It got a favourable score of 82, but the mkIII is still the best all round camera.
dpreview said:Overall conclusion
In many ways, the D800 had a difficult act to follow in the 12MP D700, which was (and remains) one of the best all-rounders of any DSLR we've ever used. The demand of some Nikon users for a higher resolution model notwithstanding, there was not a whole lot we'd have wanted to see change in an updated model. Thankfully, Nikon's approach to the D800 has followed a similar mode of thinking.
A majority of the things we liked about the D700; its handling, sensible interface and very impressive high ISO performance have been retained in the D800. Physically, the two cameras appear nearly identical. On the outside at least, the D800 represents a refinement, rather than overhaul of its well-respected predecessor.
We don't mean to imply that Nikon has chosen to rest on its laurels, however. Far from it. The changes on the inside of the camera are hard to overstate, the most obvious of course being its 36.3MP sensor, which offers three times the pixel count of the previous-generation 12MP CMOS chip. Yet there's more. The D800 shares many features and specifications with its big brother, the Nikon D4. Live view now feels like an integral function of the camera, rather than an afterthought, and the D800's video spec is one of the most attractive of any currently-available DSLR. Dual SD/CF card slots provide not only media flexibility but the option of in-camera image backups. The inclusion of a viewfinder with 100% coverage is another welcome upgrade over the D700.
And again, much of what we liked about the D700 remains reassuringly present in the D800. There have been some changes, obviously, but the overwhelming majority are changes for the better, helping you work more efficiently and successfully. The only thing we really wish the D800 had inherited was a slightly faster framerate. Although 4fps will be enough for many photographers, we know from speaking to professionals that higher frame rates would have been very useful.
With the D800 arriving in camera shops alongside its cheif competitor, the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, we have two well built photographic tools that are capable of outstanding images. While the 36MP D800 has the resolution advange over its 22MP rival, it's wise to take note of other differences, like maximum frame rate; here the 5D Mark III takes the edge at 6fps vs 4fps (FX mode). Canon has also managed to take a very complex AF system and ease the learning curve with a well-presented series of presets. The D800 counters with the ability to output uncompressed HD video and a range of useful crop modes, including the APS-C sized DX format. Most notably though, Nikon has provided a high end offering that comes in at a street price that is US$500 less than the 5D Mark III, representing very strong value for the consumer.