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Nikon D800E Review

The level of enthusiasm that has been generated by the introduction of the Nikon D800 full-frame camera has never been seen before. This review has been updated to include a comparison to the Nikon D700 in the part devoted to performance.

The fact that the new camera boasts a class-leading effective pixel count of 36.3 million has been one of the most popular subjects of discussion on the device. This may be evidence that the pixel race is not yet finished and that statistics continue to catch the attention of the media truly.

To what extent may the D800’s extremely high pixel count work against it? The D700, Nikon’s entry-level digital single-lens reflex camera, sits below the D800 in the company’s SLR lineup and has just 12 million effective pixels.

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Until recently, Nikon’s philosophy was that 12 million pixels are plenty, provided the photographs are unmistakable. In addition, Nikon is well-known for the quality of their cameras’ low-light performance and noise control. A resolution of 36 million pixels may be a step too far, too fast.

Nikon D800E Features

Although it has a sensor with a higher population density, the 36.3-megapixel Nikon D800 uses many of the new capabilities introduced with the 16.2-megapixel Nikon D4. Still, it does so in a far more petite body and at a significantly lower price. The same EXPEED 3 CPU, the same Multi-Cam 3500 FX autofocus system that provides 51 AF points, and the same 91k-pixel metering system are all included here.

Additionally, it can focus down to -2 EV, which, when combined with the fact that it can shoot at an ISO of up to 25,600 (when set to the Hi 2 setting), should make the D800 a good camera for shooting in low-light conditions, provided that the level of image noise is acceptable.

Because the D800 has a lower effective pixel count than the D700, it should not come as much of a surprise that the D800 has a lower maximum continuous shooting rate than the D700. However, the D800 is still quite capable, as it can shoot at full resolution at a rate of 4 frames per second (while the D700 is capable of 5 frames per second) with the standard battery and five frames per second (while the D700 can manage eight frames per second) with This may be improved even more by reducing the image size to capture photographs in the DX format.

Nikon D800E Build Quality

The D800 and the D700 have almost similar dimensions. However, the D800 is somewhat larger overall and slightly heavier. It is 10% lighter than the D700, and the look and feel of the body is more ‘contoured’ than the D700’s. In the same vein as the D4, the shutter release has been subtly moved to a new location to improve ergonomics, and a number of the controls have been modified.

A new video record button has been added close to the shutter release, and a new switch has been added to the right side of the back screen, allowing you to switch between the live view for still images and video. Even though it is possible to take a still image when the Stills/Video switch is set to Video, the only way to begin recording is with the control set to Video. Because these settings are also included on the D4, moving between the two bodies of the camera should be a pretty smooth procedure for professionals who own both cameras.

Nikon D800E Performance

According to the results of our testing, the Nikon D800 can resolve a significant amount of information; in fact, it is not too far behind the medium-format Pentax 645D, which has a 40-megapixel sensor that measures 44 by 33 millimeters and is capable of medium-level acceptable resolution. This is a remarkable accomplishment considering that the D800’s sensor is just 35.9 mm by 24 mm, despite its full-frame format.

When trying to fit so many pixels onto a sensor, you run the danger of having to make the photosites very tiny. This might cause an increase in the amount of picture noise that is produced. The good news is that Nikon has managed to find a happy medium between the level of resolution and the amount of noise.

Nikon D800E Image Quality

When set to its highest setting, the Nikon D800E generates photos with a resolution of 7360 x 4912 pixels. These can be printed at 300 PPI to make precisely 24 x 16-inch copies without interpolation. The amount of detail that can be obtained with this camera is breathtaking and on par with that of many medium-format digital cameras and backs.

It also has a critically tiny increase in detail and a slight increase in sharpness over the standard D800. On the other hand, the image quality of the Nikon D800E is not solely determined by its resolution. In addition, the photographs, particularly those captured in NEF format, have an excellent dynamic range and, for the most part, very little noise.

They may appear noisier than most other full-frame DSLRs when examined up close at 1:1 view, particularly at ISO 6400 and beyond; however, due to the insanely high levels of detail captured, you can apply quite a bit of noise reduction to them and still end up with a sharper and more detailed final image than if you had used a cleaner but lower-resolution photograph to begin with. This is because the insanely high levels of detail captured to allow you to apply quite a bit of noise reduction to them and

Because of this, noise only becomes an issue when shooting in DX crop mode at high ISO settings, and even then, it is equivalent to what you are used to seeing from top-of-the-line 16-megapixel APS-C digital SLR cameras.

The built-in flash produces even exposures with no detectable red-eye, and the camera is also very well suited to night photography and long exposures in general. Nikon’s Active D-lighting and HDR technologies work well in light with a lot of contrast, and the built-in flash also produces even exposures.

Nikon D800E Specs

Body typeMid-size SLR
Max resolution7360 x 4912
Other resolutions6144 x 4912, 6144 x 4080, 5520 x 3680, 4800 x 3200, 4608 x 3680, 4608 x 3056, 3680 x 2456, 3600 x 2400, 3072 x 2456, 3072 x 2040, 2400 x 1600
Image ratio w:h5:4, 3:2
Effective pixels36 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors37 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 24 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorExpeed 3
ISO100 – 6400 in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps (50 – 25600 with boost)
Boosted ISO (minimum)50
Boosted ISO (maximum)25600
White balance presets12
Custom white balanceYes (5)
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal, Basic
AutofocusPhase DetectMulti-areaSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points51
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots921,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT Color LCD with 170 degrees wide-viewing angle
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeOptical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.7×
Minimum shutter speed30 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject / scene modesNo
Built-in flashYes (pop-up)
Flash range12.00 m (at ISO 100)
External flashYes (Hot-shoe, Wireless plus sync connector)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain, High-speed sync
Continuous drive4.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 to 20 sec, 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedAverageSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing(2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
MicrophoneMono
SpeakerMono
Storage typesCompact Flash (Type I), SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant
Storage includedNone
USBUSB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini Type C)
Remote controlYes (Optional, wired or wireless )
Environmentally sealedYes (Water and dust resistant)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion EN-EL15 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)1000 g (2.20 lb / 35.27 oz)
Dimensions146 x 123 x 82 mm (5.75 x 4.84 x 3.23″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSOptional
GPS notesGP-1

Nikon D800E Verdict

It is pretty encouraging to see that the Nikon D800 is not only a victory of numbers but that the 35.3-megapixel sensor truly lives up to its promise by capturing critical information. The noise is exceptionally well managed, which is a pleasant surprise, and the dynamic range is impressive for its scope.

The Nikon D800 is a worthwhile purchase for anybody considering upgrading to a full-frame camera shortly. You get all of the most significant features of the D4 in a more compact and lighter body with a significantly higher pixel count and for a price that is just about half as much as the D4.

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