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1. Like the flagship D4, the D800 can stream uncompressed 8-bit, 4:2:2 full HD video to a display or an external digital recording device via its HDMI port. 2. Dual card slots let you save files on CompactFlash (including UDMA-7-compatible) and SD/SDHC/SDXC (including UHS-1) media. 3. The optional MB-MD12 Multi-Power Battery Pack increases shot capacity and ups the frame rate from 4 fps to 6 fps in cropped 15.4-megapixel DX format.

Nikon D800

Estimated Street Price: D800 ($2,999, body only); D800E ($3,299, body only)

Nikon's full-frame D800 offers a great mix of image quality (even at high ISO settings), AF performance, ruggedness and price. With 50% more pixels than Nikon's longtime flagship D3X DSLR, the 36.3-megapixel D800 nonetheless costs less than half as much. The D800 set a new RAW image-quality standard at DxOMark.com with a score of 95 (previous top score: 89, by a $40,000 80-megapixel medium-format back). The D800E model topped that with a 96—the E model negates the low-pass anti-aliasing filter needed by most Bayer-array DSLRs.

Amazing image quality aside, the D800 is a high-performance shooting machine, with the same AF and metering systems as Nikon's new flagship pro D4 model. While the D800 body isn't quite as rugged as the flagship D4, it still features a sturdy, yet lightweight magnesium-alloy chassis with extensive weather- and dust-proofing, plus a precision shutter with a top speed of 1⁄8000 sec. and tested to 200,000 cycles. The bright, full-frame, glass pentaprism optical SLR viewfinder shows 100% of the actual image area, while the big, 3.2-inch LCD monitor provides efficient live-viewing.

The D800 can do 1080p full HD video at 30 fps and 24 fps, and 720p video at 60 fps and 30 fps, in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC (MOV) format. B-frame compression provides clip lengths of up to 29 minutes, 59 seconds. A built-in microphone supplies mono sound, and there's a jack for an external stereo mic. The big full-frame sensor produces cinematic selective-focus control and much better low-light capability than conventional pro camcorders. You can shoot videos with virtually all Nikkor lenses (DX lenses only in DX crop mode, others in FX or DX mode), providing great focal-length versatility.

STANDOUT FEATURE: The most megapixels in a DSLR.


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