The Nikon D800 has finally arrived and, as everyone expected, the specifications look phenomenal! Key D800 features include the 36.3 megapixel CMOS sensor (full-frame FX format), 4 frames per second (5fps in DX mode), improved 51-point autofocus (sensitive to -2EV) and the EXPEED 3 image processor, offering 16-bit image processing for smooth tonal graduation.
The D800 UK launch price is £2,399 and stock is expected in March. You can pre-order the Nikon D800 from the following retailers:
- D800 at Warehouse Express / WEX (+ SAVE 10% off the MB-D12 battery grip)
- D800 at Jessops (+ SAVE 10% off the MB-D12 battery grip)
- D800 at Jacobs Digital
Dpreview have an excellent D800 preview and I’ve written a brief summary of the changes that stood out to me.
100-6400 Default ISO range
The high pixel count of the D800 has led to a more conservative ISO 100-6400 range (extendable up to ISO 25,600), especially in comparison to the 16-megapixel D4 that offers 100-12,800 natively (extendable up to ISO 204,800). The new 91k pixel metering & AF assist sensor found in the D800 is similar to the D4, as is the new 3.2 inch LCD screen size.
In addition to the 3x increase in megapixels over the 12.1-megapixel D700, the D800 now features a 100% coverage viewfinder, aiding accurate composition. This brings the current line-up of professional Nikon digital SLRs up to the same standard, correcting the recent anomaly where the (cheaper) DX-format D300s offered better coverage than the 95% VF coverage of the FX-format D700.
1080p Video Capture
The D800 is also a capable tool for videographers; recording 1080p video at 30/25/24 frame rates with the option of uncompressed HDMI output. The D800 can capture mono audio with the in-built microphone, or stereo audio with an external microphone.
What is the D800E?
The Nikon D800E is a variation of the D800 with the low-pass / anti-aliasing filter removed. Removing the anti-aliasing filter allows optimum sharpness from the 36 megapixel sensor. The downside is moiré artifacts are more likely to occur, however this can be corrected in post-processing. It’s anticipated the D800E will appeal to landscape and studio photographers where absolute pixel-level detail is the top priority. Unfortunately, the price of the D800E reflects the more specialised nature, with an RRP of £2,689 (£290 more than the standard D800).
D800 Launch trailer
Don’t forget the obligatory (and glossy) promotion video: