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Nikon D800 dSLR


  • announced in Feb 2012, the 36mp full frame upgrade to the 12mp Nikon D700 breaks new ground in 35mm resolution
  • the high pixel density has allowed Nikon to offer a reasonable 15mp DX cropped mode which is compatible with DX lenses and also allows a boost in the burst rate from 4fps to 6fps. Handy if they don't want the cost and extra weight of carrying around a Nikon D4 sports dSLR, and don't need its higher burst rates and high ISO IQ.
  • 25mp 1.2x crop mode adds to its versatility although I would think this has limited utility.

HD video capability

  • this is the 1st full frame dSLR from Nikon with true 1080 HD quality video recording (the Nikon D4 sports dSLR is really 720p or worse)
  • Nikon has also boosted its HD video credentials considerably by offering live HDMI out.
    • unfortunately there are issues with live HDMI out1):
      • seems there are ghosting issues with initial firmware using the Atomas Ninja HDMI recording device
      • 1080p HDMI output ONLY available if memory cards are REMOVED from camera - risk of recording failure without backup if miniHDMI cable comes loose
      • recording to memory cards at 1080p only allows 720p HDMI out and this also results in brief 1-2 sec blackout of HDMI output at start of recording
  • much better 1080p HD video resolution than either Nikon D4 sports dSLR or Canon 5D Mark III dSLR - both of which seem to have 720p resolution for their full frame 1080p HD video mode, although the D4 does have true 1080p resolution when used in 2.7x crop mode.2)
  • reasonably well controlled moire but can be problematic - much better than the Canon5DII but not as good as the Canon 5D Mark III dSLR
  • 1080p HD video appears to record at 22-25mbps but with good H.264 encoding
  • audio levels but these cannot be changed once recording starts
  • good noise control to ISO 1600 but more noise than Canon 5D Mark III dSLR at ISO 3200, although the D800 seems to hold more shadow details
  • reasonably well controlled rolling shutter
  • the image can be magnified prior to recording to check focus and you can zoom in far more than on the 5D mkIII, but this function does not work on either camera once you start recording.
  • no exposure meter visible during recording
  • video is a little cropped on left and right sides
  • for a nice real world comparison of HD video capabilities of D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III, see Dan Chung's review here - it essentially comes down to Nikon D800's better sharpness but moire issues vs Canon 5D Mark III dSLR's better high ISO and audio capabilities with less moire and less sharpness


  • the D800 and the D4 have a lock-up issue which is still unresolved:
    • if using the Highlights and RGB histogram on the display, the camera may lock up requiring removal of the battery to re-start it


photo/nikond800.txt · Last modified: 2014/06/27 10:44 by gary1

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