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Thanks Thom... I have been waiting for this!! 
 
Thank you T. Interesting review. From what I gather, I rather buy a used D700 than getting a D800. I may wait what a D600 has to offer. 
 
Thom,
Great job on the review. Reading it makes one appreciate why it was so long in the making (and suspicious about how other reviewers produce detailed reviews after a week or less of usage).
A question on your resolution numbers: from simple math on the capture size I'm getting a 70%+ increase on the 12mp bodies and 20%+ on the D3x, and you're saying even the D800 has a weaker-than-usual AA filter. How did you get the 40%/15% numbers in your review? Are the D800 models that limited by lenses?
 
Looks like I'll be sticking with my D7000 for a while longer. Thanks Thom!
Axel K.
 
Thank you +Thom Hogan for the D800 review. It convinces me that I don't need this Pixelmonster for my style of shooting as an update to my D300.

Your cheese-aspects are interesting. It took me only a couple of days to got used to the new haptic and handling when I got a new Nikon. Analogue and digital. 
Axel K.
 
Hi +Steven Brown, you seem to think similar as me, except it is the D300 I will keep.
 
Okay.. Done with the review. I could not agree with you more. I love my D800 but I hate Limburger cheese... and my Rec. button is reeking of it! Thank god it does nothing if not in the video mode. Same goes for the Liveview real time aperture view. Off to read the book.. Looks like the grass won't get cut this weekend. 
 
+Frank Schneider Not necessarily. We are entering into a time where just buying the top end camera may not be the right thing for every person, however. I'm sure all the Canon 5DIII owners will agree 36mp isn't for everyone ;~)
 
+Lior Kravitz Helps if I plug in the right numbers into the formula ;~). Been a long, hot week (and lightning is beating around me as I type, literally, as in simultaneous flash/bang). I've fixed the relevant part of the review. Doesn't really change my point, however.
 
+Steven Brown +Axel Kuhlmann I need to add a few things to the review, I think. But your comments are relevant to one point: we're in the middle of a generation change on Nikon DSLRs.

New Generation: D3200, D800, D4
Old Generation: D5100, D7000
Really Old Generation: D300s

Now, the D7000 was about the last model of the previous generation, so it's still fairly current in many respects. Some of the change it features (different AF control, for one), presage the new generation, which was a little unusual for Nikon (though the D4 and D800 are later than they originally intended).

We should be squarely in this new generation some time about Feb 2013. At that point you'll have the best understanding of what Nikon is doing with its lineup and where you want to be.

It very well could be that a D400 and D600 are Goldilocks cameras. Or, Nikon might have something else up their sleeves.
 
Thanks for the review. A considered and well constructed review is exactly what I expect from +Thom Hogan.
You have confirmed my thoughts that the D600 or a nice low mileage D700 will probably be my D300 replacement.
 
Great review, as always!  That said, I do fall into a category of users (former D7000 user, non-professional) you probably wouldn't have recommend the D800 for - though I've really been liking the D800.  Is cost the sole reason you'd recommend against it more broadly?

Re: cropping - perhaps it's not a good reason to buy the camera, but I do find (as a definite non-pro) that having 1.5x reach @ slightly better than D7000 quality just by cropping is nice - especially as it's often only practical for me to take a one-lens setup (often the 24-70/2.8) on outings with the kids.

Re: pixels - you often make reference to print, but how do you see the trend towards retina-style displays affecting the way images are consumed?  The 15" MBP already exceeds the pixel count of my 30" display from 2007; at the same ppi, that 30" display would have 20.7M pixels - 60M if you count the way camera companies do.  As a non-pro shooting for a later-in-life version of myself (and my family), it's nice having a bit of headroom for display progress.
 
Thanks for the excellent review Thom. As a former F100 shooter (until 5 years ago) & a current D7000 owner (2 years), I am still on the fence whether I should get a D800. My film body lens collection is definitely more suited for a FX format body, but the extra reach at the telephoto end on a DX body is desirable for wildlife. So my solution is to have an FX & DX body in my bag. However I dont need 36 MP (dont want to spend more money upgrading my computer & RAM right now). Your review definitely will help me make an informed decision. Maybe I will wait for the D600. The only thing about the D600 that would put me off is if it somes without a built in motor. Most of my lenses are AF-D (some Tamron) and around 10-13 years old, so may have issues on a D600. However after reading your review, I have decided to wait until Nikon announces the D600. That will also give me enough time to save up the dough!
 
What - no mention of the improved auto-ISO or face detection? These are two of the nicer features of the D800 surely. I seem to be atypical in thinking the D800 is a big friendly easy camera. Sure you need to know what you're doing technically (true of any prosumer DSLR today), but then the dynamic range, noise characteristics and (over?) abundance of pixels makes getting good results relatively straightforward ... I found the D300 a much less forgiving camera!
Axel K.
 
+Alex Brown Most of your arguments pro D800 let me think of a D3200 as a D200 replacement...
 
+Axel Kuhlmann The D3200 is capable of better IQ than the D200, but for a D200 user moving to the D3200's ergonomics (no: separate AF-ON, mode button, bracketing to finger), lighter weight, smaller size, lesser sealing etc. might be troublesome. My point is that the D800 is very versatile (without the sort of compromise the D3200 brings) ... and of course FX to boot. But then I thought the D700 was a fun, versatile camera too.
Axel K.
 
+Alex Brown your comment on ergonomics about the D3200 is right. I just thought about IQ. I still don't know how fast the AF is. I like the handling of D200/D300. But when using a D60 some times I learned that the Display-Interface also works very fine. My argument pro D3200 is that I don't know what else Nikon plans in the next two years. The D4 is too expensive, I don't realy need the 36MP of the D800. I don't want to buy an old camera. (against D700/300s) So the D3200 could be a gap-filler when I need a new camera till Nikon has updated the camera-lineup.
 
Thom: I purchased your book last night and it is AWESOME. Thank you for such a wonderful piece.
 
+Mark Scott I'm not sure I'd agree that the D800 is better in image quality at 1.5x crop than a D7000 native. It's different, not necessarily better. There's no more than a half stop advantage in dynamic range to the D800 at base ISO, for which you lose a few pixels. The channel response of the two cameras is different, so some of any difference you see might be spectrum specific. Further, we have differences in AA approach. I've also found a lot of people are comparing D800 DX crop with FX lenses to D7000 with DX lenses. When I do the apples-to-apples comparison, I don't see much in the way of meaningful differences.
 
On D800 vs. D7000, IQ differences certainly aren't big, but even at the same quality the added freedom is nice.  I do feel I can go about 1/2 stop higher ISO wise, which is more important to me (lots of indoor stuff with the kids, plus I live near Seattle where we just saw the sun for the first time this year a few days ago :) ).  I was already shooting mostly FX lenses (except the 10-24, which I swapped for a 16-35 at minimal cost).

Of course, I'm not nearly as aware or analytical of the differences as you are.  Better metering or better AF - things a pro might be able to compensate for but that I can't - might make the D800 seem better at DX crop even though it was my fault.  With video being a decent bit nicer too, it really felt like the only negative part of upgrading was the cost!
 
Looks like a great comprehensive book to use with my D800E.  I have previous book for the D3 but I am happy I can put this pdf on my iPhone (iBooks) to have it with me! +Thom Hogan 
 
+Thom Hogan  I own a D4 and want to learn more about the autofocus system.  Would it benefit me to get the D800 book since it uses the same system, and if so could there be a substantial discount for the D4 book when it comes out, since I have already purchased a large percentage of the content?
 
Thom, on page 270, first bullet, in reference to spot metering ... I understand the overall section, but I don't understand the part "Dynamic area autofocus when AFS (Single Servo autofocus) is selected.". Correct me, but Dynamic area autofocus is not available when AFS (Single Servo autofocus) is selected... Correct?? Just want to insure I didn't miss something...

Great book BTW.. Love the new format. 
 
+Dmitry Belenko I didn't say the metering was terrible, only that we've slipped back into the focus sensor weighting. I find I'm dialing in more change on the D800 than I did on my D3x because of that.
 
+Gene Inman It's a typo that didn't get caught. Strike the reference to dynamic area.
 
LIKE ALWAYS,WELL DONE !  I was wonder which lens you found up to the mark on the D800/D800E. I have read the 85 1.4g isn't that good but the 85 1.8g is. 
 
"Consumer DX DSLR owner that's upgrading (D70..). No."
Well thanks a lot because I just bought my D70..D7000 upgrade.. yesterday! ;-) D800 would have been only for the cropping but I was concerned about the price and the weight.. Anyway, thanks for some of the most interesting writing of the web (photography wise) and the G+ comments are quite interesting as well!
 
+Axel Kuhlmann sounds to me like you're at the awkward DX/FX decision point ... where I was for a while. I don't know about Nikon's commitment to high-end DX cameras, let alone doing what I wish they'd done and re-invent high-end DX as something very compact, tough, light (carbon-fibre based?) and nimble. Everybody will have their own way out of the DX/FX quagmire, but my sense is Nikon want to shift people with the money to spend onto FX ... particularly if this means they have to re-buy a set of Nikkors to match their new body!
 
+Daniel Johnstone I don't own the 85mm f/1.4G. The 85mm f/1.8G is good, as I've noted before. Indeed, the trio of f/1.8G primes (28, 50, 85) is quite decent.
 
+Alex Brown +Axel Kuhlmann Yep, the DX/FX choice (or the DX/mirrorless choice, or any other format decision) is definitely a tough one. Each format has its pluses and minuses. Right now, one FX benefit is that the future is reasonably well known and the past is littered with very good used bodies. We're picking nits when we talk about a D3, D3s, D3x, D700, or D800. I suspect the upcoming D600 will join that very strong crowd. Of course, cost, size, and potential lens needs are drawbacks.

DX is somewhat unknown at the moment, as only the D3200 has been updated recently. However, on initial inspection the Nikon 24mp sensor in the D3200 augers well for future DX offerings, the 18-300mm is actually step up (in size/weight, too) from the 18-200mm, the 35mm f/1.8G is a good performer that needs (hints at?) some siblings. But it's hard to read the tea leaves in DX. Personally, I haven't heard about any real change in attitude on Nikon's part about DX, I think we're just seeing the way the update schedule plays out, especially after all the disruption due to the quake and floods.

Those that can wait, should wait until Feb 2013. By the time CP+ occurs next year we should have a much stronger idea about what's happening in both DX and FX.
 
Even though I don't have the money for a D800, it was still a interesting and informative read. Thanks.

And who knows, maybe I get that super paid job or win in the lottery ;)
 
+Thom Hogan i had the 85/1.8D for a while and hated the bokeh for middle distance (30ft or so) wide open shooting. right now, i have only the 85/1.4D which is much better bokeh overall, even at f1.8 although i rarely stop it down that much. i tried and decided not to buy the 85/1.4G because it felt slower to focus but because it seems that it is much sharper than the D when stopped down, it would be able to replace my Zeiss 85/1.4 when i actually want to shoot that FL stopped down.

i'm slowly working through my lens collection with my D800E evaluating each under various shooting conditions and have concluded that the really good lenses have a much smaller DOF in the sense that i can see resolution falloff fairly rapidly on either side of the focus distance. this is for setting hyperfocal distance in landscape work. the lesser lenses have low enough resolving power that they have a larger distance range of about equal sharpness on either side of the focus distance. i've also seen that only a handful are capable of resolving well enough to to give really fine detail differences over the D3X even at their optimum apertures. i have a couple more lenses to test that should have very high resolution where the D800E should show more detail over the D3X but a lot of lenses i use less often probably will show only tiny differences.
 
+Thom Hogan My impression of the D800 was that it had significantly better high ISO performance than the DX cameras, and that would have been my reason to buy it instead of DX.  I think you somewhat neglect that important factor in your review.

Fortunately, I had a successful year and decided to treat myself to a D4, which I think is a far better camera for me thanks to its truly extraordinary high ISO performance, fast shooting speed, and the more disk space friendly image size.

I had some reluctance to get the D4 instead of the D800 because I thought it would be fun to be a Super Cropper as you described, especially since I could save a ton of money on incredibly expensive lenses.

So I did some experimentation on the D4 with its slightly improved resolution and the extremely sharp 24-70 f/2.8.  I cropped out little pieces of my D4 images, which were still at roughly web resolution, and found they were never, ever in focus.  It turns out the autofocus is always focusing on something other than the tiny true subject, and if you try manual focus it's very tough to set correctly.

So it looks to me that you are right - I'm delighted with the overall performance of my D4 but would have been very disappointed with a D800.

As for the transition between DX and FX, the main thing I notice is that focus is a lot more critical, but the viewfinder is much brighter making it easier to focus.  The high ISO performance is my main reason for switching, and that has been just amazing.  I love the quality of the shots I'm getting in almost no light at all.  I have learned to stop down more than I'm used to, but the available high ISOs more than make up for this.

I'd still like to get your D800 book before the D4 book comes out and then "trade it in" for a D4 book.  You might want to reconsider the policy of wanting people to get the book for their camera, since the book costs $0 to provide incrementally and it might make more of your customers happy since your information would be most useful during the early days of camera ownership.  It's quite possible that by the time your D4 book is published it won't be nearly as useful for my learning of the camera.

Of course if you have a lot of customers who buy both cameras and both books, I can understand your reluctance to give a package deal. Or perhaps the D800 and D4 are less similar than I've thought?  I thought the internal programming and electronics were nearly identical.

D
 
I think the review is definitely spot on, in the areas where I have experience with my D800e. (Haven't done any video.) The best way I've found to understand the pixel count differences, and the implications for technique (and lenses, but only secondarily - so far, two "bad lenses" have turned out to be bad technique, upon further review) is during my usual Lightroom cycle for image review and rating. On my 30 inch monitor, I could accurately assess critical focus on images from D700 and D300, and my 16mp m4/3 bodies. Not true with the D800e. I felt pretty good with my results the first week until I did some 100% image review.  Yikes.

No question that 2x the focal length for a given minimum shutter speed is the right answer. And that appears to be true even with VR lenses. I'm not so sure the VR as exists today does much at 36mp. Some shooting yesterday at the margin with VR - seeking out shots between 1x and 2x the focal length - makes me think that the VR might be causing some sharpness issues. Not sure yet... But I'm seeing a lot of images with micro-blur of a type I haven't seen before, at 1x the focal length... and you'd think that if 2x was the right limit that VR would make 1x happen.

I also have had unhappy thoughts about the matrix metering. I stopped thinking much about metering with the D700 - I used to carry and use an incident meter with my D2x and before because I thought matrix missed way too much in tricky light. I happen to like backlight, rim-lit detail, and until the D700, I didn't trust the in-camera metering in a lot of situations. Looking at captures from the last three weeks, I feel like the D800e is somewhere between the D80 and D2x. I just stuck my incident meter in my shoot kit bag.

I also think I'm having focus issues, but won't sort out whether they're left focus zone problems or focus tuning problems. I only had one lens, out of a number of lenses, that needed dialing in with my D700 bodies. At f4 and wider, seem to be missing focus precision, but at least in real world situations, it doesn't seem to be consistent front or back focus. Charts on walls are not my favorite weekend photographic subjects.

Finally - the AF controls... I didn't think that it was possible to futz up having intuitive AF controls. Ta daaaa.  It is. I'm hoping that it's just a learning curve issue that's taking the camera away from my eye while I cycle through settings. I thought that it wasn't possible to match the goofiness of the Panasonic G3 putting AF controls on a camera menu, but I suppose if you try, you can achieve anything...
 
+David Dennis the size of the focus sensor matters and it's too large for some types of shooting. nonetheless, i don't often have the kinds of problems you are describing on my D3X even shooting with the 85/1.4 wide open. i'm looking always for the nearer eye's iris to be in sharp focus and that happens much more often than not.
 
I have this problem shooting butterflies, which of course are very small, and aiming the autofocus point exactly at the eyes is difficult.  When I succeed, the focus is correct.  I was hoping the automatic subject finding system would be able to locate the butterfly's "face" successfully but so far I haven't been able to make it work.  It's quite likely that a butterfly face is not sufficiently similar in appearance to a human face to trigger the systems, especially since the face is a completely different color and I think that's what it's keying off.  Here are some of my latest butterfly pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3653812417472.2146666.1039394005&type=3
 
Great review +Thom Hogan , as always. Glad you confirmed what I had always thought - the D800E is not really for landscapers as they almost always shoot at least at f8. Unless you use almost exclusively PC-E lenses the D800 will do the same as the D800E. Also, surprised  you have not mentioned how the D800 does in long exposures (not that well...). Although I assume your conclusion would be close to what you said in the D7000 review.  
 
Thanks for the review. I'm loving my D800. I had a D200. I don't mind the changes you mentioned in handling, with the exception of the AF button, which I find hard to find without looking.
 
+David Dennis from what i can see, you are relatively far away from the butterflies. it makes AF tougher to achieve.
 
+Radek Vik there's nothing wrong with shooting landscapes at f8. also, with very careful sharpening and the best lenses, you can push that a bit.
 
+Herb Chong that's not what meant. I meant that at f8 the D800 and the D800E are pretty much equal due to the diffractions eliminating the benefits of the D800E.
 
+Radek Vik i don't think they are pretty much equal yet, with the best lenses. at f11 and i would say certainly. f8 is borderline. for most of the merely good lenses, they are pretty much equal always.
Axel K.
 
+Thom Hogan +Alex Brown you hit two points: we don't know what Nikon plans with FX. Forcing enthusiast shooters to buy FX by offering cheaper FX-bodies and a wieder array of lenses makes sense for Nikon. First, we sold our analogue lens-lineup to get high end (DX-)lenses. Now we have to buy the latest FX-lenses again for the new affordable FX-bodies. I think this is all about marketing.

For my personal needs, DX is just fine. I would like to get FX for better high-ISO. I am disappointed with the D4/D800 AF because the AF-spots are very centered. I am used otherwise by me D300.
I hope my D300 with 135000 photos lives long enough till it is clear what Nikon plans.
 
+Ed Nazarko very interesting comment about VR!
+Thom Hogan I can see how the sampling frequency and the motor resolution can work together to not be good enough for the D800- have you seen similar results? Is there a difference in this respect between newer and older lenses/VR generations?
 
+Radek Vik, Try closing the eye piece during long exposures. I thought my D800E was terrible until I closed the eye piece shutter. Now I find it is quite good. Better than my D4 for long exposures.
+Keith Wilson, I think she deserves the desktop so don't keep her waiting too long! 
 
I was referring to light leakage, which could cause pixels to generate when they shouldn't. (Like an image with the lens cap on.) You could refer to them as "hot" since they would ruin the image. Closing the eye piece removes those. (Try two 30 second lens cap on exposures, one with the view finder open and one closed. Make sure the view finder is facing a strong light source. You'll see what I mean!)

Anything that generates with the view finder closed and the lens cap on is really a hot pixel. I've found 30 second exposures at ISO 100 to have almost none. The histogram is a flat line. I don't see much to complain about there. Keep the view finder closed during long exposures and you should be fine for most things.
 
+Thom Hogan you know, Thom, before the D800 started shipping, i couldn't believe the number of people asking if they will have to improve their technique when shooting with it, and even more, the number of confident assertions that upgrading from a D7000 with higher pixel density meant that no change had to be made. my D3X is far more demanding than the D7000 to shoot with unless i am cropping to or using DX lenses in DX mode, which defeats the point of getting a D3X in the first place.

the short time i have been shooting with my D800E only emphasizes to me that it is the most demanding camera Nikon has ever made on lenses and technique to get everything out of that sensor. your review recommendations basically said the obvious to me - someone getting it and not planning on upgrading their technique significantly is mostly wasting their money. even going from the D3X where i had things well under control for large and very large prints, the D800E is forcing me to  be even more careful of technique.
 
+Axel Kuhlmann You can always replace the shutter, you know.  I think it's about $200.  I just replaced my 70k actuation D300 with a D4.  It gets me much better pictures than the D300 but I have to work harder to get them.  On balance I'm very happy and certainly would not go back to the D300.
 
+Herb Chong While the pixel density is very (very) close, the D800 still packs more pixels per frame than the D7000 (as does the D3x). When you're shooting identical framing with the same equivalent focal length, you will most definitely have an easier time with the D7000. This also plays with lens technology/selection- good telephoto performance is harder to come by if you don't have the 1.5x crop factor (especially above 300mm). And for wide-angle use, where most people would be looking for depth of field, you don't have to stop down as much with the DX camera (shorter physical focal length) and diffraction is less of an issue.

Physics is a b!^%h, after all.
 
+Lior Kravitz +Herb Chong Hmm. How to say this?

Let's assume for a moment that you have a D700 and a D800 and that you only print 11x14" prints. What happens? Well, with the same camera handling and lens you get basically the same results, with one twist. The D800 will show a bit better edge acuity and micro contrast because it's oversampling compared to the D700, but we don't really have much tangible difference here. Neither camera is "more demanding."

Now let's assume that we have a D7000 and a D4 and that we only print 11x14" prints and that we shoot with the same perspective and framing (e.g. 200mm on DX, 300mm on FX, taken in the same place). What's changed? Well, we're magnifying the capture more for the D7000. Same number of pixels used in the print by both, but we're pushing them 1.5x bigger from the DX camera. Technically, the D7000 is the slightly more demanding camera here.

Now let's sub a D800 for the D4. We may have a lot more pixel density, but is anything really different between the D800 and D4? Yes, one thing: more sampling. Again the D800 print should have more micro contrast, edge acuity than the D4. The D7000 is still pushing its pixels up 1.5x more than the FX camera. So we get the same result as before.

Assuming your camera handling is the same for all three cameras, the D800 is not more demanding and should show slightly better results.

Where people get into problems is when they pixel peep, or they buy more pixels to print bigger.
 
+Thom Hogan as i said in a private msg once, i print > 100% frequently with my D3X and intend to continue with my D800E. if i am downsampling nearly always, as you cite for 11x14 prints, it's certainly true, but if i am making 40x60 prints, it's not so, which you also cite. as my gallery owner friends tell me, the proper viewing distance is wherever the viewer chooses to stand and whatever there might be to admire from standing well back to see the entire print, it or a painting with more detail will invite up close examination by everyone. attention to detail counts when selling high priced prints because the content is basically a given. i may not sell many at 40x60 but it is their quality and content that help move more smaller prints of the same image.
 
Interesting review Thom. So far I have been shooting people 99% of the time, but I did do some outdoor landscape shots the other evening and had to adjust the exposure compensation by quite a bit to dial it in. Argh, having gone from D80 -> D300 -> D800 I feel like I just took a step backwards with the matrix meter on the D800. However, it does work great for people...can't have my cake and eat it too, I suppose.

The real concern for me is the AF issues. I had some soft images in a couple practice sessions with the D800 and figured it was due to my handling. After a few more misses I started noticing a pattern, and last night I tested it and it seems like my D800 is a victim of the left AF point focus issue. What concerns me is Nikon hasn't admitted there is a problem. Perhaps they are concerned about every user sending in their camera, whether it has the problem or not. Still, it'd be nice to know if Nikon is a) aware of the issue and b) definitely has a fix. My biggest worry is spending the cash to ship my D800 to Nikon, only to get it back and not have it fixed. The lack of communication from Nikon is a real disappointment, it reeks of arrogance. In the meantime I will do further testing so that I can be aware of the limitations of some of my AF sensors and figure out how to work around them.
 
I greatly value all your reviews, and was really looking forward to this one.  I think the D800/D800E is a flat out winner for 'all-around' shooters.  Yes, Big Croppers might be better off with a D7000 -- but only if they are shooting in great lighting; the D800 has a stop and a half ISO advantage.  This could be a huge difference when you are on safari and trying to zoom in for a head shot of a lion eating a zebra at sunrise (I've never been on safari).  From your review, I believe the following to be a correct statement:  A 12MP crop from a D800/E with a 70-200 VRII produces better IQ pixels than a D3 with a 120-345mm version of the same quality glass (which doesn't exist).

I think there are a few "in situation X, another Nikon body could meet your needs", but for those of us that enjoy shooting a wide-array of lighting, situations, subjects... the versatility of the D800 gives you everything (high ISO, DR, color depth) in a single body.

I've been a 'single-digit' guy for awhile now, and was ready for the D4 upgrade; I was waiting a few months for it to become more available.. and then Nikon hits me with a completely unexpected D800/E.  IF, IF the D4 were $4,000 I would probably trade the ISO/frame rate for "Big Cropping" (I prefer the phrase, "extra reach when you need it") and color depth, but not at $6,000.  I haven't had a pop-up flash in a long time, but I think its in my future :-).

I do have one question that I can't seem to find an answer to (not even sure I am reading the manual correctly), does the MB-D12 with an EN-EL18 battery get you 6fps of 14-bit, 36MP images on the D800?
 
Jess,

The fps at 36MP is data limited...that's a ton of data to move even at /only/ 4 fps. Without the grip you get 4 fps for FX and 5:4 formats and 5 fps for DX and 1.2x crop formats. With the grip (and AA or EN-EL18 battery) you get the added benefit of 6 fps on DX mode only.
 
Not the answer I wanted... but thanks :- )
 
+Thom Hogan , I just recived a D800 survey from Nikon. I don't remember getting one on past cameras... But I could be wrong. Normally just ignore surveys, but with all the hoopla I might just be more aware of it this time?
 
Hi +Thom Hogan, I bought your guide to D800/E yesterday. Interesting reading so far. But you stated that its suited for reading on Kindle, and I'm afraid I don't agree particularly to that. The pdf-format isn't very Kindle-friendly. Any possibility for an epub-version?

I really appreciate your experience and no-nonsense approach very much.
 
+Christian Aastorp ePub would require taking virtually all of the formatting out. The PDF is formatted to 5.5x8.5 as the primary output, which isn't much larger than most of the Kindle screens.
 
Thanks, I'll check some more, but so far I've found that I need to read it with my Kindle on its side. Not the best position. I didn't know that the choice of epub would force that.
 
+Christian Aastorp Please contact me by email with exact details. The book is formatted to appear vertically, and it does on my Kindle.
 
Hi +Thom Hogan I tried several times to contact you from my two email accounts as I've lost my D800 eBook. If you please would send me another download link. Thanks and Regards, Daniel
 
I'm about to evaluate the buying of a D800 .... which is the right procedure to verify whether it's affected by the left AF issue? TIA to all who answer, and Happy New Year! :-)
 
Thanks Jess! :-) ... I'm buying in EU, but I'll have a look at the serial #. Which is the date of the post from Thom's site?
 
+Thom Hogan might have more info on EU serial numbers; from regular updates on his site, he mentioned (25-Sep update) that there has been a successful Nikon repair procedure in effect worldwide since July.  That would lead me to believe that any camera manufactured from that time frame forward would now be free of the issue.  I have no data on what EU serial numbers would correlate with the July date.

I received an E with a very early serial number and it appears to be fine.  Posted a shot of a bald eagle from today -- I'm in love with this camera.
 
Thanks again Jess. I will see in some shop which serial are available around here. :-) 
 
As always the ByThom review of the D800/D800E is very through and thoughtful.
 
My only complaint about the D800/D800E is that I haven't found the "Photo info / playback " option to reverse the Multi-Selector function during playback.  I've gotten used to this in my last two bodies, and this is another annoying instance of "missing cheese".
 
I read and as present D600 user I agree with most of his opinions, particularly the AF poor performance in low light. 
Generally speaking, I had the impression Nikon is much less innovative than its competitors, and this considering that sensors are not made by it direcly. It's like Nikon is a dying company lately ....
 
Thanks Luca Specchio i did kind of forget the lack innovation from Nikon in some areas
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