After many months of the usual bullshit Internet speculation-fests, Nikon finally let the D800 out of the bag. As Nikon Rumors has been predicting for a long time, it’s 36 megapixels (“At its core is superior image quality equal to that achieved with medium-format digital cameras,” reads the press release). It has high-def “broadcast quality” video and more bells and whistles than the Doo Dah parade. All told, it’s a hell of a nice camera for a fairly reasonable price ($2900, only $200 more than the D700 was when it was released in 2008). But will the D700 crowd welcome it with open arms?
I used to own a D700, but liquified it so I could afford the D800, even though I didn’t know yet what the D800 would be. What it turned out to be is a bit of a new direction. The massive image size and slower frame rate (four frames per second in FX mode) means it’s better suited to subjects that don’t move around much (nature, landscape, studio). It’s not ideal for me, as I plan to shoot rock climbing with it, among other sporty things. Then again, when you really think about it, how fast are those climbers going, anyway? Not that fast… Unless they’re falling. I have noticed some grumbling in the forums that this camera just won’t do what the D700 as far as fast shooting in low light, which is great for shooting action and photo journalism. But on the other hand, it does a lot that the D700 couldn’t do at all.