Nikon D4 – How and Why

You might have already seen this video by Corey Rich on the Nikon D4 when the camera was announced. It profiles some of the best athletes such as Alex Honnold (the guy that “free solo” climbed the Half Dome with his bare hands), showing them in action. Here is the video if you have not seen it:

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Nikon D800 is not compatible with Nikkor PC-E lenses?

One of our readers, Alex Abadi, contacted me about Nikon D800 compatibility with the Nikon 24mm PC-E (a.k.a. PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED). Apparently, Nikon indicated on the official lens page that the lens is NOT compatible with the D800, saying “Can not be used with shifting or tilting”. Here is a screenshot of the comment:

Nikon D800 compatibility with Nikon 24mm PC-E

First of all, Nikon needs to do something about their incompetent staff. In this context, “can not” should be spelled as “cannot”. They did not even bother to write a complete sentence. Second, why does Nikon allow staff members to provide answers without checking facts? The very first image from the Nikon D800E Sample Images was shot with the Nikon 45mm f/2.8D PC-E lens. Considering how sharp the image is, I am more than confident that the photographer tilted the lens. Third, tilt and shift lenses work perfectly fine with the Nikon D700 – it would be silly for Nikon to cripple the D800, considering that it will be a hot camera for landscape and macro photographers that heavily rely on PC-E lenses.

So if you are worried about Nikon D800 PC-E compatibility, do not be – it will surely work perfectly fine with all PC-E lenses, just like the Nikon D700 did.

Nikon D800 – D700 Replacement … Or Not?

If you haven’t noticed, the internet photography forums are abuzz regarding the question of whether the Nikon D800 should be considered a “true” successor to the D700. Many of these are civil in nature, but there are plenty of examples where passions seem to have gotten the best of some people. While there has been an enormous amount of positive commentary regarding the D800’s features, functionality, and value by many, there are others vehemently denying that the D800 can be considered an upgrade to their beloved D700. To prove their point, they even cite some Nikon representatives that reportedly claim that the D800 is a different kind of camera for a different market and not meant to replace the D700. Nikon’s announcement to continue producing the D700, with a corresponding price reduction to $2,199, has added more fuel to the arguments of those who believe the D700’s successor has yet to arrive. So who is right?

Nikon D800 vs D700

Well … they both are. How can that be? Simple – the D700 user base is not a homogenous group, but consists of users with many varied different photography interests, priorities and budgets. What they all share in common is the need for an entry level, affordable full frame Nikon camera. As such, they are evaluating the D800’s rich feature set next to that of their D700 in light of what they value most. Depending on your priorities, you could view the D800 as the perfect replacement for your D700. Or you could view it as an interesting model, but certainly not the model you have been waiting for.

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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