Used D800 vs. D750

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kylebybee, May 31, 2015.

  1. I'm wanting to upgrade from my D7000 to a full frame body for portrait work. I would like opinions on which to get between a used D800 for around $1,600.00 or the the D750 kit with the 24-120 lens for $2,700.00. Mostly want to hear about performance pros/cons rather than cost effectiveness.
     
  2. I would take the D750 because of its newer, and very highly regarded AF. The main reason I don't personally use the D750 is because the D810 is quieter and for certain types of events that I shoot, it is a beneficial characteristic, even though the D750 has a bit better high ISO and more sensitive AF in low light. My hands also fit around the D810 better than the D750, but a lot of people actually seem to prefer the handling of the D750, so this is something you should test yourself before buying. Also the D810 and D800 have slightly different grip shapes.
    Do you have any FX lenses yet? I typically use 24-70/2.8 and 70-200/4 when I shoot portraits. The 24-70 is used for full body, small groups, and 2/3 body shots and then for the close-ups I usually use the longer zoom. For available light portraits or mixed flash/available light, I usually use fast primes (35, 58, 85, and 105), but these are more optional. I don't like the 24-120/4 much, to be honest; I think it is best used for those situations where you must have the 5x range. I think the 24-70 and both the f/2.8 and f/4 70-200's give much better image quality at a broad range of apertures and focal lengths whereas the 24-120/4 is good at around its optimal aperture range from f/5.6 to f/8. If the 24-120/4 in a kit is what you can afford then I would not object, if the price is right, but to get the best quality in low light you probably want to add some primes (the f/1.8 AF-S Nikkors are very good). The reason I prefer the 70-200/4 over the f/2.8 version is because I typically use this lens for head and shoulders or tighter and the f/4 version is much lighter weight and about equal in image quality and in my opinion has more consistently good out of focus rendering than the 70-200mm f/2.8 II. Also the f/4 zoom does focus closer and there is the option of very tight framing e.g. for head shots of children, if you need it.
     
  3. I just have 2 FX lenses right now. Nikon's 85 f/1.8 G and Tamron's 70-300 usd vr, which I know isn't a "portrait" lens. Nice to hear about the 70-200 f/4.
     
  4. Kyle:
    I am with Ilkka on this one. If you fit a d810 into your budget I would give it serious thought.
    -O
     
  5. In which way do you feel a D7000 with 85mm f/1.8 is holding you back from getting good portraits?
    I'm not saying that there are no advantages to moving to a full frame camera, but gear-wise, lenses are a more important part (though I happen to like the 24-120VR for what it is - but sure versatility comes at a price). And light is the single most important thing with portraits.
    Given that you only have two FX lenses at this point, I'd first start getting the lenses (and in case you do not have those, a pair of flashes) and then upgrade to FX body when the move doesn't leave you with awkward gaps. Personally, I am not so much fan of the f/2.8 zooms; I do not doubt their optical qualities, but they're just too heavy, and expensive, to my taste. Personally, I am fine with the combination of a slower zoom (24-120) with primes alongside. For facial portraits, I much like my 180mm f/2.8. In the end, it's a matter of preference. But I'd first get clear which lens set I'd want, and then see which format sensor fits best with that.
     
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Kyle's situation is completely different from Ilkka's. Ilkka has far more lenses than he can ever use, while Kyle has two FX lenses.
    As a general rule of thumb, most of one's gear budget should go to lenses, and I would spend money on improving your photo skills, which may mean more seminars, workshops, travel .... Camera bodies are also important, but get out of date quickly and therefore depreciate rapidly. Definitely buy a good enough body to meet your nees, but prepare to upgrade somewhat often should your demands move up. Therefore, there is definitely no point to buy an expensive body and then have insufficient lenses to match it.
    If you are willing to buy used, go used. Not sure it is easy to get a good deal on a used D750 like this one: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00dIgU, but used D800 are generally very good value for the money. A used D750 should cost about the same.
    The main advantage of a new D750 is the package deal with the 24-120mm/f4 AF-S VR. That is one of my favorite lenses. As a 5x zoom, it is not the best optically, especially on the 24mm end. Chromatic aberration and the loss of quality around the edges is quite obvious. However, it is a very versatile lens. Should you need to make huge prints from wide angles, get an affordable 35mm/f1.8, 28mm/f1.8 or 20mm/f1.8.
     
  7. I had a D7000 and D800 and recently sold the D7000 and bought a D750 since I have only full frame lenses. IMO the differences in ISO performance, focusing and the like between the D800 and the D750 are insignificant for portrait work. To me the differences between the two cameras is more in the size and weight. I tend to use the D800 more for studio work and the D750 more in the field. If I could only have one I think it would be a flip of a coin that made the decision.
    The D7000 is still an excellent camera. I agree that your money might be better spent buying high quality glass. I always liked my D7000 but continually got more respect for what it could do as I purchased pro level lenses. Once you have the lenses then think about a new body.
     
  8. I have the D7000 and D750, the latter purchased earlier this year. You'll notice improvements with focus - including normal situations rather than just low light - and better high ISO performance. Cropped images benefit as well. Either a new D750 or used D800 will decline in value but you would have warranty protection with a new camera. Can't comment about the D800.
    Seemingly the responses introduced an additional decision branch; camera first then lens or lens first then camera. At some point you'll want better glass for either format.
    Joe
     
  9. I bought a used D800E for portrait (and some wedding) work. These are paid gigs. The reasons a used D800E is a better choice than a new D750 are:
    1) more resolution. I bought the camera to make really big enlargements.
    2) better sharpness than either D70 or D819
    3) much lower price. Almost always, maybe 90% of the time, you are FAR better off putting money into lenses than camera bodies. You really are most weak in lenses.
    I'll give you a rough idea here. I spent $1,500 for the used D800E. I then had to buy new lenses, and went for the very best. Even buying used that was over $6,000. So, lenses to camera 4:1 seems to be about the average ration when I think of what the full time wedding guys I know are using. OH, the other BIG BIG thing for portraits is the lighting system. I have about $6,000 in lighting gear. Yes, a little light on that, but I'm nowhere near full time with it. If you are just doing this for fun you could easily get by with just $2,000 in lighting. I do see lighting as the difference between a pro and a dabbler though.
    Kent in SD
     
  10. If I own a lens that I don't use often enough, I put it on the second hand market as that way it can be of use to someone who would actually use it, and they can get it for a lower price than if they had to buy it new. It was not my intention to suggest that the OP buy a lot of lenses but only to give my favorite lenses for portraiture as suggestions. I think one can easily get by with 2-3 lenses if one specializes in one or a few types of photography. If one shoots a lot of varied photography subjects then the lens collection tends to grow beyond that.
    Since you have an 85mm prime and a telezoom, I recommend adding a wide angle (e.g. 35mm prime) for whole body portraits and such; indoors it would be difficult to get more of the body (than head and shoulders) in the image using a tele and outdoors it would require increasing distance between photographer and subject, making it more difficult to communicate. I prefer a more intimate perspective where the subject and the photographer are fairly close to each other, which is why I recommend a 35mm (or 50mm) for full body shots. A 35mm prime is fast enough for indoor available light shots, compact, and affordable. It also gives enough background blur for whole body shots that you get a bit of separation. A 24-120/4 could be used if you must, but at wide angle settings almost everything will be in focus so the background isn't appreciably blurred. Also it is a bit fuzzy at f/4.
     
  11. For portraits a used D600 should be the best value for money. I think you can find them for $900 or so. You'll get 24 megapixel of full frame greatness. If you get one that has had the shutter replaced you are essentially getting a D610. AF capability is more than enough for portraits.
    Don't know what kind of portraits you do but I would sink most money into light. That will make the biggest difference to the end results.
    On lenses you don't need edge sharpness like the landscape guys do. So a lot of lenses are fine when it comes to quality. Better to get one or two primes for reasons below.
    Images that has quality lighting and images that are creamy with little depth of field are the two kind of images that uncle bob with the kit lens can't make. That is if you want to differentiate your images from what people can take themselves and getting paid. If you're just doing it for fun then it doesn't make a big difference either way.
     
  12. You're talking a used D800 and new D750. Buying used there is a lot of risk there so I don't know. But I would tend to favor the D800.
     
  13. Buying used there is a lot of risk there so I don't know.​
    What is the risk? It either works as it should or not. If it works then you are in exactly the same position today that you would been after buying a new one and using it for 12 months.
    I like buying used from hobbyists and using the gear for professional use. That way you get gear that someone has been carrying around like it was a newborn baby and it has seen nowhere near the use that pro gear would have in the same time. And the first owner handled the initial value depreciation, because he wanted the latest and greatest (at the time).
     
  14. I said I don't know so I offer no recommendation on this issue. But I said I like the D800 better. There may be a problem that upon examination during the few minutes checking you don't see it. I heard some D800 had cracked casting that is very difficult to know when you buy.
     
  15. Considering all the issues Nikon has been having the past few years, the risk is just as big buying new. Everything photographic I have, I bought used. I've had no issues. In one sense there is no "risk" buying something new: you KNOW you're going to be spending a lot more money for something.
    Kent in SD
     
  16. At the risk of going it alone here I'd get the D800 or 800E and add a manual focus 105/2.5, one of the older ones from KEH. You are then covered by some warranty and know what you are getting. AF is overrated in a portrait situation, nearly a pointless feature in my opinion. I prefer to focus myself nearly always but especially in a studio. It's fun to have several lenses to pick from in the bag but you'll find that there are 2 or three that work for you nearly always in a given situation. The rest will end up being used rarely, nice to have when you need them but you will have what I call the money lenses with you all the time. The zooms are nice and get the job done for portraits but I have a couple of primes, the 105, an 85/2, 28/3.5, that I would never part with. What goes in the bag always? 80-200, 300, 28-75/2.8. So I will stand by my first statement: D800/800E and a 105/2.5 mf.

    Rick H.
     
  17. i think it depends on intended usage. there is no question a d800 will be a better studio/tripod camera. if you are thinking about handheld/available-light-type stuff, i would go for the d750. it is really as simple as that.
     
  18. I'd handle them and see. I went D700, D800e, D810.
    Curious, I tried a D750 in a shop, and it felt like a toy - I
    wasn't expecting such a difference. But it will also feel
    more like a D7000. The low-light AF is supposedly better
    on the D750, but the AF points are also clustered more
    centrally (and they'll already probably be more grouped
    than you expect if you're used to DX). If you're looking at
    an 800 and not an 800e, you might have marginally better
    moiré resistance than the D750, if you're doing a lot of
    clothing. Both are fine cameras. As others have said,
    lenses and light probably matter more - though the
    dynamic range is very liberating in post. Good luck.
     
  19. I love my D750 but I did not like the 24-120 f4. I thought I was tired of carrying around 2.8's (I had a D7000 and a 17-55 f2.8) so I thought the 24-120 would be a nice downsize compromise. But I found the focus tracking slow and the lens was much larger than I expected. The range to 120mm was surprising and a little strange since I was used to the the 17-55 (~24-70 in FF). In the end I sold the lens to KEH for pretty good money, about what I paid for it when considering the kit price. I bought myself a used 24-70 f2.8 and I love it. If you are only doing portraits than maybe the 24-120 is ok for you, I don't know if you'll miss the f2.8-f4 range or not. I love the D750, it is a huge step up from the D7000 in terms of high ISO, focus speed and overall awesomeness. For shooting my kids, you cannot beat the D750 in low light, great colors and AF, for the money that is.

    As for buying used, I would not hesitate buying used from BH, KEH or Adorama.
     
  20. "If you're looking at an 800 and not an 800e, you might have marginally better moiré resistance than the D750, if you're doing a lot of clothing."

    Why? The D750 has an optical low pass filter over the sensor like the D800. Are you thinking that the higher pixel density will make a noticeable difference in the moire'?
     
  21. d 750 - 1/4000
    d 800 - 1/8000
    id take a d800 anytime
    well..back then i only had 1/2000 and it pissed me off, too many times.
    this however depends on what you want to do or if it is just another possibility to you.
    if i did not destroy everything and was busy buying back what i destroy id pick up a d800.
     
  22. the max shutter speed is of far less consequence than the fact that 36mp can be problematic with anything handheld.
     
  23. I won't always be on a tripod and won't always be in a studio, so if the d800 is a problem hand held then I should look into
    the d750 or as some have said a d610
     
  24. Hmm... Does that make sense? If 36mp can be problematic with anything handheld, anything less than 36 mp is problematic because of being less than 36 mp, even when the real reason for the 'problem' - handholding - is not present. The fact that something less than 36 mp apparently/supposedly is able to mask the loss of IQ due to handholding, 'by virtue of' a lack of IQ due to being less than 36 mp, is hardly a reason to forego the chance to get some better IQ. Using 36 mp will not be worse, but can be better. Les sthan 36 mp can never be better.
     
  25. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    36MP is not really problematic for hand holding, but if you are mostly hand holding, 36MP is most likely a waste of pixels, as any tiny bit of camera shake or subject motion is literally going to blur any difference between 24MP and 36MP, and probably for 12MP as well. You'll end up with a lot of huge 36MP image files that take up space and slow down your process but there is no more information and details than 12MP.
    Kyle, I suggest you visit a high-end camera store and handle a D750 and a D810 (or used D800) in person. See whether you are happy with the controls on either one of them. There are a lot of tiny changes from the D800 and D810, including the grip. The D810 is a bit more comfortable, but if you are happy with the D810, chance is that you'll also be happy with the D800/D800E. You may also find my article useful: Nikon D810 versus D750: Which to Choose?
    But again, IMO lenses are more important than camera bodies.
     
  26. I have both the D750 and D800, and I use the D800 for tripod situations, in the case of portraits, primarily with the 85 mm f/1.8 lens. For almost everything else I use the D750. I think the D800 used is a great bargain, and I would use the price difference to get the 70-200 mm f/4, which I really like. I also like the idea of a 35 mm prime-but I am getting by with the 50 mm f/1.4.
     
  27. I'd favour the D800, after all, I have one.
    I also have a D810, both are great cameras
     
  28. any tiny bit of camera shake or subject motion is literally going to blur any difference between 24MP and 36MP​
    that's precisely why 36 mp is problematic for handholding, as i said earlier. the d800 is a tripod camera. it's capable of delivering stunning images which can be printed huge. but outside the studio and off tripod, that extra resolution is wasted and can introduce errors which you wont see with 12, 16, or 24 mp FF bodies. not saying you cant use one handheld, but every single user review i've ever read has said the same thing: that you have to be extra-careful with handholding technique when using that camera. feel free to ignore my advice, but if the body is going to be used in situations where you dont need max resolution and/or are going to be handholding a lot, i would go for the d750. the d750 is also better in low-light.
     
  29. "If you're looking at an 800 and not an 800e, you might have marginally better moiré resistance than the D750, if you're doing a lot of clothing."

    Why? The D750 has an optical low pass filter over the sensor like the D800. Are you thinking that the higher pixel density will make a noticeable difference in the moire'?​
    Oops. Sorry, my bad, I'd convinced myself that the D750 was distinguished from the D610 by not having an olpf. Please put that nonsense down to jet lag. That said, please do not be scared that a D800 is useless unless you put it on a tripod!
     
  30. This "problematic" talk makes no sense.<br>If the higher image quality of a 36 mp camera is wasted due to handholding, and we then have to settle for 24 mp quality, having a 24 mp camera would be "problematic" all the time, whether we handhold the thing or have it on the sturdiest of sturdy tripods.<br>You, of course, will see that you waste image quality when using a 12 mp camera instead. You will see that it is a 12 mp camera all of the time. There is no escaping it. I don't understand why you would think that "you won't", Eric.<br>A rather strange and remarkable decision it would be to select something that is worse all the time because the thing that would be better could be made to perform equally bad sometimes. Would that really make the always-bad option less "problematic", more desirable? Do you really think so? Really?
     
  31. I haven't noticed any significant problems with hand-held use of the D800 or D810, apart from the reduced focus accuracy (due to hands swaying, the subject content changing quickly and intrinsic focus errors due to the design of the camera) which is better when the camera is on tripod and live view is used (on a mostly static subject of course). Hand shake is effectively mitigated by the use of an appropriately fast shutter speed (and/or flash). Of course, any subject that doesn't move is better photographed using a tripod (situation permitting) as then you can choose aperture, shutter speed and ISO freely (well, almost; some long lenses may suffer from shake at medium speeds even on tripod) and focus using live view. I do think 24MP is a good practical compromise between resolution and file size for many real-world applications. Between 12MP vs. 24MP or 12MP vs 36MP the difference in image detail is very obvious in print even when the camera is hand held (using appropriate shutter speed). 24MP vs. 36MP might be not so easy to see, but that's hardly a surprise. As the pixel counts get higher and higher the improvement in detail in the final application will be less significant due to the lens MTF falling as a function of frequency (as well as other causes of blur becoming more visible), but it is not like the detail relative to image dimensions gets worse as the pixel count increases. Of course, that might happen too, at ultra high ISO, depending on the sensor design. For my applications, 20-30MP is probably the best compromise, but of Nikon's current lineup, the 36MP D810 has otherwise the best feature set for my needs, so I use that.
     
  32. something you gotta read. this guys explains real well.
    otherwise get some physics books on optics.
    http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/sensor-resolution-and-lens-mtf/
    http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/sensor-resolution/
    http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/pixel-resolution/
    http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/pixel-resolution-2/
    http://www.wildlifeinpixels.net/blog/image-sharpness/
     
  33. There has always been a lot of scary talk about not being able to resolve 36MP of detail. Nonsense. Yes, it's easier to see motion blur at 36MP than at 12MP. It's also easier to see motion blur at 200mm than at 50mm, but that doesn't make 200mm lenses unusable, especially with VR. Yes, diffraction is visible sooner, but a lot of lenses are decent at f/4, and - with a small noise increase - you can deconvolve the diffraction. Shoot at f/22 and you'll get mush; run it through, say, DxO, and you get sharpness back (with a little more noise). The D8x0 has slightly more linear resolution than a D750 - you can see it, but not by much. It's like a D7000 vs a D300, or a D7100 vs a D7000. The same will be true of the 5Ds vs the D800. It'll be harder to get a pixel-sharp image, but not impossible. And it can still take perfectly good images if they're not pixel-sharp.
    It's possible to take perfectly good images hand-held with an 80MP Phase One back. Yes, it's harder than with a D700, but all things are incremental.
     
  34. I haven't noticed any significant problems with hand-held use of the D800 or D810, apart from the reduced focus accuracy
    uh... reduced focus accuracy isnt a "significant problem"? in what universe? that reminds me of the line, "other than that, how did you enjoy the play, Mrs. Lincoln"?
    Hand shake is effectively mitigated by the use of an appropriately fast shutter speed (and/or flash). Of course, any subject that doesn't move is better photographed using a tripod (situation permitting)​
    my point was that you literally have to change your shooting technique to account for high-res sensors. Ilkka's comments (and everything else ever reported on the d800/810) confirm this. if you are handholding 50% or more of the time, it stands to reason the d750 is the logical choice, from a practical standpoint. as always, YMMV.
     
  35. Eric, despite having quite a decent tripod, I hand-hold
    99% of the time. You do have to change your technique
    to get the best sharpness: I don't bend the 1/focal length
    rule as much as I used to, and I shoot wide open less. I
    don't use my weaker lenses as much. I often need to
    move a lot for framing, and a tripod would be
    implausible. A D750 would do the job very well for me,
    but do I get pixel-level detail out of the 36MP sensor?
    Yes. Incremental differences make using a tripod
    SLIGHTLY more useful, not imperative. I'm not saying
    the D800 is a better choice than the D750, but I wouldn't
    be scared off by the resolution, really.
     
  36. "It's possible to take perfectly good images hand-held with an 80MP Phase One back. Yes, it's harder than with a D700, but all things are incremental."

    That's not correct. It is impossible to take as perfectly good images hand-held (or otherwise) with a D700.
    The fact that one camera performs such that what it can do at best (!) is not better than what a better camera does when something happens (being used handheld for instance) that reduces what that better camera produces is not to be explained as "it's easier too see" or "visible sooner". That's just wrong.
    Diffraction, for instance, can only be noticeable if there is some level of image quality that is reduced by diffraction. The fact that it is "visible sooner" using a particular camera is only because the level of quality, at best, produced by another camera that shows diffraction later already is below what diffraction would reduce it too. Diffraction isn't visible sooner in th eresults produced by the better camera. The lesser quality is visible always, i.e. from the start, as soon as you let the camera produce an image, no matter what diffraction might do, using the lesser camera.

    All this talk is like complaining about a Formula 1 car for the reason that in the pit lane under pit lane speed restrictions it doesn't go faster than a clapped out Fiat Panda, drawing the conclusion that because it can't go faster on the track than it is allowed to go in the pit lane, so the difference between pit lane speed and race speed is less "problematic", the Fiat Panda would be the better choice. It quite simply isn't. Nor is it the more "logical choice, from a practical standpoint". Quite the contrary.
    The problem, if any, is not that you can make a good thing do bad. It is that you cannot make a bad thing do better.

    It's also not so that you need to change your technique. Yes, using a bad camera, you could think that you can almost get away with anything before noticing that the quality drops below the low level you get anyway. But that's of course not true (handholding, for instance is many times worse than the difference using a lower resolution sensor can make). And it's no more than an excuse, a convoluted way of blaming the camera for not using proper technique and the results of that.
    A tripod, for instance, always produces visibly better quality images. The fact that it is not always possible, almost never convenient to use a tripod, and that you can get away with the lesser results of not using a tripod does not change that using a tripod always produces visibly better quality images.
     
  37. uh... reduced focus accuracy isnt a "significant problem"?
    I just said it was a significant problem (or challenge, would be more accurate way of putting it), but camera shake and subject movement is taken care of fast enough shutter speed.
    my point was that you literally have to change your shooting technique to account for high-res sensors.
    I did this change already with the 10 MP DX camera (D200) in 2006. It is much easier to get a given level of detail on the D810 than the D200. If you want the best results out of any camera, you have to use good technique.
     
  38. at this point, several years past launch, there has been far too much written about the d800's shortcomings to pass them off as mere hearsay. from my perspective, it certainly look like Nikon guinea-pigged early adopters of the 36mp sensor, and then put out the cameras they should have made the first time around. i refer you, gentlemen, to exhibit A, a recent longterm review of the d810 by Ming Thein. he says:
    "I put it down to the D810 really being what the D800/E should have been: AF that’s solid and back to having the tracking abilities of the D3/700 generation; ergonomics that are more comfortable in hand, and just a little bit more responsiveness in live view and for sequential shooting. The shutter and mirror assembly are quieter, faster and better damped – meaning a bit more handholdable shutter speed. The electronic front curtain is a big bonus for tripod work, and there is now no excuse for camera shake or shutter vibration – at all."​
    so right there, we can see that shutter vibration and AF accuracy are known issues in the 800 that nikon fixed in the 810. i personally trust MT's reviews -- he's not a click-baiter like KR or a Nikon grouch like Hogan. he buys his own gear and uses the camera for quite some time before doing long-term reviews. in his earlier 'first impressions' d800 review, MT noted,
    In reality, this means shooting at one stop lower ISO, and taking care with camera shake.​
    and
    at base ISO and sufficiently high shutter speeds that camera shake isn’t a concern, there’s more resolution here than you can shake a stick at​
    in a later, 'midterm' review of the d800e (which he noted also applies to the d800), MT says:
    Something still doesn’t feel right with the autofocus system.
    Although my camera no longer exhibits any asymmetry with its focus points following the recalibration and fix by Nikon Malaysia, it just doesn’t seem to be as positive or accurate as the D700 was (or D600 is now). There are situations in which the camera nails everything perfectly, and situations under which it just seems to miss by a hair; far more of the latter exist than the former. And no combination of AF settings seems to work; this means that the D800 is effectively an unviable proposition to me as a documentary/ reportage camera. Bottom line: I’m not 100% confident that it’s going to focus where I tell it to.​
    and
    The bottom line is that if your lens covers say 90 degrees horizontally, then the D800E puts much more resolving power per degree in the hands of the average photographer than they’re used to; this places corresponding demands on lens quality and technique (focusing, camera shake etc) than the vast majority people can manage handheld except under good light. I can’t even get a consistently sharp image unless I’m over 1/2x focal length – and I’m certain I’ve got better technique than average. This, and the size of the files (a throughput issue) make it impractical for a documentary/ travel/ journalism camera. Oh, and you’ve got to use good lenses too, which tend to be large and heavy – not ideal for walking around with.​
    and
    The shutter appears to have a vibration issue around 1/30s or so.
    I’ve noticed a strange blurring/ double image that occasionally pops up in the 1/20-1/40s range; even with everything locked down on a heavy – Gitzo 5 series systematic – tripod and studio lights; the only conclusion I can come to is that somewhere in the shutter or mirror mechanism, something is vibrating at that natural frequency and creating a bit of camera shake.​
    in his conclusion, he says buy the d800/e if:
    • You don’t mind using studio lights and/ or a tripod to maximize image quality
    So, Andrew, even if you are handholding 99% of the time with a d800, that doesnt mean you are getting the most out of that sensor. in fact, it probably means you aren't.
    And, Ilkka, even with adjusting technique and lens selection to accommodate, you're still dealing with issues--AF accuracy, shutter vibration--which frankly should not exist on a camera at this price point.
    For those reasons, then, i maintain my original recommendation that the d750 is a better walkaround/documentary/handheld camera, while the d800/e is ideally suited for tripod and studio work. if you need resolution as well as less possibility of vibration being introduced at lower shutter speeds, a d810 is ideal.
     
  39. A rather strange and remarkable decision it would be to select something that is worse all the time because the thing that would be better could be made to perform equally bad sometimes. Would that really make the always-bad option less "problematic", more desirable? Do you really think so? Really?​
    Q.G., this isn't philosophy 101, this is more like physics 232. my last post clarified the problem, but in case you missed it, it's not the handholding per se which is an issue with the d800, it's the camera's tendency to introduce shutter vibration which makes handholding MORE problematic than with a d750. in any event, i hardly think that it could be said that a d750 is "worse all the time" than a d800 just because a d800 has greater resolution. By that argument, four Big Macs would be healthier than two Quarter-Pounders or a small kale salad.
    it's been said many times since the d800 was announced back in 2012, but 36mp can be overkill. in situations where you honestly need that much resolution--such as commercial photography, studio portraiture, and extra-large display prints--an 800 series is clearly "better" than the 600 or 700 series. But not in every situation across the board. The reality is that there are many D800 purchasers who would have been better off with a 24mp camera, just as there are d750 purchasers who really didnt need more than a d71/200. We can make emotional arguments based on false equivalence logic until we're blue in the face, or swear that that problem just doesnt impact us because we use superior technique, but the facts remain that design flaws in the 800 which impact shooting parameters do exist and are well-documented, three years after launch. The degree to which that impacts each individual shooter depends on a number of different factors, obviously.
     
  40. I disagree, Eric.

    First the shutter vibration thing. That needs both a physics refresher and a reality check. The effect of even the worst shutter vibration is several orders of magnitude smaller than the effect of handholding. Even when the cameras are handheld by those who are proud that, through years of training and huge discipline, they have rock steady hands.
    Several orders of magnitude, Eric. You cannot detect the effect of shutter vibration (or mirror slap) when you hold a camera in your unsteady rock-steady hands.

    Then your analogy. The one i provided was perfectly o.k. I don't know why you threw in one that isn't. Reducing something good to the same level as something less good does not make that less good thing as good (or even the better, more logical choice), unless that reduction would be an unescapable constant. It never, even with the assumption of the reductions as a given, makes being better "problematic".
    But sticking with your food analogy: when eating more of a healthy thing is better than eating less of it, and better than eating the same amount of a less healthy or unhealthy thing, eating so little of that healthy thing that it is, per helping, as (un)healthy as eating that less healthy thing does not turn that healthy food into unhealthy food. Again, the assumption of a reduction is where things first go wrong. The confusion mistaking the manipulated/arbitrary effect for inherent qualities of the item (camera, car, food) is responsible for the rest of the fallacy.

    And talking about assumptions: yes, when we assume something is too much, it can safely and 'honestly' be said that we can do with a bit less. "The reality" is that you do not know, only assume, that people do not need that much.
    It is flawed in another way too, assuming that needing something better is an emotional thing based on false logic. People buying digital backs that are even better (shudder! "Is that possible?!" i hear you think) and spending many times more than what a D800 costs do not do that because of emotional arguments based on false logic. They are not all irrational fools driven by emotion.
    Yes, yes, you can get out of that by pointing at how few those people are in number. But while that is true, it only demonstrates that it again is a confusion of accidentals with substance. There are good reasons to get and use good cameras, even though you could claim (without having anything to base that on except a general hunch) that they end up in the hands of people who do not need them. What do you think we are discussing here?

    Then that "superior technique" malarky. It has to be addressed, not because it is a big part of this discussion, but because it apparently another of those little blessings of the Digido. We hear a lot that better digital cameras require better lenses, better technique etc. They do not. That superior technique isn't superior, except in comparison to sloppy technique. VR and AF have made people lazy. That was allowed by cameras (reduced to sub 20 lp/mm performace by soft focus filters put in front of their low resolution, Bayer-patterned sensors) not being able to show the difference between a good and a bad lens, not being able to show the results (other things became more important, like how many frames per second you could run through, for how long and what battery you need to do that). See also "The bottom line is [...] than they are used to" in the review you posted (as evidence... hm...). But what you call "superior technique" used to be no big deal, was something everyone does. It still should not be a big deal. It does not require superior skills or superior dexterity. It is not rocket science, but as easy as taking a bite out of your quarterpounder. There are no claims made that it is something only some special people are capable of, so that - as you argue - the rest would be well served with cameras not 'requiring' some "superior technique" they haven't mastered. Because it isn't. And knowing that, this bit of your argument tumbles. People generally are better served with better equipment (Yes, yes: unless we assume they are not). They do not have a specific requirement for a camera that is not as good as it can be (And again, yes; unless we assume they do).

    All in all, "the reality is" that anyone can make good use of better cameras. That handholding isn't the best thing to do (but if there is no other option...).
    And that a worse thing isn't a better thing than a better thing, because that better thing can also be reduced to something not better than that worse thing.
     
  41. Eric, both Andrew (to my knowledge) and I are using the D810, not the D800(E). I wouldn't buy a D800 second hand myself at this point because it is not so easy to test for AF issues (since they can be lens, distance and lighting condition dependent) and the repair and AF adjustment which is normally free of charge to the original owner under warranty (and usually a bit after, as in my experience Nikon has been quite relaxed about the warranty time period) might be costly to carry out for the owner of a used camera that is several years out of warranty. So if the choice is between used D800 and D750 I would pick the latter, to be safe. I would not be so quick to criticize Nikon for the D800 issues; after all they did dramatically improve upon the D3X's image quality yet put it in a camera body that is 1/3 of the price. This they did just one year after their factories and infrastructure was devastated by a historical earthquake and tsunami. Of course there would be some issues when working in such a time and with such ambitious goals. They were able to fix most of the issues and improve many aspects of the camera in the D810. I think they recovered quite well from the year 2011's events. A lot of people are very quick to forget large-scale human tragedy but still expect perfection in some products that they buy.
    it's the camera's tendency to introduce shutter vibration which makes handholding MORE problematic than with a d750.
    The D800 and D750 both use a spring to lift the mirror up, causing a certain amount of shake. The D750's slower shutter may cause a bit less vibration than the faster shutter in the D800, but for a portrait photographer the 1/250 s flash sync is a feature that allows one to use a bit smaller and less heavy flashes to still have enough light to balance with sunlight. 1/3 stop might not seem much but when you're on the verge of running out of light it is an unnecessary burden to have to be prepared to provide 1/3 stop more light (that could be surprisingly significant when carrying the equipment in the field). Third party flashes often require 1/3 stop slower sync speed to be used (because of delays in triggering) which puts the user of a D750 at 1/160s. The D810 uses a motor-driven mirror which slows down prior to impact so it creates less vibration (than either D800 or the D750). If you are concerned about shutter or mirror related vibrations then either a DX camera like the D7200 (since it has a smaller mirror and shutter it should create less vibration) or the D810 would be ideal choices. However, this is a factor mostly for telephoto landscape shooters and macro, not for portrait photography. I don't believe the differences in vibrations created by the D800 vs. the D750 is a significant factor in hand held work unless you use shutter speeds that are not fast enough to freeze the subject and in that case you're asking for blur.
    swear that that problem just doesnt impact us because we use superior technique
    This isn't about some "superior" technique but simply using a shutter speed that is fast enough to freeze the camera and the subject. It is not much different between 36MP and 24MP. In fact a user of 24MP DX would need a bit faster shutter speeds to clear of subject movement related blur with a given lens than the user of 36MP FX. But those differences are small really; good technique is pretty universal. If someone doesn't see the blur at 1/FL using a 12MP FX camera then probably they aren't looking very closely, or simply have never seen a sharp image for reference (made with tripod at the same shutter speed).
     
  42. Boring, i know, but i will repeat: "I don't believe the differences in vibrations created by the D800 vs. the D750 is a significant factor in hand held work unless [...]" absolutely nothing.

    This is a popular, recurring theme. There's nothing in it that makes sense. There is a huge difference in magnitude between the vibrations caused by even the worst mirror or shutter and the movement of even the steadiest hands. The difference is so big that it really (and i really mean really) makes no sense at all to worry about whatever the shutter or mirror will do as long as you are handholding a camera.

    Just as an illustration, have a look at this video. Since it was posted enough has been said about whether or not a penny balancing on a lens is a good measure for mirror or shutter induced shake. But whether it is or not is not the point. First of all try to balance a penny on a handeld camera (and you may try on a flat surface on the camera first, before trying to put it on a curved surface as in the video). Good luck trying!

    Again (and hopefully there will be no need to repeat it later): handholding a camera makes any worries about camera induced shake moot. Handholding is many orders of magnitude worse. Don't waste your time discussing camera induced shake issues when and as long as that camera is used handheld.
     
  43. With that out of the way, time to turn to the mirror size thing. A moving mirror coming to an abrupt stop must be able to get rid of its energy. Since the mirror must come to a dead stop, something else will have to take it on.
    Smaller format cameras have (some of them, that is) a smaller mirror. Smaller mirror = less mass = less impact, less energy. But whether that also translates to a system that vibrates less depends on whatever it is the energy is transferred to. If that is proportionally smaller, less massive, too, there is no reason to expect that the smaller mirror camera will have a benefit.
    Now i'm not saying that a DX camera can not be better in this respect than an FX camera. But it is not a given. It depends. So just the fact that the D7200 mentioned has a smaller mirror doesn't mean that it should create less vibration.

    I think you are spot on (or awfully close) with your "or simply have never seen a sharp image for reference", Ilkka.
     
  44. Q.G. I haven't tested the effects of mirror movement on sharpness but I did compare the D810 with and without EFCS and the D7100, using two 200mm lenses, in the shutter speed window roughly from 1/10s to 1/100s using a tripod. While EFCS produced the best results, the D7100 (which doesn't support EFCS) didn't seem to cause much shutter induced blur in the shots, whereas the D810 with EFCS off did cause quite significant sharpness loss at some of the shutter speeds tested using the 70-200/4 at 200mm. So the DX shutter seems to cause less vibration than the FX shutter, at least with the setups that I tested. The mirror slap effect I didn't test as I was using a cable release and M-UP. Perhaps someone else can do that comparison. I was doing this test for figuring out the relative merits of using a TC-14E III with D810 vs. the D7100 for telephoto photography and at the same time I was able to do some testing of the EFCS feature, which I use for tripod based landscape shots. The other lens that I tested was the 200/2 II and didn't seem to be much affected by shutter shake using either camera. This illustrates one benefit that large aperture teles have due to their weight most likely.
    For portraiture I try to stay at faster shutter speeds (1/200s or faster, 1/500s more typical if I'm not using flash) to eliminate subject movement blur as well as camera shake. I remember one shot I made at 1/60s in a church wedding ceremony; the subject was a child and she turned her head during the exposure, resulting in the face registering as a homogeneous gray blob with no features. A 1000 pixel image would have been enough to see that it was blurry, no need to talk about megapixels. I try to avoid such risks by using a reasonable shutter speed where I can.
     
  45. Why is it that no one comments on the "hand hold ability" of any of the DX cameras.
    The currents models all have a much higher pixel density than the D800/D800e/D810.
    The shake will have a much worse effect on those cameras than it will on a D800/D800e/D810
     
  46. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lorne, pixel density is an issue related to camera shake only if you blow the images up in the same way you would with a 36MP DSLR/mirrorless. Think about it, pixel density on an iPhone camera is by far higher than even a 24MP DX body, so is the pixel density on a Nikon 1 mirrorless camera. Typical usage of iPhone images is e-mail'ed or text'ed to other phones or posted to FaceBook type web sites. Image quality is usually not a serious concern.
     
  47. I bought my D800 in 2012, my first 'fullframe' camera after 24x36mm slidefilm was 'replaced' by my (much used and loved) D200 and D300.
    Yes, it has it's limitations. Sometimes fidgety AF is one of them. But then, I usually do not depend so much on AF.
    The 36Mpx images are so addictive, that I would not easily go 'back' to less now.. And I now see moderately used D800's offered for around 1500 euro. Tempting! Would I dare to buy second-hand? Yes. The typical high-end camera body that the D800 is, offers a lot of control buttons, which are welcome too.
    That is not to say that I would advice a first-time fullframe buyer to stay away from the D750. That is a lovely camera too, with some improved features over the D800 (see above posts).
     
  48. Shun, you said "pixel density is an issue related to camera shake only if you blow the images up in the same way you would with a 36MP DSLR/mirrorless"
    When people are using a D7100 or D7200 for "reach" when doing bird in flight photography or macro photography or event photography they would be aiming at the same size prints as anyone using a D800.
    The smaller pixel pitch wpuld show far more movement blur with the same angular movement as a D800, and that would be more evident on the same size print made from a DX 24 MP camera image as that from a D800.
    You comment about an iPhone is correct but that has nothing to do with the use of the DX cameras.
     
  49. The difference between those cameras in blur caused by mirror slap is such a minor thing, I wouldn't even put out on my
    list. He's my list:

    Used D800:

    Pros: Resolution, price

    Cons: No warranty

    Might be a pro or a con, depending on preferences: Larger body

    D750:

    Pros: Speed, Can be bought with a discounted 24-120 lens, flippy screen, better in low light

    Cons: Build is more like a "consumer" DSLR.

    Might be a pro or a con, depending on preferences: Size, resolution, SD only
     
  50. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    When people are using a D7100 or D7200 for "reach" when doing bird in flight photography or macro photography or event photography they would be aiming at the same size prints as anyone using a D800.​
    Not in my experience.
    Typically people make large prints for wide-angle type vast landscape images, group portraits, and perhaps certain architecture images. That is where people use 36MP DSLRs (or Canon's up-coming 50MP ones), or better yet, large-format film cameras that provide lens and back movements to alter the plane of focus.
    We also see huge prints on billboards. If you look at them closely, their quality is actually very poor, but typical viewing distance is from pretty far away. Therefore, while the print is huge, due to the long viewing distance, the realistic magnification is not. Next time you walk by a fashion store, e.g. Victoria's Secret, Old Navy ..., get close to their window and look at the details of their fashion prints.
    Not many wildlife images are blown up to huge prints. Occasionally you may see images of a pride of lions or some polar bear family in a large print, but those are not captured with long teles because they include several animals. At least I rarely see birds in flight in a huge print, and even so, the main issue for sharpness is either focusing error or subject motion. I shoot a lot of birds in flight, usually with the 80-400mm AF-S VR @ 400mm, on either a D7100 or D7200 in these days. My typical shutter speed is 1/1600 sec and even that doesn't always stop all the subject motions, e.g. wing beat, especially when it comes to hummingbirds.
    The difference between those cameras in blur caused by mirror slap is such a minor thing, I wouldn't even put out on my list.​
    Totally agree. In those shutter speeds where mirror slaps could be an issue, i.e. 1/15 sec +- a stop or so, your main issue is subject motion, since the OP is talking about portraits.
     
  51. I would not be so quick to criticize Nikon for the D800 issues; after all they did dramatically improve upon the D3X's image quality yet put it in a camera body that is 1/3 of the price. This they did just one year after their factories and infrastructure was devastated by a historical earthquake and tsunami. Of course there would be some issues when working in such a time and with such ambitious goals. They were able to fix most of the issues and improve many aspects of the camera in the D810.​
    personally, i don't feel like camera companies are infallible, especially when it comes to customer service. Nikon didnt even want to admit there were AF issues in the d800 at first. In this age of fast-paced technology-driven markets, it is often the early adopters who suffer, as companies essentially use them as beta testers. Nikon isn't alone in this practice, of course. But at least we are now admitting that there are some things to be wary of with the 800.
     
  52. Nikon did publish along with the D800 a PDF called "D800(E) Technical guide" the message of which was basically use a tripod and live view to focus (on static subjects). They did inform the public of the potential challenges with the use of the camera. Regarding the left focus issue (that was clearly a manufacturing and calibration problem), but a lot of customers sent in their cameras (suspecting this issue after reading up about it online) and only a fraction of those actually had that particular issue. If Nikon had issued a public statement then basically everyone would have sent their camera in. That's what seems to have happened with the D750, and it made the camera unavailable for many months. It's a careful balancing act what to say in public. The important thing is that when issues arise they do their best to identify the causes and fix them. I don't mind at all if they do this quietly. While the D800 had some issues I believe to most users it was still a huge improvement over previous cameras.
     
  53. While the D800 had some issues I believe to most users it was still a huge improvement over previous cameras.​
    ok, but... to be clear, in this very thread, Ilkka, you have recommended the D750 for the OP at least two times. i think that's the right call, IF accurate AF is important to you. No one is saying here that the D800 wasn't an accomplishment when it was released, three years ago. But since that time, the camera has been tweaked and now the 810 sits alone on its mag-alloy throne as the Nikon FX flagship. And the D750 has come along at a midrange price point (and resolution). The OP didnt ask, was the 800 a good camera at the time of its release? He asked what would be better for him, the 800 or a 750, at this time. The question isn't whether one can overcome the camera's limitations, its whether those limitations make the 750 a better purchase. i think the answer is yes if you are not planning on tethering the camera for most of its intended life, and also yes if you need reliable AF for events, etc. If you need both resolution and reliable AF, the 810 is a much better choice. $1500 for a used 800 is a tempting price. and if you're only shooting portraits with it, probably a good deal. but for me, coming from a photojournalism perspective, i'd rather have a camera that's not going to get in the way of what i need to shoot. YMMV.
     
  54. I've been out of the country and/or away from a computer for a few days, and I've had the best-known song from Frozen going through my head most of the time, with respect to this thread and D800 "usability issues". But it's dragged on impressively in my absence.

    The D800 isn't a problem hand-held. If you want the same pixel-level (not image-level) sharpness as you'd get from the D750, yes, you have to make sure that everything not pixel-density related is slightly more under control - be that lens aberrations or motion. Kyle has a D7000 already, which is extremely close in behaviour to the middle crop of a D800. If there's a question about hand-holding it, my advice would be to try the same lens on the D7000 that's being considered for the D800, just realise that there's a load of extra image area around the outside. If you can get a sharp image with a 100mm lens on a D7000, you can get a sharp image (technique wise) with the same lens on a D800 - it'll just cover a wider angle. Whether the lens is sharp in the corners is another matter. You can work out how much harder that makes things. Speaking of which, don't knock the utility of the DX crop on a D800, which has saved me when I've not had a longer lens to hand (or even the 1.2x crop if you just want to hit 5fps).

    If AF reliability is an issue, the D750 is probably the better choice, with slight concerns that the AF coverage area is a little smaller. For most portraits, I'm not sure how much that's an issue - you probably don't want to shoot at f/1.4 for most portraits (depending on the effect you want) and people seem to have coped pretty well with the primitive AF systems on medium-format cameras for portraiture. Drop the aperture and any "miss" from the D800 will probably still be within range.

    Incidentally, the D750 is better at video. Not just because of its generation - bigger sensor sites capture more light and skip less of the total sensor area. The D800 really suffers from this, although there's nothing strictly wrong with the video image quality. The live view quality is a bit iffy for related reasons, I believe.

    For most portraits, I'd really get the D800, mostly because more resolution is better than less resolution. But I'd really try them (or a D810 if you can't try the D800) for feel - it's going to be pretty different from the D750, and you may not prefer it; a D7000 is pretty dinky compared with a D800. I'd not really pick a 24-120 for portraits anyway, though it's a fine street-sweeper. But the D750 is a remarkable camera, and arguably better as a walk-around body, so I'd not lose sleep over choosing either of them. (And I'd certainly not retrospectively try to decide whether I made the right choice.)
     
  55. Eric, my recommendation of the two options the OP mentions is the D750 (used D800 vs. D750). However, the claim that 36MP is somehow difficult or impossible to take advantage of hand held I reject. This has not been my experience and is the reason why I continued to add to this thread. However, 24MP vs. 36MP is a small practical difference in the final output and you can do pretty much everything photographically meaningful with a 24MP FX camera, and the D750 has Nikon's best AF at the moment and has no widely reported quality control issues (apart from the initial flare (non-)issue) so it should be a very good choice. I did not buy the D750 mainly because it feels uncomfortable in my hands (and happens to lack the EFCS feature which is not really relevant to the portrait application but is important to my telephoto landscape photography) and this is why I think it is important for the OP to try the cameras out before purchasing. I know many people like the D750 body shape, but to some of us it is not a good fit. I am repeating myself, sorry. I'm running out of clarity in writing it seems.
     
  56. Definitely agreed with Ilkka, especially about the handling. The D750 feels like a toy; the D800 feels like a brick (both exaggerating for impact, if that's taken too negatively; a D4 feels like an anvil by comparison). Take your pick which you'd rather have hanging around your neck. :)
     
  57. I'm not really expecting anyone to be reading at this point, but I now remember why I wanted to rant here - so, for posterity...
    That's not correct. It is impossible to take as perfectly good images hand-held (or otherwise) with a D700.

    The fact that one camera performs such that what it can do at best (!) is not better than what a better camera does when something happens (being used handheld for instance) that reduces what that better camera produces is not to be explained as "it's easier too see" or "visible sooner". That's just wrong.​
    To an extent. If one buys a 36MP camera and expects the same quality (or at least, resolution) of images as one gets from a 12MP camera, there are no extra demands on technique. That said, one can certainly argue that perceived sharpness is relative, and having some parts of the frame sharp can make others look subjectively softer than they would be on their own; one could also argue that there are aberrations that are more objectionable than softness, and a D800 may show up (for example) chromatic aberration that's hidden by the blur of a D700. However, if one buys a camera expecting to make the best of its sensor resolution (or, more specifically, for sensor resolution to make a significant contribution to image resolution), there are somewhat higher demands on technique (and equipment) - and it's reasonable that at least some people will be buying a high-resolution camera in the expectation of using the pixel count. We probably need some kind of code on this group to indicate when we're talking about overall image quality or pixel-level detail. Will a D800 produce a worse image (resolution-wise) than a D700? No, all things being equal. Would you be disappointed if it didn't do better? Yes.
    So, Andrew, even if you are handholding 99% of the time with a d800, that doesnt mean you are getting the most out of that sensor. in fact, it probably means you aren't.​
    I concede that hand-holding means that I cannot guarantee complete camera stability. I concede that this means some loss of sharpness. I don't concede that this amount is necessarily noticable, assuming reasonable technique, a reasonably high shutter speed, VR, etc. I don't expect pixel-level sharpness hand-holding at 1/15s with a 50mm lens. At 1/200s, if I can see blur, I'm probably doing something wrong, and it's likely to be dwarfed by other image quality effects. Given the quality of many of Nikon's lens mounts these days, a tripod is hardly a guarantee of sharpness, and unless you've got a completely static subject and plenty of time for framing, there's typically no choice. Which is why some of Nikon's D800 and D800e sample images were hand-held. Whatever images I'm getting, they've been radically sharper at a pixel level than the output of a D700, with its strong low-pass filter, and I know enough about computer graphics and image processing (and I really do) that I'd not have qualms about objecting to the results. Yes, if I have something completely static and time, I use my (expensive) tripod - every little helps. But it's just not true to suggest that a D800 is a tripod-only camera, any more than the same is true of, say, a 'blad - even if one could argue that, once you're using a tripod, a D800 is an exceptional camera to put on it.
    Eric, both Andrew (to my knowledge) and I are using the D810, not the D800(E).​
    Correct, I upgraded my D800e to a D810. I do see a little more focus reliability, although with the D800 it varied from lens to lens, and was often just fine, especially away from the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 (which I hadn't tried to tune with the dock until I got the D810). I upgraded because the live view is better (including the split mode that I explicitly asked Nikon for, if not in that form), the camera is much quieter, it doesn't lock up until it's done while writing images in live view (making an Eye-Fi more practical), it's faster, it has a bigger buffer, there's marginally more dynamic range at ISO 64 (though less at some other points), the JPEG engine is slightly better, the metering is slightly more reliable, the highlight metering mode is useful, the battery life is better, and I wasn't using my D700 so there seemed to be no point in keeping two cameras around when I could trade in for an upgrade. I had a friend's wedding coming up, so it was timely. The D810 is a better camera, slightly, but in lots of ways. The D800 is still a very good camera.
    This is a popular, recurring theme. There's nothing in it that makes sense. There is a huge difference in magnitude between the vibrations caused by even the worst mirror or shutter and the movement of even the steadiest hands. The difference is so big that it really (and i really mean really) makes no sense at all to worry about whatever the shutter or mirror will do as long as you are handholding a camera.​
    That really ignores some fundamental characteristics of the vibration. Hand-held shake is likely to be of a much higher magnitude than camera shake, but the shutter vibration is at a much higher frequency. Can I hold my 200 f/2 absolutely steady? Of course not. Can I make its 3kg change direction significantly within 1/200s? Really no. Even more common lenses have enough mass that jiggling them is hard, and VR is pretty good at tracking consistent movement. The shutter/mirror slap is a sharp impact, albeit a small one. Different shutter speeds are affected. No, I don't believe the camera's mechanical movements make much difference to 99% of my shots (at least, I'm happy with the sharpness, and I'm good at not being happy with sharpness), but discounting one because of the other is dubious.

    Sorry, end rant. I turn my back for a few days... (But I hope that helps people looking at the used D800 market - or the D750.)
     
  58. "The D750 feels like a toy; the D800 feels like a brick (both exaggerating for impact, if that's taken too negatively"

    That's very subjective, though, and based on personal preference. After a while shooting only mirrorless, a D800 felt way
    too big to me, even though I'd been completely comfortable holding one before (when I had an F100, then a D700, then a
    D800). To somebody who's used to small cameras a D750 will feel better. But I'm sure if I'd got my hands on a D750
    when I was used to a D800, it would have felt uncomfortably small and light. Now I have a D750 and can attest that it's a
    fantastic camera. I'd rate it above a D800 unless super high res is a priority, and for most people it's not. Really, if there
    had been a lower res option I probably would have taken it over the D800 back in 2012.
     
  59. Andy: Agreed, it's very subjective - hence Kyle really needs to try the cameras himself. My other Nikon is an F5... if it was an F75 I'd probably have a different view myself.

    I didn't buy the D800 particularly feeling I needed the resolution - although my D700 was certainly behind the curve and I had run out of pixels in landscapes. The dynamic range, shared by the D750, is what persuaded me. In the end, I found it's surprisingly useful to have the extra pixels - but obviously the difference between the D750 and D800 is much smaller than the difference between the D700 and D800. I'd rather have them than not, all else equal, but frankly other features are probably more important (1/8000 shutter? better AF? speed?) - most importantly, feel. Yes, storage costs more per shot with the D800 (although storage is reasonably cheap these days, and would be more so if I ever got around to throwing out useless images) but it's rare for it to be a major issue in what a computer can handle. Except, of course, in my office's photo competition, where they said "as big as you like", then failed to cope when I gave them a minimally-compressed 36MP JPEG at 42MB...
     
  60. i suggest we all buy leica and then argue why leica is better than anything else.
     
  61. "i suggest we all buy leica and then argue why leica is better than anything else."

    That's what the Steve Huff site is for.
     
  62. Obviously, if we'd bought a Leica, we'd know why Leica is better than anything else. I think you get an induction or something. (I went into a Leica store last time I was in the US, last week. Strange how a lot of things didn't have price labels... if you have to ask... but then I also played with a Nikkor 600 f/4 on the same trip, so people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, as the saying that probably wasn't supposed to be about lens manufacture goes.)

    We could argue about whether it's possible to hand-hold an A7R-II as well, if you like. :)
     
  63. Andrew,
    "To an extent. If one buys a 36MP camera and expects [etc.] "
    No, not to any extent. If one camera is at best not better than what a better camera can be reduced to, it does not make poor image quality more of an issue with the better camera than with th epororer camera. The fact that the poorer perfomance of the worse camera is all what it can do, at best, and never any better, does not make it less of a problem, but more of a problem. Any recommendation of picking a worse camera over a better one because being worse, it doesn't show that it is worse as much as the better one would when being reduced to that level of performance is - how shall i put this - rather strange.

    "That really ignores some fundamental characteristics of the vibration. Hand-held shake is likely to be of a much higher magnitude than camera shake, but the shutter vibration is at a much higher frequency. "
    Is not relevant. The only thing that matters is over how wide an area the supposedly point image is spread. Not how many times it moves back and forth across that image during the exposure. A blur is a blur.
    So yes indeed. hand held shake is of much, much higher magnitude, creating a much larger spread, is several orders of magnitude worse that camera induced shake.
    It is a recurring theme that shutter and other moving parts in a camera can affect performance of a camera that is handheld. One that has never ever been anywhere close to the truth. One of those photo myths that don't want to go away, mainly because of people inventing some sort of rational that would suggest it does make sense after all. ;-) A rational however that always is (by necessity - things just have that annoying habit of being as they are) as flawed as the myth itself.
     
  64. I have both and the D750 is the way to go. The 800 has serious focus issues that Nikon seems unable to fix.
     
  65. The 800 has serious focus issues that Nikon seems unable to fix.​
    Mukul, this blanket statement is not accurate. Nikon has fixed the focus issue on my D800 for free. They also cleaned the sensor and replaced some components with new parts. I am very grateful. If yours still has a problem after repair, why not send it to them again? Good luck.
     

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