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Nikon D800 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £2500
inc VAT

Sublime ergonomics and a record-breaking resolution, but performance suffers


35.9x24mm 36.2-megapixel sensor, N/A zoom (N/A equivalent), 1.0kg

A full-frame digital SLR is an object of desire for virtually every photographer. With prices now in the region of £2,500, they’re a viable proposition for semi-professionals and keen amateurs as well as full-time professionals. The D800 is Nikon’s second full-frame camera at this price, and comes with some truly mouth-watering specifications.

Nikon D800

The 36-megapixel sensor is far higher than even Nikon and Canon’s top-of-the-range SLRs. There’s a 51-point autofocus sensor, 15 of which are cross-type for added sensitivity, plus sophisticated subject tracking with the help of the 91,000-pixel metering sensor. As with all full-frame SLRs, the optical viewfinder gives a much larger view of the scene than cameras with smaller sensors.

Nikon D800

We always appreciate single-function controls for quick access to settings, and the D800 has more than we’ve ever seen. It manages to avoid being cluttered, though, and the ability to hold down a button with the left hand and adjust the setting via the command dials with the right hand makes for an exceptionally efficient system.

Nikon D800

There are SDXC and CompactFlash slots, and the bank of sockets include microphone in, headphone out, HDMI and PC sync for triggering external flashes. It’s relatively heavy at 1kg without a lens, but it’s hard to imagine it being any more comfortable to use.

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Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels36.2 megapixels
CCD size35.9x24mm
Viewfinderoptical TTL
Viewfinder magnification, coverage0.7x, 100%
LCD screen size3.2in
LCD screen resolution921,000 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoomN/A
Zoom 35mm equivalentN/A
Image stabilisationAvailable in lenses
Maximum image resolution7,360×4,912
File formatsJPEG, RAW; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slotSDXC, CompactFlash
Mermory suppliednone
Battery typeLi-ion
Battery Life (tested)850 shots
ConnectivityUSB3, mini HDMI, microphone in, headphone out, PC sync, wired remote
Body materialmagnesium alloy
Lens mountNikon F
Focal length multiplier1.0x
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB cable, neck strap

Buying Information

Warrantytwo years RTB

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed30 to 1/8,000 seconds
Aperture rangeN/A
ISO range (at full resolution)50 to 25600
Exposure compensation+/-5 EV
White balanceauto, 6 presets with fine tuning, 4 manual, Kelvin
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness, brightness, hue, Active D-Lighting, colour space, vignette control, auto distortion control, noise reduction
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focusN/A
Auto-focus modes51-point
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, rear curtain, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, AE bracket, WB bracket, HDR, multiple exposure, interval

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