Nikon Raises The Resolution Bar With D800

Nikon raises the resolution to 36.3-megapixels in the D800 and D800E

Nikon is raising the bar on resolution and video by fielding two new cameras the D800 and D800E, both boasting an unusually large 36-megapixel image. That would make the D800 the first in the Nikon DSLR line to challenge resolution formerly only available in medium format cameras.

That will mean 7360 x 4912 resolution RAW images that are over 70MB in size, while processed TIFF files will be over 212 MB. The files are so big Nikon decided to add USB 3.0 support to the camera.

At the core the D800 and D800E both start with a full frame, FX-format, 35.9 x 24 mm CMOS 36.3-megapixel sensor backed by Nikon’s Expeed 3 image processor. The imaging system incorporates the latest 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering III and Advanced Scene Recognition System, coupled with an improved 51-point AF system that promises lightning fast response.

The D800 also promises minimal noise under variable lighting conditions, with a native ISO range of 100-6400, expandable to 25,600 and will output 16-bit images. Coupled with the image processing is a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor for its Advanced Scene Recognition system, which can accurately detect human faces, and recognize scene colors and brightness, according to Nikon.

Back of the D800 shows a clean layout and full size LCD screen

While recent camera models have included upgraded video specs to make them competitive with Canon cameras, the D800 is the first that aggressively attacks the video market. The D800 boasts manual exposure and audio controls in video mode and 1080p recording at 30, 25 and 24 fps, coupled with a built-in optical filter with anti-aliasing properties. Nikon also claims users can also send full uncompressed video out via HDMI as the video is being captured. It remains to be seen whether that promise delivers on the set, but could be a huge upgrade for filmmakers.

The D800E model is basically the same camera without the anti-aliasing filter and is aimed at studio and commercial photographers who may be less concerned about moire and more concerned with maximum detail.

The D800 will be priced more competitively with the Canon 5D MK II with the D800 being offered at $2,999.95 and the D800E at $3,299.95.

For a long time Nikon seemed reluctant to battle for the DSLR video market, but with the introduction of the D800, it’s on now as Nikon fields a camera worthy of both studio photographers and professional videographers.

The upgraded video specs in the D800 will certainly appeal to filmmakers

More Info At:

Nikon USA

Compare To:

Nikon D800 vs Canon 5D MK II

Nikon D800 vs Canon EOS 7D

Nikon D800 vs Nikon D4

Nikon D800 vs D700

Canon Launches SX40 HS Super Zoom

Canon SX40 HS
Canon SX40 HS Super Zoom will tempt even pro video shooters - by Canon

The Canon SX40 HS is an interesting blend of features that could be compelling for both the consumer and video professionals looking for a fixed position camera to set up for wide shots.

The showcase feature is a 35x super-zoom with a range that starts at 24mm on the wide end of the scale and runs out to an amazing 840mm on the zoom, all riding on a combination of Ultrasonic and Voice Coil Motors for fast, silent zooming.

Behind the amazing zoom technology is a 12.1 megapixel 1/2.3 BSI-CMOS sensor with a stated ISO range of 100 to 3,200. Backing that up is Canon’s new Digic 5 image processor which promises more advanced noise reduction.

The only minor niggle is the burst mode is limited to 8 full-resolution shots which it clicks off at a respectable 10.3 shots per second.

Canon bumped the video features to support full 1080p HD at 24 fps (see this story for a discussion on video frame rates). For those using their Canon DSLRs primarily for video, this is an interesting feature. It would allow them to consider putting an SX40 on a high boom or jib and using it for covering wide angle shots. Video shooters will also appreciate the fully articulated 2.7 inch LCD on the back and full manual controls.

SX40 HS back
SX40 HS back - By Canon

The only concern for video shooters will be the chip size, which may look a little soft next to footage from a Canon 5D or Canon 7D. But if the video sample below is any indication, that won’t be a problem. I could use that footage for a cut-away without any serious issues.

Overall, at a sub-$450 price point, Canon should have a winner in the SX40.

Major Product Announcement From Canon In November

I’ll admit to being somewhat jaded by corporate media relations but the announcement from Canon about a major product announcement on November 3rd caught my attention.

Canon announcement

If you notice Canon is a little different about product announcements. For them, by the time they announce a product, it’s already on store shelves.

It’s rare that Canon ever makes this kind of production out of a product announcement, so photography and video professionals will be paying attention. The blog sphere is already alive with speculation.

Engadget speculated it could be an announcement of the new mirrorless camera lines hitting the shelves in time for the Christmas holidays, and the timing makes that a definite possibility.

WideOpenCamera thinks it’s an announcement about the rumored Canon 4K movie camera, and announcing that in Hollywood on the red carpet would make perfect sense.

DVFreelancer has a long-shot guess this is the long-awaited and oft-rumored 5D MKIII. Which would work from the holiday timing and Hollywood venue, but that would hardly qualify as “historic”, so I’m going with the 4K.

Whatever the product, Canon certainly has my attention. I’m just hope whatever it is lives up to the hype.  What do you think it is?