Nikon D800 review by Accord Equips

Published on Feb 27 2014 // Camera & Lenses, DSLR Cinematography, Photography

Salient features :

  • 36 mpeg
  •  Full Frame & C sensor
  • Internal Time Lapse
  • Uncompressed HDMI (8bit 4:2:2)

Nikon-D800-7The Nikon D800 is a tough, weather proof full-frame 36 Megapixel DSLR with Full HD video capabilities, which makes it the highest resolution camera outside of the medium format world. That’s one third more than Nikon’s previous flagship, the D3x, more than a third higher than Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III, and three times more than the D700.

The Nikon D800 shares almost exactly the same video specifications as the much expensive Nikon D4 which means  you get 1080p and 720p at maximum frame rates of 30 and 60fps respectively, along with an external microphone input, headphone jack and
uncompressed HDMI output.

 

Some features of the Nikon D800

 

Pop Up Flash

The popup flash of the earlier D700 still remains. This is good because many photographers find them really useful for basic fill-ins and the one on the D800 can also be used as a wireless flash controller without the need for an additional accessory.

Two memory card slots

 

In another welcome upgrade over the D700, the D800 sports not one but two memory cards slots: one for CF cards and the other for SD, and it’s possible to configure the camera to record duplicate files to both cards, JPEGs to one and RAWs to the other, or images
to one and movies to the other.

 

Input / Outputs connections

Untitled

In terms of side-connectivity, the D800 features USB, HDMI and two 3.5mm audio jacks, one for external microphones and the other for headphones, the latter a nice update for videographers which the EOS 5D Mark III also shares.

The D800’s USB port supports USB 3 (Canon 5d mk3 has a USB 2 connector) for quicker transfer of data when directly connected to a computer which sports a USB 3 port. And in a move which would make Mark III videographers jealous, the D800’s HDMI port will also output a clean uncompressed signal (8 bit, 4:2:2), allowing you to connect a larger and more detailed monitor, or capture the feed with a higher quality external recorder.

The uncompressed HDMI output is modelled from the D4 alongside its microphone socket and headphone jack, all very welcome enhancements. The D800 lacks its predecessor’s DC input, so for mains operation you’ll need to go via the battery compartment with the optional EP-5B.

Optical View finder

In a welcome upgrade over the D700, the new D800 boasts an optical viewfinder with 100% coverage compared to 95% on its predecessor. Combined with the 0.7x magnification you’ll enjoy a large, bright and accurate view when composing your images. The EOS 5D Mark III also features 100% coverage and switching between both bodies reveals they share essentially the same viewfinder coverage and magnification.

The D800 also inherits its predecessor’s on-demand LCD graphics in the viewfinder, letting you switch an alignment grid on and off, and allowing the camera to indicate which of its 51 AF-points are currently active without really clogging-up the view with inactive etchings. To this the D800 also adds vertical and horizontal scales on the right and bottom sides which optionally indicate a virtual horizon in two axes. These dedicated viewfinder levelling gauges are a nice addition which is not found on the EOS 5D Mark III, despite Canon copying the ondemand grid lines and AF areas.The D800 also inherits its predecessor’s on-demand LCD graphics in the viewfinder, letting you switch an alignment grid on and off, and allowing the camera to indicate which of its 51  AF-points are currently active without really clogging-up the view with inactive etchings. To this the D800 also adds vertical and horizontal scales on the right and bottom sides which optionally indicate a virtual horizon in two axes. These dedicated viewfinder levelling gauges are a nice addition which is not found on the EOS 5D Mark III, despite Canon copying the on demand grid lines and AF areas.

LCD Screen

Round the back, the D800 sports the same 3.2in / 920k screen as the D4. This means images in the native 3:2 aspect ratio are shifted to the top of the screen, leaving a black bar along the bottom for shooting information. On the one hand it’s nice to have this separation of information, but its worth noting Canon has been employing wider 3:2 shaped screens on its recent DSLRs – including the EOS 5D Mark III – which match the native shape of their images. This means images fill the Canon screens and maximise all the available 1040k pixel resolution, while 16:9 movies will appear larger and more detailed. The 5D mkIII screen was easier to see outdoors.

In practice, images on the D800 screen measure 3in on their diagonal as oppose to 3.2in on the Mark III, and also measure 640×426 pixels as oppose to 720×480 pixels.

Internal Time lapse

Where the D800 really scores over the Mark III in this category though are with its built-in time-lapse and interval timer facilities. The Interval Timer does the job of a separate intervalometer and triggers the camera at pre-set intervals. You can choose the number of shots, the interval between them, and also delay the starting time if desired. I wish all cameras had this built-in.

Meanwhile the Time-lapse photography option also takes photos at pre-set intervals, but then automatically assembles them into a silent video using the currently selected movie settings. The maximum shooting time is 7 hours and 59 minutes.

Nikon D800 Movie mode

Untitled2

Nikon may have been first to market with a DSLR that could record video (with the D90), but it’s big rival Canon was the one which took the ball and really ran with it, not only coming out shortly afterwards with the far more compelling feature-set of the 5D Mark II, but gradually refining its offering with each subsequent release.

Nikon’s slowly been clawing back ground and with the D4 introduced it’s most capable videoequipped DSLR yet. The good news is the D800 shares almost exactly the same movie options at half the price.

24/25/30/50/60 fps

D800 can film 1080p at 24, 25 or 30fps, 720p at 25, 30, 50 or 60fps.

Aperture Control

It offers full manual control over the exposure.It offers full manual control over the exposure.

Audio Capability

033It has an external microphone jack and headphone socket for monitoring. The D800 does not allow you to change the audio levels while recording and they are effectively locked unless you are using an external mixer, audio recorder or audio adapter to feed the camera. The Canon 5d mk3 has overcome this handicap.

Uncompressed HDMI output

The camera features uncompressed HDMI output (8 bit, 4:2:2), allowing you to connect a larger and more detailed monitor, or capture the feed with a higher quality external recorder. The screen on the rear also remains active when driving an HDMI accessory.

Full Frame (Fx) & Dx (Super 35mm) crop

The D800 also supports movies with the DX crop, effectively reducing the field of view by 1.5x without any loss of resolution, providing a handy boost in magnification.

Records 29 minutes

The Nikon D800 let you record a second shy of half an hour in 1080p at 24, 25 or 30fps, or  720p at 50 or 60fps, although the D800 additionally offers 720p at 25 and 30fps.

To Sum up

At 36 mpeg, the Nikon D800 is highest resolution camera outside of the medium format world. In terms of video it scores over the Canon 5d mk2 and below the Canon 5d mark3. When it comes to Stills, Nikon D800 scores higher for sharpness and the crop mode whereas Canon scores for low light and almost no moiré.

Camera Studied by Accord Equips team. Feedback & suggestions e-mail to  info@accordequips.com

Accord Equips seo

Leave a comment

calculate the value *

Subscribe to our RSS Feed! Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Visit our LinkedIn Profile!