Nikon D800 Preview

Nikon has dropped yet another powerful dSLR on us for 2012, with the introduction of the D800. The long awaited successor to the D700, the D800 is now the most resolute camera Nikon has to offer (as of 2/2012), with an astounding 36.3-megapixels of resolution coming from a FX-format (full frame) CMOS image sensor.

The D800 is aimed at professionals in the photography and videography industries, with Nikon claiming the D800 has been optimized for multimedia needs, with "unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality". Alongside the ability to capture massive 7360 x 4912 pixel images, the D800 offers high-quality 1080p HD video at 30, 25, and 24fps frame rates. These videos are saved using the MPEG-4 (H.264) video codec, with monaural sound thanks to a built-in microphone; an external mic port allows for optional stereo microphone units to be used.

Other important features include an enhanced version of their 51-point Phase detection AF system, a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor with Advanced Scene Recognition technology, a 3.2-inch wide LCD screen with 921k pixels, EXPEED 3 processing engine, a strong yet lightweight magnesium alloy chassis, RAW and JPEG image formats, and Dual card slots that accept CF (UDMA-7 complaint) and SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-1 compliant) type memory cards.

They also announced a D800E variant of this camera, which they claim offers even higher resolution from the same 36-megapixel image sensor by, "cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera.". This allows light to travel directly to the photodiodes, which helps the camera yield more detail from the raw light coming through.

Nikon D800 Key Features:
  • Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS image sensor
  • EXPEED 3 processing engine
  • Ennhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module with 51-points
  • 3.2-inch wide view LCD with 921,000 pixels and 5 brightness adjustments
  • Record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video at Full HD 1080 (30/25/24p) and 720 (60/30p) resolutions with mono sound
  • Mic in port for using external stereo microphones
  • Bright Eye-level Pentamirror type optical viewfinder with 100% frame coverage (in FX-format mode)
  • Newly designed 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III metering sensor, compares all data using Nikon's exclusive 30,000 image database thanks to their Advanced Scene Recognition System
  • Capture images at up to 4fps in FX mode at full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery
  • DX mode allows for use of DX-format lenses with a 1.5x crop factor and 15.4-megapixel (4800x3200) resolution
  • ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2)
  • Dual card slots accept CF (UDMA-7 compliant) and and SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-1 compliant) memory cards
  • Uses a single EN-EL15 Li-ion battery pack (good for up to 900 shots using CIPA testing methods)
  • Optional D800E variant for those who demand even more detail.

The Nikon D800 body only kit will start shipping in later March (2012) with a suggested retail price of $2999.95 USD, while the D800E will ship starting in mid April (2012) for $3299.95 USD.

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