Initially not something that I was all that interested, the Nikon D800 has been rumored for a while now – featuring a 36MP sensor! An interesting move from Nikon who have recently been dominating the low light performance arena. As I have been getting along just fine with 12MP, however a 3x jump in resolution could well be an exciting addition to my low light full frame cameras.
A strongly compelling element is the inclusion of full HD video capability. This is something that I am very interested in for the future – being able to shoot high quality, high production value footage. Previously only the domain of the Canon’s, and the flagship Nikon D3s (with a slightly limited 720p HD offering). It certainly does not hurt the decision to consider this camera now having complete video capabilities.
As a working pro however, my main interest is in the still image quality. From what I can tell – the low light capabilities will be at least as good as the current D700/ D3. I’m a complete convert to the full frame low light capabilities of the Nikon’s. I would not seriously consider anything less that what I currently have. That said, I am not sure I really need anything too much better that the D700 in terms of low light sensitivity. Being able to see in the dark only has so much value when the quality of light is what really counts in photography.
Another consideration for me is the D3s replacement pro body which may be announced shortly after the D800. With the Olympics happening mid next year, I suspect that an upgrade to the pro body will be likely, especially as Canon have announced a very sporty 1DX camera with sports and photojournalism in mind.
So if the D800 rumors are true, and the camera is released in 2012 – will I be ordering one (or 2?). At this stage, unless I get a lot of call for well paid high end video work, or need to shoot something that is higher resolution than what is being reproduced on billboards by my clients, then I am thinking that I will wait and see. #1 wait and see what the real world low light quality is like + #2 wait and see what else is announced in the D series bodies (eg. a Nikon D4 for the summer Olympics).