Nikon D800 Arrives, 36MP & $3K Price

Nikon D800

The Nikon D800 has finally and officially been unveiled… Additional updates underway.

Now available for pre-order here at B&H.

Nikon D800 Key Features

  • 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS Sensor
  • 91,000 pixel 3D Matrix Metering system with Advanced Scene Recognition System
  • 1080p HD video with manual control
  • Headphone jack, and uncompressed HDMI out
  • Enhanced 51 pt AF system
  • 4 fps full resolution, 6 fps DX-mode with MBD-12 battery pack
  • ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2)
  • Magnesium alloy for maximum durability
  • Dual card slots / CF and SD
  • Nikon D800 will be available in late March for $2999.95, and the Nikon D800E will be available in mid-April for $3299.95

Full specs and press release below.

Nikon Digital SLR Camera D800 Specifications

  Lens mount

Nikon F mount (with AF coupling and AF contacts)

Effective pixels Effective pixels

Effective pixels 36.3 million

Image sensor Image sensor

35.9 × 24.0 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon FX format)

  Total pixels

Total pixels 36.8 million

  Dust-reduction System

Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires optional Capture NX2 Software)

Storage Image size (pixels)

FX format (36×24): 7,360 × 4,912 (L), 5,520 × 3,680 (M), 3,680 × 2,456 (S)

1.2× (30×20): 6,144 × 4,080 (L), 4,608 × 3,056 (M), 3,072 × 2,040 (S)

 DX format (24×16): 4,800 × 3,200 (L), 3,600 × 2,400 (M), 2,400 × 1,600 (S)

5:4 (30×24): 6,144 × 4,912 (L), 4,608 × 3,680 (M), 3,072 × 2,456 (S)

 FX-format photographs taken in movie live view*: 6,720 × 3,776 (L), 5,040 × 2,832, (M), 3,360 × 1,888 (S)

 DX-format photographs taken in movie live view*: 4,800 × 2,704 (L), 3,600 × 2,024, (M), 2,400 × 1,352 (S)

  File format

NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed, • TIFF (RGB) • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal, (approx. 1:8) or basic (approx. 1:16) compression (Size priority); Optimal quality, compression available • NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both, NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

  Picture Control System

Picture Control System Can be selected from Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape;

selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls

  Media

SD (Secure Digital) and UHS-I compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards; Type I

CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant)

Viewfinder Viewfinder

Eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder

  Frame coverage

 • FX (36×24): Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical • 1.2× (30×20): Approx.

97% horizontal and 97% vertical • DX (24×16): Approx. 97% horizontal and 97%

vertical • 5:4 (30×24): Approx. 97% horizontal and 100% vertical

  Magnification

Approx. 0.7× (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)

  Eyepoint

17 mm (-1.0 m-1; from center surface of viewfinder eyepiece lens)

  Diopter adjustment

-3 to +1 m-1

  Reflex mirror

Quick return

  Depth-of-field preview

When depth-of-field preview button is pressed, lens aperture is stopped down to

value selected by user (A and M modes) or by camera (P and S modes)

  Lens aperture

Instant return, electronically controlled

Shutter Speed

Speed 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb, X250

  Flash sync speed

X=1/250 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/320 s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320 s)

Release Release mode

S (single frame), CL (continuous low speed), CH (continuous high speed), Q (quiet

shutter-release), (self-timer), MUP (mirror up)

  Approximate frame advance rate

With EN-EL15 batteries

(FX/5:4) CL: approx. 1 to 4 fps, CH: approx. 4 fps, (DX/1.2×) CL: approx. 1 to 5 fps, CH: approx. 5 fps

 Other power sources

(FX/5:4) CL: approx. 1 to 4 fps, CH: approx. 4 fps, (1.2×) CL: approx. 1 to 5 fps, CH:

approx. 5 fps, (DX) CL: approx. 1 to 5 fps, CH: approx. 6 fps

  Self-timer

2 s, 5 s, 10 s, 20 s; 1 to 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 s

Exposure Metering

TTL exposure metering using 91K-pixel RGB sensor

  Metering method

Matrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering

III (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user

provides lens data • Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12-mm circle in

center of frame; diameter of circle can be changed to 8, 15 or 20 mm, or weighting

can be based on average of entire frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle

or average of entire frame) • Spot: Meters 4-mm circle (about 1.5% of frame)

centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)

Range • Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 to 20 EV

• Spot metering: 2 to 20 EV

  Exposure meter coupling

Combined CPU and AI

  Exposure mode

Programmed auto with flexible program (P); shutter-priority auto (S); aperture priority

auto (A); manual (M)

  Exposure compensation

-5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

  Exposure bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV

  Flash bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV

  White balance bracketing

2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3

  ADL bracketing

2 frames using selected value for one frame or 3 to 5 frames using preset values for

  Exposure lock

Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

  ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)

ISO sensitivity ISO 100 to 6400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7

or 1 EV (ISO 50 equivalent) below ISO 100 or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1 or 2 EV (ISO

25600 equivalent) above ISO 6400; auto ISO sensitivity control available

Focus Autofocus

Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection,

fine-tuning, 51 focus points (including 15 cross-type sensors; f/8 supported by 11 central

sensors), and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 1 ft 8 in. to 9 ft 10 in./0.5 to 3 m)

  Detection range

-2 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)

  Lens servo

Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); continuous-servo AF (AF-C); predictive

focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status • Manual focus

(M): Electronic rangefinder can be used

  Focus point

Can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points

  AF-area mode

AF-area modes Single-point AF, 9-, 21- or 51-point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, auto-area AF

Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)

or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Flash Type

Built-in flash Manual pop-up with button release and a guide number of approx. 39/12, 39/12

with manual flash (ft/m, ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)

  Flash control

TTL: i-TTL flash control using 91K-pixel RGB sensor is available with built-in flash

and SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600 or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash

for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighted metering, standard i-TTL

flash for digital SLR with spot metering

  Flash mode

Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye

reduction with slow sync, slow rear-curtain sync; auto FP high-speed sync

Supported

  Flash compensation

-3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

  Accessory shoe

ISO 518 hot-shoe with sync and data contacts and safety lock

  Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

Nikon Creative Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with built-in flash, SB-910, SB-900, SB-800 or

Lighting System (CLS) SB-700 as a master flash and SB-600 or SB-R200 as remotes, or SU-800 as

commander; built-in flash can serve as master flash in commander mode; auto FP

high-speed sync and modeling illumination supported with all CLS-compatible flash

units except SB-400; Flash Color Information Communication and FV lock supported

with all CLS-compatible flash units

  Sync terminal

ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread

White balance White balance

White balance Auto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy,

shade, preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored) and color temperature setting

(2,500 K to 10,000 K); fine-tuning available for all options

Live View Lens servo

Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time servo AF (AF-F) • Manual focus (M)

Nikon D800 Press Release

EXPECTATIONS SURPASSED: THE 36.3-MEGAPIXEL NIKON D800 IS THE MULTIMEDIA HD-SLR THAT SHATTERS CONVENTIONAL RESOLUTION BARRIERS FOR MAXIMUM FIDELITY

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) –  Today, imaging leader Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers and videographers.  A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy, functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, 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 a myriad of client requests. The Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will appreciate practical features 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. With this innovative combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine, providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara, director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for today’s creative image makers, 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 realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and dynamic range. 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 details, such as a strand of hair, with stunning sharpness or 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 to 50 (Lo-1)-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 lighting conditions.  Internal sensor design, an 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 ability 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 colors, whether shooting JPEG or RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users are also 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 more lens options and enhanced focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a high 15.4-megapixel (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 and HD video with amazing resolution, color and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color, 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.

The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene, recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000 image database. Additionally, this new sensor now 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 Color Matrix Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces, allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system that more 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 on the fly, such as sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience

The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of 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 to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more 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, letting filmmakers capture footage where previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise be necessary. Users are also 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 1080p HD 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.

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. This image can also 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 also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to be activated 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 an 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 also 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 also 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 is ready to capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (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.

Construction and Operability

The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% 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 recent 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. The D800 also 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.

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 D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. 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, yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail price of $2999.95.1 The D800E version will be available in mid April 2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95. For more information about these models, NIKKOR lenses and other D-SLR cameras please visit www.nikonusa.com.