In a citation praising the 36-million-pixel camera, judges said that ‘no compromises have been made to the extent of the camera’s dynamic range or noise levels at high ISO settings’.

They add: ‘In a compact and reasonably priced, strong and sturdy body, it offers first-rate metering and a 51-point autofocus system developed from the professional D4.’

Amateur Photographer (AP) is the only UK photography magazine to belong to EISA and is a founding member of the 30-year-old organisation.

This year’s award also recognised the role played by the E-version of the D800. ‘The D800 E-version delivers even higher resolution images without needing any post-processing sharpening; the image quality comes close to that of a medium-format camera, but with the benefits and versatility of a lightweight 35mm reflex camera.’

Unveiled in February, the FX-format (full-frame) D800 uses the D4’s 91,000 pixel RGB metering sensor, Expeed 3 image processor and MultiCAM 3500FX AF system.

The AF system deploys 51 AF points (15 cross-hair points in the centre) and is designed to deliver low-light shooting down to -2EV (‘moonlight’ level). 

Also like the D4, selection of the AF and AF-area modes is designed to be possible without the photographer taking their eye off the viewfinder.

Lighter than the Nikon D700, the D800 is housed in a magnesium-alloy body said to be on a par with its four-year-old sibling in terms of resistance against moisture and dust.

In May, the D800 won Camera of the Year at the Camera GP [Grand Prix] Japan 2012 Awards, honouring the best stills camera launched onto the Japanese market between 1 April 2011, and 31 March 2012.

In March, Nikon conceded that UK customers may have to wait to get their hands on the D800 owing to demand.

At the time, a spokesperson told AP: ‘We’ve seen an unprecedented level of interest in the D800, with increased demand and orders for the new camera.

 While we are delighted that the D800 is proving incredibly popular, we recognise that this may mean increased waiting time for some customers.’

Last year, the Canon EOS 600D took EISA’s best camera title.

For details of all this year’s winners see AP’s issue dated 1 September 2012.