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Camera Menus

The D800 has an extensive, yet sensibly arranged menu system that will look very familiar to owners upgrading from the D700. By default, menu navigation is accomplished using the multi selector, though you can also configure the camera's front and rear dials to move among options as well. Pressing the camera's external help button will pop-up explanatory text describing the currently selected option.

The D800's menu system is divided into six main categories.The contents of each category are displayed in a page-driven interface. Menu display is sticky, meaning that whether you exit the menu system or turn off the camera, pressing the Menu button returns you to the primary menu option you last visited.

Playback menu

In the playback menu you can delete, copy and rotate images, as well as specify the information that is displayed during image review. In this table and all those that follow the * indicates a material change over the D700 (we haven't marked menu items that have simply been moved or renamed).

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one
Delete  • Multiple images
Selection screen
 • All
SD card slot
CF card slot
 
Playback folder  • ND800
 • All
 • Current
 
Hide image  • Select/set
 • Deselect all?
 
Playback display options  • Basic photo info
Focus point
 • Additional photo info
None (image only)
Highlights
RGB Histogram
Shooting data
Overview
Allows you to select the information screeens that are available to cycle among in image playback.
Copy images *  • Select source
SD card slot
CF card slot
 • Select images
Folder name
Deselect all
Select all images
Select protected images
 • Select destination folder
Select folder by number
Enter folder number
Select folder from list
Choose from list
 • Copy images?
Yes
No
 
Image review  • On
 • Off
 
After delete  • Show next
 • Show previous
 • Continue as before
The 'Continue as before' option cycles through the remaining images in the direction you were scrolling.
Rotate tall  • On
 • Off
Enable to automaically rotate vertical images in playback.
Page two
Slide show  • Start
 • Image type
Still images and movies
Still images only
Movies only
 • Frame interval
2 s
3 s
5 s
10 s
 
Print set (DPOF)  • Select / set
 • Deselect all?
 

Shooting menu

The shooting menu is where you'll find a vast array of parameters related to image size, quality and color settings. Among these options is the choice for handling the camera's dual card slot configuration. This is also where you set the movie recording options.

Option Values / Actions Notes
Page one
Shooting menu bank  • A
 • B
 • C
 • D
 • Rename
Text entry

Four banks of settings can be memorized and quickly switched. Each bank can be given a custom name. Settings for each bank can be individually reset back to camera defaults via the Delete button.

Extended menu banks *  • On
 • Off
Allows exposure mode, shutter and aperture values (where applicable) to be saved in menu banks.
Primary slot selection *  • SD card slot
 • CF card slot
 
Secondary slot function *  • Overflow
 • Backup
 • RAW primary, JPEG secondary
 
Image quality  • NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine
 • NEF (RAW) + JPEG Normal
 • NEF (RAW) + JPEG Basic
 • NEF (RAW)
 • TIFF (RGB)
 • JPEG Fine
 • JPEG Normal
 • JPEG Basic
 
Image size  • Large
 • Medium
 • Small
- 7360 x 4912 / 36.2 M
- 5520 x 3680 / 20.3 M
- 3680 x 2456 / 9.0 M
Page two
Image area  • Auto DX crop
On
Off
 • Choose image area
FX (36x24)
1.2x (30x20)
DX (24x16)
5:4 (30x24)
With 'Auto' enabled, the camera will automatically switch to a DX crop when a DX lens is mounted. Non-DX lenses will use the crop specified in the image area setting.
JPEG compression  • Size priority
 • Optimal quality
 
NEF (RAW) recording  • Type
Lossless compressed
Compressed
Uncompressed
 • NEF (RAW) bit depth
12-bit
14-bit
Set the type of compression used in the NEF file as well as the bit-depth recorded.
White balance  • Auto
Normal
Keep warm lighting colors *
 • Incandescent
 • Fluorescent
 • Direct Sunlight
 • Flash
 • Cloudy
 • Shade
 • Choose color temp.
 • Preset manual

A separate A-B, G-M grid is available to fine tune WB in all modes except Kelvin mode, which offers G-M. Kelvin adjustments are possible in increments of 10 degrees.

Set Picture Control  • Standard
Quick adjust (-2 to +2)
Sharpening (A, 0 to 9)
Contrast (A, -3 to +3)
Brightness (-1 to +1)
Saturation (A, -3 to +3)
Hue (-3 to +3)
 • Neutral
Sharpening (A, 0 to 9)
Contrast (A, -3 to +3)
Brightness (-1 to +1)
Saturation (A, -3 to +3)
Hue (-3 to +3)
 • Vivid
Quick adjust (-2 to +2)
Sharpening (A, 0 to 9)
Contrast (A, -3 to +3)
Brightness (-1 to +1)
Saturation (A, -3 to +3)
Hue (-3 to +3)
 • Monochrome
Sharpening (A, 0 to 9)
Contrast (A, -3 to +3)
Brightness (-1 to +1)
Filter (Off, Y, O, R, G)
Toning (10 options)
 • Portrait *
Quick adjust (-2 to +2)
Sharpening (A, 0 to 9)
Contrast (A, -3 to +3)
Brightness (-1 to +1)
Saturation (A, -3 to +3)
Hue (-3 to +3)
• Landscape *
Quick adjust (-2 to +2)
Sharpening (A, 0 to 9)
Contrast (A, -3 to +3)
Brightness (-1 to +1)
Saturation (A, -3 to +3)
Hue (-3 to +3)
The 'Quick adjust' setting triggers pre-programmed values for the underlying options.
Manage Picture Control  • Save/edit
Choose a Picture Control
 • Rename
 • Delete
 • Load/save
Copy to camera
Delete from card
Copy to card

Create custom Picture Control sets

Color Space  • sRGB
 • Adobe RGB
 
Active D-Lighting  • Auto
 • Extra high
 •High
 • Normal
 • Low
 • Off
 
Page three
HDR *  • HDR mode
On (series)
On (single photo)
Off
 • Exposure differential
Auto
1 EV
2 EV
3 EV
 • Smoothing
High
Normal
Low
Combines two images captured at user-specified EV differences to form a single HDR image. Available in JPEG and TIFF modes only.
Vignette Control  • High
 • Normal
 • Low
 • Off
Applies in-camera masking to reduce corner shading. Not available for movies, multiple exposure or DX format images.
Auto distortion control *  • On
 • Off
Enable to reduce barrel and pin-cushion lens distortion.
Long exp. NR  • On
 • Off
Enables dark frame subtraction NR for exposures of 1 sec or longer.
High ISO NR.  • High
 • Normal
 • Low
 • Off
When set to 'Off', NR is still applied (to a lesser degree) to images shot at ISO 1600 and higher.
ISO sensitivity settings  • ISO sensitivity
Lo 1
Lo 0.7
Lo 0.3
100
125
160
200
250
320
400
500
640
800
1000
1250
1600
2000
2500
3200
4000
5000
6400
Hi 0.3
Hi 0.7
Hi 1
Hi 2
 • ISO sensitivity auto control
On / Off
Maximum sensitivity
200
250
320
400
500
640
800
1000
1250
1600
2000
2500
3200
4000
5000
6400
Hi 0.3
Hi 0.7
Hi 1
Hi 2
Minimum shutter speed
Auto
1/4000 - 1 sec

Available sensitivities depend on ISO step custom setting.

Full range: Lo 1 = ISO 50 to Hi 2 = ISO 25600.

Multiple exposure  • Multiple exposure mode
On (series)
On (single photo)
Off
 • Number of shots
2 - 10
 • Auto gain
On
Off
Create a new image from between two and ten exposures.
Interval timer shooting    • Choose start time
Now
Start time
[hh:mm]
 • Interval
[hh:mm:ss]
 • Select no. of times*no. of shots
[000] x [0] = 0001
 • Start
Off
On
Cannot be used simultaneously with time-lapse photography.
Page four
Time-lapse photography  • Start
On
Off
 • Interval
[hh:mm:ss]
 • Shooting time
[hh:mm:ss]
 • Start
Off
On
Time-lapse is not available in live view, with shutter speed set to 'bulb', or in bracketing, HDR or multiple exposure modes.
Movie settings  • Frame size/frame rate
1920 × 1080; 30 fps
1920 × 1080; 25 fps
1920 × 1080; 24 fps
1280 x 720; 60 fps
1280 x 720; 50 fps
1280 x 720; 30 fps
1280 x 720; 25 fps
 • Movie quality
High quality
Normal
 • Microphone
Auto sensitivity
Manual sensitivty
1 - 20
Microphone off
 • Destination
SD card slot
CF card slot
 
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Comments

Total comments: 16
Galbertson

Maybe subject expressed before, has anyone tested older legacy glass, 70's manual prime nikkor glass on D800E for overall performance? The resolving power on film was extremely high, the only artifacts in hi res scans was film grain, not flaws in optics, seemingly capable of resolving limits of 36mp sensor. Have never found true test without bias for "new", "best" nikkor glass.

0 upvotes
josikim

Legacy glasses will do just fine! I only have one, which is a 50mm F2 AI. I own the D800E and the resolving power on that little lens is still amazing. It keeps up with my modern Nikkor 35 1.8G, which, according to Dxo is sharper than it's big brother the 35 1.4G. It's definitely not as sharp as, say my 58mm 1.4G, but for an old lens, it really does bring out its best.

0 upvotes
Vmo9

After using this camera for a while, I tried the Canon 5D Mark III and recently made the switch. Auto focus needs improvement, as does the weather proofing. After 30 plus years of being a Nikon fanatic and after the issues with this camera causing countless shipping for maintenance and water seepage I became frustrated and ended not using it as much. Resale value was fair but not what I had thought a camera such as this would bring.

2 upvotes
q8wizard

VMO9 you have the same issue of mine, focusing problem and slight salty water leaked inside and spreads like a cancer in the camera component, it is not a weather nor water sealed and it cant be fixed, now since i have all the top of the lenses and accessories i cant think of switching, so I'm in delma, should i wait for the upgrade or to by the d800e, I'm very loyal to this brand for very long time, i cant think of abandons nikon but i guess as someone said Nikon who is trying to.

1 upvote
Vmo9

It was not easy to switch from Nikon to Canon, especially since I owned every "fast" professional lens Nikon produces. From the fisheye to the 800mm and two 400mm f2.8 lenses, it was a very difficult choice financially and also to end my loyalty to Nikon after 30 years. Selling all of my used gear and basically starting over was an adventure in itself. What I can offer is that since I made the switch the customer service that I've received from Canon has been impressive, as I'm hard on my gear and push the limits. The recent firmware update for my 5D Mark III pushed the standards even higher. It's difficult after purchasing an expensive piece of hardware to give it a thumbs down, as know one wants to admit making a bad decision.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
bdenize

I just got my D800 2 days ago, coming from D7000.
I do not own the very expensive lenses everyone say to be the "MUST" on the D800/E. And that was my very big concern about getting this camera.
I tested it with my 70-300VR and even with my 24-85 AFD. It works just GREAT !
Maybe I unconsciously take a bit more care in holding the camera when shooting. But that is the point also for every amateur... improving the technique.
Still, IMHO... I am very happy I didn't go for the smaller D610. Worth every penny I spent for it. I am VERY happy I did it.
I did my homework of course, and checked the left AF points. All is fine for me.
I found the shutter noise to be a bit kinky compared to D7000... not as "smooth" but it seems normal for FX.
If you are Amateur, go for it and be happy if your budget allows it. You will certainly be with the D800, no matter you need or don't the extra mpx. It is a monster.

Comment edited 51 seconds after posting
1 upvote
calicam

I agree that to take full advantage of the D800E quality, it demands extra care when shooting and using the best lenses. I'm looking at the Sony A7R for a possible future purchase, maybe easier when backpacking. I also don't care for the very curvy, roundish look of the Nikon and Canon offerings.

0 upvotes
scottstensland

the ON/OFF switch on D800E is less ergonomically pleasing than D300

0 upvotes
aquadream

The review states that best results are obtained from D800/E if best (most expensive) lenses are used, which sounds a bit like a drawback. My experience shows the opposite. Nikon D800E shines the brightest over any other camera I have used when I use just simple plastic zooms like Nikon 28-80/3.3-5.6G
I was not able to get ever sharper immages with any Canon using superior prime lenses than the images I get from nikon D800E with the nikon 28-80/3.3-5.6G lens.
Perhaps the best D800E results will be with the best lenses there are. I also have Nikon 85/1.4G, no questions there. This lens is so sharp that manages to exite some moire and aliasing even when shooting grass.
However D800E produces superior image quality over anything else even with cheap lenses.

I could post some examples.

4 upvotes
mufflon

sound interesting -> i will test that too :)

0 upvotes
munro harrap

There seems to be a kind of failure to realize that the D800 responds very much faster to use than does the 5D MkIII, and that it does not degrade images as do the 5D MkII and 5D MkIII series.
There's no point having the resolution if the 5D Mk II and III smooth away all low contrast detail as they do- certainly in Raw files as well as Jpeg in the 5D MkII.

I would not advise anyone to buy such a camera whose shutter lag is also much greater than its peers. An Old 1Ds is a much better bet if you are a Canon fan, much. No degradation to fine detail (which happens at ALL isos and much much faster response-same as D800 in custom function mode.

I bought a 5D MkII. I was appalled at what it did to the images and the Jpegs are a disgrace-worse than the Basic level off a Nikon with all detail mushed. Well, if you want that, and the finest detail turned to mush in 5dMkII and MkIII RAW files too , as now Dpreview admit(years too late), go ahead, but the D800 is just SO much better -it just is.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
SASpurr

In the 'Final Word' subsection of the 'Overall Conclusions' section it states:-

"Yet, I'd caution anyone who considers buying the D800 or D800E solely, or even primarily because of their ultra-high resolution. Pushing these cameras to achieve their maximum level of detail requires an investment of both time (methodical preparation) and money (the very best lenses Nikon makes)."

The part about which I would like clarification is "...requires an investment of both time...". Is the author referring to additional tasks over and above what one would 'normally' do in taking a picture? If so what are these tasks?
Or does it refer to care in the conduct of normal tasks: use of tripod, select correct depth of field/aperture, exposure delay and remote control to reduce vibration, switch off image stabilisation??

1 upvote
Joed700

The only reason you want this camera is because you plan to present your photos or make BIG prints. Of course, shooting RAW at all time. You probably want to invest in prime lenses or good zoom like 24-70mm f2.8 or 80-200mm f2.8; 50mm f1.8g... Also, purchasing a photo processing program is a must, like CS6 or similar. If you are a causal shooter who doesn't care about post processing, you are better off getting the D610 for full frame or D7100, D5300...and shoot jpegs.

Also, you really don't need a tripod in many situations. I think Nikon was trying to emphasize the pixel power of this camera by telling people to shoot at a higher shutter speed...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
YogiGX20

When digital cameras reached 14 MP, with the first being the Pentax K20D, criticism was raised, that lenses won't cope. It's now crept up to 24MP for APS-C and the sensors are praised for their detailed pictures. Makes me wonder how great all these new kit lenses must be??? Or it was all just a media hype?
Using a DX lens on a D800 brings the resolution down to about 15MP which is roughly the same pixel pitch as a Nikon D7000 or Pentax K5 - it is also considered the best compromise between pixel size and resolution. So a D800 is basically a full frame version of a 16MP APS-C sensor as far as I understand it.
I think you do need much better glass for a D7100 or D5300 (than a D800) to get the best out of the sensor and a much steadier hand (or fast shutter speeds) for really sharp pictures. Such a high amount of photo sites will pick up any lens movement ....
I reckon if Nikon also produced a "D800" with a 24MP sensor, it'd be more appealing to a wider audience.

2 upvotes
Mike Davis

Regarding the excellent demo of diffraction's impact at various f-stops, on page 25 of this review, where is the photo showing what could have been accomplished using Photoshop ACR sharpening against an f/4 RAW file?

I would very much like to compare sharpening of the f/4 RAW file to sharpening of the f/22 RAW file. Surely, a silk purse made from silk would be more attractive than a silk purse made from a pig's ear.

Link to page 25 of this review: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-d800-d800e/25

Mike

0 upvotes
arhmatic

Maybe it's just me, but I see this camesas looking more and more like a melted soap bar. I miss the days when bodies had straight, clean lines. They were also much smaller, for the same full frame film...

3 upvotes
Total comments: 16