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

AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:


Nikon D800 review


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White balance and colour

In most cameras, I find auto white balance (AWB) gives a slightly cool colour balance in all situations except tungsten light, where it is usually too warm. The same is true with the Nikon D800. However, a second AWB option is designed to keep warm tones of light, which is ideal for maintaining ambience.

New to the D800 (and D4) is the ability to adjust the colour temperature setting minutely in the manual Kelvin mode. Alternatively, a manual white balance reading can be taken, although this is a slightly longwinded process compared to other systems. It is achieved by navigating through a couple of menus and selecting a previously recorded image of a grey card taken in the ambient light conditions.

Overall, the D800 is perfectly capable of good colour rendition. Skin tones are usually spot-on and the greens in landscape images are particularly natural, although I do at times find the blue of skies a little cyan.

Standard colour mode in Nikon DSLRs appears less saturated than in most other systems, so I often opt to use the vivid setting to add a little punch to images.

However, all the colour modes can be customised for saturation, sharpness and contrast, so it is worth adjusting to taste. Handily, the monochrome setting offers not only different tones, from sepia to cyanotype, but also yellow, orange, red and green filter effects. These can be replicated in editing software, but to have the option to enhance the impact of the sky in a monochrome landscape by using the red filter is quite addictive.

Image: The monochrome colour mode offers different filter effects. Here the green filter is ideal for skin tones

  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
Page 5 of 12 - Show Full List
  • Steve Krawczyk

    Superb image quality, good alternative to a DSLR when you can’t/don’t want to take a large amount of kit. Needs a filter mount to avert the need to use the fiddly lens cap. Pop-up flash is alittle weak but I use a Speedlite 270EX which is a vast improvement. Slower in operation than I would have expected but esentially a good all rounder with useful features and excellent build quality. Download the CD manual onto your smartphone for reference purposes!

  • Rod Hall

    Having previously owned a G9 which I loved, I was however becoming increasingly frustratedwith it’s rather poor low light performance and the noise that was introduced with even relatively modest hikes in ISO. The G1 Xs large CMOS sensor however has more than addressed this. Image quality is stunning and lets face it, that is the whole point of a camera is it not? On the downside it is expensive and rather bulky for a compact and the styling has echos of Soviet era construction, but it really cannot be faulted in the area of image quality output.

  • jaykay

    The one thing every review of the G1 X I have read, misses, is the fact that if you set it to shoot jpg+raw having set it up to use any of the many menu choices,the camera switches these off and only gives you a default jpg file plus raw.
    Considering Canons claimed target market is the advanced DSLR user wanting a comparable specification in a smaller package, this is a real fault and one that needs addressing with a firmware upgrade ASAP.

  • J. R. Turcotte

    Your advertisements obscure the content of your articles. Until that is fixed, your new site is useless.