The D800 two years after

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by pge, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. pge


    The D800 was first shipped in late March 2012 meaning that it has been in consumer hands for two years now. Mine has been in my hands for almost a year. When it was first released we heard several negative things about it, 5 that come to mind. I am interested in hearing what your actual experience has been with the camera and what you think about these criticisms 2 years later.
    1. Left focus error
    2. Harsh on lenses. You will have to upgrade to the very best glass.
    3. 36mp is unforgiving for camera shake. Your technique must be flawless.
    4. Massive file sizes means needing a new computer. Your current computer will be bogged down.
    5. Massive file sizes means storage will become a real problem.
  2. what has *your* experience actually been?
  3. pge


    I tested my left focus when I first got the camera and had no issue. I have found that great glass is rewarded but I have been perfectly happy with my two D lenses, the 20-35mm f2.8 and the 35-70mm f2.8. I actually did experience some camera shake issues under low light situations when I started but I have adjusted. I use higher minimum shutter speeds now. I don't pay more attention to technique now but I think I had pretty good technique going in. I actually practice with very slow shutter speeds to see if I can get a clear shot but I have been doing that for years. I have not changed my computer because my present one handles the D800 files just fine. I actually had to change my computer in 2006 because of my D200. My computer at the time could not handle those big 12mp files. 1 year in I am in need of a new HDD for Lightroom storage, those DNG files are pretty big.
  4. 1. Probably not important 2. Yes, but does it matter? 3. Yes, but does it matter? 4. Maybe - depends on what you had when you bought it 5. Maybe - depends on what you had when you bought it
    These are my answers and I don't even have the camera! What is your experience: is it a secret?
  5. Hi Phil. I got my D800e pretty much as soon as they turned up in the UK, shortly before the 2012 Olympics. It's had a lot of use since.
    1. Left focus error
    I checked mine. It doesn't appear to have this, though my first attempt to check, with a 50 f/1.8 AF-D, mostly showed that the 50 f/1.8 AF-D is so soft wide-open that you can't tell (and I promptly bought an AF-S). I do frequently have some focus issues at wide apertures, but there's always live view focus, and I keep meaning to recalibrate everything. My Sigma 35mm is especially unforgiving, but I've got the USB hub to use when I have time. I'm also less convinced by the matrix meter's accuracy on the D800 than I was with my D700, but that may just be me.
    2. Harsh on lenses. You will have to upgrade to the very best glass.
    It stopped me using my 28-200, which was pretty much my default "don't know what I'm going to use" lens on my D700. I gave up on my 80-200 AF-D as well, and got a 70-200. I ditched my 150-500 and 135 f/2, but they were borderline on my D700 anyway. You don't have to upgrade to the best glass to get decent shots, but you might to get the best out of 36MP. It's probably worse for the D800e - I'm aware that the difference between the -e and the plain D800 is removed by diffraction somewhere between f/5.6 and f/8, so lenses that aren't really good by f/4 aren't doing the camera favours. Sadly, mostly due to field curvature, this includes my 14-24. It means I have absolutely no interest in something like the 150-600mm Tamron, that I've seen reported as "good by f/11". So was my Sigma, but you're throwing resolution away well before that.

    If you're at ISO 3200, the demands aren't nearly so high because of noise reduction. If you can keep down to minimum ISO - and the dynamic range advantage means that I try to do this on my D800 much more than I cared to bother with on my D700 - then there's a lot of resolution to be had. I shot my D700 recently and all the output looked very soft in comparison, mostly due to the strong low-pass filter.
    3. 36mp is unforgiving for camera shake. Your technique must be flawless.
    Flawless, no. Better than a 12MP D700 if you want to look at pixel level, yes.
    4. Massive file sizes means needing a new computer. Your current computer will be bogged down.
    I argued about this at the time - the amount that computers got faster in the lifetime of the D700 was easily 3x, the same as the resolution difference. If you want the same speed you have now, it'll hurt; if you want the speed that was fine when you bought your D700 with a new computer, you'll be fine. The difference between a 22MP Canon or a 24MP D610 and a 36MP D800 is only about 50%. The only time I've really been hurt by this is with DxO's PRIME, but that takes several minutes anyway.
    5. Massive file sizes means storage will become a real problem.
    Normally bigger images take slightly less storage proportionately than smaller ones (if compressed). Storage has got much cheaper over time, and I recently replaced a fast (1000x) 16GB CF card with a 32GB one for half the price I paid for the 16GB. Disks are always getting much cheaper - except the solid state one in my Macbook, but that's not like-for-like. The D800 really needed an SRAW, and I'd love Nikon to reward the faithful by giving us a BIOS update that supports it (even in the D4s's partial mode. If you're a pro photographer and every byte matters, I'm sure this is critical. As an amateur, it's not that big a deal. It would be less if I threw more images away.
    Otherwise... I'm still annoyed by the lack of trap focus and by moving the AF controls to the front of the camera. The thermal noise is a bit of an issue if you're trying to recover images in the dark. The lack of full resolution live view is a bit irritating, and the lag after live view shooting while data is written is frustrating (this being most of the reason for my expensive cards). The switch of the + and - buttons has largely been responsible for me not trying to use my D700 and D800 side by side. I have many minor tweaks that I'd like to make, mostly to the firmware, most of which I've told Nikon about. It's not all that fast, but remembering about the 1.2x crop mode that gets you to 5fps and 24MP is useful - and even the DX crop has useful resolution.

    But for all that, it's an awfully good camera. I was expecting it to be bad in low light and slow to shoot. It's not - there's very little that my D700 is better at. The D800 is a specialist, and I've always claimed that the 5D3 is probably the better general-purpose enthusiast DSLR for most people not tied to a system (the dynamic range and resolution disadvantages probably matter to most less than the additional speed and AF behaviour), and I stand by that, but I'm very happy that the D800 is better for me, and it's certainly the better fix for the few weaknesses of the D700.
  6. You almost make me happy I just have a D700, and never got tempted by a D800... :p
    The one thing that after two years I still do not get, are discussions on the D800, how harsh it is on lenses, how immaculate your technique has to be, how it reveals flaws here and there... Do you really need each and every pixel to be perfect? Do you really feel a photo is either good or not because the lens did justice to the sensor resolution? (that's "you in general", not refering to anyone in particolar)
    The only reason why I do not understand getting mediocre and cheap lenses with a D800 is simply price - spending money in a balanced way where it counts. But other than that, if you have lenses that work for you, that give you the results you want and render the image the way you like, who cares whether it gets the best out of that sensor - it's the image that counts, isn't it? If you can print it the size you want, it's fine. Whether it has effectively 6 or 36 MP, who really cares?
    And well, good technique always matters. Also with 12 or 16 MP. If the D800 reminds you of that, good. But it should be on our minds regardless.
    Maybe after 2 years, it's a good moment to reach the conclusion the D800 is a pretty awesome and capable camera, that just begs to be used. Forget a bit about its overkill in pixels, and enjoy the images it can make. It deserves that little break, I guess, as a birthday present.
  7. 1. I have this problem but chose not to do anything about it because repair might weaken the central focus. Of course, I won't be buying any more Nikon bodies for at least 6 months after they are introduced. I just don't trust Nikon anymore. I also have 2 D7000s and both had to be repaired by Nikon after purchase.
    2. My Sigma 24-105 and 300-800 work great on it.
    3. I always use a tripod.
    4. A WIN 7 64 bit with USB 3 is "likety-split".
    5. I delete lesser images much more quickly these days.
  8. pge


    Thanks for your well thought out reply Andrew. I do enjoy your comments. Wouter, in many ways I was more content with my D700. I did not own a D700 and a D800 at the same time so I never compared them directly yet to this day I think the D700 handled iso 6400 better. Yes I have seen direct comparisons to the contrary such as the ones Shun provided us. LINK Nevertheless that is my impression. I think your point is that all of the fuss, the 5 cons, are mostly just internet chatter and in the end it is just a capable camera. I agree.
  9. I ordered the D800 the day it became available on Amazon. Waited a long time to get it only to have it returned because the rear LCD was very greenish in color. Had to place another order and to wait 6 more weeks. Aside from that all has been great.
    I am not a pro, just an avid amateur.
    1) Never had an issue with the left AF sensors.
    2) As I switched from DX to FX I updated most of my lenses. Some older (but good) ones as well as newest versions. All bought used. If you are a pixel peeper, yes the best lenses are a must, otherwise most are just perfectly fine.
    3) Didn't change my shooting technique and didn't notice any particular technique requirements due to the 36mp. I love the 36mp, it allows for much flexibility in term of cropping while still keeping high resolution.
    4) I am a software writer and update my computers at least every couple of years anyway. I process all my images on a top end 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display with a 27" display attached. The computer has 16GB of RAM and a 512GB flash drive so I don't experience any burden in processing images. The key is also to have a computer that has an USB 3 or a thunderbolt port and a compatible card reader. Trying to upload images through an USB 2 reader or port is really time consuming.
    5) Again as a computer guy, and being an amateur, storage is not much of an issue. I have plenty with a 5x3 3TB NAS system and a couple 3TB.
    Overall I love the camera, especially its resolution and its dynamic range. The only thing I would appreciate is a bit faster FPS and mainly a larger memory buffer. The latter fills up very quickly and bogs down the camera in fast action shooting, something I experienced at a couple car races and with birds.
  10. It depends on where you're coming from: I had a D700 and finessed images with iPhoto on a Mac Powerbook. When I bought the D800 from Amazon, I also purchased an Asus game notebook with 16 GB, the Nikon 70-200 f4, and the Sigma 35mm f1.4. With Capture NX2 and Photoshop Elements 12 on the Asus to edit the images, I take it, for me, as a step up from my time with the D700. As to the D800 outstripping earlier or "weaker" lenses, I have not attempted to test but judge empirically by what I do with the images; for example, I have used my AIS 28 f2.8, Series E (with a loos zoom) 70-150 f3.5 and the newer lenses mentioned to shoot images submitted to Alamy and for local media, and candidly, the older lenses succeed just as well as the newer ones. Of course, the post editing helps to level the playing field.
  11. Wouter: Agreed, it's a balance thing. I spent a lot of money on a D800E, so if I don't put decent glass on it I feel I'm wasting it. Which doesn't always matter, but I like to get what I paid for! (But I'd still like SRAW, so I can have the dynamic range when I know I'm throwing away some of the MP.)

    Phil: You're welcome. It's a lovely camera. When I first tried my D800 at ISO 6400, I was amazed how much better it was than a D700. At the pixel level, it's definitely worse, but for the whole image the quality boost is substantial. (So if you think of it as a D700 image, it's better, and not far off as good as anything out there; if you want ISO 6400 with the kind of quality the D800 delivers at ISO 100, not so much.)
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    3. 36mp is unforgiving for camera shake. Your technique must be flawless.
    4. Massive file sizes means needing a new computer. Your current computer will be bogged down.
    5. Massive file sizes means storage will become a real problem.​
    Interesting. Are you the same Phil Evans who, two days ago, thought the 51MP Pentax 645Z may be a "game changer for Nikon"? :)
    20 years ago, I would be throwing away most of the bad slides I captured. In these days, I delete bad image files fairly quickly, and since I am no longer creating actual, physical trash, at least I feel less guilty. However, going through images on a computer screen or light table is still very time consuming.
    If anything, I have far more problems with bad image files from the D4S than with the D800. I mainly use the D800E on static subjects and don't capture that many images. @ 11 fps, the D4S generates far far more images that need to be reviewed and deleted, and they take up a lot more disk space.
  13. Gup

    Gup Gup

    I got my D800E just before Christmas with the proceeds from selling my '3rd' D700, so was also unable to test them side by side (and wouldn't have been inclined to anyway).
    The thing I'm really happy with is the ability to crop in when needed because my reach is limited to an AF-S 80-200mm zoom. I'm unwilling to invest in a longer lens at this point so that has been an advantage. I shoot landscape almost exclusively and have missed my Hasselblad ever since switching to the D2x many years ago, so I am looking forward to the resolution advantage over the D700, if in fact, my current lenses are up to the task. I have already seen the distinct difference evident between my AF-S 17-35mm and AF-S 28-70mm shooting identical scenes at the same focal distances, with the latter outperforming the former.
    1. My later model didn't suffer this malady.
    2. I've already stated that I have found this to be the case even with my very limited lens choice. Whether you choose to upgrade to 'the very best glass' is entirely up to you. I feel that this is imperative if you hope to get the best results possible from this body. Others here have stated their distaste at this theory so I can only assume that they are somewhat less critical of their own and other's work. Some have even stated their opinions then admitted to not even owning the body...
    3. I also use a tripod over 90% of the time. With a remote release and mirror-up. When I do handhold the D800E I usually shoot in Shutter Priority and adjust the speed to compensate and I hope my technique is perfect, at this point.
    4. I use a Dell with i7 chip, 16 gigs of RAM and a terabyte onboard. The increased file size does affect me and I'm always conscious of it. Every shot is the equivalent to three through my D2x (I'm assuming this based on 12 megs to 36 megs - but I'm not a mathematician) so I'm careful to delete redundant files where I used to keep everything. I back-up to four externals, all through old USB technology and it can take a long time. The other time the increased file size is evident is when performing merging or HDR functions in Photoshop. I used nine shots for a panoramic and thought I might need to have an extinguisher handy ;)
    5. Again, if you are inclined to 'spray' at full resolution and aren't deleting the excess you will fill up fast. I still shoot one at a time as I always have and shoot far less than most here and I notice my space getting shorter each time out. Regardless of the price of storage being less now than ever, I don't want to have to buy more. My hard drives already take up enough room (even taking into account I've had at least four fail that I've tossed) I don't want more. I'm currently looking at five 1 terabyte housings, 10 various USB drives and sticks, 8 or 10 CF cards and at least as many SD cards. Should I include 7 micro SD cards for the last 8 telephones this family has used? It's really quite ridiculous. I have 40 years of negatives stored neatly in half a filing cabinet. Much more to my taste.
    I'm soon likely to invest in a 105mm Macro or an 85mm for portraiture, so I'm looking forward to what I am able to accomplish with those.
  14. I guess I've had my D800 for almost 2 years.
    Left focus error - Never noticed anything.
    Harsh on lenses - Can't say it's any tougher on lenses than my Df, but I don't do much pixel peeping.
    36 MP and camera shake - camera shake is bad at all resolutions.
    Massive file size - yes, the D800 slows the transfer and processing times, and it's sometimes a reason I reach for the Df instead of the D800.
    Storage problems - At 45megs a snap, memory space gets eaton up pretty quick. I do tend to delete more D800 files, whereas I keep more Df (and previously D700) files. It's probably better to cull the keepers more aggressively, so D800 file size may be a plus in that regard.
  15. I just wanted to second Georges's statement about card readers. I've been through several trying to find ones that can read both a UHS SD card and a UDMA7 CF card at full speed. Some, even USB 3.0 ones that camera stores have sworn are what they use, really don't play with my card pairing. I recently - after a large price drop - picked up a couple of Lexar's card readers, and my transfer time went from about twenty minutes to about two. Of course, I'd have had the same problem if I'd completely filled the same cards with the D700, but there would have been more images. Choose well.
  16. I got a D800E about 6 months ago. It's not my primary camera, more of a special purpose body. I only use my best lenses on it, so I don't have a comparison to the lesser lenses.

    I just wanted to comment on the file size. I have a computer that's about 10 years old now running Win7, with a 1TByte drive and about 3Gigs of RAM. I think the 3Gigs is my major limitation now. I have no problem using LR or PSCC on my files. However, if I try to use several files in PSCC simultaneously (for panoramas or focus stacking or HDR) I do have some issues with the computer. When I have those problems I switch to my laptop, which has 8Gig RAM. No issue then.

    As far as storage is concerned, I only have a few thousand images at this point. My images are backed up on 3TByte external drives and my total collection is on the order of 1.2 TByte, so I really don't have a problem with storage.
  17. Mine was one of the very first D800E cameras to enter the US. Right out of the box, images were stunning. It did not matter which lens I used, pro or consumer. They were all better on this camera than they were on a D700 (or anything else I have owned). I learned through normal use that I could not depend on the outer AF sensors because the unit was mis-aligned. Center area was perfect, left area front focus and right area back focus. Nikon asked me to wait until they had everything needed for the repair before sending it. I waited, and they contacted me when they were ready about a month later. They handled it perfectly. I have an extended warranty, so I sent it to Nikon for a clean-and-check on its 1-1/2 year anniversary. I will send it again just before 3.
    I love this camera, and I use it for everything - BIF, sports, weddings, family, etc.. Certainly I knock around with a D600 sometimes, but the D800E is my number one, and I don't expect that to change. I am not and never will be a great photographer, but sometimes this camera makes me feel better than I am. I get more photos that I like from this camera than any I have ever used, and I had my first 35mm range-finder in the early 60s. I have owned and loved a lot of them since then, mostly Nikon, and exclusively Nikon since the FM2.
    The sad thing about photography is that many people don't appreciate the past. There was a time when you could not cry about the AF system. You were the AF system. In that time only very talented people could be a pro. The rest of us shot for fun (and still do). Now everyone expects the camera to make them perfect. Every shot, perfect AF, perfect capture with umpteen frames per second, perfect white balance. The camera is to blame for everything. Sometimes I think if I were Mister Nikon I would just get the he11 out of the camera business. But I hope they don't. I would have to find another hobby. There are pro photographers coming out of the woodwork, and you know that most would bite the dust if they had to use the F1, or even the FM2. An awful lot of people need to be more appreciative of these marvelous tools we have, and they need to take some of the responsibility for getting what they need out of them. The camera still can't do it all, and with 36 megapixels people need to understand the added responsibility this puts on Nikon service and on the end-user. Nikon had balls of brass to even give us this thing, and you can bet I appreciate it.
  18. My first D800 didn't focus at all with my screwdrive lens so back it went. The next camera to arrive, a D800e tested OK for focus.
    Re: lenses: I already had a 24mm PC-E and a collection of AIS and pre-AIS (converted) primes so I was unconcerned about lenses, but I found some of my primes disappointing. I have acquired a 70-200/4 (excellent lens on the camera) and 16-35/4 since then. My basic kit is now the 16-35, 55mm macro, and 70-200.
    Re: technique: good images hand-held especially with the VR zooms. Non-VR lenses need a tripod or fast shutter speed to achieve equivalent sharpness.
    New computer: this still rankles me. I had built a kick-ass machine using an Intel Extreme CPU and motherboard, fast RAID, etc. with Windows XP 64-bit (essentially the server OS) the year before Adobe decided to prohibit installations on Windows XP. Never mind that the APIs used by Adobe software are supported on XP-64, but an upgrade to LR4 to support the D800 required a new machine to be built. Adobe changed a $3K camera purchase into a $6K system upgrade.
    File sizes: My new machine has a 2TB RAID and SSDs configured for best LR and CS6 performance. I haven't needed to purge files on the workstation yet. Files are backed up to NAS so a purge on the workstation is reversible. Processing speed is fine with 8G RAM and I typically have a couple of VMs active.
  19. In answer to your questions: #1. not a problem with my 800E received in June 2012. The rest of the questions?? The D800E I own is the best and most universal leap in technology I have ever witnessed. I have essentially retired my medium format gear. Questions 2 thru whatever: It's a small price to pay for a great camera!
  20. I picked mine up in June of 2012, so it is less than 2 years old ...
    1) I never really noticed a left focus error
    2) yes, it really works better with good a good lens, my D700 was OK with the old 80-400 AF VR but the D800 really pointed out the lack in that lens. Other than that, it seems to do well with most of my lenses, from an old 80-200 push-pull AF to 50mm up to a 200mm Micro-Nikkor.
    A note on this, all of Nikon's APS-C DSLRs since the D7000 have had a greater pixel density than the D800 does, and as a corollary the results with those cameras must be even worse with the lower end lenses available, but no one seems to complain about that very much.
    Outside of that, I haven't noticed much limitations of processing speeds with handling the images, but I bought a 27" iMac about the same time ... and a bunch of external drives.
    The D800 had the mirror mechanism break at 140,000 images a couple of months ago (replaced under warranty).
    All in all, it is a camera I have really liked using
  21. I picked up the very first D800 at my brick and mortar store in the Twin Cities-- I had been #1 on a waiting list since before it was officially announced by 6 months.
    All of the OP's listed concerns were addressed in the early months after purchase:
    --I have a fast computer so file storage and download speed have not been an issue.
    --Bought the fastest CF and SD cards out there for faster processing of downloads.
    --Sent it to El Segundo for the left focus fix and it came back with that fixed as well as AF fine tuning recalibrated so all my Nikon glass could be set back to zero.
    --Discipline on technique must be high; I accepted that challenge before I bought the camera. I agree with Shun about the D800 keeper rate vs. fast fps bodies like the D4; it's very high.
    --Overall I am very happy after two years that I bought a Nikon D800. It has been a solid and trusty workhorse and I still am amazed by its capabilities.
    It has made me a better photographer as well, for what that's worth-- to me, a ton.
  22. The D800, or the D800E in my case, has really been a game-changer for me. It's an amazing camera.
    My first camera had the left-side focus problem, but I didn't notice it right away because at first i was using the camera with mostly manual focus lenses. A few months after I bought it, I got a 28/1.8G and noticed the problem. I took it back to the store where I bought it, Midwest Photo Exchange, and they swapped it for a new one despite the fact that it took me a while to find the problem. This was apparently Nikon's policy, and it represents amazing customer service from Nikon and Midwest Photo. Actually, the replacement had the focus problem too. So they ordered me a third body (but still let me keep the second one to shoot a job with that weekend). I couldn't have been happier with the service I received from the shop and Nikon. I'm now a member of NPS, but I wasn't at the time. I later bought a second body and it was perfect.
    The idea that the camera is harsh on lenses or that it is totally unforgiving is something of a myth, or at least something which needs to be understood in context. If you use the same lenses and the same technique as you did with any other camera, the results will be the same, or better because the digital file is so much more robust than with older cameras. Handheld or with crappy lenses, it's most likely that the limiting factor will be your technique, not the resolution of the camera. But if you made 11x14 inch prints with your D700, then 11x17 prints with your d800 will be of the same or better quality.
    I can't speak too much about high-iso shooting since I try to keep the camera on 100 and rarely go above 400, but when I have gone to higher speeds the files look great. There may be a bit more per-pixel noise than some lower-res cameras, but at the same print size, the extra pixels mean the noise is less visible.
    The D800(e) is almost like two cameras. If you shoot handheld, it's very possible to get great results, I don't know of many handheld setups that are more capable and even handheld you can capture a ton of detail and make huge prints. I routinely handhold the camera with a 35mm or 50mm lens at f/2.8-6.3 and reasonable shutter speeds and the results are amazing. But if you really want the most quality, you can stick it on a tripod with a good lens at the optimum aperture and live-view focus and the results are truly spectacular. Either way, you can benefit from the camera's excellent dynamic range.
    The file sizes are tiny compared to the 1.5GB drum scans I deal with when I shoot 4x5, so that's a non-issue for me. I'd be thrilled with 50MP. Of course it's true that I shoot more frames than I would with 4x5, but storage is cheap these days, and if you're looking for high quality, high resolution files then dealing with large amounts of data is just a fact of life.
    Speaking personally, I do documentary work, though lately my work has evolved into a style that focuses mostly on the landscape and portraiture. I've been shooting almost exclusively in 4x5 for the past few years. I'm not saying that the D800E is anywhere near 4x5 quality, but it's really the first affordable camera that can produce files with a ton of detail in large prints that can also be easily handheld. Of course, a medium format digital back or a Leica S2 would do the job, but they are simply not affordable for me or for many working photographers.
    So two years later, I'm extremely happy with my D800e cameras. They're perfect for my needs, and when it comes to picking a camera, it's really just a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.
  23. I just added the D800 to my camera bag. It drives like a Nikon, what else can I say? The advantage for me is the resolution - it gives me an advantage when editing photos. The detail is incredible - and this helps me when masking images.
    I don't find any of the criticisms to be true - aside from the file size concerns, however, that should serve as motivation to stop any image-hoarding tendencies.
    My gripes are simple:
    After shooting with my D3, battery life for the D800 is HORRIBLE! Reminds me of the D200. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING, NIKON????
    Where's my FOCUS SELECTOR? Why do you make me stand on my head and tap my ears to change modes?

    Aside from that, I love it. It's a high resolution camera, and that's why I bought it. I miss the weight of my D3, but not the size.
  24. "The idea that the camera is harsh on lenses or that it is totally unforgiving is something of a myth"

    The science of lenses and sensor resolution seems to back this statement up. The D800 isn't out resolving any lens and even a mediocre lens will perform better on a D800 over something like a D700. Better glass helps get the most out of any camera and isn't unique to the D800. Most medium format lenses have less resolving capabilities than 35mm lenses, but yet MF easily out resolves 35mm due to the inherent better resolution of the film/sensor.
  25. The science of lenses and sensor resolution seems to back this statement up. The D800 isn't out resolving any lens and even a mediocre lens will perform better on a D800 over something like a D700. Better glass helps get the most out of any camera and isn't unique to the D800. Most medium format lenses have less resolving capabilities than 35mm lenses, but yet MF easily out resolves 35mm due to the inherent better resolution of the film/sensor.​

    There it is. Better lens = higher quality, regardless of camera make or model. I think Nikon made a mistake trying to convince people they needed $2000-5000 lenses for their D800/E. Perhaps it was simply marketing. Why didn't they just say, "If you have a lens you like on your D700, you will like it more on a D800/E."
  26. Phil, Had my D800e for 23 months. Still loving it.. Fortunately no focus problems. Had good glass in the beginning and it makes all my glass better.
    Have purchased a few fixed short focal length lenses. I think Nikon knew that from a marketing stand point folks would
    want new glass to match the resolution. Other companies have benefitted as we'll. File size is a beast so I am well past
    two terra bites of storage though storage and hot swappable hard drives are not very expensive. Most new computers
    built in the last 6 years can handle the load. I bought a hand built i7 machine in 2009 and have not looked back but with
    computer age comes insecurity so when to up grade? Just was in B&H two weeks ago and my discussion with the expert
    centered around a better high end monitor and the color green. I think he was right so need monitor that my PC and hundreds of dollars of calibration tools can take better advantage of. As well in the future one of the new Epsons with a green ink well. I use a D3s for speed for 3 years now so the two bodies are complimentary for me. Worst glass I now own is the Nikon 28-300 vr fun lens that gets used on the D3s. Dynamic range, Moose Peterson once discussed that quality of pixels was as or more important than resolution. The D800e proves that to me every time I am editing and every time I am in the field and do not have to pull out my graduated filters. It is truly
    amazing. Thanks and good hunting.
  27. Great Camera- have had mine 2 years now. I haven't seen anything I would trade it for. The potential problems you list have not been an issue for me. One of my best lenses is the old series e 75-150 f3.5 MF. Ease of use is about the same as my old D700 although I do try to use 1.5-2X the focal length to prevent motion blur when hand holding.
  28. pge


    Really interesting comments throughout this thread. I really appreciate hearing all of your views. The same tool in all these different hands yet we all have our unique take on it. I laughed when I read "Why do you make me stand on my head and tap my ears to change modes?" because I really like this new arrangement over the D700 and I saw it as an improvement the first time I used it. Apparently not everyone agrees.
    I recently did some copy work of a friend's paintings with the D800 and a 55mm F3.5 Micro, studio lights, monopod, and the resolution was quite amazing. It really was the right tool for that job.
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dynamic range, Moose Peterson once discussed that quality of pixels was as or more important than resolution.​
    Moose Peterson is tightly connected to Nikon's marketing department. I would imagine that he made such comments when Nikon DSLRs' pixel count was behind the competition's, namely Canon.
    Today, the situation has flipped. Nikon has had the 36MP D800 for over two years while Canon stays at 21MP for 7 years. The Nikon marketing folks should be emphasising the pixel count advantage instead.
  30. Shun well aware of Moose Peterson' s relationship with Nikon but he was still right even though at the time he said it I
    scratched my head since Nikon was not competing as we'll with Canon in any aspect, dynamic range, pixel count, color
    depth, and I was shooting a Fuji S2 that pretended to be a 12mp camera by interpolation. Again set pixel count aside
    and the dynamic range on Nikon is the best and something I never imagined when I shot film. I have 600 dollars worth of
    Singh-Ray grads that spend more time in my camera bag now days than getting used. To me once the number of pixels
    went over 20 it was all gravy. I know I have not pushed my camera system as far as it can go but I can happily print all
    day long at 17X22 with my D3s. That said I will take the extra resolution too. On the other hand the professionals and
    advanced amateurs I know who shoot Canon don't seem to be loosing out for want of megapixels. I am a little surprised
    that Canon has not changed their DSLR bodies much in the last several years.
  31. I bought my D800 at the end of 2012. Actually, I never really checked for the left sensor issue.. Just like I found out much later that under extreme conditions my D200 DOES show the much debated 'striping issue'. My D800 functions just fine - is in fact a very responsive camera. The image quality never ceases to amaze me.
    It was an expensive camera and one that will satisfy me for several years to come. I wonder when the moment comes that I will consider the image quality so-so in comparison to newer offerings. Like with my D200 (still very good at base ISO - only 10Mpx though) and D300 (acceptable up to higher ISO's, easily a bit 'muddy' - only 12Mpx though..).
    The arguments written in this thread that the large file sizes makes the users more aware about the 'keepers' and those images that will never be used again, are fascinating. And good advice.
    A small-NEF firmware upgrade would be much appreciated. The flexibility to chose between high-res and for example 16Mpx.. Perfection is so near!

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