Metering Test Results: Nikon D800E

(This article is a supporting part of our ongoing testing of low-light camera metering reliability)

The Nikon D800E has poor low-light metering abilities. We do not present a plot because the camera is incapable of metering even when the integrating sphere is at its maximum brightness. However, we estimate that the camera’s images at EV0 are 1 stop darker than those of a brightly-illuminated white wall. This is the only camera we’ve encountered that actually meets its specified metering range–Nikon reports that it can meter to EV0 @ f/1.4 in matrix mode. Spot mode needs EV2.

Like all DSLRs, the Nikon D800E stops down the lens to take the photo, but leaves it wide open the rest of the time. In our test, its metering performance did not improve when used with a lens faster than f/2.8. Most DSLRs from lenses faster than 2.8.

The Nikon D800E allows the user to adjust the shutter speed at which the ISO begins to increase in auto ISO mode, but the slowest shutter speed permitted is only 1s. The maximum allowable ISO can be set.

We tested the metering range of the D800E using a Nikon 105mm f/2.8 Micro and the aperture-dependent behavior using a Nikon 50mm f/1.4.


Integrating Sphere & Camera Metering Test Project

Main Project Page – Test Results

Project Overview – What Is An Integrating Sphere, and How We Used One to Measure Cameras’ Low-Light Metering Capability

Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ

What are EVs, and What do They Mean for Different Cameras? (Non-Technical Explanation)

The Technical Explanation of EVs, and Calibration of the Integrating Sphere

So, How Did You Build an Integrating Sphere, Anyway?

Timelapse Methods Compared: Aperture Priority VS Holy Grail Method