New Nikon D800 and D800E are highest resolution full-frame dSLRs

New Nikon D800 and D800E are highest resolution full-frame dSLRs

Summary: Nikon updates its D700 pro dSLR with two new models that deliver 36.3-megapixel full-frame resolution and high-end HD video capabilities.

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Today's announcement of the new Nikon D800 contains few surprises given the now-standard leakage factor that detailed full anticipated specs as far back as October. The 36.3-megapixel D800, along with its fraternal twin, the D800E, are currently the highest resolution full-frame dSLRs on the market, and should remain so even after the arrival of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II's successor, which is expected to be announced soon (possibly even later this month). The D800E is a slightly more expensive version of the camera that uses a special optical low-pass filter without anti-aliasing. Most cameras use an anti-aliasing filter to reduce moiré patterns at the expense of sharpness and pixel-level detail. By eschewing anti-aliasing, the D800E should deliver higher true resolution and sharpness, and Nikon expects it to compete with medium format cameras (which also leave off anti-aliasing filters) for raw shooters.

Key features include:

  • 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor
  • 91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System
  • Advanced scene recognition system
  • 51-point AF system (15 cross-type sensors)
  • Multiple AF modes (e.g., normal, wide area, face tracking, and subject tracking)
  • Full HD 1080p video, with full manual control and uncompressed HDMI output
  • ISO 100 to 6400 (50 to 25600 expanded)
  • Shooting in different aspect ratios (e.g., 5:4)
  • In-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture
  • 3.2-inch, 921,000-dot LCD monitor with automatic brightness control
  • HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2)
  • Dedicated headphone jack
  • Audio output level adjustment (30 steps)
  • High-fidelity audio recording control (levels set and monitored on LCD)
  • Stereo microphone jack
  • 4 fps continuous shooting (6 fps in DX mode using the optional battery pack)
  • USB 3.0 support

The Nikon D800 is scheduled to ship in late March for $2,999.95 (body only), while the D800E should arrive in mid April for $3,299.95 (body only).

Here is a chart of key specs as compared with D700 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II:

Nikon D800 Nikon D700 Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Price $2,999.95 (body only), shipping in late March; $3,299.95 for D800E, shipping in mid April $2,699.95 (body only) $2,499 (body only)
Sensor 36.3 megapixels, 35.9x24mm CMOS 12.1 megapixels, 36x23.9mm CMOS 21.1 megapixels, 36x24mm CMOS
Continuous Shooting Speed 4 fps (6 fps in DX mode with battery pack) 5 fps 3.9 fps
LCD 3.2-inch, 921,000-dot 3-inch, 921,000-dot 3-inch, 920,000-dot
Autofocus 51-point (15 cross-type) 51-point (15 cross-type) 9-point (1 cross-type)
Sensitivity ISO 100-6400 (50-25,600 expanded) ISO 200-6400 (100-25,600 expanded) ISO 100-6400 (50-25,600 expanded)
Storage Media Compact Flash Type I, SD, SDHC, SDXC Compact Flash Type I Compact Flash Type I/II
Movie Mode 1920x1080 (30/24 fps), 1280x720 (60/30/24 fps) N/A 1920x1080 (30/25/24 fps), 1280x720 (60/50 fps)
Dimensions 5.7x4.8x3.2 inches 5.8x4.8x3.0 inches 6.0x4.5x3.0 inches
Weight 31.7 oz (body) 35 oz (body) 28.6 oz (body)
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