Thinking about changing from a Nikon D3 to D800?

posted in Equipment Journal

Thinking about changing from a Nikon D3 to D800?

Its really an interesting move what Nikon have done by diversifying their markets. Some will say that this causes too much confusion where others will see that Nikon have actually made choosing a high-end DSLR easier than ever.

Let me explain. Pre D800/D4, we had the Nikon D3(s), D700 and D3x. The D700 and D3(s) shared almost all aspects so your only decision is do you want a faster shooting full body DSLR with better battery capacity? If so, D3(s) and if not, get a D700. If you wanted ultra-high res and was not worried about speed or low light capability then it was the D3x.

Nikon have changed a lot now. The D800 is not a logical upgrade path for a D700 user, the D4 does not have the resolution of the D800 but carries on in the same vein as the D3(s). Nikon have segmented their markets into 2 groups

  • Landscape/digital art/studio pixel peepers that need every mega-pixel they can find and;
  • Sports/journalists/action photographers that need quality but not at the expense of speed

So when I was thinking about my needs as a photographer and digital artist I wanted something Nikon does not offer. Basically, a 36.3mp sensor in a full body Nikon. It just does not exist. I thought I would list a few things that I wanted but could not have in changing DSLR‘s

For me, it was a win/lose so I’ll list things in the same mindset.

So on changing my Nikon D3 to a D800, I would have to make a decision…


  • Image quality
  • Depth of image
  • Native 7233px images
  • Dynamic range


  • Full pro body
  • Buttons that allow you to change settings on the fly
  • Battery life (4400 shots vs. 900 on the D800)
  • Speed
  • High ISO (potentially)

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