Nikon D800 Review

May 22, 2012 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 Jimmy

Nice review as always. As a Canon wedding photographer, I was over the moon when they announced the Mark III, but after a few digging around, I also found myself both happy and frustrated. I am really pleased with all the upgrades including the MUST have AF and better build body but its dynamic range is a little concern as it just didn’t do better than the Mark II in the shadow areas.

D800 is a much more capable camera in shadow areas. As a wedding photographer, I sometimes work in very high contrast outdoor photos (like a sunny day) and even with all reflectors to come, having the possibility to process the shadows with clean details proves to be valuable.

I am not switching to Nikon by any means because of my heavy investment in Canon glass. I also have concerns as a photographer or event guy that Nikon D800 may be great, but 36 MP is way too much for our needs. Don’t forget that each RAW file is huge and your computer and storage will have be upgraded pretty soon because I recall when I switched from the 12MP Mark I to 21MP Mark II, my computer nearly stalled. I also found my hard drives running out of space. A point potential customers must understand. (All greatness comes with price, quite literally).

So, I am tempted to switch to D800 but Mark III is still a better all round and faster camera for wedding and events. D800 is more of a field and studio camera. Both are great and as you would expect as a top of the line camera but they are for different people.

11:40 am - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#2 pokeken

Decent review…but you seriously need to drop your scoring system for each area of the camera.  Simple arithmetics between your D800 and 5Dmk3 reviews don’t align with your over rating for each camera respectively.

10:47 pm - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

#3 Commenter

@ pokeken
I don’t think the overall score is supposed to reflect individual scores. In addition, you assume that each category is given equal weight, which may not be true.

9:02 am - Wednesday, May 23, 2012

#4 Troy Park

There is a really bad mark on each of the sample shots, in case you weren’t aware. Top right of the image, looks like maybe a burnt out pixel, or something really bad on the sensor.

Oh and good review as always. Can always rely on you guys.

5:51 pm - Thursday, May 24, 2012

#5 randolph knackstedt

For your chance to win a Canon 5DMKlll or a Nikon D800 full frame camera, please click on the link below. Good luck!!!

8:08 am - Friday, May 25, 2012

#6 Fatima nay Baba Fooka say apnay behtareen dost poo

Have got the same camera visit the link below to see its result

2:28 pm - Saturday, May 26, 2012

#7 Gen

Thanks for the detailed review.  I am a wedding photographer currently using the D700.  I’ll be upgrading after the current season and have been anxiously awaiting the D800.  This review is helpful, but I thin I’ll still take it for a test drive at my local camera shop before making the plunge.

7:05 pm - Saturday, May 26, 2012

#8 Paul Harris

Been shooting with the D800 since May, Love the camera see the results on

11:41 am - Wednesday, July 11, 2012

#9 David

I did a review of the d800 here:

It’s a brilliant camera, with just one or two caveats to look out for. But I’m blown away by the versatility and image quality.

For all those who say the d800 is a studio camera only, they are wrong. It is totally versatile for weddings, portraits, landscape, wildlife or even some sports.

5:08 pm - Friday, July 27, 2012

#10 Martin Hillary

I’ve used this camera at my last five weddings. I’ve given a short write up here for anyone who wants to read it:

8:30 pm - Wednesday, August 15, 2012

#11 stevep

@ Troy, don’t think thats a faulty sensor, it looks more like a post watermark.

Well done guys, helpful review.

10:04 am - Monday, October 15, 2012

#12 J Rhinehart

I am looking at upgrading from a D300s to a full frame Nikon.  The problem is that I had a Nikon F100 film camera and now a D300s diigital camera and each have the rubber covering coming of each camera.  Seems to be a long long time problem with Nikon and they are NOT solving the problem.  I’m not going to spend more money on something that a simple, strong adhesive could fix.  Come on Nikon, wake up!!

7:28 pm - Monday, January 14, 2013

#13 jake

this oen shouldn’t have been a camera of the year,
it is a great camera on paper but in real life use the Sony A99v is a much better camera.
btw, I owned both and I kept only the Sony.

9:56 am - Friday, January 18, 2013

#14 RKBerta

Long time professional photographer primarily with medium format (Hasselblad) and 4"x5” (Linhoff). Have extensive Nikon lens system for F4s film camera which was also used with D70S. Have held out for a long time as I wanted a digital full frame camera with resolution close to Hassleblad…this one is it. You should see some of the shots I get…excellent res, smooth gradation, grain…what grain?
My test test was a flower shot with a ED lens of a flower arrangement with a couple of aunts crawling on one of the flowers. I was amazed at detail in the ant in a 17"x 25” print…so went crazy and enlarge to equivalent of a 10’ wide print. The grain (at ISO 100) and resolution was still amazing….I printed a 8x10 of that aunt at the huge scale and showed to to people…they remarked how great of an image it was. They thought that 8x10 was the actual full frame
shot ;-)  I don’t find any issues with the high speed frame rate as I never found a need to blast through tons of images in the stuff I shoot…including sports car racing. Also…early examples had an issue with focus on the far left of the image supposedly…guess they fixed that as mine has no problems in that area and the preview screen color is also fine (another early issue). Any nits….only the cost of accessories like the accessory verticle control/battery pack. I bought a third party unit that is identical in function and a fraction of Nikons price. Trade offs….it is nice to have the built in flash but I miss the removeable meter prims of my old F4s which can be replaced with a “stove pipe” finder. I use the right angle finder but prefer the other style for studio use.
Final comment…..I switched from Canon film cameras to Nikon when Canon ditched their old lens mounts. I can’t afford to change lens system every time a manufacturer sneezes. I love that I can use all my AF Nikon lens still.

1:33 am - Sunday, June 16, 2013

#15 steveW

Great camera (I have a D800e) except for the idiotic and pedantic customs settings banks. Nikon needs to do a firmware update so that a U1 U2 and so on type arrangement like the D7000 and the D600 (OR THE U1 U2) settings available on 5dmk3
The problem is that Nikon know how to fix this but deliberately will fix only technical glitches with firmware, and wait to implement the really important changes with their next model upgrade in a couple years. I love the camera but very tempted to swap my whole system to Canon for this single reason..

5:41 am - Friday, July 12, 2013

#16 check grammar online

hose in the habit of reading photography forums on the Internet have likely also noticed that many people associate this phenomenon with wide-angle lenses and treat it as a form of lens distortion. This is wrong.

12:18 pm - Friday, December 6, 2013

#17 Cynthia McIntyre

I have this camera. I had some problems from the beginning-  it corrupted two 16 g flash cards. Nikon fixed the problem under warranty.  Great images and wonderful resolution. The files are HUGH I had to add more memory!

3:14 am - Saturday, March 22, 2014

#18 Nicole

Just upgraded to this baby, so in love!

7:53 pm - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#19 Ric

Thanks for posting the raw sample images. I want to upgrade my 300s but wasn’t sure how well my system (an aging but pretty beefy Mac Pro) would handle 34mp images. Photoshop and Lightroom barely noticed a difference. I think there’s an 810 in my future.

4:33 am - Monday, August 4, 2014

#20 Nicole

I’ve been using the D800 for quite some time and am in love :)

12:54 am - Tuesday, December 30, 2014

#21 Edward Lee

I’ve shot through the D800 and it definitely is a wonderful camera.  Although after having upgraded to the D810, my captures have significantly improved.  I talk about the camera and include breakdowns of how I compose my photos at  Would love to hear your feedback!

5:13 am - Saturday, May 2, 2015

#22 Michael Scott

I’ve used this camera for years and love it! I would upgrade to the D810 but why change a good thing! I upload images to Check out my images at

1:08 am - Thursday, February 4, 2016

Entry Tags

review, hd, nikon, video, full hd, DSLR, full-frame, full frame, digital SLR, professional, pro, 3.2 inch LCD, SLR, weather, 36 megapixel, weather-proof, FX, nikon d800, Nikon D800 Review, d800

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