Nikon D800 specs and comparison

36 Megapixels, wow! Nikon D800 specs, and comparison with the Nikon D700 and D4
By Scott Gietler

Nikon D800 comparison

36 Megapixels, wow!

Takes on medium-format cameras, same size as D700

ISO more limited than the D4, sells for $2,999

By Scott Gietler




Nikon has released another full frame camera, the Nikon D800, which is the successor to the Nikon D700. Nikon has decided to emphasize pixels over ultra-high ISO performance. This camera competes with the Canon 5D Mark III.


Here's some highlights of the new Nikon D800

  • Offers 15.4 megapixels at a 1.5x crop
  • Offers 1080p high def video at 30/24fps, 720p at 60/30fps
  • ISO range 100-6400
  • Takes CF & SD cards
  • Speed limited to 4fps
  • Auto-focuses at F8 like the Nikon D4 does, great for teleconverters!

nikon d80 specifications and comparison to Nikon D700 and Nikon D4

This camera does not have any obvious compeition (but it will when the 5D MK III comes out soon), and for sure will sell many, many times more than the NIkon D4 will. Now the question is how many photographers really need 36 megapixels? And have lenses that will resolve them? Regardless, downsampling a 36 megapixel sensor to 10 or 20 megapixels will produce excellent results - and this is a much better camera than the Nikon D700, which came out in late 2008. This will be an excellent camera for landscape, studio and wildlife photographers.


  Nikon D4 Nikon D800 Nikon D700 5D MK III
Megapixels 16.2 36 12 22.3
Video 1080p30, 720p60 1080p30, 720p60  NA 1080p30, 720p60
Shooting Speed 10 fps 4 fps, 5fps in crop mode 5fps 6fps
Autofocus 51 points 51 points 51 points 61 points
Cost $6,000 $2,999 $2,699 $3,499
LCD 3.2 inch 3.2 inch 3 inch 3.2 inch
ISO Range up to 204,800 up to 25,600 up to 25,600 up to 102,400
RAW Buffer Size, 12 bit 98 ?? 20 35
Viewfinder magnification .70x .72x .72x .71x
Video limit 20 minutes 30 minutes NA 30 minutes
Viewfinder coverage 100% 100% 95% 100%
Size Big Small Small Small
Build quality Great Great Great Great

Here are some other Nikon D800 specs and interesting features:

  • Autofocuses with F8 lenses, which means the autofocus will work better in lower light. This is good news for people who like to use teleconverters.
  • New 91,000 pixel metering sensor - which is used mainly for measuring exposure, detecting faces, etc.
  • Video clips up to 30 minutes long
  • Mic in, headphone out with adjustable levels, just like the D4
  • uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI video out available
  • supports USB 3.0, D700 supported USD 2.0
  • Video can be recorded in 1.5x crop mode, very nice!
  • Can take time-lapse movies
  • Shoots HDR in-camera
  • Shutter rated to 200,000 actuations
  • 1/8000th shutter speed like the D700 & D4

Nikon D800 underwater housings

I'm expecting housings from Subal, Nexus, Aquatica, Sea & Sea, Nauticam, and Seacam, and Hugyfot. The Nauticam D800 housing has already been made available for pre-order.

D800E & D800 Shipping Date

The Nikon D800 is expected to ship at the end of March. The Nikon D800E costs $300 more, and has the anti-aliasing filter removed, for pros who know what that does. Basically, you can get slightly sharper images - at the risk of some false colors and moire.


Comparing the Nikon D800 with the Canon 5D Mark III

  • The NIkon D800 has many more megapixels, autofocus at F8, has an internal flash and a higher sync speed (1/250th)
  • The 22 megapixel Canon 5D Mk III has 2 stops better high ISO performance, and faster shooting (6fps vs 4fps)

Promotional video*, "Joy Ride," shot entirely with the D800




"Behind the Scenes" of "Joy Ride"

*video courtesy of


What do you think of the new Nikon D800?

Tell us in the forums


Further Reading

Nikon D7100 mini review

Ikelite D800 housing mini review


Where to Buy

Please support the Underwater Photography Guide by purchasing your Nikon D800 underwater photography gear through our sister site, Bluewater Photo & Video. Click, or call them at (310) 633-5052 for expert advice!



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