Today Nikon have announced the new D800 and it looks like the impressive rumours were true, at first glance you cannot fail to notice that the new D800 boasts a new 36 megapixel sensor, an improvement of 50% over any other 35mm DSLR on the market at the moment. In some ways this takes me back to 2009 when Canon launched the 5D MkII with its 21 megapixels that somewhat exceeded the 12 megapixels on offer from Nikon at the time and I bet that Canon users today are going through the same feelings that Nikon users felt back then.
From looking through the full specifications it does look like Nikon are aiming this camera very much at the landscape photography world which makes a refreshing change compared to what has been launched recently in the DSLR world, ISO down to 50 rather than being up to 204800, 4 fps rather 10fps+ offered by other models. So more in line with the Canon 5D MkII in some respects.
To be honest the main attraction of a camera like the D800 are those 36 megapixels which is really going to close the gap against the medium format digital cameras especially the Pentax 645D which costs about £10,000, four times the £2400 RRP of the D800 and no doubt even snap at the heals of the lower end of the Phase One market, I know medium format digital and the increased sensor sizes are always going to have the edge on noise levels and dynamic range but it is going to be an interesting battle.
Obviously my first thought when reading about the 36 megapixel D800 was how big is that in print size, well the camera captures photos at 7,360 x 4,912 pixels which is just over 24 x 16 inches or A2 at 300dpi without any interpolation this is in no doubt impressive although I am sure you will be able to print beyond this size still with wonderful detail. Using a Canon 5D MkII and its 21 megapixels I regularly produce prints that measure 30 x 20 inches which are very sharp and incredibly detailed, I have even pushed the limits up to 40 x 30 inches which have still been very impressive.
It is rumoured that Canon are going be making an announcement on the 28th Feb 2012 which is highly likely to be about the Canon 5D MkIII or Canon 5D X depending upon what you read, the early indications are that the new Canon will have just 22 megapixels but improved processing, increased ISO range and faster frame rate and AF which are not at the top of the list for landscapers but we will doubt find out soon enough and lets face it, depending upon how big you print it’s not always about the number of pixels, he says slightly nervously as a Canon user.