Souns the same as D7000, but is not so noise clear as D700 even at 400iso

  • Phei

    Aww, no illuminated buttons? 😀

    • F

      +1 !! 😀

  • Raja

    The D700 and D300s have been discontinued (as per the the Nikon Japan website).

    Not sure if this has been theorized yet. The 36megapixel sensor would probably be capable of generating a 15 or 16 megapixel image in DX mode. By producing a single camera to replace two others Nikon may solve any production bottleneck issues due to the fairly recent natural disasters. At first blush, it might seem as if Nikon would be shooting themselves in the foot sales wise by taking such a step BUT it would also increase the likelihood of DX shooters crossing over to FX and more expensive equipment after their initial purchase of the D800.

    • Bingo. Add world-class video functions, and CX mode (hopefully!!!!, at least in video), and you’ve got yourself a street sweeper of a camera here! Well, besides in the ISO dept, but the D700 didn’t have any problems here.


  • PixelBrine

    I have what may be a stupid question here. I will be upgrading from the D300 which I love and have used for 5 faithful years now to the D800. If I go with the D800E do you think that there will be the possibility of buying a lens AA filter to use when I shoot video?

    I only ask because My D300 does not do video, I use a sony handycam at the moment to shoot video and I can see where having an AA filter would be useful for video instead of trying to remove it in post.

  • BUT I’m going for the D4S.


  • Pierre

    Is seems to me that the D800 will be the perfect companion for the D4.

  • rhlpetrus


    It’s 10:25 in Bangkok, the press conference is sheduled for 11AM, 35 minutes to go. People are already there, no contacts?

  • George

    I love my D7000 even more now!

  • adeliry

    I didn’t find that is it possible to have live view on an external display by wireless way or not? is HDMI mode is only to transfer signals of movie 0r not?
    can we remotely drive camera ( without wire)?

  • Hmm. Why are the d700 and D300s taken out of the Product Archive on Nikon’s official website, and are again in the product lineup?


  • Adam Welz

    Does the US-market model do 1080/25p? This press release doesn’t mention it, nor does the nikonusa website mention 25p in the specs for the D4.

    It seems that only the European sites mention 25p availability for the D4.

    If this is so, this is really sad!

  • Greg

    Does the video have autofocus?

    • No. Video with AF is reserved for the consumer sub-$700 models. (lol)


  • Candy

    ok so if I shoot at half the resolution 16mp jpg…..wont the ISO performance improve?

    • sirin

      in short, no.

  • Admin,

    Thank you for your continued work and the sincerity with which you do so.
    I’ve a couple of important shoots later this year, and want to buy a secondary system for our business, but am leaning toward the D400 (if not available, another D7000). As I’m not yet ready to move to full frame, and am needing a secondary camera the equal or better of my current D7000 (upgraded from the D70), have you any updated rumors on possible specs for the D400?


  • Admin, just stopping in to once again say thanks for what you do and congrats on nailing it yet again. Once more Mr. McNally asks, what will those [NR] people do now…..

  • I have a D7000 now but I have been waiting for this. I shoot studio mostly and the out put is for large size prints so the more MP the better when printing large size. This is perfect for me. I wonder what the actual street price will be.

  • nah

    stupid camera for stupid people.

    • The Manatee

      You’re the only stupid one here. 🙂

  • nah

    or should i say consumer camera disguised as a prosumer, for hobbyists with too much money.

    • Really

      Actually you should just keep your ignorant opinions to yourself. This is quality camera that brings you closer to medium format MP at a reasonable price for all that it gives.

  • Doug

    KT Quoted:

    Funny how Google translates cross-type AF point into AF Crusader, what I find interesting is that the whole press release doesn’t make any mention of the D800E, anti-AA filter, you would think something that important would be front and center in the press release. Did anyone come across any official Nikon document that mentions the D800E ?

    Read it again you will find something similar to the AA

    • The mention in the press release was talking about an OLPF filter, but it talks about it being there, not about an additional model without one. So still no confirmation that there will be a D800E with no AA (or OLPF) filter.

  • Tony

    My multimedia dream camera, great for my needs.

    Yes, it has a slowed down shutter rate but it makes up for it in many other ways! Yes you would have to have a larger and faster memory card, But if your in the business, it’s a necessity!

    Street price $3999

  • Dear Nikon!
    Please give me D700s with D3s or D4 sensor, double slot memory and video mode!!!
    It will be the perfect camera for me!!! Please!

  • I think that Nikon is doing the right thing by offering a more affordable solution to the D3X. I just do not think it is fair to offer a 1 time buy like the d700 was. This camera should have been the D700X in all fairness to D700 owners. Nikon is clearly trying to go after a small market that wants medium format resolution in a 35mm body, and a fraction of the price; however, are those people going to stay with photography for life? I think Nikon has slipped a little in the marketing department. Nikon has had a long lineage of hardcore photographers. They want a camera that gets a good picture, no matter what. This camera will take an amazing picture, so long as the conditions are right. Enough on that though. I am sure we will see some amazing pictures from the D800, and I welcome its arrival. Truth be told, I would love to have one in my studio.

    • AT LAST … the full press release 🙂 Also with mention of the two versions … YEHAAW!

  • Tony
  • Alex Tikonoff

    camera not for me – I make a photos of street, life and adventures.
    and d4 – is to big and to expensive for me.

    so.. sony NEX with FF – my choice now.

    very sadly, need to sell all my stuff now. ((

    • Alex,
      It may not have the super extreme performance of the low light D4, but the D800 will be more than capable of doing street shots, life and adventures. It’s ISO performance is still very much on par with the D700, D300, D3 and other Nikon/Canon cameras.

      Don’t read that the D4 is only capable of low light shots and the D800 is only capable of studio and portrait shots. They both have a large cross over of capabilities and it’s only at the extremes that the differences will show.

    • mikils

      yes! so send me a quote for your gear, so you can buy sony and have your ”life and adventure” shots! how romantic! :-)))))

  • Fredbare
  • The US press release is saying there will be a 1.2x crop mode. As well as 4×5 aspect ratio mode.

  • And under $3000 is confirmed.

  • Did the numbers 4 : 2 : 2 stand out to anyone else?? The 5D only does 4:2:0, keeping it in perspective the C300 outputs 4:2:2 color sampling and has an uncompressed size of 50 mbps. Hopefully the D800 offers the same crop modes as the D4 with full HD in FX, DX, and 2.7x crop (or whatever the equivalent is on a 36 MP sensor. Does anyone want to do the math on that?) Despite my love for Nikon, I will be heavily weighing the odds with my next purchase, as video is becoming more lucrative and the 5DIII more alluring.

  • PRA
  • nikonnut

    The canon 5d mark 2 was a monumental success for canon despite it not being “great” at high iso and had troublesome AF, and correct me if im wrong but isnt it the best seller of all FF dslr cameras because of its balance of price and capability?

    I think Nikon knows this and has planned for years to iintroduce a direct 5dm2 competitor. The D700 is a great camera but its not a camera for the same purpose as the 5dm2.

    Im no pro but from all the image samples ive seen of the 5dm2 seem to be very acceptable especially for its key purpose of fashion, weddings, landscape, studio and video and even though its iso performance is definitely not as good as the D700, D3 or D3s, I dont think its entirely terrible either.

    Im sure that the D800 will succeed in doing what it was designed to do. Which is to better the 5dm2 and possibilly even its successor.

    On top of that we’re getting 36mp (you dont have to use them all, bin, crop do what you like), DX mode, Clean uncompressed 1080p 30fps video, next gen AF, under $4000?

    Seems to me like a great move by Nikon.

    • nikonnut

      Oh and the sweet new metering system.

  • Jake Sneed

    What time do the pre order start?

  • Zim

    a good concert still/video camera?

  • Jake Sneed
  • leno

    I though Nikon will not into MP race…now 36.3…haha

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