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The long-awaited Nikon D800 was just launched but big news like this cannot stay quiet for long. There are actually two new nearly identical DSLRs, the D800 and D800E, both built around an outstanding 36 MP CMOS sensor. This makes the D800 & D800E, the highest resolution DSLRs to date, nearly reaching medium format territory. The pricier D800E differs but not having an optical low-pass filter which does anti-aliasing.

These full-frame DSLRs have a standard ISO range of 100 to 6400, expandable to 50-25600, and can shoot continuously at 4 FPS. What is extremely welcome is that these Nikon are built into a relatively compact full-frame body, similar to the original  D700, but finally with a 100% coverage viewfinder. The D800 and D800E are therefore the only such cameras since the Sony Alpha A900.

Nikon provided their new DSLRs with advanced video capturing features, including full 1080p video recording, stereo audio input and uncompressed HD video via the HDMI port. The D800 and D800E are the first cameras to use the new ultra-fast USB 3.0 protocol which will be  greatly needed considering the large file-size expected from a 36 megapixels sensor.

Nikon D800

There is a slightly larger 3.2″ LCD with 920K pixels as well as the same 51-point AF and 91K metering sensors seen on the recently-launced Nikon D4. There is a new dual-axis digital-level and dual memory card slots, this time one SDXC and one Compact Flash Type 1.

The Nikon D800E is already available for pre-order at BH Photo for $3299 USD. The D800 is expected for $2999 USD in late March 2012, specifically the 22nd for Canada. The Canadian price for the D800 is $3149  [UPDATE] The D800E will be available in Canada for $3449 CDN on April 12, 2012.

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