Nikon Unveils All New Full Frame D-series dSLR; The 36-megapixel D800

February 7th, 2012

Nikon_D800_MBD12_800.JPGNikon has just unleashed a megapixel monster on the digital photography world, with the introduction of the all new D800. The eagerly awaited successor to the D700, the D800 boasts some serious upgrades. The most notable of which is the camera’s 36.3-megapixel, FX-series CMOS sensor; which makes the D800 the most resolute camera in their line-up. Other impressive features include a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor with Advanced Scene Recognition system, burst shooting at up to 4fps, native ISO settings from 100 to 6400 (expandable to 25,600), full 1080p HD video at 30, 25 or 24fps, and an enhanced 51-point Autofocus system to name a few.  The D800 body only kit will come in at just under $3000 USD; which is actually an appealing price tag for a camera in this class.

For those who demand even higher resolution than the D800 has to offer, Nikon has also unveiled the D800E, which still utilizes the new 36.3-megapixel sensor, however they claim it enhances the resolution characteristics of the sensor by “by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the
camera. By doing this, light is delivered directly to the photodiodes,
yielding an image resulting from the raw light gathering properties of
the camera”.

See the official press release below for more details.

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Expectations Surpassed:
The 36.3-Megapixel Nikon D800 Is The Multimedia HD-SLR That Shatters
Conventional Resolution Barriers For Maximum Fidelity

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed
for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia
Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Feb 6, 2012) – Today, imaging leader
Nikon Inc. announced the highly anticipated D800 HD-SLR, engineered to
provide extreme resolution, astounding image quality and valuable video
features optimized for professional still and multimedia photographers
and videographers. A camera with an unmatched balance of accuracy,
functionality and image quality, the Nikon D800 realizes innovations
such as a high resolution 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, a
91,000-pixel RGB Matrix Metering System, Advanced Scene Recognition
System and many other intuitive features designed to create the
preeminent device for the most demanding photo and video applications.

Whether shooting high fashion, weddings or multimedia content, Nikon’s
highest resolution sensor to date, a groundbreaking new 36.3-megapixel
(7360 x 4912 resolution) FX-format CMOS sensor, affords flexibility and
astonishing image quality to satisfy a myriad of client requests. The
Nikon D800 incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering
III and the Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved
51-point AF system for images with amazing sharpness, color and
clarity. With its compact, lightweight D-SLR form factor and extensive
video feature set, the D800 allows photographers to transition to
multimedia to create an immersive story. Professional videographers will
appreciate practical features that go beyond NIKKOR lens compatibility
and Full HD 1080p video, such as full manual control, uncompressed HDMI
output, and incredible low-light video capability. With this innovative
combination of features, the D800 celebrates resourcefulness and a
dedication to the flawless execution of an epic creative vision. All of
this is driven by Nikon’s latest EXPEED 3™ image processing engine,
providing the necessary processing power to fuel amazing images with
faithful color, a wide dynamic range and extreme resolution.

“Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help
them stay on-time and on-task. The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is
possible from this level of D-SLR, to address the needs of an emerging
and ever changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the
gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never
before seen levels of SLR image and video quality,” said Bo Kajiwara,
director of marketing, Nikon Inc. “The D800 is the right tool for
today’s creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and
videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still
image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.”

Extreme Image Quality
The new Nikon developed 36.3-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24mm) CMOS
sensor realizes Nikon’s highest resolution yet, and is ideal for
demanding applications such as weddings, studio portraiture and
landscape, where there is no compromise to exceptional high fidelity and
dynamic range. Nikon’s first priority is amazing image quality above
all else, and resolution of this magnitude affords photographers the
ability to portray even the smallest details, such as a strand of hair,
with stunning sharpness or crop liberally with confidence. Photographers
also shoot with the assurance of NIKKOR lens compatibility, because
only a manufacturer with decades of optical excellence can provide the
glass to resolve this kind of extreme resolution.

For shooting with minimal noise in a variety of lighting conditions, the
D800 features a wide native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 50
(Lo-1)-25,600 (Hi-2). Nikon engineers have created innovative ways to
manipulate light transmission to the sensor’s photodiodes, giving users
the ability to shoot with confidence in challenging lighting conditions.
Internal sensor design, an enhanced optical low pass filter (OLPF) and
14 bit A/D conversion with a high signal to noise ratio all contribute
to a sensor capable of excellent low light ability despite the extreme
resolution. Every aspect of this new FX-format sensor is engineered to
deliver amazing low noise images through the ISO range and help create
astounding tonal gradation and true colors, whether shooting JPEG or
RAW. Images are further routed through a 16-bit image processing
pipeline, for maximum performance. To further enhance versatility, users
are also able to shoot in additional modes and aspect ratios such as
5:4 to easily frame for printed portraits or a 1.2X crop for a slight
telephoto edge. For even more versatility, photographers can also take
advantage of Nikon DX-format lenses for more lens options and enhanced
focal range (1.5X), while still retaining sharpness and details at a
high 15.4-megapixel (4800×3200) resolution.

Contributing to the camera’s rapid performance and amazing image quality
is Nikon’s new EXPEED 3 image processing engine that helps
professionals create images and HD video with amazing resolution, color
and dynamic range. From image processing to transfer, the new engine is
capable of processing massive amounts of data, exacting optimal color,
rich tonality and minimized noise throughout the frame. Despite the
immense data, the new EXPEED 3 also contributes to energy efficiency,
affording the ability to shoot longer.

The D800 also features the Advanced Scene Recognition System with the
91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III to provide unrivaled metering in
even the most challenging of lighting conditions. At the system’s core
is a newly designed RGB sensor that meticulously analyzes each scene,
recognizes factors such as color and brightness with unprecedented
precision and then compares all the data using Nikon’s exclusive 30,000
image database. Additionally, this new sensor now has the ability to
detect human faces with startling accuracy, even when shooting through
the optical viewfinder. This unique feature is coupled with detailed
scene analysis for more accurate autofocus (AF), Auto exposure (AE),
i-TTL flash control and even enhanced subject tracking. The Color Matrix
Meter also emphasizes priority on exposure of the detected faces,
allowing for correct exposure even when the subject is backlit. Even in
the most difficult exposures the D800 excels, such as maintaining
brightness on a bride’s face while retaining the dynamic range to
accentuate the intricate details of a wedding dress beside a black
tuxedo.

Advanced new automatic systems make it even easier to capture amazing
images. The camera features a new enhanced auto white balance system
that more accurately recognizes both natural and artificial light
sources, and also gives the user the option to retain the warmth of
ambient lighting. Users can expand dynamic range with in-camera High
Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture, and enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s
Active D-lighting for balanced exposure. Another new feature is direct
access to Nikon’s Picture Control presets via a dedicated button on the
back of the body to tweak photo and video parameters on the fly, such as
sharpness, hue and saturation.

True Cinematic Experience
The Nikon D800 has a compact and lightweight form factor that’s
preferable for a production environment, yet is packed with practical
and functional features. The D800 is ideal whether the user is a
filmmaker on location or in the studio or a documentarian in the field
who requires portability and the NIKKOR lens versatility and depth of
field that only a HD-SLR can offer. Filmmakers have the choice of
various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p
and HD 720 at 60/30p. By utilizing the B-Frame data compression method,
users can record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video with unmatched integrity
for up to 29:59 minutes per clip (normal quality). This format produces
higher quality video data without increasing file size for a more
efficient workflow. The optimized CMOS sensor reads image data at
astoundingly fast rates, which results in less instances of rolling
shutter distortion. The sensor also enables incredible low-light video
capability with minimal noise, letting filmmakers capture footage where
previously impossible or expensive and complex lighting would otherwise
be necessary. Users are also able to have full manual control of
exposure, and can also adjust the camera’s power aperture setting in
live view for an accurate representation of the depth of field in a
scene. Whether shooting for depth of field in FX-format mode, or looking
for the extra 1.5X telephoto benefits of DX mode, the high resolution
sensor of the D800 allows videographers to retain full 1080p HD
resolution no matter which mode they choose to best suit the scene.
Users are also able to easily compose and check critical HD focus
through the 921,000-dot, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with reinforced glass,
automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle.

For professional and broadcast applications that call for outboard
digital recorders or external monitors, users can stream an uncompressed
full HD signal directly out of the camera via the HDMI port (8 bit,
4:2:2). This output signal can be ported into a display or digital
recording device or routed through a monitor and then to the recording
device, eliminating the need for multiple connections. This image can
also be simultaneously viewed on both the camera’s LCD and an external
monitor, while eliminating on-screen camera status data for streaming
purposes. The D800 also includes features concentrated on audio quality,
such as a dedicated headphone jack for accurate monitoring of audio
levels while recording. Audio output levels can be adjusted with 30
steps for precise audio adjustment and monitoring. The D800 offers
high-fidelity audio recording control with audio levels that can be set
and monitored on the camera’s LCD screen. A microphone connected via the
stereo mic jack can also be adjusted with up to 20 steps of sensitivity
for accurate sound reproduction. What’s more, recording can be set to
be activated through the shutter button, opening a world of remote
applications through the 10-pin accessory terminal.

Wield Speed and Performance with Astonishing Accuracy
Whether shooting the runway or fast moving wildlife, the enhanced
51-point AF system of the D800 delivers blazing fast AF with tack-sharp
results. Nikon has enhanced the Multi-Cam 3500-FX AF sensor module and
algorithms to significantly improve low light acquisition, for precise
focus to an impressive -2 exposure value (EV). The focus system utilizes
15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, and the system also
places an emphasis on the human face, working in conjunction with the
Advanced Scene Recognition System to provide accurate face detection
even through the optical viewfinder. The camera also utilizes nine
cross-type sensors that are fully functional when using compatible
NIKKOR lenses and teleconverters with an aperture value up to f/8, which
is a great advantage to those who need extreme telephoto focal lengths
(single cross type sensor active with TC20E III). For maximum
versatility in all shooting situations, whether photographing portraits
or static subjects, users are also able to select multiple AF modes,
including normal, wide area, face tracking and subject tracking to best
suit the scene.

The D800 delivers upon a professional’s need for maximum speed when it
counts. The camera is ready to shoot in 0.12 seconds, and is ready to
capture with super-fast AF and response speed. To photograph action in a
burst, the camera shoots up to 4 frames per second (fps) in FX mode at
full resolution, or up to a speedy 6 fps in DX mode using the optional
MB-D12 Battery Pack and compatible battery. Further enhancing the speed
of the camera and overall workflow, the D800 utilizes the new USB 3.0
standard for ultra fast transfer speeds.

Construction and Operability
The body of the D800 is designed to offer a compact form factor and a
lightweight body for the utmost versatility. The chassis is constructed
of magnesium alloy for maximum durability, and is sealed and gasketed
for resistance to dirt and moisture. Users are able to easily compose
through the bright optical viewfinder, which offers 100% frame coverage.
For storage, the D800 has dual card slots for CF and SD cards, and
offers users the ability to record backup, overflow, RAW/JPEG
separation, and the additional option of shooting stills to one and
video to the other. For high speed recording and transfer, data can be
recorded to recent UDMA-7 and SDXC / UHS-1 cards. The shutter has been
tested to withstand approximately 200,000 cycles, and the camera also
employs sensor cleaning. The D800 also features a built-in flash and is
compatible with Nikon’s acclaimed Creative Lighting System, including a
built-in Commander mode for controlling wireless Speedlights.

D800E – Maximum Resolution Unleashed
In addition to the D800, Nikon will also be releasing a supplementary
model for those professionals who demand even higher resolution and
D-SLR versatility; the D800E. This model treads in medium format
territory for studio work or landscape photography when there is no
exception to only the highest fidelity and sharpness. This unique
alternative model will effectively enhance the resolution
characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the
anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF inside the camera. By doing this,
light is delivered directly to the photodiodes, yielding an image
resulting from the raw light gathering properties of the camera. A color
moiré correction tool will also be available within Capture NX2 to
enhance the D800E photographer’s workflow.

Price and Availability
The Nikon D800 will be available in late March for the suggested retail
price of $2999.95.* The D800E version will be available in mid April
2012 for a suggested retail price of $3,299.95.* For more information
about these models, NIKKOR lenses and other D-SLR cameras please visit http://www.nikonusa.com.

Press Contacts: MWW Group
Geoff Coalter | gcoalter@mww.com | 201-507-9500
Matt Kopacz | mkopacz@mww.com | 201-507-9500

*Suggested retail price listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in
digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is
globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and
performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic
equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR
cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon
COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software
products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the new
Nikon 1 advanced camera with interchangeable lens system. In 2011,
production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 65 million, creating a new
milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. For more information,
dial (800) NIKON-US or visit http://www.nikonusa.com,
which links all levels of photographers to the Web’s most comprehensive
photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other
photographers on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nikon and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following @Nikon_USA.

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