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Nikon Releases the 36.3-megapixel D800 DSLR
By Hafeez Sim - 7 Feb 2012,7:20pm

Nikon Releases the 36.3-megapixel D800

The D800 Has Landed

Nikon's D700 has been on the scene for quite some time (3.5 years to be exact), so it's no surprise many enthusiasts are clamoring for a refresh. Just earlier today, Nikon has introduced the D800 that features a whopping 36.3-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. Besides the bump up in resolution, there are other areas that the D800 has improved over the D700. Join us as we take a quick look at some of the changes.

The D800 is 10% lighter than the D700.

FX-format 36.3 Megapixel CMOS Sensor and New RGB Sensor

Hogging the headlines is the D800's FX-format 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor. This is the highest resolution sensor that you'll find in a non-medium format camera. At 36MP, it's more resolution than the 24MP Nikon D3X. In theory, the new sensor should allow for images that are on a par in terms of resolution to medium-format cameras. The sensor even allows for Full HD 1080-quality video recording at 30p.

The D800 also features a new 91K-pixel RGB sensor (also found on the D4) that works together with Nikon's 3D Colour Matrix Metering III for more accurate control over autofocusing, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control and auto white balance.

Increased ISO Range

Nikon has managed to produce an increased ISO range in the D800, with standard ISO range covering ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The D800 also has support for an expanded range, from ISO 50 to ISO 25600 equivalents.

The top of D800's mode dial now includes a bracketing (BKT) mode button.

Expeed 3 Image-Processing Engine

The D800 features a new Expeed 3 image-processing engine (also found on the D4) that manages massive amounts of data at faster speeds than the older Expeed 2. The new image-processing engine also helps in producing images with richer colors and less noise.

Dual Format Video Recording

Fully capable of full HD video recording, users can choose between recording at 1920 x 1080p/30fps by using the FX-based mode or the DX-based mode. The FX-based mode allows for a shallow depth-of-field, while the DX-based mode allows for zooming into the subject without changing lenses while filming due to the crop factor.

The D800 is equipped with a headphone jack and is capable of precise adjustment of microphone sensitivity. The camera also allows for simultaneous display on the camera's monitor and on an external HDMI display device during recording.

The D800 possesses a dedicated movie record button (notice the little red dot).

The D800's rear control layout isn't that dissimilar to the D700's, and closely resembles the D4's. The most obvious differences compared to the D700 are the live view switch and a slightly bigger 3.2" LCD (the D700's 3").



In conjunction with the release of the D800, Nikon has also released a slightly-modified version, the D800E. It is basically the same as the D800 except that the D800E sports the ability to disable the aliasing and moiré pattern reduction operation done by the optical low-pass filter. While this may result in more noticeable aliasing and moiré patterns, images should also show even greater resolution - something that can never be too much for landscape and studio photographers.

Optical low-pass filter IR coating and anti-reflection coating performance is the same with both the D800 and the D800E.

Nikon D700 vs. D800 vs. D4
  Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Nikon D4
Effective Pixels 12.1 megapixels 36.3 megapixels 16.2 megapixels
Shutter Life 150,000 exposures 200,000 exposures 400,000 exposures
ISO Range 200 - 6400 (100 - 25600 with boost) 100 - 6400 (50 - 25600 with boost) 100 - 12800 (204800 with boost)
Continuous Shooting 5fps 4fps (FX mode), 6fps DX mode 10fps
Storage CF card Dual slots (CF, SD) Dual slots (CF, XQD)
Dimensions 147 x 123 x 77mm 146 x 123 x 82mm 160 x 157 x 91mm
Weight (with battery) 1075g 900g 1340g

Of course, these are not all the features that the D800 has. Other goodies include a 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors, a 100% viewfinder, USB 3.0 support, and uncompressed video output via HDMI, among others. For those interested, hit this link to Nikon's product page to find out more.

Local pricing and availability of the D800/800E will be announced at a later timing.

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