Nikon D800 Round-Up – Pros & Cons

(all images in this post from Nikon’s web site)

The more I read about Nikon’s D800, the more I want it.  I know it’s wrong.  It’s way too expensive for me.  My Nikon D700 should be good for at least another couple of years.  (But having recently sold off my Sony NEX-5, my Fuji X10 and my Monster Dr. Dre Detox headphones, if and when I sell the D700, that would give me the cash for this. I have a few other things to sell off; for now I think I’m holding on to both my Sony NEX-7 and Fuji X100. I am not planning to buy the Fuji X1Pro unless I win the lottery.)  The D800 is out of stock everywhere – waiting times are probably around a month at this point.  In the meantime, I’m following all the news, rumors and initial reviews with great interest.  Here’s a round-up of things that have caught my eye in vaguely random order.

Perhaps a helpful starting point would be to download the user manuals for the D800 and D800E from Nikon.

These are the two posts that initially got me lusting for the D800.  Both at Nikon Rumors, they are high ISO comparisons versus the D700.  Post 1.  Post 2.  The differences are huge and unsubtle.

For Canon fan boys (and girls), here’s a comparison of the specs of the D800 and Canon’s new EOS 5D Mark III.

I found this post at Nikon Rumors quite interesting – while the Nikon is cramming 36 million pixels on an FX sized sensor, they’re actually larger pixels than on many cameras with similar sized sensors but a lower pixel count.  Larger pixels means more efficient light collection (and better low light performance).


Nikon posted this interview with the design team behind the D800.

We didn’t see 36.3 megapixels as some astronomical number; we could proceed with confidence because we expected to reach our goal gradually through a series of building blocks: for example, increasing the precision of the image sensor, improving the performance of the optical low-pass filter to match that of a 36.3 megapixel sensor, and developing the high-speed processing technology for the EXPEED 3 image-processing engine and the image-processing software to support high resolutions. … Some may think that the D800 is the successor to the D700, but we were looking to bring the world a whole new category of camera.

Over at DxOMark, a comparison between the D700 (overall score 80) and D800 (overall score 95) sensors. The D800’s sensor received the highest score ever for a DSLR.

After previously announcing that DSLR’s are a dying breed (something I agree with), Trey Ratcliff went out and bought a D800.

For those of you who like to dig into tiny details, diglloyd wonders if the D800 will support interchangeable focusing screens.  The answer is (ahem) not clear.

Here’s a scary one.  Some of the lucky few who got the D800 are reporting some issues. Some of the LCD screens have a greenish tint (actual photos not affected, just the display on the camera’s screen). There are reported problems with older CF cards.  Some issues with shooting tethered (something I’ve never done but really want to do).  And a report of a wireless flash trigger problem.

For those who like this sort of thing, here’s a video of a D800 un-boxing.  (I’ve never cared about this sort of thing though I recognize the rush one gets when un-boxing any new gear.)

Finally – which to buy, the D800 or the D800E?  That’s a tough question.  Both diglloyd and Todd Owyoung give their opinions.


For those looking for something different, rumor has it that Nikon will announce the D3200 camera in April – DX format with a 24 megapixel sensor.  There could be 2 or 3 more DSLRs from Nikon later this year as well.

Thinking about buying the Nikon D800?  You can place an order for it at Amazon or B&H Photo.

Thinking about buying the Nikon D800E?  You can place an order for it at Amazon or B&H Photo.

(Clicking on those Amazon or B&H Photos links and buying anything helps support this blog.  Thank you for your support!)


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