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Nikon D800 to offer 36MP?

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Nikon D800

It’s no great secret that the three-year-old Nikon D700 DSLR is long overdue an upgrade. Indeed, the burning question for many Nikon fans is what sort of upgrade can we expect to see, and when?

Well, if the latest rumours are to be believed then Nikon’s replacement for the full-frame D700 could be here by the end of the year and looks as if it might place the emphasis on resolution rather than low-light performance and speed.

According to website, Nikon Rumours, itself quoting specifications originally released by Japanese tech site, digicame-info, the new D800 will offer a full-frame FX sensor capable of outputting 36MP, and is likely to be in the shops by November with a retail price of around £2,500. Citing unspecified source(s), Nikon Rumours claims a "99% probability" for both the model name and the resolution figures.

In addition, the rumour site also claims the new D800 model will offer a sensitivity range of between ISO 100 – 6400, along with a maximum continuous shooting speed of 4fps. It will also reportedly boast 1920 x 1080 Full HD video at 30fps, a larger LCD monitor with automatic brightness adjustment, and two CF/one SD memory card slots.

Nikon D800
Will the D800 be a 36MP version of the D700?

Interestingly, Nikon Rumours also believes that a ‘special edition’ D800 may be released. This is likely to be exactly the same as the standard edition but with the anti-aliasing filter removed. In theory, this could help it to produce sharper results, although it could also cause greater problems with controlling moiré.

While a 36MP full-frame DSLR will doubtless appeal to studio-based photographers looking for a replacement for the 24.5MP D3X, a model that is itself two-and-a-half years old now, many photographers who shoot primarily on location away from the controlled environment of a studio have expressed disappointment that the rumoured new model appears to prioritise resolution over low-light performance and speed.

Indeed, many seasoned Nikon watchers (and D700 owners looking to upgrade) had been hoping for any smaller bodied new FX model to build on Nikon’s proven expertise in delivering class-leading low-light performance while also delivering a sensible resolution upgrade over the 12.3MP D700. Many of these have expressed their preference for any D700 replacement to be a similarly smaller bodied FX model delivering closer to 18-24MP.

Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see. Are studio-based Nikon fans about to get their dream camera? Are location shooters going to be disappointed? Or could the various rumour sites be completely wide of the mark on this occasion? Of course, just as soon as the rumours give way to fact, we'll be sure to let you know.

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