There is a new DxOMark king: Nikon D800E

Few weeks ago the Nikon D800 got the highest DxOMark score of 95 (Nikon D4 scored 89, D3200 scored 81). Today DxOMark released the test results for the Nikon D800E with a total overall score of 96 (1 point higher than the D800).

Here is another D800E comparison with the D3200 and the full frame 5D Mark III (click for larger view):

Nikon D800 vs. D800E ISO sensitivity:

Nikon D800 vs. D800E SNR 18%:

Nikon D800 vs. D800E dynamic range:

Nikon D800 vs. D800E tonal range:

Nikon D800 vs. D800E color sensitivity:

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  • Mike


    • AM

      Don’t the D800 and the D800E use the same sensor? So, how come there are different scores?
      Obviously DxO Mark is not testing only the sensor. Therefore this shouldn’t be called Sensor Score but Camera Body Score or something else.

      • could be firmware tweak or difference in lack of AA filter? I dont know, i shoot them both side by side for a month and cannot tell which file comes from which camera in day to day post processing.

        • tooma

          which do you prefer the d800 or the 800e?

          • i do not really see any differece. i shoot f2.8 max so thats probably reason. The files coming out d800e are bigger, so there is probably more content in them, but no difference for my kind of shooting.

      • also please note, that D800e does not have removed AA filter, it have added DE-AA filter in the path.

      • Ben

        the AA filter is different. I guess it seams right to me that the 800e would score higher, the test dont look at moire the one area the d800e would do worse in.

      • cpm5280

        > Don’t the D800 and the D800E use the same sensor? So, how come there are
        > different scores?

        Light hitting the sensor (which is required for the test) passes through any and all filters attached to the sensor, and are therefore “part of” the sensor. The DxO tests aren’t physical tests, but performance tests, and they test the sensor as a whole system, integral filtering included.

        • AlpCns

          One of the few intelligent comments I have read on this site. My hat off to you.

      • Michael

        DxOMark says that the score difference in within their margin error.

    • Jason

      How is the Low-ISO rating of D800 E is 15 points better than D4.

      How can that be – when D4’s high ISO costs $3000 more?

      • I also notice that and the D4 has a fast shutter speed and it was compare in sports. How reliable is DXOMark?

        • yakker

          The DxOMark rating just relates to image quality. Other attributes such as frames/second aren’t considered.

        • RPZ

          Wow. Look in the mirror sometime.

          • Remedy

            Tried it few times, can’t handle the awesomeness.

      • With D4 you get as much sensor as typical PJs need and rest is just gadgets. Some need it, therefor pay for it. D800 have (when printed) better low light performance then D4

      • Ray

        From DxO’s site:

        “An SNR value of 30dB means excellent image quality. Thus low-light ISO is the highest ISO setting for a camera that allows it to achieve an SNR of 30dB while keeping a good dynamic range of 9 EVs and a color depth of 18bits”

        In other words, the ISO score is the point at which any lower light results in a quality score below a certain cutoff. Think of it this way – the D800 series has a far greater image quality in low ISO scenarios, but quality drops off faster as you raise the ISO than the D4, which starts off worse than the D800, but maintains performance better as the ISO raises, resulting. It just happens that the D800 and D4 cross performance lines at about the point that DxO says “ok, now that isn’t excellent quality any more”.

        There is no “correct” way of measuring ISO performance – if you’re a journalist and just want to get the shot in super low light, a high level of noise is acceptable, and the D4 is better. DxO’s chose to measure “what’s the lowest you can go and still look pretty much like ISO100 performance?”

        Both are valid, and point out the stupidity of trying to decide on what’s the better camera for YOU based on someone else’s single number score.

  • Phil

    DPReview will still have this tied with the Canon 5D MkIII.

    Massive LOL.

    • Josh

      They had to. The real scores should have been 75-77 for the 5DIII and 90-95 for the D800. With scores like that legions of fanatical Canon fans would have not only left DPR but went all over the internet bashing them.

      Not to mention if DPR get a rep for being honest instead of just another marketing avenue, they would start to have trouble getting review samples which would be the end of their site.

      • Phil

        The day that the 5D Mark III results were announced as equal to the D800, was the same day that DRPreview became irrelevant as a reputable review site.

        • Josh

          I agree. Though I understand where DPR is coming from they have a difficult balancing act to keep up. unfortunately by trying not to alienate anyone they have alienated everyone with any common sense.

        • Matthew

          That is funny the day I saw the Dxo mark scores after trying both cameras and seeing how near they are in image quality, I found Dxo mark to be irrelevant.

          • Remedy

            …the same day your logic, judgement, skills, know how also became irrelevant.

          • Phil

            So you tried both the D800 and 5D Mk III in your local camera store, took a few shots, viewed the images on their 3.2″ screens and came to the conclusion that both were comparable in image quality.

            You are a clown, Sir.

          • Shoot with both cameras in the field, and bring shadows up 3-4 stops. Then we’ll talk.

            • Amen!

              And the D4 is actually marginally better at it’s highest ISOs. For the proof, see the imaging-resource tests and check the red on red fabric swatch. And if you really wanna shed a tear, see the D3s results too. Oh, and by “see” them I mean: open the raw files in your favorite converter and compare. Either way, the D3s is still the low light king.

              The crazy thing is that the D800 sensor is almost on par with the D700 at the pixel level. Yet has 75% more linear resolution. That’s a feat!

          • Remedy


            I love how I just shove it up Your face with that link and how I proved You couldn’t be more wrong.

      • Calibrator

        To (roughly) quote Theodore Sturgeon:
        “90% of everything is crud.”

        That applies to review sites as well, though, admittedly it’s much much worse with PC component review sites.

      • Me

        Canon fans are the same as Toronto Maple Leaf fans…doesn’t matter how much their “team” sucks they still think they are gods.

        • Elvis


          • peterw

            as goes for nikonians…
            … like you and me

            (it took Nikon a very very long while before they brougt out VR in their super tele’s. Nikonians used to say that Image Stabilising sucks… 🙂 )

            • Tom

              I have VR lenses. It’s not that useful, even hand held.

              The only person I know in love with them is a tool, and falls in 90% of crud category.

            • Me

              I use my blackberry camera…so lightweight.

            • Eric the Red

              I have found VR to be an extremely useful tool. I used it extensively in Europe while shooting in churches or at night without a tripod. I have some nice sharp photos shot at 1/4, 1/8, and 1/15 of a second handheld with my 16-35 f4 VR. I would have never been able to shoot them sharply without a tripod or VR.

              Only tools call people tools for having a different opinion than their own.

        • Ric

          and Canuck fans

          • Wilson

            That awkward moment when you’re an Oilers fan…

          • mervis

            Canucks at least have winning records and manage to make the playoffs consistently.

            Wait. What?? This is a camera site?

        • castiel

          just stupid test. i saw great photos with canon or nikon . doesnt metter camera. if you have great eyes. you can do great works with every camera

          • Big J

            To you maybe, but to Canon they feel like their overly priced camera is far superior (around $500 USD more). I can understand this thread.

          • Big J

            To you maybe, but to Canon they feel like their overly priced camera is far superior than the D800 (around $500 USD more). I can understand this thread.

      • Michael

        Although I’m a Nik0ner, I could say that the score is not too unfair. D800 should score higher than 5D3 by maybe 5 points, just for the image quality. The 5D3 is not bad if you don’t look at the sensor.

    • Nick

      DXOmark scores ONLY the cmos, not the camera. DP review gives a proper balanced review of all the features a DSLR provides. DXOmark marks D7000 at 80 and a D3 at 81… in the real world the cameras a worlds apart.

      • Sahaja

        DPR compare cameras with those they consider to be in the same class.

        So the 80 the D7000 got was relative to other enthusiast APS-C cameras
        and the 81 they gave the D3 was relative to other “pro” full frame cameras.

        • Jake

          Except that he didn’t say that. Reread his comment.

          • Zograf

            They do! On the same page they give the scores somewhere this is mentioned…

            • shibo

              exactly. DPR categorizes cameras in their reviews;
              D7000: “Category: Mid Range Interchangeable Lens Camera / DSLR”
              D800: “Category: Semi-professional Interchangeable Lens camera / DSLR “

      • Josh

        Except that the D800 beats or equals 3DIII on every other feature save FPS and literally refined what was possible in a 35mm format sensor. So it still should have the higher score.

        • Calibrator

          Please re-read what the DXO score is about.

    • Maji

      Nope, DPR gave D800E higher marks than the 5D3, 84 Vs. 82. However, it is still ridiculous to consider that 5D3 is equal to the D800.

      • Booyah

        Actually, the only thing is ridiculous is judging cameras by a test score, and not by the photographs they produce. In the end, it is the final product that really matters and 99% of the time, it doesn’t matter if it is Nikon or Canon.

        If you count pixels, you are looking at the leaves on the tree, not the forest.

        • Matthew

          Could not agree more Booyah!

        • Geoff_K

          test scores are a benchmark. they are useful to compare camera sensors. the ridiculous thing is to totally disregard the data.

          • Booyah

            Test lab data does not mean a thing when it comes to the finished product. There are few times when most photographers would even need a camera like the D800.

            • D800ownerbyneed

              Surely a house cat photographer like you doesn’t need D800. Pro photographers do need it.

            • James


              “Pro photographers do need it”

              Need? Really? So for the past hundred years photographers have been taking crapy photos just waiting for the “real” camera to come along?

              Give me a break. Sure, the images might be higher resolution, but that has nothing to do with what makes a photograph a powerful, moving image. If you think you need a better camera to be a “pro”, than I’m sorry, but you don’t understand photography.

              Great photographer capture images with their mind and their eyes. The camera is just there to record it.

            • Nick the snake

              Sure you are a pro photographer? For me it more like sounds if you are a pro poser. The camera and lenses alone do not make you a pro. You also need brains which you abviously massively lack according to your post.

        • jorg

          that is not the point. someone tests the sensor and says so: sensor-score. they do it in a scientifiical way, that has not been proven to be flawed.
          so the SENSOR-score should be accurate.

          nobody says those scores represent the whole camera as such.

          interesting is the dpr-angle. lol, shabby but fun to watch this…

        • NIKONMACRO150

          So your telling me that you could buy a $3000 camera, a $8000 prime tele, the best gear known to man and still create a piece of shit. Your a man with common sense in a world that lacks a shit ton of it. One should never make judgement with a number but on what people with skill can produce. Cause if you dont have a eye for photography then you shouldnt buy an expensive score popping DXo camera, get a point and shoot. Anyone ever pixel peep the Hubble. Remember that it is the person behind the viewfinder thats tells the sensor what to capture and show to the world.

          • Sean

            If you’re rich, you can buy whatever you want… with no regard to whether you actually know how to use it or not… just saying 🙂 you can tell them to get a point and shoot and they will get this AND the point and shoot… cuz they can. hahaha 😀

          • Dan

            That’s the most arrogant thing I have read. That’s like saying you can’t buy a Ferrari because your not a race car driver. Who says you can’t buy a good camera if you don’t have an eye for it!? Is there a list that has skill level-camera model on it?

            No, So please quiet.

      • Victoria’s Secret

        why DP Review rates D800 = 5D Mk 3

        why DXO rates D800E ISO > higher than twice priced D4

        why Nikon is not shipping enough D800

        why are we reading blogs and not out in the field?

    • SiliconVoid

      You are right (Phil), that is a massive LOL..

      Really..? So a review site which tries its best to evaluate a camera on every aspect of its functionality and features should discount all of that and measure a camera on its sensor output only huh (downsampled output at that!). The other features and capabilities mean nothing I guess…

      That was rhetorical: Those other factors count, that is why the D800 simply scores among the best of its tier, among other cameras such as the D300s, D700, and aforementioned 5DmkIII.

      If you read the review, and the reviews of its competitors, you can see that there are trade offs in both directions. Whether those are of any significance to you or not can only be determined by you. However to dismiss a review site that has been around probably as long as you have been in digital photography simply because they don’t get a hard-on over the same product you do does nothing more than show the irrelevance of your opinion.

  • Reilly Diefenbach

    I’m loving mine!

    • rtwo

      +1 me toooo

  • legion

    I don’t think 1 point means anything. Honestly, are we to believe that merely changing the anti-aliasing filter increases color depth and ISO sensitivity, while reducing dynamic range? These differences are negligible at best, and probably non-existant.

    Either way, it’s an amazing sensor.

    • Tom

      That’s the whole point of getting rid of the filter. The filter blunts and pre-processes the data.

      If it *didn’t* go up a hair, then there would be no point in making the D800E.

      • Zograf

        The filter is NOT removed – read original post on DPR about D800E. Simply Nikon used spacial pair of anti aliasing filters to neutralize the effect. I’d guess much easier to calibrate/quality control camera’s registration plane, i.e. should be the same for both D800 and D800E.

      • Vin

        agree, a slight shade of Gray better

        • cpm5280


  • nuno santacana

    I think those minor changes could be due to tiny differences between units. Do they test one camera or test ten units and make the average? I think they test one.

    If they tested a different D800 unit they could get 94,95 o 96. Any of them are amazing results!

  • Notice the D800E is also the new ISO king.

    • Dennis Chan

      D3s scored 3253 when it was tested.

      • nuno santacana

        It’s a shame that Nikon (much less other brands) are not trying to improve the High-ISO quality in new cameras… I was expecting D4/D800 generation to be one or two steps better in ISO than D3s.

        • Tom

          Guess you never bothered to use one.

          They are better.

        • Anon

          Probably they have reached the limit.

          • Michael

            Yep, almost. They are all (D7000, D800, D3s, D4, D3200, D5100) 1 stop away from perfect quantum efficiency.

    • St.

      D4 has still more ISO points than D800E.
      I’m curious though, how D800E has that much better ISO performance than D800???
      How just removing the AA filter improves it so much???
      Can someone who understand this matter better to explain?

      • sk


      • @St. – as for a better ISO score, I’m guessing two things here.
        1.) You put a thinner filter in the light path, which results in more light getting to the sensor.
        2.) The AA filter is really a blur filter which blends CA and moirre away by scattering the light as it passes through the filter. This results in a less sharp image. I would think that better focused (i.e. not scattered) light beams have a higher success rate of hitting the photosites and therefore better ISO scores as you don’t have to push the ISO as much. If you look at the ISO Sensitivity graph, the D800E barely outperforms the D800 at the high end of the scale.

      • HZ

        Maybe the amp has lower noise.

      • Michael

        Dude… That difference is just 1/16th of a stop difference. Remember, things in photography is logarithmic, not linear.

      • Michael

        Ever realised the difference between ISO 2800 and ISO 3000? I couldn’t realise the difference though…

  • Josh

    Wow the most interesting thing is that Nikon’s new entry level camera’s sensor equals or bests the 5D Mark III’s sensor in every regard except for noise preformance. Canon shouldn’t have wasted so much time on gimmicks like the “Hybrid AF” and touch screen in the T4I and concentrated on improving their sensor design instead.

    • Phil

      Aaah, but it’s all about the ‘feel’ of the 5D MkIII which elevate it’s mediocre sensor, with buttons that are positioned so well that DPReview par it with the D800.

      • MinMan

        Exactly! As an example, Canon is the only major maker which has the good sense to place the shutter release button in a sort of trough, enabling one to more easily and naturally locate the release by feel alone.

        • Art

          Yea, that’s what Ken said.

        • Michael

          But I could still feel my shutter button without that trough.

        • Mock Kenwell

          Phil was being sarcastic you simpleton.

    • inginerul

      I think Canon are desperate to improve the sensor design but this is the best that they have been able to do, so in otder to still remain a viable choiuce, the worked on improving and adding features, and glass. Afterall, Canon is an imaging company, not a sensor manufacturing facility.

      Sony was the giant that lay dorment, and they have pushed and pushed with sensor technology, and have had alot of companies testing and improving their sensors, Nikon and Pentax mainly. They took the knowledge and passed it into the next generation, and now they are so far ahead that no one can touch them. Just imagine if sony would build a 645 chip at, say, 80 MP, what kind of image quality would that yield ! *sigh*

      • asdf

        “so in otder to still remain a viable choiuce, the worked on improving and adding features, and glass.”

        I’m sorry, all I have to say to Canon is. F.U.C.K. Y.O.U.

        They were perfectly capable and economically possible to put a 1 series af in 5d2. They didn’t. Now their sensor is lagging YEARS behind, they come around and tell us the camera is more expensive because they now have “extra features”.

        Not even remotely relevant by thousands of miles. Whoever prefer that useless piece of shit to D800 are morons.

      • jorg

        i doubt that canon tried desperately and failed. i rather guess they spent less for sensor-r&d than sony/nikon and ofc it shows.

    • Raizee

      I’m guessing the majority of potential T4i customers don’t know or care about what dynamic range or color depth is. On the otherhand touch screen and auto focus in video is propably gonna tempt many.

      But I totally agree with you!

  • syd

    sound to me like dxo is showing it’s error range. aa filter gone should have zero effect on iso performance and the two sensors are identical.

    • RonBenson

      AA filter is not fully transparent. In the macroscopic world, you can imagine it as a slightly sanblasted window. Taking it off maxes the amount of light that hits the sensor

      • Nate

        Which should mean less light hitting the sensor; remember the AA filter is still there with an additional filter to counteract it.

        • Ronbenson

          Well, I just read on the subject and it appears that AA filter grew more complicated lately. The reason why the D800E has better ISO performance is probably because it lacks the Wave Plate, present in D800) which is in fact some sort of polarizing filter.

          Opal glass is long gone!!!

        • Andrew

          Unless we understand fully the technical details and how it may conflict with the results, the fact that the filter is removed – including whatever adjustments Nikon had to make should in the end alter the light hitting the sensor. So we simply have to take DxO Labs test result that the D800E is absorbing more light and thus has a higher ISO performance. Their published result is more authoritative than someone’s musings.

    • Voider

      Yes, they are right with better high iso capabilities. Since you need less sharpening the high iso result appear crispier. Also there should be more detail left on the e when comparing high iso pictures with 800 and 800e

  • ZinZun

    I want a D600 !!! c’mon Nikon – announce.

    • Andrew

      ZinZun, it is exactly for this reason that companies like Nikon release a class leading camera such as the D800 and D800E. It gives people faith/confidence that an unannounced camera at a cheaper price such as the D600 will also meet their needs. OK, I too am awaiting the D600!

  • aznpoet

    Statistically insignificant difference.
    If anything, it validates the overall quality of D800 sensor, with ot without anti-aliasing filter.

  • No! Pacquiao wins!

    No! Pacquiao wins!

    • Haha, I was going through the thread. and Boom! Nice segue here! Pacman!

  • I use a Canon DSLR and now I am just depressed. The Nikon D3200 with a smaller sensor equaling, if not bettering the full frame 5D Mark III? That is not just Canon dropping the ball for a minute, they flat-out screwed up. Now the T4i has options the 5D Mark III should have had, especially for the price of the 5D. It is over priced, period. Whoa is me.

  • Sly Larive

    Like this cameras wasn’t already in high demand and short supply!

    Shhh DXO, keep this quiet, I want a D800e for myself!

    Alright, so… Time to look back and forward a bit. Remember when we were all anxious, the D700 was aging, Admin was reporting 36 MP (yuck!) cameras, the primes were aging… In retrospect, Nikon has been THE company in the last few years. All the way back to the D7K, D5100, the new 50 1.8, the 85’s, the 70-200 VR II, D800/e, 35mm, 24mm, the new 24-85 (which looks fantastic, I admit I was skeptical), “reasonable” price hikes compared to most Japanese manufacturers… Sure the D800 launch was failed as a marketing and distribution standpoint, but what a great product.

    All this to say that these are very good times for Nikon users and sometimes we’re asking “where’s my D400?, where’s my D600, my 80-400” and rightfully so, but its also nice to acknowledge the great things Nikon have “given” us in the last few years and with still many good cookies in the oven for us in the near future.

    • Marcelo

      My D7k, is giving me some headaches with the autofocus being not reliable, in studio primarily. I really like all this evolution on the sensors, despite being most credited to Sony than Nikon, but anyway, I feel that Nikon is improving the sensors but the reliability is going down on the almost every new pro product. For me as a photographer is somewhat frustrating. I’m waiting for the d600 but with a certain grain of salt. Hoping that Focus this focus problems are already fixed. =/
      Ps. I’m not the only one with focus problems, and D7000 is not the only camera with this problems, so don’t came saying that i have the “black sheep” camera…

      • Sly Larive

        Sure, the D7K isn’t perfect. Neither is the D80o and yes it seems that Nikon doesn’t put as much premium on fast FPS bodies and yeah the new AF engines are a bit more unreliable than they used to be, but this is the price to pay for better features I think. I don’t disagree with you and I’m not a Nikon fanboy who thinks everything Nikon touches is Golden. But they have been keeping ahead of the curve. As far as the sensors go, we’d ALL be hard pressed to say what part of the sensors Sony designed and what part Nikon did. If all Nikon did was piggyback off their Sony expertise, I wonder why Nikon seems to be getting a free 3 to 6 months pass on every sensor. IMHO, Nikon isn’t simply waiting for Sony to release sensors and they are quite actively involved…

      • MikeV

        You shoot with a D7000 and are having focusing issues and you say “I feel that Nikon is improving sensors but the reliability is going down almost every new pro product” … but the D7000 isn’t a PRO body … either is the unannounced D600.
        Pro photographer blogs that I follow say that not every lens focus’s accurately on the body.. thats why they make AF Fine Tune which corrects this. I don’t know if D7k has af fine tune, but maybe you should research that

        • scurvyhesh

          Hey MikeV

          Isn’t a pro camera whatever the pro happens to have in his/her hands. While I wouldn’t put the D7000 in the same category as the D4 it still is a very impressive camera with plenty of pro features. If I were hiking into the wilderness I would definitely rather carry one than a D4!

          Any camera be it pro, prosumer or entry level should operate correctly out of the box. If it doesn’t then there is a QC problem. Might not be as wide spread as op thinks but its there. When I returned my D7000, the shop I go to (with high sales volume) mentioned that there was a small percentage of D7000s with this problem. It does exist.

          And yes the D7000 has AF fine tune. I had adjusted mine all the way and it still was still too soft. If your D7000 is doing this then send it back to Nikon. The AF will require recalibration.

          • Tom

            Nope. Professional is a grade of camera, lens, or what ever the industry defines it as. Just like power tools.

            I’ve met plenty of “pros” with with pro gear, that were worse than me at photography and I all myself “amateur”.

            • scurvyhesh

              LOL thanks man. I am quite familiar with what Nikon regards as “pro” caliber.

        • Marcelo

          Yeah it has fine tune i’ve been searching and discovered that to finetune mine first i have to buy “something” to correctly adjust it. The problem is random, every camera has a different focus problem…
          Focus for me is the first base to make a good photo, eyes out of focus is just another photo going to the wastebasket.
          MikeV, d7000 is semi pro, but d800(also has focus problems) is pro.
          I live in Brasil, here any pro camera from nikon is a new car. Here a few photographers use pro bodies to make their money. D7000 has the potential to work as a pro, I’ve worked with d60 before, but not for studio. The photographer is the one who needs to be pro, but i don’t came here to discuss that.
          The thing is not acceptable that a camera even the base dslr like d3000, to have any problem with any lens that is possible to use on it. If it has should be a firmware uptade to fix it or a call back from Nikon.

          I’m not fanboy of any brand, i just use Nikon because of the High Iso performance, Dynamic Range and the known auto focus reliability.
          I have just 2 lenses 50 1.8 and 18-105 3.5-5.6.
          To change to another brand is just easy for me.

          Please Nikon take care of the auto focus problem with this new cameras, and i will not have any reason to look after another brand.

      • scurvyhesh

        You aren’t. My D7000 just got sent back to Nikon for severe backfocus. It was noticeable at f4 and completely useless past f2.8. I didn’t notice for a few month since I was shooting f8+ in a studio. Then I went on vacation to Iceland and was really bummed after taking some low light portraits with my 50 1.4. I was able to work around it by manually focus and overriding the confirmation dot to >. But I was so bummed I ended up not wanting to use it. Luckily I had my FA and FE2 with me. I have had quite a few Nikon cameras over the years and this is my first time having to send a camera under warranty. Considering the track record I have had with this company I guess its not so bad. But to discover such a problem while on a vacation of a lifetime really sucks. Good thing I always ave a film back up…

      • Eric

        I have just started playing with my new D4. Having used a D2X, D3 & D3s, I would say that the D4 is the best so far. IMHO the D4 does a better job of “getting out of the way” than any of its predecessors. While I have yet to receive my 800E, I expect it will be similar.

        Right now I am spending time fine tuning the AF for my lenses. I have found that very few lenses auto focus optimally without some degree of fine tuning. If you are making studio shots with shallow DoF and relying on AF, AF tuning issues will be most pronounced. If you haven’t already done so, you might be very well served by using the AF tuning to match each of your lenses to your body. I have had numerous occasions where someone has brought me a camera with a focusing issue that turned out to be AF tuning. If you haven’t already tuned each of your lenses to your camera there are many on-line resources that describe the procedure.

        • scurvyhesh

          While I agree that you should do fine tune you camera/lenses. There still is a small number of miscalibrated D7000s out there. Mine was one of them. No amount of AF tuning will fix it.

      • roadie

        I agree. The biggest problem I have with Nikon is their focus capability. I had to bring my D300 to service multiple times because of focus problem. I demonstrated to them how bad it was right there (pointing to a piece of white paper with black letters printed, and the focus locked to a wrong point, with the letters completely out of focus), and yet they told me it’s because the camera has an advanced focusing mechanism that I didn’t understand and didn’t know how to master… WTF?

        Occasionally I went to a camera shop and just compare the focus speed and accuracy between Canon and Nikon camera. Canon always seem to have a slight edge over Nikon… it’s sad..

        • jorg

          did you compare a 5Dmk2 and a D700 in terms of AF???

  • MattC

    Some day I’ll have one of these beasts… ordered Feb 7th from B&H.. .stillllllllll waiting.

    • Maji

      Ask your local store for it please and stop waiting for B&H.

      • Qweeeeerty

        5200 BO D800 at B&H in date of last week. SHHHHH I’m not tell anybody.

    • DPGar

      I was at a Best Buy yesterday and saw three of them? There are countless stories now of people getting the d800 in less than a weeks wait. Who in their right might would be waiting since February for b&h??? Cancel your B&H order already and get your d800 THIS WEEK!

      • DPGar i said d800e, not d800 and Maji, good suggestion honestly, but closest store would be 180 miles away. Might be worth the phone calls and drive, though!

        • MattC

          i guess i didn’t actually say d800e in my comment, but look at the title of this thread 🙂

        • Maji

          I am not sure where you are located. Are you saying that the nearest brick and mortar camera store is 180 miles from you or is that referenced to a Best Buy?

          If you really want the D800E and are ready to do some legwork, then download the list of approved vendors from Nikon’s website. Select the ones within a driving distance that you are comfortable with and then start calling. Let your fingers do the walking and you maybe surprised.

          Good luck.

      • B!

        I ordered D4 from Amazon month after placing BH order, I already have my D4 on hands for 3 weeks and BH hasnt even shipped past initial pre-orders from first days.

        I have a feeling that because Amazon didnt honor NPS requests and most NPS members went straight to BH you have a much higher chance of getting it from Amazon even if you order today than you have with your 4-month old pre-order from BH.

        Also when BestBuy gets a batch you can walk into store and order for delivery within days. They dont have a pre-order list, they get a batch, sell it and change to out-of-stock until next batch arrives.

    • jim

      Now I don’t feel so bad. I ordered my D800E from B&H on Feb 8. For a month I received regular updates on availability, but after that, they just gave up. I haven’t heard a thing from them for four months.

      • Qweeerty

        In date of last week, B&H had 5200 BO D800/D800E.

        • Jim

          That’s interesting. How were you able to find this information? When I called them, the Customer Service rep was very evasive and wouldn’t tell me anything.

          • Qweeerty

            Dinner on 41st avenue with some people working on the floor at B&H.

            • Yup Shipped

              D800 shipped from B&H – tonight 7pm
              Ordered Feb 7th, 9:5pm, Eastern time

    • Sean

      I ordered from adorama, first day of pre-order towards the afternoon/evening. It was shipped out yesterday. Getting it Monday. Not sure how bad B&H is… but I think it is/should be coming along soon.

  • T.I.M

    The D800 is stock at Nikon store ($3,226.00 including taxes and shipping).
    I may cancel the D800e I ordered from B&H, depending on the D800 results with my primes lenses.

    • T.I.M

      The Nikon store will make you pay taxes if you order from:
      California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington D.C., Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington

    • St.

      That could be the right choice especially if you consider to shoot video.
      Check this preview:

  • Bill

    The D800E doesn’t have the IR filter in front of the sensor right? How’s this an advantage over the D800?

    • MattC

      It still has the IR filter.

    • Sahaja

      No anti aliasing (AA) filter.

      This should give you better resolution but you may see other artifacts which an AA filter is designed to reduce.

      • Bill

        Thanks, Sahaja. Still don’t understand what the advantage is of no AA vs AA filter. Better color? Better High ISO performance? Better for video?

        • MattC

          google: d800 vs d800e or d800 d800e differences. powerful search engines are powerful

          • MattC

            That would explain your lack of knowledge. I guess your internet is 6 months behind the times, as well.

          • Hamuga

            Maybe instead of insulting the guy trying to help you, you should have spent the time actually doing what he suggested?

        • Manu Schnetzler

          Slightly better sharpness. See

          Got my D800E 2 weeks ago (pre-ordered on Feb 7 at Adorama). It is a great camera. Dynamic range is amazing and you can pull out lots of detail in the shadows. Check this out:

          The challenge is finding lenses that are up to the sensor!

        • preston

          This is explained in dpreview . . . review. Or just google it. There are probably over 100 explanations out there by now.

  • Rob

    Well I see no reason anymore to upgrade to a D4 I’ll keep my D3s and Just buy Another D800e If I need fast FPS then I can bust out the D3S. I see no reason to not just shoot 90% on the D800 and D800E. What a amazing camera! Great job Nikon.

    • Eric

      Just don’t try the D4 and you’ll be happy. After selling my D3s (and while waiting for my D4) I was second guessing the wisdom of selling the D3s. Now that I have finally received my D4, I am very pleased with my decision. Still waiting on the 800E though.

    • @Rob, I have owned D300, D3, D700 (in that order), and now I own the D4. Without a doubt, the D4 is the best I have had to date. I never got a chance to play with the D3S, but the AF system was the same as in the D3, so I have an idea of what kind of AF performance the D3S provides. If you need a serious sports/action camera that has lightening quick AF, or a low light camera that can AF in near darkness, then sell your D3S now and order you a D4; you will not be disappointed. If however you have no gripes about AF speed or AF in low light with your D3S, then keep it.

      On another note, I have had the chance to use my friend’s D800 and I must admit that I was blown away by the resolution and ISO capabilites. I am looking forward to the D4X where Nikon puts a refined 36MP sensor in a D4 body and gives it an upgraded EXPEED 4 processor that can shovel the data bytes down to the DUAL XQD slots at 10 fps!!! In the meantime, I am at a tossup between the D800 and the D800E for landscape work. I have seen some images made with the D800E vs the D800 and I was absolutely taken away by the fine details the D800E managed to gain. The extra pixels also gives me cropping abilities to play with if needed, and with the 24mm PC, you can achieve some VERY large prints using shift movements.
      If you have both the D800 and D800E, what is your take on one vs the other with respect to fine details in various scenarios?

      • inginerul

        That won’t happen, I seriously doubt nikon will want to go trough all the D3x crap all over again. It was very expensive and everyone said that for a landscape and studio camera, the D3 body was just not necessary. The D800e is the D3x.

  • Dweeb

    Hahahah that should drive Fake Chuck right round the bend.

  • Matt

    Where does Nikon go from here? What will 2015’s D900 & D5 look like? Maybe 54 MP for the D900 and a whopping 18 MP for the D5 😕

    • Eric

      I wonder if Nikon could produce a camera with a larger than FX sized sensor that still used existing Nikon glass? The lens to sensor distance would have to be increased thus changing the focusing characteristics, but if this created too many problems an adapter might work. Imagine a new 64mp body (48 x 32 sensor) with the same performance of the D800 and capable of using existing glass.

      • preston

        The image circles of existing lenses wouldn’t be large enough to cover a bigger sensor. It would be like using DX lenses on an FX body – massive vignetting.

        • @preston,
          Eric did mention that the lens to sensor distance would have to be increased (in order to make the image circle bigger) at the expense of changed focus characteristics. Unfortunately, I think it would also change the equivalent focal lengths of the FX lenses mounted.

          An easy experiment to test this idea conceptually, can be done today. Take an FX DSLR body, put one or more (various sized) Kenko extension tubes on the FX DSLR and then mount a DX lens onto the extension tubes. I have done something similar using older Nikon bellows rail with a bellows lens, but never with a DX lens. I also put the 200mm f/4 FX macro lens on the bellows for extreme closeups. What changes significantly, is the minimum focus distance is extremely reduced. In some cases, as in macro, you can’t get the subject close enough to the front lens element to focus at all; its as if the subject would have to go inside the lens before you could focus it. I didn’t really attempt other FX lens combinations on the bellows, as my goals were macro based. Bellows based lenses don’t have a focus ring, as the rail system is used to focus the lens as it is moved back and forth. The 200mm f/4 could be focused using both its own focus ring and the bellows rail system by sliding the whole lens back and forth. One last thought, as you move the lens further away from the focal plane, you are effectively increasing the focal length of the lens. Very much like teleconverters, you are going to lose F stops.

          With all that said, I would prefer that Nikon just make a medium format camera and a whole new set of lenses to go with it. In order to be successful on launch, I think they would have to be compatible with the various 645 lenses out there.

          But the real question is this, “Is Medium Format Dead, now that we have the D800?”

          • Eric

            MF never caught on except among pros because it was hard to justify the expense. If the D800 sensor was expanded to an MF size and the price remained in the realm of consumer products, the story might be different. If their was an easy way to use existing glass, this would bring the barrier down even further. Nikon could then begin designing, building and selling MX lenses. It is going to be very interesting to see what the market looks like in 5 years.

      • Ralph

        For a lot of FX lenses the light fall off is already unacceptable.

  • ATK

    still waiting………

    Too slow…I might pre-order D600 instead.

  • Ole

    I just hope that D600 will be as good as D700

    • Edubya

      I’m sure it will be awesome, but the D600 will have a less robust body. Some people won’t buy it for that reason.

  • Anonymous Maximus

    D800 or D800E, both have a sick-green cast on their LCD, while the files are ok on computer screen. I won’t buy any of them unless Nikon comes up with a real solution.

    • Eric

      Really? That seems very odd. Given the IQ of the D800, a green cast to the screen is at most a minor aesthetic inconvenience. I guess if your primary concern is viewing photos on the back of your camera, then it could be an issue. But if your main thing is viewing photos on the back of the camera, why buy a D800? The rear screen is great for critical focus and review of DoF etc. But a green tinge doesn’t at all impact the manner in which I use the camera.

    • Sean

      That is asinine. The LCD is perfectly fine. You obviously care less about photography than technology.

    • Andrew

      OK, so the D800’s LCD shows you the picture you are about to take, and many are reporting that its LCD is superior to that of the impressive D700 and D3s, plus the D800 gives you the best image quality including accurate colors available in any major camera brand, and you are talking about the LCD which has nothing to do with the quality and accuracy of the picture that is coming out of the D800?

      I (and maybe Nikon) have a fix for you – use your naked eyes to see if the things you are about to frame and photograph have the colors you desire. Then press the shutter button and print the picture to see how beautifully they match the actual objects being photographed. If you are not satisfied, write Nikon and tell them that their LCD is as lousy as that of all of the other major camera manufacturers. Then go and buy a Minolta, they produce the best cameras.

  • lfeagan

    If/When Nikon provides more info on their manufacturing process for the D800/E sensors, I suspect what we will find out is that the sensors used in the D800E are those from the dead center of the wafer where the number of imperfections is minimized. When using a sensor without an AA filter splitting rays out into more buckets it is important that all photo sensor sites are operational. If I am right that the chips used in the D800E all come from the center of the wafer, then getting slightly higher performance numbers is actually not all that surprising. The fastest CPUs also come from the center of the wafer. As the center represents a small sweet spot with very low error in the lithography process, there are precious few chips that come from that area.

  • KWestNYCGV

    I walked into a Best Buy in midtown Manhattan last week and walked out with a D800. My wait time between making the decision to get one and having one was 45 minutes.

  • Not a surprise I guess, but the performance of the D800 and D800E are essentially the same.

  • nonbeliever

    If anybody of you Nikon only fans could take as good pictures as you can bash the 5dIII vs D800 tests on the net, there would be a lot stunning pictures out there :-).

    • Pablo Ricasso

      Lots don’t stun pictures. People stun people!

      • Collins

        Zing !!!

        (took me a couple reads to fully flesh it out though >__<)

  • EditReject

    Damn. I own a 5d Mark III and based on this new report and some very insightful, well thought out comments in this post, I need to sell it and run out and try to cop a D800E and then pick up a D3200 as a back up. With those two, I am guaranteed to take better pictures. I know it. I just know it. Thanks all.

    • Pablo Ricasso

      If you have a lot of glass you might rather wait for a new 1ds. There has to be at some point…

    • Eric

      I agree with Pablo R. At one level I am inordinately pleased that having stuck with Nikon through the years, I am now in possession of cameras as good or better than my Canon brethren. On the other hand, the situation will not remain stagnant; the other manufacturers must try and maintain technological parity, and Canon users fully expect Canon to do whatever is required to recapture the lead. This is good for all of us as it means we will continue to see the advantages of competition. If the situation were reversed and Canon’s sensor was the one on top, I would undoubtedly be envious, but I wouldn’t be likely to switch brands; I have too much money in glass. The 5DmkIII is a spectacular camera that sits in between the D4 and D800. Canon users feel it is a better all around camera than either. The D600 may actually go head to head with the 5DmkIII. Canon’s D1X is delayed, we know it has a higher frame rate & more pixels than the D4, what happens if Canon is improving the sensor? The D1X could come out on top of the D4…I hope not … I’d grumble at the Canon fanboys, but at the end of the day, the D4 is phenomenal as is the D800 and the 5DmkIII. My point is that competition spurs innovation which results in a natural ebb and flow of capabilities among the major brands. This is good for all of us and gloating might just come back around to bite us in the rear.

      • Nikon got the manufacturing jump on Canon with bringing the D4 and D800 to market very quickly. Pros have had the joy of using their new Nikon gear, while many Canon users have watched on the sidelines in envy. The reality however is this, both companies make excellent tools that are so close in capabilities that it is silly to champion one vs the other. For most, it comes down to personal preference and or pre-existing comitments to a system. I am to the point now where I am considering, to take a look at the 5DMK III as a gateway to add the Canon system to my toolbox. There I said it…I’ve come out of the closet.

        Just kidding…I just like the idea of getting access to some Canon glass to squelch my lens envy, specifically the 17mm TS…ahhhhhhhhhhh….

        • Ralph

          I’d even pre-order a 17TS

        • Eric

          Zeiss has a 15mm, an 18mm and a 21mm. I hear they are all very nice.

  • distanted

    It’s funny reading Nikon fan boys making fun of Canon fan boys. If the most exciting thing in your life is the 2 or 3 point difference between your camera and the camera you didn’t buy, I’m willing to bet those few points aren’t showing up in your work. Both the Mark III and D800 are improvements over cameras that were being used by artists and professionals to create some amazing images, and I doubt those guys spend their time gloating about their equipment or mocking everyone else. I’ve got a bag full of Nikkor lenses, so I’ll probably get the D800 when it’s time to upgrade, but either one would be a great tool for my bag.

  • Joe

    The D800(E) at 36MP has marginal better resolution, DR, etc over the 22MP 5DIII. A 60% difference in MP and file size yet the difference in real world shooting is marginal. According to DPR reviews to get maximum results from a D800 requires extreme effort that most people are not likely to do. So if the real world results are about on par then personally I prefer the 22MP images because it would be less taxing on my server and faster overall post processing.

    I was considering switching to Nikon before the D800 and 5DIII were announced because I have collegues that are heavily invested in Nikon and it would be nice to share equipment. Even though the D800 edges out the 5DIII in most catagories, to me the file size might be a deal breaker. I’m waiting on the D600. That might fit my needs a little better.

    • Pablo Ricasso

      Yeah and I was going to buy some new lenses but they were so sharp that they would make me have to work to get the focus right. And that’s too much work. So an I phone looks like a better idea…

      • Joe

        Lenses are not relevent to my point of larger file size. Lenses have no impact on file size so not sure what your point is other than being sarcastic.

    • @Joe,
      Storage is cheap! High Quality Resolution provides options.

      The real question is this, “Can you live with just 6 fps?”

      If the answer is yes, and you aren’t invested in either system, the next question is, “Which system gives you the optics you want at the price point you are willing to spend?”

      The final question is this, “Are you like ‘most people’ who are unwilling to commit the time and effort to create spectacular images?”
      If your answer is yes, then Canon is clearly the way to go. 🙂

      Maybe I should have started with that last question first….

  • Jesse

    Why are so many people smashing the 5D3 (like Phil) with a GIANT LOL. Why are some Nikon users such asses in this forum? Yes I shoot Canon, but considered the D800 and based my decision for video purposes and for photography at weddings. I don’t need 36mp for taking hundreds of pictures and that was the deal breaker for me. Yes the D800 is better in some respects, but not so in others (my father owns the D800 and I’ve used it extensively). I guess I wanted an answer to why and how is a tool like Philip adding anything productive to this thread? I’m not bitter, but troubled by someone that is trying to be an ass. I check NR to see what’s happening with the competition and there’s nothing wrong with that, so please spare me the “troll comments”. Also, if you feel that the D3200 is as good as the 5D3 then please have someone show up and shoot your wedding with that camera over the 5D3 since it’s basically the same score.

    • BartyL

      Mindless tribalism is what you’re experiencing. It’s exactly the same on the comments thread for any political blog I’ve ever read. I don’t read the Canon forums, but I would be surprised to find it’s any different there.

      It’s also true that not every post here evinces puerile herd mentality. As an adult you need to be able to separate the shit from the chocolate and structure your intake accordingly. Fools are fools. Only a fool would worry about it in the context of a camera forum.

      • @BartyL, so well said that you brought tears of laughter to my eyes!!

      • Eric


      • aznpoet

        Eloquent wordsmith you are.

  • Eric

    Jesse. It goes back and forth. I check out Canon Rumors as well and from my stand point you are entirely welcome here. …Consider how many folks are passionate about their sport teams and then realize that we have the same things with camera brands. It’s actually hard not to get caught up in it when your “team” is on top. All of the top end cameras are phenomenal tools. Right now (I admit) there is a little bit of extra satisfaction in being a Nikon shooter, but I agree that we should respect one another as photographers… The D800 or 5DmkIII are just tools after all.

  • John

    I have a D7000 with the same pixel pitch as the D800E. Took test shots of feathers, etc (fine details) and sent it to for AA removal. Afterwards, the same setup yielded a visibly sharper image. The good/bad news is that I started seeing blurring at f/16 and more at f/22. Without the AA filter, the sensor exceeds the lens in resolution and is showing diffraction limited sharpness (which was always happening, but the AA filter masked it). The lens was my Nikon 105mm macro, one of the best I have. Bottomline: DXO picked up on the AA blurring on the D800 and the D800E is sharper, better, with the same sensor (below f/16). Above f/22, the D800 & D800E are equally bad (in theory).

  • David

    There’s no big deal or big surprise really. The results are so close that they are probably within the margin of error. And it makes sense that removing the filter and charging £300 more will give a tiny increase in image quality.

    Nobody needs to ditch their d800 on the basis of this lol

  • rhlpetrus

    No difference actually, DxO shoudl report their scores in groups of 5 points (the claimed margin of error) and leave analysis to the graphs. That would make more sense.

  • John

    D800 and D800E are the same – there is a margin of error with these measurements and 1 point on the overall score means nothing.

  • ElSmurf

    Still waiting for the Leaf Credos to be tested.

  • Dimitrii1130

    would it be possible that nikon will release the d600 on or around their 95th anniversary?!

  • RealityCheck

    WOW.. The egocentric insecurity and blind fanboy ignorance is palpable.

    The scores of D800/E show nothing more than the outdated testing method used by DxO, where every camera with higher mps than its predecessor receives a scoring advantage due to downsampling.

    An 8mp image sample is almost useless as a measuring scale as it is nothing more than an arbitrary output option today. Simply one of many available with current digital cameras, and among the smallest of those options. If we still had to print our images to see them it would be a different story, but we don’t – and fewer and fewer prints are being made at all, much less a measly 8×12. It simply no longer represents a standard of any kind. To continue testing and evaluating image quality based on that size output would be about the same as awarding top honors to a 2012 automobile based on performance in a test derived to evaluate motorized vehicles of the 1920s.

    No need to pull your other hand out of your pocket, I know there are thousands of fanboys out there ready to tell me I don’t know wtf I am talking about. So lets put it to a test! Oh, well actually it has already been tested but no one wants to look at those scores because it might make their little 17-55mm lens shrink…

    Go to DxO and select the D800 and just about any of the cameras made in the past three years or so. You can start with the two most relevant in many forums across the internet – the D4 and 5DmkIII. (you don’t have to limit the comparison to Canon, this isn’t a fanboy rant, you can use all Nikon cameras if you wish)

    After selecting the D4 and 5DmkIII (or other Nikon) click on the link to [Compare up to 3 items] then click the [Measurements] link above the cameras. You can skip [ISO Sensitivity] as it is just how accurate each setting is to actual ISO sensitivity, so now click [SNR 18%].
    **Now before you start wearing out the focus ring of that lens in your pocket** select the [Screen] link in the upper left above the chart. Uh oh, a wide angle shot – how could that be…?

    NOW you are looking at what the sensor is capable of. You will do this for the remaining three test categories which will show you what the D800 is actually doing. You will notice that the D800 actually scores lower than many other cameras. The only category it can manage a higher score in is Dynamic range – BUT – that is only up to a certain ISO setting (~200-800 depending on the comparison). Through the remainder of its designed/intended ISO range, and through most of the other test categories it falls behind a considerable number of cameras.

    What you are seeing here is the dated methodology DxO uses to evaluate modern high mp cameras – and the fallacy of their ranking system which simply awards points for the highest possible score of any camera even if that score can only be achieved at – ONE – ISO setting (compare the D3s and D3x for a clear example of that). How can this be you say, well DxO isn’t about to change their methodology as long as it satisfies the fanboys out there. They derive advertising revenue for their own products and select advertisers on the very pages you are wearing out your pocket lens looking at..

    About now I am sure there are rabid fanboys out there just bouncing chiclets off their keyboards, so let me try to put into perspective – show the ‘relevance’ if you will.
    Unless you downsample every other camera to the same ratio (approximately 78% to equal the D800 evaluated at 8mp) you are not accurately measuring it against its competitors, nor predecessors. Worse, is that you can clearly see now that the performance is not absolute – it is LINEAR. So if you are not downsampling to 8mp the performance gets worse. 10mp performs worse than 8mp, 12 worse than 10, 16 worse than 12, 24 worse than 16, etc, etc.

    To put it another way – if the ~record breaking~ 36mp D800 only output 8mp images and was only useable from ISO 50-640 (the only way it achieves the advertised performance and score) every store across the world would have them in stock because 75% of you would not be interested in it any more – and you know it.
    So the prudent/intelligent method of determining its value and capabilities is to evaluate your own capabilities and image output needs. Unless you are going to downsample every image that comes out of the D800 (by 75%!) you are not buying the performance you are extending your lens over..

    • Eric

      Actually, I think that DxoMark’s intent is to simply measure the effectiveness of the sensor in capturing light. A pixel by pixel comparison is misleading because of the varying sizes of the pixel. In my opinion their methodology is sound, however as with any scheme where you are comparing items that have differences, some assumptions and normalizations are required. If you read through their sites they are fairly up front about explaining them. That being said, there are other ways they could cut their data that would provide additional value. For example, providing integrated values (area under the curve) for DR, Color Depth etc. would provide a window into performance at other than base ISO. I think DXOMark does a good job and provides a valuable (free) service. However their data and assumptions must be understood in order to extract the maximum value. I wll also say the the D800 & D4 photos on the PAD forum are really good….

      • Matt_XVI

        Well said.

    • Sly Larive

      Tell me my friend, on which superbly ingenious device are you using your pictures with without downsampling?!? 100% pixel view is just that, 100% pixel view of a Bailey’s bottle stickers.

      So, what do you do with your pictures?? Print? Last I checked, printers have to downsample to fit a specified print size because of OMG OMG OMG, the printer’s maximum DPI resolution. Photoshop will do that for you while you don’t even know it.

      So you prefer to watch on your monitor? You’ve got one of those flashy 30″ 2560×1600 displays… Woot 4MP! For the same composition, your D800 image will still have to be downsampled more than a 5D or D700 by your image viewer… All but the worst image viewer will downsample properly.

      So try and hold your breath ALL YOU WANT. You are downsampling even with your current camera unless you’ve got a dinosaur. Not downsampling means means you’re either printing mega posters, for which the D800 resolution will more than offset the ISO (other cameras will need to be upsampled), or you’re mega cropping patterns, for which my earlier argument still holds.

    • Bondi Beach

      Thank you for pointing that out. I had not realised that downsampling was taking place on the scores. The dynamic range advantage of the D800/E is very impressive, and with it, the result that all other categories are kept pretty equivalent against its competitors. It is interesting to see though that that D700 outscores the newer camera very slightly on colour depth, and is a stop better in most metrics. Having said all that, there does seem to be a subjective crispness advantage to higher resolution cameras, even when downsampling quite a bit.

    • Ray

      Every image is viewed in an output format. 8MP is just an arbitrary output size used by DxO.

      It doesn’t matter if you’re viewing on screen (x*y pixels), or printed ( size * dpi), and you’ll find that for 99% of people, the camera resolution doesn’t matter, because printing or viewing at 100% pixel size is rare at best in the real world.

      I tend to use 3 main output sizes – 2MP on screen (1920×1080), 8.7MP (11.7″x8.3″@300dpi), and 22.2MP (19″x13″@300dpi). I care only about final output quality. Do I care how many pixels I started with and what they looked like? No. I care what I print, or put on screen.

      Do I care that my D90 only had 12MP? No, but I care than when printing to 19″x13″ it looked pretty blurry, and looked worse still if there was any cropping from the original. Do I care that my D800 has 36MP? No, but I care that it looks freaking sharp at 19″x13″, even when heavily cropped, and looks better than similar images from the D90 even on the smaller prints.

      Stop crying about physical camera pixels and 100% views – they just don’t matter. What matters is the final output, and for that, the D800 is as good as it gets in a 35mm body.

      • I’m one of the 1%

        who’s publishing at 100%. There are a lot of other folks outputting full size on the net these days too. Low ISO ultra high resolution is what I like to see, the bigger and more detailed, the more impressive. Simply filling the screen is not good enough in my opinion. Any old camera can do that. I want to be able to zoom in really close in extraordinary detail. The D800E is indeed as good as it gets for that in a 35mm body.

        • Sly Larive

          Don’t take it wrong, and I mean it, but you sure must like fabric patterns and chromatic aberration more than I do… Aside from when I’m deliberately measurebating or excessively cropping I don’t ever zoom to 100% on the web.

  • Chuck Norris

    The D800e is the only thing I cannot beat in a fair fight…

  • lorenzo


    I haven’t read all comments yet but I wonder if in the King nomination they included:

    1. LT AF issues
    2. New freeze when Play
    3. New freeze that requires lens removal

    and all the other issues that anyone can see reported here and on DPR.

    I didn’t cancel my D800E order at B&H, they say I have 30 days to test it when it comes (for Christmas?), the problem for me is that I don’t have all the necessary equipment that many have here and will end up again with another Nikon lemon as I did for the D300S.

    Please find all bugs soon and report them to Nikon 🙂


  • fred

    What are you D800 users gonna do when the D600 is better than all of them…COMBINED!

    • Bondi Beach

      We had better get off the forums and start taking pictures! lol

      • jason

        Bondi beach sufer gals need 36mp, 51 points of focus… not D600 with 24mp and 36 points of focus. Plus shipping – coz anything nikon, does not ship.

  • Frank

    Just got an email from My D800E is coming next Wednesday. I ordered it 1.5 hrs from release.

  • Ken

    BH has finally shipped my D800. Ordered Feb 7, by phone, from Australia – NY time was around 5 PM. Objective was for my daughter in California to bring it with her when she visited in April @ Easter. Oh well, it missed that flight and some!

    • Jason


      Awesome news! Did you just get a shipping notice email? Or already shipped? Am anxious – Feb 7, 9pm, ny time

      • Ken

        @ Jason

        Already shipped. ETA CA Jun 28 UPS Ground…..then a flight to Oz.
        Could be lucky with pre July 4 arrival Downunder.

        • jason

          Thanks Ken. Mine is on the way too… Monday delivered to Michigan.

          Hey, do you guys have to pay tax for importing this… or straight sale at $2999 USD, nothing extra, and no nikon usa warranty?

  • Nikon D600, WHEN?!

    I wonder when is the Nikon D600 be released?!!!! The rest is basically of no interest to me!

  • whwang

    Guys, every scientific measurement has its associated error. Maybe in DxO’s procedure, a difference of 1 point is well within their error.

  • Got it!

    D800 shipped from B&H – with tracking #
    Ordered Feb 7th, 9pm, Eastern time, NY time

  • Bip

    I own a D3S and D800 and make a bit of money from selling stock photographs.

    April 2012, I attended a eight-days workshop in Bhutan with a couple of friends. There were six of us plus two instructors. One of the six participants was a young man in his mid 20’s. He was a Canon user (550D) and the only person who received a “scholarship” to attend this workshop, which by the way, cost about US$6,000 (excluding airfare).

    Since he is a Canon shooter and the only one without a pro-grade gears and not paying by himself, we didn’t pay much attention to him during the shoot.

    We did our review as a group at the end of the day and suffice to say, all of us managed to capture some beautiful images. But the person who really stand out and surprised most of us was this young man. He and his consumer grade gear, and is a Canon user, managed to capture images that are as good, if not better most of us.

    He is now part of the story I told my gear-snobbish friends about whenever the topic of which camera is best arise: a Canon 550D shooter outshoot me with my D3S and D800.

    Today, I have the same high respect for other fellow photographers that produced/captured stunning images without having any regard to the type of gears they use or own.

    • Kenneth


    • BartyL


  • Just Received D800E

    from B&H on Wednesday, and the camera is phenomenal.
    Far exceeds my old 5D mark 2 in every way.
    So happy to be using my Nikkor lenses again.
    I especially appreciate the rich clean shadow detail at Low ISO.
    Video also looks shockingly good.
    Ordered Feb 7th 12:30am eastern.

  • Nikkor guy

    You guys are clowns ! Saying that D800 is a better camera than 5D3.
    Smart people know that its all down to the glass!

    • burgerman

      Good job I use Nikons then. And also why canon shooters use an adapter to get the nikon 14-24 wide angle on their low dynamic range noisy sensors…

  • happysnapper63

    Just did a bit of math and a few other thought experiments, seems to me that with a D800 the 1/focal length rule for shutterspeed will not work, probably needs 1/focal length * circa 1.5, so for a given scene of given illumination and a given lens focal length / aperture it is just as well that the body does well at ISO, as you will have to shoot at a higher ISO to get sufficient shutterspeed.

    The D400 if 24mp DX will require some recalibration of the rules of thumb that are generally in use today and it will need to out perform the D7000 by around a stop on ISO for image quality to remain as is. That is out perform not only in terms of noise but colour depth, dynamic range, tonal range etc at each ISO will need to match the D7000 at one stop lower rather than be nominally “better”.

    So I guess we might all be screaming for VR3 sooner or later…………

    • Ray

      For a given output size, the D800 requires no different handling than any other camera. A 6×4 well be at least as sharp a from a D700.

      Besides the 1/focal length thing is just a wild guess at the best of times anyway.

    • timon

      in the basest ISO, on the screen mode (non dxomark A4 “print” mode), current 24mp DX will definitely be lost the 2dB SNR18, lost 0.5 bits TR and 0.9EV DR and 0.5 bits color depth. Without available a stop ISO could be relief to its fell pixel quality.

      36MP d800 is fine, but the 24MP dx is without better than d5100, a better is only than d3100.
      do not dream 24MP dx in d400 better, in currently.

      “Measurement” —> looking at diagrams for TR, SNR18, DR, or Color depth, and click the “Screen”, which is not a default display in the webpage. To disregard so-called “Sensor scores”, and move off the “Print”, please.

      • Linguisto

        Doo yoo speak Englees, too?

    • Robert Bertin

      I partially agree with your assessment re the 1/focal length rule-of-thumb applied to the D800/E. I’ve been shooting the D800E for over a month and have found that I can still use the 1/focal length rule with hand-held VR lenses. However, with a non-VR lens – such as a Nikkor 24-70 – I need to bump that rule up to 1/2 X focal length for hand-held shots. I can see the difference clearly for VR vs non-VR in 1:1 zooms where even slight camera movement is magnified. Fortunately you can crank this camera up to 800 ISO with very little noise to begin with. At higher ISO values, the D800/E produces less noise than my D700 did. In any event, you can do something in post to reduce the effects of noise but there’s nothing you can really do to fix that motion blur – unless and until Adobe finally releases that new blur-reduction tool they were showing off last year.

      • lol… ignorance must be a lot of bliss.

        There are single shot systems out there from which you can get a 900MP image… so such cameras probably need 1/8000 by your standards LOL

        Open your eyes and look around… there are higher resolution and better cameras out there than the D800s that were recently introduced to the soccer dad camera club everywhere.

    • Souvik

      I think that the shutter speed has to be 3 times the focal length, so we don’t get any kind of motion blurr. Does that make sense?

    • Eric

      Lets not fall back into the “This camera requires special handling trap”. If you normally print (non-cropped) 8 x 10 and are going to continue printing (non cropped) 8 x 10, the D800 does not require any different handling than a D700. If you normally shoot a D7000, and you are happy with your telephoto shots, you don’t need to do anything different with the D800.

      If on the other hand you wish to crop tighter or print larger than you have in the past, some additional consideration may be required to extract the most from the sensor. The web has been full of people claiming that you need to use MF techniques if you are going to use the D800. In actuality, if you use DSLR techniques you will get DSLR results, if you use MF techniques, you can approach MF results.

      The D800 & D800E expand the realm of what is possible when you wish to put forth the time and effort. This time and effort is not required to get great D700 like images.

      On the other hand, as happysnapper63 implies, the D800 will be able to better resolve camera motion and so a good rule of thumb for handheld use might be a minimum shutter speed of 1/(2x focal length). Remember too to keep your aperture in the f/5.6 to f/11 range. Oh yeah don’t forget ISO 50 or 100 otherwise you start to lose all of that lovely color depth and dynamic range… and all of a sudden you need to start making trade-offs; and therein lies the complexity.

      Just remember that the D800 is no more complicated or difficult to use than any other Nikon DSLR and if used similarly it will take photographs every bit as good or better than the previous bodies. It’s only when you seek to extract the utmost from the D800’s capability that things might get a little tricky.

      • Sunil

        Bingo! This is the most sensible and meaningful reply I have read so far. Thank you!

        In a nutshell, the D800 just let’s you see the motion blur that you simply could not see with other cameras. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now with my 80-400 and even with no extra effort or “new rule of thumb” I’m getting great images!


        • RoyL

          I second that. This one-over-whatever stuff has always been a rule of thumb and based on the resolution of film. A higher shutter speed will always improve sharpness when shooting handheld. It always has. It’s just that with something like a D800E you can see how sharp it actually is. Printed at the same size or viewed full image on even a very large monitor the results will look about the same with any sensor – 6, 10, 12 or 36mp.
          For the record, I always try to double the focal length with the shutter. I did so with film and with the D700. I only sacrifice when I believe ISO might be high enough to effect the final output.

    • catinhat

      Unless you have a very steady hand, I would guess that 1/(2*focal length) would be the minimal shutter speed for D800. I’m basing this on my experience with D7000 which has pretty much the same pixel pitch. I would even suggest 1/(3*focal length) especially for telephoto range. The fact of the matter is that I look at the images on screen more than I print, and when I want to see that wonderful fine detail, zoom in and see blur, it is quite disappointing. The ability to crop goes out the window as well. And it happens with D7000 far more than with D700 or D300. Especially compared to D300 I’m wondering if something else might have changed in the design that makes the camera more conducive to producing blur in addition to the increase in pixel density.

      • My experience exactly. The minimum I can get away with on the d7000 and the 85mm prime is 1/200 shutter speed. The 1/focal length rule may have applied to 6-12 megapixel FX sensors, but it no longer applies for high density sensors. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t get sharp pictures at slower shutter speeds. I can get a sharp pic at 1/20 with the 85 if I concentrate hard (breathing, steady hands) and I’m shooting a still – but in real life, when subjects move and you don’t have time to meditate 1/200 (even 1/250) is more viable.

        Now I often see posts on forums from people claiming shooting 1/focal lenght or less on the d7000 (non-VR of course) but you do need a great deal of luck and steady subjects to do so. Shooting a cup on your desk in your room is not big deal lol.

        I’m no iron man, but I don’t have shaky hands either – I consider myself average in this respect, with good shooting discipline in general. I shoot primes mostly and with the d800 you get a better focusing system, larger viewfinder image and you can get closer to the subjects due to the larger sensor. My guess is, shooting the d800 may even be somewhat easier, or the very least, it won’t be much different from shooting the d7000.

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