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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

The Nikon D800 is an old camera, but is it still usable?

Updated: Oct 29, 2023

The Nikon D800 is an old camera, but is it still usable? That's a question that many photographers might ask themselves, especially if they are looking for a budget-friendly option to upgrade their gear. The D800 was released in 2012, and it was a flagship model at the time, boasting a 36.3-megapixel sensor, a 51-point autofocus system, and a 3.2-inch LCD screen. It also had impressive video capabilities, shooting full HD at 30 fps and offering a headphone jack and a microphone input.

But how does it compare to the newer models that have come out since then? Well, the D800 still has some advantages over its successors, such as the D810, the D850, and the Z7. For one thing, it has a lower base ISO of 100, which means it can capture more dynamic range and less noise in bright conditions. It also has a faster maximum shutter speed of 1/8000s, which can help freeze fast-moving subjects or create shallow depth-of-field effects. And it has a built-in flash, which can be useful as a fill light or as a commander for off-camera flashes.

However, the D800 also has some drawbacks that might make it less appealing for some users. For one thing, it is quite heavy and bulky, weighing 900 grams and measuring 146 x 123 x 82 mm. It also has a relatively slow continuous shooting speed of 4 fps, which might not be enough for capturing action or wildlife. It has a lower battery life of 900 shots per charge, which means you might need to carry extra batteries or use a battery grip.

Another thing to consider is the image quality of the D800. While it has a very high-resolution sensor, it also requires very good lenses and technique to make the most of it. The D800 can reveal any flaws in your optics or your shooting skills, such as camera shake, focus errors, or chromatic aberrations. It also produces large file sizes, which can take up more space on your memory cards and your hard drive, and require more processing power to edit.

So, is the D800 still usable? The answer depends on what you need from your camera and what kind of photography you do. If you are looking for a high-resolution camera that can capture stunning details and colours in landscapes, portraits, or studio work, and you don't mind the weight, size, and speed limitations of the D800, then it might be a good choice for you. But if you are looking for a lighter, faster, and more versatile camera that can handle different lighting situations and genres better, then you might want to look at some of the newer models that have improved features and performance.

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