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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.

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Comments

Total comments: 542
1234
culps
By culps (May 9, 2012)

Er...I don't care what recorded the images it's the content, the actual program or photographs that is important.

If your client, audience, friends, family or 'whoever' like it then that is all that matters - not the kit used to capture it.

My clients are not interested in my kit, it could have been taken with a wet fish for all they care.

People focus too much on the technical aspect and forget the camera is only a tool, the starting point to whatever it is you want to create.

There have been many photographs and films over the years that have moved, saddened and excited me and not once have I thought "I wonder what camera/lens/lighting was used to produce this?"

However they try manufacturers will never be able to satisfy everyone and we should be grateful we have such a wealth of fantastic equipment to choose from.

Early days of photography and film gave no such choice and the kit was cumbersome and heavy - yet many resultant images stand up to the best from today.

5 upvotes
Everlast66
By Everlast66 (May 9, 2012)

why not leave people to decide what they would be spending their time on. Some may be interested in photography, but others could be interested in the actual tools. It's a personal preference.

I just couldn't understand why you wasted your time to register on a equipment review site to tell people not to be interested in what is the subject of the site itself?!?

7 upvotes
JPMontez
By JPMontez (May 9, 2012)

Best camera review I have ever read. These have been getting better and better here at DPReview... Congratulations to DPReview for continuously raising the standards.

7 upvotes
rusticus
By rusticus (May 9, 2012)

Pentax K-5 camera review is 83% -
is still the No. 1

3 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

Nope. Nikon D3X got 86%. But don't compare those numbers. K-5 is an APS-C camera and in a different category than FF.

1 upvote
GaryJP
By GaryJP (May 9, 2012)

Not in terms of DPReview's categories.
http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Guides/dpreview_scores_and_ratings_01.htm

And the 7D even gets a higher score within that category

1 upvote
Underdog 3000
By Underdog 3000 (May 10, 2012)

I love my K-5 but honestly in todays one-up world (x's 10 between canon and nikon) there should be a gradual drop off in DPR's rankings of 1 pt per year. That would make my K-5 a 82 and Canon's 7D a 82. Not that I'm trying to fluff up my cameras capabilities (especially in video/audio) but mine cost $1000 and is better in most comparisons compared to said camera. Thoughts?

1 upvote
JPMontez
By JPMontez (May 10, 2012)

You guys don't loose an oportunity to put more gasoline in the fire... My comment was on the review, not the camera... ;-)

0 upvotes
teeoh717
By teeoh717 (May 9, 2012)

As a Canon user, I couldn't imagine owning a 36mp camera without the option of sRaw. I use it *all the time* with my 5DII.

And I'm sorry, but the Lossless/12 bit/compressed RAW options are useless in my mind. Why would photographers want reduce the quality of their photos? We're talking about reducing *size*, not quality. Greatly limits the versatility of the D800—something that would prevent me from purchasing it if I were a D700 user.

There are simply times that I am not shooting for billboards. Sometimes it simply comes down to the fact that I am shooting for Facebook on a long trip with no opportunity to dump the card. Why waste the space and time in post??

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

Why do you care? As you said, you shoot Canon. I don't think there is a big outcry among Nikon shooters for RAW that isn't RAW.

5 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (May 9, 2012)

sRAW and mRAW are more of a compromise to image quality than 14 vs 16 bit images or lossy vs lossless NEF. Do some research.

6 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

sRaw isnt a real raw file better to shoot the 22mp 1.2 crop its near enough ff and it will maintain the amazing performance of d800 raw

2 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (May 9, 2012)

32GB SD cards can be had for $30... just buy one per trip

0 upvotes
Duncan Dimanche
By Duncan Dimanche (May 9, 2012)

I agree with you Teeoh717
100% right
I hope that they will "creat" that "feature" for the D800
I would be nice to shoot at 18mg with Full frame and not DX

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

You say that Lossless/12 bit/compressed RAW is useless because it compromises image quality but sRAW is fine (inference is that image quality is equal to RAW). How do you imagine Canon magically reduces file size without throwing away data. You need to read up on how it is done. Start here: http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13916

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 10, 2012)

It must be disheartening for Nikon's engineers to see their fiendishly clever and highly practical raw-compression scheme met with this kind of ignorance. Canon's sRAW feature throws away far more information while providing barely smaller files!

Scroll down to "An aside on "lossy" NEF compression" on this page by Emil Martinec for a clear description of Nikon's raw-compression scheme: http://theory.uchicago.edu/~ejm/pix/20d/tests/noise/noise-p3.html

The short version is that you can't see the difference between uncompressed and compressed Nikon raw files. Only highly unusual post-processing reveals the difference.

Canon's sRAW mode would be much more useful if it used pixel binning.

2 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 10, 2012)

When you reduce size, you lose detail = quality, simple as that!
Never understood people who shoot smaller resolution anyway..
For example you capture a beautiful landscape image and want to print it huge size when reviewed and processed at home, you can go back to try capture the same image again..

1 upvote
wadap0
By wadap0 (May 10, 2012)

If you are shooting just for Facebook, small jpeg is a fine format.

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 10, 2012)

I'm glad Nikon does not have a useless format like sRaw.

More here:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/50d.htm

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=730030

If you want small raw files just select raw and change the image size in camera.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

Some people complain about the lack of a "small raw" recording format. But there are several options to reduce size of files.

1. If you want small raw you can select "Lossless compressed raw recording" which will reduce file size with 20-40%.

2. You can also choose to use "Compressed raw recording" which will reduce file size by 33-55%, but you will loose some info.

3. Another option is to use 12bit instead of 14bit color depth.

4. If you can live with jpeg the file size is only something like 15-20MB.

So plenty of options to reduce size.

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

Yes, but I think they want one of them to be called sRaw. Otherwise, it can't be small.

4 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (May 9, 2012)

But imagine if it offered a 9MP RAW format (storing binned pixels) and 10fps shooting. Oh wait, they're trying to sell D4s.

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

So it would be really unnecessary for Nikon to provide a, say, 20mp RAW? Or a 9mp, as Tonio said? It has worked for Canon pretty well for years. With 36mp, Nikon has more options than anyone ever before. Consider also upgraders from D700. Not all feel the need for 36mp but do need --EDIT for shaocaholica below-- lossless compressed, 14bit quality.

And in any way, I can't understand why people defend the choices of a manufacturer (be it Nikon, Canon, you name it) to justify their decision? Is it THAT bad that a product is not THE perfect one? Do you accept everything that they sell you "as is" without having to criticize anything that doesn't fit your way of doing things? That's not bashing, BTW, it's simple critique. What's wrong with that?

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Hynee
By Hynee (May 9, 2012)

@Tonio most likely the 4fps limit is caused by the sensor read time, and to produce binned 9MP files, you still have to do that.

(I think there's a misconception that pixel binning means throwing away pixel data, as is done in video, but it actually means summing. Binning=summing, hence 2x2 or 3x3 bins. I think throwing away data in video is just called line skipping.)

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 9, 2012)

Nobody 'needs' uncompressed when you have lossless compression.

2 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

@Gully Foyle. I'm not sure what you expected - a lot more pixels and very little file size. sort of contradictionary isn't it?
Unless of course you are accepting pixel binning which is not loseless?
@Hynee, yes information is thrown away using pixel binning. You take for instance 2x2 pixels or 3x3 pixels and do some average calculations and convert those pixels into a single pixel and as a single pixel cannot contain the same information as 4 or 9 pixels some information will be thrown away.

0 upvotes
delete
By delete (May 9, 2012)

Probably stupid question, but what exactly are the real world differences between 12 and 14 bit, in terms of dynamic range, filesize or whatever technical or 'optical' aspect?

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

@AnHund
Yet again you misinterpret my point. The more pixels you have the more it makes sense to be able to chose final image size. The same options that apply for jpg. And of course you lose pixels, how else a 36mp image can be reduced to 20mp? That shrinking in dimensions is all you lose, which is deliberate. Other than that, it has all the benefits and other properties RAW files have. DPR are no fools to compare upscaled images of 5D3 with D800. Same thing the other way, shrinking D800 images.

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

I may misundstand what you are trying to say, but don't see it can come as a surprise to you that small Raw is not available, because Nikon DSLRs has never had that feature and I doubt very much that it will ever be implemented.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

Hynee, if their sensor read time would be that bad, they would not have 30 fps video.

0 upvotes
R Vaquero
By R Vaquero (May 9, 2012)

Shame on Canon trolls that don't accept Nikon has released a great camera. Accusing Dpreview has been bought by Nikon is even more ridiculous.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
27 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (May 10, 2012)

Looks like a very good camera but the omission of a smaller RAW file size is a mistake, you Nikon guys are going to get mighty fed up with 36 meg files for every single shot.

Otherwise it looks very good indeed

1 upvote
Dan Nikon
By Dan Nikon (May 9, 2012)

I'm about 7,000 clicks into my D800 now, just finished processing some raw files at ISO 800-12,800, night aerial shots done during the "Super-Moon" of oil and gas fields for a a conservation group that will print the images up to 10 feet wide. In short order, they are utterly spectacular, shot with the camera on a KS-6 gyro. In my 20 years of using digital cameras as a full time pro, I feel the D800 represents by far the biggest leap forward by any camera maker in the digital realm.

Read it...and weep.

15 upvotes
turretless
By turretless (May 9, 2012)

Oh, please! Stop bashing DPreview! This accusations of the site being biased towards Nikon are just plain ridiculous. It's a great and very nicely done review of an outstanding camera. Folks in Nikon's R&D did a great job and everyone benefits out of it. People using Nikon's cameras are getting a great upgrade and people heavily invested in Canon, like myself will see results as a downwards price pressure on 5D Mk III, for example.

So thank you, Nikon for D800 and thank you, DPReview for the... well... review :)

23 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (May 9, 2012)

The real question may be, where do digital SLRS go from here. I think the next frontier could be bringing full-frame down to the lower-priced models in each line.

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

From here, DSLRs are being pushed to the stratified specialist market where medium-format cams are now, while replaced by MILCs for mass market. Look how good NEX-7, E-M5 are already.

2 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (May 9, 2012)

PeeVee, that just isn't true. I'm not sure SLRs will ever be replaced by your mirrorless models. There are just too many advantages to an SLR. The others may overcome some n the future, but not now. There's not a mirrorless camera made that does what I like to do with is birding. EVF just can't keep up and no way to frame fast enough on the back panel. Sports and children running around the back yard also come to mind.

Then consider the small DSLRs out there. The tiny Canon T3i, Nikon D3200 or Pentax KR are so small it's almost ridiculous that someone might have an issue. They are hollow plastic and light weight as well.

I think Nikon and maybe Canon later will introduce full frame enthusiast priced cameras and you'll see a resurgence in these models when people really want that IQ and ISO performance that a true 35mm sensor gives. Look out for a Nikon D400 or D600 this year for the price of a Nex 7 or a little more. Look at a D700 right now.

3 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (May 9, 2012)

A $1500 full-frame would be a market changer. Sony's making sensors for cheap enough now it could probably happen. I don't know if Canon can keep up with Sony's sensor volume, though.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

Guidenet, what do you mean "EVF just can't keep up"? Modern EVF have 120 fps, how much do you really need? You watch movies at 24 fps, do you? And EVF is just electronics, engineers make it twice as good every 2 years ("Moore's law").
Nikon's own 1 mirrorless has phase-detection AF and can shoot up to 60 fps. How much is enough for "birding"? Flopping mirror is an impediment, not help here.
Again, even now MF cameras are still used, but FF and APS-C (and now, with E-M5, m43) are so good, that MF are used by very few in very special circumstances. IMHO, we are at the point where FF should be relegated there, with D800 replacing 645D, Pentax K-5 (or even NEX-7) replacing D700, E-M5 replacing Canon 7D etc.
There are limits, like DR and resolutions of paper/printers and screen and abilities of human vision which make further advances unnecessary in most cases, and engineering reaches them (and then some) in smaller/cheaper formats every year.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

"The tiny Canon T3i, Nikon D3200 or Pentax KR" - are complete junk compared to NEX-7/E-M5/NX20 etc. Compare for yourself in every possible measure. This site is great for that.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

The only serious problem with the camera is the low continuous shooting frame rate. And if 4 fps at full resolution can plausibly be explained by a processor not fast enough to process 36 plixels, 5 fps for 15 megapixel DX mode cannot. Technically, the same processor able to produce 4 fps at 36mpix, is able to do 6 fps at 1.2x crop and 10 fps at the DX crop. And 16 fps for 9 mpix JPEG, at least in LV mode (downsampling is not a processor-intensive operation, but the flopping mirror might not be fast enough). Judging from the 30 fps video, the sensor read speed is at least 30 fps, so it is not the limit.
Obviously, the limit was artificially set to protect D4 (and only raised to 6 fps when you buy the expensive battery grip and battery, negating size/weight advantages of D800). I hate it when marketing departments tell engineers to waste precious R&D/QA resources to artificially cripple the products.
I hope somebody will hack the next firmware to enable the full potential of the camera.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

I'm sure you would like a do-it-all pro camera for $3K. How stupid would Nikon have to be to give it to you? They sell an D4 for that stuff. If you want frame rate, get yourself one. But you might recall that the F4s had a frame rate of, I think, 5+. Pros made do with that.

3 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

The 30 fps in movie mode is with the mirror up. Taking photographs is different because the mechanical mirror is moving up and down for every shoot together with the front and back shutter curtain. I would have liked it to be a little faster, but it is all about compromises and 6 frames per sec in 1.2 or DX-mode is quite respectable :-)

0 upvotes
JordanAT
By JordanAT (May 9, 2012)

My F4s shoots at 7fps with fresh lithium AAs. Officially it's somewhere in the 6.x fps range. (okay, I feel old now)

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 9, 2012)

@BackInTheGame, if Nikon does not do it, somebody else will. Read what Steve Jobs said about this issue, if you do not cannibalize your own products, your competitors will do it for you.

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

What you say has merit, peevee1. But the Nikon can shoot faster in crop mode, and I can't imagine using the full sensor for anything where frame rate is needed. It just seems like a non-issue, except for someone who just wants to see a number. I do believe a lot of people look at that full frame rate and stop reading, rather than to think about the actual situation.

0 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (May 9, 2012)

Thank you DPR for a great review.
Wow what a camera. Canon and Sony have a new benchmark to work to!
I'll stick with my 5DII and see what Canon offers over the next 12 months.

Cant believe the negative comments on here - some very sad people hang out at DPR forums these days.

23 upvotes
sesopenko
By sesopenko (May 9, 2012)

Sony made the sensor so if sony were to try to come out with a directly competing body some of the work's already done.

3 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (May 9, 2012)

Agreed. Exciting times if Sony really want to compete. It will take another 3-5 years though, at this rate, to work with photographers to become a photographer's company rather than a general electronics company. I cannot wait until the day that their camera's have the usability and ergonomics that Canon and Nikon have.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (May 10, 2012)

Actually: In matter of ergonomics and usability Sony rolls over the Nikon easily. At least in high end models. People somehow view Sony through a perspective of A290 or other low-end models and that's a big mistake.
If anything - Sony needs to work on getting some exclusive lenses like T&S, long macro or high quality UWAs cause that's the things missing in systems.
Bodies are stunning though if you actually start to use them for a while. They got ergonomics and handling somewhat of Minolta bodies, which at the time were best thing you could get on the market.

1 upvote
delete
By delete (May 9, 2012)

"Wedding, event and studio photographers" are no professionals, since according to dpreview the D800, which "is an exciting prospect indeed" to them, is just a semi-pro camera.

May I kindly ask what exactly are the requirements dpreview needs to be fulfilled to tag a camera as professional?

6 upvotes
Silvarum
By Silvarum (May 9, 2012)

Personally, I think professional camera is the one you use to make money with, be it D3200 or D800.

11 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 9, 2012)

There is no set of 'requirements'. It is largely the same as how the manufacturer divides their own product lines. The D4 is Nikons current 'professional' model. This does not make a camera more or less professional so you needn't trouble your little self.

1 upvote
tonywong
By tonywong (May 9, 2012)

It's the snob factor. The more accessible a camera is, the less 'pro' it gets to be. Some of it is simply fanboi mentality, but there is a 'marketing' factor to it too.

Basically the person who is carrying around an expensive camera must be a pro. The corollary also shows up in client's thinking, that a person who has the same camera as an amateur must not be as good.

Judging someone by their tools isn't very smart but people do it all the time. Lots of people would freak out if they saw surgeons using powertools from the hardware store to perform operations but many times the tools are equivalent except for a 'medical grade' approval (stamp).

1 upvote
delete
By delete (May 9, 2012)

Apparently I did not make myself clear, sorry for that. Issue is: Nikon itself officially states the D800 is a pro camera. dpreview disputes this, says it is a semi pro camera.

I am just curious to understand how come dpreview disagrees with the manufacturer on this. Certainly there must be objective reasons for dpreview to do so, these I'd like to know.

3 upvotes
Guidenet
By Guidenet (May 9, 2012)

Yes, Nikon considers any gear they have on their NPS qualifying list to be Pro gear. That's about the only thing to go by for the sake of discussion. Obviously anything you use to make money is professional, but we're talking build and feature set.

As far as DPReview saying SemiPro, I'm ok with that too. I don't need a review site, marketing department or anyone else to define things for me. The wording doesn't change anything about the camera. I think DPReview did a great job on this review.

1 upvote
sesopenko
By sesopenko (May 9, 2012)

Troll post is troll. The people that make money off their shoots with gear higher end than a D800 or 5D Mk III don't often frequent this place.

0 upvotes
clear glass
By clear glass (May 9, 2012)

Anyone know how the IQ from the D800 compares to a medium format camera with the same MP's?

0 upvotes
delete
By delete (May 9, 2012)

There are already a lot of comparisons online, for instance here

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=es&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http://www.dslrmagazine.com/pruebas/pruebas-tecnicas/mas-alla-de-los-30-mpx.html

0 upvotes
grafli
By grafli (May 9, 2012)

The Nokia has a higher resolution! LOL

4 upvotes
abortabort
By abortabort (May 9, 2012)

And when it outputs 41MP RAWs let me know.

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

Having used a D800 for a week now, I'll post some cons that Nikon could have (and should have, IMHO) done better. Superb otherwise.
- Record button not customizable. Record button redundant if g4 custom setting is set to Record Movies. Could at least double Mode button and reduce clutter
- D7000/D3100 LV lever/record button combo much better. Record button placed on the back instead of top more logical since active only in LV
- No ISO option set on any Fn buttons, except use first item from My Menu
- No Color Space option set on any Fn buttons, except use first item from My Menu
- Show ISO/Easy ISO feature (d7) hidden and irrelevant
- Minor dial customization despite (yet another) increase of features
- No small RAW options (MAJOR fault)
- OVF Virtual Horizon useless in low light
- Quiet mode not at all quiet
- Not refined LV mode
- LCD light sensor easy to cover, dropping brightness
- AF switch/button combo a workaround in an obsolete design. SONY big knob implementation much better

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
SpinThma
By SpinThma (May 9, 2012)

May be some personal improvements but still an aamzing cam;
/Charles

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

From the above, the lack of small RAW is really annoying. A 32GB card can hold ~300 photos uncompressed, 14bit. A fast one costs more than 100 euros too. Compressed, 12bit increases to ~600. Also the record button/LV button/mode switch really seems like a silly afterthought than a genuine design and in stark contrast to the brilliant lever/button of the D7000/D3100. Those two stand out and I think it's not only my personal perception.

Amazing machine indeed, no need to post the pros but, yes, the D800 *has* flaws! ;)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 9, 2012)

absence of small RAW is most annoying.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ilkka Nissilä
By Ilkka Nissilä (May 9, 2012)

A "raw" file which is not at the sensor resolution is not "raw" in any sense of the word. If I'm not mistaken, such formats contain just JPGs with a fancy (and misleading) name.

3 upvotes
BaldCol
By BaldCol (May 9, 2012)

I believe sRaw, etc simply aggregate blocks of sensor data. In every other sense the data is 'Raw'.
Presumably provision of small Raw is something that could be added in a firmware update.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (May 9, 2012)

Ilkka Nissilä - Raws in Nikon cameras aren't RAWs in a strict meaning of the word at all.There's always some messing with data included, even solely on the process of de-noising during A/D conversion or analogue readout from sensor. Stop reading websites, gain real knowledge :) Raws weren't manipulated ages ago, but when companies found that messing with them gives them nicer reviews and increases sales - things changed.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 9, 2012)

Pretty obscure list of cons. I mean colorspace set to FN button? There is never a reason to switch out of AdobeRGB.

Just like shooting with a more narrow color gamut like SRGB, why would anyone want to a RAW file, like SRAW that has worse quality than a true RAW file? Memory is dirt cheap.

2 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

If you want small raw you can select "Lossless compressed raw recording" which will reduce file size with 20-40%.

You can also choose to use "Compressed raw recording" which will reduce file size by 33-55%, but you will loose some info.

Another option is to use 12bit instead of 14bit color depth.

So plenty of options to reduce size.

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

@AnHund
I said:
"A 32GB card can hold ~300 photos uncompressed, 14bit. Compressed, 12bit increases to ~600."

Thanks for not reading my posts, yet reply to them.

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

@marike6
Right, so there's another flaw in D800. Why, oh why, did Nikon had to add jpg and sRGB? What were they thinking?

Memory is dirt cheap? Well I don't know where you're from but where I'm from a SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB compact flash costs something less than 200 euros. SD is half that but you can't call it cheap either. Unless we have different definitions on "cheap".

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 9, 2012)

@Gully Foyle
Yes in Europe gear is more $$. But computer memory, i.e. HD space and memory cards are also at an all time low. A Transcend 32 GB CF card is $60 on Amazon. The same Transcend Class 10 32 GB SD card is $28. If someone buys a $3000 camera, I think handle those prices. There is little reason to shoot a compressed RAW format.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

@marike6. Fully agree. Just get a couple of memory cards. No need to complain about missing sRaw which never existed in any Nikon DSLR.

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

@Guly Foyle. I replied to your comment - NOT to your own reply to your comment.

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

Anybody would think sRAW was the holy grail. Gawd, it is a RAW file with some of the data discarded. Get real people. http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13916

2 upvotes
String
By String (May 9, 2012)

Wow, I'm blown away by all the BS comments on here regarding the D800. I would have thought an advancement like Nikon made with this camera would be good for all photographers... you know, those people who actually take pictures?

Geez people, it's just a tool, nothing more/nothing less. If a tool alows you to do your job/hobby better, then why all the negativity? No one is holding a gun to your head to make you buy one.

14 upvotes
q8wizard
By q8wizard (May 9, 2012)

WHAT IF CANON 5DIII GET 84% SCORE, ARE WE GOING TO CALL IT CANON DPREVIEW, WAIT GUYS TELL WE GET THE FULL REVIEW OF THE MARK III,
I BEEN CHECKING DPREVIEW ON DAILY BASES FOR YEARS, I LOVE THIS SITE AND I COULDN’T FIND ANYWHERE BETTER TO HAVE SIMPLE CLEAR REVIEW, I BELIEVE A GOOD CAMERA IS THE ONE CAN ASSIST YOU IN A DIFFICULT SITUATIONS BUT THE D800 WHICH I HAVE BEEN USING FOR A MONTH NOW IS A NORMAL CAMERA, SO HERE WHERE I DISAGREE WITH DPR. THE CAMERA WORK GREAT UNDER A NORMAL CONDITIONS, I BELIEVE 83% IS FAIR,

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
SpinThma
By SpinThma (May 9, 2012)

I think the 82% is an internal error in their internal Percentage lookup table - 92% was meant which is far enough away from an Olympus D with 80%
cheers
/Charles

0 upvotes
Azfar
By Azfar (May 9, 2012)

Easy on the caps man.
http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/netiquette.php

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (May 9, 2012)

SpinThma - I think the 92% is an internal error of your typing - 192% was meant which is far more fair.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 9, 2012)

If the Canon 5D III scores an 84%, it will as absurd as the k-5 being scored higher than the D800. The OM-D being only 2 points less it's surely because it's a difference classification of camera, but DSLRs higher than a D800? Don't even think a D4 should he higher. Close, maybe.

When DxOMark scores the D800 the highest in their history, if other sites start putting other cameras above it makes you wonder what's going on.

3 upvotes
krikman
By krikman (May 9, 2012)

Where is viewfinder size information and layout?

3 upvotes
Brian McConkey 2
By Brian McConkey 2 (May 9, 2012)

Indeed, what kind of review doesn't include this important information!

1 upvote
mfouks
By mfouks (May 9, 2012)

Regarding my earlier post where K5 does better than the D800 in several categories including overall %. Some responses have been that the comparisons only work against the same categories which makes perfect sense to me.
However, it looks like to me that the two cameras are in the same category of semi-professional interchangeable lens cameras. When you go to the compare button the K5 is listed as one of the competetors. So looking at each category, the K5 is better is many of them including "features" which really surprised me. It is hard to believe that a $1,000 camera from 2-3 years ago is just as good as the D800 so I would like a response from DPR review on this. Am I reading the comparison information incorrectly or does DP Review need to do an update?

1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

You can't compare an APS-C camera to a FF camera, not same category in my opinion, so K5 is not competitor to D800, but maybe a competitor to D7000.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

"It is hard to believe that a $1,000 camera from 2-3 years ago is just as good as the D800"

You said a mouthful there.

0 upvotes
mfouks
By mfouks (May 9, 2012)

You might be right AnHund, but it looks like DP Review are comparing the two cameras which I believe is misleading. I think that DP review should respond to this issue.

1 upvote
String
By String (May 9, 2012)

@ mfouks;

Its rather obvious in any review of any product that a numeric scale has to be sliding. What was state of the art last year is obviously going to be superceded. A 4MP Oly E10 was state of the art in 2001 for $2200 and recieved a 9/10 rating... do you seriously think it would still be rated like that?

It really isn't rocket science...

15 upvotes
senn_b
By senn_b (May 9, 2012)

if you're a Nikon D800 (or even D700) user, the best "response" you can have is one you get by yourself, .., just try K5 with equivalent lens and then compare, .. not the prices but the performances.
Regards, :-))

0 upvotes
mfouks
By mfouks (May 9, 2012)

I agree with you String. So would it not be appropraite for DP Review to update reviews for cameras that are still being sold? I guess it would be too time consuming but would still nice so when I look at the various categories that are important to me I can make meaningful comparisons.

0 upvotes
Underdog 3000
By Underdog 3000 (May 10, 2012)

Take a look at the sample shots. The $1000 K-5 looks better in most areas and iso's. I know its a blow to the ego but your strong. Hang on. Just be happy that DXOMark realy does not like Canon sensors.

By the way, I have a K-5. Great camera but video should be scored much lower and value much higher in DPR's scale.

0 upvotes
io_bg
By io_bg (May 9, 2012)

Fantastic review, I've only one remark - I still can't grasp why is the D800 widely considered to be the D700's successor. It certainly isn't - even Nikon said that; if it was, it would have the D4's sensor and a comparatively fast continuous shooting (maybe around 7-8 fps). The D800 seems more like a D3x update (the latter was recently discontinued, too) at a much lower cost.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (May 9, 2012)

If Nikon puts the D800 sensor in a D3X body and call it D4X, then it would be an update for my D3X.

2 upvotes
Ilkka Nissilä
By Ilkka Nissilä (May 9, 2012)

The sensor of the D800 and the image processing system, AF etc. are an upgrade to those of the D3X but the camera body (ergonomics, etc.) is not.

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

I congratulate product development folks at Nikon .
However, management and manufacturing chieftains should see their bonuses reduced: the products are essentially unavailable, except for a few famous photogs who are a subset of nps. The result lost sales, and lost opportunity of new lense sales.

Nikon why can't you introduce a new product and actually make it available? This notion of unprecedented demand is ridiculous. I don't even know anybody , anybody, who got a d800 or a d4. Buuuhya.

1 upvote
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

The cameras are out there. You just have to have an imagination that envisions buying from someone other than B&H or Amazon. I ordered a D800E two weeks after the announcement, and I got it last week. They are coming to camera stores all over the country. Considering Nikon's production capacity they seem to be doing well. Of course, all of us who buy early have to understand that we are the "beta testers".

2 upvotes
pc168
By pc168 (May 9, 2012)

... beta testers, right !

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

True with any comparatively low volume product as complex as these cameras.

0 upvotes
Melvinphoto
By Melvinphoto (May 9, 2012)

I am not a member of NPS. Walked in a camerastore three weeks ago and got my D800E delivered at my door a few days ago.

0 upvotes
ranalli
By ranalli (May 9, 2012)

Actually, the marketing people should get raises. This is exactly how they want it planned. All the people FROTHING at the mouth have only increased the pending sales and hype around this. As long as they deliver before a competitor releases a product that may steal market-share they are doing the right thing. It's frustrating as a consumer but from a business standpoint it makes complete sense. Plus, when I see people only ordering from BH, Adorama, or Amazon I have to laugh. They're all over BestBuys and a bunch of other stores who got shipments.

But there's nothing wrong here. They're doing the right thing as far as running a business.

0 upvotes
JonB1975
By JonB1975 (May 9, 2012)

A colleague of mine bought one over a month ago in the Caribbean - working on cruise ships can have advantages....

0 upvotes
Carsten Thomsen
By Carsten Thomsen (May 9, 2012)

I annually shoot sports events for our local research park, with close to 1500 participants. I use my D700 where the output has to be on the web within an hour and on a overhead projector for the dinner that follows the event. People love to see themselves, so we typically have one hour to get 700 shots ready. I shoot 3 MPix JPG mode with some extra sharpening to get crisp images, and get excellent results and also extra exposure/shutter latitude due to the noise reduction inherent in 3 MPix vs. 12 MPix. The lightweight images also make fast post-processing possible.

I would suggest that DP review also look at the quality some of the downsampled outputs of cameras like the D700 and D800. My gut feel is that these downsampled outputs are actually sharper with great acuity and less noisy than if they were shot with a camera with this as its native resolution.

I would also support the comments that D800 images should be downsampled to Mark III size, to give fair comparisons.

2 upvotes
fastlass
By fastlass (May 9, 2012)

Thanks for including real portraits in your sample shots. I'd still prefer you did like 50% people shots, but you're getting there.

1 upvote
Photographically Speaking
By Photographically Speaking (May 9, 2012)

Entirely too many of the goobers around here live and die by the DPR camera tests, analyzing every word, puncuation mark and the arbitrary numerical score along with the coveted 'award' for' the camera. Goobers and fanboy spats. I find it entirely more entertaining to read the comments than the review.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
11 upvotes
trueserve
By trueserve (May 9, 2012)

Isn't it amazing how people seem to get in such a frenzy, get just so worked up about a "percentage" that only has about 30% range?

Not mentioning the number has no basis in anything, mind you.

Just saying I agree completely.

2 upvotes
bander
By bander (May 10, 2012)

If a number is actually meaningless Dpreview should not use them. As it is, it looks as if the numbers were drawn out of a hat.

0 upvotes
lensberg
By lensberg (May 9, 2012)

"Outstanding high ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files" ... you lavish way too much praise on this camera... A more practical conclusion would be... good high ISO performance... but definitely nothing "outstanding" about it...

Even in DP's own image quality comparisons (both RAW & JPEG) ... chroma noise levels are a far cry from being "low"... the Canon 5D III & D4 do maintain a stellar degree of uniformity in their chroma levels... but not the D800... it looks boarderline unusable at 6400... so where is this blatant bias stemming from...?!

In High ISO Noise Comparisons (21) upscaling the 5D III image is very unfair considering native output is at a14 MP deficit... a better alternative would be downscaling the D800 image... This is the first review i've read where the D800's low light performance comes even remotely close to the 5D III at anything over ISO 1600... something is seriously wrong...

0 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 9, 2012)

Canon fanboy!??

Upscaling the images is not fair, thats right, but downscaling the D800 images after slight NR would be showing even more detail and less noise in the resulting images in favor of the D800 ;)

Considering other test images I have seen of the D800, the results are perfectly usable until iso 12800!

5 upvotes
Rasskot
By Rasskot (May 9, 2012)

"a better alternative would be downscaling the D800 image..." No. Downscaling image would cause loss of information from it and would be unfair to the bigger pixel count camera. With upscaling you don't lose anything. So...hmh..there you go.
Personally I think that both companies are dishonest to their customers for many reasons but I still love them both (although I am most impressed with Sigma SD1 Merrill) and I have no reason to be subjective. High ISO's from both cameras look similar and good and given Nikon's high pixel count that is "Outstanding high ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files"

2 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 9, 2012)

Downscaling results to the same pixel information (resolution) as the compared camera and after (slight NR) and downscaling with subtle bicubic sharpening, there will be more sharpness and less noise, try it yourself with some sample images! (the advantage that the D800 has because it's higher resolution would be even more visible then ;)
On the other hand, upscaling will never give more detail (nor lose any) as it is not available in the original (smaller) image.. So...hmh...there You go!

Regarding D800 high iso shots in descent light that show that iso 12800 is very usable; http://www.nikonians.org/resources/reviews/d800-vergleichsbilder

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
danaceb
By danaceb (May 9, 2012)

I think the most amazing thing about this camera is that they 'pulled' off the jump to 36mp. Canons 5d mark III is still an amazing improvement, iso performance is absolutely sublime, but Nikon took a risk with this and succeeded.

1 upvote
jadmaister2
By jadmaister2 (May 9, 2012)

Luckily, this is not a battle between makers, it's another great and useful review showing us that there are now several cameras that we might (if lucky or patient) afford as amateurs which will give superb results IF we learn how to use them. The 5D 111 is superb and so is the D800. No one with an ounce of creativity and imagination could fail to be delighted about either. Nor is the cost of the finest glass a problem. The 800 takes beautiful pics with the relatively humble 16-35 and 70-300 zooms. Add a top quality 35mm f1.4 prime and you can be shooting for a living for less than £4000.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
delete
By delete (May 9, 2012)

So, according to dpreview, *in total* the Canon 7D is superior to the Nikon D800. Since it is in the same category ("Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category") and was awarded 2 points more. Seems to me the calculation scheme is in need of an update.

6 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (May 9, 2012)

You have to take into account when it was reviewed and its competition at the time.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
delete
By delete (May 9, 2012)

@sandy b: I know, but what sense do these absolute figures make at all if one must take certain other aspects into account?

4 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (May 9, 2012)

What's the point of these numerical ratings if we need to use voodoo to compare them? Go back to "highly recommended" for all I care. How is it that the 7D video is so superior to the D800? Similarly ergonomics? Metering and focus accuracy? Wrapping subjective judgements in a graph and then using a voodoo formula to turn it into a percentage is just stupid. At leas DxOmark has a methodology and uses absolute scales.

3 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

@delete. Hmm, how can an APS-C camera and an FF camera be in the same category? You also have to judge for yourself. Do you think it is likely that the 7D would be superior to the D800 (well maybe in frame rate, but guess that's about it).

0 upvotes
johnbatten
By johnbatten (May 9, 2012)

Very useful review - many thanks for it.

I've been using a D800 (RAW files only) since 30th March for weddings, portraits, concerts (low light, high ISOs), events - and for pleasure urban and nature photography.

It's a seriously real pleasure to use - and the results are stunning. Gripers - get a life! (Or a 5 X 4?).

8 upvotes
Stollen1234
By Stollen1234 (May 9, 2012)

82% means its good only and dont forget this is from Nikon fanboy Dpreview..

1 upvote
absentaneous
By absentaneous (May 9, 2012)

these 82% shouldn't be considered as an absolute value but as a relative one inside the context of dpreview reviews. the highest ever score a camera in this category got from dpreview was 84%. so, this camera is only 2% worse than the best camera in this category dpreview ever reviewed. so, if you consider this then the 82% score actually means it's almost as good as a camera can be. that's also why they've given it a golden award which means exactly that - the camera is or as good as it can be or almost (at the time it was reviewed of course).

4 upvotes
EricWN
By EricWN (May 9, 2012)

Gosh, grow up and get a life. If you don't like DP Review, read somewhere else. This "fanboy" talk of some people is below Kindergarden.

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

Well written review as usual DPreview takes the time to review, not to put it up as quickly as possible.

As a D3S and D700 user, I still have to get used to the focus mode difference
the only downpoint for me together with the "smooth aperture" control during movie capturing (which only works with an external capture device.)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
vin 13
By vin 13 (May 9, 2012)

Great review. I find it hard to understand the negative reaction to this. I use Canon gear by the way.

6 upvotes
R Vaquero
By R Vaquero (May 9, 2012)

Great job, DPreview. Congrats!

3 upvotes
teekemann2008
By teekemann2008 (May 9, 2012)

Been using the D800 for some time now, in various conditions. As a fulltime Pro Nikon Shooter and teacher in digital techniques for some 15 years on pro-level, I would like to comment on some of the posts seen here. First, kudos for dpreview, for their unbiased support on reviewing camera's in a very consistent way. About the D800, it's true that this megapixel-beast needs premium glass to perform at it's best. But when a topnotch lens is attached, the output is stunning, even at high ISO. I've made some prints in color as in black/white, which were shot using a Zeiss Planar 85 f:1.4 at f11 to f16 , and I guarantee that this is very, very close to medium format. Sensors don't produce 3D looks in an image, the lens does indeed. Try using a 135 f2.0 DC and you can start drooling allover the screen..LOL. And please, if you're a tripod-landscape shooter: 100 ISO will do the trick, no high ISO's here. This is what the camera was built for. Sports ? Go D4 !

15 upvotes
Photo_AK
By Photo_AK (May 9, 2012)

With a portrait lens, optimised for taking pictures at large apertures (f/1.4-f/4) at f/16, which is well beyond D800's difraction limit (at cca f/9), you couldn't and didn't get results "very, very close to medium format".
You probably would, if you'd open the aperture for at least a stop, better yet two.
A shown by Lens Rentals' testing, the Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 ( ZF.2) on D800 is best performing at f/5.6 and it's sharpness degrades by stopping it further down.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
pc168
By pc168 (May 9, 2012)

How about the performance of 16-35 VR on D800?

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

@pc168 all your lens will be just fine

1 upvote
draculavn
By draculavn (May 9, 2012)

For long, Dpreview has become nikon backyard. All review of nikon camera come very soon and get so high score (the same with dxomark). Reivew of canon camera comes much later and get lower score.

2 upvotes
Habib Albanna
By Habib Albanna (May 9, 2012)

hahahahahha take it easy man, I'm waiting for the Fuji X-1 Pro review and still waiting... and I notice the delay for the canon cameras... specially the 1Dxx.

3 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

There will always be winners and losers or rather winners and whiners.

5 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (May 9, 2012)

The D800 was announced and released first. Who said, "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt"?

14 upvotes
Gasman66
By Gasman66 (May 9, 2012)

I'm a loyal Canon user of 30 years duration. If it weren't for my stock of Canon Lenses, the D800 would make me switch allegiance. If the 5DMkIII - with its significantly higher price tag and absent internal flash scores as highly in its full review, I will be very surprised. Nikon have built a winner with this one.

17 upvotes
FineArtPhoto
By FineArtPhoto (May 9, 2012)

The D800 is a great camera and the Samples are ok, but compared to my Pentax 645D medium format I miss the 3D look, the outstanding tonality and extreme fine detail. I think If you need a better allover image quality, you need a bigger sensor.

3 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

I would get the D800 anytime instead of the 645D and take a trip around the globe for the money saved :-)

According to DxoMark the D800 has better dynamic range and color depth than the 645D and of course much better high ISO performance.

0 upvotes
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 9, 2012)

Two questions, to DPREVIEW:
1) I didn´t see a extensiv comment on the viewfinder (maybe I didn´t find it - or did you give up this very usefull section of your reviews?)
2) I´m a little bit intrigued by the score (I´m not the only one, it seems). I have a Pentax K-5, following your scores, I rather stay with my very cheap (800 Euros, at the moment in Europe) K-5 that scores at 83; but if I look at the images produced by the D800, they are clearly better, in my eyes (even if I like the excellent K-5 IQ a lot). So, should I stay with the K-5? (A kind of rhetorical question...)

3 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (May 9, 2012)

Stick with Pentax K5 because they are really good camera I heard and weather sealed. I rather have camera with weather sealed is a lot safer than camera with no weather sealed on it. It majorly reduce the chance of getting mould, dust and etc getting into camera. But I am not sure about Pentax lens if they are weather sealed. I would have to find out more about. I would love to get Pentax over Canon cos I like their quality of picture, beautiful colours output which is so natural and good at coping with harsh highlight (brightest area). And weather sealed. Thats the plus. I still have Canon 7D and I love it. But next time Pentax is next on the card.

1 upvote
Münchhausen
By Münchhausen (May 9, 2012)

Thx for your answer. I will naturally keep my K-5 (portability, smallest APS-C system, etc.), but I was thinking about getting my first digital FF camera, so I am a bit puzzled by this review. For the Pentax glass, the small Limiteds aren´t weather sealed, but you have zooms (from the cheapish but ok 18-55 to the extraordinary 50-135, and the very good 16-50 that are wr, and naturally the very beautiful 55mm 1.4). I think you will enjoy Pentax, not over Canon, but as another experience.

0 upvotes
do7slash
By do7slash (May 9, 2012)

as said before in these comments previously, the K-5 is a different category according to DPReview so you can't compare scores.

3 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (May 10, 2012)

It would be awesome if Pentax ever plan to make lens that is weather sealed though! But itself camera is important too though cos you don't want to damage electronic from weather either, ie resistance, not totally proof as it still need to be protected though, it just reduce chance of causing problem to electronic board. They are very sensitive to dust, etc. Its like computer parts they can be sensitive to dirty air and smoking that need to be regularly cleaned with blower.

0 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (May 9, 2012)

People! You missed something. Have you had a look at IQ in the review section??? That will tell you the fact is that D800 is not as good as Canon 5D Mark III for noise reduction in JPEG. it is useful for people who don't want to be bothered with RAW file. Canon 5D Mark III swooped D800 for the best noise reduction out there and then there is Pentax 645D did good job with noise reduction also in high ISO. And imo over 30mp for 35mm DSLR will not be as sharp as DMFC (Digital Medium Format Camera). Larger sensor is required to get good quality 30mp+. D4 beats D800 for burst mode I tend to agree with by the look on speccy as someone noted in the comments. But if you still like to get D800, use RAW mode because it looks a lot better quality than in JPEG mode with ACR noise reduction does a better job than Nikon made noise reduction. Anyway. Enough from me for now. Good day to you. Edit: I forgot that Nikon need some room improvement over highlight that is a bit too blown out in D800 image.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

You base your evaluation of $3000 to $3500 cameras on JPEGs? Seriously.

7 upvotes
naththo
By naththo (May 10, 2012)

I have done evaluating over both JPEG and RAW before made comment previously. It is up to anyone who want to use JPEG or RAW thats their taste. It is extremely important that both should come in similar quality. So it make it more flexible for them take either JPEG or RAW file to take photos, as it is much more convenience to do. I do that in Canon. Sometimes I fedup with RAW and change to JPEG to shoot especially if I have to shoot a lot of it over holiday trip. I can't afford too expensive compact flash card since I have other expense to spend on. Let alone 16gb compact flash card. Thats about it. I only buy EXTREME brand that is capable of weather too from Sandisk. But still RAW shot is my favourite so it allows me to play with it on computer at later time. I can take RAW+JPEG same time but have to watch the space in compact flash card though!

0 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (May 9, 2012)

I assume 0.00001 % points were deducted *every single time* a Nikon fanboy demanded that the D800 review be published before all others :)

(sorry, couldn't help it, and just to be clear: I don't care about brands)

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (May 9, 2012)

"(sorry, couldn't help it, and just to be clear: I don't care about brands)"
"I don't care about brands"

lol

1 upvote
tonywong
By tonywong (May 9, 2012)

@Jokica, no, crop mode is not a digital zoom at all. It is a center crop of 1.5x.

1 upvote
Jokica
By Jokica (May 9, 2012)

@DPR: As far as I understand, Crop mode is (kind of) Digital Zoom (when FX lens mounted). In Specification Sheet there is a row
Digital Zoom: No
Wouldn`t it be more correct if the row is
Digital Zoom: Yes, Crop mode
or something like that?
Great Review, as allways!

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

Crop mode is not digital zoom. Crop mode just uses a smaller area of the sensor, but is using the full resolution of the sensor, unlike digital zoom which is like up scaling an image.

1 upvote
Jokica
By Jokica (May 9, 2012)

@tonywong, @AnHund
Uhh, I will never understand optic. Thank you for your quick reply.
If I may, I wrote that "Crop mode is (kind of) Digital Zoom" please bold "kind of". In does`n work as standard Digital Zoom, but the result is pretty much the same, right?
Except the output image is not up scaled.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
tonywong
By tonywong (May 9, 2012)

Digital zoom _is_ upscaling by the camera. Since none of that happens using crop mode, it is not a digital zoom of any sort.

1 upvote
Jokica
By Jokica (May 9, 2012)

Yes, I got it now, tonywong.
You are right, thanks very much :-)

0 upvotes
altenae
By altenae (May 9, 2012)

Many posts about low scores.

Again the prove that there is more to a good DSLR then only the sensor.

Nice review.
Thanks for sharing.

1 upvote
LSE
By LSE (May 9, 2012)

yet ultimately you sell what comes out of the sensor ;)

2 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (May 9, 2012)

Yes, looks a nice camera and DP always drool over Nikons

But not to put in the option of a smaller RAW format is just so stupid

1 upvote
Marco 2k7
By Marco 2k7 (May 9, 2012)

How in the name of God can you make a smaller RAW format?

Raw is a bunch of data, directly picked from the sensor, not an image. You can't resize it, just because is NOT an image. Must be developed.

The thing you can do is shoot with a smaller amount of pixels, a smaller area of the sensor (DX) and there you can have Raw, just from a smaller portion. But you have a crop factor so is nonsense.

The thing I can't stand is people commenting about stuff they don't know anything about. Anyone who fully understands cameras would not make a sentence about a smaller raw format, cause is not possible. So why are you commenting about a high end professional DSLR?

8 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (May 9, 2012)

Canon manage it, it's called MRAW

Perhaps you should get your facts straight before you try and be superior

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (May 9, 2012)

It's not possible. Canon's version of SRaw and MRaw are more like TIFFs than Raws.

8 upvotes
Marco 2k7
By Marco 2k7 (May 9, 2012)

@bigdaddave

thought we were talking about RAW, non surrogates

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=762492

4 upvotes
bigdaddave
By bigdaddave (May 9, 2012)

No of course Nikons are perfect, I really DO need 36 meg for every single picture I'm going to take, having a high quality smaller resolution RAW won't help me, Nikons are just perfect.

It's a HUGE omission and you know it

0 upvotes
Marco 2k7
By Marco 2k7 (May 9, 2012)

Funny thing is you think you know what I think.

If I must say, I am neither attracted or interested in this model, because of the wonderful 36mpx sensor.

Few people will ever need such a resolution, not me for sure.

Don't treat me like a fanboy, cause I am not one. I was just pointing out that GENUINE smaller RAW is not the same as a RAW shot from a sensor with less megapixel.

Canon system is a good option, but still not something I would use. Better use sensor's native quality, doesn't matter you are talking about 10 o 36mpx.

Why? because if you can spend almost 3000$ on a camera body, I'm pretty sure it's not a problem to put 3-4 16GB CF in your pocket.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (May 9, 2012)

"Raw is a bunch of data, directly picked from the sensor, not an image. You can't resize it, just because is NOT an image. Must be developed." - Pure BS.
RAW IS NOT A PURE DATA FROM SENSOR
Especially NOT from NIKON cameras where Nikons have longest history of altering the RAWs to get less noisy files.
But either way - these days every company messes with RAWs (although not in every single camera ofq - Pentax for example have some cameras with RAWs being unprocessed digitally, so does Sony) so stop cheating yourself with RAW files being actually raw data from sensor. They aren't. And in Nikon: they weren't for the long long time.

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (May 9, 2012)

Canon 5D2 got the small RAW option in one of the first firmware upgrades. Nikon can easily add it also, just math. Full size RAW file already has something done to it, calculating a smaller RAW from that identical to one that would had come from a smaller sensor is not complicated at all. I have even used this feature several times, when shooting events which would never be published bigger than a magazine page. Small RAW has the same content and behaves like a RAW, so it IS a RAW for all I am concerned.

"The thing I can't stand is people commenting about stuff they don't know anything about." is the only part that I agree with in Marco 2k7's message... Does it hurt when you kick yourself in the ankle?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
LSE
By LSE (May 9, 2012)

it would be like buying a sports car...and getting the automatic transmission.

0 upvotes
sandy b
By sandy b (May 9, 2012)

MRAW and SRAW, while useful, are not real RAW and have pros and cons. do some research.

3 upvotes
dara2
By dara2 (May 9, 2012)

i would say Dual-clutch transmission : best of both world.

0 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 9, 2012)

To me not putting in a internal flash on a (semi)pro body is so stupid.. :)

Shooting smaller resolution then native makes no sense at all (beside the crop factor for dx lenses).

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (May 9, 2012)

Shooting small RAW or small JPG makes sense when the full resolution is not needed. Example: an event where I must send net size pictures as fast as possible and they will never be needed in full size. You forget that not all pictures are meant to be printed for exhibitions or artsy magazines full spreads. Us poor photographers are not carrying separate big file and small file cameras with us, as fortunately the camera makers are clever enough to provide also smaller files for those who need them fast.

It is quite clear that most posters here have no real pro experience at all.

0 upvotes
dgc4rter
By dgc4rter (May 9, 2012)

Must admit, I was expecting to see a score more towards 90. Mine gets delivered today... woo hoo!

3 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (May 9, 2012)

Who cares. It's only for the internet chestthumpers.

4 upvotes
nebularb
By nebularb (May 9, 2012)

Makes you wonder what sort of camera would make it close to 100. Perhaps a capture from our own eyes?

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (May 9, 2012)

Capture from my eyes would get around 5/100.
:(

3 upvotes
Petka
By Petka (May 9, 2012)

The whole points system would have to stay absolutely consistent to be of any value. It would also have to be without an upper limit so that it can grow freely with the times and new developments.

2 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (May 9, 2012)

what does that number even mean..

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

Excellent and very comprehensive review. Thanks a lot.

Just a little strange that it scores lower than the D3X. I would have expected a score around 90 or more?

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (May 9, 2012)

125/100 for Nikon fanboys.

2 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 9, 2012)

I like your comment :-)

0 upvotes
cesaregal
By cesaregal (May 9, 2012)

Cons: "New 'simplified' AF mode switch requires more steps to switch between AF-S, AF-C and AF area modes (compared to the D700)".

I have a D700 and AF mode switch is very useless : lever is unstable.
I have lost several photos.

With 3 positions you must always "look" at lever.
With 2 positions you can verify and set without "look" at lever.

5 upvotes
balico
By balico (May 9, 2012)

Think you are very right, have the same "problem" with my D300.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 9, 2012)

this is an excellent point

1 upvote
Charlie3
By Charlie3 (May 9, 2012)

Spellcheck >>>>>"...varient..." 7th line above, surely you mean VARIANT !!

Now I'll read the review :)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
mrahmo
By mrahmo (May 9, 2012)

Great review, very detailed

but for the score, i think DPreview "along with all review sites actually", have to state what they value most in the camera, and if these metrics should change in this day and age, with the current leap in tech.

DXO: considered 5d3 a crappy camera "or sensor"
DPR: considered d800 as a nice camera

i find DPR more realistic, it showed without bias the D800 super DR,and Res., but the overall score confused us all

0 upvotes
ama1
By ama1 (May 9, 2012)

What do you mean by "Outstanding high ISO performance..." When I look at the crops of shots at ISO 3200 or 6400, they look horrible. Some point and shoots are better than D800. Am I missing something?!

0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (May 9, 2012)

yes you are "missing something"

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
iudex
By iudex (May 9, 2012)

You are missing sight. ;-)

5 upvotes
MichaelEchos
By MichaelEchos (May 9, 2012)

Looks like you're looking at them at 100% crop. Pixel peeping is useless for comparing different cameras.

0 upvotes
K_Photo_Teach
By K_Photo_Teach (May 9, 2012)

depends on how much light is available. A measure in something like lumen would be useful

0 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (May 9, 2012)

in that they match the 5DmkIII resampled down to 22MP. so it is the best of both worlds. resolution when you need it. high ISO when you don't.

1 upvote
JohnMatrix
By JohnMatrix (May 9, 2012)

Am I right in thinking the D800s cross-type sensors are all clustered in the central area of the frame, rather than having some of them located towards the edges where they'd be more useful in portrait orientation?

The review doesn't really pick up on that fact, unless I missed it?

3 upvotes
FuzzTheKingOfTrees
By FuzzTheKingOfTrees (May 9, 2012)

I think this is the case for all full frame cameras. It's due to the way phase detect AF works. You can't place the sensors further away from the sensor.
That's one of the advantages of a DX camera.

2 upvotes
LSE
By LSE (May 9, 2012)

find me a full frame camera with good sensor coverage...

0 upvotes
ds2002
By ds2002 (May 9, 2012)

Well, at least the 5DIII has some off-center cross points as you can see here:

http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canoneos5dmarkiii/4

0 upvotes
Chev Chelios
By Chev Chelios (May 9, 2012)

@LSE @FuzzTheKingOfTrees
I believe the 5DIII (and 1Ds) has cross points further away from centre than the D800.

0 upvotes
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