Nikon D800/D800E

D800 front from Nikon USA site

This camera is a wish list item for me.  It’s the first camera in a while that’s really jumped out for me.  The D4 is out of my price range so I couldn’t get that excited, and while the price for the D800/D800E cameras are not inexpensive, they do fall closer to my range.

Will I run out and pre-order one?  No. It’s not a need, it’s just a want, so I’ll wait for now.  The more I read and listen about this camera, the more I want it though.  Here are my thoughts on this camera:

D800 back from the Nikon USA site

First off, D800 vs the D800E.  The D800E is the same camera, with the same sensor as the D800.  The difference is that the D800E has the AA (Anti Alias) filter replaced by glass that does not blur.  The best description for this that I could find is from one of my favourite sites for learning terms when I first started getting into digital photography, Cambridge in Colour.  They state the following description for anti aliasing:

Anti-aliasing is a process which attempts to minimize the appearance of aliased or jagged diagonal edges, termed “jaggies.” A major obstacle when enlarging an image is preventing the interpolator from inducing or exacerbating aliasing. Many adaptive interpolators detect the presence of edges and adjust to minimize aliasing while still retaining edge sharpness. Since an anti-aliased edge contains information about that edge’s location at higher resolutions, it is also conceivable that a powerful adaptive (edge-detecting) interpolator could at least partially reconstruct this edge when enlarging.

Here is the blurb from the Nikon website on the D800E:

Nikon engineers have developed a unique alternative for those seeking the ultimate in definition. The D800E incorporates an optical filter with all the 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 subjects to the degree where they can mitigate the occurrence of moiré. Aside from the optical filter, all functions and features are the same as on the D800.

Note: The D800E carries an increased possibility that moiré and false color will appear, compared to the D800. IR cut and antireflective coating properties of the optical filter remain the same with both versions.

Dual Card slots are great.  I really love the feeling of relative safety when shooting a wedding with dual card slots while having one slot as a backup.  Also when I’m just out shooting for myself, such as on vacation, I’ll just use the second as overflow.  But regarding the D800, I don’t understand why they went with a SD and CF.  I think it would have made more sense to go with either the same setup as the D4, with the CF and XQD card.  That being said, it will be better for those who have the D7000 or lower and are upgrading to a full frame camera.  They will only have to add one set of cards, the CF cards.  But if you are going to own the D4 and D800/D800E such as a lot of pro photographers with the D3 or D3S and the D700, then you will need three sets of cards, SD, CF and the new XQD.

As far as the megapixels, please keep in mind if you don’t already understand this, high megapixels do not equal better pictures, just more information.  The D4 will have less than half the megapixels of the D800 and D800E, but each pixel will be larger, therefore will be able to capture more light.

I’ve read on Cliff Mautner’s blog (one of my favourite wedding photographers right now) that the ISO performance will be on par with the D3S and, if I understand correctly, better than the D3 and D700, but not as good as the the new D4.  Nikon, in my opinion, has made a very good decision with engineering this camera in this way.  For wedding and events it will be good, but not as good as the D4. (Again, my opinion, not facts).  My thoughts are that the D4 has a much higher ISO performance and with smaller files, due to less megapixels, much faster frames per second.  This doesn’t bother me however, as I shoot the D7000 in continuous low 90% of the time, set at 3 frames per second.

This camera takes the same battery as the D7000.  This would mean that I would have spare batteries already and in line with that comment, the buttons are similar to the D7000 in may areas, such as the button on the AF/MF switch that lets you change your AF focus modes with one dial while holding the button and the number of active AF points with the other dial.

If the battery life is an issue, there is the battery grip.  This grip, while holding the standard battery and having the ability to use AA batteries, also has a neat trick.  With an adapter it will take the EN-EL18 battery from the D4.  This boosts the average shots from 900 for the EN-EL15 to 2,600 with the EN-EL18.

The autofocus on the D800 is also amazingly fast.  Some have claimed that it’s better than the D3S.  With the 91K pixel RGB sensor, same as the D4, the autofocus will be faster, more accurate, and the automatic functions such as auto exposure, i-TTL and more will be much better than any previous Nikon camera.  I’ll admit, I had to do some reading on this point.  I didn’t fully realize what it meant to have the 91K pixel RGB sensor.  I think as this filters down through the rest of the line, we’ll see a huge benefit for those shooting in automatic modes for the amateurs as well as the pros using cameras with these sensors.  If you don’t mind reading, this and other features are explained in detail on the Nikon site, just click here.

I could go on and on about all the features, but I’ll stop here and leave you the specs from the Nikon USA site:


  • Lens Mount
    Nikon F bayonet mount
  • Effective Pixels
    36.3 million
  • Sensor Size
    35.9mm x 24mm
  • Image Sensor Format
  • Image Sensor Type
  • Total Pixels
    36.8 million
  • Dust-reduction system
    Image sensor cleaning
  • Dust-Off Reference Photo
  • Image Area (pixels)
    (L) 7,360 x 4,912
    (M) 5,520 x 3,680
    (S) 3,680 x 2,456
    1:2 format (30 x 20)
    (L) 6,144 x 4,080
    (M) 4,608 x 3,056
    (S) 3,072 x 2,040
    5:4 format (30 x 24)
    (L) 6,144 x 4,912
    (M) 4,608 x 3,680
    (S) 3,072 x 2,456
    (L) 4,800 x 3,200
    (M) 3,600 x 2,400
    (S) 2,400 x 1,600
  • File Format Still Images
    JPEG: JPEG-Baseline Compliant with fine (approx 1:4), Normal (approx 1:8) or Basic (approx 1:16) Compression
    NEF (RAW): lossless compressed 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed or uncompressed
    TIFF (RGB)
    JPEG: JPEG-Baseline-Compliant; can be selected from Size Priority and Optimal Quality
  • Picture Control
    User-customizable Settings
  • Storage Media
    CompactFlash© (CF) (Type I, compliant with UDMA)
  • Card Slot
    1 CompactFlash© (CF) card and 1 Secure Digital (SD) card
  • File System
    Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0
    DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)
    EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras)
  • Viewfinder
    Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder
  • Viewfinder Frame Coverage
    FX (36×24): 100% Horizontal and 100% Vertical Approx.
    1.2x (30×20): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
    DX (24×16): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
    5:4 (30×24): 97% Horizontal and 97% Vertical Approx.
  • Viewfinder Magnification
    0.70x Approx.
  • Viewfinder Eyepoint
    19.5 (-1.0¯¹)
  • Viewfinder Diopter Adjustment
    Built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1 m¯¹)
  • Focusing Screen
    Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII with AF Area Brackets (grid lines can be displayed)
  • Reflex Mirror
    Quick-return type
  • Lens Aperture
    Instant-return type
  • Depth-of-field Control
  • Lens Compatibility at a Glance***
    AF-S or AF lenses fully compatible
    Metering with AI lenses
  • Compatible Lenses
    AF NIKKOR other than type G or D*2: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering III
    AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering III
    DX AF NIKKOR: All Functions Supported Except FX-format (36×24)/5:4 (30×24) Image Size
    Non-CPU: Usable in [A] or [M] mode Center-Weighted or Spot Metering; Electronic Rangefinder can be used if Maximum Aperture is f/5.6 or Faster
    Type G or D AF NIKKOR: All Functions Supported
  • Shutter type
    Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane
  • Shutter Speed
    1/8000 to 30 sec.
  • Fastest Shutter Speed
    1/8000 sec.
  • Slowest Shutter Speed
    30 sec.
  • Flash Sync Speed
    Up to 1/250 sec.
    Synchronizes with shutter at 1/320s or slower (flash range drops at speeds between 1/250 and 1/320s)
  • Bulb Shutter Setting
  • Shutter Release Modes
    Continuous low-speed [CL] mode; 1-4 frames per second
    Continuous high-speed [CH] mode; 4 frames per second
    Mirror-up [Mup] mode
    Quiet Shutter Release
    Self-timer mode
    Single-frame [S] mode
  • Continuous Shooting Options
    CH: Up to 4 frames per second
    CL: Up to 4 frames per second
    5:4 format
    CH: Up to 4 frames per second
    CL: Up to 4 frames per second
    CH: Up to 5 frames per second
    CL: Up to 5 frames per second
    1:2 format
    CH: Up to 5 frames per second
    CL: Up to 5 frames per second
  • Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution
    4 frames per second
  • Self-timer
    2, 5, 10, 20 sec. Timer duration electronically controlled
  • Exposure Metering System
    TTL exposure metering using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor
  • Metering Method
    Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm circle in center of frame
    Matrix: 3D color matrix metering III (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering III (other CPU lenses)
    Spot: Meters 4mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point
  • Metering Range
    0 to 20 EV (3D color matrix or center-weighted metering)
    0 to 20 EV (spot metering)
  • Exposure Meter Coupling
  • Exposure Modes
    Aperture-Priority (A)
    Manual (M)
    Programmed auto with flexible program (P)
    Shutter-Priority (S)
  • Exposure Compensation
    ±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
  • Exposure Lock
  • Mirror Lock Up
  • ISO Sensitivity
    ISO 100 – 6400
    Lo-1 (ISO 50)
    Hi-1 (ISO 12,800)
    Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)
  • Lowest Standard ISO Sensitivity
  • Highest Standard ISO Sensitivity
  • Lowest Expanded ISO Sensitivity
    Lo-1 (ISO 50 equivalent)
  • Highest Expanded ISO Sensitivity
    HI-2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent)
  • Expanded ISO Sensitivity Options
    Lo-1 (ISO-50 equivalent), Hi-1 (ISO-12,800 equivalent), Hi-2 (ISO-25,600 equivalent)
  • Long Exposure Noise Reduction
  • High ISO Noise Reduction
  • Active D-Lighting
    Extra High
  • D-Lighting Bracketing
    2 frames using selected value for one frame
    3–5 frames using preset values for all frames
  • Single-point AF Mode
  • Dynamic AF Mode
    Number of AF points: 9, 21, 51 and 51 (3D-tracking)
  • Auto-area AF Mode
  • Autofocus System
    Nikon Advanced Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection
  • Detection Range
    -1 to 19 EV (ISO 100, 68°F/20°C)
  • Lens Servo
    Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); predictive focus tracking activated automatically according to subject status
    Manual focus (MF): Electronic rangefinder can be used
  • AF-area mode
    9, 21 or 51 point Dynamic-area AF
    Auto-area AF
    Single-point AF
    3D-tracking (51 points)
  • Focus Lock
    Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
    Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF)
  • Focus Modes
    Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
    Continuous-servo (AF-C)
    Face-Priority AF available in Live View only and D-Movie only
    Full-time Servo (AF-A) available in Live View only
    Manual (M) with electronic rangefinder
    Normal area
    Single-servo AF (AF-S)
    Wide area
  • Maximum Autofocus Areas/Points
  • Autofocus Sensitivity
    -2 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
  • Autofocus Fine Tune
  • Built-in Flash
  • Flash Bracketing
    2 to 9 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1 EV
  • Built-in Flash Distance
    39 ft. (ISO 100)
  • X-Sync Speed
  • Top FP High Speed Sync
    Up to 1/8000
  • Flash Control
    TTL: i-TTL flash control using 91,000-pixel RGB sensor are available with built-in flash and SB-910, SB-900, SB-700, or SB-400; i-TTL balanced fill-flash for digital SLR is used with matrix and center-weighting metering, standard i-TTL flash for digital SLR with spot metering
  • Flash Sync Modes
    Front-curtain sync (normal)
    Rear-curtain sync
    Red-eye reduction
    Red-eye reduction with slow sync
    Slow sync
  • Flash Compensation
    -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
  • Flash-ready indicator
    Lights when built-in flash or optional flash unit such as SB-910, SB-900, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX or SB-50DX is fully charged
  • Accessory Shoe
  • Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)
    CLS Supported
  • Flash Sync Terminal
  • White Balance
    Auto (2 types)
    Choose color temperature (2500K–10000K)
    Direct Sunlight
    Fluorescent (7 types)
    Preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
  • White Balance Bracketing
    2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3 EV
  • Live View Shooting
    Photography Live View Mode
    Movie Live View Mode
  • Live View Lens servo
    Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); full-time-servo AF (AF-F)
    Manual focus (MF)
  • Live View AF-area mode
    Face-priority AF
    Wide-area AF
    Normal-area AF
    Subject-tracking AF
  • Live View Autofocus
    Contrast-detect AF anywhere in frame (camera selects focus point automatically when face-priority AF or subject-tracking AF is selected)
  • Movie Metering
    TTL exposure metering using main image sensor
  • Movie Frame size (pixels) and frame rate
    1280 x 720 (30p): 30 fps (29.97 fps)
    1280 x 720 (60p): 60 fps (59.94 fps)
    1920 x 1080 (24p): 24 fps (23.976 fps)
    1920 x 1080 (30p): 30 fps (29.97 fps)
  • Movie Maximum recording time
    20 minutes at highest quality
    29 minutes 59 seconds at normal quality
  • Movie File Format
  • Movie Video Compression
    H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
  • Movie Audio recording format
    Linear PCM
  • Movie Audio recording device
    Built-in monaural microphone
    External stereo microphone (optional)
  • Movie
    HD 1,920×1,080 / 30 fps
    HD 1,920×1,080 / 24 fps
    HD 1,280×720 / 30 fps
    HD 1,280×720 / 24 fps
    HD 1,280×720 / 60 fps
  • Movie Audio
    Built-in microphone, monaural
    External stereo microphone (optional)
  • Monitor Size
    3.2 in. diagonal
  • Monitor Resolution
    921,000 Dots
  • Monitor Type
    Wide Viewing Angle TFT-LCD
  • Monitor Angle of View
    170-degree wide-viewing angle
  • Monitor Adjustments
    Brightness, 5 levels
  • Virtual Horizon Camera Indicator
    Also visible in LiveView Modes
    Also visible in Viewfinder
  • Playback Functions
    Auto Image Rotation
    Full-Frame and Thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar)
    Histogram Display
    Image Comment
    Movie Playback
    Movie Slideshow
    Playback with Zoom
  • In-Camera Image Editing
    Color Outline
    Color Sketch
    Distortion Control
    Edit Movie
    Filter Effects
    Image Overlay
    Miniature Effect
    NEF (RAW) Processing
    Perspective Control
    Quick Retouch
    Red-eye Correction
    Selective Color
    Side-by-Side Comparison
    Color Balance
  • Image Comment
  • Interface
    HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
    Headphone Connector
    Stereo Microphone Input
    Super Speed USB 3.0
  • Wi-Fi Functionality
    Eye-Fi Compatible
  • GPS
    GP-1 GPS unit
  • Save/Load Camera settings
  • Total custom Settings
  • My Menu
    Yes with customization
  • Recent Settings
  • Supported Languages
    Chinese (Simplified and Traditional)
  • Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings
  • World Time Setting
  • Battery / Batteries
    EN-EL15 Lithium-ion Battery
  • Battery Life (shots per charge)
    900 Battery Life (shots per charge) (CIPA)
  • AC Adapter
    EH-5b AC Adapter
    Requires EP-5B Power Supply Connector
  • Battery Charger
    MH-25 Quick Charger
  • Tripod Socket
    1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
  • Approx. Dimensions
    Width 5.7 in. (144.78mm)
    Height 4.8 in. (121.92mm)
    Depth 3.2 in. (81.28mm)
  • Approx. Weight
    31.7 oz. (900g)
    camera body only
  • Supplied Accessories
    • AN-DC6 Strap
    • EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
    • MH-25 Battery Charger
    • UC-E14 USB Cable
    • BM-12 LCD Monitor Cover
    • BF-1B Body Cap
    • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cap
    • DK-17 Viewfinder Eyepiece
    • NikonView NX2 CD ROM

About covesphotography

I have loved photography since I was a child. I always had a camera with me, although it was usually an old Kodak 110 Instamatic. When I was older, I used to take (with permission) my fathers Konica SLR with a 50mm Sigma lens. I was always disappointed that I had to wait for the film to be developed to see what it looked like. I have about two large containers full of pictures in my bedroom closet even now, mostly mine from that time. I don't know exactly how old I was, but I was able to take a picture of a sunset over Lake Superior with a heavy cloud cover above and the water below, the sun just broke through. My parents took it and blew it up to a very large image and I had it hanging on my wall for years. As a lot of teenagers are now, I was impatient and didn't stay with my love of photography, however when digital became more popular, and because I double exposed an important roll of film, I purchased my first digital camera, about 2004. I loved it so much that it went everywhere with me. Now I want to turn that passion for photography to something that can bring joyful moments to other people. From elegant weddings, to family portraits, from infants and pregnancy photos to corporate head shots, from pets to product photography. I travel to you, either to your home or a location you specify. If needed I can help in location scouting as well.
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3 Responses to Nikon D800/D800E

  1. Victor Ho says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog. The best of luck to you with yours and with your venture to extend it from a hobby. My first camera was an Instamatic 100. Did you inherit yours or purchase it? My purchase was influenced by Kodak ads on the Walt Disney TV show.

    • Hi Victor,
      The Instamatic was my purchase. I don’t remember what influenced it, other than my brother and father both into photography. I’ve been shooting since I was a kid, I’m in my mid 30’s now.

  2. Rachel Py says:

    Hey there, You have performed an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and individually suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.

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