The D800E promises even sharper images than the Nikon D800, but with a couple of compromises. Do the benefits outweigh the negatives?

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Nikon D800E

Overall score:91%
Image Quality:95%


  • Just like the D800, but with even more detail at wider apertures


  • Costs more than the D800, while moiré could be an issue on some images


Nikon D800E Review


Price as reviewed:


D800 or D800E

Nikon D800E review – D800 or D800E?

As our test shots have shown, there’s no question that the D800E is capable of delivering the marginally sharper results out of the two cameras thanks to the modified optical low-pass filter. That’s not to say everyone should opt for the D800E over the standard D800 however, as it really does depend on how and what you shot to determine whether you’ll see a benefit shooting with the D800E.

A tripod is recommended for a start when shooting with the D800E to ensure no hint of camera shake counteracts any advantage gained, which just won’t be practical all the time for the way some people like to take pictures.

This won’t be an issue for landscape photographers, and at first glance, the D800E may appear to be the perfect landscape photographers camera as the risk of moiré in the natural world is minimal, while for most shots the camera will be firmly planted on a tripod. The fact that you’re likely to be shooting at f/11 or f/16 to achieve a large depth-of-field in your shot means that the D800E won’t provide any noticeably sharper shots at these apertures over the D800 as our test shots have shown. For photographers who tend to shoot at wider apertures though, such as portrait/lifestyle photographers for example, then they’ll see the benefit of shooting with the D800E over the standard D800.

There’s no doubt the D800E is a slightly specialist offering, but if you think you’ll be able to take full advantage of the potential of the D800E, then the extra investment is worth it. This is why it’s likely to appeal to existing medium format owners who already know and understand the pitfalls of moiré and how to get the best from a sensor without the effect of an optical low-pass filter. For the majority though, the D800 is still the one to go for.


White Balance:White Balance Auto (2 types), incandescent, fluorescent (7 types), direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual (up to 4 values can be stored)
ISO:100-6400, expandable to 50-25,600
Video:1080 (30, 25, 24p) HD video (MOV with H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding)
Built-in Flash:Yes
Lens Mount:Nikon F
Memory Card:CompactFlash & SD (HC/XC)
Exposure Comp:/+5 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
Cable Release:Yes
PC Socket:Yes
Compression:Fine, Normal & Basic
Viewfinder Type:Optical Viewfinder, 0.7x magnification
Output Size:7360 x 4912px
LCD:3.2in wide, 921k-dot (VGA) TFT LCD
Field of View:100%
AF Points:51 selectable points
Colour Temp Control:2500-10,000K
White Balance Bracket:Yes, 2 to 9 frames in steps of 1, 2 or 3
Sensor:36.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor
Max Flash Sync:1/250th
Focal Length Mag:1x
Dust Reduction:Yes
DoF Prview:Yes
Metering System:RGB sensor with approx. 91,000 pixels
Built-in Image Stabilisation:No, lens based
Movie Mode:Yes
Exposure Modes:P, S, A, M
Live Mode:Yes
Connectivity:SuperSpeed USB, HDMI, Stereo mini-pin jack (in), Stereo mini-pin jack (out), 10-pin remote terminal
File Format:12 or 14 bit Raw (NEF), JPEG, Raw + JPEG
Power:Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL15 battery
Dimensions:146 x 123 x 81.5mm
Shutter Speeds:30-1/8000th second, plus Bulb
Drive Mode:Single, Continuous low-speed (1-4fps), Continuous high-speed (4fps), Q (quiet shutter-release), Self Timer (2, 5, 10 or 20sec), MUP (mirror up)
Focusing Modes:Single-point AF, 9, 21 or 51-point dynamic-area AF, 3D-tracking, auto-area AF
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
  1. 1. Nikon D800E review
  2. 2. What is Moiré?
  3. 3. Image Quality
  4. 4. D800 or D800E
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