It seems that all of the major players in the photography market today are offering cameras that produce impossibly high resolution stills and capture beautiful High Def video. Nikon, one of these titans selling everything from low budget point-and-shoots all the way up to powerful dSLRs that cost many thousands of dollars, has launched the D800. This FX camera body boasts a 35mm format CMOS sensor that delivers an astonishing 36.3 megapixel image and the ability to shoot 1080p video. But it also offers one more welcome item; a useable DX-format crop mode in a reasonably priced (relatively speaking) body. This feature is going to have a pronounced effect, particularly in the amateur and semi-pro camera market.
Like many of Nikon’s other FX bodies, the D800 offers a DX-format crop mode that allows the use of any DX lens that you may be using with your current crop sensor Nikon dSLR. The trade off? It effectively reduces the image field by almost 57%. This is not all that exciting on other models as the resulting resolution is quite low but with the considerable resolution of the D800, the DX crop mode can still deliver a 15.4 megapixel image. This is a respectable resolution that’s useful in all kinds of amateur and professional applications.
What it means for lots of enthusiasts and semi-pros is that they don’t have to completely retool in order to step up to an FX sensor. Instead of having to replace all DX lenses with FX capable gear at the time of purchase, one can simply buy the body, carry on shooting and pick up FX lenses later as budgets permit. This is going to allow many more photogs to migrate into the FX world without blowing a crater in their wallets. They won’t be able to take full advantage of the D800 sensor until they do use an FX lens but they will be in an excellent position to grow their gear as their hobby or business grows.
By any standards, today’s crop sensor cameras are very capable tools. But, they have inherent technical limitations that can create a roadblock for expansion and growth. The D800 helps to smooth out the bumps and paves the way to better digital photography.
For an in-depth review of the D800, [click here]