Once in a long while, something comes along which changes the conversation entirely. The Canon 5D Mark II was one such camera with its Full-HD video shooting ability. So was the Panasonic G1, the very first mirrorless system camera to be introduced. And so is the Nikon D800, a full-frame DSLR successor to the three year-old D700 which is not really a successor, but something entirely new altogether.
The reason for that is the D800's whopping 36MP sensor. Whereas the D700 could be criticized for its low 12MP resolution count, especially when compared to its competitor the 5D Mark II's 21.1MP, Nikon has tripled the resolution for their latest 'entry-level' FX camera, a move which has forced everybody to reconsider what a DSLR camera could and should be. To put 36MP into perspective, the S$4488 D800 trumps Nikon's previous highest resolution DSLR camera, the 24.5MP D3X which cost S$13,888 at the time it was announced.
With the D800, Nikon has effectively split their high-end FX cameras into two well-defined lines; the high-resolution D800, and the high-speed, high-ISO D4. It's a bold move; whereas the D700 was like a smaller D3, and Canon's 5D Mark III is like a companion to the 1D X, the D800 and D4 are completely distinct cameras. It introduces several questions: Is the D800 a suitable general-purpose camera or is it a specialist tool? Will the 36MP resolution place higher demands on lenses and workflow? Is the D800 a compelling upgrade for D700 owners who don't need to print large? These are questions we will attempt to answer in the pages to follow.
|ISO Sensitivity (Native)||ISO200-6400||ISO100-6400|
|ISO Sensitivity (Expandable)||ISO100-25,600||ISO50-25,600|
|Cross-Type AF Points||15||15|
|Max. Aperture with AF||f/5.6||f/8|
|Max. Frame Rate (FX)||5 fps||4 fps|
|Exposure Sensor||1005 pixel RGB sensor||91,000 pixel RGB sensor|
|Autofocus System||Multi-CAM 3500FX||Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX|
|AF Detection Range||-1 to +19 EV (ISO100, 20°C)||-2 to +19 EV (ISO100, 20°C)|
|Video Resolutions||N.A.||1080: 30p/25p/24p, 720: 60p/50p/30p/25p|
|Video Compression||N.A.||H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding|
|Memory Slots||1 x CF card||1 x CF card, 1 x SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card|
|Dimensions||147 x 123 x 77mm||146 x 123 x 81.5mm|
|Weight (body with battery)||1074g||1000g|
|Battery Life (by CIPA)||1000 shots||900 shots|