Capturing Life's Moments with Nikon D800: A Comprehensive Review

In this blog post, we will dive deep into the Nikon D800 camera and everything it has to offer. From its impressive resolution and dynamic range to its advanced video capabilities, we will explore the features that have made it one of the most popular options among professional photographers. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just getting started, this review will provide you with the information you need to decide if the Nikon D800 is the right camera for you.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Nikon D800 article cover photo

Key Features

Jun 11 2012


36 megapixels


Sensor TypeFull frame

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Overview of the D800

As one of the most highly regarded cameras on the market, the Nikon D800 is a stunning piece of technology that has earned a reputation for its exceptional image quality and impressive features. With 36.3 megapixels, a high-resolution 3.2-inch LCD screen, and the ability to shoot full HD video, this camera is a powerhouse in the photography world. But what truly sets the Nikon D800 apart from the competition is its dynamic range, which allows you to capture stunning images in any lighting conditions. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the Nikon D800's key features and benefits, helping you make an informed decision when it comes to investing in a new camera.

Nikon D800 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Nikon D800 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High-resolution images
Full-frame sensor
Excellent dynamic range
High ISO capabilities
Great autofocus system
Wide range of lenses available
Durable build quality
Fast continuous shooting speed
Large, bright viewfinder


Large file sizes
Pricey compared to other DSLRs
Average video capabilities
Heavy and bulky body
Limited battery life
Slow live view autofocus
Not weather-sealed
No built-in flash
Limited connectivity options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Nikon D800

Weather sealed
Dimensions146 x 123 x 82mm

Weather Sealing

The Nikon D800 camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the D800 is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution921k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.20" screen, with a display resolution of 921k dots. This makes the Nikon D800 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


D800 includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 100% and a magnification of 0.7x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Nikon D800 has a 36MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 36 pixels. Nikon D800 has a native ISO range of 100 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - 25600. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jun 11 2012


100 - 6400

ISO Range

SensorFull frame
Extended ISOnull - 25600
Max resolution7360 x 4912 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


95 / 102

Color Depth

25.3 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

14.4 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

2853 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Nikon D800 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain medium amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is below average, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the D800 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Full frame



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageCompact Flash (Type I), SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant
Battery Life900 shots
Battery ModelEN-EL15
Wireless Connectivity


The Nikon D800 supports Compact Flash (Type I), SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant with 2 slots for storage. Having dual SD card slots on the Nikon D800 is highly advantageous as it mitigates the risk of losing footage due to memory card malfunctions. This feature is particularly beneficial for wedding photography and other professional settings.


The Nikon D800 uses the EN-EL15 model of battery pack. This is rated for 900 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Nikon D800 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Nikon D800 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/8000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Nikon D800 includes phase detection autofocus (AF), with 51 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Nikon D800?

The Nikon D800 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Nikon D800 weather sealed?

Yes the D800 does have weather sealing.

When was the Nikon D800 announced?

The Nikon D800 was announced on Jun 11 2012

Does the Nikon D800 have in-body image stabilization?

No the D800 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Nikon D800?

The D800 has a native ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-25600 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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