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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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Metering

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

  • 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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