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


Price as reviewed:



Both the D800 and D4 benefit from a dramatically revised 91,000-pixel RGB metering sensor. This is a significant increase in pixels from the previous version. The reasoning behind such a change is that the camera uses a 3D Color Matrix Metering III scene-recognition system, benefiting not only the exposure in a wide range of scenes, but also white balance and focusing.

Overall, I find metering systems in most cameras tend to be spot-on in the majority of situations. However, difficult conditions can cause problems, so the metering system benefits from being linked to a scene-recognition system.

For example, if the system recognises a face in the scene prior to exposure, it can apply exposure control for accurate metering on the face. This works well for a backlit scene where the camera would naturally underexpose the face.

In reality, though, the number of situations that benefit from the system are not immediately obvious. That said, despite the few scenes where the camera underexposed and I needed to dial in +0.7EV compensation, I have no complaints about the metering system.

Image: ISO 50 is sufficient to give an exposure slow enough to blur the movement of water, using the sweet spot aperture of the lens and without the use of an ND filter

  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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