Sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere. I was looking at the D800 at B&H the other day and the lass behind the counter told me re: the larger image files - that folks who bought the D800 had to upgrade their storage and processing equipment, new cables etc. Is this true? Is this your experience. I'm using a MacBook Pro about 3 yrs old, LR3, CS5. Thinking of working with an external terrabyte soon. I'm an amateur but would love to upgrade from the D700, but cannot afford a new computer as well.
#1. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
This is grossly exaggerated. I get files from a large-format scanner, and within reason I can work on them using my 5-year old MacBook Pro with LR4/CS5. The key is that I have 4GB memory, and I can only do this if I'm careful. On the other hand, these are 200mp files. That's not twenty, it's two hundred megapixels. Is it easier to deal with these on my 16GB i7 desktop? Of course. But it is NOT the horrendous problem that people would think, and it clearly demonstrates that the mere 36mp files from a D800 are probably OK as long as you can get 4GB memory into your system.
You will clearly need to continue adding storage - pretty obviously the D800 will consume disk storage at 3x the rate of a D700, but that's a much easier problem to deal with than a whole new computer.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#3. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Livermore, CA, US
I upgraded my PC after buying D800 but it was built ca. 2005 so I was very much due regardless of the new camera. The old machine was often stitching panos from D7000 up to and over 60MP, so I don't think it would have any problem with D800 files. Except that now my stitched panos are in excess of 160MP. Yes that would have been a problem.
#4. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
It's all in how patient you are. I'm using a 2.5 year old MacBook Pro and LR4 and CS6 and it takes longer to work on a D800 file than it did with my D700 but not enough for me to upgrade the mac. I did end up getting an SSD, though, and it did help. So for much less money I got a nice performance boost.
And I think that even updating lenses for the D800 is generally overstated for anyone who displays on the web or prints less than 24x16.
#6. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
I agree with Brian's comment that this is being overstated by a lot of people. I scan 35mm film at 4000 ppi. Each of those images is about 120MB, quite a bit larger than even the largest file produced by shooting the D800 in RAW, 14 bit. On the other hand if one has very limited computer processing power that can only process small files (say, one has been shooting jpegs in lowest quality that produce files that are less than 1 MB) then the size of the D800 files will probably be a problem for that computer. Of course it is easy to test this before buying a D800. Just create files that are at least as big as those created by the D800 (in whatever quality setting you will be using with the camera) and work with them. You will then know in advance whether any upgrading of your computer is necessary.
#7. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 6
Los Angeles, US
I agree it's do-able without upgrade, but I'd also stress to consider your workflow and tools and volume of work. I manage my photos with Apple Aperture (admittedly not the fastest, but I have my reasons) and importing 300 photos from a fashion shoot and waiting for Aperture to process and generate previews was a process measured in hours before I upgraded.
#8. "RE: Need new Computer gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 7 Sat 17-Nov-12 03:14 PM by RRRoger
Monterey Bay, US
If your computer case and power supply are good, you might consider a new Motherboard and memory + Hard drive or SSD card. This is what I do with a major upgrade costing close to $800. Oops! I see you have a Mac book so perhaps a memory and hard drive upgrade is all you could do.
What I do at Events is shoot Best Quality, Fine, Medium JPEGs. The file size is just under the Large ones of the D600 and I like the image quality better. They are easier/faster to process, use less storage and are much easier to email.
#9. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 6
I've placed a 45mp TIFF file here if folks would like to load that one up to see how it behaves on your system. It's somewhat bigger than a D800 file, being 45mp, so if you can deal with this one you should have no trouble dealing with a D800 file. There is no creative art involved in this image!
Someone also made the point that doing panos of these files will make greater demands - that is absolutely true. Loading up a bunch of 36mp files to do a 6-wide pano is not going to happen on a 4GB machine. (Neither does doing that with 12mp files, for that matter. I tried it.)
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#10. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 9
Processing speed depends a lot on what software you are using. I'm using Capture NX2 and Photoshop CS6 on a Windows 7 machine with 8 GB of RAM. It is noticeably slower handling D800 files than D300 files. File sizes are running 40MB compressed, but that file may be 120 MB performing certain operations. The step that is the slowest is rendering a new image - for example a new embedded JPEG after making changes to a NEF.
If you want to create a test, simply take an existing D700 image, resize it to the dimensions of a D800 file, and go about your normal routine. The EXIF data is not materially different - its just a lot of pixels and therefore a big file.
#12. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Bowling Green, US
Processing speed may depend somewhat upon the software but primarily upon the hardware. That is simply why federal and military agencies spend a fortune on supercomputers. I shoot everything Raw and JPEG large maxed out. My do-it-yourself system with Intel i7 Sandy Bridge 3.2 GHz processor, Asus Rampage IV Formula mobo, dual 250 GB SATA III SSD in Raid 0, and 32 GB DDR3 memory make post processing any D800 file essentially instantaneous. Set a budget, seek out the neighborhood 20-year-old video gamer geek, and have him build you a system which will surpass anything for the dollar you can buy at any retail outlet.
#13. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
I didn't see it mentioned, but LR3 and CS5 are not going to support the raw files from the D800 - you'll need to upgrade the software, or use another method, or convert to DNG in order to use them in either program.
#14. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 13
Oklahoma City, US
I have an iMac that is several years old..(4 or 5?). It handles the D800 files OK, but is slower with them than with my D7000. It only has 4GB RAM, and is not upgradable. Where I run into problems occasionally is when I transport one of these large files into a NIK program, or one of my other photo-enhancing programs like Synthetik. I do work for a couple of fine art places. I have gotten a "File too large" message a few times.
A new iMac is coming out probably in Dec., a 27 inch one, and it can carry as much as 32GB RAM. I'll probably get 16GB. With Thunderbolt and a faster processor, 1 T hard drive, I should be good for awhile.
It's funny how when I buy a new computer, it is more than adequate to handle my software and camera file demands. Then a few years later, it's not. Latest editions of software keep eating up more memory and hard drive. I could limp along with what I have, but I don't much like limping. I like running.
#15. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 13
Jersey City, US
>I didn't see it mentioned, but LR3 and CS5 are not going to >support the raw files from the D800 - you'll need to upgrade >the software, or use another method, or convert to DNG in >order to use them in either program. > >Jon
Good to know. I do convert to DNG now as my import so I should be fine?
#19. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 19-Nov-12 01:31 AM by avisys
I'm a little concerned that some posts here may turn some folks off from upgrading to a D800 if they don't have a huge computer.
32GB is NOT a requirement to process D800 files, even panos and stacked focus jobs.
And, personally, I'd add 16GB to that statement.
8GB in a 64 bit machine is a good idea.
But a reasonably new 32 bit computer with 4GB will work fine for all but the most extreme cases.
The difference may be whether or not you want to have to take an additional breath while waiting for a complex function to finish in Photoshop CS6. If your time is that important, say doing hundreds of images from a wedding, or PS6 files with dozens of layers, then the big machine is de rigueur. Otherwise, the fine art photographer, or sports photographer, or family photographer will do just fine with a lesser machine.
Load time from a card is a totally different issue -- if that's killing you, see if you can add USB3 and get a USB3 card reader.
Let's not scare people off with talk of 32GB and 16GB when it may not be at all necessary.
#20. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 19
Oklahoma City, US
I agree with your statement. It is just that 4GB RAM for me is keeping me from working with some of my software unless I downsize the image. If I were not doing fine art work, and just simply working up a straight image, my 4 GB would do me. It handles CS5 just fine.
And, while I don't shoot weddings, I'm uploading daily or nearly so, to two fine art agencies and also two stock agencies less frequently. So how long it takes something to load is not of small consequence.
And if I could add more RAM, I would stick with what I have, for awhile, anyway. Right now it will be hard to afford a new one. I was just saying that since I am forced into getting another one, because of the RAM situation, I'll go ahead and load up with all the power I can afford for the future, for 5 years down the road. I knew this was coming, so I've been saving up.
#22. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 21 Mon 19-Nov-12 07:02 PM by jamesvoortman
I have a 5 yr old Dell Inspiron with core2 Duo processor and 4Gb RAM running Win7Pro. This is not a fast machine by modern standards.
USB 2.0 is fast enough for transferring and it manages D800 files OK but is definitely slower than the D300 files. I am using a SD card as primary because the laptop has a SD card reader built-in and it is a bit quicker than the USB 2.0 port.
It really battles to run LR4.1 and I get frequent crashes and long processing times. Nikon Capture NX2 runs much faster and luckily, I prefer it over LR anyway. I try to process D800 images individually because it struggles if I try to load up 5 or 10 NEFs at a time like I could with the D300.
My reason for sticking with the ageing Dell is its great 1920x1200 17" display (16:10 aspect ratio) which is no longer obtainable in the modern 1 age.
I am eyeing out a new machine though - trying to weigh the difference between the advantage of faster processing or the joys of a new lens. As an enthusiast my current system gets the job done in the evenings after work but if I was a pro trying to handle 10 to 50 times the volume of images I would definitely want a much faster machine.
If you have the glass, D800 images are so good that I would not let a slow computer hold me back from buying one. If you can afford a D800 and one or two nice lenses then you can afford a new laptop in a few months time
#24. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 20 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:00 PM by aay
I don't agree that 4GB is adequate nowadays, especially considering that you can pick up 16GB of high quality RAM for about $50-60. If a computer allows it - then I would highly suggest to anyone to get RAM upgrade. You will notice the difference very quickly.
#25. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 23 Mon 19-Nov-12 11:01 PM by aay
Not sure if you've got a PC, but I think lots of people here are faithful Mac owners and suggesting to them such a nonsense as buying an upgradeable desktop PC for 1/3-1/2 of Mac price may not fly well
I personally went to a desktop for that specific reason - much cheaper, easier to upgrade. I was going crazy with my old Dell laptop, main reason for buying which was a need for travel. My 1.5 years old desktop is still running strong and I don't think I will need to upgrade it anytime soon.
#26. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 24
>I don't agree that 4GB is adequate nowadays, especially >considering that you can pick up 16GB of high quality RAM for >about $50-60. If a computer allows it - then I would highly >suggest to anyone to get RAM upgrade. You will notice the >difference very quickly.
ONLY with a 64 bit OS on a 64 bit computer, and ONLY with a 64 bit image processing program.
Any more than 4GB on a 32 bit machine, or on a 32 bit Windows OS, is wasted . . . it simply is not used.
#29. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
My 6 year old iMac took a long time to 'crunch' the D800 RAW files and load them in Aperture. It didn't stop me from using the D800 (or make me reconsider the purchase), but it was a nuisance. I have since purchased a decked out MacBook Pro Retina 15" laptop and the thing is a speed demon. Fully loading a D800 RAW file takes about 3 seconds in Aperture now. Night and day difference.
#31. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 29
I have an early 2011 MacBook Pro. Apple makes it easy to upgrade them. The user manual provides instructions for do it yourself memory and storage upgrades. I was able to install 16 GB of RAM and upgrade my hard drive to 750 GB on my own. Really perked up the system. I just bought a used D800 a few days ago and so far it seems to be handling the files just fine.
#32. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 30
Some interesting replies on here, with some equally interesting divergences of opinion. My PC is a Dual Core Intel with 8 Gb of Ram, running Windows Ultimate 64-bit. I use Lightroom 4 for importing and tbh I haven't found the setup struggles at all with the D800 NEF files (which I convert to DNG in any case). It's a little slower than with the files from my D700, but not enough to be frustrating. I won't be upgrading any time soon, mainly because a) I don't feel the need to, b) I need to save up and c) I'd have a right faff on to find a better display than the 25.5 screen on my HP Touchscreen without forking out a fortune in addition to a new PC.
So as long as Old Faithful (now 3 years old) continues to handle my D800 files the way it does now, I'm not for upgrading.
My laptop, which is a 64-bit machine, only has 4 Gb of Ram and it handles the D800 files just fine - a bit slower but again, nothing to get my tights in a twist over.
Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS5 should get the job done.
Hope this helps.
D4, D800, D300
It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so.
Why is this thus? What is the reason of this thusness?
#33. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 32
I recently had my HP laptop fail and replaced it with a Lenovo Ideapad Y400 with an i7 processor, Nvidia Geoforce 9T video card, and 8 GB or RAM. It's running Windows 8. I mainly use Capture NX2 with Some CS6 for post processing.
I've had a couple of minor issues with reprocessing old files, but in general have had no issues with new D800 files. I will probably upgrade the RAM to 16GB but I don't think its really necessary.
By the way - I would stay away from HP with AMD processors. I've had 5 of 6 HP laptops fail within 18-24 months or purchase over the past 4 years.
#34. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 33
Oklahoma City, US
I upgraded my old iMac to the new 27 inch one, with 16GB RAM and 3TB HD. This thing is blazing fast, and handles my D800 files quickly. Amazing. I could have stuck with the other one if I could have upgraded the 4GB RAM, but it was not upgradable.
My new one can be upgraded to 32GB RAM if ever needed, which I can't image I would ever need to. But then, 4GB RAM did me fine for over 5 years until I bought the D800. Who knows what the future holds? It seems every bit of software gets bigger and more bloated with each new rendition.
#35. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 34 Mon 25-Feb-13 05:28 PM by RRRoger
Monterey Bay, US
It is called "NAS" short for Nikon Acquisition Syndrome.
Of course we need new gear. That is why we bought the D800.
I already have an 8 core AMD with 16GB memory, OS on SSD, and 6TB SATA raid on an ASUS M5 mobo. It is more than fast enough to handle any D800 file including clean HDMI out.
I did not have to upgrade to PowerDirector 11 but it is faster and can handle 2k and 4k Video when Nikon goes to that in the near future. I also did not have to upgrade my Video card but got a $70 deal on one that can display 4k Video as well.
And, I already have a bevy of Pro Nikkor Glass which I also used on DX Nikon bodies before the D3. But, I don't have a Nikkor 24-120 f/4. Do I "need" that for Video?
#36. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 35
"Fast" "Slow" "Adequate" etc are all pretty subjective terms because they are relative to your personal need. As a hobbyist, I think my system is adequate (I’d like it to be faster) for my D800 photos and workflow. Professionals have business requirements for the leading edge because clients are waiting. I don’t, but like to imagine I do
Hopefully some of this helps you: Workflow: Aperture 3 for photo management and RAW editing, Adobe Photoshop CS4 for TIFF editing and plugins from Alien Skin, Imagenomic, etc Hardware: 2009 27” iMac 2.8GHz Quad Core i7 8GB RAM 1TB internal hard disk
-Downloading 100 RAW photos directly off the camera takes considerable time for transfer and initial processing. (I go do something else and come back) -Adjustments to RAW are nearly instantaneous. -Export RAW to a 50% JPEG takes ~5 seconds -Edit in External Editor takes ~12 seconds (includes Photoshop launch time)
The 1st three items assume that Aperture is the only program running. Use Aperture and Photoshop at the same time and it’s a slightly different ballgame.
#37. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 36
As a hobbist - I use a PC with an Intel Core 2 Quad CPU and 8 gb with a 64 bit operating system (Windows 7) I down load using a card reader takes about 3 times as long as does the D3s files, but still not long at all (I'm a low volume shooter about 100 shots a day per camera at the upper end, usually much less). I use NX2 to only convert the photos a want out of a sequence and CS5 for the rest. (CS5 will open my D800e files, too).
This system worked just fine with big slide scans, and has worked just fine with D800e files. I even handicap it by downloading the raw files to external hard drives, and still everything works just fine.
#38. "RE: Need new gear after D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Hi there, since this question is from before Christmas....you probably have already decided which way to go. As most posts say it really depends on what you will end up doing. But for my work, I have a current i7 processor in a fairly powerful pc. I use tethering and a program to shoot between 60 and 90 shots of an item (macro work) in jpeg, download and stack together. All quite fast. Then if ok, I switch to raw and re shoot the images and repeat process....this time as raws the downloading and stacking together take quite awhile. So computer speed is important for my application.