Nikon D800 Full Frame SLR Camera with 36MP Sensor

| March 28, 2012

Nikon D800 Professional SLR front view

Nikon has announced the ground breaking enthusiast and professional oriented Nikon D800 FX format full frame digital SLR camera incorporating a truly impressive 36MP CMOS sensor rivaling medium format output quality. The Nikon D800 serves as an update to the popular Nikon D700.

The Nikon D800 functions as an advanced multimedia tool providing for Full 1080p HD video recording with manual control, selectable frame rates and the ability to add an external stereo microphone.

Additional headline features of the Nikon D800 professional SLR include; a new enhanced 3D Colour Matrix metering system (III), 51-point 3D autofocus tracking, ISO boost up to 25,600 ISO, dual memory card slots (SD and CF), and features a large 3.2-inch LCD screen with 921K dot resolution and wide viewing angle and anti-reflective coatings.

The Nikon D800 comes supplied with a Nikon EN-EL15 rechargeable battery that is able to provide
up to approximately 900 shots per charge. An optional MB-D12 vertical release battery grip accessory is available which also extends the camera’s continuous shooting capability up to 6 fps when using AA type batteries.

The Nikon D800 digital SLR body will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $3149.99 in Canada and $2999.99 in the US. See order information from Amazon on the Nikon D800

Nikon D800 Professional DSLR back view

Nikon D800 SLR Camera Major Features

• Newly developed Nikon FX-format full frame CMOS sensor with 36.3 effective megapixels (highest resolution to date in a DSLR camera with a 35mm equivalent sensor size)

• Further improved high-speed, multifunctional, high-performance image-processing engine EXPEED 3

• 91,000-Pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering III sensor partners with Nikon’s Advanced Scene Recognition System (SRS) technology to provide enhanced AF, white balance, flash exposure and metering accuracy.

In auto-area AF, the camera can genuinely detect human faces and focuses on them immediately — useful when faces are a priority and there’s no time to choose focus points. When using 3D-tracking, the sensor’s fine resolution combines with a specifically optimized AF algorithm to realize unprecedented subject tracking precision, recognizing detailed patterns to keep your subject in sharp focus.

• 51-point AF system with enhanced performance in subject acquisition and focusing in low-light situations. 4 Dynamic AF modes and 3D AF tracking.

• The 51 sensor points in the Nikon D800’s AF sensor module work down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F), the approximate physical limit of human visibility through an optical viewfinder. For enhanced detection 15 crosstype sensors in the center detect both vertical and horizontal lines when using any AF NIKKOR lenses of f/5.6 or faster.

• Wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 6400, expandable to Lo 1 (ISO 50 equivalent) or Hi 2 (ISO 25600 equivalent). Auto option for minimum shutter speed that automatically controls the balance between shutter speed and the ISO sensitivity based on the focal length of the lens being used.

• Built-in i-TTL fill flash and Nikon Creative Lighting System support with dedicated i-TTL hot shoe and wireless flash capabilities

Nikon D800 Professional DSLR with built-in flash raised

• Glass pentaprism viewfinder with approx. 100% frame coverage (FX format) and approx. 0.7x magnification

• Approx. 921k-dot, wide-viewing angle, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass and automatic monitor brightness control

• NEF / RAW or JPEG still file format or shoot RAW + JPEG simultaneously

• Release time lag is minimized to approx. 0.042seconds, equivalent to that of the Nikon D3s
professional SLR

• Full 1080p HD broadcast quality video in MPEG AVC at 30 or 24 fps in either of two formats that are FX and DX based. When using wide-aperture NIKKOR lenses, the large image area of the FX-based format renders exquisitely shallow depth offield with beautiful bokeh effects. The DX-based format uses an image area similar to 35mm movie film, allowing cinematographers to shoot with picture angles that they are accustomed to.

• Two Live View shooting modes: Photography Live View and Movie Live View modes

• Simultaneous LiveView output using an external monitor while recording uncompressedvideo via HDMI terminal. You can also bypass the camera’s dual memorycard slots (CF and SD) and record video directly to your computeror an external hard drive.

• The Nikon D800 offers a built-in microphone to complement movie recording or an external
stereo microphone input. Attach the optional compact ME-1 Stereo Microphoneto record clear stereo sound while significantly reducing mechanical noise. An external headphone jack enables you to effectively monitor and control audio in isolation. While the audio level indicators offer visual confirmation of audio level, the microphone sensitivity can be controlled precisely in 20 incremental steps.

Nikon D4 Professional DSLR with optional external microphone

• Newly developed shutter unit tested for over 200,000 cycles; shutter speed up to 1/8,000
s and flash synchronization up to 1/250 s

• Continuous shooting at approx. 4 fps (FX, 5:4) and approx. 5 fps (1.2x, DX)

• Programmable Fn Function button for quick access to frequently used settings

• Optional Nikon MB-D12 vertical release battery grip enables high-speed continuous shooting at approx. 6 fps in DX format

Nikon D800 Professional DSLR with optional MB-D12 vertical release battery pack

• The Nikon D800 can shoot two frames in a single shutter release, but at different exposures: one overexposed and one underexposed. The camera then instantly combines them to create an image covering a wider dynamic range. The range can be widened by up to 3 EV for different looks, all full of saturation and tonal gradation, while the smoothness of the edge where the two exposures meet can be adjusted for a more natural appearance.

• Active D-Lighting preserves details in both highlights and shadowy areas of high-contrast scenes

• Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, which includes a self-cleaning sensor unit
with four different resonance frequencies to vibrate the optical low-pass filter and shake dust away from the sensor. This function can be set to operate automatically when the camera is turned on or off, or to
manual.

• Shoot time-lapse photography with replay rates from 24 to 36,000 times faster than
normal and save them as movie files

• High-capacity EN-EL 15 rechargeable Li-ion battery can deliver up to approximately 900 images per charge

• optional WT-4A Wireless Transmitter enable secure, high-speed file transmission as
well as remote camera functionality

Nikon D800 DSLR top view

Nikon D800 Digital SLR: Press Release

Mississauga, ON, February 6, 2012 – Today, Nikon Canada announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality andvaluable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers. The Nikon D800 offers an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality. It incorporates innovative technology such as a high resolution 36.3megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor,a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, an Advanced Scene Recognition System and many other intuitive features designed to create the preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel (7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and astonishing image quality to satisfy myriad client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Colour Matrix Metering III, Advanced Scene
Recognition System, and an enhanced 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, colour and clarity. The D800’s compact and lightweight digital SLR form factor and extensive video feature set allow photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate the practical features built into this camera that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility and Full HD (1080p) video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI output and incredible low-light video capability. This innovative combination of features displays Nikon’s dedication to enabling flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, which provides the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with true-to-life colour,a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

Nikon D800 DSLR front top view

“Creative visionaries need a tool to help them stay on-time and on-track, no matter what the project entails,” said Gregory Flasch, National Advertising and Communications Manager at Nikon Canada. “The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of digital SLR and addresses the needs of an emerging and ever-changing market. This is the camera that will bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never-before-seen levels of digital SLR image and video quality. The D800 is the right tool for today’s multimedia professionals, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or Full HD content with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality

The new Nikon-developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS sensor achieves Nikon’s highest resolution to date. It is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where only exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range is acceptable. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the ability to portray even the smallest detail, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness, or the option to crop liberally with confidence. Photographers also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility because only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable from 50 (Lo-1) to 25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging light conditions. An internal sensor design, enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and 14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute to a sensor capable of excellent low-light performance despite the extreme resolution. Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create astounding tonal gradation and true colours whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are also routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as 5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2x crop for a slight telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for additional lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X) while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4megapixel(4800×3200) resolution.

Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps professionals create images with outstanding resolution, colour and dynamic range in both still images and video. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal colour, rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency, affording the ability to shoot longer.

Nikon D800 LCD monitor

The D800 also featuresthe Advanced Scene Recognition system with the 91,000-pixel 3D Colour Matrix Metering III to provide unrivalled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newlydesigned RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as colour and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor has the ability to detect
human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed scene analysis for more accurate Autofocus (AF), Auto Exposure (AE), i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Colour Matrix metering also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. The D800 excels in the most difficult exposure situations, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face, while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a white wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. D800 features a newly enhanced auto white balance system that accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s Active D-lighting for balanced exposure.

Another new feature is direct access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters such as sharpness, hue and saturation, on the fly.

True Cinematic Experience

The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet it is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal for any multimedia professional from a filmmaker on location or in the studio to a documentarian in the field who requires portability. Its compatibility with NIKKOR lenses provides a versatility and depth of field that only a digital SLR can offer. Filmmakers can choose from various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p.

By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method, users can record H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity for up to29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces high quality video data without increasing file size for an efficient workflow.

The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video capability with minimal noise, allowing filmmakers to capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Additionally, users are able to have full manual control of exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in live view for an accurate
representation of the depth of field in a scene. Whether shooting for depth of field in FX format mode, or looking for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high-resolution sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain Full HD (1080p) resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene. Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control and wide-viewing angle.

Nikon D800 DSLR connections

For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed Full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. Images can be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio levels while recording.

Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30 steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the stereo mic jack can be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. Recording can also be set for activation through the shutter button, opening a world of remote applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy

Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced 51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and algorithms to significantly improve low-light acquisition for precise focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also places emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection, even through the optical viewfinder. The camera utilizes nine cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths (single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits or static subjects, users are able to select multiple AF modes including Normal, Wide Area, Face Tracking and Subject Tracking to best suit the scene.

The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.”12″ seconds and capture images with its super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 fps 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. Further enhancing the speed of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.”0″ standard for ultra-fast transfer
speeds.

Nikon D800 DSLR features Mg alloy body construction

Construction and Operability

The D800 is designed as a compact and lightweight camera for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability and sealed with gaskets for resistance to dirt and moisture.

Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder which offers 100 per cent frame coverage. For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and video to the other. For high-speed recording and transfer, data can be recorded to the latest UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also employs sensor cleaning. Furthermore, the D800 features a built-in flash and is compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System including a built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.

Nikon D800 dual memory card slots

D800E – Maximum Resolution Unleashed

In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and digital SLR versatility: the D800E. This model treads in medium-format territory for studio work or landscape photography when only the highest fidelity and sharpness is permitted. This unique alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes to yield an image resulting from the raw light-gathering properties of the camera. A colour moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D800 is scheduled to be available at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers on March 22, 2012 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $3,149.95.

The Nikon D800E is scheduled to be available in limited distribution at Authorized Nikon Canada Dealers on April 12, 2012 at an MSRP of $3,449.95.

Exclusive Canadian Warranty

Nikon Canada offers a two-year warranty for the D800 purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Additionally, Nikon Canada offers a five-year warranty for all NIKKOR lenses purchased from an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer. Consumer’s investment is protected by Nikon Canada’s warranties with in-Canada service.


To learn more about the Nikon D800 FX full frame format digital SLR check out the official Nikon D800 brochure (pdf).

 

Nikon D800 SLR side view

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