The Nikon D800 DSLR headline features

The Nikon D800 DSLR camera was eagerly awaited and it did not disappoint when it was finally released. It provides many talking points with a much smaller frame and lower price tag than its predecessor the professional-level, full-frame Nikon D4. The D800 DSLR's specifications should appeal to many DSLR enthusiasts, especially its 36.3-million-pixel sensor.

The D800's 36.3-million-pixel sensor

The key feature of the Nikon D800 DSLR is its 36.3-million-pixel, full-frame CMOS sensor that has been the subject of many discussions in the full-frame DSLR arena. The D800's 36.3-million-pixel sensor is so impressive that it virtually matches the pixel resolution of professional medium-format models. In fact, the 36.3-million-pixel sensor is the highest resolution in the ‘enthusiasts-level’ format as of 2013, surpassing the 24.3-million-pixel resolution of the flagship, more expensive, 'professional-level' Nikon D3X. With the release of the D800, many even project the days of the D3X are numbered.

Discussions around the D800's 36.3-million-pixel sensor has been about just how many pixels a camera can withstand before its image quality ceases to benefit from an increase in sensor resolution. Many people have been asking whether the D800's 36.3-million-pixel is actually more than is necessary for a full-frame sensor. Professor Bob Newman in an article titled “Do sensors outresolve lenses - or vice versa?” answers this question by saying:

“Improving either sensor or lens will always yield benefits in resolution... Purchasers of new high-resolution cameras need not fear they will fail to see a benefit, as their camera will yield sharper results with all their lenses.”

The D800's other features

Beside the D800's 36.3-million-pixel sensor, another key feature of the camera is the Picture Control System, which includes storage custom Picture Controls and a selected Picture Control that can be set to Vivid, Standard, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape.

A Self-timer that offers 2, 5, 10 and 20 seconds; 1 through 9 exposures at intervals of 0.5, 1, 2 or 3 seconds is also thrown in there to complete the package. The camera uses a rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery that makes it quite convenient and portable.

The verdict

The Nikon D800 DSLR is an exciting prospect if you want to upgrade or replace your existing full-frame DSLR. You will get a camera that gives excellent picture quality, has CompactFlash and SDXC slots and a variety of useful sockets like HDMI, headphone out, microphone in and PC sync for activating external flashes with the upgrade.

However, the D800 is relatively heavy without a lens at 1Kg. Moreover, even though nikon is popular, it does not boast the strongest brand loyalty. Nonetheless, we still think the camera that comes with a price tag of approximately £2,500 in 2013 is worth its asking price.

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