Nikon has announced the D800 “HD-SLR,” which features a 36.3-megapixel full-frame (FX) CMOS image sensor—meaning you can make enormous prints of your high resolution (7360×4912-pixel) captures. Like its (chronological at least) predecessor, 2008′s D700, the D800 has a more compact body size than a big gun like the D4, but its price and emphasis on super high resolution output seems to narrow its market to buyers like studio and wedding photographers who are most interested in print work rather than a broader class of photo enthusiasts looking to step up to a mid-range DSLR for travel and personal photo capture purposes. This is probably why Nikon is going to continue selling the D700 alongside its successor and at nearly the same price.
At $2,999.95, the D800 boasts the same 3.2-inch 921K dot LCD screen as the flagship D4 and its viewfinder offers 100% frame coverage (as compared to the D700′s 95%). For low-light capture, it has an ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50 (Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2), with the only upgrade to the D700 here being on the low end of the range (50 versus 100). The upgraded video capabilities are what have compelled Nikon to market the camera as an “HD-SLR”; the D800 shoots video at various resolutions and frame rates, including full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p. Additionally, as Nikon says, “For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit, 4:2:2).” Below is a test video shot by filmmaker Sandro with the D800.
The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for $2,999.95 (body only), and a supplementary model—D800E, which “treads in medium format territory for studio work or landscape photography” as it “enhances the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera”—will be available in mid-April for $3,299.95.