36.3 megapixels (wow!) with a full frame sensor. Full HD video with stereo sound (yay) built in HDR (sweet) and it looks like its aimed at the commercial, wedding and landscape markets (photographers who shoot medium format digital backs. I mean who used to shoot digital backs). ;-)

I haven’t seen one, held one, etc., but it sounds amazing and I want one. Bad!!!! (And yes, sometimes you need 36.3 megapixels). Two words: Whoo Hoo!

Read the full scoop at Nikon USA: http://bit.ly/wVaU77

About The Author

Scott is a Photographer, bestselling Author, Host of "The Grid" weekly photography show; Editor of Photoshop User magazine; Lightroom Guy; KelbyOne.com CEO; struggling guitarist. Loves Classic Rock and his arch-enemy is Cilantro. Devoted husband, dad to two super awesome kids, and pro-level babysitter to two crazy doggos.


  1. I have ordered the D800E, will let y’all know if it’s better/worse.

  2. Hoping to see a live demo with the NPS guys similar to what you did with the D4. I’m interested to see what the D800e can do

  3. Scott, I can not seem to find the difference between the D-800 & the D-800e. I’ve read and re-read Nikon’s site. I’m not the only one asking this question on Facebook. No one seems to know. Can you help?

  4. Hey Scott, did they give you one to try. let us know how you like it.

  5. For those of us who are not pros, and shoot a bit of everything from portraits, kids, wildlife, sports, concerts and landscapes… Will the 4 Fps be fast enough?

  6. Sorry, Scott. Since I posted my previous question, I finally found the answers I needed. The D-800e does not have a low-pass filer.

  7. Does a 36 megapixel camera magnify every lens flaw? Does this and/or The Canon surpass the medium formats (eg. Phase One P25+)? Just wondering since I can’t afford any of the above.

    • Just my two cents….there’s no getting around the advantages of the larger sensor on the medium format digital cams.  I would love to see a comparison between the D800 and say, the Leaf 22mp from a few years back.  That might be pretty close.  Regardless, for me…the D800 gives maybe 80% of the image quality of the IQ140 Phase MFD for about 15% of the cost.  Works for me.

  8. In complete and utter agreement regarding ‘Whoo,’ However, until I’ve seen and held one for myself I’m holding back on the ‘Hoo’. :)

  9. Very interested in the image quality!

  10. I’ve been holding out for this for a while now as this will definitely be my next major purchase.

    The kind of work I do doesn’t require high FPS so looking at the rest of the specs this is definitely for me.

    Very interested tongearvwhen it’s due to be available and also the estimated cost in ££££’s.

    I guess the next upgrade on the list will have to be from my Amstrad CPC464 as Lightroom 4 doesn’t seem to run on it :)


  11. Scott, i only shoot fashion and beauty and just pre ordered the d800e.. Im hoping that was the best choice, thoughts?

  12. It does look like a nice camera Scott.
    I have just been reading some posts on other sites and review sites. Wow, do people complain about everything. Some ppl say “that is 2fps slower than a D2H”, or “Low ISO, what is Nikon smoking”. seriously, would be nice if people thought before they posted. 

    So I came here.
    So far, comments are positive. Would love to hear what you guys think when you get your hands on it.

  13. Arghh! What have you done to your blog layout?

    I can’t zoom in on the columns any more on my iPad, it’s much harder to read

    • Hi Andrew, thanks for your observation on the iPad zoom. I’m still looking to improve on this aspect of the site but I find it easier to read Scott’s posts on my mobile using Portrait orientation (especially for comments). Sometimes inside the posts I’ll open Safari in ‘reader-mode’ but if I turn the iPad to portrait that’s generally enough. (still working on it though).

  14. Former guest blogger John Wright has used it (Dec 2011) for a shoot – it on his blog. Used it for a fashion shoot and was part of the UK launch.

  15. “who used to shoot digital backs” I couldn’t find the claimed dynamic range of the sensor. Any idea? Numbers like 12 stops are floating around for the Phase One. Any comparisons? Not including multi-frame combination shots or other electronic cheating ;)

  16. It will be interesting to see how the D800 dynamic range and signal-to-noise stack up against the D3x. This is VERY tempting!!

  17. I’m thinking “if i buy this and put a tiny bit of black tape on the left side of the 8 to make it look like a 3 then my missus would never know and think i still have my D300”
    Because that’s how photographers get “purchases” past their other halves right ?? ;o)

  18. Looks very good.
    Will be keeping a close eye on “The Grid”, over the next few weeks, in case they give one away :)
    Disclaimer – no harm in dreaming.

  19. I think for action and sports photography this might be too slow. Combined with the $700 for the battery grip and more ISO flexibility with the D3 or D4, not sure it’s worth the hefty price. Scott you buying this or the D4 first??

  20. this is a huge beast. I’m wondering if the sensor is a Sony sensor?

  21. I am not a Nikon shooter but I have to say this camera looks just perfect for what I want =).
    Also, it amazes me how those folks over in Japan got back in their feet after the Tsunami and earthquake and kept the new products coming .

  22. Time to place an order!!!!!!!!!!

  23. It looks interesting but not really what I want/need.  I shoot some sports so fast frame rate is important to me.  I really don’t need 36MP.  I would like to shoot full frame but cannot justify the price of the D4. Oh well… I guess I am stuck shooting DX for the foreseeable future.

  24. For kicks last night I downloaded the sample image of the library from Nikon’s D800 brochure and printed it 12×18.  The detail is astonishing.  And the cost per megapixel is infintesimal so run right out and buy two! ;-)

  25. I mainly photograph landscapes, but do also weddings and portraits from time to time. Would it be worth paying the extra for the D800E for having the filter removed which is meant to be better for landscape and detail and with this removed would i have any issues when doing weddings etc.

  26. Wow! …and can you image the size of the image files? My raw images are around 28Mb each from a 5DMII, so this monster will be spitting them out around 60Mb each! Looks like a lot of 32 (or 64) gig cards for the proud owners…and a memory upgrade on the old computer as well.

  27. As a happy advanced amateur, I’ve been waiting for the moment to make the move to full frame from the D300. I’m an all arounder. Some times want low light, sometimes want fast shooting. I’ve put off buying lenses waiting for my camera to come out. I want the low light capability, don’t need 36mpx, definitely want Commander mode for Speedlights. The D4 and D800 seem to have buzzed by me. Guess I am waiting for the D400? Any help?

    • Steve, I too have been holding on with my D300 waiting for a switch to FX… I am in the exact same boat wondering, will the D400 be what I need???  I have waited so long, I would hate to jump on this to only realize the D-what ever better fits my needs…Jack of all master of none photographer

    • Me too.  I’ve been shooting D300s and waiting for years for Nikon to give me the D700 replacement I need to go full frame.  This is NOT it.  Everything is great except the megapixels.  I DO NOT WANT 36 MP, huge files and slow fps.  Nikon needs to put out a D700 upgrade with better low light, up-to-date video capabilities and normal megapixels.  So frustrated with Nikon I am seriously considering switching to an old Canon 5D Mk II.

  28. I am in desperate need to upgrade my 7+ year-old D70 (along with 10-12 year-old lenses). I would love to upgrade to the D800 (I would have loved to upgrade to the D700, too!). However, taxes, vehicle repairs, and minimal income will put off that dream for at least another year.

    I’ve been told that my work is good enough for some prominent stock agencies, but the quality of images my D70 (and old lenses) produces (noise, 6MP file size, etc.) just won’t cut their standards.

  29. How does this sound?
    “Dear Canon,
    I love you guys, but if you keep getting your butts kicked like with the D4 and the D800…
    I’m switching to Nikon.
    A concerned Canonista”

    • Hey Alex.
      Like you i am a Canonista bit i am not concerned (should I ;- ?). I suspect Canon has something up their sleeves. I think The 1DX is on par with the D4. The differences between the two cancel each other. I think Canon has more at stake with the 5DII replacement. The 5DII is a genre defining camera (by accident i must add – Canon had no idea that 1080p from a full frame would be so disruptive) and they want to keep that with the replacement. HDSLR video and Canon 5D Mark II are virtually synonyms (the 1D Mark IV,  7D, REBEL Txi follow closely). Nikon and others desperately want to dominate that space since that is where the buzz is. That is why Nikon has thrown the kitchen sink at their new models with some cool features (raw HDMI monitoring, onboard audio monitoring, etc.). Canon needs to match and better these features and improve the already great IQ.
      The industry is watching  to see what Canon will do. I don’t think it is an accident that Canon has not announced anything as yet. They know Nikon had to make an anouncement and they are now seeing the response. If there are any significant omissions in the replacement and it is not going to be cost prohibitive for them they will delay their launch to match it. I think it is that important to them.
      I hope the conservative nature of Canon wont cause them to get concerned about cannibalizing the C300 system which i think is a different market segment all together.

  30. It sounds like it could be a good marriage to a second body with higher ISO capability in low lights, faster frame rate and less heavy in the megapixels department. The video specs seam excellent! (similar to the D4, without the price tag). It’s nice to know it’s lighter then the D700…could mean spending less time in the gym:-) The two bodies would complement each other giving more versatility, the right specification for the right occasion!

  31. Hmmmm….. Interestingly enough, with every camera I’ve owned, my pictures have looked like my pictures. If I upgraded to this beast, my end result would probably be the same. I’ll bet that everyone who looked at my final prints wouldn’t even know that I got a new camera!

    In the end I’d be better off spending that money on some additional photography lessons, and a trip to somewhere exotic. That’ll do more for my photography than this camera. Sadly, I want it anyway. :)

  32. I really hope the 5DMarkIII hasn’t gotten sucked into this megapixel insanity. 36mp belongs on larger format cameras where the sensors and photosites are big enough to handle the megapixels and create spectacular images. We already have enough pixels–we need *better* pixels–like what the Canon 1DX and the Nikon D4 are providing.

    Storage may be cheap, but it still costs money. If we’re going to use up that storage with 40MB RAW files, then it needs to be with super-awesome medium format files.

  33. Damn, and here’s me just spent all my spare dosh on upgrading from Windows XP…… much as I’d love a new body (D700 nearly 3yrs old now), I just cannot afford to keep up with all the latest gear, the latest software (XP and CS3 in most cases) etc etc.  I promised myself a reasonably cheap year working mainly on technique, going back over old photos to see if I could process them better, reading books by Mr Kelby, Mr McNally etc etc – sorry, all this upgrade stuff will just have to wait

  34. Will the nikkor lens AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 if ed work with the D88

  35. I agree 100% with Alex.. I’ve been buying Canon for 22 years!… all these years I was tempted to try Nikon, but Canon never game me the chance until the release of the 5D III… what a joke! this was the biggest disappointment for me from Canon .. I waited 3 years to get a 5D II with faster auto focus for $1000 more????… time to look away… the D800E here i come.

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