With a high-resolution, 36.3-million-pixel sensor that virtually matches those of medium-format models, the Nikon D800 may just have raised the bar for full-frame cameras. Read our Nikon D800 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Nikon D800

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Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:


Nikon D800 review


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Dynamic range

The D800 provides a wide tonal range, measured by www.dxomark.com at 14.1EV, which puts the D800 up there with the best cameras at any level. Given the high resolution and therefore smaller pixels than the direct competition, this is impressive.

As a function normally reserved for lower-end cameras with a more limited dynamic range, I am a little surprised to see a high dynamic range (HDR) mode included in the D800 (and indeed the Canon EOS 5D Mark III).

Nonetheless, this is a good feature to have, and an HDR image can be recorded in two frames, for up ±3EV. This extends the possible dynamic range to 20EV, which I found particularly useful when trying to preserve detail in the highlights of a waterfall, where normally the falling water would appear as a solid white mass.

As with all Nikon DSLRs, Active D-Lighting can be applied to images in-camera. This feature brightens shadow areas for the impression of extra detail, and is available in two different strengths and auto.

Image: The wide dynamic range and Active D-Lighting ensure detail is visible in dark areas here 

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. D800E
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. White balance and colour
  6. 6. Metering
  7. 7. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. LCD, viewfinder and video
  10. 10. Dynamic range
  11. 11. The competition
  12. 12. Our verdict
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