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Nikon D800 review

April 28, 2012

Overall Rating:

5

Nikon D800


  • Build/Handling:
  • Autofocus:
  • Noise/resolution:
  • Metering:
  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • LCD viewfinder:

Manufacturer:

Manufacturer:

Price as Reviewed:

£2,599.00

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...

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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 

  • Built-in Flash: Yes
  • Dioptre Adjustment: -3 to +1 dioptre
  • White Balance: 2 auto, 6 presets (with fine-tuning), plus 3 custom and Kelvin adjustment settings
  • Shutter Type: Electronically controlled focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: 1x CompactFlash slot compatible with UDMA 7, 1x SD slot
  • Viewfinder Type: Pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder
  • LCD: 3.2in TFT with 921,000 dots
  • Output Size: 7360 x 4912 pixels
  • Field of View: Approx 100%
  • White Balance Bracket: 2-9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
  • AF Points: 51 points, selectable manually or automatically
  • Sensor: FX-format (full-frame 35.9 x 24 mm) CMOS device with 36.3 million effective pixels
  • Focal Length Mag: 1x (1.5x in DX-format crop mode)
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/250sec
  • Exposure Modes: PASM
  • Weight: 1,000g (with battery and card/s)
  • Shutter Speeds: 30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3 steps, plus B
  • File Format: NEF (raw), JPEG, raw+JPEG simultaneously
  • Power: Rechargeable EN-EL15 Li-Ion battery (supplied)
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • Drive Mode: Single, continuous (Hi/Lo selectable, up to 4fps with AF), self-timer, quiet, mirror-up
  • Exposure Comp: ±5EV in 1⁄3, 1/2 or 1EV steps
  • ISO: 100-6400 in 1/3EV steps and Lo1, Hi1, Hi2 (ISO 50-25,600)
  • Lens Mount: Nikon F
  • RRP: £2,599.99 (body only)
  • DoF Preview: Yes
  • Focusing Modes: Manual, single-shot AF, continuous AF with AF fine-tuning
  • Dimensions: 146 x 123 x 81.5mm
  • Metering System: 91,000-pixel RGB 3D matrix metering, centreweighted (adjustable), spot (1.5%)
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, HDMI
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG, 3-stage NEF
  • Tested as: Enthusiast DSLR

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