Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!
In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Nikon D800 belongs to a Semi-Pro DSLR category, the other model, Nikon D800 is a Semi-Pro Mirrorless camera. Nikon D800 is equipped with a 36.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 comes with a 16.0 MP CMOS sensor.
Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - DSLR and MirrorLess. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.
To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Nikon D800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.
Nikon D800 Key Features:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Key Features:
|Timelapse Recording||Yes vs No||Creative shooting|
|Storage Slots||2 vs 1||Extra storage slot|
|Sensor Resolution||36.0 MP vs 16.0 MP||55.6% more pixels|
|Sensor Area||861.6 mm2 vs 224.9 mm2||73.9% larger pixel area|
|Continuous Shooting||4 fps vs 3 fps||1 fps faster|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 vs 1/4000||Faster shutter speed|
|Number Of Focus Points||51 vs 23||28 more focus points|
|Screen Size||3.2″ vs 3″||0.2" larger screen|
|Screen Resolution||921k dots vs 460k dots||50.1% higher resolution screen|
|Battery Life||900 shots vs 330 shots||570 more frames with a single charge|
|Environmental Sealing||Yes vs No||Shoot at tough conditions|
|Headphone Port||Yes vs No||Has headphone port|
|Dxo Color Depth||25.3 vs 21.2||Better color depth|
|Dxo Dynamic Range||14.4 vs 11.3||Better dynamic range|
|Dxo Low Light Iso||2853 vs 655||Better High ISO performance|
|Flash Range||15.6 vs 12||3.6 better flash range|
|Screen Type||Fully Articulated vs Fixed Type||Flexible shooting positions|
|Touch Screen||Yes vs No||Easy control of camera functions|
|Weight||442 g vs 900 g||458 g lighter|
|Viewfinder Magnification||0.71 vs 0.7||0.01 better magnification|
|Screen Size||3.2″ | 3″||Large display|
|Viewfinder||Optical (pentaprism) | Electronic||Better framing and control|
|Raw Support||Yes | Yes||Better image quality|
|AutoFocus Face Detection||Yes | Yes||Very handy for portraits|
|Microphone Port||Yes | Yes||High quality audio recording option|
|Bracketing||Yes | Yes||Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR|
|Built-In Flash||Yes | Yes||External flash available|
|Flash Sync Port||Yes | Yes||Port for Flash Sync|
|Screen Resolution||921k dots | 460k dots||Small screen resolution|
|Continuous Shooting||4.0 fps | 3.0 fps||Low continuous shooting|
|Image Stabilization||No | No||No image stabilization|
Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Nikon D800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 from the front view.
Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.
After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.
Speaking of weight, Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 458g less than the Nikon D800. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.
Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.
Are Nikon D800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 any different in terms of sensor type?
In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Nikon D800 features a 36.0 MP Full frame sized CMOS sensor . Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, in its turn, comes with a 16.0 MP Four Thirds sized CMOS sensor and Venus Engine FHD processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.
Take a look below to find the comparison of Nikon D800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 by the size of their sensors.
One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Nikon D800 has a sensor area 0.3x bigger compared to Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.
If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.
This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Nikon D800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.
|Photography Type||Nikon D800||Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2|
Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Nikon D800 or Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.
What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Nikon D800 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 here is what we can say in conclusion:
According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Nikon D800 deserves a higher Total Score than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.
For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:
|Nikon D800||Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2|
|Announced||Jun 11, 2012||Mar 23, 2011|
|Body Type||Mid-size SLR||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Sensor Size||Full frame||Four Thirds|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.9 x 24 mm||17.3 x 13 mm|
|Sensor Area||861.60 mm2||224.90 mm2|
|Sensor Resolution||36.0 MP||16.0 MP|
|Max Image Resolution||7360 x 4912||4608 x 3456|
|Max Native ISO||6,400||12,800|
|Max Boosted ISO||25,600||n/a|
|Min Native ISO||100||160|
|Lens Mount||Nikon F||Micro Four Thirds|
|Number of Lenses||287||94|
|Focal Length Multiplier||1x||2x|
|Macro Focus Range|
|AF Multi Area|
|AF Live View|
|AF Face Detection|
|AF Contrast Detection|
|AF Phase Detection|
|Number of Focus Points||51||23|
|Number of Cross Focus Points||15||n/a|
|Screen Type||Fixed Type||Fully Articulated|
|Screen Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|ViewFinder Resolution||0k dots||0k dots|
|Min Shutter Speed||30 s||60 s|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/8000 s||1/4000 s|
|Continuous Shooting||4.0 fps||3.0 fps|
|Manual Exposure Mode|
|Custom White Balance|
|Flash Modes||Auto, Red-eye, Slow sync, Rear curtain, High-speed sync||Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync|
|DxO Sensor Scores|
|DxO Sensor Score||95||60|
|DxO Color Depth||25.3||21.2|
|DxO Dynamic Range||14.4||11.3|
|DxO Low Light ISO||2853||655|
|Video Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 50, 30, 25 fps), 640 x 424 (24 fps)||1920 x 1080 (24, 30, 60fps) 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 848 x 480 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30fps), 320 x 240 (30fps)|
|Max Video Resolution||1920 x 1080||1920 x 1080|
|Video Formats||MPEG-4, H.264||AVCHD, Motion JPEG|
|USB||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|Weight||900 g||442 g|
|Physical Dimensions||146 x 123 x 82 mm||124 x 90 x 76 mm|
|Battery Life||900 shots||330 shots|
|Battery Type||Battery Pack||Battery Pack|
|Storage Type||Compact Flash (Type I), SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-I compliant||SD/SDHC/SDXC|