Updated (January 2012): Compare the Nikon D800 vs Nikon D4

Nikon D800 vs Nikon D3

Winner
Nikon D800

89

Nikon D3

79

Runner-up

Reasons to buy the Nikon D800

Great image quality
Overall image quality
95.0
Full HD
Movie format
1080p @ 30fps
High true resolution
True resolution
36.2 MP
In-camera HDR
HDR
Combines multiple exposures
 

Reasons to buy the Nikon D3

Continuous shooting
Rapid fire
9 fps
Shutter lag
Barely any delay taking photos
88 ms shutter lag
Battery life
Great battery life
4300 shots
Fastest shutter speed
Fast shutter speed
1/8000 of a second

Items often bought with the D800 or D3

galleries

Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D800.
Explore our gallery of 50 sample photos taken by the Nikon D3.

differences

Advantages of the Nikon D800

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Movie format
Shoots movies
1080p @ 30fps vs None
Help
Shoots Full HD (1080p) video as well as still pictures
Overall image quality
Significantly better image quality
95.0 vs 81.0
Help
Around 20% better image quality
HDR
Has in-camera HDR
Yes vs No
Help
Combines multiple exposures to capture high dynamic range
Screen size
Significantly larger screen
3.2" vs 3"
Help
Around 10% larger screen
True resolution
Much higher true resolution
36.2 MP vs 12.1 MP
Help
Capture around 3x more detail in your photos
Low light performance
Lower noise at high ISO
2,853 ISO vs 2,290 ISO
Help
The D800 has a slight edge (0.3 f-stops) in low-noise, high-ISO performance
Dynamic range
More dynamic range
14.4 EV vs 12.2 EV
Help
0.6 f-stops more dynamic range
Autofocus
Video autofocus
Contrast detection vs None
Help
Automatically focuses shooting video
Color depth
Better color depth
25.3 bits vs 23.5 bits
Help
Distinguishes 1.8 more bits of color
Sensor cleaning
Has a self cleaning sensor
Yes vs No
Help
Removes dust from the sensor automatically, avoiding spots in photos
Size
Much smaller
146×123×82 mm vs 160×157×88 mm
Help
More than 30% smaller
Lowest price
Significantly cheaper
$2,285.00 vs $4,999.00
Help
The best price we've seen is $2,714 cheaper (2.2x less)
Weight
Significantly lighter
1,000 g vs 1,300 g
Help
More than 20% lighter
Built-in flash
Built-in flash
Yes vs No
Help
A built-in flash is useful for taking indoor shots where there is little light
Startup delay
Slightly less startup delay
200 ms vs 300 ms
Help
More than 30% less delay when turning on
Thickness
Thinner
3.2" vs 3.5"
Help
Around 10% thinner
Nikon D800 Learn more about
the Nikon D800

Advantages of the Nikon D3

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Battery life
Much longer battery life
4300 shots vs 900 shots
Help
Around 5x more shots per battery charge
Continuous shooting
Shoots much faster
9 fps vs 4 fps
Help
Around 2.5x faster continuous shooting
Shutter lag
Significantly less shutter lag
88 ms vs 209 ms
Help
2.4x less delay when taking photos
Nikon D3 Learn more about
the Nikon D3
vs

recommendations

Which camera do we recommend? Relative to the best recent pro DSLRs, and ignoring price

Snapsort Recommends
Nikon D800 Nikon D800 89
Retailer
    Style
      Color
        You save
        vs
        79 Nikon D3 Nikon D3
        Retailer
          Style
            Color
              You save

              similarities

              Compared to recent DSLRs

              Common Strengths
              Low light performance Relatively low noise at high ISO Help
              D8002,853 ISO
              D32,290 ISO
              Viewfinder size Above average viewfinder size Help
              0.70x
              Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
              Shoot in extreme weather
              Startup delay Minimal startup delay Help
              D800200 ms
              D3300 ms
              Focus points Many focus points Help
              51
              Viewfinder Both have pentaprism viewfinders Help
              Pentaprism
              Built-in focus motor Both have a built-in lens focus motor, which is uncommon in cameras similar to these Help
              Autofocuses with more lenses
              Storage slots Multiple storage slots Help
              2
              Viewfinder coverage Above average viewfinder coverage Help
              100%
              Fastest shutter speed Fast max shutter speeds Help
              1/8000 of a second
              Common Weaknesses
              Weight Heavy Help
              D8001,000 g
              D31,300 g
              Thickness Quite thick Help
              D8003.2"
              D33.5"
              Lowest price Very expensive Help
              D800$2,285.00
              D3$4,999.00
              Size Large Help
              D800146×123×82 mm
              D3160×157×88 mm
              Light sensitivity Poor maximum light sensitivity Help
              6,400 ISO
              Screen flips out No flip-out screens Help
              Less flexible
              Touch screen No touchscreens Help
              More buttons
              Image stabilization No image stabilization Help
              Risk of blur

              Compared to recent pro DSLRs

              Common Strengths

              Snapsort is not aware of any interesting strengths shared by these two products.

              Common Weaknesses
              Light sensitivity (boost) Poor boost ISO Help
              25,600 ISO
              Cross type focus points Few cross-type focus points Help
              15
              Screen resolution Low resolution screens Help
              D800921k dots
              D3922k dots

              dxomark

              DXOMark

              competitors

              Shared Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              Nikon D750

              Nikon D750

              Pro DSLR

              $1,585 - $1,997 body only

              $2,125 - $2,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Screen flips out Has a screen which flips out
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Nikon D810

              Nikon D810

              Pro DSLR

              $2,419 - $2,997 body only

              $3,697 with 24-120mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Weight Is slightly lighter
              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Canon EOS 5D Mark III

              Pro DSLR

              $2,240 - $2,499 body only

              $2,800 - $3,099 with 24-105mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a slightly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Built-in focus motor Doesn't have a built-in focus motor
              Startup delay Has slightly more startup delay
              Nikon D610

              Nikon D610

              Pro DSLR

              $1,174 - $1,497 body only

              $1,649 - $1,997 with 24-85mm lens

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D7200

              Nikon D7200

              Entry-level DSLR

              $968 - $1,197 body only

              $1,235 - $1,497 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Light sensitivity Significantly higher maximum light sensitivity
              Movie continuous focus Doesn't focus continuously while recording movies
              Shutter lag Has significantly more shutter lag
              Nikon D600

              Nikon D600

              Pro DSLR

              $1,357 body only

              $1,781 with 24-85mm lens

              Size Is slightly smaller
              Lowest price Is slightly less expensive
              Fastest shutter speed Has a slower max shutter speed
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Nikon D7100

              Nikon D7100

              Entry-level DSLR

              $713 - $897 body only

              $948 - $1,197 with 18-140mm lens

              Screen resolution Has a significantly higher resolution screen
              Lens availability Significantly more lenses available
              Shutter lag Has much more shutter lag
              Viewfinder size Slightly smaller viewfinder

              Nikon D800 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D800.

              Nikon D3 Competitors

              Advantages

              Disadvantages

              No significant competitors found that are specific to the Nikon D3.

              appearance

              Nikon D800 Nikon D3
              Nikon D800 Nikon D3
              Nikon D800 Nikon D3

              discussion

              Nikon D800
              D800
              Nikon

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              Nikon D3
              D3
              Nikon

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