Nikon D800 review

Are 36-million pixels too many?

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

We have compared the Nikon D800 against the Nikon D700, Nikon D4, Canon EOS 5D Mk III, Canon EOS 5D Mk II and Canon EOS 1Ds Mk III.

JPEG Signal to Noise Ratio

Nikon D800 review JPEG signal to noise ratio

JPEG images from the Nikon D800 have a signal to noise ratio that compares well against, but cannot quite match, that from the Nikon D4 and Canon EOS 5D Mk III. At lower sensitivities results compare closely to Nikon D700, however from a sensitivity of ISO 800 there is a definite improvement.

Raw signal to noise ratio

Nikon D800 review TIFF signal to noise ratio

TIFF images (after conversion from raw) show that the D800 handles noise well at lower sensitivities and the results compare well against the Nikon D4. Above ISO 3200 noise becomes more of an issue.

JPEG dynamic range

Nikon D800 review JPEG dynamic range

This chart shows that the Nikon D800's JPEG files have a high dynamic range only just beaten by the Nikon D4. Compared to the Nikon D700, the results show a big improvement across the sensitivity range. At ISO 3200 the Canon EOS 5D Mk III just over takes the dynamic range of the D800.

Raw dynamic range

Nikon D800 review TIFF dynamic range
Nikon D800 review: TIFF dynamic range

The D800's TIFF files (after conversion from raw) score some of the highest dynamic range results that we've seen from a DSLR, just beating the Nikon D4 and showing a huge improvement over the Nikon D700. At the lower end of the sensitivity scale, the D800 is the clear leader, but by ISO 800 the Canon EOS 5D Mk III takes the lead.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution36.3 Megapixel
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), CompactFlash (CF) Card, Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationNo
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameNikon
DurabilityWater Resistant, Dust Resistant
FeaturesSelf-timer, Live View, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, External Flash Shoe, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)900 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size35.90 mm x 24 mm
Maximum Image Resolution7360 x 4912
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height121.9 mm
Width144.8 mm
Depth81.3 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, TIFF
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelD800
Product NameD800 Digital SLR Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part NumberVBA300AE
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Create monumental images with the groundbreaking D800.

The 36.3 megapixel FX-format sensor and class-leading autofocus system deliver unprecedented levels of depth and detail in your photography. Full HD D-movie offers all the flexibility you need for broadcast quality video.

If you're serious about developing your creativity, the D800 is the ultimate way to get the big picture.

Package Contents
  • D800 Digital SLR Camera
  • EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery With Terminal Cover
  • MH-25 Battery Charger
  • AN-DC6 Strap
  • UC-E14 USB Cable
  • USB Cable Clip
  • BF-1B Body Cap
  • BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
  • BM-12 Monitor Cover
  • Software Installer CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year