Nikon D800 is “a whole new category of camera”

Nikon published a new behind the scenes Q&A session with some of the engineers/designers who worked on the Nikon D800/D800E cameras. Some quotes:

"Some may think that the D800 is the successor to the D700, but we were looking to bring the world a whole new category of camera."

"We also achieved superb reliability with a magnesium-alloy body sealed to make it dust- and water-resistant. In addition, we used almost the same shutter, aperture, and mirror mechanisms as the D4, able to withstand 200,000 cycles, and reduced the release time lag to about 0.042 seconds for an enjoyable user experience."

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  • Nicholas W.

    I can’t wait to see hands on reactions, reviews, and real world performance!

    • timon

      d800 is “the release time lag to about 0.042 seconds ”

      it is too excellent one, and that Nikon in now controlled of the mirror-oscillation is also well-done.

      • maurits

        the ‘release’ time lag of only 4 years! (and probably another 1 or 2 months delay till i get mine)

    • I went to the Philip Bloom workshop in Melbourne yesterday and he said he wouldn’t use the D800 to shoot video. He did admit that he hadn’t shot with it but that at 36mp the sensor was way to big for video and would need to throw away too much information to get down to 1920×1080. I’ve got one on pre-order but I’m seriously thinking about cancelling it and buying the Canon 5d mklll instead.

  • Mock Kenwell

    Can’t wait for it to arrive. The engineers say it reads minds and melts cheese.

    • R!

      Yes and It cost less cheese compare to the 5dIII 3500$ duhhhh!!

      • Kristo1

        Yeahhhh…and it has more noise than 5d….uhuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!!

        • Fishnose

          Yes… but it has 60 % higher resolution, doesn’t it.

    • jodjac

      Consider my cheese melted.

  • DX2FX

    So this is not exactly the D700 replacement..

    • Yes, this means we can get the real D700 replacement in 1-2 years.

      • Michael

        I believe that D700’s replacement will come with D4x.

        • No… it’ll be teh D800X, at 63MP!!!

          • Mouonline

            No. It’s gonna be 72mp….

            • David Bones

              no laa…xiao ehh……True medium format MX Nikon M1 will be 72 mp……D800 is a MX wannbe laa.

      • Calibrator

        Like the D7000 isn’t the D90 replacement?

        • Noed

          I must agree. D800 is not D700 replacement like D7000 is not D90 replacement like 60D is not 50D replacement. I think it’s a pun.
          In level thing, D800 is the D700 replacement (and so is D7000 to D90), but in specs D800 (and D90) isn’t.

      • R!

        Yes I think you did get what they wanted to say ,a D700 XS is on the way ,great!!!!

      • MaxII

        I think will see a Nikon D4 sensor in a D800 body call it a D700s, ( like what happens with D3/D700) in about 8/12 months.

      • Daf

        So you think 1-2 years.

        Was all gung ho to get the 800 – been waiting for the 700 replacement for 2 years, but been having doubts if I should wait longer.
        If it’s another 1-2 years I think I’ll go for it.

      • Twoomy

        I think it’s likely that the D700 replacement will follow in the footsteps of the D3->D700. Let’s pretend they call it a D710. A year after the release of the D4, the D710 will be a small-body version of the D4 with the same D4 sensor and a few high-end features stripped away.

        The D800 is a new class of camera, taking what landscape photographers wanted out of the Canon 5dmkII and D3x and putting it into a (seemingly) perfect high-res shooter’s package. I can’t wait!

        • MiniMe

          Just like in the film days, if you wanted the best landscapes, you didn’t shoot 135 format.

      • If Nikon planed to come out with a D700 replacement, they would have called this camera the D800x.

        But they didn’t want people to keep asking “where’s the D800” so they just called this camera the D800.

      • Mike

        Any clues on what the real d700 replacement specs will be?

      • Gino

        Why doesn’t Nikon just put the D3s sensor in a D800 body, and call it a day for the D700 replacement!

    • I thought this had been established 2 days after the launch…

  • SoftonDemand

    D800 come to papa….!

  • I can’t wait to get my hands on mine! But, I feel as if this post is nothing new. We all knew that the D800 was clearly not the D700 replacement, and that it was in a realm of it’s own. It’s a beautiful piece of kit. I can’t wait until the internet is flooded with samples, including mine! 😀


    • Royster

      Of course it’s something new.
      It’s showing us the thinking behind how the D800 was developed and built

  • I’ll be honest… every time I see something about the d800 here, I get nervous that it’s something about a series of delays a la D4…

  • Igor

    Here is the real story… Here is what Nikon is trying to say (or admit)…

    “We majorly screw up with new D800 and it 36mp whopper sensor. And even though we discontinued D700 a couple months ago, we are changing our mind. So now to fix our major screw-up we will revive D700 and tell everybody that D800 is not a replacement”

    Way to go NIKON!!!!!

    Looks like new Canon 5D MK3 will kill D800 in cold blood (and no I am not Canon fan boy!)

    • Frank

      They did not discontinue the D700 (only in Japan) Nikon still fully supports the D700 in the rest of the world.

      They did not screw up . They made this intentionally. How can you not see that? Someone had to introduce this segment eventually.

      • The Manatee

        It’s not discontinued NOW, but rest assured, Nikon is getting rid of inventory and I doubt there will be new D700s produced.

    • Monkey Nigh Mow

      No you’re not a Canon Fan Boy.

      You’re just a plain ol’ troll.

    • nikonsigma

      The D800 has not even been released for sale yet! Chances are it will be very popular with landscape and studio photographers.
      It is by no means a major screw up. It looks to have better high ISO performance than the D700, and fantastic HD video capabilities. It is very well built (metal body, not plastic) and is fully weather sealed!

      Way to go Nikon (without sarcasm this time)!

      • Monkey Nigh Mow


        The fact it can match or better a D700 with so much more resolution is amazing.

        Then reducing it down to 12MP will make the D700 look like you’ve rubbed dirt in your eyes. 😉

    • nikonsigma


      Nikon have always been better at build quality and noise control, regardless of resolution.

      • The D3x is a testament to that.

        • CANO

          testament to what ?

          • NikonRumors website employs a fairly novel interface from the early 90’s which clearly demonstrates the ‘threaded’ nature of the commenting system.

            See, when my comment is contained within another box containing a message from an earlier commenter, it means I am replying directly to them. This helps keep conversations in context, and informs you — the highly evolved grandson of an amoeba — of the hierarchical flow of the conversation. Hence, I was referring to nikonsigma’s comment about Nikon’s illustrious build quality and noise control.

            Hope that clears things up for you, CANOn!

      • Keith

        I’m a Canon guy, but I think the D800 is a very inteesting camera: but – seriously – you’re talking SUCH unmitigated crap there…

        • Keith

          Specifically: until the D700/D3 (note – both still current Nikon bodies) Nikon simply wasn’t even in the SAME LEAGUE, noise wise, as Canon – it was the piss-poor noise performance of the D200 that made me a Canon shooter in the first place.

          • Dan

            Same here. I switched to Canon from the D200. The Canon 5D was significantly better than the D200. At that time, Nikon was still saying how great DX was and didn’t have (at least publicly) any roadmap for full-frame bodies. After the D3/D700 bodies were introduced I switched back to Nikon and have been mostly pleased shooting with the D700.

    • R!

      NO you just stupid !!!get an Ipod touch!!!lol!!

      • R!

        This is for Canons trollz!!!!

    • Tony

      It seems to me that the specifications of the 5D MK III are more in line with what many hoped for from the D800. There is no way that you can make a sensible 5D MK III v D800 comparison yet. It will certainly be interesting to see how they compare in practice.

      • Well it looks by all accounts that the 5DMKIII will cost more than the D800E, have less MP than the D3X, still lack an onboard flash, may well have improved AF (anything over the previous version would be an improvement though) and represents incremental (at best) improvement over the 5DMKII. I say Nikon needs to get ready for a whole load of new users who were expecting a 40MP monster from Canon this time… Can’t wait to see the full announcement tomorrow from Canon!

        • Emanuel Papamanolis

          Seriously…I dont know why Canon didn’t include a built in flash on the 5DM2 and they’re doing it again the 5DM3?????

          • jorg

            agree, that´s stupid. it is even cheap. canon does again ignore the strobist-movement, while nikons CLS helped so many amateurs into seriously exploring flash.

            also autofocus. D700 had D3-AF, D800 now the D4-AF.
            canon: shitty AF in the mk2, NOT top notch AF in the new model.

        • Zoom

          And canon is getting ready for a whole load of people who were expecting the 5D mark 3 specs in a D700 replacement.
          And while there is no clue as to when the real D700 replacement would come (if it were to come at all that is), there is certainly a lot of chatter about canon announcing a high MP body later in the year.
          So well, the canon people will actually end up getting all they want, while we would be sitting here waiting for the mythological D700 replacement. Just swell.
          Not to mention all the people who have been shooting with entry level DSLRs and wanted to upgrade to full frame hoping they would get an all round camera (like the D700 was at the time it was announced), what they get is a specialty (if I might put it that way) camera in the D800. Trust me, thats quite a big market, because these people usually do not have a huge investment in terms of glass. Would they really wait for the imaginary D700 replacement?
          Of course the D700 is still available for such people, but would they really go for it when they know that something better exists in the 5D mark 3?
          I think that Nikon stands to loose a lot more market share here than canon would. Not that I care much about Nikon’s market share, but I do care care about the real D700 replacement, which unfortunately Nikon hasn’t been able to deliver.

          • Mo

            What a dopey comment. You can probably count in single digits the amount of people who are invested in Nikon or Canon glass that will cross over to the othr side. The amount is so small it’s not worth mentioning.

    • Rudi

      I feel sorry for you that you couldn’t find a proper camera from Nikon for you! So you better stay with your Canon 5D something.

    • Jason

      I reluctantly kind myself agreeing with this.
      The D5 MKIII is looking a lot better on paper.
      Nikon is confusing its product range.
      Why are FPS better on D700? Why the huge 36 and not better iso?
      D4 is too low at 16mbs but has the fps.
      Its a headache.

      • WoutK89

        Because the D700 only shot 12-bit images and the D800 does 14-bit, that’s why there is a difference in fps. And you are saying the ISO performance is equal (“why not better iso”) to a 12MP camera, isn’t that great?
        Btw, a camera does MegaPixels, not megabits, so 16MP or 16mp, not 16mbs. And why is 16MP too low? What will you use your camera for that you need more than 16MP (and also, if it is too low, but probably out of your price range, why would you worry about it?)?

        • I agree with most of what you’re saying, but you’re incorrect about the D700: it has a 14-bit pipeline.

          That said, if the troll “Jason” can’t understand why the FPS will be lower on a camera yielding 36mp+ (or that 36mp and better noise response is an incredible achievement) he’s dumber than he sounds.

          Jason: Know how your legs get crazy sore when you make the big decision to get off the couch and get a workout by grabbing another bag of chips from the kitchen? Same thing goes for exercising the brain. Keep workin’ her, and one day the headaches should subside.

          • WoutK89

            but then doesn’t the D800 feature a 16-bit pipeline?

          • WoutK89

            But then doesn’t the D800 have a 16-bit pipeline?

        • rs

          WRONG D700 shoots 14 bit files

    • Royster

      what are you on.
      Canon will be hard pushed to beat the D800.Shooting speed isn’t the be all end all.
      Wait until both cameras are out and see real life tests.

  • R R

    man such a hard desition to take.. I am still tempted to get a D4 (since I already have a D3x and I think 24 MP are enough) but I´m sure some of my clients would love for me to give them 36 Mp files.. but me in the other hand would love to shoot in the dark (which I sometimes do with my D700) … I´ll guess I´ll flip a coin or something O_o

    • eyecee

      heh.. buy both a D4 and the D800… 😉

      • Sports

        Yeah, of course, then you can sell the D3x. With both the D800 and the D4 you’ll never use the D3x anymore.

        • I agree, with both the D800 and D4 there would be little need for anything else.

          However I cannot end this comment without standing on the soap box for a moment that Nikon is still missing the boat on 24mpix for those of us that cannot purchase one of everything in camera bodies. 24 mpix model should still leave few situations where you need more pix and cannot use panorama stitching, and it would be a nice way to uphold typical ISO performance to be at least what the previous generation full frame D3 achieved.

          The 36 mpix sensor in the D800 is approximately the same pixel density as the D7000. While my D7000 takes amazing photos at mid-high ISO, when you purchase a FF camera you expect a certain high ISO quality well above APS-C sensors so in this sense it will be interesting to see if the FF purchasing market will accept a FF camera that takes a step back to APS-C ISO performance.

          I bet in terms of pure marketing if you looked at Canon’s sales stats (and I have not) I bet that while the 5DmkII is not their best camera in their line up, it probably has out sold all other FF cameras of the same generation ten to one. Why? 24 mpix in an affordable body is the right balance of resolution and ISO performance. Assuming that is a correct assumption then Nikon did the right thing with the D4 but completely missed what the mainstream FF buyer purchases in favor of “bring the world a whole new category of camera”. Seriously? So the D800 is supposed to be taken seriously in the medium format back yard? I think at this point of sensor technology, the D800 will only be considered the J1 of the medium format and not taken seriously by that crowd.

          • I’m keeping my D700 and D300 after my D800 arrives. I plan on using my 700 for most of my snapshots, weddings, low light, kids, etc and probably reserve the D800 for the formal wedding sessions, and my landscape business. I’m sure that soon enough, my stock agents will be asking me when I plan to upgrade from the “lowly” resolution of 12mp of the D700. I do love the D700 though… The low light abilities are just incredible.

            • Anonymous

              Why do you think the D800 can’t match D700’s low light abilities for the same size print?

      • Rudi

        yeah, I already preordered a D4 and will definatly order a D800E as soon as I’ll have the extra money 😉

    • Jodjac

      You will get the same or better ISO performance as your D700 from the D800 – at 36 megapixels.
      If you want to do better than that you’ll need to go with the D3s or the D4. The D800 has better ISO performance than the D700 (according to Nikon). We shall see soon enough. I think there are going to be some stunning images made with the D800. It’s like the Leica when it was first introduced. A different kind of camera. Portable with high IQ, resolution and detail. I think I’m going to love it cause I loved working with medium and large format film. I’m hoping the D800 will bring that quality back to my work, with the ease and portability of a 35 mm box.

  • Anon

    Meh, I think I will just stick to 4×5. 36 megapixels isn’t going to make my pictures any better, but actually putting some thought into them looking through the ground glass will.

    • MLN

      Yep, give a “WellTrainedMonkey” an auto-everything DSLR and eventually they will get some decent shots (a 1 to 1000 ratio?).

      As Roger Waters once said: “Give a man a Les Paul and he doesn’t become Eric Clapton”.

      • St.

        Of course, Eric Clapton plays with Fender, not Les Paul.

        • MLN

          Not in his Cream days.

          • St.


            Now count the pictures where you see him playing Les Paul and compare with the “Fender” ones…

            • Read bet. D Lines

              Even if the quote was inaccurate…his point was…

              If someone gave you the fastest, best-ever built car for NASCAR…it doesn’t necessarily mean you will become the champion!

              As if that wasn’t enough…if you were to give 10,ooo of the most expensive Fenders ever built…to 10,000 aspiring guitar gods…do you automatically get 10,000 Jimi Hendrix?

            • MLN

              When the wise man points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger (Confucius).

  • Al

    It will be an amazing camera for specific situations for sure.
    I believe for landscape , fashion , and even HDR work it will be amazing.
    I don’t think it will be appropriate for chasing a bride and groom around
    And getting 600-800 shots. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to see someone else do a wedding with one first.

    Either way I’ll eventually have one in my arsenal.

    • Well, has anybody see Cliff Mautner shooting this ??? So there´s te answer if you can use it with a Bride and a Groom.

    • Dragos

      Well, judging by the anecdotal evidence of a significant enough number of wedding photogs using Canon 5D (original and mark ii) with their crippled AF and less than 4 FPS speed, this must be doable with a D800 with ease. Some will no doubt choose to shoot in crop mode to get 6FPS, which is plenty for this type of shooting. And those who absolutely need higher speed will get the D4. I bet the typical pro Nikon wedding photog will have a D4/D800 combo anyway. The D800 has a bright future, and so does the 5Dmkiii.

      • David

        Absolutely right Dragos!

        The 5d2 is insanely popular for weddings. High resolution means lots of detail and the ability to crop (since you can’t always perfectly frame every shot or change lens for a few shots).

        I would also anecdotally say that the 5d2 sold significantly more than any other full frame of the same time.

        And if the 5d2 could be used with rubbish focusing and “only” 4fps, I’m sure the d800 can be used easily.

        Plus, why would you NEED more than 4fps for a wedding? Brides don’t run, nor do they move unpredictably! Pick and choose your moments. Nobody wants a photographer machine gunning the bride at 10fps as she walks down the aisle.

    • R!

      Wedding photography is great, but I dont think that’s the markett they want to hit with the D800/E!!!!

      • Shooter

        Right. The pixel density on the D800 is too high for it to be a camera that you use held held and get sharp results with. Well, at least with nothing less than 2 (or maybe 3) times the focal length in shutter speed. So that 50/1.4 will need 1/100 or 1/200 shutter speed. Now you can see why they need higher ISO to be clean. but will it all work? questions… and yeah, if you’re zoomed to 200mm, then you’ll need at least 1/400 and maybe 1/640. Indoors, that’s going to require either really bright light or rather high ISO.

        • David

          Sorry, but that is total crap

          I shoot an a850 which is 24.6mp, and I haven’t had this problem at all. And I’m sure neither have D3X owners with their high resolution. I think that d700 owners are simply scared because they are used to 12, and 36 is a much larger number.

          Not to mention that your technique would be the same regardless of how many MP you have. It’s not like 36mp makes you inherently less stable. Maybe with 36mp your bad technique or inadequate shutter speeds are more obvious at 100% viewing size. But if you export your images at the same size, it won’t make any difference whatsoever.

      • Mike

        Thats one opinion. I shoot a lot of weddings and the D800 will pair nicely with my D3s. Having the ability to shoot RAW in 5:4 mode will also appeal to the photogs who used medium format. Still plenty of pixels for enlargements. It’s funny that wedding photography used to be done with medium format, but now a 36mp 35mm format camera “is not intended for wedding photography”. Perhaps keep your “in the box thinking” to your self?

      • jodjac

        I. Will be using it for weddings. Can’t be any worse than using a 500 C and 120 film.

    • Anonymous

      I can’t believe that the quality of Wedding Photographers have gone down so much with the advent of dSLRs. I remember our wedding photographer using medium format film, and I am sure he did not shoot indiscriminately “hoping” to get a good image. He did his job well, thought out and planned, and the images turned out great. I think the ease of digital had make monkeys of out many wedding photographers.

  • Al

    Igor…. You are a canon fan boy!!!
    Go try to auto focus somewhere else.

    • Monkey Nigh Mow

      Ohhh burn!

    • John Richardson

      +10 lol

    • loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

      Al, I believe that you’ve been a canon guy before to switch to Nikon…..just like me 🙂 ..

  • nah

    whole new category of camera? looks like whatever category the canon 5d mkii was…too many megapixels and too slow for most pros who don’t work in a studio or do landscape/architectural photography

    • Monkey Nigh Mow

      Nah, the 5DII has terrible AF compared to the Nikon system (I use to own one). That’s the reason why you can’t use it for anything moving unless you have good luck.

    • david

      I’m pretty sure that the 5d2 outsold the d700- especially to wedding photographers who do value high resolution.

      And since the d800 has improved autofocus, I don’t see why you couldn’t use it for a wedding. 4fps is not really slow. It’s not like brides are running around unpredictably and you need to machine gun them with 10fps.

      With better AF, high resolution, the same low light as a d700 and improved colour tonality, the d800 sounds like an amazing wedding camera to me!

      • Surfgeorge


        From what I have seen the D700 and D3S were at least equally popular as wedding cameras as the 5DII, due to their autofocus and low light capabilities.
        The 5DII did have the 2 advantages of resolution and video – both being addressed by the D800. And the 5DII outsold the D700 big time. Think about studio applications alone!

        I think we were all surprised by the D800, being so different from the D700, but it totally makes sense. I don’t buy the “whole new category of camera” stuff from Nikon, the D800 is actually following the concept of the 5DII, but it’s greatly improving on specs and performance, it is what the 5DII should have been, and and aimed to be ahead of Canon even with the new 5D3 – We wil see soon if Nikon achieved that.

        The D800 totally makes sense, as Nikon could not afford to leave the 5D2 market to Canon, but I really hope that they will follow up next year with a D800S and the 16MP sensor of the D4, to cater the D700 market. That would be another killer machine from Nikon!

        • David


          I realise that d700 owners are upset/scared/nervous! But honestly I think part of it is just the shock. For those of us who already have high resolution cameras, we appreciate it and look forward to more.

          I agree that there is still a market for a lower-MP, super high ISO full frame, and I’m sure Nikon will make one. But the d700 is still an awesome camera, and now we all have the choice of both!

          I’m looking forward to owning a d800. Judging by ISO samples, it looks as good as a d700. But it’s not all about high ISO. The d800 supposedly has significantly better dynamic range and colour reproduction too. That sounds amazing to me!

          • St.


    • jodjac

      Like the Leica was too slow for Henri Cartier Bresson? This ‘new camera’ has great potential, don’t sell it short because the specs aren’t just what you’ve thought they would be. .

  • I pre-ordered mine the day after it was announced. I am pumped!!!!!!!

  • Billy

    Then why was the d700 discontinued?

    • Anonymous

      Only in Japan because of battery limitations. It is still being sold in the rest of the world.

  • souvik

    Mark III is being released tomorrow..will be very interesting to see what happens

  • OS


    I think there will be a FX-D400 (= D300s successor). Why?
    1) There is no need for a DX camera above the D7000. The D7000 (except missing the pro-body) is perfect – and a pro body only enhancement is not enough.
    2) The D800 has excellent specs, but is very demanding in terms of storage and photography skills. The high resolution will show every single error.
    3) Nikon has to offer a attractive alternative in the range of 1.000 – 3.000 Euros.

    The most wanted little D4 would be a perfect match.

    Maybe it will be announced this year after the summer sport events (photokina ?).

    • David

      I dunno.. maybe a d300s replacement could have a better AF system than the d7000

  • AXV

    Thanks for the post, it was a nice read, it clarifies what nikon wanted to do, it makes mea lot more confident of the D800 I pre ordered to replace the D300 I’ve had for 3.5 years.
    On the down side it will probably make want to not use my nifty 50’s and 55’s f/1.2 (wide open), because it will make their faults a little more evident.

    I’d also like to see AF performance with video.

    • neekone

      Well, at least it will be organic chromatic aberration, with that kind of resolution.

  • R!

    I love what they ‘re saying bout the shutter ,It’s going to be a great camera diudez!!!!!

  • OS

    What does “a whole new category of camera” mean for the next Nikon camera announcements?

    real D700 successor = D300s successor = little D4 = D400 ?

  • Ray J

    It’s a win win from where I’m sitting D700 to stay in the line-up and $500 cheaper, it will stay as my choice for chasing the Bride, But the D800 for portraits after the ceremony & macro should be Awesome!

    Thanks you Nikon 🙂

  • AlMac

    They say in the Q&A that you can use a medium setting which will work out at 20mp. Would this make the camera more suitable to wedding and photojournalism type work? The engineers seem to think that this will help broaden the camera’s use. Not entirely sure what it entails. Any thoughts?

  • amme

    i smell someone from ‘other’ camp still cant face the fact that D800 comes with 36Mp hahaha

  • Cam

    My dad is bigger than yours!

    God its a camera and it takes pictures no matter what the resolution, and for those who need 11fps go into movies and leave still photography to those who want to select and then compose the shot, rather than hold finger on button and hope you get what you want. Really is that photography? I own a D2h, D3 and D3s as I do use them for work, its not the speed of frames per second per say, its the fact you switch it on and its ready to fire for that unannounced photo opportunity. The odd thing is I still have the D2H as although only 4mp and rather noisy at lower ISO it produces really good results still, albeit to small for full page rendition, so may I say resolution is an issue of some sort but not as important as tonal range and clarity. The D2H for those who wonder, is left in its Peli case in the car as an emergency if all else fails to arrive on the baggage carousel.

    Such a shame that this site has no real discussions on their forums except for one liners saying rubbish and ill informed opinion. Could it be that this post will be torn to pieces too? I’m not against opinion as its a human gift, but if you can agree to disagree without killing the other person that’s a great start.

    Long live Nikon and Canon as photography is done by YOU using a piece of glass and an electronic sensor.

    • PeterO

      Well said Cam. I never understood the Canon vs Nikon stuff that seems to creep up with every rumor. In film days I was a Contax user – loved my Zeiss glass. I chose to switch to Nikon because I liked what they offered. A good friend of mine is a Canon shooter. When we get together we talk about pictures not gear, which is what I thought photography was all about. I get that some are turned on by gear talk, but why the need to put everyone else down?

      • Say What?

        It’s called a BIG MAN SYNDROME….PeterO.

        They need to talk big about their gear to compensate for something really small!!!

  • Zeb

    Quote from Hara;
    “we suggest selecting medium or small for normal use and choosing large only for, say, group portraits or very high resolution landscape shots”.

    Well if Nikon had made NEF files sizes available at medium and small, I would have been a lot happier.

    • jorg

      found this on

      14-bit uncompressed RAW, 74.4MB
      camera buffer memory 16 frames
      12-bit lossless compressed RAW, 32.4MB
      camera buffer memory 21 frames
      14-bit uncompressed RAW in DX, 32.5MB
      camera buffer memory 25 frames
      12-bit lossless compressed RAW in DX, 14.9MB
      camera buffer memory 38 frames
      JPG at highest resolution, 16.3MB
      camera buffer memory 56 frames
      JPG at highest resoultion in DX, 8.0MB
      camera buffer memory 100 frames

  • Dan7919

    So you can choose large, medium or small sizes of photos using FX aspect ratio RAW files? My understadning was you could only choose the different DX crop regions if you wanted smaller RAW files?

    • Calibrator

      No you can’t – only with JPG (as in: only by software).
      It would’ve been great if one could do “pixel binning” – combining 4 pixels to a single one, for example – but that would either require the sensor to do it (=quick) or the RAW converter (=only in post, slower, but higher flexibility).
      We’ll see if Adobe etc. will adopt this idea but it’s really the job of the sensor designer (very likely Sony in this particular case) to implement this function, IMHO.

  • Gordon

    I enjoyed the insights from ,he engineers and their design goals, I even more excited now on getting my D800, especially when they said they have spent more development time on this camera then other models.

    I get the feeling though that there is a D4X waiting in the wings that will be the ants pants for resolution, 48MP body perhaps?

  • Nikon Fangirl

    Preordered my D800, no regrets.. Don’t care if 5Dmiii is better or the 1dx. i only care about my baby

  • joseph

    What you think about this:

    “There are three image sizes – large, medium, and small – and you can choose the one that suits your needs. In FX format, the large size enables shooting with about 36.2 megapixels, while about 20.3 megapixels are used for the medium size, or maybe if you’re taking snapshots you’ll find you can get by with the small size, which is about 9 megapixels. Both the medium and small settings use data from the full extent of the 36.3-megapixel sensor optimally processed to a smaller size using EXPEED 3”

    It doesn’t look like crop, maybe it is sRAW? – It would be nice 🙂

  • AKK

    If Nikon had made NEF files sizes available at medium and small, it would be a killing gear.

  • hassle bad

    The fact that nikon is so vocal about the D800 not beeing the D700 successor is in it self good news as a real D700 has become even more likely now. The question about a D700 successor probably shifted from ‘if’ to ‘when’.

    Given the statement of one of the engineers, nikon really sees the D800 as an alternative to medium format, specifically the lower-end.

    The statement that they were first developing something around an existing sensor is also interesting when combined with the first statement…….there was once a rumor about a medium format nikon……who knows….probably they had a prototype mediumformat body afterall with a sensor sourced from kodak or dalsa perhaps? Something similar to the Leica S2 formfactor?

  • pragjna

    So this means,…buying a D700 now, isn’t/won’t be a wrong investement?

    despite the fact of the price drop, the D700 still is a killer.
    just in direction comparision you see the improvements, I’m pointing at the processing and the hardware.

    • rich in tx

      If you dont need video, I would not hesitate to get the D700.
      Or if you are one of those who shoot 7000 frames at each wedding.

      If you know how to compose a shot, you may not need more than 4-5 fps.

      Also, the resolution thing has gotten so out of hand already…
      I still use and love my old D1X (5 mp)

  • I am looking for the best all around camera that has updated techonology, and if I want it to be, easy to use. The one thing that concerns me is the fact that one user (got the camera before it was released) and the Nikon Tech Guide says the camera has to be held completely still to avoid blurr. It even suggests that you use live view because the mirror movement with convetional picture taking will cause blurr. Question is do they mean when you use 36 mp, or does it occur even if you move down to lower mp – Medium JPEG as an example. The camera features sound amazing – don’t care about thd D700 or if it replaces it or not, but I am interested in the 5D Mark III – 22mp is more than enough in most cases and I would like better low light funtionality. Don’t know whose glass is better – Nikon users say Nikon, Canon say Canon –

    • Hassle Bad

      That are recommendations to leverage the full potential of the camera. It is not a must.

    • John

      Nikon just wants you all to be prepared for the unfreakingbelievably sharp pictures that the D800 has the potential to produce. Those megapixels will reveal poor technique.

    • David

      That’s if you want deep depth of field, ultra-sharp, corner-to-corner images.

      The sample images they showed were interior shots with long exposure. The library second was a 1 second shutter speed. All they were saying in their brochure is just good tripod technique to get the best from the camera. You would use the same basic procedure for any camera.

      The other shots were taken handheld, no problem. The bride shot was at ISO640, shutter speed 1/200 with 160mm focal length. It’s razor sharp, no problem there.

      The fact is that your poor technique will only be visible at 100% view anyway. If you output your jpeg files at the same size you did with a d700, it will look the same. You always had that poor technique of unsteady hands or inadequate shutter speed – but your lower MP camera masked it. It’s not like the d800 is taking worse images.

  • Al

    The great thing about these marketing teams at Nikon and Canon is they both do a great job
    Of making you feel like the older model is now “obsolete”. They do a great job of of getting people to upgrade immediately.

    Yes there has been a lot of improvements to both the D800 and D4. If money is no issue and you have the luxury to upgrade that is a blessing. But if your on a budget, getting a D700 for $500 less is still a great move. Now would also be a great time to pick up a D3s.

  • jorg

    nice reading. nikon explaines their design-goals, which includes the general type of photographer, they wanted to satisfy with the D800:
    methodical. focus on details. wishing for best resolution and IQ (jeez, the sensor must be awesome, if they really say they want to get close to MF).
    all in all: slow and steady wins the race. for those photographers, this will probably the next iconic nikon to own…

    whoever wishes for a D700 v2: i hope you will get yours as soon as possible (so the QQing stops- nikon will not listen to it anyway)

    the 50.000$ question remains: will there be a pro-DX or a budget-FX ???
    24 MP, high FPS, pro-body, newest video. this baby could outsell everything, maybe even the 5DMKx-series.

    • +1 Spot on

    • gorgonzola

      call me crazy, but to me this is Nikon trying to outdo Canon at their own game and left out photographers like myself who dont really give a damn about megapixels and want superb ISO and FPS.

      I left that worry at 10 megapixels in all honesty, and now wonder what is going on….

      • jorg

        high MP is not a worry, it is a feature- that you obviously do not need, while others do.

        nikon serviced your kind of photography with 4 bodies: D700, D3, D3s, D4. since you obviously cannot justify buying a D4, why don´t you get a D3s? if that is too much money, what about a D700 or D3?

      • David

        Isn’t that what the d4 is?

        Lower res, higher ISO and faster FPS?

        Same for the d3s

        Or the d700 – still a great camera.

  • 120-300 os for nikon

    Hello i am reading more and more about the D800 and getting more excited by the minute even for birding airplanes is it usefull don´t need 11 fps need sharp crystal clear photo´s and not 11 photo´s and finally skipping patly because look almost the same.

  • BklynPigeon

    at 36mp, you’ll need a new computer to process those files.

    • Money

      Only if you had a shite computer to begin with… Thankfully I don’t

  • gorgonzola

    “I reluctantly kind myself agreeing with this.
    The D5 MKIII is looking a lot better on paper.
    Nikon is confusing its product range.
    Why are FPS better on D700? Why the huge 36 and not better iso?
    D4 is too low at 16mbs but has the fps.
    Its a headache.”

    absolutely brilliant comment, I was looking forward to this camera for a while looks like I will be stuck with the D300 for a while….Seriously I am sorry but what is Nikon doing….where is the true D700 replacement…378839434 megapixels in that sensor plus continuous shooting is a joke….

    I for one am disappointed….

    PS I know its full rez continuous but STILL….what is the point…

    • OsoSolitario

      Only 6 years ago, Nikon flagship camera D2x worked at 5fps -we are talking about a pro body ready for sports and news-. Just 6 years after, this speed is sooooooooooo slow for many!!! We are becoming crazy?
      I think it was better for some to have a less loose finger when shooting and to have a better eye looking for the best shot!!

      • Spy

        LOVE IT! Perfect camera for me <3

    • Ralph

      Actually it’s a load of rubbish. This camera is aimed at people who want an alternative to MF. It’s for landscape and studio work. It finally gives people like me something that finally exceeds the images we were shooting on Velvia 12 yrs ago. It clearly isn’t the camera for you, so buy the D4 or D3s or even the D700, better still just buy a Canon.

      This is my dream camera and will be for a whole new market of people who want really high res studio or landscape shots and for me also allows a crop of images of wildlife.

      • Richard M

        A bit late to comment (I have just returned from a photo expedition) but I agree absolutely with Ralph.

        I do believe that Nikon have gone for a new category of DSLR.

        I have been shooting digital since the day the D200 was released but for really good quality I still use Velvia (in an F5 or F90X). With a high quality film scanner, I get a truly usable 40Mp from 35mm Velvia (considerably more with MF) and yes, top Nikon lenses are up to it for the resolution.

        I pre-ordered a D800 on the day of the anouncement. When I get mine, I think I may finally stop shooting film altogether. This is the first time I have been really excited about a camera (and I have had many in the last 40 years) because I believe it will allow me to achieve digitally what I have done for decades on film. I hope I’m right. Certainly the files I have seen make me think so.

        1 FPS would be more than enough for me. ISO400 without noise is all I ask. Anything above that would be a bonus. Will I be able to get the colour rendition that Velvia has given me? That is my dream …

        I had considered switching to a 5D some time ago but my investment in Nikon lenses and my long experience of Nikon’s way (metering, etc) and their ergonomics made me very reluctant to change. I’m sure Canon make great cameras too, I’m just grateful that the D800 is a Nikon. If Canon had produced it then I would probably end up switching camps despite many years of Nikon loyalty.

  • gorgonzola

    Although Nikon has made my mind up for me I will spend the cash on some high quality glass…. wait another 4 years I dont mind….

  • burgerman

    It does EVCERYTHING as well or better than the D700.

    Pixels = detail if you or your lenses are not crap!
    If you dont need this detail for cropping, straightening, removing distortion etc without losing critical sharpness, then simply choose 20 or 9 million pixels… Where it is then as fast as a D700 was…

    Noise is NOT greater with more pixels! (Thats a function od sensor AREA not pixel count, and output area (your print or final viewable image size) Ie a D3X is NOT noisier than the D3 or D700 @ the same output print or image size. It simply captures more detail. Or choose a lower 20 or 9 mp resolution, same thing happens… Win win.

    Plus of course where you need speed, and gain from long lenses, ie sport, it is faster im DX mode and STILL gives 15mp…

    Its all about options. This camera has all of those in spades. And video, as well as d4s focus, crop modes, etc.

    So how exactly does a 12 or 18 million pixel “new d700” actually improve anything?

    • nikonsigma

      The D800 looks as though it will be better at high ISO than the D700. If people don’t want 36MP etc., they should get the D700 or D4…

  • burgerman

    >>> 0.000$ question remains: will there be a pro-DX

    D800 IS a pro DX.

    It just does fx too, should you wish. Would you want more than 15 mp DX? Because thats exactly what this is. Its a pro DX 15mp, and 36mp FX all in one. What would be the point of fitting a DX only sensor? That just rules out using FX lenses…

    • jorg

      i see your point and i am also very interested in exploring the option to mix sensor-formats within a single camera.
      but this is a 3000 $ camera, that money buys 3 D7000. there has to be something in the middle.
      there also has to be a professional body with high fps and great ISO for sports and wildlife-shooters who can not or want not spend 6 grand on a D4.

  • broxibear

    Talking of “a whole new category”, here’s Kai from Digitalrev reviewing the Nikon G12 and a girl eating ice cream lol.

    • PeterO

      Thanks broxibear, that’s Kai’s most detailed review yet 🙂 Made me laugh.

  • Ben

    Come on Nikon! give us the D700s (with 16MP D4 sensor) and kill the canon 5dm3 NOW!!! 5dm3 has superior low light performance that is probably only going to beat the D700 (and D800)

    • Money

      Why would Nikon cannibalize sales of the D4 right now? Use your brain.

      • Fredbare

        Yup, giving the majority of your customers what they want is just plain dumb.
        Silly, silly marketing strategy.

  • burgerman

    >>> Come on Nikon! give us the D700s (with 16MP D4 sensor) and kill the canon 5dm3 NOW!!! 5dm3 has superior low light performance that is probably only going to beat the D700 (and D800)

    They will likely be almost the same at the same OUTPUT size. Making a lower resolution one just cuts options, means DX mode is useless, but means higher frame rate (but less detail). So what would be the point. Want a “faster” D800 with better low light capability? Just shoot at 9 or 20mp…

    • burgerman


      To equal or likely EXCEED the new canon 5dm3 all you need to do is turn the D800 down to 20mp, and it interpolates all its data down to a similar sized image as the canon. With better detail most likely. this gives more speed? (less data to process), and definitely less noise… You get the CHOICE!!!

    • photdog


      …and I’m so tired of this endless discussion, of why the D800 is not like this and that.

      When the Ford A was introduced people were happy to drive a car. Now you can buy a sedan, SUV, truck, convertible, muscle car and what have you – and you complain…

      It’s a natural consequence that products become more specialized with advancements in technology. Now Nikon gives you two great brand new options, with specs never seen before. And you complain! If you have different applications, take different bodies.
      If these don’t match your needs, wait. There are more products to come.

      I wasn’t going ‘hurray’ for all the latest innovations (like the speedlight 910 doesn’t have theee edge over the 900) But with the D800 and the D4, Nikon has truly set a milestone. Never ever has a 35mm size camera come closer to MF before while offering a range of focal lengths that you’ll never get in MF.
      And for the few things that could possibly become more critical with the D800(E) I can still go back to the proven workhorse D700 and cover it all.

  • burgerman

    In the past I never used less than the (inadequate at times) 12mp. With the D800 I will likely use 20mp most of the time. 36 when I want to edit it, straighten lens distortion, or for large images. 9 or DX mode for sport where long reach / speed and action matters more than detail.

  • Some guy

    So………. alleged Ken.

    How about a URL to your site with this news blurb?

  • didaskalos

    Applying an “8” in the moniker means that orientals are placing a GREAT deal of trust and capital behind the product. And “8” wasn’t chosen because it follows “7.” If this was a “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” revision, it wouldn’t be labeled with and “8.”
    Having started back into photography with the D7000, I don’t know if it can talk my sweetheart CFO it going full frame after investing in crop. But I would really like to have the the D800. I’m sure it will perform magnificently within its specs.
    It’s a game changer. . . .

  • This D800 would have been soo much better whit just 24 Megapixels! > less noise, faster and lighter images. Still can’t understand this 36MP-desicion 🙁
    Never thought i’d say this, but I think i’ll change to Canon 5D Mark III….hm.

    • Hero

      Its all about the highest image quality possible with a DSLR regardless 24mp or 36pm.

      Didn’t you readabout the engineers’s goal? To surpass the D3x image quality and rival that of Medium Format!

      They have decided that 36MP is the pixel density required to achieve such design goal then that is why it is at 36MP!

      Whats to argue about?

      • I understand that 36mp is very attractive for stills but is it the same for those shooting video. And of course the Nikon engineer is going to talk up his product. But do you or anyone know if in fact it does have to throw away information to get down to 1920×1080? If so, isn’t that a problem?

  • FanBoy

    I said it before and I will say it again, it’s better than sex.

  • Akk

    For those who are afraid from the 36mp
    Nikon d800 allow you to shoot in the following mode

    FX format (36 x 24): 7,360 x 4,912 (L), 5,520 x 3,680 (M), 3,680 x 2,456 (S)
    1.2x (30 x 20): 6,144 x 4,080 (L), 4,608 x 3,056 (M), 3,072 x 2,040 (S)
    DX format (24 x 16): 4,800 x 3,200 (L), 3,600 x 2,400 (M), 2,400 x 1,600 (S)
    5:4 (30 x 24): 6,144 x 4,912 (L), 4,608 x 3,680 (M), 3,072 x 2,456 (S)
    FX-format photographs taken in movie live view*: 6,720 x 3,776 (L), 5,040 x 2,832 (M), 3,360 x 1,888 (S)
    DX-format photographs taken in movie live view*: 4,800 x 2,704 (L), 3,600 x 2,024 (M), 2,400 x 1,352 (S)

    And the raw file will depend on the picture size

  • Pierre

    Being a D700 shooter for 2 years, I think the D800 outspec the D700 in every aspects.
    I think the D700 is now for those who wants to tryout the FF but do not have the highest
    But for those persuing perfection, the D800 is now the standard to beat and buying a D700 makes no sense anymore as it is a move backward. There is not a single feature that advantages the D700 over the D800 beside its lower cost which is insignificant when counting the cost of the whole system of lenses, flashes, filters, memory card, tripod, batteries, bags etc. The D800 is simply mind blowing in its offering.
    For me the real question is to choose night photography D4 over the amazing image quality of the D800 for the D700 like shooting style.

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