Poll: Nikon D800 with 36MP or with 16MP sensor?

Nikon D800 36.3MP CMOS sensor

Nikon D800 36.3MP CMOS sensor

Nikon D800 sensor unit

Nikon D800 sensor unit

Just a quick poll: do youย prefer the Nikon D800 the way it is, with a 36.3MP sensor, or youย would rather have the D800 with the 16.2MP sensor from the Nikon D4?

This entry was posted in Nikon D4, Nikon D800 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Landscape Photo

    I love the D800E, I will buy it.

    But Nikon, please make a compact & quality walkaroud lens, smaller than the current 24-120mm f/4 VR.

    Make it non afs (screw driven), make it variable aperture, opt out 24mm on the widest end, but have a smaller & lightweight design.

    • gt

      The lens you describe sounds god awful. Are you kidding?

      • Landscape Photo

        No, not necessarily @ f/8.

        Some photographers never understand. For landscapes, why worry for open apertures if it’s going to be used around f/8 anyway. Why carry the collosal f/2.8 zooms. Look at the good old & compact 24-85, 28-105 & 28-200mm. One multipurpose zoom on the body, plus a couple of primes (for situations the zoom won’t cut) in the bag will do the job.

        The only missing point is VR. Yes I shoot with tripod, but VR will be welcome. Nikon must introduce something like a tiny 28-105 or 28-135 f/4.5-5.6 VR.

        • kiefferma

          You are going to need really good glass with the D800 sensor. Notice that most of the samples are with the 24-70 and 70-200 VII (for zooms). Those are my go to lenses, but I would not want to take them on a vacation to the beach. That is why I have a cheap DX body with a Tamron 28-75 and 50mm 1.4. I just don’t see Nikon making a compact zoom like you want for the FX line.

          • anticrap

            Are you sure? You seem to be very competent, can you enlighten me? Tosser?

        • Mike

          unfortunately those compact lenses have crap glass in them. you’ll get 36Mp that looks no better than 10mp from a D2x with a good lens. Better to by DX and DX lenses…. wasting your money on 800E

    • D-RiSe

      buy a 24-85 af-s f/3.5-4.5

      small, light & sharp

      allthought maybe not sharp enought for the d800

      • Chris

        You can by my old AFS 24-85 3,5-4,5 for just 156 EUR + shipping ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • dbltax

      Nikon 24-85mm f/2.8-4D is what you’re describing. Seen them second hand for about ยฃ160 in abundance.

    • SNRatio

      My personal wish is for a “retro” non-G 24-90/2.8-4 AF-D (maybe fixed f/4) with 1:2 macro function, quite similar to the present 24-85/2.8-4, but better in the corners and in the long end. VR would be nice, but not absolutely necessary. This lens would be usable and useful on all camera models, and it could provide the economical glass alternative which would make me want the D800. Priced maybe somewhere midway between the present 24-85/2.8-4 ($600) and the 24-120/4 ($1300)

      AF-S motors die sooner or later, VR too, but a VR lens may be functional with VR permanently turned off.

      The present version isn’t good enough far off center, and it’s not usable for low light wide angle shooting with off center subjects. But it sould be possible to improve it to at least cope with 16-20MP sensors.

      In the present state of things, I would much rather have had a 16-20MP D800. But this could change drastically with new, affordable glass and firmware updates.
      I’m looking forward to seeing the new 85/1.8 AF-S tested on the 36 MP sensor, for example.

    • Gabb3r

      If you want portable and lightweight, why not get a micro four-thirds camera (or try any other mirrorless systems) with a lens like the one you want? For landscape photography there are some awesome little combos out there that are really lightweight and give great results (that is, unless you really need 36Mp, then mft is out of the question).

      I own both a D300 and a GH2 and love the later a lot ; for its size and weight with 7-14mm (equivalent of 14-28mm), it gives me gorgeous landscape pictures. If you’re the type to trek with a backpack a lot and weight does matter like me, its worth a try. Plus with an adapter with aperture ring, you can fit all your Nikon glass onto it since the flange distance and sensor are smaller. Of course picture quality isn’t quite on par with the D300 but if weight matters, DSLRs might not be your best choice IMHO.

  • Micster

    +1 EnPassant. We said the same thing at the same time.
    The D700 is great, but I needed video, more dynamic range and more resolution. Nikon has finally answered with the D800. I am not complaining. It will be great to have a camera that is a little more future-proof.

    Was the idea not to achieve and then surpass the performance and qualities of film?

  • ben phuckwell

    Where’s the “36mp is awesome – I just wish nikon wouldn’t cripple the camera with such a shitty buffer (4fps)” option?

    • Viktor

      D800 36×4=144 Mpixels’s in a second
      D700 12×8 (max)=96 Mp
      D3s 12×9=108!!! Mp
      D4 16×11= 176Mp
      144-176 = close enough? Yep, half cost))

      • GD

        Exactly. It blows my mind that the complainers can’t even understand basic multiplication.

        • Nick

          well here’s a bit of basic division
          144/16 = 9

          So a D800 with a 16mp sensor should be able to do 9fps

          might be interesting to some people – even the mathematically challenged ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Gary

          I do understand the maths involved, and I have a D800 on pre-order. But I would have prefered it if Nikon had announced a camera with the D4 sensor and a transfer rate of 144Mps.

          But hey, we’re only human, and whatever Nikon announced we’d be saying “it would have been EVEN better if …” ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Calibrator

        Thanks Viktor!

        Also: Buffer size is only part of the equation. The D7000 is fairly fast (6 fps) but has a relatively small buffer (10 RAWs or so). For some applications this is good enough but for other it won’t suffice.

        A very fast camera with a small buffer isn’t optimal for the user – but a slow camera with a large buffer is more expensive to make without much benefit for the user. It’s the job of the manufacturer to balance speed & buffer size.

      • Metten

        Nikon V1:
        10MP * 60 = 600MP/sec.

        I think processing power isn’t the bottleneck, sensor readout speed is. As the V1 buffer only holds 30 images, it can only keep this up for half a second. The processor is fast enough though it might overheat if processing 60fps for a longer period.

    • Blartman

      Then why not just wait til December for the D4x, 36mb, and 50fps, pft.

  • I’ve got a D800 on order, but if I had the choice of that or a ‘D700s’ with a slightly upgraded sensor , newer tech and video, I’d probably get that, if only to save on hard drives.

  • Ben

    actually if you ask me, nikon should just create a d800s and slip the d4 sensor in it! I’m sure many of you who have bought the d800 would fork out the money to get the d800s too! ๐Ÿ˜€ its a winwin situation for all of us! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Clark Tanaka

    Somebody may have already mentioned this but personally, I would of preferred a D4 with a 22+megapixel censor. But that’s me.

  • amme

    sure, slash 1/2 the price and name it D400

    • Anonymous Maximus

      Sorry D900, D400 is for DX…

      • larry

        That is my hope, that they surprise everybody and slip the D400 into the entry FX slot rather than the high end DX.

  • malchick743

    Talked to one pro recently who said he would get a D4 instead, much smoother results from 16MP according to him…

    Previously he’s shot material w/D3S which are later rendered into extra-large artworks at some gallery. Viewed at a distance the results are already stunning (although things look quite coarse when viewed from short distances).

    If I had the money to shell out for a new body I too would stick to the D4 instead given the current situation. A poor man’s D4 (on D800-style body) would be on my wishlist only if it came with D4’s sensor.

    36MP on 35mm fullframe is IMO still not very mature at this point. Maybe wait a year or two when CPU technologies become more mature so that the camera hardware can handle such pixel count more effectively and hence deliver better performance in other aspects (eg. fps, noise and high ISO performance).

    • Gideon D.

      Very well put. The issue with 36mp is not any brick wall that makes it impossible, but that jumping up to it right now sacrifices a lot of speed and smoother high ISO.

      Having seen samples printed large from each camera at the CP+ show in Japan, I found the D4 to be much smoother and richer and the D800 to look relatively processed and hollow. If you went close to the print’s, though, the D4’s low resolution is more obvious, but even then not a bother. The D4 sensor’s results just seem to have much better quality and I doubt any post-processing can make up for that.

  • tharealmb

    For me 16 mp would be fine, since im no pro.
    I got a 4mp poster measuring 40 by 60 inches (1 to 1.5 meter) and i think it looks great(unless you get too close ofcourse.)
    16mp could mean faster fps, larger buffer which id rather get. Got a d7000 after my d300s. Never really miss the d300s except for the buffer. Im sure its limited by software so i hope the firmwarehack will come soon

    Ofcourse for pro’s i thonk the 36mp is welcomed and loved, especially as it looks likeiso is not much of a problem (looks even better but hace to wait for a good review)

  • SiliconVoid

    If ISO performance is measured purely by the presence of noise that begins to degrade image quality and resolve, you will not see a high mp sensor outperform a lower mp sensor. Whether you give any creed to DXO or not you can look at why the D3x scores higher than the D3s, and it is not in ISO performance. The D3s has almost twice the ISO performance range of the D3x. Please do not attempt to confuse people simply because you believe more megapixels will make up for the lack of experience/technique in the field of photography.

    From many of the comments I have read it appears that the majority of the those rejoicing the ability to print posters are the same defending ISO and noise performance being better, with less visible effects, when you print at the same size as lower mp cameras. Why the hell would you buy a 36mp camera if you have to print to the same size so you have better visible noise and ISO performance?? All the excitement about 36mp, and post processing corrections that are needed, look to be more of a photopeen issue than photographic need.

    • Michael

      Then you’re strongly misinformed. If you want good noise performance, then print/display smaller. If you want to print big, then the resolution helps. The resolution has its use no matter. Even at the same printing size, the higher resolution would be better (other than dynamic range), because you could print at higher DPI which helps in larger prints.

      Next, about the DxOMark, their sensor score is calculated based on the sensor’s image resized to 8MP printed on 8″x12″. That’s why D3X won.

      • SiliconVoid

        Not misinformed at all.. You did not state anything different (print smaller for better visible performance) and your point simply contradicts itself. The point I made was in the scoring for ISO performance. If the higher pixel count improves the overall performance as you believe, and all the images are resized to 8mp, then the D3x would score higher ISO than the older 12mp sensor – and it does not.
        Printing at higher dpi just makes the image degrading effects more visible. I am not condemning high mp, I enjoy shooting my uncles PhaseOne, however there is a significant difference between a high mp medium format sensor and a 35mm sensor with the same count. (not to mention CCD vs CMOS)

        • regular

          @SiliconVoid : of course, medium-format will create better photos.
          Not just because the sensor is larger, but also because it is easier to manufacture a high-quality prime lens in a large form-factor, than auto-focus, self-stabilized zoom for a smaller sensor size.

          But most people just dont care, and buy a DSLR to take pictures of their kids, cat and dogs.

          • Michael

            Yes. Let’s have an easier comparison – Full frame vs M4/3rds. A f/2.8 lens in full frame would have the same depth of field and luminous flux (total amount of light) as a f/1.4 lens in M4/3rds at the same field of view. That’s why full frame don’t actually get better light performance than M4/3rds. But then it’s impossible to go past f/0.5 and going nearer to it only compromises image quality, that’s why larger formats have higher system resolution.

          • cpm5280

            > ” it is easier to manufacture a high-quality prime lens in a
            > large form-factor”

            Yes…because making LARGER precision-ground optics is easier and cheaper than making SMALLER ones.


        • Michael

          Printing at a higher DPI doesn’t make the noise any more visible than printing at a lower DPI. You are awesomely misinformed. And the high ISO performance in DxOMark is determined by dynamic range and SNR, mostly SNR. SNR is calculated per pixel, that’s why D3X is worse.

    • David

      Because of the benefit during the 90% of times you’re shooting UNDER iso3200?

  • Rob

    You’re basically asking if people want a $3000 small-bodied D4. I would think 95% of people would say yes to that (D4 sensor in D800). Remember this is the D700 fanboy page, not the D3 fanboy page.

  • the d800 with a 50mp sensor, please

  • I would prefer D800 with 24mp sensor. IMHO 24 is just right for full frame.

    • Anonymous Maximus

      24mp, the sweet spot.

    • cobby64

      True. I would have loved D800 24MP + a faster continuous burst.. say even 6fps… Then the D800E could have the 36MP. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • MuttonPuncher

      Actually with 16MP being the sweet spot for APS-C sized sensors, 36MP would be the same pixel density on FF. So therefore should be the sweet spot for FF sensors. With the newer 24MP APS-C sized sensors coming out Nikon will no doubt tweak and squeeze this size sensor for exceptional IQ along with great high ISO results. This will no doubt lead to a 48MP FF beast!

  • WB

    36 MP!! 36 MP!! 36 MP!! 36 MP!! 36 MP!! 36 MP!!

  • Alan

    I didnโ€™t vote because personally, Iโ€™d choose 22MP. From a slightly cropped frame I could print A3 at 300ppi for best quality and bigger if necessary. The Canon 5D2 would be perfect if it wasnโ€™t the Canon 5D2!!

  • Moe Jacknally

    The D700 is obsolete – accept it!
    Forget about the ISO and Megapixel comparison(D800 beats D700 anyway) for a minute and look at the other great features the D800 has (better metering, live-view,2 memory card slots, auto-iso, viewfinder, video etc.)

    The D700 beats the D800 only at FPS

    This whole “D700 vs. D800” thing reminds me of the VHS vs. DVD wars – and the funny arguments people (who didn’t want to let go of their VCRs) had….

    Well nowadays most of them have a DVD – Player in their homes now….

    • Anonymous Maximus

      A 2nd hand D700 + 50mm f/1.4 G for $2K = Poor man’s high-ISO rig.

    • Gav

      you don’t get it do you. There is no doubt in the world that the D800 is better in every sense.

      The moaning is just because people were looking forward to something along the lines of an upgraded D700. 99.9% of photos never get beyond the screen of a computer so it is just a little annoying to have so many MP bloating things.

      This camera is fantastic in almost every way but reality is the MP are not needed by that many people.

      The idea of having both of these sensors as a choice would be fantastic. But as you can see given the choice people are still moaning. Now they want something in between….you can’t bloody win ๐Ÿ™

  • Noir

    I’d opt for a D800h with the 16MP sensor from the D4…

  • alvix

    ok 36mp BUT with 3 sRAW choices: 36-24-12 thats perfect camera for me

    • Anonymous Maximus

      A batch RAW to sRAW software can be made, converting from card to hard disk. And the the smaller sRAW can be disguised as the original 36mp file, so that NX2, ACR & other converters may be able to recognize ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Anonymous Maximus

        But rather invest in a new HDD & SSD for a quick storage & performance boost.

        • alvix

          ..the batch converter would be e nice solution, but the new HDD SSD and the related new environment..a “piMya” ๐Ÿ˜€ ..was thinkin about a camera that can do almost all: low light when resized and hi res when original..

      • Zen

        I would say using pixel-binning to go from 36MP -> 18MP (Half-Height) or 18MP (Half-Width) or 9MP (2×2) directly in raw, this would improve burst mode speed and storage space in SD.

  • What’s wrong with us having both? I’d love a D4 sensor in a smaller, lighter body. That’s why I bought my D700. I’ve also needed a few more pixels to push around for some of my clients, so I’ve hired in a D3x. The D800 at 36Mp is great by me, a D800s at 16Mp would also be great by me. Different tools for different jobs. You don’t use a screwdriver for knocking in nails!

  • Jordan

    So, Nikon decided to use D4’s sensor to next model of D800 body…that’s for sure…and just trying to be sure that this is right, something that already knows from the thousands of messages in several forums that people wanted better noise for video…D800s will be announced for sure…as a competitor of new 5DIII/X

  • Burgerman

    It does everything better than the d700 including noise at the same output size. If you dont get this, then imagine a multi mega gigapixel image at 100 percent. It would at 100 percent on a monitor look crap, be as big as a planet. But you dont use/print it that size… Only final output size is comparable, nothing else matters as thats simply an intermediate stage at different magnifications.

    And if you have a crap computer, dont understand the flexibility for horizon/lens/perspective corrections that 36mp allows, with less degradation, or dont realize that a small 30 inch print at 300dpi needs 9000 pixels wide (after cropping and correcting!) then simply shoot at 20 or 8 mp… Not sure but I suspect it will even do 5 frames per sec at lower resolution.

    So as well as being better at EVERYTHING than a d700 at the same price it also adds broadcast quality movies and the resolution needed to actually make use of my expensive N lenses. Without any downsides, and more options. Keep the D4 it only adds speed. And low resolution for sport/reporting etc. But the d800 can do lower resolution (with the same lower noise too!)

    For those that undrstand physics and have a brain it simply adds flexibility. No downsides.

  • Richard Ball

    I could not vote in you r poll regarding the D800 and D4 sensor until I have tested a production models.

  • I PREFER NIKON D800E OR D800 (36 mpx WITH 10 FRAMES/S , IF NOT, I PREFER D4 (10 frames/S 16 mpx WITH PIXEL PICH MICRON :SAME SIZE AS D3s OR D700) .

  • jorg

    what a nice feedthetroll-poll.

  • Andi

    If you want to get most out of a lens you will need a sensor that clearly outperforms it.

    And vice versa – but who wants to invest thousands and thousands in lenses just to get the most out of a (relatively low res) sensor?

    I predict: in a few months around 36MP will be a ‘must have’ for FF-SLRs.

  • kiefferma

    Why not buy the D4 if you want the D4 fr/buffer and the 16 megapixles? Clearly Nikon has made the D800 as the D3X lower end version. I imagine the D4x will have the d800 sensor or better. Look for a D750 (or something like that) with the D4 sensor. I would say that you may see something after the D400 is released in a couple months. They will want the d400 to have its moment of glory. Keep in mind that volume wise it will be one of the biggest sellers for Nikon, as it is considered high-end consumer and low-end professional. The d800 is kind of a unique position and the D4 is clearly for sports, weddings, and other demanding pros.

  • Kev Palmer

    24mp would have been about right I feel, however if the rumors from Canon are true & the 5dMKIII has more than 36mp we will all be happy. In a few years when we are are all using 40mp+ dslrs this will all be irrelevant. And don’t worry about storage, its getting cheaper all the time.

  • Nikonmoaners

    It amazes me that no matter what product is put forward people sit around moaning.

    Just look at the replies!!

    I think some people need to stand up, move away from their computer, go outside and take some pictures. It’s good fun ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ceeijd

    I see a lot of people asking for a D4 sensor in a d800 type body – however do we know for a fact that the two sensors are not actually the same [i.e. fabbed together] but the D4 sensor ‘package’ is ‘tweeked’ [i.e. microslens design/photosites disabled on the sensor]

    This would allow the D4 to retain the FPS/sensitivity which is required by a flagship DSLR, however also allow Nikon to continue R&D into how to extract the full resolution at a higher FPS [i.e. for the D4x], without having to come up with a whole new sensor design [and to a degree funded by D800 sales..].

    This would also allow the D4 sensor to use those sensors which did not quite cut it for the d800 [Sensor yield].

    This might sound a bit ‘backward’ but if the processing requirement does not currently exist to provide 36MP images at 10+FPS, then why not?

    It will be interesting if the D4x is eventually released with the resolution of the D800.

  • simpleguy

    i would prefer 16mp for sure , if the d800 had the same sensor as the d4 , i would be happier , with lower iso capabilities and lower burst perheps
    but still cant see why 36mp is any good to anyone other than studio photographers
    i think we will find out , it has allot of disadvantages , downsampling in video , resolution of the lenses that dont keep up , i really cant see why , even 12mp is enough

  • Daf

    Although I don’t object to having more Mpx (Storage is something I’ll have to deal with) – as well as studio work I do nightlife work – for that the ISO performance would have been good.
    I can’t justify buying the D4/2 cameras

  • Roger

    How about this poll:

    Are you THAT naive to believe Nikon will give you 16mp D4 and 16mp D4-minus-the-grip for half the money?

  • Luke

    None of the above! I want a D800 with 24MP and 51200 ISO before H1 zone!

    • Roger

      You’re just as wrong as people who voted for 16mp thinking it’s better than 36mp. You don’t get those massive ISO improvements. You get the same, so it’s either 16, 24 or 36mp with SAME ISO.

      When you vote for 16 and 24, you’re asking for lower quality….

      • Luke

        I do get massive HIGH ISO improvements! 16mp with 102400Iso is VERY different from 36mp with 6400 Iso in quality of pictures in low light conditions!

        • Michael

          What if you displayed/printed/resampled them to the same size? At the same size, they will have similar ISO performance.

          • Luke

            I don’t have any experience of resampling … nor up neither down sizing … but I have the feeling that I’d been losing the resolution (acuity) along with the reduction of noise.

            Anyhow I also have the feeling that Nikon is creating a gap in its pro DSRL line because on one side we have a super duper packed MP camera and, on the other side, a super duper hi-pro hi-tech less MP camera… and nothing in between.

  • Roger

    Created a NEW POLL. Everyone please vote:


    Admin, please post this one too alongside yours.

    • Dr Motmot

      Ha Ha! I voted yes.
      Hope springs eternal.

  • yo

    why does it have to be either or? nikon can/should make both. Call it D710 or something and slap the 16MP sensor there. the more choices the more they will burry the competition.

  • Natan Lorenzi

    I prefer Canon 5D mk II.

    • MLN

      Hey!!! The first two letters of your first name and the last two of you last name spell out… NAZI… so you must be a TROLL! ! !
      ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Natan Lorenzi

        Sorry, is just kidding, but you got it, I’m “Nazi” Natan Lorenzi..

        Really, I don’t like Canon. Nikon is better.

  • Rockabill

    Hi NR Admin,

    is this a poll you have made on behalf of Nikon? Will this maybe result in a new D800(s?) with less pixles, or am I only dreaming? ๐Ÿ˜›

  • GrumpyDiver

    What people seem to forget is that the “extended” range really means that the D4 has cranked up the gain on the sensor, i.e. is amplifiying the signal. This means more “noise”, just like back in the film days, higher ISO ratings meant a grainier film. That’s physics; something even the best Nikon engineers can’t get around.

    So what has Nikon done ? They process the image in firmware and in-camera processing do reduced the impact of noise. Nicely said, they blurr the captured images and use in-camera processing to make things look “good”. Pure slight of hand, but it does work.

    • Roger

      There’s NO evidence to what youre saying. Can you prove that?

      • GrumpyDiver

        Can I prove it. No because I would have have access to the proprietary information that is built into the expeed3 image processor.

        But being an engineer and understanding the underlying physics, I can make a pretty darn good educated guess.

        • Michael

          Even ISO 200 is amplified at the analog stage. There’s only one sensitivity for every sensor. The ISO sensitivity is a faked, by amplifying data, similar to processing the film longer. The extended part is digitally processed, the only downside is that you’ll get more read noise (which is very low on Nikon sensors). That’s what I know. You might know more, but do you have a source to support your claim?

          • GrumpyDiver

            Micahel – You are bang on the sensor and the amplification. Effectively all a sensor does is detects that a photon has knocked an electron off the atom, changing its charge. The circuitry records this event and builds up the image. In the real world, the the circuitry also records “false” signals, and these are what are commonly called “noise”. In a good sensor the amount of noise is quite low, but it is certainly not non-existent.

            The signal picked up by the photodiode is quite weak and has to be amplified. Unfortunately both the signal and noise are amplified and the image processor a.k.a. expeed 3 cannot positively identify what is good data and what is noise. What the camera does have is (proprietary) filter algorithms to identify the pixels are likely to be noise and replaces them with a more appropriate value (i.e. so,e sampling of adjacent pixels and replacing the “defective pixels with a more appropriate value; hence my use of the word “blurring”, which is effectivley what is happening. The problem with this process is that the processor cannot tell what is noise and what is a good value, as the algorithms look for specific patterns when cleaning up the signal; very much a pass / fail situation. If you fall into the “pass” category, the data remains, whether the data element is good or bad. Likewise, a good pixel can be flagged as bad and reworked, just because it falls outside the “good” rating by the processor. As the amount of amplification increases; i.e.higher ISO value, separating what to keep and what to replace becomes more difficult because the noise component of the signal increases and the noise starts showing up in the image. The old rule of thumb from the film days still applies in the digital world; shoot the slowest ISO rating possible if you want the highest resolution.

            At some points the noise become rather obvious, and to
            differentiate these images from the “more acceptable ones”, the extended range “H” and “L” designations come into play. It’s really a nice way of saying that “go ahead and use these higher ISO speeds, but don’t blame us if you see an increase in noise levels, after all we warned you”.

            This of course begs the question, why Nikon chose two different maximum ISO levels for their two new products. I suspect that there is both a technical and commercial reason for this. The D800 has over twice as many pixels to process, so pure image processor throughput is likely part of the story. The other is probably pure marketing; as the Nikon marketing department needed to differentiate the two different camera models, based on their target market. I’m pretty sure they ran focus groups on potential buyers before finalizing the feature list of the two cameras.

            On those occasions where I need the extra speed that the D4 has over the D800 (I have pre-ordered the D800), I’ll just underexpose by a couple or even 3 stops of stops and “push” the image in Photoshop. It might not be quite the same, but then I’m only paying half the money.

            • Michael

              Thank you for clarifying. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • GrumpyDiver

              ๐Ÿ™‚ One sometimes has to understand what is “happening under the hood” to make informed comments.

  • Joe

    It would be nice to see a D800 vs. D800E poll. I’m still undecided which one will find its way into my camera bag.
    I haven’t yet seen any example that shows a real advantage in image quality of the D800E over the regular D800 except something that could be done with a little sharpening of the final image, and here in Europe it seems like the D800E will have a hefty surcharge, because it is only available at those official Nikon dealers, while the D800 is broadly available at dealers that give discount to the MSRP.

  • Nikon will never let you have the best of both worlds!

    • ActionJunky

      They just did.

      • um… not in one camera… now if they did the D800 sensor with 11 FPS… that would be golden…

  • No give us a Nikor 24-85 2.8

  • Thanos

    We don’t have enough data yet and sample images to compare… I read the D4 sensor has incredible dynamic range way above any Nikon camera today, but I don’t know what the case is with the D800… Let’s wait before we judge either… Any info about when dxomark will get their hands on the cameras?

  • jodjac

    I can’t wait to get my hands on the D800, I think many, many people have under-estimated the capabilities of this bad boy. It’s light weight, small form factor that sees in the dark and shoots four frames per second! I think that’s amazing. When I shot film, I shot medium format because I loved the image quality. This camera is brining medium format quality to a 35 mm sized camera with unbelievable ISOs, broadcast quality movie functions, amazing metering capabilities, auto white balance, face dection with tracking and… It does everything but balance your checkbook. I am hot for this camera.
    I think if you shot film, you want this camera. Maybe of you’ve never shot film, then maybe you don’t appreciate what this camera can do. That’s kind of a dumb thing to say, such a blanket statement.. This camera has big potential. That’s basically what I’m trying to say and it seems a lot of people may not be seeing it that way.

  • Michael

    It might be cheaper in the long run to buy the D4 if you shoot a lot of picture.

  • Bosco

    All small aperture lenses are low qualityl I think that he wants a small aperture lens with high quality glass, like a Leitz 50 2.0. Not 1.4 but smaller, with high quality glass and with lower price. Excellent idea for landscapes. Canon has a new 18-55 L now, i think that’s the same way. A sharp 24-135 4.0-5.6 for FF without distortion or flare is ok. Sorry for my english, i’m brazilian with a bad english.

    • Michael

      You should make it clear whether you are saying about a small f/stop or small aperture.

  • i want a D700s ! Full HD video on a D700 with 16 MP will be perfect.

    • +100!!! 16Mp is beautiful for A3 or even A2 prints.

  • glenn

    Stop whining !
    The 36Mp are GREAT. Why inly use 16Mp, that size is outdated already.
    If you want higher ISO than go buy a D4. Nikon should be stupid to put the same
    sensore in the d800 eating up the D4 sales.
    For christ sake, use the d800 where it is designed 4 !
    That means portraits and landscapes, 36Mp are more than welcome for landscape photography. If you want high burst and ISO caugh up some more cash and buy a D4 or D3S.

    Isn’t a good ISO1600-3200 performance enough?

    I obviously voted for 36Mp cause i’m gonna use it the way its ment to be, not shooting sports that is !
    Now just lets say what this baby does with it 36Mp vs the 12Mp from the D700. . .
    Wonder if there will still be a bunch of whiners if it turns out to be equally (or slightly better) performing as the D700 which the whole world found the best cam ever made…

  • Ken Katowik

    I voted for the D800 with the 36MP sensor because I’m on a waiting list to buy one. I was going to wait for the 16MP sensor version – I often find I would like very clean photos at more than ISO 6400 that I get in my D700. But I also find I would really like a non super expensive super telephoto lens and with the “overkill” of 36MP I would be able to crop images taken with the forthcoming AFS 300mm F4 VRII with a TC-20E aspheric teleconverter and still have a decent file size. A D800s with the D4 16MP sensor for $3,000 would be much less in cost than a 600mm AFS VR lens since I don’t usually need the isolation of F4 max aperture.

  • I can understand that some people worry. Not everyone is so fortunate to have huge harddrives for storage, or powerful hardware for editing. But for the rest of us: Its going to be great!

  • don castelo

    i love the nikon d 800 , i am pro to 36 mp.
    nikon d800+ 24-70 its about 2 kg . i m shoting weddings and the camera been a bit heavy i m not going to be able to hold the camera stiil without shake in it all day . i m afraid of blur motion and i cant see my self running after the bride with a tripod , i will need a volunteer to hold my tripod ๐Ÿ™‚

    • hq

      In your case, all you need is faster shutter speed. If you can’t run after the bride with a tripod, simply strap extra batteries around your waist to power the flashes! Oh wait! That won’t help (1/250 max sync.)

      • Adam

        The Nikon D7000 and up along with a Speedlight SB600 offer the ability for high-speed sync modes. I think it just makes the flash longer so that the shutter can move all the way across before the flash goes off. Obviously that will cause the batteries to be used up faster, but it will also allow you to use much higher shutter speeds with a flash.

        • jonathan

          It actually pulses the flash at a very high frequency so that it covers the entire movment of the shutter blades.

        • OlfertsDiller

          But when pulsing, the flash will light at lower power.

          I dont remember how many stops of ligh you lose when hi-speed syncing…..

          I beleive some geek will answer that below here very shotly ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Most churches don’t allow flash during the ceremony.

    • jimmy

      Im so up in the air right now. I need to p/u another body and ASAP.
      Im shooting with 2 D700s that have about 200K a piece on the shutter.
      WEddings are all I shoot. Now im forced to buy a D800 with 3x the MP count.
      If I have blur at 1/100th on my D800, im guessing id have to shoot at 1/250th or faster on a d800. Which wont cut it in a dim lit ceremony. WTF? Maybe I buy a D3s? or another d700?? Or cough up 6Gs for a D4

      • Don

        If you don’t show blur with the 700 you won’t show blur with the 800 on the same size photo, same shutter speed.

      • Weyskipper

        I think Canon’s marketing machine is having a field day with you guys. Apparently the 5D MkIII will have a 22mp sensor. All they can do is to spread FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) because all they have is a tarted up MKII with an inferior focus system. I remember the days that wedding pros used MF cameras and got great results. Our wedding was done with a Hassy and the pictures still look stunning even 20 years on. What Nikon has achieved is great low light, compact, MF resolution. Based on all the sample shots I have seen the D800 outperforms the D700 on low light. Remember, real artists ship!

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