Nikon D800/D800E user’s manual now available for download

If you did not get the new iPad today, here is something else to fill your weekend - the Nikon D800/D800 user's manual is now available for download.


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  • Nikon Sniper

    Yes!!! Now I can read up on my soon to be new toy.

  • Myles


    • jason

      Does “release date March 22nd” mean I will have the camera in hand on that day, or Nikon truck will arrive at B&h on that day?

      • Mark J.

        I’m per-ordered through B&H as well for a D800(got it done about 2min after it went live. Yes i spent 2hr refreshing the page over and over lol) And have yet to receive confirmation of shipment going out(and i got overnight shipping). Or had my bank account charged either. So it’s definitely not shipping until then. I would expect they ship 22/23rd from B&H. Hoping to have mine in hand by Saturday the 24th at this point.

        • Jason

          I ordered mine at 9pm, same day. B&h said they expect several units to cover all early pre-orders. You will get yours earlier than mine : )

      • I ordered mine on Amazon about 2 mins after they opened their flood gates. They say shipping the 20th, and because I chose 1-day shipping, it will be here the 21st. You should get it however fast you chose to ship it after the 20th. Probably the 22nd.


        • jason

          Mark, you seem to use a pan head. Is it more stable and easier to use than ball head?

  • Jabs

    Yeah – just in time to fill your head with more confusion as you pine away at the upcoming delivery of your brand new baby (D4, then D800 or D800E) and then the maddening rush to digest and then try all this new information on a working camera body (where are the batteries now???).

    Heartburn and headaches not included too – oh well, the price of progress.

    16megs and 36megs, here we go – geez, I DID not know that – echoing the sentiment of many readers of these overstuffed manuals – LOL

    • Nikon Sniper

      Crybaby, go play with your Coolpix.

      • Jabs

        Why thank you as it was a joke, satire or attempted humor plus I did download it myself.

        Run away now – LOL.

        • Luke

          your attempt @ humor was an epic fail…

          • Jabs

            Why thank you and who really cares!

            • Luke

              My thoughts precisely !

          • Marcus

            “epic fail” – I never can seem to get past the fact that the phrase in itself is a failure of grammar comprehension. Another case of irony wasted on the youtube trolling youth.

        • Royster

          remember to put a smiley face as those without a sense or humour wont understand

          • Jabs

            @Royster – thanks but I never use the smiley face and forgot how to, so that’s how it is. I was just laughing at all of us photographers and others who have to read all these Manuals designed to keep the Manufacturers from litigation and how everything is worded so complexly and thus what the above posters said about that made me laugh even more due to it being true.

            Have a great day too.

  • Ralph

    Thanks for this.
    Hopefully my D800 will arrive in 7 days.
    This will give me some advance info.

  • “Do not copy or reproduce paper money, coins, securities, government bonds, or local government bonds…”

    Dang, there goes my plan to earn myself an additional D4…

    Seriously though, it’s sad to see how much of today’s manuals is made up of instructions with the sole purpose of covering the firms from potential law suits – it’s a sad statement of the mentality of today’s society. Common sense seems to be of little value in court these days.

    • Jabs

      Or the world is now covered with Ambulance Chasers or what Lawyers are called in America in slang – lol@your comment too.

      Write an Instruction Manual to indemnify you from Owner stupidity or mistakes!!!

    • Alan

      At least I only need to page through that crap in one language…

    • Michael


    • ninpou_kobanashi

      Haha, the sad part is, you should be glad that they don’t censor any photos that you take of currency.

      Try to import a high res scan of a US currency into Photoshop!

      Don’t believe me?

      • doug

        Photoshop might have currency detection, but the Corel draw doesn’t, and i know that for a fact

        • Jabs


          Adobe is a US Company while Corel is a Canadian Company now.

    • Tom Bruno

      “Do not place the strap around the neck of
      an infant…[this] could result in strangulation.”

      (page xiv)

      Guess I have to relearn my technique.

      • jodjac

        It’s all fun and games, till someone loses an eye (or strangles an infant).

        Oww, my eye! My god- Da*mned F*cking Eye!

        • jodjac

          “please remember when handing the D800/E to infant or monkey, that it is good practice to leave the lens cap in place or dis-able picture taking functions in another manner, otherwise your professional skills may be called into question as an infant or monkey can use this camera and achieve good results.” pg XIIXVII

  • Mick Rhodes

    If i had the camera i would never look at it, but i will read it top to bottom until then.

  • DK

    Except for my first SLR, I barely ever read these THICK paper weight user manuals for more than 30mins max. Once you know the concepts, most of the info here is for noobz. Nikon bodies are fairly easy to figure out and mostly failure proof.

    But just out of curiosity, I “may” spend 15mins reading this πŸ˜‰

    • T.I.M

      If my wife ask to try my camera I tell her: “read the manual first, as I did”

      • Ralph

        Just put it in P, point and press shutter, how hard can it be?

        • Tiger1050Rider

          So you can set you camera up to do ‘time lapse’ whilst blindfolded then?


          • GeofFx

            TIM doesn’t need a blindfold.. or time lapse for that matter πŸ˜‰

    • jodjac

      I reads mines over and overs again. I want to know my camera inside and out. There are many featuress that do not present themselves with casual use. One does not need to read the manual and may not want to but if you do you’ll find there is a lot of good information in there that will benefit the serious photographer. Why spend $3k for a point and shoot? Might as well stick to the coolpix and save yur money.

  • PeterO

    Speaking of the iPad, can someone please explain to me what drives people to camp out overnight to buy something? Did this ever happen for camera gear?

    • Jetfire

      Some people like the experience, some are stupid, and some like me ordered last week and got delivered first thing this morning. What’s really bad are the one’s who started camping out last week, before the pre-orders even sold out.

      • Stephen White

        I love how the only owner’s manual the iPad needs is a wallet-sized card with a photo of the iPad and labels for the scant few buttons.

        • B!

          That’s because you just can’t do much with them. Ever read a manual for your spare tire?

          • PeterO

            Now that’s funny!

          • elph


          • R!

            Someone is trolliiinng out here and no one told, me is that B! for biatch!!or B….S..n!!!!? trolololz D800 iz killing Canons fan bwoyez neurves that’s for sure!!!!!!

            • Dan

              Had the chance to play around with the 5DMkII at Frys the other day. Can’t believe how cheap and plasticky it feels compared to even my D7K. Not to ignite any flames but it’s true.

            • B!

              Absolutely not! Awaiting my D4 from B&H so browsing around to see who has received anything. It’s sad to say that it will probably be months before I and many, many others get it. The fact that I wasn’t in the first 5 minutes when the pre-orders opened doesn’t help either.

              B stands for Bernard….oh and your nick isn’t quite original. my comment above still stands.

    • biggins

      It’s because of popular culture. People stand in line for books, movies, events, video games, and Apple products simply because they want to be a determining factor in popular culture and you can find many people with the intent of “being one of the first” when the masses do come. It’s a psychological phenomenon that is difficult to explain. But to the consumers who do it, the glory of it all is getting to use the product.

      Cameras are a part of popular culture but everyone already has one and they surely aren’t looking to drop $3000 or $6000 for the latest and greatest when the average image on the internet is 640 pixels wide. That’s just my opinion but I’m sure you could go deeper into this sentiment.

      • PeterO

        Thanks for the explanation biggins. I personally don’t like to wait in line for anything – I’ll either get it later, or do without. But that’s just me. I guess if they get a kick out it – go for it. Perhaps it also has to do with “instant gratification” and “getting what I want now”?

        As for reading through the D800 manual, who knows, we might find something interesting.

      • PeterO

        Ah. Now I understand why there’s always someone in each of NR’s posts, who wants to be first.

    • Alan

      I can only extrapolate from camping out for concert tickets when I was younger. Part of it was because there was a limited quantity, so if I wanted to see the show, I had to spend the night on a sidewalk. That part doesn’t carry over to things like the iPad– they’ll keep making more until everyone who wants one, gets one.

      What does carry over is the community that develops in line– the people sitting on either side of you are just as interested in what you’re waiting for as you are. There’s no internet analog for that– sites like this filter a bit around a specific interest, but there’s nothing like physical discomfort to separate out true passion.

    • Ralph

      The same thing that makes a photographers hike in the early hours or camp out to get that sunrise shot and golden light. It’s about the outcome.

    • jodjac

      I stayed up well past my bedtime to get the preorder in on a D800. I was refreshing pages like madman. I guess you could say I was virtually camping. Remember two or three years ago there was a stampede at Walmart on Black Friday? Someone died in the crush. Someone actually died trying to get in. How awful.

    • Dan

      What’s the difference? Camping out or clicking non-stop to see when your order ships?

  • Neil Carroll

    Thanks for the post. I expect that the D800 will be similiar in many ways to the D700. However, having the manual a couple of weeks before the camera will be useful. Certainly better reading than many of the opinions from the high megabyte critics who have never seen the gear.

  • Jim

    So, one of my burning questions is whether there would be a live histogram in the “still photography” mode of Live View. Nikon’s digitutor never showed it, but it did show up in the “video mode” of Live View.

    The Owner’s Manual shows on page 54 that there IS a histogram during Live View Photography. But then is refers to page 46 and states “exposure preview only”. On page 46, the image does NOT show a histogram, just the light meter like the digitutor video.

    I am hopeful, as I love this feature for landscape photography and have seen it in action on Canon’s models. It’s not important enough to make me want to switch, but it certainly would be nice on the D800.

    Anyone have the definitive answer? Maybe someone who got to demo a unit? Thanks!

  • Dormant

    I was on the downloads page only 10 minutes ago and didn’t see it. Thanks, my entire weekend is now ruined!

    • Jetfire

      Still not listed on the manual download page at NikonUSA.

  • GlennH

    Thank g-d it’s only 472 pages! I wonder how many are actually useful.

  • ffaabb

    so what is the point of having a photo live view AND a movie live view mode? I just don’t get it if someone have the answer?

    max bitrate 24mb/s… its a bit low, I hope hackers can upgrade that ! canon mark 3 goes up to 91mb/s !
    can’t modify audio level while recording?… no good. must be so easy to do for a developer..

    By the way I’m by no mean a canon troll, I actually think nikon videos are so much better in low light ( i did a project with some mark2 and d7000 footage in low light, my d7000 footage was the best)
    BUT they don’t do enough on firmware side. I want more. And I have a ton of nikon gear now, spending all my money on this for the last 2 years, too late to switch to any other brand.

    D400 has got to go beyond those features (by the way when is it due?)

    Change aperture while movie recording would be awesome
    some kind of peaking would be awesome

    But honestly, the audio level & audio monitoring is invaluable amelioration since d7000

    for the rest…. I want ‘lumix style’ hacks on nikon’s bodies!!

    • any serious videographer, well if he would use such cam in first place, would use HDMI recorder anyway.

      • ffaabb

        true, i agree, that’s my future πŸ˜‰

      • ffaabb

        But you know Harold (sorry I’m a bit offended by your comment an I have to reply) I’m a serious videographer and my clients are always pleased by the films I deliver, even though I do everything on my own, lighting shooting editing and compositing. Not a big crew, just 1 guy that fits all the gear on his shoulders and know how to use it.
        HDMI recorder… in a way yes, but in another way.. no. You cant move the same way, it gets fragile and bulky.
        So if a higher bitrate can be recorded directly on the SD card, I say it’s a good stuff πŸ™‚

        • Eric Calabros

          91megabit per second is near 12 megabyte per second. just 1 hour recording needs 43GB! and still “compressed”. its better invest on HDMI recorder

    • ffaabb

      oh and by the way, is there a remote ipad integration like D4 ? Beacause THAT is what I call innovation. wow. no need side-swiveling LCD ever again !

    • kristoffer

      Can someone please explain the difference D800 24mb/s vs 5D Mark iii 91mb/s. Will I be disappointed with D800? Whats the differense will I see in reality?

      • Eric Calabros

        every frame of your D800 video will be 2megapixel image that compressed to 100kb. same frame on Mark3 video will be 370kb image

        • Joaquim Prado

          does this mens canon has better video resolution?

          • Eric Calabros

            crop one of your photos to 16 in 9 aspect ratio, downscale it to 1920×1080
            first, export jpeg in LR limited to 400KB, and then do the same but limited to 100KB. compare side by side. it means the difference you may see

  • bundasz

    So I do both, read the manual on my new Ipad

    • Chris

      +1 isn’t it Great πŸ™‚

      • B!

        I killed a tree and printed it. Enjoy it as much without straining my eyes. It’s great, and when i am done I’ll just throw it out.

        Best part, I can just drop it on the floor when my “library” visit is over.

    • looon

      I’d be reading this on a new ipad rather than on my 1st gen ipad if all my money hadn’t gone towards this camera!

    • ActionJunky

      I am there with you. Reading the manual on the new iPad. Got a 24-70 lens and Eye-Fi card today in anticipation of the D800. Life is great.

  • T.I.M

    the page is over loaded, maybe better tonight…..

  • Wendell Franks

    Thank you.

  • itcrashed

    Yay – something to take some of the waiting pains away!

  • Matt

    Can the Record button up top be programmed? I was hoping to set it to ISO, but I can’t seem to find that in the manual. Am I missing it or is it just not possible to do this?

  • Nau

    can some one make few mirrors … download speed is v slooooooooow

  • Pierre T.

    Same goes for the D4 user’s manual. (Although none of them are yet listed on the official download page.)

  • Matt

    Can the Record button be programmed? I was hoping to set it to ISO, but I didn’t see this option in the manual… am I missing it, or is it not in there?

    • Dominik

      Looks like that custom setting is missing. They got it right on the D4 with ‘f16: Assign Movie Record Button’.

      The current location of the ISO button is incredibly stupid. Really dumb. I’m surprised more people don’t complain about it.

      • Matt

        Exactly! You have to change your grip to change ISO! I want that button on the right so I can change it along with aperture and shutter speed! Argh!

        • Dominik

          Let’s hope it’s added to a future firmware update.

          On the positive side of things there is an ‘Easy ISO’ setting (see page 295) for Aperture Priority mode which allows the rear dial to be ISO. Certainly better than nothing.

          It’s also worth mentioning that if you shoot with a grip on the D800 the ‘movie record’ button assigned to ISO is only going to be in a convenient location when you’re holding the camera normally and not in portrait because there’s no ISO button on the grip.

          The workaround for me is so I don’t have to take my eye off the viewfinder is to make ISO adjustments in vertical/portrait where my left hand is in a better position to reach over with the thumb and press the ISO button while still supporting the lens.

          What we really need are two ISO buttons and the D4’s ‘Assign Movie Record Button’ would give us that on a D800. If more people complain they’ll add it. Even better would be adding an extra button for ISO on the grip.

          Anyway, that custom setting was probably left off it because separate teams worked on the D800 and D4 and the list of new features for the D800 was surely longer than the D4’s and therefore didn’t make the short list.

          Nikon’s only saving grace is the vastly superior implementation of Auto ISO compared to the Canons. Still disappointing of course.

        • Brian

          I’m not sure, but it looks like you can access ISO by putting it at the top of “My Menu,” and then setting the Fn, Preview, or AE-L/AF-L button to “Access top of My Menu.” Then you’d need to have the command dial switched on for Menus and Playback (f9). Still not sure if this would work seamlessly, but if it does, that would put ISO in reach of you right hand, or your left hand while bracing the lens.

          I think this setup is possible on the D700, so maybe a D700 user can comment on whether or not it works. Even if it does, it’s remarkable that there isn’t a preset for it, much less a dedicated (and accessible) button.

  • Lumenatic

    What kind of USB connector is that ? See page 243. UC-E14… Is such a cable type available for little money somewhere ? I tend to lose cables sometimes. Mini USB on the D300s was so (and cheaply) replacable…

    • ActionJunky

      It is USB 3.0. I haven’t priced cables yet, but it is newer technology so I suspect the prices will be higher. Try

      • Hi ActionJunky,

        thanks for the info, haven’t seen those cables before. Might be related to the fact that Apple does not support USB 3.0 πŸ™‚

  • Daryl

    Yo Peter, if you waded this far…….thank you for the manual, and the website!!

    • very welcome, thanks for being a reader

  • jose

    In the photography shop where I work in Spain, Nikon D800 2,799€, available in late March

  • Nick

    Got my new iPad so the only way I would read that manual is if it was an app. Manuals are for those that don’t want to go shoot!

    • Jorge

      Im reading it on iPad gen 1. Little full of yourself ain’t ya.
      If you don’t know how- figure it out.

  • KL

    D4 manual is available for download too!

  • Pavel

    Thank you!! I’m currently waiting for the D800 and my new iPad so this will help!

  • trialcritic

    Jim Brandenburg from National Geographic played with the D800 for a month and compared it to a medium-format.

    • Brock Kentwell

      Seems like a plain spoken affable fellow

    • PeterO

      Wonderful man. He mentioned that they had 4 prototypes with them. I wonder what the differences were?

  • maladat

    I love how one of the first entries in the manual is “when adjusting the viewfinder diopter, be careful not to stick your finger in your eye.”


    • Leigh

      I thought you were kidding. Essentially, they really do say that.

  • I wonder if they’ll add it to the Nikon Manuals app?

  • 120-300 os for Nikon

    I am downloading it now and have all the time to read it and i shall do it this time complete before buying it nice i can wait.

  • anon99

    Good link.

    “Cracked” (unlocked) manual will available in 12 hours.

  • Simon in Korea

    Sweet! Am picking up my d800 from a store in Seoul on Thursday!

  • D A B

    D800 no “focus+release” priority…. like in D4 πŸ™

    • R u Troll?

      Yes there is. Read page 281.

      • TNT

        No, there isn’t. There is “release + focus” but not “focus + release” like in the D4.

  • Skimmer

    Just skimmed the whole thing.

    I feel so sleepy now and it’s only 3pm (hong kong).

  • Allen Xie

    I just pre-ordered the D800 on Amazon…Anyone has any idea how late it could be? THX

  • BartyL

    Excellent. I will print just the cover and paste it over my D50 Manual so I don’t feel so self-conscious reading in public.

  • FM2Fan

    Availability of the manual should become a rumor on its own behalf πŸ˜‰

    Seriously: good having it. I wonder, if there will be a shorter version that keeps the most relevant info. since it is PDF – everyone can create such summary for his/her use.

  • Moe Jacknally

    Here’s a fantastic interview with Jim Brandenburg(he shot parts of the D800 campaign)

    • He confirmes that the Nikon D800 was delayed, I wish those readers who slammed me for posting BS are watching this video.

    • broxibear

      Thanks Moe Jacknally,
      That’s an interesting interview, well worth watcing and listening to carefully if you’re thinking of buying a D800/E.

      • Art

        Yea. And you can find out how a real “pro” pronounces Moire… πŸ˜‰

  • Chris Ni

    Hora de la verdad: Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III en RAW

  • anon99

    Good news.
    This manual is NOT encrypted so all permissions are open.
    Download it while you still can — it may become encrypted later……

  • SchniderMan

    I read the whole manual, and I didn’t find any thing regarding the E version, nothing about the removal AA, or moirΓ© . This is strange to me unless I miss something.

    • TNT

      Probably becuase control wise, they are both exactly the same. The technical guide talks about the dif betw the 2 models

  • Thomas

    Thank’s Peter for the heads up! I’ve been searching the past few days for this…

  • doug

    well i herd from hotuk deals that the D800 was being pre oredered at Β£2099 earlier today in the, it seems some lucky people managed to order at that price, after that Amazon noticed they changed it back to Β£2399, pity i wasn’t one of the lucky ones πŸ™

    • broxibear

      Hi doug,
      I saw that Amazon UK price and contacted Peter/admin as soon as I came across it so he could post it here, unfortunately Amazon changed it within minutes of it appearing.
      Interesing discussion on dpreview about how the D800 compares to the D3s when printed above A3 at low and high iso

      • David

        Though take it with a huge grain of salt. Most people on the dpreview forums are morons. I’ve seen a LOT of crap written on there recently, plus a lot of trolls.

        • broxibear

          You’re right David a lot of crap is written on various forums/blogs, but there is a general consensus across sites about the D800/E and D4 appearing now. It’s just a case of getting as much information as possible and then making an informed choice.
          In the end it comes down to are the improvements/features in the new cameras relevant to your photography? For some it will make perfect sense, for others it won’t make any sense and a few will be stuck in the middle.

          • Thanks for that link broxi,

            Discussions have evolved from hypothetical ones to moderately informed ones (with some actual samples). I’m looking forward to see some thorough reviews, although, at the end of the day, I don’t think it will reveal much unexpected.

            • broxibear

              Hi Jan,
              Some of the so called tests are often nothing more than marketing material.
              The camera marketing departments know if they wine and dine (I don’t mean that literally) certain sites, bloggers etc they’ll receive a more favourable review with any criticism kept to a minimum.
              To add to the confusion you get professional photographers appearing in the marketing. If you’ve been paid by a manufacturer to shoot images using their new camera for an advert you’re not going to mention what you didn’t like, you’re only going to highlight what you did like.
              Camera manufacturers are manipulating discussion forums, blogs etc to give a good impression of their products. That’s their job, that’s what they get paid for, but it does make it more difficult to read an honest assessment, and many get taken in by the marketing talk. It’s a pity because most people just want a truthful answer from a review or test to help them make a choice… does it actually feel lighter in your hand ?, is the new button arrangement as easy to use as the old one ? etc, etc.

        • Jabs

          @David – here is a wakeup call for you and others here perhaps.

          Who owns dpreview?

 – when last I checked as they bought it a while back = end of argument about dpreview.

          Please correct me if I am wrong too.

  • D700guy

    I have a D800E and a D4 pre ordered, one from B&H and the other from Adorama.
    I’m betting on neither showing up any time soon.

  • cpm5280

    Looks like it was pulled. No longer listed in Google docs, and nikonusa has it removed from the dlsr downloads.

  • hq

    Do you know if the D800 can output:
    * 1080p or is it limited to 720p/1080i ?
    * 10-bit 4:2:2 uncompressed clean HDMI or 8-bit only?

    I can’t seem to confirm any of the above from the manual. In the product brochure it says:
    “When video is output through HDMI interface
    simultaneously with recording to a CF/SD card,
    output image through HDMI interface will be
    smaller than 1,280 x 720.”
    ok, so don’t expect HD resolution via HDMI *WHILE* recording. But how do you get the “clean”, “uncompressed” HDMI output to record to an external recorder? Do you have to remove the CF/SD card and start recording? And more importantly, what’s the quality of this mysterious uncompressed HDMI output??

    I’m new to video on DSLR.

  • Jon

    I am glad to see it can be configured to write NEF to SD and JPEG to CF. Since SD is cheaper I will get a 64 GB 95MB/s SD card for NEF.

    Question remains: how big CF card do I need to match it? 64GB NEF corresponds to 32 or 16 GB JPEG (when using JPEG Fine)?

  • DoxA

    Italian language?

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