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 you prefer the Nikon D800 the way it is, with a 36.3MP sensor, or you 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.
  • mikils

    the sesnse of this poll boils down to;

    who would like better to pay a D4 3000$ insteads of 6000$?

    Well, complain as you like, this is not going to happen; not in the foreseeable future.

    • Patch28

      There is a LOT more that goes into the D4 than the image sensor…

      • Ralph

        Yep, theres also a better battery and a fist full of cement to make it too dman heavy….

        • Mike

          Go to gym and lift some weights? Too much mouse pushing apparently…

    • mikils

      Of course there is more, and there is a LOT more in D800 than a mere 36 MP sensor, but people is whining just on that part…
      Are we realizing we are judging a camera nobody has seen yet on a tiny part of the specs only? And the hullabaloo in on what (MP count) most people has just stopped caring. The pics comparison we have seen so far have been pooh-pooed by the majority as ”not informative enough”, YET a lot of people will write treaties on why Nikon should ditch this camera and produce … a Canon instead.
      Let be honest, whiners on this site just want something to squabble about,

    • Im sure D800 is an amazing camera that outperformes D700 in many ways. To me the showstopper IS the 36Mpx sensor because of the HUGE files it produces. I can afford buying the camera, but a new camera AND a new computer blows my budget. There is of course the possibility of DX mode, but then why buy a FX? Will I buy a D800, probably 😀

      • Cesar

        Isn’t there any way to reduce image size? Like with all digital cameras?

        • Knut Sandaker

          You can for sure shoot compressed jpgs, but if you want to take the full quality of the sensor/flexibility of “developing” your own pictures in to use and shoot raw, the share amount of data will bring my iMac to its knees..

          • Michael

            You didn’t have 36MP before, if you can’t use the 36MP, then use the lower MP, wait till you have enough money/space, then switch to a higher MP.

    • bird

      fun thing is,

      that canon will release exactly or near the same bodies soon. big whopper with high iso smaller sensor. lightweight rig with high mp. and what now?

    • RyanTV

      The sensor from the D4 is only part of the picture. Personally, I’d love to have the additional high ISO performance that the D800 has over my D700, but I shoot everything in RAW – my D700 RAW files are around 17MB. The D800 files tip 50MB for a bunch of resolution almost NONE of us need. 16 megapixel is plenty for 99% of us and it is a shame that Nikon went the route they did with the D800.

  • Nikon has a gap right now in their line-up. They’ve got a great sports pro camera in the D4, with its great low light capability and high frames/sec. They’ve got a great landscape/studio camera in the D800 with its 36mp, but where’s the camera for wedding photographers or the high end hobbyist — the things that made the D700 so successful: a cheap body with great ISO performance. It’s missing. Will Nikon fill that void?

    Nikon’s old lineup *could* point to something in the future. The D700 was the same sensor as the D3, in a cheaper body (similar to the D300 body). There’s also a weird naming convention going on — how does a “D700” relate to a “D3”, even though they’re somewhat similar? It doesn’t. Now look at what’s going on … the D7000 has replaced the D300 and the D300 is discontinued. Wouldn’t it make a little bit more sense to release a Full Frame D400 (with a similar name to the D4), which is the 16mp D4 sensor in a D300 body … similar to the way the D700 was the sister camera to the D3?

    I think we’ll see another Nikon full frame camera with 16mp – 24mp, great high ISO performance. Just be patient!

    • Jimmy

      I think we will see the D4 sensor in a smaller D800-sized body.

      Not this year though. Later next year at best.

    • Rob

      The D7000 replaced the D90, not the D300. The D300 series has yet to be updated.

    • Jeff Hayford

      Came here to say exactly this. Also the burst mode would split the difference as well 7-9 fps and a 20-25 MP sensor. Canon has one right now (5D II) and it’s wrecking havoc on Nikon.

      • Sean Dackermann

        The 5d MK II Shoots 4 frames a second and is horrible in low light. Your argument is invalid.

      • Tom

        Are you high? Canon’s low light performance has been rather ugly on everything but the top end. I was so unimpressed by them and their glass (I’m just now buying dSLR gear) that I’ve gone to Nikon…. hook, line, and sinker. Not even the slightest regret.

        • Keith

          “Canon’s low light performance has been rather ugly on everything but the top end”

          Bollocks! My 7D is as good as a bloody D700 at the image level.

          • Emanuel Papamanolis

            Keith …WTF you must be joking comparing 7D to D700 pftttt ….get serious man!!!!!

          • Josh

            You’re wrong… How can you compare 7D to D700? The sensor sizes are completely different.

            7D isn’t even clean when it comes towards 3200/6400 ISO… it just starts to get more grainy + noisy at that point.

    • Hay Ant Photog

      I count myself to the group of high end hobbyists….and I’m pleased with the D800 specs as they are.

    • Tom White

      Here’s how it breaks down for me: I’d love a D4, with it’s high ISO and it’s reasonable MP count on the sensor. Most of the work I do is documentary and journalism, so it would seem the D4 is aimed right at me. however, I freelance, and despite what many people seem to think (including Nikon’s marketing team it would seem), freelance documentary photographers and photojournalists are not rolling in cash, and $6000 is a hell of a chunk of money. Plus the thing is just so damn big! Sit it next to something like my Leica M6, or my old Nikon FM – both of which I still shoot with regularly – and it’s a ridiculous machine. However, I have a bunch of old and new prime lenses and I don’t own a full frame digital camera (though I have borrowed both the D700, and the 5D mkII). I didn’t buy the D700 when it came out, as I was waiting for a video feature (yes I do video as well as stills). I didn’t get a D3, or a D3s or a D3x for the same reasons I won’t get a D4 (big, heavy, expensive). The 36mp sensor on the D800 is only a concern for me in regards to file size. I often shoot raw, even in news situations but huge files really might be an issue. However, if I’m in a real rush, there’s always down sized jpegs I can use in a pinch. I could buy a D700 at the new low price (tempting) but there’s the lack of video there. I already have a D7000 so do I really need another camera with video capabilities? Well, yes, given the amount of times I’ve done video where I have used/wished I’d had 2 cameras.

      So D800 it is. That with a couple of my fast prime lenses and my D7000 with the 17-55 DX and 80-200 AF-D and I should have all I need for the next 10 years. I hope. By the way, I love chasing the latest technology as much as the next man, but I still use my very battered D200 and as long as I keep the ISO below 400, the files still look great.

    • Cristian

      No. It seems to me this void will not be filled anymore.
      The reason is simple, and you said it: D4 is fast, with larger iso range, ideal for sport and nature (and whatever you want), but not so good for studio purposes like portrait, still life and landscapes as other equipments like for examples Hasselblad.
      That’s why Nikon created D800: a landscape & studio SLR, with plenty of megapixels and a good noise performance, at a reasonable price if compared with other equipment.
      The other reason for a 36MP D800 and 16MP D4 is that Nikon didn’t want a “D4 killer” like has happened with D3 and D700: D700 has almost the same performance of the D3 and when it came out it costed the half of the price of the D3. Many professional (and not) photographers bought a D700 instead of D3 for this reason… the same reason that leaded Nikon to create the D3s.
      So… don’t expect to see a 16MP D800….

  • fred

    More people wanted the mini-D4 (D400) than the D800 we got, but strategically Nikon had to release two different sensors. Putting the 36Mp sensor in the D4 would have killed D3x sales, and putting it in the D800 produced incredible buzz at a time that it’s needed. Nikon also saw an opportunity to keep Canon off-balance by ending the resolution race (through the success of the D3 and D700) and then turning around stealing the old megapixel crown.

    Anyway, Nikon will release a D400 with the same sensor as the D4, at the old D300 price point, in about a year. It will essentially be the product of perfecting the manufacture of the D4 and D800, and increasing D4 sensor yields. The DX line will be relegated to the D7000 and its descendants.

    • Jimmy

      For the umpteenth time:

      THE D400 WILL HAVE A DX SENSOR!!!!!!!!!

      It makes absolutely no sense to have the D7000 at the top of the DX heap. There is a huge market out there for a D300 replacement with a DX sensor.

      • fred

        Jimmy’s getting angry!

        • Jimmy

          Not really.

          Just putting it in CAPS so that you get the message. I’d hate to see you wasting any more of your life dreaming of an FX D400. And you’ll thank me when a D400 DX gets announced later this year.

          • fred

            Not really.

      • i doubt this. cuz there really isnt. the market only exists as long as there isnt a cheaper FX camera. all pro cameras are gonna be fx in the near future. This reminds me of everyone saying the d800 will be 4000 because of the price point of the d700. sort of the assumption that nikons competitor is them self and not canon witch just isnt true. it was 3000 to be more competive with the 5d mk 2

        • Patch28

          Ohhh, so that explains why Nikon’s V1 fell flat on its face. ..

          The D400 is the high end DX sensor line. There is definitely a market for this, as it allows cheaper, more compact lenses, plus the 1.5x crop factor (which, yes, you can get with an FX and just crop down, but you’ll be paying $$ for the right to do so). The D700 didn’t destroy sales of the D300 or D300s. The D800/D700s will not destroy the sales of the D400. Nikon is making different cameras for different consumers.

        • Petsan

          Seriously, when will these guys finally get the fact that there are many potential buyers actually preferring a pro end DX-model over any FX-model at the market today. A D800 would allow me to crop and still produce quite detailed, large prints, but framerate is far too slow. A D700 or similar has never been my cup… And I actually speak for many. A fast, pro 24-MP DX (D400) would probably be a bigger commercial success (sells a lot and doesnt “steal” from other models in the current lineup) than a stripped, consumer FX (needs to be really cheap and therefore must sell alot! Also needs to be really basic so that not to steal market shares from more advanced models, questionable from a branding strategy perspective. Nikon does not aim to be the Costco of cameras).

          • French Flies

            i would like D400 to be still 12 mp.

      • I agree, if it has a FX sensor, then it will not be called D400.

        • Sean Dackermann

          I think that eventually Nikon or Canon will produce a full frame sensor camera that will be at the 2000 or slightly higher mark. With the 7d and d300s being the last top of the line crop sensor cameras coming out from both of them, both companies have cameras that were close to 2k for the body, but never around that or slightly more (since the d700 and 5d were closer to 3 upon their announcements). An “affordable” full frame camera is going to be on the loom eventually and you’ll see that the d7000 might become Nikons top DX camera, hence why it’s included more upgraded parts than it’s replacement. The next Dxxx isn’t going to be the D400, because that isn’t going with Nikons branding strategy and then of course after three more models they’d have to change the name around anyways because then you’d be stuck at the D700. It’s clearly going to be the D9000. I’d be surprised if it’s really a DX sensor, because Nikon has enough reason to put out a reasonbly priced full frame camera that will not cannibalize the sales of the d4, or d800. Give it the resolution that was in the d700 or even the d4’s sensor, drop it’s frame rate down, and drop down it’s iso performance. It’ll still have features (like a DX crop for those true sports photographers) but yet will be something that more hobbyists and budget minded photographers will need. If they didn’t upgrade to the d700, they’ll surely upgrade to this and it will not change sales of the d800 or d4 because the demographic is a completely different consumer.

        • PHB

          I cant see a need either.

          Nikon has the pro fx market covered with the d4, d800 and d700. That is four bodies (counting the e) meanwhile the dx line has only one body and outdated at that.

          The rather more obvious body to bring out would be a d9000, consumer fx. They can keep on making the d700 to feed the 12 mp crowd. Maybe do a minor update to the d3s sensor and use the newer battery. Call it the d700s or the d701

    • KenLee

      According to this interview article with NZ Nikon product manager, there is another fx camera coming out this year


      So maybe it’s the mini d4?

      • Dx

        Well actually Nikon nz said nothing of the sort he implied there would be more dslrs coming this year

        The interviewer said it might be fx

        Given the demand for the d800 and even d700, I wouldn’t expect another fx dslr until next year

        • bob2

          On another forum, guy claiming to be camera dealer reports that, as per his Nikon rep, D700 is not dead, will have price adjustment. Makes sense, even more if it’s a D700s with the D3s sensor.

    • Rob

      Putting a 36MP sensor in a $6000 body would not have killed D3x sales. Putting a 36MP in a $3000 body HAS ALREADY killed D3x sales. The resale value has dropped about $2000 in a little over a month.

      • Zeke

        The D3x could end up reselling for less than the D800 _and_ D3/D3s.

        The D800 equals or surpasses the D3x in almost every department, whereas the D3/D3s still have a considerably faster frame rate.

        I’m not convinced that a D800 downsampled to 12MP will give up any image quality to a D3s. We’ll see.

    • ???

      Kill D4x sales???
      D4x is old alpha 900 sensor (without body) + old d3 body (without sensor)
      Price of D4x = alpha 900 body + alpha 900 sensor + d3 body + d3 sensor +… + …
      Who buys D4x?

      • Tom

        Umm…. I thought the guy up top was high, I *know* you’re high.

        D4X? Wut?

    • RondoX

      Whoa… The D4 sensor in an FX D400 body at the price point of the old D300?

      When did Nikon become a charity?

  • Ross Sponholtz

    What a silly question! There are very few people who have any idea what goodness (or lameness) is going to come with the 36MP sensor. However, it would be amazingly cool if they engineered an upgradable sensor camera…

    • Michael

      And if you could place film inside it too, then it’ll be even better!

  • burgerman

    >>>the things that made the D700 so successful: a cheap body with great ISO performance. It’s missing. Will Nikon fill that void?

    THERES NO VOID! The D800 already has better ISO performance than the D700 with everything else being an extra plus.

    • MJr


    • Are you referring to those awful D800 vs D700 comparison shots? The ones that are pretty much worthless? I’d wait to see real comparisons and a DxO score before making that claim. If it turns out that the D800 has better high ISO performance than the D700, that’s awesome. I’d love a camera with high MP and great ISO … but a lot of us don’t *need* 36mp, would be happy in the 16-24mp range, and would prefer even better ISO performance than the D800. There’s a market for the D4 in a cheaper body and Nikon will prob. fill that.

      • they werent worthless. it be good if the d700 ones were in focus. but there was substantially more visible noise in the d700. it was dramatic we can tell d800 will be much better in this regard

        • bob2

          I’d wait for the RAW files to make any judgments as to which is cleaner, although it’s 4 years difference, so it’s highly likely that, yes, the D800 noise is equal/better than D700. Still, the same rash (and silly) proclamations were played when the D7000 first came out, but it turned out false (D700 still a touch cleaner, in RAW).

          At this point, I am very happy with my D700, and even if the D800 is a bit cleaner, I just don’t see the need to spend another $3,300 to upgrade. And if I were a landscape shooter, I’d be on a tripod anyway and be shooting at base ISO.

          Guess I’ll wait for the D900, with such low noise that I’ll be able to shoot black cats in dark coal mines, WITH my lens cap ON!

          • i think it is fairly likely that they were processed in the same manner

          • Michael

            Not really, you’d be paying only $1500-2000 if you sold your D700 now.

    • fred

      If the D800’s sensor was good enough for everyone, it would have been employed in the D4.

      • Well said.

        I have nothing against the D800 and I find it an amazing offer from Nikon.

        But it’s not for me, that’s all. I have a D700 and it’s still an incredible camera, the D800 give me a reason to skip one generation which is perfect for me (those toys are damn expensive).

      • Christoph Ohlrogge

        Yeah, sports shooters would love the 4 pictures a sec.

        • Tom

          Sports shooter = mosh pit of fat greasy balding men with dumb hats. No thanks. I’ll stick to being an amateur and enjoy taking great pictures at my leisure.

          • Scarlett

            Applause 🙂 Better doing sports yourselves than watching to boring photos of it 😉

  • burgerman

    >>> I think we’ll see another Nikon full frame camera with 16mp – 24mp, great high ISO performance. Just be patient!

    high ISO performance isnt a function of pixel count. Its a function of sensor AREA and output AREA. So at the same OUTPUT image size the D800 will likely rival the D4 and improve on the D3/D700 due to the other changes***.

    ***3 years better!

  • Albert Whinestein

    4 frames per second = no good

    • Hoss Cartwright

      If you want to have more frames per second just go to video mode 😉

  • In DX mode (15mp) or in 9mp FX it does same speed as D700. And if you want a crappier low res sensor, and press/sport type speed then feel free to buy the 2nd best nikon the D4…

  • burgerman

    >>> I’d love a camera with high MP and great ISO … but a lot of us don’t *need* 36mp, would be happy in the 16-24mp range, and would prefer even better ISO performance than the D800. There’s a market for the D4 in a cheaper body and Nikon will prob. fill that.

    D4 = faster
    D800 = better image quality, at least at low speeds.

    But what part of:
    high ISO performance isnt a function of pixel count. Its a function of sensor AREA and output AREA. So at the same OUTPUT image size the D800 will likely rival the D4 and improve on the D3/D700 due to the other changes***.

    ***3 years better!

    do people just not seem to be able to grasp!!! The D3X for eg at the same OUTPUT size has the same noise as the D3.

  • Over 500 comments on this. Folks sure want to sound off.

  • fred

    Everyone’s arguing that D800 noise performance will be identical to the D4’s if you downsize to the same resolution, and that therefore the D800 sensor is good enough for everybody. Even if this were true (and nobody has the data yet) there’s also the matter of color and tonal subtlety. Given the same technology, big light-gulping photosites are going to produce a qualitatively different image than tiny ones. I choose the former.

  • Bobbo

    These new generation Sony sensors are truly excellent. The latest multiplied 2.5X comes out in excess of 50mp. The ISO performance is just as good as the one in the D800 and the color is reportedly better. So, how about another poll? Would you prefer the D800 to have 36mp or 54MP?

  • Joel

    This blog attracts the crankiest people on earth. Switch to Canon… they do everything right. Just make sure you carry a second camera body at all times, you’re going to need it. We should all be calling for more dynamic range in my opinion, I’d rather have that than 50MP or 819,200 ISO. But in the mean time, I’m hoping that high res will equal high range.

    • Hoss Cartwright

      You are right about the weird folk on this blog. I would definitely call this website “Nikonwhiners” instead.

  • ShooterMcGavin

    As far as megapixel “need” what about megapixel “want.” I shoot raw, and shooting an entire day of a wedding, at 46mb raw files, is going to result in an obscene increase in the amount of storage I’ve got to buy. Yeah the resolution is nice I guess, and if the iso performance is great, whatever. I don’t want that much data to shuffle around.

    • ShooterMcGavin

      I should add, I’ve preordered a D4… but that’s beside the point. I still get why people are upset about the 800 being 36mp.

      • ken

        well those people that complain about file-size simply don’t have to buy it!!! if they don’t buy it they won’t have to complain about it, if they do buy, the know the file size and will have to deal with it.

        If its a problem dont buy the damn thing, MB/GB are peanuts these days…your talking about a $3k camera with TB’s going for less than a hundred bucks…

        And to all the wedding photographers out there who want to use a D800 captureing RAW, maybe it’s time to step up to the plate and take your finger off the shutter release button to compose the shot properly and not capture a 1000 images in the hope 50 might be good.

        • ShooterMcGavin

          Subtle and polite. Nice response.

          I put my money where my mouth is and already paid for a D4.

        • I can’t afford to upgrade my computer hardware right now so I won’t buy. Also I can’t afford to upgrade my camera. Also I bought a D700 about 5 months ago so I’m good for about 150,000 clicks.

        • d700 shooter

          ken, you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about and you obviously are not a working professional. comments like your are totally irrelevant. go out and shoot a multi-day event with 50 meg raw files and then come home and download them, and let us all know how long it takes you to copy them off your cards, back them up on your off site raid, back them up on your on site raid, and import them. megabytes may be cheap, but time certainly is not.

  • burgerman

    If it had a billion then that would still have the same noise as a D3 D4 D700 etc in theory, once resized to the print/screen rather than looking at it at the size of a house.

    But then the file sizes would be getting a bit big even for me! But theoretically the more pixels the better. If theres enough noise is invisible once shrunk down to a usable size.

    Its like sound. The more data the better. So 128 bit MP3s sound worse than 320 bit ones… But the 128 ones are smaller. Less data…

    54 mp sounds great here. Up to around 100 would be good. After that cards, CPUs, etc start to be in the way.

    • You could also have a really noisy picture with a really high resolution and that doesn’t make it a nice picture just because it has a huge file size.

  • I use a D700 and it does everything I want. When I download from a full flash card to computer it takes forever. If I had anything with more MPixels it would take forever +

  • burgerman

    >>> But in the mean time, I’m hoping that high res will equal high range.


    (dynamic range)

    In theory it does. Kind of. Its why the D800 page title at nimon is D800 – High Dynamic Range Camera!

    But dynamic range depends on the difference between signal and noise. Which depends on the electronics design, sensor sensitivity, final signal to noise which depends on input sensor size and OUTPUT image final size not pixel size!

    So I am expecting it to be better than the D700 and as good as if not better than the D4.

    • Each pixel measures light independently of the other pixels and the overall accuracy is a sum of each measurement. If you had to measure out a gallon of water by hand do you think you would be more accurate if you measured it 1 cup at a time or 1 fluid ounce at a time? for the metric folks among us translate 1 gallon to 1 liter, 1 cup to 100mL and 1 fluid ounce to 10mL

  • burgerman

    >>> I use a D700 and it does everything I want. When I download from a full flash card to computer it takes forever. If I had anything with more MPixels it would take forever +


    Again get a real computer. The D800 has super fast USB3 unlike the D4… Or shoot low res files instead like the d700. 9 or 20 million pixels. Silly argument.

  • burgerman


    Posted February 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm |Permalink

    >>> I use a D700 and it does everything I want. When I download from a full flash card to computer it takes forever. If I had anything with more MPixels it would take forever +


    USB 3 is TEN TIMES faster than USB 2 was.

    So thats 3 times faster than it takes you now with your small 12mp files…

    • Rich in TX

      Dont know if many of the computers used today have USB 3.0 ports on them…
      I assume that the D800 will require the computer used to also have them in order to take advantage of the speed increase.
      Just be prepared to either get a new computer or at least replace the motherboard to one that has usb 3.0 support. I am not worried about that as I do that kind of upgrade frequently; but its just something that some people may not be thinking about yet.

      • Joseph

        You can get a PCI card with USB3 and just stick it in and you’re good to go, for like $50!

        • A

          Do Macs even support USB 3?

  • Sabine

    I don’t think we’re going to see a 16-24 mp full frame from nikon, this would be nonsense.
    First the d7000 wasn’t a replacement for the D300S, but an (r)evolution of their best selling camera, the d90.
    Just like the d40x would have been in front of a d70.
    In my opinion we’re gonna see a high mp high frame aps-c replacement of the d300s… maybe d400, whatever they call it, with a 21-24 mp like in the sony, high frame rate and pro video spec. THAT is what is missing at Nikon’s.
    My 2 cents

    • jodjac

      @Sabine – And people will be falling all over it. The same ones complaining about pixel blur on the D800, nevermind that the D400 (or whatever) will have even higher pixels density, then they will go around firing off ten frames per second filling their hard drives with multiple copies of the same image taken .01 seconds apart. Ten frames times 25 megapixels equals a 250 mega pixel image on your hard drive. Your going to need a new hard drive anyway!

  • Banksie

    After reading all these comments, I’m kind of glad nobody here is actually in charge of running Nikon. The company would probably end up in bankruptcy. You don’t build and market products based on your own personal needs, but on the desires of a broad spectrum of users while offering different model lines and price level choices. If for some reason the D800/E becomes a non-seller (which it won’t) then things will be re-assessed. But in the meantime it is what it is. Just because a car company doesn’t make a car in the color you want doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing with their model line.

    • ShooterMcGavin

      That’d be an interesting poll. If you’re looking to replace a D300(s), which would you rather have: 1) DX format so that you don’t need FX glass? (not counting using it in crop mode with DX glass) or 2) FX format for better sensitivity, and you could potentially need new glass?

      I think the only pro build 2.8 glass they made for DX was the 17-55 wasn’t it? Not saying that all D300(s) owners have pro glass. Just again, that it’d be an interesting demographic investigation.

      • fred

        Yes, the 17–55/2.8 is the only vaguely pro zoom for DX, and even then, its build is nothing like the FX pro zooms.

        DX is a consumer format just like APS was.

      • Jess

        I’m replacing my D300s with the D800. I have mostly FX lenses but I will still be able to use my 10.5mm Fisheye and 16-85mm, and still get higher quality in dx mode than with my D300s. I will just need to update with the 24-70mm 2.8, but then again I always avoided buying DX lenses because I knew one day I would want to upgrade to FX…

      • ShooterMcGavin

        Yeah, same here. I bought one DX lens and figured that I’d a)want to be able to use it with film (back in the days of my D70) or b)eventually get an FX camera. I’m hoping with the D700 price drop, that they’re blowing those bodies out of the distribution and supply channel to make room for a $2k fx D400. Whammy.

    • jdl

      amen to that good sir. 🙂

  • fred

    I want a 64Mp D900 with a 16Mp downsampled raw mode.

  • Motion blur is relative to the image not to the pixels. motion blur will NOT increase because of increased resolution. How do you think photojournalist used to shoot speedgraphics hand held? you may be making your blurs with more pixels but that does not mean the image is more blurry. It is true that you will have to be careful how you capture to recieve the full benefit of the 36mp. it will require the best glass perfect focus and everything you can do to gaurd against blur. but you will NEVER get a lower quality image because the resoltion is higher

  • More is always better, if anything I would have asked for better ISO performance

  • As a wildlife shooter I need the 36 MP for cropping aka ‘reach’ – the 16 MP in DX mode is about right. I plan to upgrade from D7000 to either D800 or D400. Mostly I need a better autofocus system and better low light performance, the 5 FPS is ok. What I would like to know is: Let’s say the D400 is DX and has the same pixel density as the D800 so it is 16 MP like the D7000. (And also that it has the same autofocus system or I wouldn’t consider it anyway). Would the D800 still have better low light sensitivity and afford superior IQ (due to being FF) than this hypothetical D400 DX with identical pixel density?

  • burgerman

    At 100 percent on screen they would be the same. But the D800 image would be about twice the area. So resized to the same OUTPUT size it would be less noisy, as well as more detailed.

    • Sorry, I meant comparing to the D800 with DX crop, so both would be same size. Comparing both at 100% in raw with no processing.

  • burgerman

    And in dx mode it would be the same.

    • You mean the D800 loses it’s full-frame low light sensitivity advantage when in DX mode?

      • SusanP

        And even if the lens is FX not DX?

  • Blair Wright

    Think about it… If they had put the D3S sensor in the D800 they would not sell many D4 bodies… I’m sure that Nikon listens but they are a global company and need to have a product road map that makes sense in the current market. What they did makes perfect business sense.


  • BJ

    Having gone from the D300 to the D7000 the difference between 12Mp and 16 Mp is not that big a deal so why leave the D700 ? I do high res landscpaes and frequently stitch multiple 16mp images to get a larger file to work with, I can then do such thing as perspective corrections (without buying a PC lens) and still hold more than enought detail throughout the image for a high quality 10×15 – 20-30. The 800 promises to give mye more flexibility in that area without having to stitch.

  • onwatch

    Golly, It is at times painful to read all this carping, …Nikon just cam out with 2 -or- 3 new dslr cameras that are just amazing to think about…I can’t wait to get mine and actually try it out.
    I have a D7000, I have used it steadily for 15 months, and it is amazing. The new breed is taking all its cues from this great advance in technology, sensors, ergonomics and placement of dials, filtering, and more. The same sensor only twice as large is going on the D800. It will be so much better a camera.
    Not really sure if any of us had both their houses under 12 feet of water for months how we would even get to work, much less get the high quality, high aspirational equipment built. Nikon is amazing.

  • Tooma

    All you ppl that are voting for a 16mp D800 are idiots with all do respect. If you want less MP’s, just shoot 18mp and use half the res of the sensor. I can’t believe i need to say this it feels like i’m taking crazy pills! If you want D4 specs, just buy a D4.

    • treehaus

      Dude, they are just pissed they cant have the cut price d4 scenario like they had with the d700 d3s setup. Nikon made a cock up there marketing wise making , with in reality, the same camera twice. Those that need the D4 specs specifically for profit, will be rewarded with few more px and wont mind the price cos they are used to it and its part of the job. Commercial, wedding and pj blah blah work does not need the resolution that hobbyist and fine artists crave.

      Nikon made a great decision here.

  • treehaus

    I am absolutely buzzing over this d800. My ideal camera garage had a d7000 for wildlife/birds/insects macro and a FX with highest res possible for landscape, would have been good to have some thing in the middle for weddings and commercial stuff too.
    I had made my mind up that I was going to have to have two cameras, or buy a 500mm f4 at least to get enough pixels on the subject. But they released all of these in one camera. enough pixels on a bird and enough res for proper detail in a big ass print. Total brilliance from Nikon!~!@!! Wouldnt mind a d4 for the frame rate and durability but I dont do sport much and I never wrecked my other bodies with some pretty careless treatment so probably dont need it. The big files will be the only major so I installed a new 2tb and a usb3 board, Bring it ON!!!!

  • Gideon D.

    Well, I for one would prefer the speed, low-ISO and image quality of a D4 sensor over the extreme, usually overkilling resolution of our D800. It didn’t seem to hurt Nikon so much to give the D3 sensor in a more manageable package, both in terms of size and price (or did it), so do you think they’ll do the same again?

    In fact this seems more like the close release of the D3 and ‘budget’ D300 than necessarily ruling out a baby D4 in a year or so. My feeling is it’ll happen and that a D4X with the same 36mp will come out in a while, when faster processing and cards to write to are available. The new QXD cards would be perfect for this.

  • thats why i am buying both the D4 and D800E

    • treehaus

      If only I had the funds then this would be the ultimate setup. but if I could only have one( and sadly thats that all I can) then d800 is the perfect machine. Not bovered vough.

    • Banksie

      And it’s why I’m keeping my D3s and ordered the D800E.

  • I didn’t vote because there should be a D800 specked like it is but in addition there should be a similar 16mp version using the D4 sensor (D750?). There is a market for both. For what I do the D800 is perfect as is, if I shot events I’d need a D4 and likely use the D800 with battery grip with a second lens and put it on a low res setting.

  • neekone

    Will the 36mp D800 have more DYNAMIC RANGE than the D4?

    I have seen a couple people reference that it will in the comments sections, but I have not read any info that suggests a sensor with more megapixels will have more dynamic range.

    • Michael

      No, the D4 will likely have 1 stop better dynamic range, unless the design is not from Sony.

      • neekone

        Any links or reasoning behind that? I mean, people keep dropping blanket statements, but no background on why they say it.

        • Michael

          A larger photosite will always mean a larger saturation capacity, if the technological maturity is similar.

          • neekone

            That is what I have thought based on general information. But again, no one will post links or give credibility to their statements, and I can’t find anything on it.

            • Michael
            • neekone

              Thank you. Good read. Now I just have to go verify all the sources,a and the sources sources and I wil be set. I hope. Haha.

              The article almost made me want to cancel my D800 preorder. But it also made me realize that as far as current sensor technology is concerned, we have read a sort of plateau, and I am going to work with what I’ve got more.

              There will always be upgrades, just look at F1 racing. They always have an upgrade.

  • Robert

    This question is like you compare apple with pears…..

    Off course D4 sensor have another construction etc etc…. Poor question!

  • Ryan

    People need to step back and think about business and profit before they go and give some elaborate guesstimate into the future of the Nikon line up. First off, look at Sony for leads on new sensors, its cheaper for Nikon to purchase and tweak Sony sensors than it is to produce their own entire line up. Look at what Sony has right now for APS-C cameras, hmm, how about the recently released A77? Could Nikon possibly use that 24mp sensor for the replacement of the D300S? Right now it sure as shit looks like it.

    Could there be a third full frame camera that Nikon releases? Lets think about this for a bit… Right now Nikon has two FX sensors, the 16mp D4 and the 36mp D800. The only way a new FX camera will fit is in a price point below the D800, and for that to happen they have to take that D4 sensor and put it in the D400 with its AF and shit insides for $2200 to $2400. And why would they do this? Well, luckily they wont… Because only amateurs need a full frame sensor in a shitty body with crap AF and no weather sealing, all for the price that they can sell whatever gear they have now.

    Let us look at the current lineup. The D4 is simple, we are looking at a direct replacement of the fantastic D3s. It adds better AF, awesome video features, better low light performance and even becomes more ergonomic. What else could you ask for?

    Now the D800, which many of you are bashing the shit out of. You really need to look at how versatile this camera can be, I mean this is a bloody dream come true. It has the potential to have better ISO performance than the D700, it can shoot in a variety of formats if you want smaller file sizes, it has a better AF system than the D3s, it shoots friggen video with clean HDMI out… Hello 4-2-2 colour sampling! Yes, it does come with a downside, which I personally don’t even care about but I know some fruit loop is going to mention. What about the 4FPS? Okay… I can see sport shooters will lose out here, and the birders too. What, you do weddings? Are you going to lose that perfect shot if you didn’t have at least 6fps? I’m sure that the faster AF with its Ev -2 will actually give you the shot you need, in focus! The bloody thing with auto focus in almost moonlight! Friggen moonlight people! Do you not understand how amazing that is?

    The only reason I am upgrading is because I want the worlds best AF bundled with some wicked video features. This lineup is going to rule for a good 3-4 years, if you got the money then just get it now. In 4 years time you sell that bitch off for $2000 and hey, look at that, you take that cash and you upgrade to the next body. That way your only loosing a grand every four years to have a pro body, and your always the first to get it.

    And not to hate on Canon or anything, they seriously produce some sweet toys, but looking at what is going to be announced for them… Have fun with that!

  • Christoph Ohlrogge

    A D800 with 16 MP would have been so boring. “Oh, look, it’s a cheap D4.” Yeah, exciting.

    So far Nikon has four different high ISO full frame cameras. If you need high ISO, get one of those. Or get the D800, print your images the same size you did with the images from the D700, and watch as the D700 gets smoked in terms of low light performance.

    • SNRatio

      According to DXOmark, we may well see something like “smoking” occurring measurement-wise, as the per pixel measurements for the D5100 and D700 look rather similar above ISO 5000. The D3s is another matter altogether in this department. What this will translate to in practice is another question, though. Apart from resolution, where D800 will win comfortably.

      And the “dynamic range” hype for the D800 makes me suspicious: You can’t keep both dynamic range and good color separation up on high ISOs with tiny pixels – just do the counting exercise.

  • per

    I see this poll as very encouraging. There is obviously a substantial amount of shooters with a preference for speed (workflow, high-iso, fps) over resolution. Most of them probably think that the D800 is a great camera and that it was absolutely right of Nikon to introduce this camera at this time. But there has been a certain anxiety that this will be it and that the camera they would favor, the small-bodied D4, would never be introduced. This feeling has been fueled also by the fact that Nikon did not update the D700 with the D3s sensor. So could this be it? Nikon will never introduce the small-bodied version in order to protect the sales of their flagship model. The D800 is the only replacement that the D700 will ever have.

    This poll, together with Nikon’s projected sales figures for the D800 and D4, makes this scenario less likely. As noted on another forum, Nikon predicts to sell 360 000 * 3000 USD = 1.1 billion USD worth of D800 cameras, and 60 000 * 6000 USD = 360 million USD worth of D4 cameras in the coming year. Sales from the D800 will out-number sales from the D4 by 3 to 1. Even if one assumes that 1 out of 2 who would have preferred the small-bodied D4 will in reality go ahead and by a D800, and these are included in the sales projections for the D800 – the residual demand would still be enough to sell about 500 million USD worth of mini-D4s. This is greater than what could be had from the sales of D4s even if Nikon believes that they could sell as many D4s next year as this, and even if assuming perfect cannibalisation.

    So the chances of Nikon introducing a small-bodied D4 by next year at the latest are very high. The profits are simply there.

    • SNRatio

      I think it is likely we will see some kind of “D800H” yes, next year. Something like the D3/D700 relationship in D4/D800. Video functionality is probably an important part of this.

  • Satan Clause

    Nikon D666

    8 fps
    18 Mp
    Iso 50-666.666
    Touchscreen shutter release
    Webcam functionality
    In camera PP with funny stickers

    Costs: your soul

  • kerry33

    Everybody claims that d800 high iso better than d700 just based on that lousy comparison image-INSTEAD of listening to person who actually used the camera like Cliff Mautner.

    its funny. Actually i pity NR for uploaded those comparison.
    its useless and not profesionally done.

  • kokko

    Nikon announces 16-24MP D800s after D4s announcement or before it IF Canon announces 45MP 5D and 22MP 5D like rumors say. But D800/D800E with 36MP’s, not bad.

    D800s: 16-24MP, ISO 100-51200, 6-7 fps.. other specs from D800/D800E.
    D4s: less than 20MP, ISO 100-204800, 11-15 fps..

  • I know no one ask me for my opinion but:

    Everyone is nagging about this new D800 camera, I don’t know why, If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.
    Why I need it? Because I’m a wedding photographer and I need to be focusing in low light, with high-iso without noise and variable light situation.
    Why would I need it? If I’m a sport photographer or a type of photographer that need to be in variables type of light.
    Why would I need the 36mpx. If I’m going to get my pictures published on a magazine or something like that.

    I know pro’s photographers are telling that this camera is for studio, but think, why would I need -2 stop focusing, and HI-ISO if i’m on a control situation?
    36mpx is a lot! I don’t need it, but I need a full-frame camera, so Nikon cheapest camera is D800 right now, then I’m going to buy it.


  • Mike

    Hey guys, I know this has been heated but I’d like some advice not comparing the D800 to the D4. I started with a D90 and grew into a D7000 and now I think i’m ready to go Full Frame and the D800 seemed like the best step for be and it’s at a price point that won’t piss the wife off much. If i had enough funds to get the D4 then I would but I don’t.

    Seems to be lots of negativity around this camera and I’m not sure why. I’m not a pro so my prints are not going to some bride who needs to remember her wedding day. But i do have some prints that are on display and have also been featured in a few mags.

    90% of the time I’m just taking pictures of my kids(Single shot mode so no more FPS fuss please) Like I said I’m not a pro so getting the money shot and shooting in burst mode is not an issue for me.

    So coming from a D7000 do you see the D800 as a step up for me or no. Like i said I really want to get in to full frame cameras.

    Thanks Mike

    • Tooma

      I’d say go with the D700 or 800. Wait to see how the reviews look for the 800 1st. See what the pros on dpreview say before buying the 800. The d700 is an incredible camera and can be had for well under 2k now. If you have the need to print big or crop a lot you may lean towards the 800. Also, do you have the lens to get the resolution out of the D800 sensor, most do not. It is a short list lol.

      • Mike

        Tooma, Thanks Like i said I’m a D7000 shooter now so i have a few DX lenses that wont really do much but I do have tons of FX glass as well.

        What worries me is all this talk about the blur since the sensor size is bigger.

        • Michael

          Woah? Get your facts right! Larger sensor = less blur per pixel. And diffraction is based on the lens, not the sensor.

        • SiliconVoid

          Digital sensors suffer from diffraction based on the photosite size, and have a threshold just like lenses.
          The sensor has 36 million little lenses after all…

  • Tooma

    Look, the D800/800E will have more dynamic range than the D4. Nikon also took the D800 in a different direction, and it would be dumb of them to offer the D4 sensor in a smaller body so close to the release of the D4. Pros will always buy the D3/4 lineup but semipros and amateurs will opt for the 700/800 or 90/7000 lineup. How do you think the D3X would of done if they had released a D??? in a smaller body and lower price tag, with the same 24mp sensor in the same month? Come on ppl, get real! One other thing to mention, pros like myself and Cliff Mautner will be using the D800 for certain applications b/c if used correctly it has a very unique and unmatched sensor.

    • Michael

      What makes you think D800 will have higher dynamic range than D4? D4 will have a larger photosite therefore higher saturation capacity therefore higher dynamic range than D800. I think the confusion comes from D7000 being better than D700 in dynamic range, but that is because D7000 is much newer.

  • Mike – I am also not a pro, but my shooting ranges across all subject matter. Most without a tripod.

    I have the D800 on order – however, I noted (seen on this site) a pro who tested the camera saying. due to the high resolution, you had to insure the camera was perfectly still or you get blurr. Then, obtained on this site as well, I read the Nikon Technical Guide concerning the D800 and, as I noted previously, they recommend tripod use and to use live view because with conventional picture taking the movement of the mirror can cause blurry pictures (live view, obviously, the mirror is out of the way before you take the shot). So, I would hate to buy the camera and have issues – I will say the remainder of the features and functionality are very very good – would like better low light sensitivity but it’s more than adequate.

    Some people downplay the issue – I would agree if Nikon, itself, didn’t point it out in their own literature.

    • burgerman

      I give up.

      If you have a sensor thats twice as wide, and look at it on screen at 100 percent you will magnify any blur by double. And will be looking at a SEVENTY INCH WIDE PHOTO! Printed the same size as your normal output, blur will be EXACTLY the same as before… It has bugger all to do with pixels!

      Or view your small 12mp files at 200 percent (same thing) and see the same blur… Only its now harder to see since the blocky enlarged pixels are in the way…

  • I really don’t care about the sensor size – all I want is full frame with ridiculous high ISO – I’m guessing within 5 years we’ll get to 1,000,000 ISO. For me, the ISO capabilities are the #1 reason I would prefer a D4 over a D800 – but because of price, if I get anything new this go-round, it would probably end up being a D800 (possibly a D700? – I’m still not FF – D300 and D7000 currently, and both are great, but both get in the way of me being able to do what I want with a camera).

    • burgerman

      At the same OUTPUT size on screen, or in print, the D800 and D4 will likely be about the same. Just like the D3X and D3 are… Why oh why dont people get this???

    • Giacomo Leopardi

      Sometimes it would be really better NOT to link to the own website. I am shocked seeing such unprofessional wedding photos made by a “professional”

  • lordarild

    I just want a new D300s with much improved ISO performance… Is that too much to ask for? The D300s is pretty much the perfect camerabody IMO, and they just need to tinker on the inside.

  • Burgerman – what you say is logical, however, why would Nikon make a point in it’s tech guide to tell the user to keep the camera still and use live view because mirror movement can cause blur? Do they do this for all their cameras? If I was selling cameras I would want to downplay the issue – very upfront of Nikon to tell the potential users, however, when the issue runs 4 pages on a tech guide, perhaps there is more to it than what we logically think would make sense.

    • burgerman

      2 reasons:
      a) because most (dumb) users will will look at the photos from their new camera and scream that the camera is “soft” or not sharp. Because they will look at 100 percent and about SEVENTY INCHES WIDE! and compare to the previous miniature 12mpx photos that they have got used to seeing.

      2) because it will allow people (dumb people?) to realise that it magnifies any errors, or crappy lenses, bad technique by a large amount. And they dont want forums full of said dumbos blaming the camera!

      After all what matters is OUTPUT size. That hasnt changed, you will not suddenly print everything at twice the linear size? Or 70 inches wide!

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