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Nikon D800 (no lens included)

36-megapixel full-frame sensor digital SLR camera body

16 Reviews

Item # 054D800

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Nikon D800 (no lens included)

A full-frame, 36-megapixel sensor. That's one dense patch of pixels. If there were no other reason to take a deeper look at the Nikon D800, this would still command the attention of the photographic world community for years. Resolutions and tonal range that have been the domain of mega-professional large-sensor/large-format cameras are now available in a sleek, full-frame DSLR.

The Nikon D800, semi-transparent view

The Nikon D800 has a lot of pixel power under the hood.

The 36 million pixel question

A full-frame, 36-megapixel sensor. That's one dense patch of pixels. If there were no other reason to take a deeper look at the Nikon D800, this would still command the attention of the photographic world community for years. Resolutions and tonal range that have been the domain of mega-professional large-sensor/large-format cameras are now available in a sleek, full-frame DSLR.

The only thing worked up is you

Yes, the D800 makes tremendously rich and detailed images. Blow your images up to poster size without sacrificing a speck of detail. Don't even begin to worry whether the EXPEED 3 processor is up to the challenge. It won't even work up a sweat delivering 4 of these monster-size frames per second in continuous shooting mode.

Cinematic video, on demand

Nikon has taken its time in delivering a camera that redefines the deep end of the DSLR video pool. One good look at the specs or the sample videos on their website will show you it's been time well-spent. The Nikon D800 delivers breathtakingly sharp images, even in low light. The dynamic range and extreme low noise profile are positively cinematic. And there's another feature that will have every video shooter in "full drool" mode: uncompressed HD video from the HDMI output, for either critical monitoring or recording to external solid state devices. In addition, a forward-looking (and backward compatible) USB 3.0 port will help you to transfer those large file sizes with blazing speed to computers that are similarly equipped.

Tools for the multimedia artist

There are other things that make this a great camera for the multimedia professional. There's an external stereo microphone mini jack, and audio meter displays for fine-tuning your audio inputs. Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted in up to 20 steps. Adjust the breadth and scope of your productions with a huge array of Nikon FX and DX lenses. And adjust your shot in real-time with simultaneous live view on both the LCD display and an external monitor.

D800 back panel controls and menu

The D800's controls and menu demonstrate Nikon's attention to feedback and detail

Let your thumbs point the way

Careful attention has been paid to the ergonomic experience here. Dedicated buttons for Picture Control, White Balance, Live View and Movie Record are just millimeters away from your natural grip. The 170-degree angle-of-view LCD display has auto-brightness, anti-glare coatings, and a new, enhanced color gamut for critical shot evaluation while on the go.

They kept the best

Of course, Nikon has preserved the best of what you've enjoyed from earlier cameras in this bloodline. Solid magnesium-alloy construction, easy integration with the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS), and broad ISO flexibility come standard.

If you're saving your images to onboard memory cards, the D800 gives you the flexibility of both CompactFlash and SD/SDHC/SDXC storage. The video files use industry standard H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding wrapped with the Quicktime .MOV file format, for easy integration with popular video editing software.

Resume builder

Whether you're out to shoot large-format, exquisitely detailed landscapes, elegant embroidery on a classic wedding dress, or the next academy-award winning short, the D800 won't leave you empty-handed. It's a professional's tool, in every sense of the word. They've just broadened the scope of what you might call your profession.

Product Highlights:

  • 36.3-megapixel effective recording
  • full-frame Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor (24 x 35.9 mm)
  • 15.3-megapixel DX-format capture mode
  • Dust Reduction System to keep image sensor clean
  • 3.2" high-resolution (921,000 dot) LCD screen with brightness adjustment, expanded color gamut, and 170-degree wide-viewing angle
  • 51-area autofocus with 15 cross-type sensors and 3D Focus Tracking for accurate, high-speed focusing
    • rated to -2EV for reliable low-light autofocus performance
  • dual live view modes can be used to line up still images or preview video composition
  • Dual-axis Virtual Horizon indicator for composing level photos, no matter the camera's orientation
  • bright, eye-level pentaprism viewfinder with dioptric adjustment
  • Nikon EXPEED 3 image processor optimized for high-data rate images and 1080/30p full HD video
  • uncompressed HD video output available through HDMI interface, for broadcast-level video quality
  • Active D-Lighting (with auto setting mode) for better shadow and highlight detail in high-contrast shooting conditions
  • compatible with most Nikon lenses
  • DX Series lenses compatible at reduced image sizes (DX format — see below)
  • records images as NEF (RAW) (12-bit or 14-bit uncompressed, lossless compressed, or compressed), TIFF, or JPEG (3 compression ratios)
  • maximum image size in FX format (pixels): 7,360 x 4,912
  • maximum image size in DX format (pixels): 4,800 x 3,200
  • built-in i-TTL (intelligent, through-the-lens) flash
  • shutter speed range: 1/8000 to 30 seconds, bulb
  • flash sync at 1/250 second
  • continuous high-speed shooting up to four frames per second in FX-format, up to 5 frames per second in DX format
  • sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent): 100-6,400
  • three expanded ISO settings: Lo-1 (ISO 50), Hi-1 (ISO 12,800), Hi-2 (ISO 25,600)
  • depth of field preview
  • custom white balance settings
  • durable magnesium alloy body
  • accepts CompactFlash® memory cards (Type I, UDMA compliant) and SD, SDHC, and SDXC UHS-I compliant memory cards no memory included
  • HD Formats:
    • 1080p (30, 25, 24 frames per second)
    • 720p (60, 50, 30, 25, 24 frames per second)
  • HDMI output (Type C mini connector)
  • ultra high-speed USB 3.0 interface
  • 5-3/4"W x 4-13/16"H x 3-1/4"D (without lens)
  • weight (without battery and media): 31.7 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • rechargeable EN-EL15 lithium ion battery
  • MH-25 AC battery charger
  • viewfinder eyepiece
  • UC-E14 USB 3.0 cable
  • neck strap
  • body cap
  • accessory shoe cap
  • software CD-ROM

What's in the Box:

  • D800 digital camera body (with attached body cap and LCD monitor cover)
  • EN-EL15 Rechargeable Lithium ion battery pack (7.0V/1900mAh/14Wh) with plastic terminal cover
  • MH-25 Battery charger (8.4V/1.2A)
  • AC wall adapter
  • 6' AC cord (w/non-polarized C7 plug)
  • 59" UC-E14 USB cable (has a USB type-A connector on one end and a USB 3.0 Micro-B connector on other end)
  • USB Cable clip
  • Adjustable neck strap
  • ViewNX2 CD-ROM
  • User's Manual (English)
  • User's Manual (Spanish)
  • Quick Guide (English)
  • Quick Guide (Spanish)
  • Warranty Programs sheet

takes a very vivid clear pictures. camera is very light,

michelle, FLORIDA


Nikon D800 (no lens included) Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(16 Reviews)

nikon D800

michelle from FLORIDA on 3/20/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

takes a very vivid clear pictures. camera is very light,

Pros: takes good pictures

Cons: very expensive camers

Love My Nikon D800

Carri M. from Ortonville, MI on 3/18/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am in love with my new Nikon D800. Nikon did it right, with a sleek design that fits nicely in my hand. Though some of the dials and options are different from my previous model, (nikon d200), the menus and controls are easy to navigate. It produces clean, crisp images, even in lower lighting, and the HD video is so nice! I am excited to have a camera that can keep up with my high expectations.

Pros: Great low-light shooting capabilities, HD Video, Many focus points to choose from, capable of creating beautifully sharp hi-res images, two card slots (CF and SD)

Cons: Large image file size when shooting in RAW

Absolutely Amazing

PeterNYC from NYC on 8/26/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not going to break into the tech aspect of this camera. However this is my first Nikon after using Canon for years and I absolutely love it!!! Very easy to use!!

Pros: Too much to list

Cons: Don't like the position of the ISO button!!

Incredible Outstanding Superb Nikon D800!!!

GigiD from Augusta, Ga on 7/5/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Nikon D800 DSLR is an incredible camera! It takes superb pictures! I have used it with a Nikon 28-70mm lens and a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII, which I also purchased from Crutchfield (see review) and it has taken outstanding images. I purchased this open box and you could not tell that it was not brand new. Everything was included in the box that you would normally receive along with the Nikon full warranty. Crutchfield has been wonderful to work with and I will definitely buy from them again. This camera takes very remarkable, extraordinary, outstanding images. It is very easy to use and understand. Do not hesitate to buy this camera. Very highly recommended!!

Pros: Pro build quality, incredible detail, twin card slots, ease of use

Cons: I wish they would include a memory card with the camera. I was excited to receive the camera, but could not use it until I purchased a memory card.


Edo from Glendale, CA on 6/9/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The D800 has great pro features. It provides you with all sorts of pro options that you'll need to create a superb image. Everything on this camera was designed with the photographer's needs in mind. I liked the build quality, features, etc. I tested this camera in different situations, settings, and light conditions with different Nikon lenses. Based on my experience, the picture quality is not as good as I had heard and hopped for. The D800's focus is not perfect, even though I used the proper techniques when taking pictures, the camera doesn't seem to be able to focus accurately, at least not all the time. Some of my pictures were blurred. Of course, when it focuses correctly, the images are sharp. The other issue that bothered me is the image noise issue. I have used the D600 and I can assure you that the D800 produces more noise in low light condition (noticeable in not too high ISO settings). In my opinion the D800 will be a much better camera had it had the D600 sensor in it. The fact that this camera has over 36 mega-pixel does not mean that it takes the best pictures. Yes you can use this camera on a tripod and take still shots but then majority of the recent DSLRs can do that. My main issues other than the image noise were, dirt on the sensor (appeared within the first two weeks I had the camera), slight left focus issue (not too bad), and the fact that the focus wasn't always accurate. I can produce same or better quality picture with less expensive camera.

Pros: Good build quality, numerous pro features

Cons: Focus system is not always accurate, high noise in low light conditions, battery life relatively short, I started getting dust (oil?) particles on the sensor within the first two weeks, I expected pictures quality to be better

Amazing HDSLR

Will P. from Middletown, NY on 6/2/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this as an upgrade to my D300 and I am extremely pleased with my decision. The quality of the images is fantastic. The D800 has amazing detail which allows you to crop in very close and still get a good photo if necessary and the color is outstanding. File size is very large, but that's expected with the 36MP sensor. I will eventually have to upgrade my mac to keep up and purchase more storage :). I already had FX lenses (27-70 & 70-200) so i'm getting the benefit of the FX system. I love it!!! Crutchfield was great to deal with. Service was very quick and easy. Very happy with them as well.

Pros: Superior image quality, Awesome color and detail. Weather sealed magnesium body, Terrific features, HDMI out, Built in headphone jack. Dual card slots too many to list.

Cons: File size is very large


Adam G from Encino, CA on 4/23/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to use and shot great pictures!

Pros: I like everything about this camera

Cons: Little bit to heavy

D800 Pure Detail

D800 Pure Detail from New York, NY on 4/20/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have shot various DSLR and own various DSLR. THe D800 while it has its headaches of huge picture file, the satisfaction is worth every bit of it. The level of details on both print and screen resolution is amazing. Excellent dynamic rante.

Pros: Picture quality. Ease of use

Cons: Can bit a bit heavy when paired with battery grip and a lens like 70-200 or 24-70. But not a problem for me.

Don't use the "bonus" memory card-it's a class 4 not 6.

Dave from Western N.Y. on 4/12/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

USELESS "BONUS" ACCESSORIES. The accessories are of no use with this camera. 1.The bonus memory card is a class 4 card and the camera's minimum speed card is class 6. Using this card will cause malfunctions. 2. The camera bag does not hold this camera with a lens attached. 3. The memory card reader uses the old usb 2.0 connection. (usb 3.0 is the new connector and transfers the large files from this camera faster.) 4. This camera needs to be on a rock solid base for the clearest photos--a monopod doesn't fit the requirements. Crutchfield refused to swap this "bonus" for anything else like a useful memory card. The Nikon box came without a seal and the plastic bag wrapping inside made me question the cameras new condition but after checking the camera is brand new with only one exposure on it. It's just the way Nikon packages their camera. The Crutchfield personnel were great and the Camera new and as expected working fine, packaging and shipping were first rate. I will place all my future purchases with them. My Thanks to the Crutchfield team.



Crutchfield response on 4/16/2013 Granted, a class 4 memory card is not good for video, but will work just fine for still images. The bag is large enough to hold the D800 with most any lens attached. Its internal dimensions are 8-3/4"W x 7-3/4"H x 4-15/16"D.


Sam from Brooklyn, NY on 3/23/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Like this camera - love it.

Pros: ALL are PLUS

Cons: no

Nikon D800

Pet from New York, NY on 1/15/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great camera, a lot of features and great picture. I love it

Pros: Picture quality, build

Cons: None

Amazing Awsome

Walter from Ypsilanti, MI on 11/3/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Preface: I'm and old hobbyist who was willed his first Argus 35mm rangefinder in the late 60's. The digital transformation has been subjective to me, but this unit hits the mark. The imputes for purchasing this camera is work I do for my daughter who heads a real estate team. I produce her marketing materials, web bound, email bound, and paper bound. Both still and video. Quite a mix, from portraits, to landscape, to product presentation. Of course budget is a consideration. The sky is the limit in regard to what I could purchase to accomplish these tasks. I was mucking through with a Sanyo camcorder and a D200. Pretty good results with a lot of effort and a lot of halogen work lights. Even pulled off some acceptable green screening events. Then came the D800.... Wow! I say again.... WoW! Couple this unit with a decent tripod, some good glass (not even the mega Ziess) and the results are stellar! Plenty of detail. Great in low light. Much more intuitive than the D200. Great weight and feel for this large handed old man. One unit does it all and well! I'm sure that there are Hollywood producers that would pick apart my videos, but my target audience, both seller and buyer are raving about what we are putting out. This little sweetheart has paid for itself in a heartbeat. Now there is a real world review.

Pros: 99.9% of the entire unit.

Cons: This is more a preference than a con. I personally don't care for the editing features in the unit. I'm sure they work great. I have Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Creative Suite. That is where I prefer to do my edits. The "in camera" edit features leave me with a sense that the unit has been "cheepened" with the inclusion of features usually found in point and shoot units. That sense is not not validated as the primary functions of the camera are stellar with or without the editing features.

New Full Frame Owner

MattC from Houston, TX on 9/19/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just purchased this camera and got rid of my Nikon D5100, the D5100 is a great camera but it really lacks some of the great features that the D800 (and D700 for that matter) has. The use of 51 AF points is amazing, the focusing is so much faster on this camera I've yet to use the 3D tracking or the AF continuous, as most of my photography is pretty still, but I am sure it will amaze me. The uncompressed RAW files hover around, 75MBs and the lossless compressed are about 35MB which makes file management a tad more bearable. The image quality and detail does require a bit more attention, slower shutter speeds will blur but that should be expected with any camera. I do think it does require a little more attention than other cameras but the results are well worth it. High ISO shots are very usable unless cropped or pixel peeping. I purchased the AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 and the AF-S 50mm f/1.8, both perform admirably on the camera. From reading other reviews I was a bit worried that the lenses wouldn't perform well with the camera but I believe those people are just over exaggerating. Maybe if I had the "pro" lenses I could see the difference but until then I am happy with my results. The new D600 looks attractive and early reviews say that it is close to the D800, but the AF difference, tougher build, more bracketing, multiple exposures and intervalometer I think make up for the cost difference. This is a camera I will have for a LONG time.

Pros: Awesome AF, IQ, resolution and handling

Cons: Large, heavier than entry level DSLRs, huge RAW files, needs for recent glass and possible left AF issues (but I haven't experienced it).


Potbelinic from Long Island, New York on 9/7/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After 30 years as a Professional Wedding/Portrait Photographer using 2.25, 6x7 medium format and with 35mm film and digital cameras, it is a pleasure to have a digital 35mm FX format camera that can give equal high quailty results that were only available thru the use of a 36mega pixel back on a high end, highly priced, medium format camera. I prefer to use manual focus AIS Nikkor lenses, however, I do have a couple DX Nikkor auto focuselens that I retained from my D300. They work fine with the D800. I kicked around purchasing the E model, but really think using this is fine, put the 400 hard earned dollars toward another lens, Brides or girlfriends really don't like photographs that show all thier wrinkles anyway

Pros: Size is not much larger than the D800 or D700. Auto DX format lens use is great. If you like HD Qaulity Movie making, this camera will please you. I will probably not use this feature, but it's included. Made a test 32fps HD 1080 Movie and the quality is certainly as good as Nkion said it would be. All in all I am very pleased with my purchase and would highly recommend this camera to anyone who is serious about quality and performance, use good lenses and it will be an A+++ for you.

Cons: Have not used it long enough to fine any. If I have any problems, Nikon east is only 10 miles away. After using the D300 for a couple of years it is a whee bit more to get use to in the dark. So far, so good...

Nikon d800

vuphoto from Dallas, TX on 9/6/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great DSLR camera for the price. Crutchfield has Excellent sell/customer service.

Pros: Very good for big print.



Anonymous from Colorado Springs, CO on 7/1/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After 6 weeks my Nikon D800 arrived and just in time:) I ordered my camera from Daisy at Crutchfield. She is terrific!!! The camera arrived the same night of the worst disaster in Colorado history. It took 2 hours to load the software to my computer, which was the same amount of time it took for the battery to charge the first time. I bought the camera so I could get photos in poor light. Well on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 the great fire (Waldo fire) got out of control and headed strait for down town Colorado Springs and right at me on the west side. From the top balcony near the roof top, I shot 245 pictures of a fire coming at me with the Nikon D800. I was told to vacate at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, I did but returned at 2 a.m.. My home is OK but others didn't fair as well. I processed the photos today and they are the best night photos I ever took. Last week will be remembered for 100 years and that day I caputered the fire at its hottest. The next day I moved my favorite stuff to storage mainly pictures and my new camera.. Today I am looking at the photos with amazement. Behind the fire the famous Flyhing W Ranch burned down and more then 350 homes were lost. I didn't buy the camera to catch a disaster but it did.. I am still learning but it did broke in right...

Pros: About as good a the human eye at night. I used auto ISO, shot manual so I worked the shutter speed alot. My pictures will be be at ISO levels between 800 and 2500. I haven't tryed a daylight shoot but don't worry I will

Cons: Huge File Size, 247 pictures at 6.98 gb. A 32 gb flash memory card will take approximately 1000 photo's The video is cumbersome and I didn't have to time to use it so relied on my panasonic to capture video of the fire. The cameras doesn' feel as solid as the D300 but not concerned about that


Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3.2"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi Optional
GPS-enabled Optional
Lens 35mm Equivalent N/A
Optical Zoom N/A
Digital Zoom N/A
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Internal Memory None
Memory Media CompactFlash Type I
Sensor Size 35.9mm x 24mm CMOS
Megapixels 36.3
Image Stabilization None
Highest Resolution 7630 x 4912
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 6
Height (inches) 4-15/16
Depth (inches) 3-3/8
Weight With Battery (ounces) 35.3
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Recording Features
Optional Accessories
Play, Print and Edit Features
Battery Information
Computer Requirements

Recording Features

Overview: The D800 is Nikon's new groundbreaking digital SLR, built for today's multimedia photographer. It can produce stunning still images and broadcast quality video. The package includes the camera body with a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack and battery charger. The camera has the Nikon F bayonet mount, and is compatible with Nikon AF NIKKOR lenses, including Type G and D lenses, as well as DX lenses. No lenses are included with this "body only" kit.

Image Sensor: The D800 is equipped with the Nikon FX-format, 35.9 x 24.0mm CMOS image sensor with an incredible 36.8 million total pixels (and 36.3 million effective pixels). The Nikon FX format enables photographers to take advantage of the familiar perspective characteristics of 35mm film photography. You can choose to shoot in the FX format, or switch to 1:2 (30 x 20), 5:4 (30 x 24) or DX format.

Dust Reduction System: The camera has an integrated ultrasonic Self-cleaning Sensor Unit, which employs four different resonance frequencies to vibrate the optical low-pass filter and shake dust away from the sensor. Image sensor cleaning can be set to operate automatically when the camera is turned off or on, or can be operated from the camera's menu.

Magnesium Alloy Body: The D800 features rugged, durable and lightweight magnesium alloy for the body, exterior cover, chassis, and mirror box, to achieve better durability and lighter weight. The D800 is 10% lighter than the D700, yet just as rugged.

EXPEED 3 Image Processing: Nikon's EXPEED 3 technology provides superb image fidelity and reduced noise, even at high ISOs. EXPEED 3 can also handle data-intensive tasks, like Full HD video recording at broadcast quality 30p, with ease.

Still Image Size/Quality: The D800 records still images in JPEG, TIFF (RGB), and NEF* (RAW) formats. It can also record in both NEF (RAW) + JPEG formats simultaneously. JPEG images can set to fine (1:4 compression), normal (1:8), or basic (1:16) image quality. Depending upon the selected format (image area), you can choose from the following image sizes:

Format (Image Area) Large Medium Small
FX (36 x 24) 7360 x 4912 5520 x 3680 3680 x 2456
1.2x (30 x 20) 6144 x 4080 4608 x 3056 3072 x 2040
DX (24 x 16) 4800 x 3200 3600 x 2400 2400 x 1600
5:4 (30 x 24) 6144 x 4912 4608 x 3680 3072 x 2456
FX format
(Movie Live View)
6720 x 3776 5040 x 2832 3360 x 1888
DX format
(Movie Live View)
4800 x 2704 3600 x 2024 2400 x 1352

* RAW data from the image sensor is saved directly to the memory card in Nikon Electronic Format (NEF). Once transferred to a computer, NEF (RAW) images can only be viewed using compatible software such as the supplied ViewNX2 software.

Movies: The camera can record movies in MOV format with MPEG-4/H.264 advanced video coding and Linear PCM audio. Audio is recorded using the built-in monaural microphone, or an external stereo microphone. Image quality can be set to High or Normal. The maximum length of movies are up to 29 min 59 sec (20 minutes for High Quality movies). The available movie options include:

Frame Size Frame Rate Maximum Bit Rate
1920 x 1080 30, 25, or 24 fps High Quality: 24 Mbps
Normal Quality: 12 Mbps
1280 x 720 60 or 50 fps High Quality: 24 Mbps
Normal Quality: 12 Mbps
30 or 25 fps High Quality: 12 Mbps
Normal Quality: 8 Mbps

Dual Recording Media: The D800 has dual media slots that can accommodate Compact Flash and SD Memory cards. Images are recorded onto Type I CompactFlash memory cards (UDMA compliant--SanDisk and Lexar Media only) up to 128 GB, or SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards up to 64 GB. Class 6 or higher write speeds are recommended for movie recording. No memory card is supplied with the camera.

Memory Buffer: The camera is equipped with a memory buffer for temporary storage, allowing shooting to continue while photographs are being saved to the memory card. Up to 100 photographs can be taken in succession.

LCD Monitor: The Nikon D800 features 3.2-inch, 921,000-dot (VGA), color TFT LCD monitor with a 170° wide viewing angle and 100% frame coverage. The monitor has adjustable brightness control using an ambient brightness sensor. The D800 features a Live View that lets you use the monitor in place of the camera's viewfinder to confirm your subject and composition while shooting.

Optical Viewfinder: In addition to the LCD monitor, the D800 has an eye-level pentaprism single-lens reflex viewfinder with approximately 100% frame coverage in FX format (97% in other formats). It has a diopter adjustment knob so you can set the viewfinder to your personal eyesight (with or without eyeglasses). The bright and sharp viewfinder makes focusing in low-light situations possible. The viewfinder offers approximately 0.7x magnification. The viewfinder also has a built-in eyepiece shutter to prevent light from entering the viewfinder when shooting self portraits on a tripod. The viewfinder uses a Type-B BriteView Clear Matte Mark VIII screen with superimposed AF brackets and on-demand grid lines for clear and accurate focusing of your subject.

Electronic Virtual Horizon: The innovative Virtual Horizon provides instant, accurate confirmation of the D800's position relative to horizontal level. When using Live View, you can choose to display the virtual horizon on the LCD, a feature ideal for landscape and architecture photography. You can also level the D800 while looking through the viewfinder using the convenient analog scale.

51-Point Autofocus System: The D800 is equipped with Nikon Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module, which features up to 51 focus points. The system selects the focus point that best applies to the subject, demonstrating an outstanding level of precision, even when shooting in constantly changing conditions. All 51 focus points, including the array of 15 cross-type sensors located in the center, maximize the potential of lenses with maximum apertures of f/8.

AF-Area Modes: The D800 offers a choice of four focus area modes that together cover a wide area of the frame. The AF-area mode determines how the focus area is selected and what happens if the subject moves out of the selected focus area while the camera is still focusing. You can choose one of the following AF-area modes:

  • Single-Point AF: The camera will focus on the subject in the selected focus point only.
  • Dynamic Area AF: The camera offers a choice of three different size areas to match the movement of the subject, using groups of 9, 21 or all 51 focus points.
  • 3D-Tracking: In AF-C focus mode, the camera will track subjects that leave the selected focus point and select new focus points as required.
  • Auto Area AF: The camera automatically detects subject and selects focus point. If a face is detected, the camera will give priority to the portrait subject.

Focus Modes: You can choose from the following focus modes:

  • Single-servo Autofocus (AF-S): camera focuses automatically when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The focus remains locked while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The picture will only be taken when the in-focus indicator is displayed. Recommended for stationary subjects.
  • Continuous-servo Autofocus (AF-C): camera focuses continuously while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. Photographs can be taken whether or not the camera is in focus. Recommended for moving subjects.
  • Manual (MF): focus must be adjusted manually using the lens focusing ring

Predictive Focus Tracking: In continuous-servo AF, the camera will initiate predictive focus tracking if the subject moves toward or away from the camera while the shutter-release button is pressed halfway or the AF-ON button is pressed. This allows the camera to track focus while attempting to predict where the subject will be when the shutter is released.

Focus Lock: Focus Lock can be used to change the composition after focusing, making it possible to focus on a subject that will not be in a focus area in the final composition.

Electronic Range Finder: If the connected lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster, the camera's Electronic Range Finder can be used to confirm whether or not your subject in the selected focus point is in focus (the focus point can be selected from any of the 51 focus points).

AF Assist Illuminator: The built-in AF assist illuminator enables the camera to focus even when the subject is poorly lit. The illuminator has a range of approximately 1'-8" to 9'-10".

Release Modes: The release mode determines how the camera takes photographs. You can choose from the following shooting modes:

  • Single Frame: camera takes one photograph each time the shutter-release button is pressed
  • Continuous Low Speed: while shutter-release button is held down, the camera records 1-5 frames per second, as selected in the menu. In FX or 5:4 mode, maximum frame rate is 4 fps.
  • Continuous High Speed: while the shutter-release button is held down, the camera records up to 5 frames per second (determined by the power source used)
  • Quiet Shutter-Release: during single frame shooting, noise is reduced by disabling the beeps and minimizing the sound produced when the mirror drops back into place.
  • Self-Timer: use self-timer for self-portraits or to reduce blurring caused by camera shake; you can set the self-timer to 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds
  • Mirror Up: choose this mode to minimize camera shake in telephoto or close-up photography or in other situations in which the slightest camera movement can result in blurred photographs

Interval Timer Photography: The D800 is equipped to take photographs automatically at preset intervals. Shooting will begin about 3 seconds after the interval is set or you can set a start time. You can also select the number of shots taken per interval. The images can be replayed at rates from 24 times to 36,000 times faster than normal. The images can be saved as a movie file (in 16:9 aspect ratio).

Exposure Modes: The Exposure Modes determine how the camera sets shutter speed and aperture when adjusting exposure. You can choose from the following Exposure Modes.

  • Programmed Auto (P): camera sets shutter speed and aperture for optimal exposure according to a built-in program; recommended for snapshots and other situations in which there is little time to adjust camera settings
  • Shutter-Priority Auto (S): user chooses shutter speed while camera sets aperture for best results; use to freeze or blur motion. The shutter speed can be set from 30 to 1/8000 seconds.
  • Aperture-Priority Auto (A): user chooses aperture while camera sets shutter speed for best results; use to blur background for portraits or bring both foreground and background into focus for landscape shots
  • Manual (M): user controls both shutter speed and aperture for complete control over exposure

Long Time-Exposures: When Bulb shooting is selected, the shutter will remain open while the shutter-release button is held down. Bulb shooting is used for long time-exposure photographs of moving lights, the stars, night scenery, or fireworks (an optional tripod and optional remote cord are recommended to prevent blur).

AE/AF Lock: If your subject is off-centered in the frame, it can become difficult to achieve proper exposure and focus. By engaging the AE/AF Lock feature, you can focus and meter on your subject, lock the exposure and focus by pressing the shutter release button halfway, then recompose your shot before taking the picture. You can choose from the following AE/AF Lock settings: AE/AF Lock, AE Lock only, AF Lock only, AE Lock Hold, AE Lock Reset, and AF On.

Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -5.0 to +5.0 EV in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV.

Metering: The D800 utilizes through-the-lens (TTL) metering using the camera's 91,000-pixel RGB sensor. You can choose one of the following metering methods:

  • 3D Color Matrix III: If using a type G or D lens, you can utilize 3D Color Matrix Metering III (or Color Matrix Metering III with other CPU lenses). The camera meters a wide area of the frame and sets exposure according to distribution of brightness, color, distance, and composition for natural results
  • Center-weighted: The camera meters the entire frame but assigns greatest weight (75%) to the area in the center of the frame. The diameter of the circle can be set to 8, 12, 15, or 20mm, or weighting can be based on the average of the entire frame. (Non-CPU lenses use a 12mm circle or average of entire frame.)
  • Spot: The camera meters inside a 4mm diameter circle (approximately 1.5% of frame). The circle is centered on the selected focus area, making it possible to meter off-center subjects.

Multiple Exposure: This feature records a series of two to ten exposures in a single photograph. Multiple exposures can be recorded at any image quality setting, and produce results with colors noticeably better than photographs combined in an imaging application because they make use of RAW data from the camera image sensor.

White Balance: White balance is used to preserve natural colors under different types of lighting. You can choose one of the following white balance options: Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, or Shade. You can also choose a color temperature from a list of values (2500K-10000K), or manually set the white balance using the subject, light source, or existing photograph in the memory card as reference. The White Balance Fine Tuning feature allows you to compensate for variations in the color of the light source or to introduce a deliberate color cast into an image by adjusting the amber, blue, green and magenta color settings.

Bracketing: Bracketing automatically varies exposure, flash level, Active D-Lighting (ADL), or white balance slightly with each shot, "bracketing" the current value. You can set the increment to 1/3, 2/3, or 1 EV, and the number of shots to 2, 3, 5, 7, or 9. In exposure, flash level, and ADL bracketing, multiple shots are required to complete the "bracket" as the camera will vary the settings with each shot. With white balance bracketing, the camera creates multiple copies of each photograph, each with a different white balance. Bracketing can be combined with continuous shooting or the self timer modes.

ISO Sensitivity: ISO Sensitivity is the digital equivalent of film speed. You can set the ISO Sensitivity to Auto or Manual. You can manually select settings of ISO 100 to ISO 6400 in steps of 1/3 EV. For special occasions, expanded settings of Lo-1 (equivalent to ISO 50), Hi-1 (12,800) and Hi-2 (25,800) are available. When using Auto ISO, you can set a maximum value of 200, 400, 800, 1600, or 3200, as needed.

Noise Reduction: Photos taken at high ISO sensitivities can be processed to reduce noise. The amount of noise reduction performed can be set to High, Normal, or Low.

Preset Picture Controls: The camera offers six preset Nikon Picture Controls. You can choose a Picture Control according to the subject or type of scene:

  • Standard: standard processing for balanced results; recommended for most situations
  • Neutral: minimal processing for natural results; recommended for photographs that will later be extensively processed or retouched
  • Vivid: pictures are enhanced for a vivid, photo-print effect; recommended for photos that emphasize primary colors
  • Monochrome: takes monochrome photographs
  • Portrait: process portrait for skin with natural texture and a rounded feel
  • Landscape: produces vibrant landscapes and cityscapes

Picture Control Settings: The Preset Picture Controls listed above can be modified to suit a particular scene or your creative content. The following manual adjustments can be made:

  • Quick Adjust: allows you to reduce or exaggerate the effect of the selected Picture Control Preset from -2 to +2
  • Sharpening: controls the sharpness of outlines from 0 to 9; you can also select Auto which adjust the sharpness automatically according to the scene
  • Contrast: adjust contrast automatically according to the type of scene or chose from values between -3 to +3 to increase or decrease the contrast of your subject
  • Brightness: reduce or enhanced brightness level from -1 to +1; this does not affect exposure
  • Saturation (for non-monochrome): automatically adjust saturation according to the type of scene or choose from values between -3 to +3 to lower or increase your subject's saturation
  • Hue (for non-monochrome): adjust your subject's hue from -3 to +3 to change the level of Hue
  • Filter Effects (for monochrome): simulate the effect of color filters on monochrome photographs from yellow, orange, red, green or off
  • Toning (for monochrome): choose the tint used in monochrome photographs from B&W, Sepia, Cyanotype, Red, Yellow, Green, Blue Green, Blue, Purple Blue, or Red Purple.

Color Space: The color space determines the gamut of colors available for color reproduction. You can select either sRGB for photos that will be printed or used "as is" with no further modification, or Adobe RGB for images that will be extensively processed or retouched after leaving the camera.

Active D-Lighting: Active D-Lighting preserves details in highlights and shadows, creating photographs with natural contrast. Active D-Lighting offers the following application strength levels: Auto, Low, Normal, High, Extra High and Off.

Built-In Speedlight: The D800 has a pop-up flash that provides coverage for the angle of view of a 24mm to 300mm lenses (or 16mm lens in DX format). The following flash modes are supported:

  • Front-Curtain Sync: This mode is recommended for most situations. In programmed auto and aperture-priority auto modes, the shutter speed will automatically be set to values between 1/250 and 1/60 seconds.
  • Red-Eye Reduction: The red-eye reduction lamp lights for approximately one second before the flash fires to reduce the red-eye effect.
  • Red-Eye Reduction With Slow Sync: Combines red-eye reduction with slow sync for use with portraits taken against a backdrop of night scenery. (Tripod recommended)
  • Slow Sync: Flash is combined with shutter speeds as slow as 30 seconds to capture both subject and background at night or under dim light. (Tripod recommended)
  • Rear-Curtain Sync: The flash fires just before the shutter closes, creating effect of stream of light following moving subjects. In programmed auto and aperture-priority auto, slow rear-curtain sync is used to capture both subject and background. (Tripod recommended)

Flash Control: The camera supports two flash control modes:

  • i-TTL Balanced Fill-flash for Digital SLR: Used with matrix and center-weighted metering, the flash emits a series of nearly invisible pre-flashes immediately before the main flash. Pre-flashes reflected from objects in all areas of the frame are picked up by the 91,000-pixel RGB sensor and are analyzed, along with range information, to adjust the flash output. Available with the built-in flash, and optional SB-910, SB-900, SB-700, or SB-400 Speedlights.
  • Standard i-TTL Flash for Digital SLR: Flash output is adjusted to bring lighting in the frame to a standard level. This mode is automatically activated when spot metering is selected.

Flash Compensation: Flash compensation is used to alter flash output from -3 EV to +1EV in increments of 1/3 EV to change the brightness of the main subject relative to the background. Flash output can be increased to make the main subject appear brighter or reduced to prevent unwanted highlights or reflections.

FV Lock: This feature is used to lock the flash output, allowing photographs to be recomposed without changing the flash level and ensuring that the flash output is appropriate to the subject even when the subject is not positioned in the center of the frame. The Flash output is adjusted automatically for any changes in ISO sensitivity and aperture.

Optional Accessories

Speedlights: The Nikon D800 supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS), and can be used with CLS-compatible flash units. Optional flash units, such as the SB-R200, SB-400, SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, and SB-910, can be attached directly to the camera accessory shoe.

WT-4 Wireless Transmitter: The WT-4 Wireless Transmitter connects the camera to wireless and Ethernet networks. The photos on the camera's memory card can be viewed by computers on the same network, or copied to a computer for long-term storage. The camera can also be controlled from any computer on the network using the Camera Control Pro 2 software (available separately).

MC-30/MC-36 Remote Shutter Release: The MC-30 and MC-36 Remote Shutter Release cables can help prevent camera shake by triggering the shutter release without touching the camera. The MC-30 has a 32" cable, and plugs into the camera's 10-pin remote terminal. The MC-36 is 36" long and can be programmed for interval timer photography and long time-exposures.

ME-1 Stereo Microphone: The ME-1 can record stereo sound while shooting movies. Audio recorded with the ME-1 play back in stereo when the camera is connected to a TV via an HDMI cable.

GP-1 GPS Unit: The Nikon GP-1 is an optional GPS unit designed for use with Nikon digital cameras, including the D800. When connected, the GP-1 allows the current latitude, longitude, altitude, and local time to be recorded with each photograph taken.

Play, Print and Edit Features

Auto Image Rotation: Photographs taken while Auto Image Rotation is set to "On" contain information on camera orientation, and allow the images to be rotated automatically during playback, or when viewed using the supplied ViewNX 2 or optional CaptureNX 2 software.

Playback Menu: The playback menu contains the following options:

  • Delete: allows you to delete the current image or all the images in the selected folder or folders
  • Playback Folder: allows you to play back the images in the current folder, all folders created with the D800, or all folders on the memory card
  • Hide Image: allows you to hide and reveal selected pictures. Hidden images can only be deleted by formatting the memory card.
  • Display Options: choose from either a detailed display of information or a basic display of information
  • Copy Images: copy pictures from one memory card to another
  • Image Review: When this setting is enabled, the camera displays the image on the LCD monitor after the picture is taken.
  • After Delete: choose the picture displayed after an image is deleted (next, previous, continue)
  • Rotate Tall: portrait photos are displayed in tall orientation during playback
  • Slide Show: allows you to play back images one after the other in a slide-show fashion. You can select the type of images to display, and how long each photo will be displayed.
  • Print Set (DPOF): used to create a digital "print order" that lists the photographs to be printed, the number of copies, and the information to be included on each print for use with PictBridge-compatible computers or devices that support DPOF.

Single-Image Playback: During single-image playback, you can view all the pictures stored on the memory card one at a time.

Thumbnail Playback: This feature allows you to view four (2x2), nine (3x3), or 72 (9 x 8) images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly.

Playback Zoom: During single-image and thumbnail playback, you can zoom in on the selected image. You can zoom in up to 46x for large images, up to 34x for medium images, and up to 22x for small images. Once the image is enlarged, you can move it around on the LCD monitor using the multi selector.

Retouch Menu: The Retouched Menu allows you to create trimmed, resized or retouched copies of the photographs you have taken on the memory card. The Retouch Menu gives you the following editing options: D-Lighting, Red-eye correction, Trim, Monochrome, Filter effects, Color balance, Image overlay, NEF (RAW) processing, Resize, Quick Retouch, Straighten, Distortion control, Fisheye, Color Outline, Color Sketch, Perspective control, Miniature effect, Selective color, Edit movie, and Side-by-side comparison.

Image Comment: The camera allows you to input up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text and save it to a recorded image. The comment can be viewed in CaptureNX 2 (software available separately) or the supplied ViewNX 2 software.

PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer. PictBridge is a standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

HDTV Playback: The camera features a mini-HDMI (Type C) output for connecting the camera to an HDTV or other high-definition video device. The output resolution to Auto, 480p, 576p, 720p, or 1080i. The camera does not have a composite video output.

Battery Information

Battery: The D800 is powered by the EN-EL15 Lithium-ion battery (7.0V/1900mAh/14Wh). A fully-charged EN-EL15 can provide enough power for approximately 900 shots. The battery charges in approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes using the supplied MH-25 battery charger.

Optional AC Adapter: You can power the camera for extended periods on ordinary household current with the EP-5B power connector and EH-5B AC adapter.

Multi-Power Battery Pack: The MB-D12 Multi-Power Battery Pack attaches to the bottom of the camera body, and can accept a rechargeable EN-EL18 or EN-EL15 battery, or eight AA alkaline, Ni-MH, or Lithium batteries. The MB-D12 also has a shutter-release button, AF-ON button, Multi-selector, and Main- and Sub-command dials for easier operation when shooting photographs in portrait (tall) orientation.

Computer Requirements

SuperSpeed USB 3.0: The Nikon D800 utilizes the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 connection for connecting the camera to a computer. A 59" UC-E14 cable is supplied with the camera, with a Type A USB connection on one end (computer) and a USB 3.0 Micro-B connector on the other (camera) end.

ViewNX 2: The supplied ViewNX 2 CD-ROM contains a Nikon Transfer 2 function for transferring pictures from the camera to the computer, where ViewNX 2 can be used to view and print selected images or to edit photographs and movies. ViewNX 2 is compatible with computers with the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows: Pre-installed version of:
    • Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate (Service Pack 1)
    • Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate (Service Pack 2)
    • Windows XP: 32-bit versions of Home Edition, Professional (Service Pack 3)

Note: All installed programs run as 32-bit applications in 64-bit editions of Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  • Macintosh: Mac OS X version 10.5.8, 10.6.8, or 10.7.2

Our Product Research Team

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Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

A joy to behold (and hold)

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 4/13/2012 10:05:00 AM

I've been working with smaller point-and-shoot cameras recently, and while they're good in their own way, there's nothing like a full-featured "prosumer" (professional/consumer) SLR camera.

When I pulled the D800 body out of its box, it felt like (dare I say it?) a real camera. Big, solid, hefty. This is the camera for serious photography, and everything about it — from the size and resolution of the images it can take (7,360 x 4,912 pixels in FX format) to its feature set.

I especially liked the "Info" button, which provides an overview of the camera's current settings. And I can quickly get to the appropriate menu to adjust ISO, focus, custom settings, etc. from the Info screen. If you're serious about photography (and perhaps already have some Nikon glass), this can be the next logical step in your development as a photographer.

What are the Labs?