Enter the D800 - Nikon DSLR

Nikon introduces the D800 one exceptional piece of equipment for both photographers and videographers (available in late March, MSRP $3000.) It is evidence of Nikon continuing the campaign for further integrate video capabilities in their DSLRs. Specifics like full HD video resolution at 1080 and the ability to shoot in 30 and 24p as well as 720 at 60 and 30p combine with dedication to audio for solid video producing. At the core of this 36MP monster is an FX-format CMOS sensor and a EXPEED 3 image processor. Then at the front of the D800 is your NIKKOR FX-lens with the option of zooming in with a DX-lens.

Follow the image from the lens, to the 35mm image sensor and up to the viewfinder that has 100 percent frame coverage and you'll be capturing images with 7360×4912 resolution. With good audio, comes great video – a 20-step mic volume adjustment with a 30-step headphone adjustment for a dedicated headphone jack will help you monitor audio well. When it comes to ISO range, the D800 is outstanding with 100-6400 expandable to 500-25,600 and all with low noise images.

The EXPEED 3 image processor keeps color well, but having a white balance that recognizes artificial and natural light is even better. The D800 allows for lots of manual control including live view aperture adjustment either on its 921,000-dot LCD or on an attached monitor. If you want this monitor to be streaming, the displays can be removed, but either way, the camera can provide an uncompressed HDMI output with 4:2:2. Sticking with the LCD is no problem either since it is 3.2-inches with auto brightness control and reinforced glass.

Recording on the D800 may be best with a direct capture device, but it will format video with the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC codec. Clips can be recorded up to 20 min. at the highest quality setting, but going from sleep to shoot takes .12 seconds. And the shutter can be set to activate audio recording. With a 51-point AF system, operators may get spoiled with such response time, because with any shoot you don't want .12 seconds of prep time, but we know from experience that waiting on a camera is never fun. Now for the matter of retrieving footage you've got options on the D800 to use USB 3.0, CF and SD cards. Start organizing early by recording stills to one card and video to another, and for the highest speed use UDMA-7 or SDXC/UHS-1 cards.

So for about $3,000 the D800 provides approximately 200,000 shutter cycles, all encased in a magnesium alloy that is dust, dirt and moisture resistant. If you are interested in even higher resolution stills you may forgo the low pass filter for $300 and wait another few weeks for the D800E (available mid April, MSRP $3,300.) [image:blog_post:12999]

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Jackson is a fan of Star Wars, sports, foley, and games of all kinds.

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