Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

How does the Nikon D800 compare to the newly announced Canon 5D Mark III? In this article, I will show the specifications of both cameras and talk about feature differences, in addition to providing my subjective opinion about each camera. Please keep in mind that the information below is purely based on specifications and available information. A detailed comparison with image samples and ISO comparisons is provided in my D800 Review.

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D Mark III

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Nikon D700 price drops $500, now $2,199

As expected, the Nikon D700 price went down $500 to $2,199 (from $2,699), after the Nikon D800 was announced. A lot of people have been sending me emails and leaving comments on our site about the Nikon D700 availability and if it will still be offered in the future. As of now, Nikon is planning to continue to manufacture the Nikon D700, because there is still demand for it. This is great news for many of us that cannot afford the new Nikon D800, want to upgrade from DX to FX, or simply do not feel the need for a high-resolution 36 MP camera.

Nikon D700

The bad news is, the Nikon D700 is currently out of stock pretty much everywhere. Partly this has to do with the flood in Thailand that severely affected Nikon’s ability to manufacture DSLRs and DSLR parts, but it is also related to a high demand on the D700, which has been selling really well since it was announced back in 2008.

If you want to get the Nikon D700 at its new low price of $2,199, you can wait until it is available at stores like B&H and Adorama, or you can use the “Notify when in stock” feature at B&H and you will receive an email as soon as the Nikon D700 is available for purchase. Here are the links for both B&H and Adorama, with the new reflected price of $2,199:

  1. Nikon D700 for $2,199 at B&H Photo Video
  2. Nikon D700 for $2,199 at Adorama

If you do not know much about the Nikon D700, I recommend checking out my Nikon D700 Review.

Lens Stabilization vs In-camera Stabilization

While I am currently working on a couple of Sony camera and lens reviews, I decided to write a quick article on differences between in-camera and lens stabilization. As you may already know, Nikon and Canon are both big on lens stabilization, while other camera manufacturers like Sony and Pentax have been pushing for in-camera stabilization technology (also known as body stabilization). I have had a few people ask about differences between the two and I thought that a quick article explaining the pros and cons of each stabilization technology would be beneficial for our readers.

Lens Stabilization vs Sensor Stabilization

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Nikon D800 High ISO Image Samples

Our Russian friends at Ferra.ru have published the first Nikon D800 High ISO image samples. I am providing them here, because their website might get too busy and go down due to the high number of requests, just like Nikon’s websites did yesterday.

Preliminary analysis: the high ISO samples look really good. As expected, there is some noticeable noise at very high ISOs (see the ISO 25600 sample). But judging from what I am seeing, it looks like the noise levels are really good compared to what Nikon D700 produces. Down-sampled to 12 MP, the images look stunning (see the down-sampled versions below). Please note that the below images are JPEG, straight out of the camera. No noise-reduction has been applied and no image conversion took place.

If you have not yet pre-ordered the Nikon D800, now is the time to do it!

Nikon D800 High ISO Image Sample (1)

Link to download the image | Downsampled to 12 MP | Shutter Speed: 1/250, Aperture: f/1.8, ISO: 800
Photographer: Victor Zaykovskiy

Nikon D800 High ISO Image Sample (2)

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Nikon D800E will ship with Capture NX 2

The Nikon D800E is generating a lot of interest among many landscape and macro photographers and one question that has been popping up a lot, is why the Nikon D800E is $300 more expensive than the Nikon D800? I received a number of comments like “why is Nikon charging extra for something the D800 does not have?” (meaning why Nikon charges extra money for a camera without an anti-aliasing / low-pass filter). In fact, both the Nikon D800 and the D800E have anti-aliasing filters (see the illustration below), it is just that the Nikon D800E has two of the filters reversed that cancel each other out. So some of the extra charge is coming from the required change in the manufacturing process. Additionally, according to DPReview’s “Nikon D800 Preview” they posted today, the Nikon D800E version will ship with the Nikon Capture NX 2 software, which costs around $129.95 retail.

Now about that low-pass filter on the Nikon D800E – both the D800 and the D800E have low-pass filters, but they behave differently. Typical Nikon low-pass filters actually contain of 3 different layers, as shown on the top illustration below:

Nikon D800 vs D800E Low-Pass Filter

As light rays reach the first “horizontal low-pass filter”, they get split in two, horizontally. Next, they go through an infrared absorption filter (illustrated in green color). After that, the light rays go through the “second vertical low-pass filter”, which further splits the light rays vertically. This light ray conversion process essentially causes blurring of the details.

Now with the Nikon D800E model, Nikon took an interesting approach. We know that the full low-pass filter cannot be completely removed, because it would cause the focal plane to move as well; plus, the camera still needs to be able to reflect infrared light rays. Instead of making a single filter with one layer, Nikon decided to still use three layers, but with two layers canceling each other out. As light rays get split into two with a vertical low-pass filter, then through the IR absorption filter, those same light rays get converged back when passing through a reversed vertical low-pass filter. Hence, instead of getting blurred details as in the first illustration, we get the full resolution.

I am not sure if the above method is the best way to deal with the issue, but I suspect that Nikon decided to take this route for cost reasons. It would probably be more expensive to produce a single IR absorption filter layer coated on both sides, than continue to use the same layers, but in a different configuration.

The above information will be added to my Nikon D800 vs D800E article I posted last night.

Free Shipping with Nikon D800/D800E Pre-order at B&H

B&H Photo Video had a bug in their system last night when they opened up Nikon D800 and Nikon D800E pre-orders, where they were charging shipping fees for the placed orders. I have just gotten confirmation that B&H will NOT charge any shipping fees for all pre-orders.

If you have already placed and order and your order shows a shipping charge, please call B&H Sales at the following number: 1-800-606-6969, option 4 (or use the contact form on this page) and ask them to remove the shipping charges from your order – they will honor it.

DO NOT CANCEL AND REPLACE YOUR ORDER! If you do that, you will lose your place in the queue. Remember, B&H will ship the D800/D800E using their order queue. I know B&H and other retailers are selling the Nikon D800 like crazy, so do not lose your spot or you risk being in a waiting list for months.

This should save you additional $10-50 USD :)

Nikon D800 is available for Pre-order!

Adorama and B&H have just posted links to pre-order the Nikon D800! Pre-order yours before they run out, which they will very soon, given the super-attractive price of $2,999 and the high demand for such a camera.

Please note that neither B&H, nor Adorama will charge your credit card until the camera ships.

Nikon D800
  1. B&H Photo Video – Nikon D800 for $2,999
  2. B&H Photo Video – Nikon D800E for $3,299
  3. Adorama – Nikon D800 for $2,999
  4. Adorama – Nikon D800E for $3,299

Nikon D800E High Resolution Image Samples

These are the same Nikon D800E image samples as the ones presented on Nikon.com. I am providing these images here, because most Nikon websites have been either down or too busy serving millions of requests. All EXIF data is attached to the original images, additional data is provided below.

Warning: You might get infected with NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome) once you see the below images in full resolution!

Please keep in mind that the below images are taken in RAW and simply converted to JPEG via Capture NX 2. No other editing has been done, including sharpening!

Nikon D800E Image Sample (1)

Link to download the image | Shutter Speed: 1/80, Aperture: f/8, ISO: 100, Lens: Nikon 45mm f/2.8D PC-E
Photographer: Shinichi Sato

Nikon D800E Image Sample (2)

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Nikon D800 High Resolution Image Samples

These are the same Nikon D800 image samples as the ones presented on Nikon.com. I am providing these images here, because most Nikon websites have been either down or too busy serving millions of requests. All EXIF data is attached to the original images.

Warning: You might get infected with NAS (Nikon Acquisition Syndrome) once you see the below images in full resolution!

Please keep in mind that the below images are taken in RAW and simply converted to JPEG via Capture NX 2. No other editing has been done, including sharpening!

Nikon D800 Image Sample (1)

Link to download the image | Shutter Speed: 1s, Aperture: f/8, ISO: 100, Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G
Photographer: Benjamin Antony Monn

Nikon D800 Image Sample (2)

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Nikon D800 vs D800E

Now that both the Nikon D800 and Nikon D800E are available, many of our readers are wondering which one to get. In this Nikon D800 vs D800E article, I will explain differences between the two cameras and talk about which camera to buy for which situation. Both cameras are identical, except for one major difference, which is why there is a price difference: the Nikon D800 has an anti-aliasing filter, while the Nikon D800E does not. In short, an anti-aliasing filter effectively removes Moiré (see below on what Moiré is), so the Nikon D800 will not have any problems with it, while the Nikon D800E cannot deal with it, so you will have to deal with it in post-processing.

What is Moiré?

Moiré pattern occurs when a scene or an object that is being photographed contains repetitive details (such as lines, dots, etc) that exceed the sensor resolution. As a result, the camera produces a strange-looking wavy pattern as seen below:

Moiré

(Image courtesy of photo.net)

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