The D800/D800E is finally upon us. Most of the specs have been know beforehand, but still, some surprises managed to escape the leaky chorus. The cameras can already be pre-ordered at various places. (D800 and D800E preorder links at Amazon, D800E at B&H) We have included press releases from both Nikon UK and US.
Nikon D800 – Get the Big Picture
D800: £2399.99 / €2829
Sales start date: 22nd March 2012 (TBC)
D800E: £2689.99 / €3171 (selected retailers only)
Sales start date: 12th April 2012 (TBC)
MB-D12: £379.99 / €448
London, UK, 7th February 2012 - Nikon today announces a groundbreaking new 36.3 megapixel FX-format professional D-SLR, the Nikon D800.
Designed to answer the needs of tomorrow’s photography and video today, the masterful Nikon D800 is packed with new technology that delivers unprecedented levels of depth and detail in photography, and offers all the flexibility necessary to shoot broadcast quality video.
Firmly establishing a league of its own, the Nikon D800 offers imaging potential to rival medium format cameras, but with all of the agility of the D-SLR format — giving professionals who demand attention to detail the freedom to create monumental images.
In an industry first, this exciting launch includes a special edition of the D800 – the Nikon D800E. With a modified optical filter, the D800E offers a unique alternative for those seeking the ultimate in definition.
Kentaro Kusakari, Product Planning Manager, Nikon UK says: “The D800 sets a new benchmark for photographers shooting both still images and video. The combination of the powerful 36.3 megapixel resolution that records detail like never before, and the comprehensive video options will captivate photographers and moviemakers of all disciplines. He adds: “We’re excited about the D800 and know it will help to shape the future of the way we capture images and movies.”
The big picture
The groundbreaking 36.3 megapixel FX-format (full-frame) CMOS sensor incorporates key technologies that enables unprecedented levels of detail and tonal range.
12-channel readout with 14-bit A/D conversion and high signal-to-noise ratio: delivers images of remarkable quality with low noise and wide dynamic range.
Broad ISO: offering an ISO range of 100–6400, extendable up to 25600 (equivalent) and down to 50 (equivalent), the D800 will set a new benchmark for D-SLRs with this level of resolution. The camera’s intelligent noise reduction systems manage noise without sacrificing fine details, allowing superb flexibility under all lighting conditions: images are crisp and clean, even at higher ISO settings.
Equipped with Nikon’s next-generation EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, the D800 makes light work of data-rich tasks without sacrificing the speed and quality that professionals are accustomed to.
16-bit image processing: offering richer colours and tones than ever before, this cutting-edge image processor delivers smooth gradations with abundant detail and tone all the way up the scale to pure white, even when shooting in JPEG.
Broadcast quality video
For professionals whose workflow demands video, the D800 offers all the flexibility required for a wide variety of movie applications. It’s large format movie shooting at its best, with a comprehensive variety of frame rates.
Frame rates: Full HD (1080p) movies can be recorded in 30p, 25p and 24p, with 60p, 50p and 25p options at 720p. Movie clips can be up to 29:59 minutes long.
Multi-Format Full HD D-Movie: as introduced with the D4, Full HD recording is possible in both FX and DX based formats, enabling exceptional freedom of expression.
High-fidelity audio control: responding to feedback from the industry, the D800 sets a new standard for D-SLR audio recording, enabling your movies to sound as good as they look. Aside from the external stereo microphone input, an audio out for external headphones lets you fine tune audio in isolation, both before and during movie recording. A line input setting for PCM linear recorders is also provided.
Uncompressed HDMI output: for those who need the purest video output for professional quality editing, the D800 offers the possibility to output the uncompressed live view to external recorders and monitors. As with the Nikon D4, this data is output at the designated image size and frame rate, and is clean of the information overlay that can be simultaneously displayed on the camera’s TFT monitor.
Convenient custom controls: have been implemented for live view operation. Instead of rotating the command dial, power aperture enables smoother aperture control using assigned buttons on the front of the camera. Index marking helps you tag important frames in the timeline by attaching markers during movie recording, which makes for easy location during editing.
Advanced scene recognition with 91K-pixel RGB sensor
Nikon’s revolutionary Advanced Scene Recognition System now incorporates a newly designed 91,000-pixel RGB sensor that meticulously analyses each scene for outstanding accuracy. It can detect human faces with startling exactness even with exclusive use of the optical viewfinder, and recognises a scene’s colours and brightness with unprecedented precision.
This level of detailed scene analysis is also utilised to support more accurate autofocus; auto exposure and i-TTL flash exposure results in a diverse range of compositional and lighting situations. For example, 3D-subject tracking is particularly improved when shooting smaller subjects.
Implementing Nikon’s highly-acclaimed Multi-CAM 3500FX AF system — with individually selectable or configurable 9-, 21- and 51-point coverage settings — the autofocus sensor module and algorithms have been re-engineered to significantly improve low light acquisition sensitivity capabilities down to -2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F). The overall performance is similar to the latest flagship of Nikon, the D4: AF operation is even possible under a combined aperture value of f8 (e.g. a 600mm f/4 AF-S lens combined with 2x-teleconverter TC-20EIII) with 11 AF sensor involved, and with 15 AF sensors between f/5.6 and f/8.
Simplified AF and AF-area mode selection is now possible without taking your eye away from the viewfinder.
Responsive and intuitive
The Nikon D800 responds as quickly as you do, with secure, conveniently placed, buttons and controls that quickly become an extension of your hand.
Fast response: start-up is approx. 0.12 seconds , release time lag is minimized to approx. 0.042 seconds (equivalent to that of the D4), with continuous approx. 4 fps capability in FX-format and crop modes, pushed to approx. 6 fps capability in DX-format Crop mode with the optional Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D12.
Precision 8-cm (3.2-in.), approx. 921k-dot, wide-viewing-angle LCD monitor with automatic monitor brightness control: delivers bright, crisp image playback with a much wider color reproduction capacity. LCD brightness is automatically adjusted according to the viewing environment and images can be magnified up to 46x during playback, which can be a big help for spot focus confirmation.
Glass prism optical viewfinder with approximately 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0m-1).
Dual-axis electronic virtual horizon offers accurate confirmation of level shooting by letting you check the LCD monitor, or the viewfinder, for both the camera’s position in relation to the horizontal plane and its pitch (forward or rear rotation).
Enhanced ergonomics: buttons and dials have been strategically laid out for fluid operation. Improvements around the shutter-release button mean your index finger can rest comfortably for longer periods of time, while the designated movie record button means you’re ready to trigger movie shooting in an instant.
Release mode dial: mode visibility and operability has been improved via a four-button layout and release mode dial on the camera’s top panel, along with dedicated buttons for ISO, White Balance and Image Quality. A new bracketing button has been strategically placed to aid such features as HDR.
Direct access to Picture Controls via a new, dedicated button, rather than via the menu. Picture Controls let you customise the look of your stills and videos by fine-tuning parameters such as sharpness, saturation, and hue.
Despite its light weight and compact size, the D800 is as tough as Nikon’s professional single digit cameras, with extensive weather and dust sealing throughout to ensure you can keep working when the going gets tough.
High-precision, high-durability shutter: the shutter unit has been tested to well over 200,000 cycles of release to prove durability and precision. Boasts a speed range of 1/8000 to 30s; features an intelligent self-diagnostic shutter monitor and, for the first time, a drive unit designed to reduce the demand on power when the shutter is raised for extended periods during movie shooting.
Efficient power management: a re-working of the D800’s circuits now enables approx. 850 shots of still image shooting or approx. 60 min. of movie live view . All on one charge of a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL15.
Build quality: as reliable on the road as it is in the studio, the D800 boasts a weather- and dust-sealed magnesium alloy body that weighs in at approx. 10% lighter than the D700.
Storage media: high-speed CF (UDMA 7) and SD (SDXC and UHS-1) dual card slots.
High-speed data transfer with USB 3.0.
Nikon D800E - The ultimate alternative
The Nikon D800E is a special edition of the D800, specifically designed for those seeking absolute definition.
Incorporating an optical filter with 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 subject to the degree where they can mitigate the increased risk of moiré and false colour. Aside from the optical filter, all functions and features are the same as on the D800.
Creative expansion tools
The D800 incorporates a variety of creative and practical tools for those too busy to spend time in excessive post-production.
Time-lapse movies: the D800 extends the popular time-lapse photography function by saving images as a movie file in the camera. With playback rates from 24 to 36,000 times faster than normal.
HDR (High Dynamic Range) shoots one overexposed and one underexposed frame in a single shutter release. The range can be widened by up to 3 EV for different looks, 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.
Refined colour temperature control enables minute control over white balance. The monitor hue of live view and the resulting image’s white balance can be adjusted so that the two are aligned. Colour temperature can be manually set in 10-Kelvin increments, or in mired units.
Auto shutter speed control for auto ISO sensitivity control: a new auto option for minimum shutter speed, which automatically controls the balance between shutter speed and ISO sensitivity based on the focal length of the lens being used.
Four image area options: for the first time in a camera of this class, you can choose from a variety of image crop modes, all visually masked in the viewfinder. 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).
In-camera editing: captured images and movies can be altered and edited in camera and on the fly if required. Retouch menus include an array of useful features such as NEF (RAW) processing, resize, distortion control, fisheye, miniature effect, red-eye correction, filter effects and image overlay — as well as the ability to designate the start and end point of movie clips all at once, in order to save them more efficiently.
Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D12 (optional) accommodates a variety of batteries (see specifications) and utilises the same integral magnesium alloy construction and weather sealing as the D800 body itself. You also get approx. 6 fps continuous shooting speed in DX-format. The MB-D12 has its own dedicated shutter-release button and command dials for vertical composition shooting.
Nikon SB-910 (optional) — unparalleled lighting performance: Nikon’s SB-910 offers versatile i-TTL for on-camera or wireless flash control, refined operability and a powerful guide number of 34/112 (ISO 100, m/ft, STD, FX format, zoom 35mm). Menus and controls have been improved for more operational ease. Hard-type incandescent and fluorescent colour filters are included, which can adjust your D800‘s white balance instantly.
Capture NX 2 (optional) — Fast, powerful and creative image processing: to accommodate the imaging power of the D800’s 36.3 effective megapixels, the latest Capture NX 2 is faster than before and 64-bit compatible.
Camera Control Pro 2 (optional) — Versatile remote camera controls: aside from controlling exposure mode, shutter speed, and aperture, the software now offers numerous improvements to make the D800’s live view operation exceptionally smooth. New creative controls include remote start and stop for movie shooting and switching between live view for stills and movies.
ViewNX 2 (supplied) — Browse, edit, share and more: this bundled, all-in-one software implements an easy-to-use interface and an array of editing functions, including basic editing of RAW files and D-Movies. Seamlessly integrates with my Picturetown, Nikon’s photo sharing and storage service.
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 (4800x3200) 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.