Nikon D800 Announced – Canon Where You At?


The Nikon D800 SLR Digital Camera is more than a DSLR, it's a broadcast quality video camera as well. Driving both still and video capture is the FX-format CMOS 36.3Mp sensor and the powerful EXPEED 3 image-processing engine. Backing up the heart of the camera you'll find an optical low-pass filter that reduces false color and moire, and an ISO range of 100-6400 that's expandable to ISO 50-25600 equivalent. Additionally, the D800 boasts 14-bit A/D conversion and 16-bit image processing. What's more, the camera's Nikon F mount accepts a multitude of NIKKOR lenses, included DX lenses and AF-S lenses; and Nikon Speedlights provide exceptional flash capabilities

While everyone awaits Canon to release their next Full Frame DSLR for Cinema, Nikon may already have an answer. The new D800 looks good and tackles some (maybe not all) of the existing 'cons' of current Full Frame DSLR Video cameras under $3K. To optimize for Video they are offering two different bodies, one with the Low Pass filter removed. For the quality and ability to shoot very clean in low light, I think the price is pretty competitive. You can find more images and specs over at the B&H product page, and it's already available for pre-order.

find-price-button Nikon D800 SLR Digital Camera (Body Only)

25 thoughts on “Nikon D800 Announced – Canon Where You At?

  1. I have been waiting for ages for DSLR with XLR input and it seems I need to be still patient. D800 doesn't seem to be anything worth this money. I am getting Letus Extreme for my Z1 camera in the meantime and it seems I am more than 3 years behind the latest technology. Anyway it seems DSLR won't beat traditional video cameras in the next few years. I am curious if the upgrade of Canon 5D Mark II will be capable of recording decent audio and clips of at least 30 minutes in length.

  2. JL

    Looks like Canon rested on its laurels after taking the prosumer and novice market. And this D800 is probably a haymaker right in their face. 36.3 megapixels??? Canon was actually going in the opposite direction and looking to reduce megapixel count.

    There's no reason a full-frame sensor should not have as much compressed light collectors as a point-and-shoot. Take the Canon S95 - 1/1.7" sensor with 10 megapixels. A full frame with the same density of light pixels would be 198 megapixels!!!!!

  3. JL

    Crap. I have the T2i as my first DSLR and was hoping to upgrade to a 5d MK III when it came out. But there's no way now. It's going to be the D800 which means that all my lens now are pretty much useless and an entire new learning curve. Nikon button placement looks extremely odd and not nearly as intuitive as Canon's.

    If I could make a frankenstein camera, it'd take:

    1) lens from Nikon
    2) sensors from Nikon
    3) menu system from Canon
    4) user friendliness of Canon
    5) body of Canon

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @tracy haynes - The term 'Broadcast Quality' is used for cameras that have to meet BBC standards. They require certain file types, compression, and bitrate. I don't think the Sony EX1 (awesome camera) was even considered a BBC broadcast quality camera.

  5. tracy haynes

    Hey all - I will simply say that I found the blurb for the new Nikon camera interesting, Especially this bit about its video : "it’s a broadcast quality video camera as well. "
    Well, I shoot video several times a week with a very nice Canon 60D and a couple of primes...The stories I shoot air each week on the NBC station in Savannah GA. And they look terrific- superior to our 30,000 dollar
    'professional' video cameras. Canon's already doing 'broadcast quality' video,and doing it well. Just funny how terms get tossed around.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @scottrellwi - HDMI will be replaced at some point. For now we have HDMI locks to rely on. Clean HDMI out signals are only half of it though. Rolling shutter, aliasing, and moire from these cameras will still show up if you wanted to capture from HDMI. There's a long way to go, but it's been fun getting there.

  7. scottrellwi


    I will admit to being quite a noob in this field, but I am going to predict that Nikon's implementation of clean HDMI out is not going to work as good as we might think.

    There are still the same old issues with the HDMI accidentally unplugging or getting broken inside the device. Even a microsecond will cause the clip to be a waste. Also, I don't think recorder/viewfinders like the Ninja have very good at assists like focus assist/peaking...

    I know these cameras will get there eventually, but I have been bitten by too many companies that put more money into marketing than engineering. Let's hope I am totally wrong.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @scottrellwi - One thing that worries me is that in one interview about the 1Dx, the Canon rep mentioned they are not looking to putting uncompressed HDMI out in a DSLR. Possibly because they don't want to cannibalize their real 'video market'. Hopefully they will consider the 5D Mark III a Cinema camera and unlock some much needed features.

  9. amjad

    Mark London

    I saw this when the F3 launched
    Compulsion by Simon Wingrove

    I don't know if this was shot with the s-log, but in any case, in my humble opinion I don't think we could compare the D800 video for this.

  10. ronn

    This film looks great but it's in desperate need of a story. They went to all this trouble yet can't spell "production" in the credits.

  11. scottrellwi

    Let's not forget the 5DMkII really pioneered this industry (hdslr). I am sure the 5DMkIII will crush anything Nikon has to offer for video. Why wouldn't Canon run with the ball after a 3 year gain?

    Look at the C300 vs the D4. Yes some of the D4 tech has trickled down to the D800, but I bet some of the C300 tech trickles down to the new 5D. I don't think the new 1D is any indication of what to expect with the 5D because the 1D is really heavily targeted at pro photographers.

    Let's give Canon time before anyone talks about jumping any ships. Besides, buying good glass sucks.

  12. Earl studios

    I just switched to canon after being a lifetime Nikon shooter. I just got tired of waiting for Nikon to get it together video wise so I switched to canon. This looks like a great camera, am I sorry I sold all my Nikon gear? No. It all comes down to the look of the image and for me the canon image just looks better TO ME. Nikon video has a very distinct "hard" realish look to it that I don't like this video shows it too. It is to me like a film camera and a video camera, a huge difference in appearance of the image.

    Yes the features are great and I'm happy for my Nikon friends but I would never have gotten this camera. 3 grand for 36mp? To much money and size.

    I'm happy with my 7d's and when a 7dmk2 comes out I might get that. For me this is not a game changer in my studio, and I will wait to see what real world users say of it after 6 months of shooting with it. If we all remember , Nikon released the first hd dslr video cam, and it was exciting until we saw it in real production, then, not so much

  13. elph

    There's a dedicated 3.5mm mic jack, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack, on-screen mic levels and manual adjustments, so you're all set audio-wise!

  14. Paul

    How well is the Nikon D800 going to handle audio? Image is one thing but the DSLR platform has to realize we have "talkies" now and get out of the silent era in regard to focus on audio- a HEADPHONE jack would go a long long way because no matter how many cables boxes and adaptors are hanging off a camera, or independent recorders there is no longer any excuse not to be able to HEAR what is actually being recorded in a camera. Certain situations don't allow post syncing. Some full time metering on the display wouldn't be a bad thing too but I don't want to get greedy about a "pro" platform.

  15. mark london


    I humbly ask you to point me at an F3 vid that's appreciably better? Like, 3+ times better? I shoot F3/Nanoflash/KiPro often and love it, but let's see it for what it is.
    My point, which you couldn't follow, is that IMO to seriously make a quantative difference to the visual quality of that film (retaining the same look) you'd have to go quite high up the camera tree. A c300 or F3 wouldn't cut it. They have other compromises that would equal out against the d800 used above.

    I must have sounded like a real dick above. Yes I have the resources - I've been waiting for a decent camera that I can own as opposed to renting ever since RED announced its original Scarlet. Thanks to them taking so long (!) I have plenty of resource and now plenty of options. If I could justify it, I'd buy an Alexa or Epic and be done with it, but I can't. You'd have to be shooting/renting at least 150+ days a year for that. I just want a 'personal' camera that I can use on jobs where I have no rental budget. If the 7D had clean uncompressed HDMI out, that would be it.

    I also really want a cheap 4K camera AS WELL. Cmon' Canon - some of us with longer memories aren't put off by the name JVC if they build that changeable lens version.

    Finally, I'm like Alex. I moved to Canon for the 5D2. I have 4 Canon lenses. I still have all my old prime Nikons. No biggie for me to swap back, or run both.

  16. Interesting. I'll wait for the new Canon. Mainly because I only have EOS lenses and I prefer the form factor and menus on the Canon cameras. I also think Canon is going to do video better.

    Nikon is stepping their game up though. Going to see some more Nikon DSLR filmmakers :)

  17. I moved to Canon for video, I dont want to move again its expensive and a pain, Most of the people i work with are Canon shooters again due to video.

    Nikon have a hard job to do, this is a very good looking camera. I hope the c300 dosnt stop canon bringing out an amazing 5dmk3 it has to beat this and has to be on a level with the fs100 and even on level with the c300 and thats where the problem lies will canon put out a 3000$$ camera that can shoot very close to the c300.... I dont think so, where they make the cut off will be intresting but that said they need to act soon as in the next 3-6 months.

    Once the pros start to move a lot of people will follow. Shooting on a Sony Z7 or EX3 camera you only have one or two lens moving to another camera isnt a big problem with DSLR you have a lot more lens you get locked into a format. People like myself that have moved to canon for video might only have 2-5 lens and moving to nikon is posible once we have 5-10+ lens we wont want to move unless its for something amazing... Canon need to work hard on there next DSLR to keep the new shooters they picked up from Video.


  18. Joel

    You just cannot make qualitative judgements on streaming video over the web.

    As Scott Kelby said today, "try it before you trash it."

    My only complaint is the lame/cliche content of the video

  19. Tony

    I'll wait...Plus people judging this camera's performance based on vimeo's compression is not justifiable. I'm still heartbroken over the new Canon 24-70 not having IS. smh

  20. amjad

    who mentioned anything about an EPIC/Alexa.
    don't see your logic i'm afraid.
    but happy for you as you seem to have amazing resources to buy what's out there, and what's about to come our way.
    I must disagree when your put the video on par with the output of an F3, but hey we all have opinions.
    But on this Video I need to wait and see when those who use it in the field report back on it's usage.

  21. mark london

    Couldn't agree less with Amjad.
    Not every shot is perfect (the candle is deliberately out of focus).
    Those alleyway shots? Off a DSLR???
    As for colour, I'm pretty sure that's a creative choice.

    It's not perfect - there is definitely some noise and what looks like some 'video' highlights and no, its not an EPIC. That same film produced with an EPIC/Alexa would have been 'better'. But that's how far IMO you'd have to go.
    This isn't just better than a 7D/5D (3 year old tech and perfectly fine) - this is on pretty level terms with the FS100/F3/C300.

    VERY low light. Pointing a DSLR directly at bright lights! Waving it about.! Choice of depth of field! AND a 36mp camera?

    Speaking as the owner of two Canons, I've ordered one. I will also buy the Canon 4K if its less than 6k, or the 7D Mark 2 if it too has HDMI out (and 1080 60p). I won't need the new 5D. I'll be good for full-frame.

    Until then, I'll be over here waiting for Taiwan to make a cheap PL adapter. :-)

  22. amjad

    I want this to be a great camera, and I long for a nikon DSLR so i can use my Nikkor lenses properly.
    But looking at some of the footage, I had a few observations.
    on 00.25, the candle shot, you can’t see any detail in the flame, overexposed and no filament detail..
    overall the night shots are clearly noisy, which says something about low light filming with the D800.
    at 00.46 i think there is a lot of moire in the shot, on the grid like pattern of the road.
    considering the credits into postproduction, then I need to ask myself what the original footage looked like before post, not sure about the overall colour.
    like I said, I would love to go back to nikon, for the killer combo of photo/video. but on the image here i’m not sure,

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