Priced competitively with the Canon 5D MK II, the D800 delivers an eye-popping 36.3-megapixel image weighing in at over 70 MB for the RAW file and 212 MB for the processed TIFF, a resolution that borders on what’s available in medium format cameras.
The D800 starts with a a full frame, 35.9 x 24 mm, FX-format 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor backed up by Nikon’s Expeed 3 image processor that will output native 16-bit images. The imaging system incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III, Advanced Scene Recognition System, and an improved 51-point AF system that promises faster response. For storage you’ll have both a CF and standard SD slots, plus an integrated USB 3.0 port.
Matching the impressive image size is an ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 25,600. If that isn’t enough light the D800 has both a built-in flash and Nikon’s i-TTL system support.
While recent Nikon cameras included upgraded video specs to make them competitive with Canon cameras, the D800 is aggressively courting the video market. The D800 boasts manual exposure and audio controls in video mode and 1080p recording at 30, 25 and 24 fps, coupled with a built-in optical filter with anti-aliasing properties. Nikon also claims users can also send full uncompressed video out via HDMI as the video is being captured. I’m anxious to see that feature tested under actual production conditions. If it works that could be a game-changer in video production as Canon has seemingly ignored user pleas for RAW video output for years.
So now still photographers and video shooters can lust after a Nikon camera instead of dividing their loyalties as well as their lenses.
The D800 also incorporates a built-in anti-aliasing filter to cut down on moire, a constant problem for DSLR video shooters. Commercial and studio photographers who might not appreciate any kind of filter in the way can opt for the D800E, which is identical to the D800 with the exception of leaving out the low pass filter.
Introductory pricing is expected to be $2,999.95 for the D800 and $3,299.95 for the D800E, available for pre-order at B&H.