Nikon D800 review
April 28, 2012
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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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
- 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