Nikon D800 - The new King

A full-frame sensor with no weak points according to DxoMark
"If you told me I could only have one camera, the D700 would be that choice. It produces high quality images, it's more compact than a D3 series body and thus more carry-able in more situations, it has a solid, advanced feature set, and it's a workhorse. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a D700". (Thom Hogan)

Nikon D800 with my favourite landscape lens Nikkor PC-E 24mm 3,5 ED - a killer landscape kit!

I think Thom Hogan could not have said it better! ...but the D800 sensor is at least two generations newer than the D700's. Sensors are getting better and to my surprise the Nikon D800 is now the no.1 rated camera according to DxoMark - it even got a higher score than the Phase One IQ180 digital back. 

The Nikon D800: A full-frame sensor with no weak points: Full review of the Nikon D800 sensor

Do I really need all those pixels?
Well, not for everyday pictures, but my main client will be very happy indeed. What I really like about this camera is its versatility with its crop modes: 15.3MP DX-format and 25MP 1.2x Crop mode and ultra high FX resolution plus exceptional DR dynamic range for landscapes and close-ups. The improved AF system with with 15 cross-type sensors, rated to -2EV compared to -1EV of my D700 will also improve performance in dim light. I don't care about "high speed" and a maximum of 4fps continuous shooting in FX mode are enough for me!. The new dual-axis Virtual Horizon (on LCD screen/viewfinder) is also welcome, because I use it a lot in my D700 when shooting landscapes.

The D800 will demand skilled handling technique, the 36 MP are extremely unforgiving in terms of motion blur, but I prefer to work disciplined and I work "slow" with my motifs, so this camera will suit me well! - and I got the lenses to benefit from the high resolution.

After having seen the first images from this camera I'm convinced I will buy one, sometime within the next year or so; hearing Jim Brandenburg talking about it and seeing the first positive "first impressions" and 'real world' samples, I'm finally convinced that I will upgrade to this camera.


  1. Hi Jesper,

    Thanks for ths nice review. You mentioned some lenses tobenefit from the high resolution. Can You specifically suggest some wide and ultra-wide for me. I'm more of into architecture and landscape.

    Thanks, sj

    1. Hi SJ

      Thanks for your comment. I use a Nikkor PC-E 24/3,5 ED for most of my landscapes, it only suffers for easily correctable distortion.

      My second wide lens is a Nikkor VR 16-35/4 lens, it has high contrast and superb sharpness in the 20-28 range it also suffers from easily correctable distortion in the 19-35 range.

      Sometimes I borrow a Nikkor 14-24/2,8 lens for star and northern lights photography it only suffers from easily correctable distortion, but I think the contrast and sharpness are better with my 16-35mm for general work.

      The new Carl Zeiss 15/2,8 lens look very promising with very low distortion and superb micro contrast, but it is pretty darn expensive, but I would really want one of those.

      All the best
      Jesper T.