Nikon has officially announced the new D800 full-frame DSLR camera, something that was first leaked back in November. The new camera has a 36.3 megapixel (7360 x 4912) FX-format, CMOS sensor, the highest resolution sensor on any Nikon camera so far. The sensor’s size is 35.9 x 24mm, which is almost the same as the one on the D4, which is 36.0 x 23.9mm. But then the D800 has more than twice the resolution of the D4′s sensor (16.6 megapixel) so the actual pixels are going to be half the size, which does worry me a bit about the low-light performance of the camera. However, I’ll reserve my judgement till I see some high-resolution sample images.
The other important features of the D800 include Full HD 1080p video recording at 30/25/24p with stereo sound, ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to 25,600), 4 fps burst rate, Advanced Scene Recognition System with 91,000-pixel RGB sensor, EXPEED 3 image processor and a 3.2-inch, 921k dot LCD.
The video recording on the D800 seems to have received special attention and along with the 36 megapixel sensor is the key selling point of the camera. Along with the multiple resolution and framerate options, you can also manually adjust all the parameters while recording a video, connect an external recording device through the HDMI port for recording uncompressed files without worrying about the internal memory on the camera, remotely control the video and have simultaneous Live View on the camera’s display and an external display. Nikon is promising broadcast quality video from the D800 and is probably hoping to attract some of the Canon 5D Mark II buyers, a camera known for its video recording prowess.
In case you are wondering about the D800E camera, it is almost identical to the D800, except for one difference. The D800E is free from the anti-aliasing properties of the optical low-pass filter (OLPF) found on the D800. This way the light falls directly on the sensor and what you see is the result of the raw potential of the camera without the artificial enhancements of a filter. This model is more suitable for studio work or landscape photography.
The D800 will be available in late March for $2,999.95 and the D800E will be available in mid-April for $3,299.95. You can find some sample images and videos in the link below. Unfortunately, none of them are particularly high resolution, so it’s difficult to tell the level of detail that that 36 megapixel sensor is resolving or how much noise there is in the photos. Hopefully, we’ll see some high-resolution images and videos soon.
Update: This video was uploaded on Vimeo after the launch of the D800. It’s a short film shot entirely on the D800. It’s shot during the night and in low-light and shows just how good the video recording of the camera is under such conditions. Must say the D800 has done a brilliant job. I can’t wait to see more videos and images shot from the camera. For now, you can check out the video below. Don’t forget to watch it in HD.