The launch date for the highly anticipated Nikon D800 DSLR was announced Tuesday, ending months of speculation about the 36.6 MP camera.

Nikon will launch the D800 in March and its sister the D800E in April for $2,999.95 and $3,299.95 respectively.

The D800 is Nikon's second big camera announcement of 2012, with the company introducing its new flagship D4 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month.

Speaking at Tuesday's launch, director of marketing at Nikon Bo Kajiwara said:  Whatever the project, visionaries need a tool that is going to help them stay on-time and on-task.

The Nikon D800 re-imagines what is possible from this level of DSLR, to address the needs of an emerging and ever-changing market; this is the camera that is going to bridge the gap for the most demanding imaging professionals, and provide never before seen levels of SLR image and video quality.

The D800 is the right tool for today's creative image makers, affording photographers, filmmakers and videographers a versatile option for capturing the ultimate in still image quality or full HD content, with maximum control.

The D800 is aimed at professional photographers and packs a 36.3-megapixel FX-format CMOS censor, a 91,000 pixel 3D Matrix Metering system and an enhanced 51 pt AF system. 

According to the announcement, filmmakers are well catered for and will have the choice of various resolutions and frame rates, including Full HD 1080 at 30/24p and HD 720 at 60/30p.

The camera also has support for speedy USB 3.0, dual CF and SD card slots and has uncompressed HDMI out with owners able to record H.264/MPEG-4 AVC format video for up to 29:59 minutes per clip.

And if the best in class 36.6 MP is not enough, the D800E will, effectively enhance the resolution characteristics of the 36.3-megapixel CMOS sensor by cancelling the anti-aliasing properties of the OLPF [optical low-pass filter] inside the camera.