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Nikon 36.3 Megapixels D800 Fullframe DSLR Review by LuminousLandscape

2012-04-13 08:03 | Source
9116 reviews
On February 6 2012, Nikon announced the D800 FX-format DSLR camera offering 36.3 Megpaixels (7360 x 4912 resolution) CMOS sensor with a new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine and 91K-pixel RGB sensor that supports the Advanced Scene Recognition System. The D800 also comes with a new Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie that enables movie recording using either the FX-based movie format or the DX-based movie format.

The D800 supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100-6400, plus ISO 50 (Lo 1) and up to ISO 25600 (Hi 2). The viewfinder supports a frame coverage of approximately 100% and magnification of approximately 0.7x. Other features include s 51-point AF system for improved subject acquisition and focus performance under dim lighting, a 3.2-inch 921k-dot LCD monitor with reinforced glass, a new shutter unit with 200,000 cycles, a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 s and flash sync speed of 1/250 s, continuous shooting at 4 (FX-format/5 : 4 image area) or 5 (DX-format/1.2x image area) fps, CompactFlash and SD dual memory card slots, and SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0).

In addition to the D800, there is also a supplementary D800E model with enhanced resolution characteristics of the 36.3 Megapixels CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. Light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moire correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer's workflow. The Nikon D800 is available for $2999.95, while the D800E version is available for $3,299.95.  Here's the summary of review by LuminousLandscape:

"On the plus side: 
  • I like the camera!
  • Pretty amazing all rounder,
  • Great image quality, in the same ballpark as the D3x at pixel level at low ISO... but with 1.5 times as many of those. DR is what I expected it to be. Clearly much superior at high ISO,
  • Very clear viewfinder makes decent (if not critical) manual focus possible. The VF seems superior to what I remember of the D3x and is clearly superior to the D7000,
  • Mirror damping seems excellent and hand held shooting is fairly easy, but the sound made by the mirror has a less robust feel than that of the D3x,
  • Live view is a bit of a mixed bag, but it is overall clearly improved compared to the implementation of the D3x. There is at least one new issues that may impact its usability for some applications. Live view is important enough that I devoted a special section to the topic below.
  • Very accurate auto-focus and focusing aid with all the lenses I tried (AF-S 24 f1.4, 35mm f2.0, AF-S 85 f1.4, AF-S 70-300 f4-5.6 VR),
  • The easy activation of auto-ISO by ISO button + front wheel is very convenient,
  • No problem using the 24mm PCE on the D800,
  • It seems to work pretty well with the 70-300 f4-5.6 VR although the gap in sharpness compared to top primes is obviously there. I am therefore not sure that the doomsday discussions about how demanding on lenses the camera is really applies,
On the Minus Side:
  • At least one aspect of live view could have been implemented better (see below),
  • Predictably, battery life feels much shorter than with the D3x even in mild weather. That is at least the case when using Live View extensively. A fair test would of course require the usage of the battery pack using larger capacity batteries,
  • The default exposure with the mirror in place seems a bit hot. This being said, the slight under-rating of the ISO of the D800 helps LR recover blown highlights so that I don't consider this as a real issue for now. It is worth noticing that the exposure in live view mode tends to under-expose a bit more,
  • The new auto-iso is so close to perfection that having more explicit control on the speed bias in auto mode would have been even better. I feel that it may be going for a bit too high speeds - to be confirmed,
  • The 2 axis level sensor is nice, but the non illuminated display in the viewfinder is hard to see in low light situations. I guess it can be said that it doesn't intrude in daylight situations."

ModelD800EOS 5D Mark III
StyleDigital SLRDigital SLR
LCD Screen3.2-inch Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD with 921,000 Dots 170-degree wide-viewing angle3.2-inch TFT color, liquid-crystal monitor with Approx. 1.04 million dots Coverage Approx. 100% Approx. 170 degree vertically and horizontally
Memory Cards1 CompactFlash (CF) card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card - CompactFlash (CF) (Type I, compliant with UDMA) SD SDHC SDXCCF Cards (Type I); Compatible with UDMA CF cards; SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards
ResolutionFX-format (L) 7,360 x 4,912 (M) 5,520 x 3,680 (S) 3,680 x 2,456 1:2 format (30 x 20) (L) 6,144 x 4,080 (M) 4,608 x 3,056 (S) 3,072 x 2,040 5:4 format (30 x 24) (L) 6,144 x 4,912 (M) 4,608 x 3,680 (S) 3,072 x 2,456 DX-format (L) 4,800 x 3,200 (M) 3,600 x 2,400 (S) 2,400 x 1,600(1) Large: Approx. 22.10 Megapixels (5760 x 3840) (2) Medium: Approx. 9.80 Megapixels (3840 x 2560) (3) S1 (Small 1): Approx. 5.50 Megapixels (2880 x 1920) (4) S2 (Small 2): Approx. 2.50 Megapixels (1920 x 1280) (5) S3 (Small 3): Approx. 350,000 Pixels (720 x 480) (6) RAW: Approx. 22.10 Megapixels (5760 x 3840) (7) M-RAW: Approx. 10.50 Megapixels (3960 x 2640) (8) S-RAW: Approx. 5.50 Megapixels (2880 x 1920) Exact file sizes depend on the subject, ISO speed, Picture Style, etc.
File FormatsJPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4), Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression NEF (RAW): lossless compressed 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed TIFF (RGB) JPEG: JPEG-Baseline-Compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality, Movie File Format MOV Movie Video Compression H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video CodingStill Image: JPEG, RAW (14-bit Canon Original), M-RAW, S-RAW, RAW+JPEG, M-RAW+JPEG, S-RAW+JPEG Video: MOV (Image data: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC; Audio: Linear PCM)
Focal LengthN/AN/A
Shutter Speed1/8000 to 30 sec. Bulb1/8000 to 1/60 sec., X-sync at 1/200 sec. 1/8000 to 30 sec., bulb (Total shutter speed range. Available range varies by shooting mode.) * Shutter speed's control range can be set with a Custom Function.
ISO SensitivityISO 100 - 6400 Lo-1 (ISO 50) Hi-1 (ISO 12,800) Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)ISO 100-25600 (in 1/3-stop or whole-stop increments) ISO speed expansion possible to ISO 50, 51200, and 102400. For [Highlight tone priority], the settable ISO speed range will be 200-25600. ISO speed safety shift possible with Custom Function.
White Balance SettingsAuto (2 types) Choose color temperature (2500K-10000K) Cloudy Direct Sunlight Flash Fluorescent (7 types) Incandescent Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored) Shade(1) Auto (AWB) (2) Daylight (3) Shade (4) Cloudy (5) Tungsten light (6) White fluorescent light (7) Flash (8) Custom (Custom WB) (9) Color temperature
Flash ModesTTL: i-TTL flash control using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-700, or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighting metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot meteringE-TTL II autoflash with all EX Series Speedlites
Flash Range39 ft. (ISO 100)N/A
Shooting ModesLandscape Monochrome Neutral Portrait Standard User-customizable Settings VividAuto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, User Defined 1-3 * Scene Intelligent Auto will set [Auto] automatically. * [Standard] is the default setting for [User Def. 1-3]
Maximum Movie Resolution1280 x 720 (30p): 30 fps (29.97 fps) 1280 x 720 (60p): 60 fps (59.94 fps) 1920 x 1080 (24p): 24 fps (23.976 fps) 1920 x 1080 (30p): 30 fps (29.97 fps)1920 x 1080 (Full HD), 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480
Maximum Movie Frames Per Second24 fps, 30 fps, 60 fps[1920 x 1080]: 30 fps / 25 fps / 24 fps [1280 x 720]: 60 fps / 50 fps [640 x 480]: 30 fps / 25 fps
Maximum Movie Duration20 minutes at highest quality 29 minutes 59 seconds at normal qualityIf the recording time reaches 29 min. 59 sec., the movie shooting stops automatically.
Macro FocusN/AN/A
MeteringCenter-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm circle in center of frame Matrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses) Spot: Meters 4mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus pointMax. aperture TTL metering with 63-zone SPC with the following selectable modes: (1) Evaluative metering (linked to all AF points) (2) Partial metering (center, approx. 7.2% of viewfinder) (3) Spot metering (center, approx. 1.5% of viewfinder) AF point-linked spot metering not provided. (4) Center-weighted average metering
Image StabilizationNoNo
Self Timer2, 5, 10, 20 sec. Timer duration electronically controlled10-sec. or 2-sec. delay
Video Out (TV Playback)HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector Headphone Connector NTSC Stereo Microphone Input(1) Video OUT terminal: NTSC/PAL selectable (2) HDMI mini OUT terminal
BatteriesEN-EL15 Lithium-ion BatteryOne Battery Pack LP-E6
DimensionsWidth 5.7 in. (144.78mm) Height 4.8 in. (121.92mm) Depth 3.2 in. (81.28mm) 6.0 x 4.6 x 3.0 in. (152.0 x 116.4 x 76.4 mm )
Weight31.7 oz. (900g)30.3 oz./ 860g
Other InfoTop Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution 4 frames per secondContinuous Shooting Speed High-speed: Maximum approx. 6 shots/sec. Low-speed: Maximum approx. 3 shots/sec. Silent continuous shooting: Maximum approx. 3 shots/sec. Maximum Burst JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 65 shots (approx. 16270 shots) RAW: Approx. 13 shots (approx. 18 shots) RAW+JPEG Large/Fine: Approx. 7 shots (approx. 7 shots) *Figures are based on Canon's testing standards (ISO 100 and Standard Picture Style) and a 8 GB card.
Release Date2012-02-062012-03-02

Photo Album: Nikon Announces 36.3 Megapixels D800 Fullframe DSLR Camera Priced $3000

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Nikon D800 Camera Reviews Roundup

PhotographyLife - Apr 21 2013
"While the Nikon D4 is the proper tool for sports and wildlife photography due to its faster speed and extreme ISO capabilities, many photographers are also looking at the Nikon D800 for sports and wildlife photography. First, the high-resolution sensor could give some "reach" opportunities with plenty of options to crop in-camera (DX mode) or in p..." More »
100out of 100
LetsGoDigital - Apr 02 2013
"The Nikon D800 is ready to use in no time. The camera is activated within 0.12 seconds, and the shutter lag has been reduced to about 0.042 seconds. At that speed, the D800 competes with its big brother, the D4. Nevertheless, the D800 is not an action photography camera. With the possibility of capturing a maximum of 4 images per second, this Full Frame cam..." More »
90out of 100
NeoCamera - Jan 29 2013
"The Nikon D800 has been grabbing headlines and accolades since it was launched. Its class-leading 36 MP resolution delivers 50% more resolution than ever seen from a DSLR, opening up the potential for huge and highly detailed prints. Its CMOS sensor delivers very low image-noise with nearly noise-free results until ISO 1600 at full-resolution. Even tho..." More »
100out of 100
Digital Camera Review - Jan 25 2013
"Still image quality was stellar. Our test shots showed excellent dynamic range with and without D-Lighting, which can be set at different levels to help retain shadow and highlight detail. Exposure was pretty much spot on and colors were naturally rendered but well-saturated. I tested the camera with the Nikon 18-36mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm and 24-120mm lenses...." More »
90out of 100

Nikon D800 Reviews Roundup [Total 28 Reviews] »

Nikon D800 Camera Recent User Reviews

Work bought The camera for me and it works great. I take pictures For Gloucester County N, James D. - Oct 13 2014
Verified Purchase ( Work bought The camera for me and it works great . I take pictures For Gloucester County N.J. and for the N.J. Senate...

Awesome. Just the Best., Ray Heidari - Oct 02 2014
Verified Purchase ( Awesome. Just the Best....

Tip of the iceberg, Steve F Morse - Sep 26 2014
Verified Purchase ( I bought my D800 in Feb of 2013. I have spent over a year with the users manual and have used simply every page of the 447 page document. The camera is easy to use, as you can find the functions you want in the manual and the steps for setup and functions are clearly written. I have done night sky, landscapes, macro photography, wildlife, produc...

Great camera and I love it already, Sandi Shelby - Sep 23 2014
Great camera and I love it already. Wasn't happy camera was shipped to me with no nikon box so giving the rating a 3 stars....

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