Nikon D800 : Chasseur d'Images breaks the news and stops rumors


Nikon has invited a bunch of journalists worldwide to a press event on Febr 7th. A press event widely relayed by leaks on rumors websites. Everybody expects that day to be the release date of the delayed D800 we almost got to announce in September. Nikon rcently came up with new new NDA rules (a bit silly by the way when you read the rumors that have been spreading these past months and that seem to be confirmed….). My colleagues at Chasseur d’Images, Guy-Michel and Ronan are not happy AT ALL. Their magazine is powerful and they decided to break the news and stop the silly rumors once for all. Here are the main specs of the D800 according to the magazine.


Magnesium alloy body


The D800 will get a magnesium alloy body with more sealing rings. It is 100gr lighter than the D700.

Nikon D800 sensor


The new CMOS Full Frame sensor will offer the expected 36-megapixel count to the D800. This Exmor sensor provides high dynamic range and low noise images. Expect grain free images, printed in A2 up to ISO 1600. The D800 will range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 (extended modes ISO 50, 12800 and 25600).



Full HD 1080p in 30p, 25p and 24 p. There will be a PCM recorder. Like the D4, the Nikon D800 will be able to output uncompressed video on its HDMI port. Like the D4 again, it will allow users to control aperture while recording and it will offer contrast detection AF with face detection and tracking.

D800 Viewfinder : 100%

The D800 will have a 100% coverage viewfinder (champagne !!!) when the D700 was barely 94% ! An other good new : the D800 gets the smart scene recognition 91,000 pixel sensor of the D4 (that can detects faces while used with the optical viewfinder) as well as the 51-points AF, sensible till as low as 2EV, equivalent to the moonlight. This AF system has 11 points which can work at f/8 for lenses with extenders. The screen is the same TFT 921,000 dots, 3″.

Other specs of the Nikon D800

– 4 fps in 14-bit RAW / 6 fps with additional hand-grip
– SD / CF memory cards (what a relief, don’t wanted to buy XQD cards and hoped to use my CF and SD)
– USB3
– WT-4 compatible (no WT-5 support, a bit of a pity)
– Expect a second version of the D800 without optical low pass filter for very very very high resolution.

Nikon D800 : price and availability

Chasseur d’Images stops the price rumors as well : the Nikon D800 will be sold under euros 3,000. The high resolution D800 (without the OLPF) will sell for about  euros 200-300 more. According to Chasseur d’Images, the D800 will be available early March 2012, pretty soon then. But if you don’t get it now, you will probably have to wait for a few weeks as the stock may be sold right at launch. I have a friend who is a photography gear dealer. He has 8 D800 pre-ordered even though this camera is not official nor exists ! With these specs and if image quality is as good as a D7000’s sensor in full frame size, they will sell D800 like crazy.


Their post is unclear were they had the information as they say they had none… and that is why they kind of break the news.

Here is the link to Chasseur d’Image D800 forum page. (French)

I like this camera,the Nikon D800 seems to be a Canon EOS 5D Mark III killer if this one does not get a tougher body than the 5D Mark II, inspired by the EOS 7D… With a reinforced body, and a higher price tag than the D7000 when it was launched, the D800 may be the high resolution baby D4x pro DSLER or a cheaper more modern D3x if some specs like fps rate are not high priority criterias for you.

But with a 36-megapixelFull Frame sensor , you’d better have good glass to feed the D800 properly. Good job Nikon : you launch an attractive camera and photographers will have to get the best Nikkor lenses to get really good results and take advantages of the image quality (A2 prints at least) this DSLR can offer.

Chasseur d’Images, Nikon’s new NDA rules and why such rules

Chasseur d’Images is a huge photography magazine in France. Their opinion, camera reviews and ratings are paramount to some of their readers which blindly rely on what’s printed in their pages. Photography manufacturers know that. Their offices are a bit far away West from Paris. They aren’t used getting a presentation of such an important camera as the D800 only the day before the camera is officially unveiled. They need more time. Tired of the new rules, they break the news today and give their readers what they know about the D800, while being aware of the big-bang that is going to induce.

But what are these new NDA rules ? Why such rules ?
Nikon did not appreciate the major leak on the D4 of last month. That leak occured in France as an other paper photography magazine made a terrible scheddule mistake and the January issue went out a bit too early. (The same issue as the Fuji X-Pro1 announcement and the Canon Pro-1 vs Epson Stylus Photo R3000 A3+ printers review) This mistake was not made on purpose but here we are… Japanese HQ did not like it at all and came up with new rules to avoid such leaks : journalists will have the information the day before the launch date. Nothing before. That’s it. This rule should be applied in entire Europe soon. But they started with France…
Nobody likes that. Journalists firts, as they don’t have enough time to prepare their articles and may have to delay their monthly magazine release date. Their readers, while they don’t know what happens backstage, don’t get the same level of quality on the articles they read, especially on the web. I know that Nikon executives, at least in Europe, are not very confortable with that that and their press agency ends up with a lot of extra paper work and a bunch of angry journalist. Nikon is one of the brand that pays a lot of attention to their customers and photographers opinion. They have tight relations with magazines and medias. Every body likes them. Their press staff is very stable and have developed a lot of friendships with journalists.  This is Chasseur d’Image thing is going to put the fRench staff in an awkward situation with their European boss, Takumi Tsushida, the former Nikon France manager, but also with their Nippon offices. In the meantime, this incident may help Nikon France / Europe show their Japanese top management that these new NDA rules are both negative and not efficient.

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