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- 36.3 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor with high signal-to-noise ratio, wide dynamic range and 12-channel readout.
- ISO 100–6400: extendable up to 25,600 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent).
- 4 fps consecutive shooting in FX/5: 4 crop modes. 5 fps in 1.2x/DX crop modes.
- Multi-area D-Movie records FX- and DX-format Full HD (1080p) movies in 30p, 25p and 24p. Max recording time approx. 29 minutes 59 seconds. Offers uncompressed HDMI output to external devices and high-fidelity audio control.
- Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point AF system: individually selectable or configurable in 9-point, 21-point and 51-point coverage settings. Sensitive down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F).
- EXPEED 3 image processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for superb tonal gradation.
- 8 cm (3.2-in.), 921k-dot LCD monitor with auto brightness control anti-reflective, with wide color reproduction.
- 3D Color Matrix Metering III: 91k pixel AE AF sensor with full-time face recognition.
- 100% viewfinder coverage and three Crop Modes: 5:4, 1.2x and DX-format, with viewfinder masking.
- Quiet shooting mode: perfect for discreet photography, the sound of the camera’s mirror return mechanism is noticeably reduced.
- Highly accurate and durable shutter unit: standard rating of 200,000 cycles, with a maximum shutter speed of 1/8,000 sec and flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec.
- Storage media: CF and SD card slots.
- Built-in i-TTL Speedlight: GN / guide number approx. 12, 24mm lens coverage.
- Durable Magnesium alloy body: moisture and dust resistant.
- Wireless LAN and Ethernet support via optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4.
Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with 36.3 effective megapixels
Enlarge images as big as A1 poster-sized prints (59.4 x 84.1 cm/23.4 x 33.1 in.) at 200 dpi, or crop aggressively to reach the composition you desire, all without sacrificing the detail and tonal range of the original. In order to maintain clean, high-resolution images, 14-bit A/D conversion within the sensor and a high signal-to-noise ratio deliver phenomenal images in a diverse array of situations. The image sensor's incredible potential does not stop with photography, either. For cinematographers ready to put their exceptionally sharp NIKKOR lenses into action, the D800's 36.3 effective megapixel data is efficiently processed for exquisite 1080p broadcast quality video at 30p.
Standard ISO 100 to ISO 6400, range expandable to ISO 50 to 25600 equivalent
High-resolution, studio-quality images shouldn't be restricted to the studio. The D800 set a new benchmark for high-resolution D-SLR cameras, with crisp clean images across a wide ISO range. Flexibility like this opens up new imaging opportunities for both still photographers and cinematographers alike during the "magic hour", the time just before dawn or at dusk when available light is often beautiful but scarce. Even at high ISO settings, the camera's intelligent noise reduction systems manage noise without sacrificing fine details, giving the D800 the edge. The difference can even be seen in low-contrast subjects such as hair and grass textures, which are often essential elements of cinema as well as high-resolution portraits and landscape images. High image quality at higher ISOs also means that you can shoot still images handheld more confidently, knowing that fast shutter speeds will reduce blur.
A strategic approach to turn light to your advantage
Combining both high-resolution performance and a wide ISO sensitivity range has finally become a reality. Nikon engineers have developed intelligent new methods to manipulate light transmission to the sensor's photodiodes: from the optical low-pass filter and on-chip gapless micro lenses to the image sensor's internal design, every measure has been taken to maximize and improve light transmission in order to deliver crisp, brilliant images with significantly less noise. All this is possible under a wide variety of lighting conditions, enabling you to get the most out of your NIKKOR lenses.
Optical low-pass filter optimized for sharpness on the D800
Reducing false colour and moiré is the main job of the optical low-pass filter located in front of the image sensor. However, this benefit is generally gained with a small sacrifice of sharpness. Moiré occurs in scenes containing repetitive details, such as strong vertical lines in architecture. Finding the right balance between benefits and sacrifices is the key to higher image quality, and that is what the D800's optical low-pass filter delivers. As a result, the astounding 36.3 megapixels unleash their potential through an optimized balance between sharpness and effectively prevented moiré and false colour. Furthermore, the multi-layer structure of the D800 low-pass filter utilizes layers of antireflective coating that have been optimized for the camera, contributing to sharper and clearer images.
The ultimate attention to detail — the D800E
Nikon engineers have developed a unique alternative for those seeking the ultimate in definition. The D800E incorporates an optical filter with all the anti-aliasing properties removed in order to facilitate the sharpest images possible.This is an ideal tool for photographers who can control light, distance and their subjects to the degree where they can mitigate the occurrence of moiré. Aside from the optical filter, all functions and features are the same as on the D800.
Note: The D800E carries an increased possibility that moiré and false colour will appear, compared to the D800. IR cut and antireflective coating properties of the optical filter remain the same with both versions.
Nikon Integrated Dust Reduction System that includes an Image Sensor Cleaning function
Any dust that reaches the image sensor results in unattractive spots on your images. To prevent this, the D800 employ 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.
EXPEED 3 image-processing engine: speed, versatility, and high performance
High-megapixel still images are detail-rich but data-heavy. With the D800, however, you don't have to sacrifice speed for this privilege. Dedicated to understanding speed and its role in image making, Nikon engineers designed a powerful EXPEED 3 image-processing engine exclusively for digital SLRs. From image processing and card recording to image playback and image transfer, EXPEED 3 manages massive amounts of data at faster speeds than EXPEED 2. Even with specialized processing features like Active D-Lighting and high ISO noise reduction, capture speed is not affected. EXPEED 3 is so powerful that it handles data-intensive tasks such as Full HD video recording at 30p with ease. You'll also notice the difference in your still images and videos through minimized noise and even richer colours and tones. In addition to these fundamental advantages, the D800 reduce the kind of colour phase shift that some cameras have difficulty with in similar situations.
14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing for rich tones and natural colours
Tonal gradation is where an image transforms from simply representing life to taking on a life of its own. The D800 do exactly that, with cutting-edge image processing that injects vital energy into your images. Black is rendered as pitch black, and shadow details are subtle and rich. Even under harsh, high-contrast light, where some cameras can fail, the D800's gradation remains smooth with abundant detail and tone all the way up the scale to pure white.
Lateral chromatic aberration reduction: Take full advantage of your NIKKOR lens collection
High-megapixel sensors can really test the quality of your lenses, but you can be confident that the combination of brilliant NIKKOR lenses and Nikon's intelligent processing measures will significantly reduce lateral chromatic aberration to give you incredibly natural-looking results. Unlike other correction methods that simply eliminate chromatic aberration, Nikon's method compensates for these colour differences in a resolving index for each colour, making it particularly effective in producing images with stunning edge-to-edge sharpness. Moreover, because these corrections are made regardless of the NIKKOR lens used, this feature contributes substantially to achieving the sharpest images possible.
Advanced Scene Recognition System with 91K-pixel RGB sensor
Nikon's revolutionary Advanced Scene Recognition System, introduced with the flagship D4 camera, is also employed in the D800. At its core is a 91K-pixel RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene with the fine resolution. The RGB sensor can recognize your scene's colours and brightness with unprecedented precision, then use that information to implement various automatic controls and give you more natural-looking results. The real breakthrough, however, is that the sensor can detect human faces with startling accuracy when shooting through the optical viewfinder. Along with face detection, detailed scene analysis is utilized to support more accurate autofocus, auto exposure and i-TTL flash exposure results in a diverse range of compositional and lighting situations. The improved subject tracking is most noticeable when using 3D-tracking, which can maintain a focus on moving subjects smaller in size than with previous generations.
More accurate face detection in auto-area AF and subject tracking in 3D-tracking
Auto-area AF and 3D-tracking are AF-area modes unique to Nikon that use your subject's colour and brightness information to detect focus. With the D800 and their more precise information and subject recognition advancements, expect big steps forward for both AF-area modes when taking high-quality still images. 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.
3D colour matrix metering III
Professional photographers who shoot still images know that Nikon's metering system delivers supremely well-balanced exposures. Thanks to the 91K-pixel RGB sensor, the D800 have far more detailed scene information at its disposal — including detected face information. This data helps the 3D colour matrix metering III deliver more desirable auto exposures, especially when there are human faces present. When the D800 detect a human face in a backlit situation, the camera determines the overall exposure while prioritizing the facial exposure, which might otherwise be underexposed. When a face is lit from the front and appears much brighter than the background, the camera recognizes the situation and avoids blowing out the facial details.
More balanced results in i-TTL balanced fill-flash and Active D-Lighting
Nikon's i-TTL system has long been considered the most accurate flash control system in photography, but now face detection and highlight analysis by the 91K-pixel RGB sensor pushes performance even further. With the D800's enhanced i-TTL balanced fill-flash, you can more precisely illuminate people's faces in relation to their surrounding brightness using either the built-in flash or an external hot-shoed Nikon Speedlight. For weddings and fashion shoots, or any photography that relies on the highest-quality still images, this new standard redefines what a flash system should be. Face detection also makes a difference when Active D-Lighting is used to retain highlights and shadows in high-contrast lighting situations. Faces will be optimally exposed both in the sun and in the shade.
Light source identification for auto white balance in still images
The D800's auto white balance is incredibly accurate in a diverse range of shooting situations, aided by unique Nikon technology that effectively identifies your light sources, both natural and artificial. With the 91K-pixel RGB sensor and the image sensor working together, the camera renders white as white with supreme accuracy. Or if you prefer, the auto white balance can be set to reflect the warmth of ambient, incandescent lighting.
Contribution to D-Movie shooting
The D800's Advanced Scene Recognition System enhances not only still image shooting but also various controls used in movie shooting. It identifies light sources and human faces finely, utilizing the high resolution of the image sensor to deliver accurate auto white balance and exposure control during movie shooting, and improves the precision of subject-tracking AF. Furthermore, it automatically detects flicker effects, and controls the exposure to reduce them.
Direct access to Picture Control that enables quick setting
Customize the look of your stills and videos through Picture Controls by fine-tuning parameters such as sharpening, saturation, and hue. The D800 now allow you to access Picture Control instantly and directly from a dedicated button rather than entering the menu. When live view shooting, you can visually confirm how customized Picture Control settings will look and easily adjust the parameters.
D-Movie shooting functions
Full HD video quality and minimized rolling shutter effect: Dynamic movie shooting in diverse lighting situations
Many filmmakers, multimedia professionals and still photographers need the highly mobile, lightweight and compact form of a D-SLR in order to cover large events or make documentaries, music videos or movies. For these professionals, the D800 are ready to create true cinematic experiences. By using the B frame data compression method, you can record 1080p Full HD video at 30p in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format with unmatched moving image integrity for up to approx. 29 min. 59 s* of recording in a single clip. Thanks to Nikon's latest image-processing optimizations, the monumental power of 36.3 megapixels transforms to sharp, exquisitely rendered videos. Expect exceptionally smooth gradation in blue skies, with minimum block noise and beautifully natural movement rendered clearly and sharply. The D800's intelligent image sensor reads out movie images at faster rates than ever, significantly reducing the rolling shutter distortion that can occur during panning shots or when shooting fast-moving lateral subjects like trains. Thanks to EXPEED 3, your movies will take on a distinctive look of their own, even with dimly lit scenes. Combine these benefits and you'll begin to realize exactly the new creative opportunities possible for photographers and cinematographers alike. *Maximum recording time varies according to frame rate, frame size and image quality settings. Maximum recording time for time-lapse photography is 20 min.
Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie: Creative movie-making freedom in FX- and DX-based formats
The D800 are designed to stimulate cinematographers to explore different moods and perspectives by enabling Full HD and HD video recording in two frame formats; Nikon FX- and DX-based movie formats in just one camera. When using wide-aperture NIKKOR lenses, the large image area of the FX-based format* renders exquisitely shallow depth of field 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. Having the advantage of two D-Movie formats in one camera and an arsenal of NIKKOR lenses makes the D800 an incredibly versatile movie-making tool. *The aspect ratio of movies is 16:9 whichever format is selected. Also, in the FX-based movie format, the width of the image area is approx. 91% of that in the still image FX format.
Smoother video recording under fluorescent or mercury lamps: Auto flicker reduction
With the D800, it is easier than ever to reduce flicker effects during live view and video recording. Simply use auto in the flicker reduction menu to automatically identify the flicker frequency at the beginning of live view and switch to the one that will work best. You can also manually switch between 50 Hz and 60 Hz.
Comprehensive high-fidelity audio recording control
The D800 are designed for crisp stereo recording with a built-in external stereo microphone input. Attach the compact ME-1 Stereo Microphone to record clear 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.
View simultaneous live view output on external monitors and record uncompressed video via HDMI
During movie shooting, you can now simultaneously check videos on an external monitor* using an HDMI connection, in addition to the camera's TFT monitor. And for those who need the purest video output for professional quality editing, you can now record uncompressed movie live view footage directly to an external storage device via HDMI interface. *When video is output through HDMI interface simultaneously with recording to a CF/SD card, output image through HDMI interface will be smaller than 1,280 x 720.
Capture a variety of scenes and subjects at a breathtaking pace. The D800's time-lapse photography lets you set intervals and frame rates in order to dramatically relay slow-moving activity at dramatic speeds. The D800 allow you to shoot time-lapse photography with replaying rates from 24 times to 36,000 times faster than normal. Time-lapse photography files can be saved as a movie file.Note: Movie files of time-lapse photography will be saved in 16:9 aspect ratio. It is recommended to confirm image area in movie live view before starting time-lapse photography.
Versatile custom settings for D-Movie
The D800 have addressed useful feedback from videographers with convenient custom controls for D-Movie operation. Instead of rotating the command dial, power aperture enables smoother aperture controls during movie live view using a button designated via custom menu, which can be very convenient to confirm depth of field. Index marking helps you locate important frames for later-stage in-camera editing and replay by attaching markers during movie recording. Markings are indicated along with the progress bar, which is easy to confirm visually.
Still image shooting functions
Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module for razor-sharp detection in low light
Accurate AF detection is crucial for extremely high-resolution still images in every situation. The 51 sensor points in the 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 even more powerful detection, you can rely on the camera’s 15 crosstype sensors in the center to detect both vertical and horizontal lines when using any AF NIKKOR lenses of f/5.6 or faster. What’s more, AF can be activated with eleven focus points in the center with open aperture of f/8*, which is a big plus when you combine a telephoto lens with a 2.0x teleconverter to shoot distant subjects. *Cross-type sensor is limited to the center AF point only. AF may not be achieved in lowcontrast or low-light conditions.
Versatile AF-area modes
Whether it's a still life, a portrait, a landscape or a candid street scene, your subject matter varies, but its importance doesn't. That's why the D800 offer four AF-area modes, each specifically tailored to adapt to various subjects. Single-point AF is ideal when you need pinpoint focus on stationary subjects. Dynamic-area AF has three options (9-point, 21-point and 51-point) and is ideal for shooting moving subjects. The selected AF point and the surrounding points keep your subject in sharp focus even if it briefly leaves the selected points. 3D-tracking allows you to maintain focus on subjects that are moving erratically from side to side. Auto-area AF detects human faces and prioritizes their sharpness for you — an ideal choice for candid photography.
Choosing AF mode and AF-area mode combinations
Control your desired AF mode (continuous or single servo) and AF-area mode (single-point, dynamic-area, 3D-tracking or auto-area AF) without ever taking your eye away from the viewfinder. By using a dedicated AF-mode button and command dials, you can switch between modes without interrupting your creative flow.
Glass prism optical viewfinder with approximately 100% frame coverage
See every important element in your frame clearly and precisely. The D800 offer approx. 100% frame coverage (in FX format) from its slim pentaprism, giving you the visually comfortable FX-format advantage and an unobstructed view when shooting still images. The viewfinder image is not only large and bright — the focusing screen is also carefully designed to help you sense sharp focus intuitively, be it manual or autofocus.
High-precision, high-durability shutter
The D800's shutter unit has been tested to well over 200,000 cycles of release to prove durability and precision. While the shutter unit designed to run at a speed range of 1/8,000 to 30 s, its intelligent self-diagnostic shutter monitor automatically monitors actual shutter speeds in order to correct possible variances that can occur over time.
High-precision sequential control mechanism
For true digital SLR excellence, the camera's mechanical structure, power and precision are vital to ensure indispensable speed and reliability. That's why Nikon utilized its engineering expertise to refine the powerful sequential control mechanism that drives the shutter, mirror, and aperture independently. As a result, shutter release can be operated with mirror-up position during live view. Because mirror-down movement is not required, you can expect even quieter still live view shooting. And as power aperture control operates via the stepping motor, the sound of mechanical adjustment is reduced for quieter and smoother control.
Active D-Lighting that reproduces brightness as you see it
Active D-Lighting preserves details in both highlights and shadowy areas of high-contrast scenes. colour reproduction is improved thanks to the image-processing engine EXPEED 3, and exposure control considering face brightness is achieved by the enhanced face detection performance of Advanced Scene Recognition System.
Expand dynamic range: HDR (High Dynamic Range)
The 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.
Note: Tripod use is recommended.
Fast response time
The D800 are designed to respond immediately. Once the strategically located switch is turned on, the camera starts up in approx. 0.12 seconds* and your finger is in position for shutter release. Release time lag is minimized to approx. 0.042 seconds*, equivalent to that of the D3S, with continuous approx. 4 fps capability in FX format, approx. 5 fps in 1.2x and DX format and approx. 6 fps capability in DX format** with MB-D12.
*Based on CIPA Guidelines.
**When used together with batteries other than EN-EL15.
Shoot achieving reduced blur with zoom lenses in dim light: Auto shutter speed control for auto ISO sensitivity control
The D800 come equipped with an 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. This can be particularly useful when using a zoom lens, because the camera can automatically choose the shutter speed to reduce camera shake. What's more, through the operation of ISO button and sub-command dial, auto ISO sensitivity control can be immediately turned on or off, without needing to enter the menu.
Shoot with multiple formats in one camera: Image area options
The D800 offer four image area options: FX format (35.9 x 24.0 mm), 5:4 (30.0 x 24.0 mm), 1.2x (30.0 x 19.9 mm), and DX format (23.4 x 15.6 mm) with all cropped image areas visually masked in the viewfinder. DX format offers approx. 1.5x, and 1.2x crop offers approx.1.2x telephoto effect. When a DX NIKKOR lens is used, DX format is automatically selected.
Get studio quality lighting virtually anywhere
Fast, versatile and portable, with Nikon Speedlights in your hands, your lighting possibilities are endless. The difference is a level of accuracy and flexibility that only the Nikon Creative Lighting System delivers. Its advantages are best experienced via Advanced Wireless Lighting. Using high-precision i-TTL flash control with strategic, intuitive operations, you can make lighting as powerful and comprehensive as your imagination can take it. Whether you shoot in the studio or in far-flung locations, there is a Nikon Speedlight solution to inspire your creativity.
Unparalleled lighting performance — SB-910 Speedlight
Nikon's SB-910 offers versatile i-TTL for on-camera or wireless flash control, a refined operability and a powerful guide number of 34/111.5 (ISO 100, m/ft, STD, FX format with zoom head set at 35mm). The SB-910's menus and controls have been improved for more operational ease. When a hard-type incandescent or fluorescent colour filter is attached, the SB-910 detects it and adjusts white balance instantly.
Capture NX 2 (optional): Optimal for processing images taken with the D800
To accommodate the imaging power of the D800's 36.3 effective megapixels, the latest Capture NX 2 now features powerful 64-bit processing. Capture NX 2 drastically simplifies an array of image enhancement procedures, letting you concentrate on making your pictures the best they can be. Instead of complicated layering and memorization, simply place a colour Control Point wherever you want to reprocess. colour Control Points use intuitive slider controls to make quick and easy adjustments to image characteristics such as brightness, contrast, saturation and tones. Change, adjust and experiment all you like, safe in the knowledge that all changes are non-destructive and an original always remains intact.