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Just Posted: In-depth Nikon D800 review

By dpreview staff on May 8, 2012 at 21:09 GMT

We've just posted our Nikon D800 review. At 36MP, the D800 is the highest resolution camera you can buy without making the step up to medium format, it's also one of the first DSLRs to offer uncompressed video output. Despite these drastic increases in capability over the D700, Nikon's latest full-frame offering will be immediately familiar to any one who's shot with one of the company's high-end cameras. So what's the D800 like to shoot with and does all that resolution render its competition redundant?

We've recently received a reviewable D800E - the more expensive variant with a self-cancelling low-pass filter, to allow the capture of even higher resolution. We've covered the camera in the review but will be extending the coverage when we've had a chance to fully test it.

1309
I own it
402
I want it
64
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 542
1234
Rasskot
By Rasskot (Feb 6, 2013)

raw 25600 iso for download on 23. page of the review is actually 6400?

0 upvotes
Danlo
By Danlo (Jan 6, 2013)

Why does almost no photographer make use of the extreme DR that this camera has? It looks like almost everyone who buys it shoots in jpeg and blows highlights.. Do they like the "blown highlights"-look or what is wrong?? Why are there no good images taken with the D800 with NO BLOWN HIGHLIGHTS?

0 upvotes
alberliber
By alberliber (Jun 14, 2012)

Reviewers tend to say the D800 is very good for shooting landscapes, but what I've seen from the samples is that at f:11 diffraction is very visible and affects crispness, resolution and sharpness. I can't see the point of shooting at 36 Mp for most landscape professionals and amateurs if you can't reach f:11, to enhance depth of field.
For what concerns Dynamic range, I see the depth of D800's shadows and it is really amazing, but mostly produces flat and uncontrasty images (in my experience I often tend to "close" the shadows instead of opening them), instead the Dinamic range of the 5DmkIII tends to better cover highlights, which is quite important in shooting landscapes and overcontrasted images (mostly common in real life conditions, excluding studio shots).
From My point of view 5DMkIII is the clear winner here, for evey kind of shooting condition, except Studio shots, in which D800 is the real King (at low f/stops).
Nice job Nikon, Very good job Canon!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
camerosity
By camerosity (May 19, 2012)

Is the D800 better than the D700? Will it make me a better photographer? Will I be seen as more of a serious photographer if I am shooting with the D800 vs. the D700? No, No, and no.

0 upvotes
dholl
By dholl (May 27, 2012)

actually, the answers are yes, no, yes.

The D800 is better, for adding video alone it's a better camera than the D700.

And yes, you will be seen as 'more serious' if you have it, because 36mp sells well to clients.

0 upvotes
yrtc
By yrtc (May 16, 2012)

hello dpreview,
I'm a bit concerned with the way you've setup the "compared to" charts - if you select say ISO 25600, cameras that don't reach that high are just displayed at their max ISO (so eg. 1600 for the 645D) without this being flagged properly, which isn't quite fair in my opinion. it should rather read "N/A" (like in the noise comparison charts)

1 upvote
maico
By maico (May 15, 2012)

There does seem to be quite a big difference in the resolution of images taken in the studio set up at low ISO. With the Canon 5DIII and Leica the writing on the side of the Baileys bottle is mush. With the D800 you can almost make out the words. With the Pentax 645 the words 'selection Amsterdam' are clearer. Perhaps It would be useful to have a reference shot taken with something like a Leica S2 or Hasselblad incorporated in the test procedure ?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
mais51
By mais51 (May 13, 2012)

Question is should I get this D800 to replace my D300s ? went through the same agony before settling for D300S rather than D700. At the time the D700 was seen like a poor man D3, now I am not so sure. the only draws back is the D800 massive sensor, if it were 24MP then it would be no brainer. Can't wait for the D300S replacement

0 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 13, 2012)

As I am a D300 (non S) user myself, I would certainly upgrade when I had the funds. Don't forget you can still use your DX lenses with the D800 for a 15mp output with considerably better image quality then what you get with the D300s!

I find myself many times in need of higher shutter speeds at low light (late afternoon with cloudy sky), which means cranking up the iso..
As the D300(s) at base is iso 200 and the D800 iso 100, at iso 6400 (at which the D800 still delivers reasonable quality) , it would mean a gain of 2-3 stops (I use the D300 at maximum iso 1600 as iso 3200 gets unrecoverably noisy).

1 upvote
mais51
By mais51 (May 13, 2012)

I may consider this camera, a bit above my budget, I'll wait until I can hold it on my hand to see whether it suits me, at the moment it is impossible to do so, there is absolutely no stock in Oz, whereas any where I go there always a 5D Mark III body on display-wonder whatever happens to Nikon marketing, look like they sell as many as they can lay their hands on. I just don't like buy thing sight unseen, not with such an investment (the D300 fits my hand perfectly not the D700, not sure about the new D800)

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 14, 2012)

In some respects the D700 is better than the D3 because it has sensor cleaning built-in and gives exactly the same image quality in a much lighter package at around half the price. If you want more speed (8 frames per sec.) just get the battery grip. Both D700 and D800 would be a big IQ upgrade to your D300s.

0 upvotes
donna Preston
By donna Preston (May 13, 2012)

I have a d300 and D700. I want them out of my bag and replace them both with the D800....So the only question is
Who think this is the best idea I have had and why?

1 upvote
balico
By balico (May 13, 2012)

That is exactly what a friend of me is planning to do.

Strengths D700 Lower Noise / FX Shallow DOF.
Strength D300 Telephoto reach.

With the D800 you would get a camera which matches or exceeds the D700 in low noise and with the DX crop mode you would get the reach of the D300 for Telephoto with less noise.

Only drawbacks would be;
When you shoot professional assignments, a backup body is needed.
Having two cameras at hand with wide and tele lenses mounted, you'll have to swap lenses less.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Upadhya
By Upadhya (May 16, 2012)

I wish you were right on this. Unfortunately, you will NOT get any magnification. All it does is to crop the picture for you in DX mode

0 upvotes
nikonhanglom
By nikonhanglom (May 12, 2012)

You're excellent here Amadou with great answers. I haven't seen you in Canon box

0 upvotes
russbarnes
By russbarnes (May 12, 2012)

The hysteria in these comments below from what look like teenage Canon flag bearers who have probably never picked up a camera of the quality of the D800 is staggering. What gives? All this energy and hate driven by total insecurity is what leads to world wars.

What is it about this site that breeds such contempt? I don't see it in the field - some of the best photographers I know shoot Canon, they have huge credibility as individuals and they're not immature deranged morons like much of the pack mentality on display here. Equally they respect my choice to shoot Nikon and pour over my D800 when I'm out there at the moment with a huge amount of interest in how it operates in the field. Equally I lusted after their 1DSMKIIIs and 5DMKIIs for years too. It's called MUTUAL RESPECT - it's time there was much more of that on here because there is no space for the small minded little pricks that have polluted a large part of the intelligent comment below.

13 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (May 11, 2012)

@ DP review: thank you very much again for a great & thorough review. Now I can't await your detailed EOS 5D3 review. Looking at the samples here I'd expect it coming soon.

One thing is clear: Nikon made a huge leap in FF technology, what impresses me most is that the D800 obviously beats noise performance of a mid format Pentax 645D without substantial loss of detail! This will drive the competition forward, and I think we customers will finally all profit from that massive impact, regardless of which 35 mm FF system we are using, Nikon or Canon or Sony.

3 upvotes
OneThird
By OneThird (May 12, 2012)

and not just still images, Nikon has slightly raised the bar on its video recording as well. It may not be ready for Hollywood yet but it's good enough for those short clips and probably music videos too. Amazingly versatile camera!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
00112233
By 00112233 (May 12, 2012)

I don't know about the Pentax 645D there hasn't been a review yet, but if we must compair Pentax with Nikon how can you explain that the Nikon D800 got only 82% while the Pentax K5 got 83% in overall score and costs around one third of the Nikon? I wonder who's beating who.

2 upvotes
King Penguin
By King Penguin (May 11, 2012)

My God........if DP reviewed the first wheel in history most of the people commenting here would probably slag it off as an irrelevance, overkill and say 'why do we need to travel so fast'.............

Back in the 90's I had an friend in IT who just couldn't believe anybody would need a Pentium chip in their PC............and the same attitudes seem to be here!

The rants though make great reading......keep it Luddites.....

4 upvotes
Weyskipper
By Weyskipper (May 11, 2012)

Thanks DPreview for a very thorough and high quality review as usual. I personally think that DPR is the benchmark for in depth and quality reviews.

I have been using the D800 for more than six weeks and I find it the most fantastic camera I have ever used.

Quite a few of the posters here have asked that the score be clarified. I have read through all the posts this morning and have not see a response from DPR. It really does require explanation. I have used all the cameras in the comparison list except the Pentax. There is more than clear space between the D800 and the others.

Here's the thing, if DPR thinks the score is important, it has to be correct. There is no way on planet earth that the D300s can out score the D800. It really does require urgent clarification.

If the score is unimportant, DPR should drop it. Unfortunately there is no half-way house.

1 upvote
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (May 11, 2012)

As we explain here http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Guides/dpreview_scores_and_ratings_01.htm, "A camera's score represents 'a moment in time' - the date the review is published".
Imagine two cameras with identical specs and performance, but Camera A is released in 2009 and Camera B in 2012. Assuming the camera market as a whole has progressed during that time with better features/performance, Camera B will get a lower score.
I realize this distinction is not necessarily evident if you're just clicking a pull-down menu and seeing scores for a list of cameras, but the upside is you can get a snapshot of what was considered state of the art in the camera industry for a given time frame.
Taken in this context, note that the D800 is surpassed in its category only by the Pentax K-5 (released in 2010) and Canon 7D (released in 2009). Were both cameras released in 2012, their scores would have been lower than the D800.
Also note that in our scoring metric, anything over 80% = 'Outstanding"

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
delete
By delete (May 11, 2012)

"A camera's score represents 'a moment in time' - the date the review is published"

Understood and accepted. Still this leaves some questions regarding the different partial data as

Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value

are they no measurements against scales which are kept constant but also depending on the moment in time?

Plus, I couldn't find the criteria you apply for the categorization of a camera. What is the system which determines if you tag a camera

Entry-level
Mid Range
High End Enthusiast / Semi-Pro
Professional

Certainly this doesn't depend on the moment in time but on a clearly defined set of criteria - where can wie find it?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (May 11, 2012)

We use the 'moment in time' approach in evaluating all the individual metrics, which combine to calculate the overall score.

Category is based on "market position, feature set and price point", again available at the URL I posted above..

2 upvotes
delete
By delete (May 11, 2012)

Thanks Amadou, the metrics part is now made clear!

As for the categorization, I've seen this statement on the page, but nowhere the concrete criteria. There must certainly be a fix and firm list/matrix of market position (BTW, Nikon tags the D800/E as Professional), the feature set and price point a camera must have to qualify for one of these 4 levels?

0 upvotes
Weyskipper
By Weyskipper (May 11, 2012)

Amadou, thank you for the reply. Much appreciated. I agree that the different timings create a challenge in score. I suspect you guys have given this quite a bit of thought. Also, thanks for the thorough review. I have learnt some things about my camera hadn't yet discovered.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

DPREVIEW are you guys planning on shooting the test scene with the D800E for the comparison tool. this would be intresting to see

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 11, 2012)

Yes. The review will be updated with samples from the d800e soon.

2 upvotes
BrianSF
By BrianSF (May 11, 2012)

Perhaps the outstanding review of this "super camera" will end the forum posts "what cheap lens should I get for my D800?" One can only hope.

0 upvotes
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (May 11, 2012)

All of the top cameras from the top manufacturers are amazing, and senseless overkill for most photographers (really, how many bill-board photographers can there be out there?) The big news is the price point. Kudos to Nikon for making top image quality available to many more people. And kudos to Sony for making such an incredible sensor.

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (May 10, 2012)

This is the first Nikon for me. I love it sensor. AF is not so perfect as Canon 5D m3, but I don''t need so fast AF. I need many pixels.

1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (May 11, 2012)

Is that something you know about AF or is it something you think?

According to a post further down: "I compared the D800 focusing speed and accuracy with EOS 5D3, using similar lenses (1.8/85 Nikon and Canon). D800 is faster and more accurate on photo, Canon on video."

Previously the D700 was absolutely superior in the AF department compared to 5D and 5DII, so I'm not sure you are quite correct in this case either?

2 upvotes
drsus
By drsus (May 10, 2012)

wow..this camera really got all the Canonites panties up in a wad huh? what gives? shoot a picture with a 5D3 and a d800, show it to ANYONE here without letting them know which is which and not one of you will make the educated guess correctly, give me a break. both great cameras, comes down to preference of ergos, equipment you already own, etc.

3 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 11, 2012)

Sure they both good cameras, but the D800 seems a bit ahead of the 5DIII.

Fred Miranda (who is a Canon user himself) said he is still shocked by the difference in noise levels in shadow area, and he can only point out some advantage of the 5DIII in handling, not image quality;
http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800/index_controlled-tests.html

4 upvotes
kjeldsendk
By kjeldsendk (May 10, 2012)

The amount of "fanboyish" posts here is staggering. It's about time we got some moderation going and the owners of this site made an effort to improve these forums/comments. Read though the posters history and pick some moderators please...!

This is an amazing camera anyone claiming something else is not objective in any way whatsoever.

With that being said there is plenty of room for discussion without resorting to petty fanboy huff and puff matches.

Canon shooter since the EOS 650 planning to buy a 1DX

7 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (May 10, 2012)

Agreed.
DPR should ask who wants to be a forum cop, see how long they've been here, check their posts; and then put them in charge of recruiting other forum cops.

Then after we have enough forum cops, give them the ability to ban any user for any reason for an hour, 2,3,4,6 hours; or a day, 2,3,4,5,6,7 days. More serious offenses could be brought to DPR staff for permanent bans.

Then whenever the Forum Cops see someone being a jerk to another person, they don't even ask questions or anything; they simply click the ban button and how long; an email is sent to the banned user with the URL where the derogatory post was made and that person can just deal with not having a voice for awhile.

I bet in 1 single month, this place would be a whole lot nicer.

4 upvotes
Douglas F Watt
By Douglas F Watt (May 11, 2012)

Agreed. The oneupmanship and petty competitiveness on the site are worrisome and at times really out of control. It's like the fans of hostile sport teams! We are all supposed to be interested in the same thing, can't we improve our dialogue?? - if we can't shouldn't the moderators step in and set limits?

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
kjeldsendk
By kjeldsendk (May 11, 2012)

On the best forums i frequent the policing is very strict, posts just disappear if they break any kind of rule. For example, a post like this is really Off Topic and would just get "nuked". No warnings, no message. If i added "Nikon sux" or "Canon sux" i might get a warning as well.

Anything that resembles "trolling" would give the same effect, for example. "That D800 is really cool, but who would buy a tripod just to take photos when you don't need it with a 5D3 :-)"

To sum it up, any post that doesn't add anything to the discussion, would and should be gone. Any personal attacks an instant 1 week holiday.

A forum like this is not supposed to be "free speech", if there is a need for that, create a forum for that somewhere deep down that no one reads anyway. A forum like this is supposed to be focused on photography.

4 upvotes
Zyankarlo
By Zyankarlo (May 10, 2012)

D800, D800, D800...really not bad, but no one needs it really - an improved 24MP-D3Xs sensor would have been much better, or? ;-) When does the review of the D4 appear here finally?

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
1 upvote
AshMills
By AshMills (May 10, 2012)

Can you confirm VR was turned off for the handheld videos?

0 upvotes
thejohnnerparty
By thejohnnerparty (May 10, 2012)

Yes. The D800 is a very good camera, but it is more for professionals than comsumers. For me, I hope Nikon makes a better D7000 - Expeed3 engine, improved autofocus, better WB functionality, a bigger buffer for continuous shooting in RAW format and improved video functionality. :-)

0 upvotes
Gravter
By Gravter (May 10, 2012)

Waiting for it to be available in my local camera store, which may be a while!
My D90 will become my backup camera once I get a D800 :)
You think my 50mm1.4G and 85mm1.8D will be any good with it? I think so ;)

0 upvotes
OldZorki
By OldZorki (May 10, 2012)

For 20 years used almost exclusively canon -film and digital.
It is a first time a felt an urge to switch. No matter how you slice it - this is an incredible camera.

12 upvotes
TimothyHughes
By TimothyHughes (May 10, 2012)

Other than the 20 years part (it's been 8 for me) I totally agree with this.

2 upvotes
tampadave
By tampadave (May 10, 2012)

40 years here. I've never had a problem with the other guys putting out good equipment. It's just that I prefer Canon. But got to give credit where credit is due. The D800 is one fine camera!

3 upvotes
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (May 10, 2012)

I always was more a Canon fan, but Nikon did an amazing job with the D800. Though they have other remarkable cameras (D5100, D700, D3/4,...), it's the D800 I consider the THE camera of theirs. The first and only camera that does everything a Canon does (in practical terms and generally speaking) and something else much more.

9 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (May 10, 2012)

I agree! Thou this is a Nikon+Sony success.

0 upvotes
String
By String (May 10, 2012)

Not a Nikon Sony success; because Sony builds a sensor to Nikon specs. That would be like saying a Corvette Z06 is a GM Brembo success. Pretty well every tech company in the world has parts made, to their specs, by others. Would you call a PS3 a Sony AMD success?

3 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 10, 2012)

No, I will call it an AMD success. If AMD gets in there, well, good for them.

0 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (May 10, 2012)

WOW!

Brian

0 upvotes
Weyskipper
By Weyskipper (May 10, 2012)

Many people have commented that you need a tripod, cable release etc. to get the best out of the camera. This is also true for Hasselblad, Leica, Canon etc. It is a valuable comment, but nothing unique. Have a look at my Sahara gallery for hand-held pics under extremely difficult lighting conditions. The D800 performed superbly in extreme conditions.

3 upvotes
jjlad
By jjlad (May 10, 2012)

Looks like you can get enough detail in sand and mud to prospect with it.
I like the ones you took falling off the camel ...and when heading out past the candles for an early morning constitutional. :)
The WB in the first one seems odd to me but all the other are great.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rb59020
By rb59020 (May 10, 2012)

"In our noise comparisons with the 22MP Canon EOS 5D Mark III, the D800 arguably produces slightly better results in terms of shadow detail."

"The D800 does indeed offer a level of fine detail that ranks it among the best performers we've subjected to our studio testing."

"The D800 is a camera that consistently delivers high quality results, under a wide range of shooting conditions with a minimum of fuss. There's not much more you can ask for in a photographic tool than that."

Canon fanboy on suicide watch.

3 upvotes
kjeldsendk
By kjeldsendk (May 10, 2012)

http://www.fredmiranda.com/5DIII-D800/index_controlled-tests.html
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/nikon_d800__e_initial_impressions.shtml

These examples are staggering examples of just how good the D800 is. "Holy dynamic range Batman"

3 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 11, 2012)

And Fred Miranda is actually a Canon shooter.. He said "I'm still shocked by the differences"..
No Doubt the 5DmkIII is an awesome photographic tool as well, both will capture great images in the right hands..

2 upvotes
Bronze Age Man
By Bronze Age Man (May 10, 2012)

Don't buy into the review comment that it's hard to get the best results.
Good lens & tripod with release; how hard is that?
Was photographing the test scene so hard?
Really?

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 10, 2012)

The alignment precision of the chart on page 19 is remarkable. Have you ever attempted to frame something that accurately? It's not easy!

4 upvotes
Gothmoth
By Gothmoth (May 10, 2012)

i don´t want or need 36 MP in my canons.
28-30 MP would be optimale for FF and my needs.

only thing i would really like to have from the D800 is the DX shooting mode.

0 upvotes
String
By String (May 10, 2012)

So you don't want/need 36mp but 30 would be fine? Yep, there is a world of difference in resolution/file size there... Get real.

6 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 10, 2012)

Human eye has only 7 million cones. If you watch a picture from the distance where both your eyes can actually focus on it, it covers at best 30% of your FOV in landscape orientation, less in portrait. Hence 3-4 megapixels are more than enough, the rest is for pixel peepers looking not at the picture as a whole, but at the tiny parts of the picture under magnifying glass.

2 upvotes
KerryBE
By KerryBE (May 10, 2012)

Just curious, are you still using a 3 megapixel camera?

3 upvotes
inFocus
By inFocus (May 10, 2012)

Wow, peevee1; do you always look at the picture as a whole, all the time? I'm impressed. As for myself, I'm always enjoying the whole AND the details in a picture, especially if it is printed in A3 or larger.

1 upvote
BitFarmer
By BitFarmer (May 10, 2012)

Same for my but on the nikon side: My D300s 12mp are ok, I DON'T want to play with 50MB files, I guees if i would have one of this D800 (a dream) I would set it to shoot 15MP in FX and DX mode except in just a few occasions (same for raw over jpeg, call me silly).

Losing pixels? I don't collect them! I am not a pro, of course, and I love D800 over D300s in everything, but if it should FORCE you to shoot at 36MP I will easily discard a D800 (only if it cost money to me ;-).

0 upvotes
Zolotusca
By Zolotusca (May 10, 2012)

I shot several hundred pictures with D800 within the 3 weeks since I purchased it.
I never used a tripod, except when I wanted to be in the picture.
I never had problems with 36MP: moiré, movement blur, out of focus, etc. Chromatic aberrations, vignetting are very well controlled in D800.

5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

well good...

vignetting and CA's come from your lens

8 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (May 10, 2012)

'now show your photos here to prove what you said true..'

perhaps you have a point; if not a little provocative.

He does not have to prove his statement anymore than you have to disprove comments from supposed fanboys.

peace :)

0 upvotes
jadmaister2
By jadmaister2 (May 10, 2012)

It's nor surprising that so much trolling takes place here. Disappointing certainly. Is this site moderated?
Can't we simply stick to comments about the cameras and the photographs they take? Nikonlerach? What's your point with reference to PHOTOGRAPHY?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 10, 2012)

@ Kodachrome200

D800 has auto vignetting correction setting in the menu. Maybe that's what Zolotusca is referring to.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

wouldnt explain the reference to CAs

0 upvotes
Zolotusca
By Zolotusca (May 10, 2012)

I compared the D800 focusing speed and accuracy with EOS 5D3, using similar lenses (1.8/85 Nikon and Canon). D800 is faster and more accurate on photo, Canon on video.

The missing body-included functions: GPS, n-wireless, radio iTTL flash-trigger, from both cameras is a major handicap for semi-professional cameras.

Canon has an additional major handicap of missing the integrated flash.

The higher 5D3 price is compensated by lower price of accessories, comparative with D800.

I had a very low rate of missing opportunities due to the couple D800-Nikon G lenses: 1.4/50, 2.8/24-70, 2.8/105.

DX photos with Nikkor G DX: 10-24, 35, 18-200, and 16-85 are similar to D7000. The focus is faster and more precise w D800 than w D7000. D800 has a larger w ½ stop dynamic range comparative w D7000 - is not observable.

The larger dynamic range of D800 with 2 2/3 stops (2.7 EV), comparative with EOS 5D3, is observable in the field.

It is good the D800 received Gold Award, but 82% is not fair.

3 upvotes
schorscho
By schorscho (May 10, 2012)

Funny how some Canon-Fanboys trying to find the needle in the haystack aka flaws. I'm a Canon-user myself and all I can say that I'm just jealous this should have been the new MarkIII and not the sham package Canon tries to sell us. No way I will switch to Nikon with all my Canon lenses and flashes etc. but.....

14 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (May 10, 2012)

Started Olympus, have been Nikon for sometime now.

But I considered getting the 5D3 over the D800, during my read of the official review. The 5D3 seems to handle ISO noise as well as our D4, it's really amazing to me. And I like to shoot landscapes during and after sunset. The D800 is really only good to 3200 and then the floor starts dropping out. The Canon is good way out to 12800, and my jaw was dropping.

But Nikon's dastardly trick to beat out Canon for me was the monsterous dynamic range, and the fact that shadow noise on the Nikon is very forgiving with lots of useful detail and low noise, but the Canon kind of falls off a cliff here.

Add back in the Nikon treats like the resolution, commander flash, white balance, good Active D-Lighting, 3D Auto-focus, and good video; I have to stay Nikon.

However, I think that most people would be happier and better served to own the 5D3.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 10, 2012)

"However, I think that most people would be happier and better served to own the 5D3."

You are assuming that most people buy a $3500 camera to shoot JPEG.

1 upvote
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (May 10, 2012)

Why not, I'm going to shoot the D800 with RAW+JPEG... Not too many pictures that anyone ever shoots that needs a RAW post-processing. But when a keeper comes along that does need to have that treatment, I'm glad to have it.

Otherwise, I can process most of my pictures in 5 easy steps.
If it's some sort of masterwork, then I don't mind spending hours and hours on it.

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 10, 2012)

Page 1 of the review says, "Both cameras share very similar proportions and the D800 weighs only 50 grams less [than the 5D Mark III]."

As I pointed out in a Feedback message yesterday, that is wrong. Although the D800 lost weight compared to the D700, and the 5D Mark III gained weight compared to the 5D Mark II, the Canon still weighs substantially less than the Nikon. About 50 g less, in fact. It's unfortunate that thousands of people will forever think the Nikon is lighter because of this mistake. Canon should be given credit for making the lighter camera.

Since you have the cameras, and you're reviewing them, you'd do us a favour to weigh them instead of presenting the manufacturer's claims. The claims are often slightly inaccurate or downright wrong – the latter because the people running the various manufacturer websites aren't technical experts, and there is often confusion about what exactly is being weighed (CIPA standards, with or without battery and memory card, etc.).

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

whats the difference. it 50grams of weight

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 10, 2012)

The difference between 50 g lighter and 50 g heavier is 100 g. :-)

In a 29-page review filled with minutia, all readers will find lots of stuff they don't care about. Some people do, however, care about weight. It's right that the reviewer report it accurately, and it's also easy: even a kitchen scale will tell you the Nikon is heavier rather than lighter than the Canon.

In fact, you'd notice the weight difference by picking up the two cameras!

2 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (May 10, 2012)

The difference between 50 g lighter and 50 g heavier is 100 g. :-) ????????????????

what school taught that? you can't have it both ways.. it's either heavier or lighter by 50g, the difference will always stay the same.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

I am gonna defend his math... cuz yeah common sense demands it. if it is 50 grams heavier and is reported to be 50 grams lighter, that is a 100 grams of difference.

i am not saying it important

just yeah... go math!

3 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (May 10, 2012)

Alan, he's suggesting that it started off in the review as 50 grams lighter, but his research shows it to actually be 50 grams heavier. 50 grams to zero'd out even and the 50 grams to heavier is 100 grams.

I suppose he has a point, but I don't think it's worth the tone.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 10, 2012)

I'm sorry for any misdemeanour of tone, Biological_Viewfinder.

Elsewhere in the comments, R Butler suggested that "sending a Feedback message is far more likely to be seen." I'm sure that's true, but I've pointed out mistakes several times via the feedback system (but not many times, so I don't think I'm on some blacklist yet!). My messages have never been acknowledged, which I don't mind, but neither have the mistakes I've highlighted ever been corrected to my knowledge. The feedback system doesn't seem to work very well!

I don't think it's overly pedantic to hope a weight error would be corrected quickly, though I understand how these memos can get lost in a busy office.

0 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (May 10, 2012)

I take it back then and apologise.

50 grams might not affect me much but I'd say 100 over a long day would. I ditched my D700 for weight reasons. No D800 for me.. :(.. or a 5D III either by the sounds of it.

1 upvote
u007
By u007 (May 10, 2012)

Ken Rockwell did:
Canon 5d3 with battery and card = 956g
Nikon d800 with battery and card = 994g

Nikon d800 is 38g heavier. The end.

The only thing that matters is this generation, so their weight gain or loss compared to the d700 or 5d2 doesn't matter.

That said, I don't think 38g matters either. You could reduce that amount of weight by not carrying around spare coins in your pocket, or getting a lighter keyring for your keys.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 10, 2012)

"Canon 5d3 with battery and card = 956g
Nikon d800 with battery and card = 994g"

dpreview's specs/comparison tool still show 900g for D800, 950g for 5d3. With battery and card.

0 upvotes
Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery
By Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery (May 10, 2012)

Thanks Nikon .

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

So looking at the 5DMK3 and the D800 one thing really strikes me. One size does not fit all. Almost all pro photographer and very serious amateurs buy the cameras at this level. these are nikon and canons camera of record for the moment. I know they are not the flagship but these are what the majority of pros in the field use. In fact the flagships are mostly aimed at journalists

so i know photographers that will never buy a camera that shoots 4fps. not many but some. what are they supposed to do if they have nikon glass. On the other hand most photographers i know dont mind that to much but would love the DR and resolution of the D800. what are they supposed to do if they have canon glass.

I think it is time we had 2 models at this price point from both canon and nikon. similar to they way nikon did with alot of there flagship models. One choice per system is leaving people high and dry

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (May 10, 2012)

There's no such thing as a perfect camera, but more importantly it is the differences which drive the competition that propels technology forward.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

exactly why there needs to be 2 choices atleast

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

All this worry about not having lenses up to the task of 36mp is unfounded. The pixel pitch of the d800 is below just about every aps-c sensor out there today.
dont worry your lens will work fine. truth is we throw away possible resolution all the time when we take pictures. this is nothing to get stressed about. and when and if you get better glass the camera will be up to your lenses. remeber the d800 is not prohibitively expensive infact its the cheapest FF slr nikon makes that shoots video.

I keep reading people talk about how you need to shoot on a tripod at f5.6 with mirror locked up or you have no reason to buy a d800. BUNK! Buy a d800 to get great DR buy one to have D4 autofocus in a $3000 camera. Buy one to have 100% viewfinder. buy one for incredible low light performance. People act like the limit to 4fps makes this a studio camera. nonsense. infact you take great sports images with it. no camera is ideal for everything but the d800 will be a great all rounder

11 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 10, 2012)

Exactly! Everything you have to do to squeeze the most resolution possible out of the D800 applies to EVERY DSLR no matter how many MPs it has.

3 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

more to the point it is silly worry about doing that just because you camera can offer a benefit if you do. approach the shot they way it ought to be. I for one still intend to shoot handhelp portraits at f1.4 all the time. why? to get the shot! sometimes thats the way. frankly nothing is gonna do more for sharpness than stopping down to f 5.6 . does that mean we forget about low dof just cuz we have a d800. Lots of shots are better don hand help do we leave these shots to the 5DMK3 owners out there? of course not

3 upvotes
Jon Rista
By Jon Rista (May 10, 2012)

The pixel pitch of the D800 is 4.6 microns. The pixel pitch of the previous APS-C king, the 7D (now unseated by the D3200, I guess) was 4.3 microns. Owning a 7D myself, I know how much it magnifies even the smallest vibrations and camera shake. If you are unconcerned about how the D800 will push your gear, then, to put it simply, you don't need a D800 (you can get nearly the same DR with a D700 or D7000). If you are concerned, then the D800 will definitely have something to offer, and if you put in the care, you'll have truly amazing, wall-spanning prints hanging in your home (or, potentially, your customers homes) soon enough. :)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

@Jon Rista no no no no NO! >.< d700 doesnt shoot video donsnt have as good image quality in every other way doesnt have a 100% viewfinder dont have nearly as top notch an autofocus system. it doesnt offer a superb DX mode. its not as good. also any lens stopped down should perform. no lens wide open is likely to take advantage of it. so it doesnt matter nearly as much as you think.

you dont need to shoot every image on a tripod at 5.6 to warrant a d800. Everyone suggesting this making me lose my mind. Its enough that you can when you want too. dont let it stop you from handholding the camera in a portrait session cuz man thats they way most people shoot portraits. dont let it stop you from shooting at f22 to get infinite DOF in a landscape.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 10, 2012)

@Jon Rista

By your logic you should never buy a new, higher mp, camera unless you are planing to do everything possible to get the max resolution and IQ out of it that you can for every shot. Which is absurd on it's own but also fails to take into account the other, numerous advances most new cameras, and the D800 in particular, have over the previous model besides more MP.

The fact is that everything required the get the most IQ out of the D800 is the same for the D700/D3200/D7000/7D/5DIII/ect. In fact most photographers aren't getting the absolute max IQ and resolution possible out of their cameras no matter what camera you are talking about. It simply isn't possible to use MLU and the sharpest aperture and a really fast shutter speed and a tripod for most shots most photographers take. That doesn't mean we shouldn't even bother upgrading our gear. It is just a fact of life.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

josh i am just glad somebody gets it :-)

2 upvotes
Biological_Viewfinder
By Biological_Viewfinder (May 10, 2012)

I agree with Jon Rista. Most of the people buying this camera will never fully realize the power of the resolution (which is the number one reason this camera is still newsworthy after the 5D3 specs were announced.

However, I also understand the repsonses as being noteworthy. They might not get the results you or I will be getting, but all the rest of the story about the camera's exceptional capabilities is certainly a good group of reasons to own the camera. I suspect most will downsize to print, which is really weird to even think about. I expect that there will be lots of questions soon about what's the best computer for post-processing D800 images, etc.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (May 10, 2012)

"The pixel pitch of the D800 is 4.6 microns. The pixel pitch of the previous APS-C king, the 7D ... was 4.3 microns. Owning a 7D myself, I know how much it magnifies even the smallest vibrations and camera shake."

Jon puts it right. Owning a 7D I discovered exactly the same effects. In particular if you shoot moving objects with a tele/ supertele, you need extremely high shutter speeds to get pics that are sharp on the pixel level. And you'll discover that the resolution e.g. of some standard zooms in particular do not satisfy the camera's hunger for resolution. Giood primes do it. I am always amazed about the details my 7D delivers with my Zeiss 18 mm or my Canon macros, teles (& telezooms!).

But I think if you use a D800 with good Nikkor or third party primes it must deliver great pictures. This review is extremely promising, Nikon engineers obviously did an amazing job. I think Canon will be forced to reply, maybe they have to expand their 18 MP APS layout to a roughly 40 MP FF.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

@Picturenaut this is foolishness. you will get the quality your lens offers. you dont need to run buy new lenses everytime nikon or canon makes a new hi res camera or not shoot moving subjects or whatever. dont take the pontential resolution of you camera as a limitation. there isnt a lens manufactured that is going to have anything like the d800 's resolution at but a couple f/stops. does this mean we just lock in at 5.6 and never change it? cameras are made to be shot. the d800 can handle many shootin situations not just f5.6 on a tripod shooting still lives with the mirror locked up

2 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (May 11, 2012)

Hey Kodakchrome200, I do not run for new glass everytime I upgrade my camera. But I know what I am talking about after about 40.000 klicks with my D7. I still use e.g. a vintage Canon 500/4.5 supertele from 1995. It is tack sharp with my 7D but I discovered that with this upgrade to an 18 MP crop sensor I had to move to much higher shutter speeds to make use of its full potential. Plus, I had to discover that at least two Canon standard zooms do visibly fall back behind good primes with such a sensor - and there is a solid reason why Canon brings a new EF 24-70/2.8 on the market.

With my old 12 MP crop sensor gear some years ago I couldn't see such a difference between primes an standard zooms. Now dont't tell me that this is only a Canon problem, I know from experience that Nkon produces great lenses but also not-so-great glass, just as Canon (we have a Nikon gear in our household, too).

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 11, 2012)

I dont doubt it. I have never disagreed you might get more blur on pixel level. but you will get just as sharp an image. you are taking your cameras potential resolution as a limitation. Its worth keeping in mind that there is a value to faster shutter speeds here, its crazy to miss the shot when a shutter speed that would have made a very acceptable print could have worked. I mean panning creates all kinds of loss of sharpness. any panned image is only sharp compared to the blurred out background. are you never gonna pan again? i garuntee my 50mm f1.4 shows some loss of sharpness wide open on a d800. it does on my d200 so its a safe bet. Am i not to do f2.8 and below portraits anymore or am i to say to myself that I wont buy this great camera because 50mm f1.4 will only get max resolution at f5.6 (and by the way mos t lens will suffer some resolving loss with just about any camera in the same way. your answer really seems to be yes. witch means youd let this powerful tool limit you

3 upvotes
keekimaru
By keekimaru (May 10, 2012)

I Think.

Pros:
+ Resolution: Beautiful detail, just make sure that your lenses are up to the task.
review Yosemite" to see real life comparisons.
+ Color: Adobe profiles are horrible, create custom profiles using a MacBeth chart with Adobe DNG profiler and the colors will amaze.
+ AutoWB: Excellent, much better than the D3/D700.
+ Low ISO: Having a true 100 ISO is godsend for on-location lighting setups.

Cons:
- Software: Nikon software can produce excellent results, but it is clunky and slow.
- Handling: The mode selector button is awkwardly placed. I prefer the D7000 U1/U2 style custom banks.
- JPEG: Nikon has the worst jpeg engine; competitors like Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, and Canon put Nikon to shame. Although I would never shoot JPG, there are those that do, and this camera will let them down.

More Review : http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0076AYNXM/tipfla-20

More Detail : http://camera.babybi.com/

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

your lenses will be fine. shooting a higher res camera cant get you blurrier photos. blus the pixel pitch on the d800 is actually rather low. people just hear this 36mp number and freak out

3 upvotes
Jon Rista
By Jon Rista (May 10, 2012)

Higher (spatial) resolution most certainly puts greater demands on your equipment. You don't buy a megapixel monster to print 4x6s...you buy one to print at gargantuan size. The D800 has a 4.6micron pixel, where as a camera like the 7D (well known for its spatial resolution) has a 4.3 micron pixel. Both cameras do indeed exacerbate camera shake of any variety, and greater care is necessary to eliminate it. If you are that unconcerned with camera shake on a D800, then you most certainly don't need a D800.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

most people who a 7d are not walking around goin gee gosh i hope i dont get any camera shake. frankly if you are buying this camera to only shoot on a tripod all the time you are wasting alot if tis capability. its the potential that is exciting not limiting you approach to shooting to try and create it all the time

2 upvotes
Photoman
By Photoman (May 10, 2012)

*** Important Bug Found ***

Just found out from a customer I sold a D800E to, that if you use Camera Control Pro 2 or Nikon Transfer / NX View to transfer your RAWs, it drops the image quality down to a 5MP. Use a card reader or Bridge to transfer your RAW files.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

1 incedence does not an issue make.

5 upvotes
Photoman
By Photoman (May 10, 2012)

Just wanted to let people know about this small bug, as you would hate to take a 36mp images and get a 5mp! Love the camera.

1 upvote
Boxbrownie
By Boxbrownie (May 10, 2012)

I use NX2 to transfer and have no problems..........having said that I would never transfer direct from the camera, use a USB3 reader its way faster.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Mollysnoot2
By Mollysnoot2 (May 10, 2012)

Actually Kodachrome200, there have been several folk reporting this issue on the Adobe forums. It seems to be consistent: Nikon Transfer (at least when directly connecting the camera to a computer) drops the resolution, and also drops the raw file from 14 to 12 bits. Some people have been unable to open their files in LR because of this. Apparently it's messing with the associated metadata tags for those fields. But this is of course an issue with the Nikon software, not the hardware, and I'm sure it'll be fixed ASAP.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

lowering the resolution of a raw file isnt strictly possible. I dont believe it

5 upvotes
Mike Griffin
By Mike Griffin (May 10, 2012)

My thoughts exactly Kodachrome. Gee it is like saying the developer turns Kodachrome into Ilfochrome

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

mike ilfochrome is process for making prints. i think ektachrome would have been a better analogy

but yeah you get the idea

0 upvotes
Mollysnoot2
By Mollysnoot2 (May 10, 2012)

I agree, but the Nikon software is apparently changing the metadata that defines what the resolution <should> be, and thus causing an issue for raw processing software that must use this metadata information as part of the processing pipeline: so the metadata is in conflict with the actual file resolution. I don't speak from experience on this one, but as I say, it's being flagged as an issue on some Adobe forum posts, and also by Photoman above, so there must be some truth in it.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (May 9, 2012)

My friends who shot 4x5 and 8x10 in the past are getting older (60+). They love the idea of the high-rez D800E and not having to lug around a big-fat camera, holders and tripod anymore. Yes, technology marches on.

1 upvote
Zilvinas K
By Zilvinas K (May 9, 2012)

People should look back to the fundamentals of what 35mm format is all about. It is fotojournalism, all about compact size and high iso. If you are a seroius studio shooter you go with medium format, 36 MP on 35mm format is irrelevant. If you are a photojournalist, then you choose clearly unsurpassed high iso best performer D700 (dpreview tests clearly show that, you can't beat laws of physics with a size of photosites). If you neither but a pixel peeper with money then D800 is for you. Nikon has clearly lost a logical path of development. Focus on optics not pixels.

0 upvotes
jaysonmc
By jaysonmc (May 9, 2012)

I think you think your arguments are sound, but frankly they fall flat.
1) The physics argument has little to due with High ISO. If your argument was true than a Kodak FF 14n (14mp) would have better ISO than a D800 (it does not). An Nikon D70 (6mp) would have better ISO than the D800 (it does not). Are you a physists? Because this is not a case on physics.
2) The reason 35mm FILM was not suited to studio work was you couldn't blow it up (among other reasons). Grain was an issue. What does this have to do with 35mm DIGITAL? Nothing? The sensor dictates the use, not the format.

10 upvotes
Zilvinas K
By Zilvinas K (May 9, 2012)

Go buy 800. Any pictures yet?

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (May 9, 2012)

Technology marches on. I am still holding out for an ocular implant.

2 upvotes
AD in KC
By AD in KC (May 9, 2012)

The majority of professional architectural photographers have been using 5Dii's since they came out. Very few still use view cameras and film. And very few can afford digital backs. Not irrelevant - I'm serious.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 9, 2012)

The D800 has improved high ISO performance over the D700. From DxOMark:

D800

2835 ISO score
14.4 EVs DR score
25.3 bits Color Depth score

D700

2303 ISO score
12.2 EVs DR score
23.5 bits Color Depth score

Re: MF, no all photographers have $10,000-20,000 for a medium format camera body. So your argument is like saying if you want a fast car, you should just buy a Ferrari. Good theory, not always possible. Besides, a FF DSLR is much more versatile than a MF camera for many types of photography, i.e. more lenses, particularly super telephotos.

10 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

almost no professional photographer own digital medium format system. the whole industry pretty much dropped medium format when digital came out. it has become the realm of big advertising and fashion shoots and is mostly owned by rental houses these days. and even that stuff is going the way of the dslr. 35mm was almost impossible to get any kind of quality blown up. the moment even 6mp dslrs came out that restriction was gone.

pros have a lot of needs. dslr are more effective tools for most of them. only if you are only shooting low iso all the time in a controled studio enviroment is a MF even better. everywhere else the dslr is king. and most people that could get a benfit from MF cant afford it anyway. DSLR is the tool of choice for just about every pro photographer out there

Signed
A working pro

3 upvotes
Boxbrownie
By Boxbrownie (May 10, 2012)

@ Zilvinas K......Twoddle........I have been a professional for over 40 years and started with Nikons in PJ then 5x4 in the studio and on location for architectural work, I now specialise in engineering work both studio and location, all I can say is thank heaven for D3X and D800E cameras, format is virtually irrelevent, it boils down to the right tool for the job your doing, no secret art about it, its just a job!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
SHepler
By SHepler (May 10, 2012)

35m format is not primarily for the photojournalist. I have made a living shooting advertising for over 25 years, Started with 810 and 45 and hasselblads, very little 35 work. The last 10 years has been 80% canon 35 digital, and only for a select clients do I use a hasselblad hasselblad h4d-60, and that is for trade show booths and truck wraps etc. The 35mm with a high resolution pixel count is a great location advertising format, and a lot of studio work. With a tilt shift lens you can do things that the hasselblad won't. The reason the pros need the pixel count is for the ability to crop and most importantly manipulate the image in post. The more dynamic range and the greater the resolution the better the images looks after the photoshop work. And the more resolution the better the composite, and the easier the composite. 100% of all advertising images go through extensive post work, this is where the pixel count, counts.
heplerphoto.com

0 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 9, 2012)

To Amadou Diallo/dpreview:
Thx a lot for your very usefull review, but could you please post:
a) a viewinder comparison/review section
and
b) an evaluation of the crop mode with some real-world samples
(I´m very excited about this double possibility to use the D800 in FX and DX: how is the image quality, and DR? With a AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1.8G the D800 transforms in an D7000 with almost 16MP...)

5 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (May 9, 2012)

Both of the sports shots in the samples gallery were shot in DX crop. It is just that, a crop. IQ will not change. Only possible difference is you are possibly avoiding soft corner performance of an FX lens.

3 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 9, 2012)

Thanks a lot for your quick answer. I didn´t see it, as you used a FF lens. But this is really great! Can you tell me, why there is nothing about the viewfinder in your review?

0 upvotes
u007
By u007 (May 10, 2012)

You want to review the crop mode?

Do you understand how "crop mode" works?

If so, just get the raw file and crop out the middle area. That's your answer. I don't see how you need samples for this since you already have them in every single full-res file that you take.

0 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 14, 2012)

youll get worse low iso performance in crop mode though snice your essentially magnifying the cropped area

0 upvotes
ChipTz
By ChipTz (May 9, 2012)

Thanks for the review. Did you find any issues on the camera with left AF point performance, camera lockups or out of focus VF, as widely reported on the net? If so did you talk about it with Nikon and got a feedback about it?

4 upvotes
Amadou Diallo
By Amadou Diallo (May 9, 2012)

We did not experience those issues with our sample.

3 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (May 9, 2012)

DPR Wrote: 'We've spent an inordinate amount of time in the preparation of this review getting things just so in order to reap what we feel the D800 is capable of producing'.

Somewhere else I read you're talking about using tripod, cable release, mirror lock up. Is that what you mean (and of course the best glass)? But that's pretty standard rule if you want to get the best results. Please explain further because now it sounds a bit like the D800 is great but only if you do 'special' things with it.

2 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (May 9, 2012)

The camera is specifically aimed at people needing/wanting very high resolution images and or high quality video output.
The D800 is a special camera and aimed at special (specific) usage. If you want to do special things with it is totally up to the photographer.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

M Lammerse, I have already used my E model to photograph very large electrical/pneumatic enclosures using JPEG-Large-Basic. With only one photo for documentation we have an image that allows us to zoom in to see every single wiremarker, terminal number and tubing connection. Not four photos, just one. Many here have no idea of the uses for this camera.

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
M Lammerse
By M Lammerse (May 9, 2012)

@BackIn TheGame: I can imagine what you mean. I do not own an E model, but the detai/image quality of the non E version is already very good. Originally I bought the D800 specifically for video report usage due to it's output quality but the images coming out are indeed very very impressive.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 10, 2012)

True. There is little or insignificant difference between a D800 or any other camera when it comes to techniques to achieve pixel sharp results.

1 upvote
bbbinohio
By bbbinohio (May 10, 2012)

Hi Mike.

I respect your knowledge and bow to it. However I disagree with your assessment of the D800 being a special camera for only limited specific uses. To me, with the exception of photography that requires high fame rates, the D800 is the most well rounded camera ever made. Not only is it a great landscape camera, because it's lighter than the average FF camera, and because it is terrific in low light, it becomes a great "walk-around" camera. And while a tripod might be necessary to get the absolute most out of the 36MP, it certainly isn't typically necessary to get results that are consistently far more detailed than anything else on the market.

Please realize that this is just my very humble opinion however. :)

0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 9, 2012)

@JordanAT: Yes. I wonder why "they" (C & N) are not making (=not making P&L feasibility study) cameras like cars: customizable. So I can have a 5D III with 20 or 30 or 40 Mp, 4 or 6 or 10 FPS, 1 / 2 CPUs, AF with "just" 19 points or 61 points, variable shutter durability etc. Call it nonsense or "personalized offer". An then nobody will complain about the price - the individual price of the components is in the catalogue, so you know the final "offer"! Cheers! :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

Customization is the enemy of mass production (and consequentially cost). Interchangeable flash, memory cards and battery grips is a lot of customization already. :)

1 upvote
JordanAT
By JordanAT (May 9, 2012)

Yes, customization creates challenges. In a camera where data rates and processing are exceptionally demanding it can be a challenge. They already have interchangable flashes, lenses, memory storage, and batteries. It would be nice to have a removable/interchangeable sensor, but I fear the end result could be as limiting as processors on computers. In theory you can upgrade your computer CPU, inpractice, there's a very narrow range afforded. The advantage of film was that it had only two qualities - physical size and capture speed. And none of the camera manufacturers had any real presence in the film making market.

0 upvotes
AmaturFotografer
By AmaturFotografer (May 10, 2012)

Japanese don't really like the idea of universal parts. Just look at the lens mount, every manufacturer has its own format. I wish some Americans can start making camera, the first camera with an open source firmware.

1 upvote
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 10, 2012)

Folks, how many cars are sold per year worldwide? And how many DLSRs?

0 upvotes
SergeyMS
By SergeyMS (May 9, 2012)

Great camera. I compare it with my CCD medium format Phase One 40 Mp+ 645 body. Of course, medium format is better on low ISO, but the price difference! D800 is the best DSLR now. Fast enough, very big DR, best IQ. But who will buy it? Professional quality is still medium format. Non professionals don't need in so many pixels, and need in more compact size and weight.

2 upvotes
hbux
By hbux (May 9, 2012)

agree, There is no doubt that D800 is a good camera. But I really wonder who really need 36mp? Think about the storage space increase.

0 upvotes
Albino_BlacMan
By Albino_BlacMan (May 9, 2012)

And I wonder who cares about storage space when you can buy 1TB External HDD's for less than $100.

11 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

And I wonder who buys only what they "need". Talk about collapsing economies. Why would cameras be any different than the other things we buy that we don't "need"? I want it, I have the money, I buy it. Pretty simple, really.

1 upvote
FastFisher
By FastFisher (May 9, 2012)

Don't need it
Don't have money.
Only have Canon lens
but I want D800.

6 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

FastFisher, one word....ebay. Another word, craigslist. You can sell that stuff.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

Sergey, "Professional quality is still medium format"? Why buy $10,000 Pentax 645D when $3,000 D800 is better in every way, except resolution which is practically the same?

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

@peevee there is also an optical difference in using a larger sensor

@sergey all most all pro photographers use DSLRs. medium format digital is still by and large the tool of rental houses and big commercial shoots. More pro photographers are going to buy the d800 then all currently available medium format backs x10

so what are you talking about?

2 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (May 10, 2012)

Everytime a new, significantly higher MP DSLR comes out people are asking "who needs all those MPs." Quite frankly I am sick of it. If we listened to that nonsense we probably will still be on 6 MPs or even still using Film.

We would still be living in grass huts and caves if housing technology advancement was dictated by closed minded people who thought grass huts and caves were perfectly fine and no one needed anything better.

2 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (May 10, 2012)

@ peevee "Sergey, "Professional quality is still medium format"? Why buy $10,000 Pentax 645D when $3,000 D800 is better in every way, except resolution which is practically the same?"

To my knowledge most studio pros use Hasselblad or Phase one systems with 60/80 MP backs. But you make a point. I think Nikon's D800 makes Pentax people with its "low price" medium format concept quite a headache, as the Pentax 645D obviously falls behind the D800's outstanding performance.

If I'd thinking about upgrading to medium format e.g. for landscape I may now switch to a D800E, given its price. Only less lens diffraction @ small apertures may still be a good argument for medium format - but a quite expensive argument given the investment into a MF equipment.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 9, 2012)

A different perspective: Canon uses a Canon sensor. Nikon uses a SONY sensor. But imagine a scenario where the 36 Mp SONY sensor will be used by the 5D Mk III. Now, which one of the two cameras you will choose, both having the same sensor, but considering all other differences? So, in other words, is Nikon D800 an "amazing camera", or just a / the pure benefit of the magnificent SONY sensor that "made" a big score DP review (I 300% agree with the word "magnificent" - for what is designed to do, not more, not less)?! If so, Canon should wake up, quickly (memo to Canon: get back to work!) - SONY is not Nikon (although I am not sure that I want a 24X36 Canon DSLR with 40 Mp - some will find it useful, but it's not for me). Cheers! :)

3 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (May 9, 2012)

You mean like when we had film cameras?

Yeah, it's a shame that the "film" is now intimately married to the cameras. Instead of shooting with the mechanics and glass you're used to and grabbing a $5 roll of Tmax or Velvia depending on your subject, you have to make a $6000 decision about the "film" you'll buy up front. And when it's considered obsolete, you have to throw away the whole camera now.

5 upvotes
Photo_AK
By Photo_AK (May 9, 2012)

The sensor inside D800 is NOT a Sony sensor; a statement like that is uncorrect.
Nikon Designs the architecture. Sony FABS the chips. That is it.

There are more CCD/CMOS manufacturers than just Canon and Sony, you know. According to Sony's own figures, it holds the largest share of the world's CMOS image sensor market and that stands at "just" 30%.

Nikon 1 cameras use sensors made by Aptina Imaging, the 12 mpix FX sensor used in D3/D700 and D3s is manufactured by Renesas Technology Corp ... and so on. And yes, some sensors in Nikon DSLRs are manufactured by Sony.

But the fact that Sony does not have a 36 mpix sensor in it's portfolio, makes it safe to say the sensor is not Sony's.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
8 upvotes
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 9, 2012)

@JordanAT: Yes.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

I suspect it will be the same as with film. Nikon will run Canon out of the sector, as they have done twice before. Canon doesn't build cameras. They build profits, and if they can't make a camera with an actual AF system and an old sensor for less than $3500 in order to get a margin, how do you propose they compete? What do you think they would charge for a 5DIII with the Sony/Nikon sensor?
However, Sony didn't do this by themselves. There is a lot of Nikon engineering in this, so good luck to Canon trying to buy that.
Cheers right back at you.

2 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (May 10, 2012)

All my lenses are Nikon (28 2,8 AiS; 105 2,5 AiS; 180 2,8 AiS) and all have been tested to work perfectly sharp and ring free with the D800. I have a D200 I use for studio work (I shoot product shots for part of my living) which prints to magazine size images or web. No reason for high resolution.

But, sometimes, I drag that camera outside and use it for fun stuff. I'd much rather have 36MP than 10 as I love details no matter the print size. It's just that I've had my camera for 6 years and am ready to upgrade (well, no money, but...). I'm used to and love Nikon. I prefer the on/off switch, and general controls.

But, seeing as how Canon can utilise Nikkor lenses with adapters, I would probably pick a MKIII if it was similarly priced to Nikon D800 just so that I could use the same lenses (with some modifications) and other lenses from different manufacturers more easily. That is the only reason.

0 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (May 10, 2012)

It's interesting that Nikon who lack the capability to make their own sensor seem to have come up with a better sensor than Canon's. But I doubt that Canon, with it's vast resources, will be getting out of the camera business because of the D800. Nor do we have any way of knowing how much Canon needs to charge for a 5DIII to make a profit. Frankly, if Canon can get an extra $500 and still have backorders, they are smarter than Nikon. Or Canon's customers are dumber, for not dumping all their Canon lenses so they can save that $500. And if you have lenses for both (I do) you'll end up with both (I did).

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (May 10, 2012)

"The sensor inside D800 is NOT a Sony sensor; a statement like that is uncorrect. Nikon Designs the architecture."
BS. It as known that Sony DEVELOPED 36 MPx sensor MONTHS before first rumors about D800 appeared. You'll see this sensor in FullFrame Alpha that will be released in 2013 (while at the end of this year we should see 24MPx A99)

"Now, which one of the two cameras you will choose, both having the same sensor, but considering all other differences?"
I would pick Canon any time. Mostly for ergonomics which sux in Nikon. (and to be clear: I shoot Sony, not Canon).

3 upvotes
Picturenaut
By Picturenaut (May 10, 2012)

@ BackintheGame: "Nikon will run Canon out of the sector, as they have done twice before." I am no Canon fanboy, I just use this system as I used Nikon before (still love my FM-2, the real Nikon) ... but, sorry, that's pure nonsense. Nikon really had to struggle in the 80s/90s because they were fallen back in technology.

In 1985 Minolta shocked all other camera manufactures with the first AF DSLR, but Canon managed to take over quickly. In fact, always brilliant Leica engineers were doing pioniering AF work but Leica missed to make use of that.

Then, in the 90s, Canon took over much of sports and wildlife pro market with its new ultrasonic drives and IS in its superteles. Later, Canon was bashed for driving "noisy" CMOS sensor technology forward when all other used CCD sensors. Canon sported the first affordable consumer DSLR and FF DSLR ... Nikon came always later.

But today Nikon is in an impressive shape again, and that's good for competition, so we all profit from that.

1 upvote
Zerg2905
By Zerg2905 (May 10, 2012)

@Picturenaut: right. But this is Formula One, you have to be very creative or you will be soon lost in the sands of time. The one that will figure out how to give "personalized" cameras so that it can be suitable for individual photographic needs at semi-pro & pro levels will win. "Amateur" & "expert" can remain "mass produced".

0 upvotes
openskyline
By openskyline (May 9, 2012)

why moire on Video is not mentioned in the review?????? it's a big CON.

http://vimeo.com/39468626

7 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 9, 2012)

Because nearly all high resolution video cameras can produce moire in certain situations, tile roofs, fabrics, etc. The 5D II also will moire at times and countless professionals use it in all types of situations, weddings, films, TV spots, et al.

Some DSLR video cameras have great IQ, but not the sharpest video image. The crispness of the D800 video is a huge plus, so occasional moire is not a deal-breaker.

2 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (May 9, 2012)

colour balancing issues weren't mentioned either

3 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 9, 2012)

Another thing not mentioned is that the video doesn't use the full sensor area for two reasons: it's cropped, and it line-skips. This results in a surprisingly poor signal-to-noise ratio, far behind the D4 or 5D Mark III (and probably 5D Mark II), in addition to the severe moiré.

Frankly, the video's pretty ugly.

3 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (May 9, 2012)

@marike6 in reply to a post way down below.
A $30-40 range 32GB CF card won't do, will it? I mean, more than ever the need for a fast card is now obvious.

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

@Samuel Dilworth. You are completely wrong.

It shoots HD at up to 1920 x 1080 (30p): 30 fps.

Note the "p" = progressive and not interlaced as you try to say and all modes are progressive.

And why should it use the entire sensor when 1920 x 1080 is the standard?

1 upvote
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (May 9, 2012)

AnHund, you really need to do some homework.
Why you think videographers around the world have so warmly embraced FullHD capable FF DSLRs? Why not shoot with crop sensor DSLRs? iPhones? They too can do FullHD.

1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

Talking about home work - you too - LOL.
But there is a difference in sensor size, so the FF sensor will always give better IQ than the small sensor on a phone. Also I'm quite sure there is not much difference in how the video is produced on Canon or Nikon, but you may be right, probably the entire sensor is used and then downsampled to HD.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (May 9, 2012)

It's the same pixel binning (remember sRAW?) technique. 5D3 uses the full width of the sensor, D800 does not. I'm not sure about D4 but I would guess it crops too. Google for the rest, man!
--EDIT--
I see you did Google after all! ;)

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

Sure. Nice to learn something new - enjoy the D800 - I'm still waiting for mine :-(

1 upvote
Duncan Dimanche
By Duncan Dimanche (May 9, 2012)

thank you !! I was hoping to hear from it too.. maybe they will once they have tried that HDMI output and compare the two... i think the HDMI out gets rid of the moiré but not too sure

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 10, 2012)

@Samuel Dilworth

Ugly video? Joy Ride is one of the most popular, most commented videos on Vimeo. There is nothing ugly about the video in it. It's all there - great resolution, low-light ability, shallow DOF. Amazing video. Also the video from John Wright, is gorgeous.
http://vimeo.com/38009435

@Gully Foyle The Transcend 32 GB card that's $60 is a 400x card, with 90mbs/sec which is faster than the Sandisk Extreme.
And the SD version of the same Transcend card is Class 10.

1 upvote
Jahled
By Jahled (May 9, 2012)

Looks like a very nice camera, nice one Nikon. Good review as well guys.

Wrong lens mount for my gear though ;)

3 upvotes
fastprime
By fastprime (May 9, 2012)

Regarding this conclusion:

" We emphasize the word can, because if you're truly after 36MP performance, be prepared to do some work. Flawless technique, fast shutter speeds and top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod) along with a low ISO are requirements not options."

I really don't get this. The pixel density is slightly less than the APS-C D7000. On the D800 the DX area of the sensor is 15mp, therefore the additional 21mp are in the sensor area between the DX area and the perimeter.

All cameras benefit from flawless technique, tripods and better lenses. Nobody talks about flawless technique, tripods and top shelf lenses being requirements to shoot a D7000 (or the 24mp D3200, 22mp 5D3 or any other brand high density mpxl camera). Why should the D800 be singled out?

5 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 9, 2012)

I guess the same goes to cameras with even smaller sensors and huge MP count. A Pentax Q should require the most work if you follow the pixel density theory.

4 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (May 9, 2012)

Agree with fastprime. For the fun of it, I even put my old, cheap, plastic 28-80/3.3-5.6 on it and shot at 80mm/5.6. Results were very acceptable (in the center) and I daresay not far from the 24-70/2.8 at 70mm/5.6! Both shot at 1/8, no problem.

0 upvotes
Mugundhan
By Mugundhan (May 9, 2012)

True in one sense, if you want to maximize your camera benefits, then flawless technique is essential.
This is a very expensive camera relative to APS-DSLRs like D7000. In terms of Image quality, if you define D7000 as 95% and D800 as 98% , the jump to 98% is possible only if you use flawless mechanisms, otherwise you get good results in term of resolution which will be in 95% category but not that 98% category. When people buy medium format cameras, they care about that extra jump in the quality.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 9, 2012)

I also agree with fastprime. This whole idea that the D800 requires something different from other DSLRs is way overblown. With all cameras you need at least the 1/shutter speed rule but you have great high ISO performance so where's the problem? And like other cameras, the D800 benefits from a tripod. I'm certain everyone here owns a tripod.

And again, you do not need Nikon's top-of-the-line lenses. A 50 1.8G or 85 1.8G will perform great, as will many other Nikkors and many of the best third party lenses. I have the above two G lenses and a Tokina 16-28 2.8, Sigma 105 2.8 and they are all stellar on the D800. Detractors like to repeat this absurd meme against the D800 but it simply is not true. OK, if you want the ultimate quality, buy the holy trinity and a Zeiss 100 macro and you'll get it. But that is true for all cameras as well.

This whole exaggerated D800 quality caveat is a solution in search of a problem.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
OneThird
By OneThird (May 9, 2012)

Flawless techniques is not just about expensive lenses and a tripod. You should also use MUP and a tripod for sharper images. Check your focus for accuracy by using LiveView and magnify your subject up close. A fast SD or CF card is essential for recording movies and writing large RAW files. This camera will show your flaws much more than a lesser one.

0 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 9, 2012)

Pixel density per se is a red herring when considering the relative difficulties of holding two different cameras still enough to get sharp photos, fastprime. The important factors are the angle subtended by the final image at the viewer's eye (assuming you seek equal perceived sharpness), or the linear pixel count (assuming you seek equal sharpness in a 100% view).

Since the D800 has 50% more pixels than the D7000 across the width of its frame (7360 versus 4928), it's that much harder to record a pixel-sharp image.

An intuitive way to grasp this is to consider that the D800 would need a 35 mm lens to take the same photo as the D7000 with a 24 mm lens. Since the 35 mm lens projects a 50% larger image, your hand shake (or tripod instability, etc.) is magnified accordingly.

Obviously it's no harder to take an equally sharp photo with the D800 than the D7000, but it is harder to take a photo that makes full use of its greater pixel count.

2 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

I agree as well. You can use this camera to just knock around the same as you can use any other. The fact that downsizing creates such fantastic images means the only drawback is for people with old computers and small storage. Those two problems are easily rectified, and for not a ton of money.

0 upvotes
Mike Griffin
By Mike Griffin (May 10, 2012)

The comment that a flawless technique is needed with the D800 was said when discussing its use as a medium format replacement to maximise its potential. Remember that medium format users also employ similar techniques to obtain image quality commensurate with their investment. Of course most users will handle the D800 the same way as any other DSLR and will take advantage of its other outstanding features albeit with a potential slight compromise in maximum image quality.

0 upvotes
shigzeo ?
By shigzeo ? (May 10, 2012)

Indeed. I went to Yodobashi and just shot around in artificial light, not taking too much care to use proper posture and my 28 2,8AiS and 105 2,5 AiS lenses worked perfectly, much sharper in fact than their perceptual sharpness was on my D200. I see no reason for DPR to point out this information when other cameras with far more density exist.

Maybe because 36 is simply the highest number in a DSLR now, it captures mind share. But it is far from being the most dense, and by that reasoning, far from being the most difficult to shoot.

0 upvotes
fastprime
By fastprime (May 10, 2012)

Samuel Dilworth
Try grasping this: A 15mp DX area moving around inside the 36mp FF sensor will have exactly the same resolution as the FF area below it. The only thing that changes between a 15mp APS-C sensor and a 36mp FF sensor is the FOV.

0 upvotes
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