Nikon D800/D800E officially announced–What are the new features?

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With rumours speculating the coming of the Nikon D800 days before today’s announcement, Nikon has finally announced the arrival of Nikon D800 and D800E, a 36MP full frame camera with an image resolution of 7360 x 4912. This is a huge MP jump from the 24.5 MP Nikon D3x and 12.1 MP Nikon D700. What’s interesting is the introduction of a variant model Nikon D800E which has the low pass filter removed. This removes an extra layer on top of the sensor that reduces the image quality and allows the full potential of the sensor to be used. You can expect even greater resolution and clearer definition, however aliasing and  moiré patterns may be more noticeable in some cases. Lecia M9, Fiji X100 and Fuji X-Pro 1 have already had their low pass filter removed, so it is not something new. The 36 MP Nikon D800 is obviously targeted to landscape and studio shooters which very much concern with image sharpest and resolution. Having said that, the Nikon D4X which will be Nikon’s high MP flagship camera should follow.



Nikon D800 with the MB-D12 battery grip

As mentioned here, it is expected that the Nikon D800 would be announced not very far off the Nikon D4. Unlike to the D3 and D700 announcement which were 11 months apart. This is obviously a strategic move so the introduction of D700 will not jeopardise the sale of their flagship D3 as they use the same 12.1 CMOS sensor.

With Nikon D4 and Nikon D800, Nikon makes a clear separation in the target audience for these cameras. With its high resolution, the D800 will be  targeted for landscape/studio photographers, where the D4 will have the speed and low light performance for photo journalists/sports shooters/wedding photographers.

So What are the new specs for the Nikon D800 and how does it compare with the D4 and Canon’s 1DX?

You can pre-order yours at B&H (Nikon D800 and D800E)

Let’s check out Nikon D800’s new features.

  • 36 Megapixel
  • ISO 100 to 6,400, expandable to 50 to 25.600.
  • 91K-pixel RGB sensor for the more accurate Advanced Scene Recognition System
  • New EXPEED 3 16 bits image-processing engine with superior, high-speed processing capabilities
  • New Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor – 51 focus point AF system (15 focus points cross-type sensors, 11 focus points (five at center with an additional three to each side) are fully functional when lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8
  • Full-HD movies 1920 x 1080; 30 fps/25 fps/24 fps
  • High-speed response with a power-up time of approximately 0.12 s and a release time lag of roughly 0.042 s
  • Durable shutter that has passed testing for 200,000 cycles
  • Button backlights (illuminators) for increased visibility when working in dimly lit or dark situations
  • A 3.2-inch, approximately 921k-dot LCD monitor
  • Dual CF and SD memory card slot
  • Uses EN-EL15 same as D7000
  • Removal of low pass filter (Nikon D800E only)
  • Approximately 146 × 123 × 81.5mm
  • Weight 1000g (900g body only)

How does the specs compare to the Canon 1D X and the recently announced D4?

Nikon D4 Nikon D800 Canon 1D X
Megapixels 16.2 megapixels 36 megapixels 18.1 megapixels
Native ISO Range 100 – 12,800 100 – 6,400 100 – 51,200
Expanded ISO Range 50 – 204,800 50 – 25,600 50 – 204,800
Sensor Size Full frame (36 x 24 mm) Full frame (36 x 24 mm) Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Focus Points 51 focus points (15 cross-sensors) 51 focus points (15 cross-sensors) 61 AF Points (21 cross type at f/5.6)
Metering 91,000 pixel RGB sensor 91,000 pixel RGB sensor 100,000 pixel RGB sensor
Memory Slot Dual Slot CF and XQD Dual Slot CF and SD Dual Slot CF
Frame Rate 11 FPS 4 FPS 12 FPS
Video 1080p(24/25/30) 1080p(24/25/30) 1080p(24/25/30)


Here is a Nikon D800 promo video shot in Chicago

Joy Ride from Sandro on Vimeo.

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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