A full-frame digital SLR is an object of desire for virtually every photographer. With prices now in the region of £2,500, they're a viable proposition for semi-professionals and keen amateurs as well as full-time professionals. The D800 is Nikon's second full-frame camera at this price, and comes with some truly mouth-watering specifications.
The 36-megapixel sensor is far higher than even Nikon and Canon's top-of-the-range SLRs. There's a 51-point autofocus sensor, 15 of which are cross-type for added sensitivity, plus sophisticated subject tracking with the help of the 91,000-pixel metering sensor. As with all full-frame SLRs, the optical viewfinder gives a much larger view of the scene than cameras with smaller sensors.
We always appreciate single-function controls for quick access to settings, and the D800 has more than we've ever seen. It manages to avoid being cluttered, though, and the ability to hold down a button with the left hand and adjust the setting via the command dials with the right hand makes for an exceptionally efficient system.
There are SDXC and CompactFlash slots, and the bank of sockets include microphone in, headphone out, HDMI and PC sync for triggering external flashes. It's relatively heavy at 1kg without a lens, but it's hard to imagine it being any more comfortable to use.