Nikon D800 vs. Nikon D3X

Comparison

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D800 image
vs
D3X image
Nikon D800 Nikon D3X
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Megapixels
36.30
24.50
Max. image resolution
7360 x 4912
6048 x 4032

Sensor

Sensor type
CMOS
CMOS
Sensor size
35.9 x 24 mm
35.9 x 24 mm
Sensor resolution
7379 x 4919
6062 x 4041
Diagonal
43.18 mm
43.18 mm
Sensor size comparison
Sensor size is generally a good indicator of the quality of the camera. Sensors can vary greatly in size. As a general rule, the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Bigger sensors are more effective because they have more surface area to capture light. An important factor when comparing digital cameras is also camera generation. Generally, newer sensors will outperform the older.

Learn more about sensor sizes »

Actual sensor size

Note: Actual size is set to screen → change »
vs
1 : 1
(ratio)
Nikon D800 Nikon D3X
Surface area:
861.60 mm² vs 861.60 mm²
Difference: 0 mm² (0%)
D800 and D3X sensors are the same size.
Note: You are comparing cameras of different generations. There is a 4 year gap between Nikon D800 (2012) and Nikon D3X (2008). All things being equal, newer sensor generations generally outperform the older.
Pixel pitch
4.87 µm
5.92 µm
Pixel pitch tells you the distance from the center of one pixel (photosite) to the center of the next. It tells you how close the pixels are to each other.

The bigger the pixel pitch, the further apart they are and the bigger each pixel is. Bigger pixels tend to have better signal to noise ratio and greater dynamic range.
Difference: 1.05 µm (22%)
Pixel pitch of D3X is approx. 22% higher than pixel pitch of D800.
Pixel area
23.72 µm²
35.05 µm²
Pixel or photosite area affects how much light per pixel can be gathered. The larger it is the more light can be collected by a single pixel.

Larger pixels have the potential to collect more photons, resulting in greater dynamic range, while smaller pixels provide higher resolutions (more detail) for a given sensor size.
Relative pixel sizes:
vs
Pixel area difference: 11.33 µm² (48%)
A pixel on Nikon D3X sensor is approx. 48% bigger than a pixel on Nikon D800.
Pixel density
4.22 MP/cm²
2.85 MP/cm²
Pixel density tells you how many million pixels fit or would fit in one square cm of the sensor.

Higher pixel density means smaller pixels and lower pixel density means larger pixels.
Difference: 1.37 µm (48%)
Nikon D800 has approx. 48% higher pixel density than Nikon D3X.
To learn about the accuracy of these numbers, click here.



Specs

Nikon D800
Nikon D3X
Crop factor
1
1
Total megapixels
36.80
25.70
Effective megapixels
36.30
24.50
Optical zoom
Digital zoom
Yes
No
ISO sensitivity
Auto, 100 - 6400
100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (50-6400 with boost)
RAW
Manual focus
Normal focus range
Macro focus range
Focal length (35mm equiv.)
Aperture priority
Yes
Yes
Max. aperture
Max. aperture (35mm equiv.)
n/a
n/a
Metering
3D Matrix metering II, Centre weighted, Multi-segment, Spot
Multi, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure compensation
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
±5 EV (in 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
Shutter priority
Yes
Yes
Min. shutter speed
Bulb+30 sec
30 sec
Max. shutter speed
1/8000 sec
1/8000 sec
Built-in flash
External flash
Viewfinder
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)
White balance presets
12
12
Screen size
3.2"
3"
Screen resolution
921,000 dots
920,000 dots
Video capture
Max. video resolution
Storage types
CompactFlash type I, SDHC, SDXC, Secure Digital
Compact Flash (Type I or II) x 2, UDMA
USB
USB 3.0 (5 GBit/sec)
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI
Wireless
GPS
Battery
Lithium-Ion EN-EL15 rechargeable battery
Lithium-Ion EN-EL4a rechargeable battery
Weight
900 g
1260 g
Dimensions
146 x 123 x 82 mm
160 x 157 x 88 mm
Year
2012
2008




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Diagonal

Diagonal is calculated by the use of Pythagorean theorem:
Diagonal =  w² + h²
where w = sensor width and h = sensor height

Nikon D800 diagonal

w = 35.90 mm
h = 24.00 mm
Diagonal =  35.90² + 24.00²   = 43.18 mm

Nikon D3X diagonal

w = 35.90 mm
h = 24.00 mm
Diagonal =  35.90² + 24.00²   = 43.18 mm


Surface area

Surface area is calculated by multiplying the width and the height of a sensor.

D800 sensor area

Width = 35.90 mm
Height = 24.00 mm

Surface area = 35.90 × 24.00 = 861.60 mm²

D3X sensor area

Width = 35.90 mm
Height = 24.00 mm

Surface area = 35.90 × 24.00 = 861.60 mm²


Pixel pitch

Pixel pitch is the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next measured in micrometers (µm). It can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel pitch =   sensor width in mm  × 1000
sensor resolution width in pixels

D800 pixel pitch

Sensor width = 35.90 mm
Sensor resolution width = 7379 pixels
Pixel pitch =   35.90  × 1000  = 4.87 µm
7379

D3X pixel pitch

Sensor width = 35.90 mm
Sensor resolution width = 6062 pixels
Pixel pitch =   35.90  × 1000  = 5.92 µm
6062


Pixel area

The area of one pixel can be calculated by simply squaring the pixel pitch:
Pixel area = pixel pitch²

You could also divide sensor surface area with effective megapixels:
Pixel area =   sensor surface area in mm²
effective megapixels

D800 pixel area

Pixel pitch = 4.87 µm

Pixel area = 4.87² = 23.72 µm²

D3X pixel area

Pixel pitch = 5.92 µm

Pixel area = 5.92² = 35.05 µm²


Pixel density

Pixel density can be calculated with the following formula:
Pixel density =  ( sensor resolution width in pixels )² / 1000000
sensor width in cm

One could also use this formula:
Pixel density =   effective megapixels × 1000000  / 10000
sensor surface area in mm²

D800 pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 7379 pixels
Sensor width = 3.59 cm

Pixel density = (7379 / 3.59)² / 1000000 = 4.22 MP/cm²

D3X pixel density

Sensor resolution width = 6062 pixels
Sensor width = 3.59 cm

Pixel density = (6062 / 3.59)² / 1000000 = 2.85 MP/cm²


Sensor resolution

Sensor resolution is calculated from sensor size and effective megapixels. It's slightly higher than maximum (not interpolated) image resolution which is usually stated on camera specifications. Sensor resolution is used in pixel pitch, pixel area, and pixel density formula. For sake of simplicity, we're going to calculate it in 3 stages.

1. First we need to find the ratio between horizontal and vertical length by dividing the former with the latter (aspect ratio). It's usually 1.33 (4:3) or 1.5 (3:2), but not always.

2. With the ratio (r) known we can calculate the X from the formula below, where X is a vertical number of pixels:
(X × r) × X = effective megapixels × 1000000    →   
X =  effective megapixels × 1000000
r
3. To get sensor resolution we then multiply X with the corresponding ratio:

Resolution horizontal: X × r
Resolution vertical: X

D800 sensor resolution

Sensor width = 35.90 mm
Sensor height = 24.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 36.30
r = 35.90/24.00 = 1.5
X =  36.30 × 1000000  = 4919
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 4919 × 1.5 = 7379
Resolution vertical: X = 4919

Sensor resolution = 7379 x 4919

D3X sensor resolution

Sensor width = 35.90 mm
Sensor height = 24.00 mm
Effective megapixels = 24.50
r = 35.90/24.00 = 1.5
X =  24.50 × 1000000  = 4041
1.5
Resolution horizontal: X × r = 4041 × 1.5 = 6062
Resolution vertical: X = 4041

Sensor resolution = 6062 x 4041


Crop factor

Crop factor or focal length multiplier is calculated by dividing the diagonal of 35 mm film (43.27 mm) with the diagonal of the sensor.
Crop factor =   43.27 mm
sensor diagonal in mm


D800 crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 43.18 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1
43.18

D3X crop factor

Sensor diagonal in mm = 43.18 mm
Crop factor =   43.27  = 1
43.18

35 mm equivalent aperture

Equivalent aperture (in 135 film terms) is calculated by multiplying lens aperture with crop factor (a.k.a. focal length multiplier).

D800 equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Nikon D800, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Since crop factor for Nikon D800 is 1, the equivalent aperture is aperture.

D3X equivalent aperture

Aperture is a lens characteristic, so it's calculated only for fixed lens cameras. If you want to know the equivalent aperture for Nikon D3X, take the aperture of the lens you're using and multiply it with crop factor.

Since crop factor for Nikon D3X is 1, the equivalent aperture is aperture.

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