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Nikon D800 preview updated with side-by-side comparisons

By dpreview staff on Feb 7, 2012 at 20:04 GMT

We've managed to get a bit more information about the Nikon D800E and have had a little longer to prepare our side-by-side comparison images, so have updated our preview. Nikon has given us more detail about how the D800E cancels-out the effect of its optical low-pass filter and we're now able to show how the D800 compares to the D700 and Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

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Comments

Total comments: 53
kadarpik
By kadarpik (Feb 16, 2012)

Dynamic range should be between 13 to 14 stops because the pixel tech is similar to d7000.

0 upvotes
AndrewPG24
By AndrewPG24 (Feb 16, 2012)

really want to afford Nikon D800 / D800E ASAP. that 36MP machine makes me want to explore that full framed DSLR. love NIKON.....

1 upvote
Rich H in Seattle
By Rich H in Seattle (Feb 14, 2012)

Do any of the D800 reviews discuss the dynamic range of the sensor? How does it compare with the D300, D700 and D4 as well as Canon offerings. It would be nice to avoid the whole HDR approach to capturing a wider range.

And unless I misread the review, the D800 supports sRGB and Adobe RGB but not Pro Photo RGB. This makes no sense. Tell me it ain't so.

0 upvotes
TheJohnz
By TheJohnz (Feb 13, 2012)

It seems many folks are missing the point of having 36m pixels. For maybe the first time in the digital era, the camera will not be the limiting factor in overall sharpness. The lenses you own and how you use them will be the determining factor. For some that will mean buying better lenses, for others it will be learning to focus better and learning to use the right aperture.
I certainly have improved on both over the past few years! Of course Nikon will benefit as more photographers buy their better lenses.
There has been so many wonderful photos by professionals and amateurs in recent years. We are soon to see even more. This is an exciting time if you are an avid photographer.

0 upvotes
Bokeh Bro
By Bokeh Bro (Feb 14, 2012)

Words of wisdom presumably from experience. Besides the D800 and the FX lenses, I realize I'll need to get an "FX computer."

0 upvotes
Zyankarlo
By Zyankarlo (Feb 12, 2012)

The problem here is not the cam, but the lenses. The full size Japanese pictures out of the D800 showed in the net are partially problematic already: the Nikkor 24-70 flags here because of centering problems! Even for my only 12MP-D3 i have to use well selected fixed focal lenses to get even sharp pictures at 8, so you can imagine how "easy" it will be to get good lenses for this D800 with 36MP! I guess the wise limit is around 20MP, there you have a chance to be able to use a zoom - trying 5 and getting 1 really sharp one! ;-) I would find a well updated D3X much better, now we got something like the SONY A900 again, on the manufacturer .com-site there is no D800 picture over ISO640 shown and visible noise starts up even at ISO320! :-(

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Feb 9, 2012)

I was happy (thou not fully) Canon user before this D800. Now, when Nikon fixed AutoISO, and 36Mpx I''m waiting nervously for new Canon, but they may be scared this perfect D800 and decided not to show it?

0 upvotes
dpjoe1
By dpjoe1 (Feb 9, 2012)

Thank you Nikon for advanced face detection, skin tone analysis, and focusing. No more fusing with focus points!

0 upvotes
loe54
By loe54 (Feb 9, 2012)

I think; Nikon is building a perfect range of camera body's next to their excellent lenses. a D4 and a D800 is a perfect upgrade to my D3 and D700.
I'm gonna buy them both! As always, I'm a happy Nikon user.....

1 upvote
wil13jak
By wil13jak (Feb 8, 2012)

Any reasonable thoughts/comments on the 800E vs the 800. Very aware that there is not much out there to compare or see as yet. Would appreciate the comments being professional in nature.

0 upvotes
wil13jak
By wil13jak (Feb 8, 2012)

It has (I think) been eluded to that the cf cover and the rubber grip glue are bad on Nikons???? I have owned a D1, D2, D3, D700, D7000 over the years and currently and have never ever found either of these as problematic and I use my cameras alot and at times I'm not the most gentle. Hmmmmm

0 upvotes
arndsan
By arndsan (Feb 9, 2012)

having so many cameras you might not be able to touch them enough : )
I had to replace every single rubber piece from my D300.
the large rubber flap also needed replacement (deformed). Nikon wanted to send the camera for 4 to 6 weeks in because they need to dismantle the body to hinge in the new flap.
cost HKD 600. After long arguments about ho ridicules this is they sold me the flap for HKD 27 and i cut the hinge off. Since i don't need the ports it OK this way.
Another problem that the rubber eyepiece always falls of putting the camera into the bag.

0 upvotes
wil13jak
By wil13jak (Feb 9, 2012)

the 7k is indeed new but the other cams shooting weddings and location ports have seen a great deal of use as primary and secondary bodies. I'm just surprised that you had that much difficulty

0 upvotes
Serych
By Serych (Feb 9, 2012)

I have D70 and D200 and on both cameras I have serious problem with the rubber grip glue. I'm trying to take care about my cameras as much as possible however the problem started on both cameras after aprox. 6000 shots taken. May be it has something to do with agresivity of photographers sweat, but I thing this range of cameras could have it solved.

0 upvotes
TheJohnz
By TheJohnz (Feb 8, 2012)

As owner of Nikon DX equipment, I always had the desire to go FX but cost and usefulness kept me from doing so. I would have made the leap if the Pixel count density of FX approached DX at a reasonable cost.
Nikon just did that. I have a D7000 (16m). A D800 with a DX lens attached gives you guess what? 16m pixels. Does anyone else see the beauty in this? No longer does your lens type really matter. Put a 50mm DX lens on the D7000 and get 16m pixels. But that lens on a D800 and get 16 m pixels.

Put a 50 mm FX lens on a d7000 and you still get 16m pixels. Put that lens on the D800 and you get 36m pixels!

Obviously noise will not be as good as a D700 but I must say that after using the D7000 for a year I am very impressed with lack of noise in the dark areas. These can be lightened up in a way I could never do with my previous D300. I suspect the D800 to do the same.

Bravo to Nikon. You are now doing what Apple Computer has done. Given us something really new and useful.

0 upvotes
mlieber507
By mlieber507 (Feb 9, 2012)

Hi,
Pixel density on the D7000 and D800 appear to be nearly the same. Where do you see extra noise coming from on the D800.
Mel

0 upvotes
Bokeh Bro
By Bokeh Bro (Feb 9, 2012)

The pixel sizes for the D800 and D7000 are very nearly equal at 4.9 microns by 4.9 microns on a side. And as far as noise is concerned, those will also be equal if the pixel cell design and manufacturing processes are the same for both chips. But changes in cell design, surface passivation techniques, a backside illuminated design, etc can and will and do change the noise performance. Even if the pixel is the same size. Since Nikon doesn't reveal any of these details, everyone is left speculating.

0 upvotes
Gigabit
By Gigabit (Feb 8, 2012)

I'm really disappointed that the D800 doesn't have an articulated screen for ease of video capture. I shoot with a D3, the best camera I have ever shot with (and that includes the Canon 1Ds MkII). When the D3s came out I couldn't justify the cost simply to do video and push the ISO a bit more. So when the D5100 was released I bought one principally to play with the video.

I have rarely used the D5100 for video with the screen simply reversed, i.e. flat against the back of the camera but always folded out to the left with the viewing angle being changed according to the shooting angle (usually from the hip) or to optimise the display vs ambient light.

Surely an articulated screen would not impact unduly on the price point for a D800? Most regular video cameras have them. The lack of one won't prevent me buying the D800 next month or perhaps the 'E' version. Does anyone know however why Nikon took this design decision for what otherwise has an immense specification?

John

1 upvote
h0tsauce
By h0tsauce (Feb 9, 2012)

articulated lcd = not as durable and not weather proof. There is however a hdmi out so a pro doing video will have an option to connect an external lcd to it .

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Feb 9, 2012)

Where are there any real, actual stories about them not being as durable? For a couple years now we've seen these screens on canon products, and all of the complaints about them "not being durable" have been from people not actually owning the camera. I'm a regular on the Canon compact forum, and I don't know if I've ever heard of a g11 or g12 screen breaking.

Generally speaking, if you don't need it, don't use it, and it should be just as durable as if the screen is fixed in place.

0 upvotes
h0tsauce
By h0tsauce (Feb 9, 2012)

Name one Canon Pro or Semi Pro DSLR body with an articulate screen.

0 upvotes
rienz
By rienz (Feb 10, 2012)

Just bcoz they didn't have before does not mean people don't want them

0 upvotes
Ahender
By Ahender (Feb 8, 2012)

If the specs say it will autofocus in video mode, what exactly does that mean in usage terms?

Is it painfully slow or fast like a camcorder?

Thanks...Alan

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
aldoo
By aldoo (Feb 8, 2012)

Where are the shooting menu banks ? There were 4 in d700 or d300.

0 upvotes
Hawaii-geek
By Hawaii-geek (Feb 8, 2012)

In the final review, it will be interesting to learn which CF and SD is optimized for this D800

0 upvotes
rienz
By rienz (Feb 10, 2012)

Good point. I bet the CF/SD cards to support 36MP files (especially RAW files) will cost a bomb. We are talking about each RAW image of 50mb. So if D800 can write 4fps RAW images, the card to support that would have to be 200mb per second ... it sure ain't gonna be cheap.

0 upvotes
MANZURul
By MANZURul (Feb 8, 2012)

Will the D800/D800E include Stereo sound and PAL/NTSC, auto dust cleaning in some form?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
IgorAdam
By IgorAdam (Feb 8, 2012)

This is insane, shutter release twice slower than D700, Why???
My D5000 has same...
Can anybody explain me?

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
miwo76
By miwo76 (Feb 8, 2012)

This is clearly not a sports camera. No need for more than 4fps for landscape photos.

This is actually quite an announcement from Nikon...a 36MP camera for less than $3000?

Pros will understand the significance; the rest of us will just read reviews and complain about specs instead of getting out an shooting.

1 upvote
UnChatNoir
By UnChatNoir (Feb 8, 2012)

What does it mean, this 36MP? Again, there are so many other things that influence sharpness and true resolution - it doesn't impress me so much. What counts, is the final result. And I'm afraid the difference between a picture made by a D700 or a D800 printed out - even on a larger format - will disappoint many. It is a bit like a Lamborghini you will use to drive to the shop around the corner, I'm convinced many pro's don't need this. Not now, and not over a few years. With a D700 or 5D MKII they can still perfectly do their job. Nikon should better focus on quality, not least, of their glass.

4 upvotes
dpjoe1
By dpjoe1 (Feb 9, 2012)

Because the file size is now gargantuan, it takes much more time to do the processing.

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Feb 9, 2012)

You must count the information flow first of all. 4x36Mpx in a second!! Your D5000 not even close to this. If you need more fps, buy D4.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Feb 9, 2012)

"Pros will understand the significance"

Sounds to me more like someone is a wannabe pro if you don't understand why someone spending $3,000 on a dslr would expect that it would shoot faster than Canon's 60d ($1k), 7d ($1.5k), or...Nikon's own d7000?

Sounds to me like a money making ploy and nothing else - if they put a decent speed on their d8000, they wouldn't have justification for people to spend rediculous amounts of money buy a d3/d4.

0 upvotes
miwo76
By miwo76 (Feb 9, 2012)

A pro knows their niche and gets the right equipment to do the job.

FPS are not the only spec that matter. A sports shooter or photojournalist doesn't need 36MP but can make do with "only" 16.2mp of the D4 shooting at 10fps.

$3K for a high res landscape or fashion shooting tool? I wouldn't spend the money on it myself as a "wannabe pro" but pros will see the value in this camera instead of dropping, say $10000 on a Pentax 645D for high res work.

But to be fair - there is still marketing room for a D300 replacement - a high speed sports camera for those of us enthusiasts and poor pros that is cheaper than the D4 but more robust than the D7000.

0 upvotes
IgorAdam
By IgorAdam (Feb 10, 2012)

Thanks to all for replies.
I understand that Nikon primary made D800/D800E for the studio photographers. Obviously they don't need high speed shutter release. (more FPS in 36MPxs need huge and expensive buffer+ energy:-) ). Despite the D700 was FX camera more usable for wildlife foto, for instance.
The D4 is very nice step for sports and wildlife photos but try to PULL this equipment everywhere :-).

Maybe D400 will be OUTSTANDING :-).

0 upvotes
wjansen
By wjansen (Feb 8, 2012)

OK, here's my usual question. How is the MLU function implemented in these new Nikons? Hopefully the sequencing is improved over past designs where camera shake could sometimes be problematic.

0 upvotes
arndsan
By arndsan (Feb 8, 2012)

oh dear, after years of development it got the same flimsy CF card cover : (

0 upvotes
laquila65
By laquila65 (Feb 8, 2012)

Which makes the D700 user think: "I hope they've at least changed the rubber grip glue".

0 upvotes
Peter Bendheim
By Peter Bendheim (Feb 9, 2012)

I've never had grips coming off and I shoot professionally - but cameras are cleaned at the end of a days shooting. I suspect sweat and grime does it! What's wrong with with the cf card cover? Broken one? You must be extra rough!

0 upvotes
f64Craft
By f64Craft (Feb 8, 2012)

I would like to see a F3 body with a digital side with these specs, Period. Bring back the mechanical operations while having the digital side feel mostly separate , kinda like how film felt separate from the camera. This would be amazing and also give the photographer a sense of a job well done.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Feb 8, 2012)

And would be incredibly complicated to implement ;)

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Feb 8, 2012)

Well, the fun's all over, and everybody can go back to taking pictures. Oh wait....D400 is still out there somewhere.

1 upvote
Absolutic
By Absolutic (Feb 8, 2012)

Buy D800 and shoot in DX mode (15.3MP) with your existing DX lenses at 6FPS with optional grip.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Feb 8, 2012)

Or just keep what you got.

2 upvotes
laquila65
By laquila65 (Feb 8, 2012)

+1 and +1 to both your posts. I'm so glad I’ve finally conquered this horrible affliction. Life's so much easier and fun now and I take much more pictures too :)

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Feb 8, 2012)

Absolutely. You know, this is the first time in a while that a camera in the prosumer class has left me cold. I think it's the 36mp thing and the size of the files. Hogan once said only amateurs need more pixels. Well, I'm an amateur, and the last thing I need is 36mp. But I am happy for Nikon, and this is good for Nikon users. They are going to make a killing with the D800 if they can build enough of them.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 7, 2012)

If I were cynical, i'd say the Pentax announcements were timed to push Nikon down the page, and the "new information" about the D800E was dpreview's attempt to put Nikon back at the top.

Good thing I'm not cynical. All I hear are birds in my lovely world.

Chirp. Chirp.

4 upvotes
StephenSPhotog
By StephenSPhotog (Feb 7, 2012)

Yeah, that God you didn't say some thing stupid...

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 7, 2012)

Good thing you're not cynical then, since you'd be wrong. The Pentax announcements were published two hours after the D800E update. ;-)

0 upvotes
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Feb 7, 2012)

Then why are they underneath the D800E update?

Chirp. Chirp.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Feb 7, 2012)

We have no control over product announcement timings! I wish we did...

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Feb 7, 2012)

No idea why they are underneath, but when I first read the D800E update, the Pentax announcements weren't there. Also, each news item comes with a date and time of publication.

0 upvotes
Freestyler
By Freestyler (Feb 8, 2012)

Yeah they timed the CP+ trade show in Japan, because of a Nikon announcement. Everyone is out to get you too... ;)

0 upvotes
Total comments: 53