Want Do You Want in the Nikon D800?

A few weeks ago, I asked Canon users what they wanted to see in the Canon 5D Mark III (or whatever it’s called).  Better autofocus, enhanced AEB options and dual CF card slots were some of the popular requests for Canon.

The Nikon D700 is a bit of a different animal though.  It’s got great AF, but no video options.  The photo purists out there would probably be happy to keep it that way; however, I suspect that the inclusion of HD video capture on the D3s likely signals that the smaller-bodied, full frame D700 replacement will get a dose of HD video as well.

Here’s what I think would be a great feature set for the D800 (on top of what’s already great about the D700):

  • 1080p video w/ multiple frame rates (60fps+)
  • Ability to change aperture in live view mode (see D7000 live view/video mode)
  • Dual CF card slots
  • 18-20MP
  • Audio monitoring during video capture

That’s what I think would make a nice improvement on the D700’s successor.  What do you want?  Are you D700 shooters missing out on the megapixels?  Or, are the low noise levels at high ISOs worth sticking with 12MP?

For the sake of squashing any rumors, I don’t know when a D700 replacement is coming and I don’t know that it will or won’t be called the Nikon D800.  The point of this post is just to open the mic to Nikon users since the Canon guys had such strong opinions last time around.

What would you add to the D800 that’s not in the D700?



  1. Dan says

    The 12mp may be a little on the small side but I think the 16mp choice was a good one. I’d be fine with the 16MP and great low noise levels. I’m right with you on the other features.

  2. Swashbuckling Cowboy says

    My wish list:

    1. More MP. I tend to crop A LOT in post so starting with more MP is a definite plus. I can live with sacrificing some MP at high ISO if necessary. Yes, I know if I was better at visualizing the final image this wouldn’t be such a big deal.
    2. Better noise handling at high ISO.
    3. Higher ISO settings.
    4. 100% viewfinder coverage – this is much more annoying that I thought it would be when I bought my D700.
    5. Better lighting at high shutter speeds. I’ve found that if I take a photo at low f-stop/high shutter speed it will sometimes be darker than if I use a higher f-stop/lower shutter speed. Very annoying.

    • Paulus says

      No camera has better noise handling as the D700, so you don’t seem to know what you’re talking about, or you’re expecting the impossible.

    • Matt says

      I would like to see a combined effort made in taking the best features from both the D3s and the D3x. Since it is technology already establish why do we need to pay an extra $1000. What is wrong with 2799? Its hard to say if I would like to have the ability to capture video but if it there at no extra cost why not? I sometimes get the impression that the manufactures are sitting on some serious tech and only come out with it a little at a time to keep the competition going. But what ever the reason I would like to see some realistic pricing come out it.

    • Erick says

      If you crop a lot, why does the D700’s 95% viewfinder bother you? If your cropping corners you have a larger problem.

  3. Amore says

    Rumors from both Nikon and Canon abound, regarding their prosumer dslr’s. Nikon D700 and Canon 5D II. Now what can be on the wish list for a new D800, 22 mp, improved af system, 1080p and the real beef a mirror-less view finder. As you know this is only a wish list.

  4. says

    I have no need for more megapixels, and I would certainly hate to sacrifice any high ISO capabilities just to have larger images clogging my drives, slowing down my write times to card, etc.

    Primarily, I want better high ISO capabilities. HD video would be nice and I anticipate it, but it wouldn’t kill me if the next release skipped it. If it has HD video, it definitely needs input for an external mic.

    Something I don’t expect, but would like, would be built-in GPS. I keep my GP-1 with me pretty much all the time, but I’d occasionally like to use it with the MC-36. Can’t do it right now, since both use the same input to the camera.

  5. says

    I’m a D700 shooter.

    I’d like to see:
    1080p with stereo mic
    16mp would be nice simply to help when I crop. The 12mp (so far) has been more than adequate
    DUAL CF SLOTS! So I can have redundancy built into the body <- this is #1 for me
    Be a first to offer a greater dynamic range than the other SLR's (add a couple more stops of light detail captured)

    Rock on!

  6. says

    Been stuck with a P&S while saving $ for this next model, I’d like to see~ 16mp, HD video and 100% viewfinder coverage as well, also I’d like to have an articulating LCD, customizable HDR bracketing control ie: choice of # of pics 1-9 at least and Ev steps in 1/3 increments up to 3ev.
    Also I’d love to see Nikon, Canon, Sony and everyone else start running downloadable scripts/apps on their cameras to allow customization ie: CHDK this is all firmware based and has very little to do with hardware changes and totally possible. Lets get with the present camera makers and maybe even get a step on the future.

  7. says

    All of your list (although I don’t really care about video myself). 100% viewfinder is the big one for me. Good chance of getting it too as the D7000 has it.

  8. says

    As we ger more advanced in digital photography, we want things to perform a little more smoothly. I tink a built-in wifi capability would be nice. Because, correct me if I am wrong, Eye-fi does not even make CF wifi cards, and their SD cards are not very fast with files—not to mention they are way more expensive. With a built-in wifi capability in the camera body, you can stick with regular cards and still be able to upload files with no physical connection. But this might be asking for a more efficient battery.

    -Just my own thoughts and wishes that were included in the most recent D7000.

  9. Joe says

    I’d like to see:
    – 18-20 MP at same high ISO noise levels
    – 100% viewfinder
    – a quiet-mode and quiet operation
    – the AF assist light working for MF lenses
    – the red AF indicators in the viewfinder working with MF lenses to indicate which regions are currently in focus.
    That’s it!

  10. john says

    1. ISO 102400
    2. Around 20mp
    3. 100% viewfinder(getting to much nasty surprise with my current 0.94x viewfinder)
    4. improve bracketing control for HDR photo
    5. some kind of full user control video will be good
    6. bluetooth GPS tracker support
    7. direct video output/camera remote control to/by all kind of non apple smart phone and tablet

  11. says

    I don’t give a rip about doing video with my SLR, but I’d love to be able to do exposure bracketing on a single shutter release to facilitate HDR work.

    • Hermann Kloeti says

      Spot on: Easier bracketing is the thing. Plus efficient sensor cleaning.
      One other feature might be easier attachability of a cable release – ever tried that with European size fingers at 5° below zero?

  12. Greg Harriss says

    -No video
    -big sensor
    -15 MP
    -better Bracketing
    -better meter
    -water tight seals
    -100% view finder
    Q, M, A, S, P

    That is it, also should bring down the cost, simple is better to me

  13. William says

    1. D3s ISO capability
    2. Keep on camera flash for Commander Mode
    3. Design an on camera flash that can rotate 180 degrees from left to right and the ability to raise to vertical. This would give better control and reception with remote flashes when operating in Commander Mode and an increased ability to manipulate your on camera flash for bouncing light producing better images.
    4. 18MP with 9fps
    5. Ability to display Live View in B&W

  14. Sherry says

    Not necessarily in order of priority…
    – Tilt/swivel LCD
    – 16-20 MP
    – +/- 1/3 stop EV bracketing up to 9 frames
    – mirror-less VF for faster fps rates, at least 10 fps
    – 100% VF as in D7000
    – 3 customisable shooting modes (D700 has 2)
    – support for older lenses (a la D7000)
    – aperture control in live-view
    – HD video with variable fps (up to 60 at different qualities)
    – full time AF for video
    – built in GPS
    – built in stereo mic for video, with level control (like Canon)
    maybe I’m dreaming…but are you listening NIKON?

  15. Builder says

    I am a D700 shooter. More pixel will be welcomed but I find lens quality are always more critical to the image quality. I would like nikon to develop more lenses for full frame more than new bodies.
    There are so much room for body and interface improvement. Most owners I know are amateurs. All their complains are about the heavy weight. The interface is not friendly at all, even for me as a nikon user since 1980’s. My family is also using it but it took so much time to remind them and myself the operations.

  16. William Royer says

    What I really want is for Nikon to offer not just one, but two cameras of the D700’s general physical size. One would be a small version high mp, such as downsized version of D3x (perhaps 21-25mp). The other would stay around 12-18 mp and retain the superb low light performance — perhaps upgraded to the D3s iso range. Very much hope they don’t just increase the mp and give up the spectacular low light capability.

    The other characteristics of importance to me are: Dual CF slots (please .. not just a CF and a SD slot); and, full viewfinder coverage.

  17. Lars says

    I would like 16+, good ISO performace.
    And the most important thing….Radio for flashtriggering. That would be nice

  18. Ashley Groome says

    A high quality sensor – with great shadow detail and as little noise as it can get.
    CF cards
    I honestly don’t care about live view or video – and I don’t really care if the ISO goes up to 12 hundred million, billion, zillion..
    A smooth shutter with as little sound and vibration as possible.
    A solidly constructed body with a cheery, bright, big viewfinder.
    Properly water and dust sealed.

  19. says

    I would prefer not to have video. I’d rather the extra weight and space on the camera be devoted to quality images and a good, secure camera. Developing systems for video and sound diffuse what the camera is made for.
    Other than that, live view with an articulating LCD would be handy, better bracketing for HDR control and more on-camera flash control would be nice. I’m assuming the MPs will be in the 16-20 range with little noise at higher ISOs with a reduction in MPs with DX lenses.

  20. John says

    1) No video
    2) D3s Sensor
    3) Class leading high ISO performance
    4) Class leading DR
    5) 8fps
    6) Better metering
    7) Better AF subject tracking
    8) As small and light as possible

  21. Cliff Booker says

    A very simple request from a flower photographer … please forget the video capability, the mic’s and the high ISO’s … in fact, please forget the D800!
    I just want and yearn for the brilliance of the Nikon 995 (Yes, the 995) with many, many more pixels … and that is all I have ever wanted. Please Mr. Nikon … revive the best of what you have succeeded with in the past?
    I can hear the torrent of condemnation brewing already! LOL

  22. Paul Gordon says

    Able to manually set exposures over 30sec – up to say 2 hours.
    Built in interval timer for time lapse capability.

  23. Marco says

    Less weight!
    D700 and a 24-70 lens is almost 3.5 kg! the improvement technology should make easier the life… I remember when I could travel with the f90x and everything packed in a small bag…

  24. says

    Although low mp would mean less noise, low cropping capability is often disappointing. Often times, people would like to have their picures turned into high quqlity posters. So a minimum of 18 mp seems to be a must. Adding video would be exciting for some consumers. Full viewfinder is also important.

    Meantime, I’m getting sick and tired of waiting for d800. If this game continues, most consumers might turn to canon!!! NIKON! Please shake a leg!
    B.Delgoshaei, PhD

  25. says

    What I miss on all Nikon bodies (I have D700, D3 and D3x) is a ”Zero out button”
    When you press it, the camera goes back to what is standard settings for you.
    The ISO, the quality (RAW, JPG), the white balance and the compensation. In 90% of the time, I use the same settings. Sometimes after I have changed some settings, I forget to reset or ”zero out”. Very annoying! Give me that button/buttons please

  26. says

    d700 is a great camera.but some features are missing in it.what i want is

    better focusing in low light
    more focal points
    better autofocusing in live view like sony a55
    very high frame rate(60 fps+)
    side tilt lcd
    large viewfinder
    very high iso(like d3s)
    easy retouching menu
    large buffer
    high speed burst mode
    internal gps and wireless transmitter
    very high resolution(20MP+)
    very light weight etc etc……………………………

  27. says

    The D700 is a great camera, but it could be improved with:
    *100% viewfinder
    *Quieter shutter
    *More MP (16-18) to allow for post cropping/adjusting
    *D3s high ISO sensitivity

  28. Brian Wong says

    What I want from D800?
    Please put it in market ASAP, Nikon.
    We have been waiting for it tooooo looooong!!
    Don’t want to see some of your market is given to Canon.


    Almost like Sherry:

    Not necessarily in order of priority…
    – Tilt/swivel LCD !!!!! Necessary for video, good for travel photography
    – High ISO and 16-20 MP, as long as high iso 102.400 ISO is guaranteed. ISO priority!!!
    – +/- 1/3 stop EV bracketing up to 9 frames
    – mirror-less VF for faster fps rates, at least 10 fps
    – 100% VF as in D7000 !!!!!
    – HD video with variable fps (up to 60 at different qualities)
    – full time AF for video !!!
    – built in GPS
    – built in stereo mic for video, with level control (like Canon) !”!!!


  30. says

    Even though I rarely need the HD video feature, it would be nice to have, including an
    external stereo mike capability. Another feature I would like to see is built in HDR.

  31. Paul says

    A Quick control menu screen button like on Canon cameras to control exposure compensation, flash exposure compensation, aperture, shutter, and iso with one hand. Not like Nikon where you have to hold a button and turn a dial . Get with it Nikon!

  32. Gordon says

    I’d like to see Panoramic capability like on the new Nikon P500 and P300’s. I’d like 16mp, ISO like on the D3s (or better?), 1080p movie capability, 100% viewfinder coverage, words on the LCD screen when choosing WB settings as it is difficult in low light to see & interpret the symbols. That all sounds good to me!

  33. RJ says

    Most everyone has mentioned the main ones
    Just wanted to emphasize on the need for higher ISO like the D3s
    That would be great

  34. Mark Hecker says

    Nikon must get on with better wireless communication options in D800. I use the Eye-fi card which is quite handy, available only in SD, so if two slots, then one SD for backup and transmission. Tons of other methods as seen in tons of cheaper electronics, but, Nikon will be the last to figure it out. 100% viewfinder. Configurable user interface to set up touch screen (ha!), maybe even a software based config to download and modify the menu set up (double ha!). Maybe even lighter weight, not heavier. D3s sensor would be fabulous. More sports shoot friendly. Assume the usual, a few more megs, higher iso and the video du jour (though I would be happy to pay less and forgo the video chasing rabbits down the hole). Is auto white balance improvement possible?

  35. Anthony says

    A very high quality, high resolution FX sensor with a useful DX crop mode (for wildlife photography, in my case) – this means something like a 24MP FX sensor and approx 10-11MP DX. I’ll be very happy if this gives the same low light performance as the D700: we’re nearly three years on from the introduction of the D700, and I’m optimistic this is possible. I don’t care about video, but I want an articulated LCD screen for when shooting at awkward angles with live view. Dual CF slots. Great focussing, with widely spread focus points. 100% viewfinder would be ideal, but I can live without it.

  36. Ken Katowik says

    For me low noise levels at high ISOs are worth sticking with 12MP.
    Having a quieter shutter than the D700 would also be nice.
    A lens recognition firmware to automatically correct for distortion and vignetting.
    Keep the built in flash.

  37. Geoff in Boulder says

    Well, the D300/300s/700 have the ability to bracket up to 9 frames, so, for HDR, there is no need to change. I’d like to see the MP up to Canon range, I guess 21MP, 100% viewfinder, fully articulated LCD, 1080 video with 30 frames (even better if higher frame rates), two card slots. I wonder if the sensor from the D3x would be less expensive than creating a new 21MP or so sensor. Seems as though the D700 is being clobbered by the 5D Mk II and all its features. I love Nikon DSLRs, however, and think the 300/700 platform is an amazing set of cameras. Looking forward to a new ‘prosumer/pro’ FX body.

  38. says

    Nikon D800 preferences:
    1) Definitely built-in GPS which works more effectively than the current GP1
    2) a ball joint mounted lcd screen on the back to enable viewing overhead in awkward locations
    3) no movie mode needed
    4) 16-20mp is fine
    5) an announcement date

  39. John Solozski says

    Big 18-24Mp sensor.
    Tilt and Swivel LCD screen.
    Mirror-less with LIVE VIEW
    Low ISO = Actual 25 ISO & max ISO = 1600ISO, could not give two hoots about high ISO performance.
    Have I mentioned Very low ISO rating
    Perhaps Actual 25 ISO WOULD BE NICE, yes, OK. I want low ISO.
    Higher clearance between lens mount and built in flash housing.
    PLEASE please please – NO VIDEO
    100% VIEW FINDER
    +/- 1/3 stop EV bracketing up to 9 frames.
    Good wireless function.
    Accessory = Separate plug in 7″x 5″ LCD SCREEN with 36” lead.

  40. says

    I use both D3x and D700 (and Leica’s). I would like to see in next gen D700:

    1 – More pixel Density (18-24) both for cropping, and to enable a less aggressive AA filter. I think the AA filter is behind the D3x ‘look’ more than extra pixels.

    2- 2 flash card slots , both CF or both SD, CF is preferred.

    3- In-camera VR for those fast wide angle lenses.

    4- higher 14 bit frame rates.

  41. Chris says

    16MP FX
    ISO 56000
    5FPS with 14Bit
    1080p – 30FPS 24MBit
    Bouldin transmitter for flash

    (sorry John, but “in camera VR” is not good – the lens VR is better, the AF works faster with a stabilized image!)

    • says

      You are correct, but in camera VR is better than no VR and Nikons fast Normals (50 / F1.4), Wide Angles (35, 24 / f1.4) and zooms (14-24, 24-70 / f2.8) have no in lens VR and would be helped under some conditions. It would be easy to sense a VR lens and turn off sensor based VR .

  42. Winston says

    No GPS
    No dumb swivel screen
    No need for video, it’s a professional photo camera not a point and shoot.
    No more megapixels (or just a few more, 15mpx max)
    We want :
    – >CLEAN ISO 102.400 or 204.800 !!!
    ->Possibility to switch between iso settings more easily (actual iso button is lame, too far from my finger)
    -> A much more quiet shutter noise
    -> more AF points or larger (the actual one is for the apsc d300)
    ->again better low light AF

  43. Bienz says

    Mr. Nikon, to be conservative in releasing new product will end up with loosing your market share.
    The next D800 at least should have :
    Min 18 Mp
    Large FX sensor
    D3s Iso capability
    NO VIDEO … Insignificant use for photographers with significant additional production cost.
    Dual memory slot CF and SD HC/XC
    Announcement date (remember IPhone/IPad)
    Tough body, Water resistant
    User friendly custom setting
    Competitive price…

    I use D70 then D300

  44. Azem Alptekin says

    I think the following would be great:
    – 16+MP resolution
    – 100% viewfinder
    – Tilt and swivel LCD Screen
    – Higher ISO (102.400) and better performance, starting from ISO50
    – FullHD video (60+ frames) with full manual control posibilities
    – Built-in HDR
    – Silent mode please
    – Double CF slots
    – Lighter body
    – Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi
    Since D700 is almost 3 years old, those upgrades are most welcome :)

    El Azemm..

  45. didaskalos says

    I’d like to see
    The mp count of the D3x
    Low light handling of D700
    Video that surpasses Canon–1080 p @ 60 fps
    100% viewfinder
    10 fps
    built in GPS
    built in WiFi–for downloading AND for transmitting video to a computer in real time.
    Thunderbolt ready
    Tight weather sealing
    Articulating viewing screen swinging to the left or right of the body (not below like D5000–useless on a tripod when composing while in the photo).

    The price? Not more than the D700

    I can dream………

  46. Michael Smith says

    I am a D90 shooter and more than happy with this excellent camera. I want to include in my kit a D90 replacement, or a D700 replacement when Nikon develops one. I would like the following: full frame viewfinder, HD 1080 video with continuous focus PLEASE (yes! I like this feature and one might as well have it as it is really handy at times and the D7000 has it) with an external mic slot, stereo sound please, (really – mono sound went out back in the dark ages!), articulating high resolution LCD screen, better manual focus guides – red light on focus point or plit prism or fuzzy spot in the veiw finder, more megapixels I guess…up to 16 would be ok, SD and CF slots (just in case they stop making CF cards..), also rectify any exposure issues as mentioned.

  47. ARNE DANSK says


  48. Marcus Fil says

    In order of priority
    1. 16-18MP
    2. Same or better high ISO
    3. Better sensor cleaning (or a hermetically sealed ‘Pro’ AFS 28-280 f/2.8 VR Micro Nikkor)
    4. 100% viewfinder (but not at expense of 3.)
    5. All round weather seals
    6. Bluetooth (or built-in GPS)
    7. No growth in size, weight or control complexity

  49. Kuya Tino says

    1.) ISO range 25-3200.
    2.) Minimum 21MP at 9 fps.
    3.) 5-6 fps. 9-10 with batterygrip.
    4.) 3,5″ screen.
    5.) WiFi.
    6.) CF at minimum 90MB/s.
    7.) Better AF.
    8.) Stronger battery – at least 6000 pictures.
    9.) Same batterygrip as D700.
    Personally I don´t need Video But if it´s nessesary due to competition against other cameras so let it be !!!

  50. Steven says

    I think we pretty much know where Nikon is going with the D700 replacement. The D7000 is a pretty good indication of the minimum specs the “D800″ will have, yet you have to understand that Nikon is going to maintain a certain amount of feature separation between this camera and its top-of-the line cameras. So there’s no sense wishing for stuff you know is gonna be reserved for the D3-level cameras.
    I would say it will definitely have HD video capabilities, perhaps with the live view deficiencies of the D7000 remedied. Even though it seems like a consumer-level gimmick, I think that any camera which is to be taken seriously as a video tool must have some manor of articulating LCD. Other than that, I think you take a D7000, stick an FX sensor in it, and you have your D700 replacement.

  51. Mountain Bob says

    D800 must-haves:
    D7000 sensor technology in an FX sensor–more Mpx, great noise & dynamic range specs.
    An articulating LCD screen! Nikon knows how–why not now?

  52. Dahlia says

    The heavy weight and size of the D700 have steered me away from it. I’d really like a smaller, lighter body like the D7000, but full frame.

  53. Manfred says

    what kind of questions? Basically, all the same good stuff as for the Canon EOS 5D III!
    So, at least 24 MP of the D3x but higher ISO, more about HDR-technology (not only “dynamic” features but also panoramic or different focus distance merging), HD- or 4K-Video with separate buttons plus option for an external mic (although video should remain a sub-discipline for DSLR’s) …
    You may lough at some requirements but why should I buy a Nikon? I was a Nikon owner for almost 30 years and I am waiting since a few years for an affordable DSLR but no D3x. And I want emough pixels because of architecture and landscape. They must provide the same or more features than Canon or Sony. Only more ergonomic or solid bodies (at higher prices) will not help because an EOS 5D III will also improve by a better AF…
    Kind regards

  54. John says

    1. Maybe 16 Mp, but not mandatory.
    2. Higher ISO, but not much.
    3. No video, thank you. If I want a video camera, I can buy one for $200. I do not want video in my photo camera.
    4. 100% viewfinder and larger rear screen (not moveable).

  55. bauer says

    A900 feel/ergonomia/VF + D700 sensor/electronics + K7 toughness + speculated price/2
    – liveview/video = Instant buy.

  56. Grant says

    I agree with all your features.
    A larger viewer like the Leica would be great.
    Much more silence shutter. Again like the Leica.
    But also a Zoom lens larger Apt than 2.8

  57. Clemens Roether says

    Like my current D300 — but — wish for:
    1. After a complex shoot, want to reset all new settings back to a set position at the end so I don’t forget to adjust before I use the camera again.
    2. With my big hands I often turn the aperature control wheel when I pick up the camera, wish something could be done to “lock” or move that feature.
    3. Brighten or shield the monitor so it could be seen more clearly outdoors.
    4. Don’t waste money on a video capability, don’t want it!
    5. Flash sync at higher speeds.

  58. Dahlia Lee says

    Mos of all, a smaller, lighter body like the D7000! A swivel LCD screen would be icing on the cake.