Often there is a divide between the worlds of amateur, hobbyist photography, and professional kits that run thousands. The D800 stands as a bridge between the two, acting as a powerful, high-resolution camera that also lay as a point of entry into that realm of pristine SLR photography. The long awaited successor to the D700 is here, and it looks good, but does it look 36.3 megapixels good?
Fabulous Picture Resolution
The Nikon D800 took photographers all over the world by storm with its extensive 36.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor. Such resolutions are eye popping for even the most hardcore pros. High resolution is given a new definition when the tiniest dot can be enlarged and reveal a new canvas at 100% crop. Be it for still shots or videos, such high resolutions can make any photographer’s mouth water. Now every detail you capture will be crisp, because this enormous sensor does not back down from ISO settings as high as 16000.
The Nikon D800 is ideal for making all types of videos and movies, giving full HD 1080pixels at 30/25/24p as well as 720p at 60/50p in the convenient .mov format. You can even attach DX lenses to get a more professional quality video, be it for your own short documentary or the wedding video of your best friend. It is additionally possible to output the uncompressed 1080p video to a monitor via an HDMI port and view it in real time. Those hoping to integrate the camera into a studio setting will rejoice for this feature.
Headphone and Microphone ports are available according to the standard, but what will surprise you is the quality of the built in microphone. Even sounds in the distance will register, and you will not feel at a loss if you find yourself recording without your external mic.
Use and Feel
Like the rest of Nikon’s cameras, the D800 operations are completely user friendly. If it’s your first DSLR camera, then you will be overjoyed at being able to control the many features of your camera with a simple touch.
The fast speed of the D800 will captivate your mind. EXPEED 3 is the highest quality processor that completes difficult tasks like video recording with such comfort and ease that you will be left amazed. It’s not only the processor that works fast, the LCD screen gives you image quality that is sharp and clear. The 3.2 inch screen of the D800 allows you to zoom up to 46x, allowing scrutiny of the smallest detail.
With 6 picture control buttons, you can adjust the settings, colors and size of the picture according to your specifications. The D800 gives you Landscape, Monochrome, Vivid, Neutral, Standard and Portrait for still pictures. Some placement is rather poorly thought out, however. An example would be the button that adjusts ISO, which is placed on the top left such that you must cup the frame with both hands to push it, causing you to lose the frame of your shot.
With such high quality features present in Nikon D800, the price of the camera is relatively low at only $3000. As such, the D800 represents a solid, stable investment that puts you in a good place to begin building a serious kit.
The D800 is the latest round in Nikon’s iterative process of learning from past mistakes. In many areas, such as the resolution and AF accuracy, we see dazzling improvements. In other places, such as the pplacement of some controls, we find issues that were not sufficiently addressed. Overall, the camera trumps its predecessors, and is worthwhile to any that may be eyeing it.
Article by Paul Cook
Paul Cook is a freelance writer and photography buff who enjoys reading photography tips and keeping up with new equipment at http://photo.net/reviews/