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En route— 36-megapixel Nikon D800

I have a Nikon D800 showing upon Thursday April 5, probably late in the day. I’ll be launching right into shooting and posting at least some material very quickly as I know many readers are eager to see what it can deliver.

Bookmark and check my Nikon gear page for availability status (updated every 20 minutes, usually more timely than even the B&H notify mails).

If you’re getting a D800 / D800E, then consider my very approachable (by beginners) yet in depth (for professionals) Making Sharp Images— an investment that will pay dividends many times over.

I’m also really looking forward to seeing how the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon performs on the D800, and I’ll be posting some images in my Guide to Zeiss ZF / ZE Lenses, as well as (over time), updating all the lenses with examples from the D800. That will take some months and several trips to do to my satisfaction however. And most of that work I will defer until I have the Nikon D800E in my hands, so that the lenses can show their very best.

I’m not assuming the Nikon D800 will be without issues, and I have not recommended the Nikon D800 or D800E, nor will I do so until I have an satisfied myself that it is a move forward over the outstanding Nikon D3x. Read more on that topic and about Canon EOS in my March 28 blog post.

Every camera has issues of some kind, and it might well be that my trusty Nikon D3x will remain Nikon’s best camera as a complete camera. Though I remain optimistic on the D800.

My initial focus with the D800 will be:

  • Detailing any egregious design issues.
  • Assessing the maximum sharpness possible at low ISO using the very best lenses.
  • Assessing the overall color and dynamic range; is it pleasing and wonderful or something else not so inspiring.
  • General noise behavior, not so much how much noise, but how free of pattern and streaking noise.
  • Within a few days, comparing the 85/1.4G to the new 85/1.8G.

The D800 is an exciting development. Not just megapixels, but megapixels with high color quality and dynamic range and well controlled noise. Or so it seems. Shortly, I will know and show.

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See also Making Sharp Images.

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