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Nikon D800E 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)

by Nikon
113 customer reviews
| 26 answered questions

List Price: $3,299.95
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From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 84%
See review summary and sample images
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Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

  • 36.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 51-point AF system (15 cross-type)
  • ISO 100-6400 expandable to 25,600
  • 3.2 inch LCD with 921,000 dots
  • 1080p HD video recording
  • 4 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 100% viewfinder
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12 used from $1,679.00 3 refurbished from $1,999.00

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Nikon D800E 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL)
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  • Nikon EN-EL15 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery for Select DSLR Cameras (Retail Packaging)
Total price: $3,351.89
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Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Nikon D800E Overview
DPReview Gold Award June 2012
The D800 offers a level of fine detail that ranks it among the best performers we've subjected to our studio testing, and the D800E actually improves upon it.
Amadou Diallo Amadou Diallo Barney Britton Barney Britton Richard Butler Richard Butler


The Nikon D800E, at low ISOs and optimum lens apertures, offers slightly higher resolution than its less expensive sibling, the D800. Its raw files respond impressively to a moderately aggressive sharpening routine, while avoiding visible artifacts. As with the D800, it offers the (somewhat clunky) option to output uncompressed video, but is noticeably susceptible to color moiré in video mode.

Reasons to buy

  • Class-leading image resolution at 36.3 MP
  • Outstanding high ISO performance in both JPEG and Raw files
  • High quality JPEG images at default settings
  • Wide dynamic range Raw files
  • Very solid build quality and good ergonomics / handling

Things to consider

  • Relatively slow 4 fps continuous shooting in FX mode (6 fps with optional battery grip in DX mode)
  • Slow AF in live view and video modes
  • Rear LCD prone to glare in bright sunlight, despite new design
  • Fine detail in live view magnifications can be prone to artifacts

Suggested for

Photographers with medium format experience and expectations who place a premium on obtaining the highest resolution currently available in a 35mm form factor camera. Videographers who can make use of uncompressed video.

Not suggested for

Professional sports shooters who demand faster frame rates. Videographers for whom moiré removal in post is not a viable option.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (RAW)
Image quality (JPEG)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Product Description

The D800E is a specialized product designed with one thing in mind, pure definition. The D800E incorporates an optical low pass filter (OLPF) without anti-aliasing properties to facilitate the sharpest images possible and is a great option for RAW shooters who are in a position to control light, distance and their subject to the degree where they can mitigate the risk of moiré and any false color.1-Year Limited Warranty.

From the Manufacturer

The Nikon D800E

The Ultimate Attention to Detail

The D800E is a specialized camera that differs from the D800 in just one way yet requires some extra care to get optimal results. Use the information below to determine if the D800 or D800E is right for you.

D800 and D800E

Which is right for you?

Every Nikon DSLR camera uses an optical low pass filter (OLPF) in front of its sensor to slightly blur the image at a pixel level in order to reduce the occurrence of false colors and moiré that can appear when shooting repetitive and/or fine patterns. For the vast majority of photographers, the D800 provides an ideal balance between sharpness and effectively prevented moiré and false color, ideal for shooting using all file formats. D800E is a specialized camera that removes the "effect" of the OLPF, which results in a slight gain in sharpness and resolution and is recommended for studio and still life professionals but carries an increased possibility that moiré and false color will appear.

D800 D800E
Strikes an ideal balance between sharpness and preventing the occurrence of false color and moiré for consistent performance Slight increase in sharpness and resolution with increased occurrence of false color and moiré
Ideal for:
  • All shooting situations
  • Photographers shooting RAW (NEF), JPG or TIFF images
  • Photographers who do not want to adjust their workflow (via software) to mitigate the occurrence of moiré and false color
Ideal for:
  • Studio, commercial and still life photographers who can control their shooting conditions, lens selection and aperture choice, as well as use of software (Capture NX2) to reduce the occurrence of false color and moiré
  • Medium format photographers whose current digital system does not utilize an optical low pass filter
  • Shooting RAW (NEF)

What else is different?

Other than the very slight image quality differences described above, the D800 and D800E perform exactly the same. Focus speed, exposure metering, shooting speed, movie recording, accessory compatibility, control location and function, and all other aspects are identical.

The 36.3 megapixel FX-format advantage

Reveal every nuance, every detail

The 36.3 megapixel FX-format advantage

Wedding, commercial or landscape, the D800E is the ultimate 36.3 MP FX-format camera for creative genius. Witness tonal range and precision rendered to supreme clarity, depth and texture. Make poster sized prints without sacrificing detail. Explore creative opportunities with ISO 100 to 6,400 (expanded up to 25,600)—shoot from dawn to dusk. Experience Nikon's new Advanced Scene Recognition System featuring a 91,000-pixel RGB light meter capable of rendering unprecedented levels of accuracy to AF, AE, i-TTL flash control, face recognition and auto white balance. Nikon's new EXPEED 3 image processing reduces color phase shifts seen with lesser systems, producing more faithful colors and tones while managing massive amounts of data at breakthrough speed. With the D800E in your hands, achieve what was once unreachable.

A full cinematic experience

Broadcast quality video

A full cinematic experience

Filmmakers, multimedia professionals and event photographers—record Full HD 1080p at 30/25/24p or 720p at 60/50p in AVC-HD format. Produce to your exacting vision when working in manual mode, controlling aperture, ISO, AF and shutter speed. Record uncompressed files via HDMI to an external recording device via HDMI. Widen production perspective using either Nikon FX or DX lens formats at Full HD 1080p and 16:9 aspect ratio. Attach headphones and check audio levels or monitor input via peak audio meters as displayed on the camera's LCD monitor. Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted in up to 20 steps. Remotely start and stop video. Simultaneously Live View footage on the camera's LCD monitor and external monitor during recording are possible.

Fast, precise 51-point wide area coverage

Render every megapixel with precision

Fast, precise 51-point wide area coverage

Precise AF detection is critical to sharply render every pixel of the D800E's massive resolution count. An improved 51- point AF system with 15 Cross Type AF sensors, versatile AF area modes and superb AF detection in even the dimmest lighting deliver immediate, pinpoint focus. Fast shot-to-shot time, full resolution frame rate up to 4 fps, 6 fps in DX crop mode using MB-D12 Multi-Power Battery Pack and ultra fast CF and SD card write times. For more productive workflow, high-speed data transfer using USB 3.0 is realized. For demanding professionals, the D800E responds immediately and precisely.

Versatile shooting, fluid operation

Streamlined ergonomic design puts critical tasks a touch away

Intuitive design makes D800E operation a thing of beauty. A streamlined ergonomic body allows critical photography and video tasks, including Movie Record, Live View, White Balance and Picture Control to be performed at the touch of a button. Confirm image capture and view menu options, histograms, video settings and more using the D800E's super sharp 3.2-inch 921,000-dot LCD screen with 100% coverage. Anti-glare coating and auto brightness control ease of viewing, no matter the environment. Enlarge images up to 46x for on-the-spot focus confirmation. Magnesium alloy construction and environmental sealing make the D800E as comfortable in the field as in the studio.

EXPEED 3 image processing

Nikon's EXPEED 3 technology extends and assures breathtakingly rich image fidelity and reduces noise, even at high ISO's. EXPEED 3 is so powerful that it handles data-intensive tasks such as Full-HD video recording at 30p with ease.

Rich image previewing

The D800E's 3.2-inch super-sharp 921,000-dot LCD monitor automatically adjusts LCD brightness and visibility according to your environment for bright, crisp image playback, menu adjustment and Live View shooting. Enlarge images up to 46x to make on the spot focus confirmation—crucial for high resolution shooting.

Expand dynamic range with built-in HDR

Create a single image revealing an extremely wide dynamic range, but with less noise and rich color gradation than ever before. Combine two exposures at up to 3EV.

Dedicated picture control button

The convenient Picture control button provides six preset options: Vivid, Monochrome, Neutral, Standard, Landscape and Portrait for stills and video while 9 customizable settings provide advanced, personalized color control.

Product Details

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.2 x 4.8 inches ; 2.2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B005OL2ID2
  • Item model number: 25498
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,720 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here [PDF]
  • Date first available at February 6, 2012

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras and lenses on our review pages: Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

240 of 253 people found the following review helpful By E. Bowles on May 22, 2012
Like others, I debated on whether or not to choose the D800E or the D800. I'm primarily a nature photographer, so my inclination was to get the D800E. The one potential problem situation was with moire on bird feathers. I ultimately chose the D800E based on the logic that birds have so many feathers at different angles and proportions that significant moire would be very unlikely.

Well I received my D800E two days before a planned trip to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. After more than 2500 images under all conditions, I have to rate the camera as spectacular - a step beyond excellent. Image quality and detail are stunning. I was using a Nikon 200-400 f/4 VR and a Nikon 600 f/4 VR for most of my images. The level of detail is simply stunning. There is detail that I have never before seen from any camera. I'm seeing resolution at 100% (1/7th the image) that is suitable for a web post or small print. And noise is completely absent at lower ISO levels and minimal even at ISO 6400.

You know going in that the D800E only has a frame rate of 4 fps. That's enough for a quick burst at critical action. With birds I'm shooting at 1/1000 second or faster so I am already trying to capture critical action and a catchlight in just a few frames. At burst rates it does take a little time to write to the card, but I never came close to filling the buffer.

One of the things that has been underappreciated is the new AF system. The new AF system of the D800 is excellent - very quick and accurate. There have been some reports of AF errors with the D800 - especially using the widest sensor and a wide angle lens. I have not seen that issue on my copy of the D800E.

The ergonomics and controls are very intuitive.
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118 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Larry on August 10, 2012
I bought one of the first D800 bodies Nikon sold. And, yes, I had the left-side AF issues that other folks describe in these reviews. I had been using the camera for a couple of months, and was very pleased with the quality of images I was getting. However, I decided to have the left side focus points fixed in case I ever needed to move my focus point over to the left side. I sent my D800 in to Nikon USA Repair in Melville, NY. It came back fixed and worked great.

In the meantime, a D800E arrived that had been on order since February 7th. After a week of shooting both the D800 and D800E, I decided to sell the D800 and buy another D800E. I like to have two identical bodies so I always have a backup camera on treks, and one that has the same controls as my other body. I was planning to keep the D800 as my backup until I saw the images coming out of the D800E and after I did extensive testing with the FoCal software from Reikan Technology.

I only shoot RAW (Nikon NEF format). While I could post process the images from the D800 and D800E using Adobe Creative Suite CS6, and make them look almost identical...they were in fact not identical. As long as I was shooting landscapes, the images from the two cameras would appear to have the same level of details in my first prints. However, when I started to do prints larger than 16 in x 24, I was convinced the D800E was the winner. You could clearly see the finer details.

After I started using the FoCal software to do my AF Fine Tuning, I also found major differences in the sharpness the D800E could produce. While FoCal is not currently designed for use in comparing camera bodies, it does provide that capability if you carefully control the lighting on your target, the distance to target and the camera/lens settings.
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Blake H. Freeman on October 2, 2012
Verified Purchase
I originally ordered a Nikon D800E but after 4 months on a waiting list I settled for a Nikon D800. I shot it for a week or so, but when the Nikon D800E became available I jumped at the opportunity to own the camera I had originally pre-ordered. I shot both camera's with a Nikon 85mm 1.4G and they were both amazingly sharp with detail I've never seen from the format before. I started shooting the Nikon D800E today and it is plainly evident that their is a fidelity that is simply beyond what is available from the Nikon D800. The colors are also better, its hard to explain but they seem to be more true/accurate. Overall, I am highly impressed with both cameras but simply cannot believe the fidelity and quality that I am getting from the D800E. Well worth the wait & cost. I hope this helps a prospective buyer!
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Busy Executive TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 30, 2012
I've been a Nikon customer since my Dad gave me his old Nikon F in 1972 (and yes, I still have it). The D3/D300 generation finally convinced me to give up on film, and recently, with over 100,000 images on the D300 shot meter, I upgraded my older D3 and D300 to a D4 and D800E. Both the D3 and D300 were amazingly fine cameras, so my expectations have been high - and I'm happy to say, the new Nikons have generally lived up to my expectations. In this review, I'll stay focused on the D800E.

In a nutshell, the D800E is an amazing camera that's a steal for the price. When I first bought a D300 several years ago, I was stricken by the ease I was able to get keepers having that certain "pop". The D800E continues in this trend. It feels like a well-tuned machine that disappears in your hands, and when you point it at something, it just gives and gives. You never feel like the camera is holding you back...the only limits are your own technique and artistic sense. To me, this is exactly what a fine camera should be.

As for the D800 vs. D800E decision, in the end I decided that the D800E is (marginally) better in ultimate image quality, with no obvious drawbacks other than the higher price. False color and moire? Yes, they're there...and when I first got my camera, I went out and took dozens of shots of subjects intentionally designed to bring out the worst. None took more than a minute to fix in Capture NX2 or Photoshop. Not an issue for me.

A few other reviewers knock the idea of going from DX to the D800E, but I suppose I disagree. My rationale in going with the D800E as a replacement for my DX camera was all about preserving my investment in lenses. Put a DX lens on the D800E, and you get a 16MP D300S.
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