The Nikon D800E is an interesting new camera.
Why do I think so?  If you read the Michael Reichmann’s post on Nikon D800E on his website Luminous Landscape, you will understand what I mean. He discusses the benefit of the absence of an AA (anti-aliasing) filter in some cameras such as virtually all medium format digital backs and the Leica M and S series.  The AA filter is being used by many cameras to remove moiré and colour artifacting from the image. Reichmann finds that it is rarely seen on those cameras producing outstanding images installed without an AA filter.
This is why Nikon is making a special D800 version calling it the D800E.  Inside the body of the Nikon D800E, the light path is modified so that it is not affected by the presence of an AA filter.  If you want to see how this works, see the diagram on this preview. This is a special way in which I think should worth the extra costs of $300 more than the D800 body.  You will also wonder why so many stunning pictures are made without this AA filter and not surprising Nikon has put this in place.
Another thing the D800 is breaking the record is that its sensor has reached 36 megapixel. Bigger image sensor does not necessarily mean better image quality.  DxOMark has made a preliminary observation that it is hard to make a head-to-head comparison with Canon’s 5D Mark III because the focus of Canon and Nikon is different.
If you see the sensor development in the battle of pixels, the Nikon D800 is at the leading edge. We are yet to see how good it is. But given the fact that a medium format camera such as the Pentax 645D has a sensor of 40 megapixels, the Nikon D800 is obviously entering the realm of medium format. But does that mean the medium format is under threat?
My observation is that the 36 megapixel sensor is at present in no way to compete with the medium format. Just like in the heyday of film, the medium format was at a higher level of resolution by its size. If the sensor of the 35mm format can reach 36 megapixel, then the medium format may push the sensor resolution to a higher limit of more than 60 megapixel one day.
Of course, this is a question which is common to everyone:  who needs such a high resolution sensor?
Don’t forget technology is breaking the limit every day, remember how we rejoiced the beginning of a compact digital camera back in 1994 the Kodak D40 followed by the Sony Cyber Shot digital still camera in 1996.
The show will be carrying on.
By the way, Michael Reichmann has released his learning video on Adobe Lightroom 4.  It is very comprehensive and informative.  If you prefer watching video than reading a manual, this is the ultimate guide.

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