I have owned about a dozen Nikons since 1980. I have loved them all until now. The D800 remains the worst camera I have ever owned. If I could afford the write-off the $3K I spent on it, I would happily toss my D800 from the nearest bridge just to watch it explode.
Before you discount this posting, allow me to explain further.
Like many of you, I bought the D800 with high expectations. 36 MP! Wow! This is going to be great. I can crop, use multiple FX filters or just use unsharp mask until can I see the threads on a $1 bill from 100 yards.
Over a period of a few months, I realize that I have very few really sharp images. I'm not pixel peeping. I simply have that moment of expectation when Lightroom is rendering an image for the first time. As I wait for the pixelation to end, I hope this time the image will look great. Instead, I get mediocre.
Compared to my D7000 and D300, my D800 images are fine but rarely great. If I do a double blind test, the D800 loses more often then it wins.
After several months I realize the only truly sharp D800 images I have were done with a tripod.
The number of unusable, out of focus shots is higher with my D800 than any camera I've owned in this millennium. According to my Lightroom stats: I used to get 90% focus success over a sample of thousands of images with my D7000. I got roughly the same with my D300 and slightly better with my D200. I am now getting around 75% in focus after about 10,000 D800 images.
Image bursts of five or six shots have even lower focus success.
I have used every focus mode but have relied most on AF-C d51, manually moving the focus point, expecting that to provide the best results. All I can say is: It is doesn't.
I am getting the impression that D800 is hopelessly underpowered. Its processor cannot keep up with focusing, controlling VF, building images and writing to memory cards. I don't know what it is but I never had a DSLR that is so sluggish.
I don't expect much support from a fan site like Nikonians. In fact, I don't really expect this post to last very long before the moderators delete it. But if you are completely honest and can forget the money you spent: Are you really happy with your D800? You've heard my opinion. Now I will listen.
#1. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
I'm happy with mine, but as I mentioned in another post, the D800e is the first new model Nikon that I have bought that made photography harder, rather than easier. It requires more care and tighter technique. However, when used properly it produces outstanding images both in terms of details and dynamic range.
It is not the camera I use for casual walking around photography, nor for low light or high speed shooting. It is the camera that I use when I have the time and the inclination to attempt to take an outstanding image with high detail.
#2. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
By rights, your D7K and D800 have exactly the same demands on the photographer and AF system due to equivalent pixel density of the sensor. And you don't seem to be talking about corner softness or vignetting etc. which can be FX sore points.
I do wonder if we are talking a shutter speed problem here? (which has a corollary of developing ever better handholding technique). I realize I can be a bit of a broken record in my quest for ever higher shutter speeds. But all the same I think higher shutter speeds make a noticeable difference on my keeper rate.
To answer your general question, yes I believe I am happy. I think the 2012 sensors are really providing something additional. I know some people talk "ahhh just another incremental camera" when referring to recent models but I don't share that. I've sacrificed everything I can (and have been planning for this moment for a good couple years now) to get the recent cameras, ejecting older cameras, lenses, committing rainy day funds, working overtime and you name it. We're at a peak right now with the IQ of the D4, D800, D600, D3200, D5200 and other models soon to arrive. Independent sources such as Bill Claff and DxOMark would appear to echo that.
#3. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 2
I have owned my D800 for 2 months now and have to say i'm delighted with it. Yes it spanks you when your technique is off, but when you nail it the results are amazing.
As i have learned from this forum, a higher shutter speed is advisable especially when shooting freehand.
I shot a wedding recently (which was risky for two reasons, 1. i'm not a wedding photographer and i was new to the D800) but the results were great. when i showed the bride the next day some sample shots on my iPAD she was blown away ... as a side topic, the ipad is really the perfect way to show and play with 36Mp shots. The screen resolution does justice to the shots and you can move the shot around, zoom in and plan what crops would be best.
Another advance i made with this camera was (after watching the joe brady videos on Youtube) buying a Sekonic L-758, it tells me the optimal "incident light" settings and now my manual exposures are just bang on ... so really now, i only have to focus on acheiving good focus and good composition.
as a last point, i have to say, i like the fact that the D800 is not easy, it keeps photography challenging and the excellent results you can achieve stand out when compared to lessor SLRs or point and shoot cams/phones.
#4. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
I come from a very different side of photography, so I don't know whether my post will help you. Still, here it is: My d800e is the first DSLR I own. Before that, I have had compact cameras, and my expressive photography I did - and do! - analogue: large format, some medium, pinhole cameras, such like. I wanted to get a DSLR to do also pictures I like in an easier, mainstream way, and above all, to do color photography: particularly where I live, using color film has become forbiddingly difficult. As you may imagine from my history, I have no problem to use a tripod wherever possible. And out of my 5 lenses (all primes), 3 are manual (the wide angles, and I use mostly these). I have done for a long time everything by the book: medium apertures, short exposures (for a 35 or 50mm, at least 1/200 sec, preferably shorter, life view whenever advisable. Frankly, I have been quite overwhelmed by the technical quality of the pictures. I want to make large prints which should be sharp from a short distance, and I feel that this camera offers a deal in this regard which I did not think was possible. Add to this the excellent dynamic range, the way you may dig into the shadows of a raw file! However, I had ordered along with the body 2 medium speed memory cards, and the camera indeed takes a long time to write. I have now ordered 2 high-speed cards (90/95 MB/sec), will get them when I visit in a few days my home country (Germany, I live in Pakistan), and I hope this issue will become better. However, there is another point: I think that the technical quality of the images has indeed somewhat overwhelmed me, and I want to try now, in some of my work, deliberately disregard the technical optimum: work with highest or smallest f-stops, don't mind some blur in the the image - I think the large 14bit image file still gives an advantage in tonality. Let's see. To cut a long answer short: If you don't like the camera, by all means get another one. But perhaps you just might want to forget about what is possible, or whether your files look really that razor sharp at 100% in Lightroom, and focus on what you really want to do with your pictures. I don't know whether this will help you, but still, another view...
#5. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Kings Lynn, GB
I am sorry your D800 disappoints you. I am delighted with my D800E. There are things I would change if Nikon let me re-design it! However as of now it is my choice over my D3X on every occasion and over my D3S except when high ISO and AF are needed.
I used Nikon film cameras for 25 years mainly with Kodachrome 25 ASA. I rarely thought of a camera except on a tripod. There were no AF lenses and no ‘good’ zooms. Being slow to change I still rarely use AF, even when available, and zoom lenses I use only on the D3S. VR is inappropriate for my photography. I have always purchased the highest quality lenses I can find. This has proved very sound because as cameras get better I can justify up-grading the low-cost part of my equipment, and I then get even more out of my lens investment.
Bearing the above in mind the D800E is a big step up. But it is different from the D3X. Best results are now at f 5.6 or less, whereas on the D3X I used f 8 as a routine. On a D2X I used f 8 and f 11, and on film f 11 and f 16. I have my notebooks going back 40 years showing this. As the resolution of in focus areas increases, out of focus areas are more noticeable. Then as wider apertures are used to avoid diffraction the depth of DOF, or more correctly depth of acceptable non-blur, gets less. This challenges many lenses and they fail to meet expectations. The failures are generally those with marked field curvature and/or focus shift. It is surprising how many commonly highly regarded lenses have so much curvature and focus shift that when focussed wide open (as is always the case in AF and in VF focussing) the point on which focus was determined is not in the plane of critical focus when the lens stops down in taking the photograph. In LV the lens is stopped down for focussing so what you see is much more likely to be what you get.
As others have said the 36 MP cameras test our technique. I have a rule of thumb now to use one over eight times the focal length as the exposure time for hand held shots, and to let the ISO rise to compensate. On a tripod for close-up work I use LV and remote release. To test AF on a tripod I use MUP, a 10 sec delay, and a remote release. For field use some of these techniques are inappropriate and have to be abandoned, but there is an inevitable loss of potential quality. I don’t normally use AF because I want to choose the focus point and not let the camera average various points, or for it to choose a single indeterminate point in the point focus setting: By the way the focus point symbol in the view finder is generally not where the camera is focussing, and though you can determine later where it did focus, by then it is too late! Another reason I don’t use AF is that my best lenses are all MF!
Perhaps before you explode your D800 you should determine whether you have lenses, or merely future paper-weights. Take something like a Lens Align device and check your lenses for focus shift, if they show shift, do an AF Fine tune until they focus in the plane of the target at the aperture you want to use. Then take a resolution chart and check the lens performance. For reference use either a Zeiss 50 mm f 2 Macro lens, or a Zeiss 100 mm f 2 Macro lens at f 4 or 5.6. My examples do not show focus shift and are flat-field. But take nothing on trust not even all Zeiss lenses are perfect or opinions valid. I am a scientist: Test data is gold dust, everything else is fluff.
I do hope you come to appreciate the D800. It has its flaws, but it is a beauty.
#6. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
>Like many of you, I bought the D800 with high >expectations. 36 MP! Wow! This is going to be great. I can >crop, use multiple FX filters or just use unsharp mask until >can I see the threads on a $1 bill from 100 yards.
>But if you are completely honest >and can forget the money you spent: Are you really happy with >your D800?
I can honestly say yes. But, you are right, the camera is a drill sergeant when it comes to taxing your photo-taking skills.
I luckily got a chance to take one of the Nikonian Academy classes on the D800 a few months back, and the instructor said something that really stuck with me....the 36MP is a double edged sword. Yes, when you nail the shot, the image looks outstanding...but when you don't, the same resolution that makes your pictures great will also make your mistakes stick out like a sore thumb. He explained that we were probably making these tiny mistakes while we were shooting on our previous DSLR models like the D7K or D300 or etc.., but those mistakes often were not as apparent because of resolution & MP, and so the pictures looked better. If we kept making those mistakes with the D800, they will become glaringly obvious.
Like I said, that really stuck with me. So now I am trying to figure out these mistakes I am making and improve my technique even more. It's work, but that's what makes it fun. I know you were expecting a deluge of negative responses, but I hope you found some of them to be supportive enough to make you consider giving your D800 another shot to impress you.
If you do end up throwing it off a bridge, would you mind telling me when and where? I'd like to try and catch it before it hits the ground
#9. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
My first DSLR was D80 with 18-200VR and 10-20 SWAL almost 10 year ago. It took great pictures on monitor and small prints. When D300 was out, I thought I could get a better result but not so much, until I got a number of good lenses, like 17-55. Then I found the limitation of large prints beyond 30-40" in size. So when D800 was announced I preordered it and waited for many months to get it. To date, I have not tested the 36MP for large prints yet because I have no need for doing that yet. But I have been pleasantly surprised by its high ISO performance.
To this date, I still often find my D80 shots look sharper than D300's but never better than d800's. one thing I do found though is the advantage of VR when shooting with D800. Hand held, my results with 70-200VRii are always look better than 24-70mm non VR lens'.
Overall, I am happy with my D800. Although I still have previous models, but they are all on the shelf now. I only bring one camera nowadays and it is D800. It is much much more versatile. I could not wait to receive my first WAL with VR, 16-35mm, to try out with D800. And this should be my last acquisition until D400 is out. Or not.
Someone once said here that D800 would change you as a photographer, not the other way around. I might add that it is a big shoe to fit.
JC at macroXscape.com Where miracles of art happen.
#10. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
>I have owned about a dozen Nikons since 1980. I have loved >them all until now. The D800 remains the worst camera I have >ever owned. If I could afford the write-off the $3K I spent on >it, I would happily toss my D800 from the nearest bridge just >to watch it explode. > >Before you discount this posting, allow me to explain further. > > >
Like many of you, I bought the D800 with high >expectations. 36 MP! Wow! This is going to be great. I can >crop, use multiple FX filters or just use unsharp mask until >can I see the threads on a $1 bill from 100 yards. >
Over a period of a few months, I realize that I have very >few really sharp images. I'm not pixel peeping. I simply have >that moment of expectation when Lightroom is rendering an >image for the first time. As I wait for the pixelation to end, >I hope this time the image will look great. Instead, I get >mediocre. >
Compared to my D7000 and D300, my D800 images are fine >but rarely great. If I do a double blind test, the D800 loses >more often then it wins. >
After several months I realize the only truly sharp D800 >images I have were done with a tripod. >
The number of unusable, out of focus shots is higher with >my D800 than any camera I've owned in this millennium. >According to my Lightroom stats: I used to get 90% focus >success over a sample of thousands of images with my D7000. I >got roughly the same with my D300 and slightly better with my >D200. I am now getting around 75% in focus after about 10,000 >D800 images. >
Image bursts of five or six shots have even lower focus >success. >
I have used every focus mode but have relied most on AF-C >d51, manually moving the focus point, expecting that to >provide the best results. All I can say is: It is doesn't. >
> >I am getting the impression that D800 is hopelessly >underpowered. Its processor cannot keep up with focusing, >controlling VF, building images and writing to memory cards. I >don't know what it is but I never had a DSLR that is so >sluggish. > >I don't expect much support from a fan site like Nikonians. In >fact, I don't really expect this post to last very long before >the moderators delete it. But if you are completely honest >and can forget the money you spent: Are you really happy with >your D800? You've heard my opinion. Now I will >listen.
I have sold and gotten published more photos with my D800 than all my other cameras combined. And I am primarily a sports photographer. If you can't get solid results with your D800, except on a tripod, then the camera is not your problem.
As far as sluggish focusing goes, one of my first assignments with the camera was shooting Olympic track and field athletes tuning up for London. Camera did just fine.
By all means, throw yours off a bridge if you want, but I'll be keeping mine and continuing to produce the best work of my life.
By the way, how many of these types of posts do you plan on starting? Every time you post it seems to your disgruntled about Nikon. Why not move to another brand if you hate Nikon so much.
#11. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
I had two D300 bodies for three years and a D700 for a month before I got my first D800. I sold my first D800 when I received my first D800e and realized how much more that I liked the e. I have since bought another e. I have been shooting the the D800e bodies since July.
The D800e bodies do everything I ever wanted to do with a digital camera. I shoot landscapes from a tripod and birds hand held with a BushHawk. If I use the appropriate settings for each, I get the most incredible results I have ever seen with a digital camera.
Would I go go back to a D300 or D700? No way. Would I like a little less noise above ISO 800? Yes. Would a I spend a zillion $$ to get there with a D4? No.
I have only found one issue with my D800e bodies (as noted in another post today). Sometimes my ISO gets changed from a fixed number to Auto ISO because I either turn the wrong controls when making a different change or because the control gets turned when I am putting the camera in the bag and I forgot to turn it off first. That is it.
#12. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Hi Craig There might be something else wrong with your camera besides the focus - the metering perhaps? Please look at this article by Thom Hogan: "I'm concerned about the quality control on the D800 models. Some of this has to do with bugs in the firmware (I found many, several of which I reported to Nikon, one or two of which have been fixed in firmware updates; eventually most if not all should be fixed). I don't remember a Nikon model in which I've encountered so many unexplained problems as I ran the camera through the paces necessary to write my Complete Guide. At least once I triggered an ERR condition on my D800E, even though I don't believe that there was an actual problem with my camera (hasn't recurred, and I was doing some abuse testing of Live View and menu interactions at the time).
Meanwhile, we have numerous reports of focus issues, in particular left AF sensor problems, which I've verified in at least two copies of D800 models I've examined. Nikon now has a redone test and correction procedure for dealing with cameras with this problem, but if you encounter it your camera will have to go back to Nikon for the fix.
Finally, on my D800 some AI-S lenses don't index the aperture correctly and report an FEE error, while my D800E has no problems with those same lenses.
In sum total, I've personally seen and heard from others of enough cases to come to the conclusion that this isn't the level of QC I expect from Nikon, especially for a US$3000 camera. I seriously hope that my sample is skewed and that there isn't a decline here, but I do note that real D800 complaints seem to be prevalent on pretty much all Nikon-related sites at the moment. So my recommendation is this: don't be afraid of those reports, but also don't rush off to a critical shoot with a brand new D800 model before you've seriously put it through its paces and you're sure there's nothing amiss. Trust, but verify."
#13. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 12 Sat 08-Dec-12 01:21 PM by mklass
>At least once I triggered an ERR condition on my D800E, >even though I don't believe that there was an actual problem >with my camera (hasn't recurred, and I was doing some abuse >testing of Live View and menu interactions at the time). ... >This is from a review by Thom Hogan
Really, he was abusing the camera and generated an ERR code? This should be surprising and cause for saying the Quality is poor? Some D800s do have problems, but this is a silly argument for bad quality.
That's why I don't read stuff from people who write about taking pictures, but seem to have few to show. I much prefer to trust the experience of Nikonians to the comments of someone trying to drive traffic to their web site.
"I have been saying for many years that we are using the word ‘guru’ only because ‘charlatan’ is too long to fit into a headline. " -Peter Drucker
#14. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 9 Sat 08-Dec-12 02:20 PM by F2AS
> >To this date, I still often find my D80 shots look sharper >than D300's.. .
JC, it's interestng you say that because I went from a D80 to a D300s. And while the D300s is a better camera in most ways (handling, exposure accuracy), it often seems to me my older D80 shots were sharper and had more clarity. And I use a tripod 99% of the time. I have started wondering whether more pixels are really better unless making huge enlargements.
#15. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 13 Sat 08-Dec-12 02:36 PM by jwrupley
Holland, PA, US
Does anyone find it interesting that Craig, the initiator of this thread, has not bothered to acknowledge or respond to anyone's suggestions or posts. There is really some good insight and thoughts on the performance of the D800. "Me thinks Craig doth protest to much". Maybe the truth about his technique hurts, but I find that is the only way I get better. I can't speak for Craig, but thanks to all of you for your comments. They make me a better photographer, and as one poster said, "let me know what bridge you intend to pitch the D800 from and I will be there to catch it."
JW Rupley --------
Photo Shoots are like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you might get!
#17. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Colorado Springs, US
I have a D800 and a D800e and have used Nikons since I was fourteen. They're the best bodies I've used to date for most of what I shoot, with the exception of action and wildlife, when I prefer the D4. I have no problems handholding them and getting ridiculously sharp results. I'm pretty much stunned every time I look at the fine details in my images from these two cameras.
#18. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 16
Kings Lynn, GB
f 5.6 - f 8?
My usual lenses are Zeiss 21 mm f 2.8, Zeiss 50 mm f 2 Macro, Zeiss 100 mm f 2 Macro, Nikkor 85 mm PC Micro and Nikkor 200 mm f 2. All of these show diffraction softening from f 6.3 onwards. The laws of physics say it shall be so, but lesser sensors and lenses may obscure the effect with their own characteristics. The effect is significant by f 8 and I have to really need the depth to use f 8. I would rather step back and crop more. I checked out the current Nikkor 35 mm f 1.4 and the Nikkor 85 mm f 1.4 for my partner on a second D 800E. My recommendation was f 7.1 as the minimum on the 35 mm, and on the 85 mm for preference not below f 4 to keep DOF low, she finds f 2.8 ideal for portraits. So this is how we use the lenses and cameras and are delighted.
Of course none of the above is true at ISO 3200 or handheld at 1/30 sec!
I have checked lesser lenses like the 17 - 35 f 2.8 zoom and the 24 - 70 mm f 2.8 zoom. They are not so good at f 5.6 so do not show noticeable deterioration by f 8. They also have focus shift that really is unacceptable on a D800.
#20. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Sorry to hear someone so disappointed with their D800. I am absolutely delighted with mine (and could very easily afford to dump it if I weren't happy). Until I got the D800 I was a medium format film bigot but the D800 is so sharp I haven't used the M/F gear since. I shoot mostly hand-held and images are sharp almost beyond belief so almost wondering if there could be something wrong with your unit. Thom Hogan has pointed out the D800 is mercilessly revealing of lens flaws. You need the best glass in order to exploit the pixel density but given your years of experience doubt this is the problem. I am using the 24 - 70 mm, 105 mm Micro-Nikkor, the 300 mm F/2.8 and some primes (200 mm, 35 mm etc) which are premium len$e$.
Your comment about the camera being under-powered in respect to its computing electronics has some merit. The huge image files do take longer to transfer into the card and you can run short of processing capacity in burst mode (I do not notice any compromise in focusing accuracy, however). I would expect sports shooters to notice this. My photography is mostly landscape, nature/wildlife so don't need blinding speed where buffering is concerned. My priority is image quality above all and there the D800 delivers the goods in spades. I consider it something of a connoiseur's camera less suitable for the "speed means everything" crowd but for the careful worker hoping to extract the maximum from an image with the very best lenses.
I'm not doubting your experience at all and appreciate your candor. I have been using Nikon for small format photography since 1968 (How's that for one-upmanshi ) and the D800 is the very best so far, finally challenging my beloved medium format film for a lot of large image work. It is not, however, for everyone and probably less general purpose than some other models we have seen from Nikon.
#21. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
As for me, forgetting about the money I spent, I am very happy with the D800. If I wasn't, I would put it aside and use something else. If my D800 fell off a bridge, I would somehow work and scrape to get the $3k for another. I am just that impressed with it. Granted, I have mostly used it on a tripod for landscape photography, but in that regard I think it is outstanding.
As suggested above, if you get sharp images on a tripod and not otherwise, then perhaps it is shutter speed or something else?
I do not consider myself a fan of Nikon or anything else material. I just want to take nice photos, both as a self-gratifying hobby and challenge, and to share with others. That said, I do like this camera and I am having absolutely no problems with focus...auto with the viewfinder, auto with live-view, or manual.
#22. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 20
I have used my D800 at this point to shoot:
1. Portraiture 2. Landscape 3. Track & Field 4. College D1 Volleyball (indoor and beach) 5. College D1 Basketball 6 College D1 Swimming and Diving 7. College D1 Soccer 8. College Baseball & Softball.
My work is consistently published in campus literature and in one of the largest circulating newspapers in my state.
The D800 does just fine for fast moving work if the underlying skill set is in place.
Tonight my D800 is being used for a corporate bikini contest.... so you'll excuse me while I go get set up for my shoot.
>Your comment about the camera being under-powered in respect >to its computing electronics has some merit. The huge image >files do take longer to transfer into the card and you can run >short of processing capacity in burst mode (I do not notice >any compromise in focusing accuracy, however). I would expect >sports shooters to notice this. My photography is mostly >landscape, nature/wildlife so don't need blinding speed where >buffering is concerned. My priority is image quality above all >and there the D800 delivers the goods in spades. I consider it >something of a connoiseur's camera less suitable for the >"speed means everything" crowd but for the careful >worker hoping to extract the maximum from an image with the >very best lenses.
#24. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Yes, I love my D800.
I've had it since early April and i've taken tons of images and video. Yes, my camera is the first one to slap me in the face when my technique is off a little bit but I understand it completely and respect that.
#25. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 24
I am also very pleased. My D800 has really boosted my interest in raising my skills and overall interest in photography. I find myself consulting with others about finding ways to take advantage of what this camera is capable of. As many have commented: When you get it right, the results are spectacular. The results of even small mistakes can be just the opposite. I feel as though I must bring my best when using it. And constantly work to improve as well. Techniques that worked with my D200, I find don't necessarily produce good results with the D800. Adjustments in shooting style are improving my results with the D800, and the results are the best I have ever seen from any camera I have ever owned.
#26. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 25 Sun 09-Dec-12 04:42 AM by richardd300
Craig. I bet you didn't expect this many responses! I feel your pain, but not through my D800. Two years ago I bought the D7000 and there are many here who will remember that I too would have cheerfully chucked it in the river.
I think it was a steep learning curve as I already had a D700 and did have a D300, both of which for me "worked out of the box" so to speak. I know that you had no such problems, but your experience with the D800 mirrors mine with the 7000. Because it was a bad experience and although I now get sharp images the majority of the time, I never have felt any great connection to the D7000 because of that torturous journey.
I bought the D800 after months of torment and I suddenly had a camera that did, well almost "work out of the box" if such a camera does exist. I think my learning with the D7000 served me well with the D800. One thing I learned with the D7000 and as has been stated here, is that if I could get sharp images on a tripod, then logic followed I must be able to achieve that hand held. In the end I upped, wherever possible, my shutter speeds and tried to always get around f8. I now take landscapes as an example anywhere up to 1/1000 and very often beyond.
I am sorry that your experience has been a bad one, but if the camera is free of technical fault, I am sure that you can achieve what is to be expected from the D800.
#27. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
St Petersburg, RU
I am a bit curious as to when the problem started and in what way do your newer images fail. When you first got it and used it on June 18th you made comments below excellent BIF images:
"First day with D800 in the field. AF-C autofocus is better than my former D7000, D300 and D200. Very happy with results"
"D800 focus test. Random bird flying 20 yds away. D800 in AF-C mode followed this small bird with ease. More than 9 out of ten shots in focus."
What changed, lenses or shutter speed perhaps? Post some images that fail to meet your expectations and still have the exif data intact and maybe the forum can give some advice.
With LightRoom or others in your collection of software, pixel peeping at 100% or more is a tougher test to pass than with lower resolution cameras so are your complaints about prints the same physical size and viewed at the same distance?
When you say the camera is sluggish, are you referring to time to empty the buffer or actual camera responsiveness? The camera is faster in shutter response time than others you mentioned so that must not be it. The AF is certainly fast, but possibly a little slower than the D4 but better at tracking moving objects than your other cameras. So what specifically is slow about your D800? If a camera deteriorates as you say this one has, there is usually a reason that can be rectified. Please post some recent images that show what you are referring to.
#29. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0 Sun 09-Dec-12 02:26 PM by LMMiller9
Craig, First, I could not be more happy with my D800. I am not a pro, but a reasonably knowledgeable amateur (my father was a professional photographer and I grew up with a darkroom in our house) and I went from a D200 to D300 to D700 to D800 with no problem at all. I use my D800 as a casual, family, walk around camera all the time, most often with the 24-120/f4, and I think one reason for my happiness is the lens/camera combination, and the VRII which really makes a difference when handholding. Hanging on my living room wall is a 20x30" photo shot in Maine (http://lmmillerphotography.smugmug.com/Travel/Maine-2012/24395358_N7x3RP#!i=1988806167&k=BsgnbKw) hand held with this combination. The detail and clarity is amazing.,
But, Second and more important, it would be helpful Craig, if you could provide a bit more analytic information. What lenses are you using that when you get poor results; in what conditions and what subjects; and what are your camera settings?
I think this forum is most useful, not in simply saying "good" or "bad", but in doing some analytics about a problem. I will assume that you are absolutely "right" about your problem. But, it is impossible to analyze or solve without a lot more detailed data.
You said that "I have used every focus mode but have relied most on AF-C d51, manually moving the focus point, expecting that to provide the best results. All I can say is: It is doesn't."
I do not think this is the way to get a high rate of infocus shots. Manually moving the focus point, while on AF-C, puts a huge burden on you, the user. I almost always shoot single focus point, using the center focus point, I focus then reframe/compose, and shoot. This I find to produce a very high success rate. This is also the least confusing in terms of figuring out the technology.
#31. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0 Sun 09-Dec-12 09:32 PM by K64drb
Simply put - yes, I love my D800. Unlike you and many others, this is my first Nikon DSLR, so I don't have past experience to compare it to older models. But, as many have said, I too have to really work with it to get a great image. And when they don't turn out so good, my error was responsible - not the D800.
We can learn far more from our mistakes than our successes. In this regard, my D800 is going to be a great teacher, and I look forward to learning and growing throughout the process.
#32. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
New Bedford, US
I have moved from a D700 to the D800 and was disappointed at first. I did not realize that my handholding technique needed to be improved. I was getting a lot of images that were not as sharp as I was getting with the D700. Now that I have slowed down, I've seen seen an improvement. I love the detail in the images. Have gotten a lot of compliments on the detail in the feathers of an owl I posted recently. I like the bracket button and the easier access to turning on/off the auto ISO, a lot of my shooting is in low light. -------------------
#33. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 27
When I raised this topic, I asked this thread not be about me. I'll respond to your accusation - then let's get back to photography shall we?
I had great expectations for the D800 when I received it in the summer. Like many new buyers I was smitten. It has simply not lived up to its hype in the intervening months. Yes, the D800 can focus on a single bird against a blue sky (the topic of my June post). If that's all I photographed, I suppose I would be happier today. My earlier post simply reinforces one of my initial suppositions: I really wanted the D800 to be good.
I am aware that criticizing the D800 is not the most popular topic on this forum. And honestly, having 99% of respondents say they love the D800 is not surprising. It may also not be statistically relevant. I have always believed there is a certain omertà in any fan club. Anything less than total love would be the sign of a huge problem - like D800 'left focus' which is now finally accepted by almost everyone. It didn't start that way. Also rest assured when I raise this topic on other sites, I get a different answer.
The D800 problems I am having are a mixture of four possible causes:
All D800s are bad to some degree.
My D800 is defective.
My technique is bad.
I am a troll and I am doing this for fun.
You can make your own decision on number 4. Accusations fly often when a differing opinion is presented. I have found that Nikionians is actually pretty good at tolerating diverse points of view. We'll see if that continues.
Number 3 is a definite possibility. Maybe I just don't have the requisite skill after four decades of trying. Here's what I don't understand: I was happy with the D7000. Its ability to resolve sharp images was much better than my D800. Whatever mysteries are introduced by 'so called' higher resolution needs to be balanced against the fact that pixel density is roughly the same. Using the same technique - including same shutter speed - should provide similar results in the cropped portion of the D800 frame. For me, that has rarely been true.
Number 2 is also possible. When I use a tripod, the D800 seems fine. Yet a large percentage of handheld images are immediate discards. Both VR and standard lenses, like the 24-70, have similar maladies. Given the problems Nikon is having with the well documented left focus issues, I have little hope they will take my esoteric concerns seriously.
Number 1 is most interesting to me. Why do a good number of people say you need a tripod with D800 to get maximum results? Yet the same is not said about the D7000? That is a big red flag in my statistically aware brain.
#35. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 29 Sun 09-Dec-12 08:43 PM by Unavailable
>Craig, First, I could not be more happy with my D800. I am >not a pro, but a reasonably knowledgeable amateur (my father >was a professional photographer and I grew up with a darkroom >in our house) and I went from a D200 to D300 to D700 to D800 >with no problem at all.
I appreciate the request for analytics. I find metrics more convincing than simple opinion. My small sample is, of course, pathetic.
Here are some attributes:
Lenses (all Nikons): 12-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 VRI 2.8, 105 2.8 VR, 500 1.4 AF-S. 10.5 DX Fisheye 2.8. All lenses are generally the same although I must admit fewest complaints about the 12-24 and no concerns whatsoever with my remaining DX lens, the 10.5 fisheye.
I change focus mode with every scenario. The focus mode button is certainly the button with the most wear on my D800
Default mode for general use is AF-C auto. I confirm the focus points highlighted by the camera and then take the picture.
For people and children I routinely use AF-C d51, manually moving the focus point.
For sports, I have been happiest with AF-C auto. I had great hopes for AF-C 3d but had too many misses to use it much these days.
For close-focus and macro, AF-S S has worked best.
Default ISO for me is 200. 1600 is common for sports and low light. 100 ISO on occasion in bright light.
I don't use Auto ISO much. Auto ISO is better on the D800 than previous Nikons since it uses focal length in its minimum shutter speed threshold calculation - including all my current zoom lenses. Inexplicably Nikon didn't include VR in this calculation! Maybe the D900 (which I will never buy) will get this simple feature right .
I hand hold 95% of my shots using the '1/focal-length' shutter speed limit that I have used since the beginning of time. I recently added a shutter stop this threshold on my D800 . Results so far are inconclusive. I do this under protest (see below).
Here's my primary unresolved concern that can explain some of my complaints: Many people say the D800 needs a higher handheld shutter speed than other cameras. You are going to have to explain this one to me. Why does the D7000 with the same pixel density NOT require an extra stop? Neither does the Canon 5D MkIII. Only the D800 has this restriction. Is sensor density relevant here anyway? A digital sensor either records images in real-time or it doesn't (and then you get rolling shutter artifacts). I suspect there is some serious rationalization going on here. Why do so many people, including smart photographers like Ming Thein and some in this thread, think a higher minimum shutter speed is normal or even OK?
#36. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 33
>Number 1 is most interesting to me. Why do a good number of >people say you need a tripod with D800 to get maximum results? >Yet the same is not said about the D7000?
You weren't a member here when the D7000 was released, so you may not be aware that we saw at least as many posts then from new owners who were disappointed with initial results, and extrapolated their own experience to suggest that the D7000 had inherent design flaws. Whilst a few people did indeed have faulty cameras, the vast majority of those with complaints found that things improved once they better understood the camera and how to configure and use it. And it wasn't just the D7000 - it has been a recurring theme over the years when new models were introduced and folks migrated from a more forgiving camera.
To come back to the current situation, numbers 2 and/or 3 of your possible causes are the most likely. The majority of responses in this thread alone show number 1 to be untrue. Even allowing for the fact that a number of D800's have suffered from a left-side AF problem which Nikon have been sadly slow to fix, it is clear that not all of them been faulty. The fact that you still offer it as a possibility might lead a neutral observer to wonder about your motives
#37. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 36
I don't understand how my membership on Nikonians is relevant? I have no sharpness complaints with the D7000.
My motives for suggesting widespread D800 problems is based on consistent statements that a higher shutter speed is needed for the D800. I struggle to find a reason other than defect that can describe these complaints. Does no one else find this usual?
#38. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 35
>Many people say the D800 needs a higher >handheld shutter speed than other cameras. >You are going to have to explain this one to me.
OK. The reason is that - if you print or view at a larger size to take advantage of the additional pixels - any lack of sharpness due to camera movement will be magnified in proportion, and a higher shutter speed will help to mitigate any softness.
If, on the other hand, you only ever print the full image - whether the camera has 16MP or 35MP - at 6x4 (or even 15x12) , there is no need to use a faster shutter speed.
#43. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 37 Mon 10-Dec-12 08:49 AM by briantilley
It isn't a defect in all D800s, although yours may have some sort of problem if you can never get a sharp picture. Otherwise it is most likely a photographer's defect. Once I sharpened my technique, my images got sharper.
You seem inclined to think that we all just support Nikon because we are "fanboys" and aren't capable of acknowledging a problem. Frankly, I find that kind of attitude insulting to most of the members here who try to help people get answers to problems and even help the user better identify problems that are not clear. However, you seem predisposed to not want to take any advice, so I am not sure what the point of you post is, except to flame some level of disappointment with the results of your pictures.
Just because you claim to be a photographer for xx years, doesn't really mean much without some evidence of your capabilities and issues with your images.
So if you want some advice, take it, otherwise, I think you want Monty Python.
#44. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 35 Mon 10-Dec-12 01:37 AM by LMMiller9
Of course, this is just my two sense: but, I think you are making a mistake in changing how you focus so often. You are maximizing the potential for human error. You don't need to be on AF-C auto and manually moving the focus point is very likely to lead to having the focus point in the wrong place on the following shot.
Simplify things. Complexity leads to error. Try just using single point, single focus, and use the center point (locked so you don't move it) and focus and reframe. I think the simplicity of that process will eliminate many of your bad shots if not all of them.
I also think you will do better leaving the camera on auto ISO. And, I would set a minimum 1/100sec speed. I think that will also increase the ratio of good to bad shots.
I think part of your problem may be that you are relying too much on your brain rather than the computer in the camera. Don't take this as an insult, but the camera can calculate all the variables of light, iso, speed, aperture and focus one hundred times faster than you can. That is why 90% of the time I have my camera on P mode. I focus on the picture, the subject, the composition itself, and let the camera calculate all that other stuff, which it can almost always do better than I can. Only when lighting is unique in some way, or when shoot fast moving birds, cars, etc., do I deviate from that. I think that is a lot of the reason I love the camera.
About the advice for higher shutter speeds: I think that advice is valid when handholding. If using a tripod you can slow down to your hearts content. But, the high pixel count does increase the effect of hand movement.
Also, do you find that you get more in focus shots with your VR lenses? I suspect that you do.
#45. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 32 Mon 10-Dec-12 04:41 PM by GaryPk
Went from D300 to D800e. With the D300, good focus and watching the Histogram gave me what I thought was a sharp image. With The D800e, focus must be spot on, exposure must be spot on, I pay a lot more attention to aperture and shutter speed .. especially when shooting hand held. In short, I am a better photographer today. And, I have so many more keepers I have a hard time deciding which to actually keep. Yes, I am happy with this camera ..
#46. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 22
If I remember correctly, you previously indicated that you did not think the D800/E was a good sports camera. Has your experience with the camera changed your opinion? Obviously the D4 is better suited for that use due to fps rate and low light qualities. However, I am not able to afford a D4. I do want the D400 as a replacement for my D200 if/when the D400 is produced with pretty much the rumored specs. In the meantime I am considering the D800E as a multi-purpose camera to pretty much replace my D200 (except in those situations where I think I need the extra "reach/composition" capabilities of the DX camera.
I bought one of the defective D800Es and have been waiting to get comfortable that Nikon has fixed the problem. Now that a lower price is rumored to be effective on 12/15 I am probably ready to buy another D800E that will hopefully be trouble free. Now if Crutchfield will just have another double points special for Christmas that will definitely make it an easy choice.
#47. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 46
>Hi Perrone, > >If I remember correctly, you previously indicated that you did >not think the D800/E was a good sports camera. Has your >experience with the camera changed your opinion?
It's a bit tricky. I still would not classify the D800 as a "sports camera" in the traditional sense. I've enjoyed it tremendously over these last months because I tend not to shoot sports "traditionally" a lot of the time.
>Obviously the >D4 is better suited for that use due to fps rate and low light >qualities.
If FPS is important, then yes, the D4 is going to be better. The ISO performance is close. Certainly close enough for me. And unless you are shooting in very dark conditions, this isn't much of a factor. I am able to shoot my D800 at ISO 3200 and am VERY comfortable with the results. In fact, I am currently processing some ACC basketball I shot tonight on the D800/D600 combo at ISO3200.
>However, I am not able to afford a D4. I do want >the D400 as a replacement for my D200 if/when the D400 is >produced with pretty much the rumored specs.
I've all but given up on the D400.
>In the meantime I >am considering the D800E as a multi-purpose camera to pretty >much replace my D200 (except in those situations where I think >I need the extra "reach/composition" capabilities of >the DX camera.
Take a long and close look at the D600. To be honest, if I wasn't doing studio work, and didn't have either the D600 or D800, I'd do the D600 for sports. It has really become my go-to camera for nearly everything.
>I bought one of the defective D800Es and have been waiting to >get comfortable that Nikon has fixed the problem. Now that a >lower price is rumored to be effective on 12/15 I am probably >ready to buy another D800E that will hopefully be trouble >free. Now if Crutchfield will just have another double points >special for Christmas that will definitely make it an easy >choice.
Again, if the D600 will meet your needs, I'd say go that direction. It may not. I know people like to badmouth the D600 in relation to the D800, but for sports work, I think it's better. Consider this... I shot ACC basketball tonight. The two cameras in my bag were the D600 and D800. Neither of my D3s cameras even got packed. I left them home. That should sum up my feelings on the capability of the D600 and D800 for sports work.
#48. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
To answer the original question - you bet I am happy. It is a vastly superior camera to my D700(which I have now sold). The D800 is a great camera (as was the D700). No problem with anything and the photos I take I am very pleased with.
#49. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
The D800 is a great camera but it requires one to fine tune to a great degree their skills. I've screwed up more shots with my D800 than my D30, D200 and D100; Its not the camera's fault; it my technique. ------------- Please visit my galleries: Reza Gorji Photography
The first thing you’ll notice is that Lesson #1 is :Use a tripod
Then, on page 9 in the section on shooting hand held portraits it says “Choose a speed a bit faster than the limit for camera blur. The superior resolution of the D800/D800E makes small amounts of focus blur more obvious. Select a shutter speed slightly faster than you would choose when photographing the same subject with other cameras.”
On page 11 it goes on to say “With the D800/D800E, you will notice that photos seem to have less depth of field than pictures shot with other cameras under the same conditions, and that focus consequently requires more attention. As can be seen from the examples below, changing the focus point even slightly can blur important details.”
Nikon really tried to warn potential users that this camera was so demanding that it might not be for everyone. There was a lot of discussion about this earlier in the year; many people felt Nikon was trying to scare them away from buying the camera because it was going to require sophisticated technique to get high quality images.
I was just watching a video by Michael Reichman of the Luminous Landscape and his recommendation for hand held shooting with the current crop of high end DSLR's is to use a shutter speed 3 times the reciprocal of the focal length.
#53. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 52 Mon 10-Dec-12 02:35 AM by mklass
I think 3 times the reciprocal of the focal length is overkill. I tend to normally shoot at less than the reciprocal of the focal length with my D3s. With the D7000, I find the reciprocal of the FL to be fine. With the D800e, a good rule of thumb for me is 1.5 times the reciprocal of the FL, reduced to 1X for VR.
But it is an individual thing, based on your hand holding ability or stability of your tripod/head setup.
#54. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 36
I agree that the #1 reason stated is not true simple because I waited four month to get my copy. Whether we are happy or not with D800 is not really a very meaningful question. The real question is is whether it is our go-to body. I believe for D800 it is a yes for sure for most.
The introduction of a step change system, for D800 the 36MP, is always followed by seemingly serious technical issues, besides the emotional ones, like buyer remorse. A good example way back is D200. I could remember I read through all those posts here on the banding issue. At that I could not afford one so I did not have an emotional response to it, but it was quite educational to me then.
#55. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 37
<<Why do a good number of people say you need a tripod with D800 to get maximum results? Yet the same is not said about the D7000?>>
Craig, with the very greatest respect if you had gone through the trials and tribulations I went through with my D7000 you would know that the same was said about the D7000.
I was running out of ideas of how to cure my problems in achieving sharp images, or even many in focus. My first copy was ascertained as faulty, the second was better, but much of what you are saying is a carbon copy of my frustrations.
I think that one can get so immersed in trying to rectify a problem as I did, so one cannot see the wood for the trees. You are showing all the signs that I was and the D800 now may well be a lost cause, as my D7000 was to me at the time. In fairness my D7000 takes great pictures now, same camera, same photographer and taking all that into account it still affected my view of the camera. Perhaps I really don't want to admit that much of the problem was me, That's ok as we are all human
If you keep the D800, you will master it and please let us know when you do as that will help others.
#59. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0 Mon 10-Dec-12 01:54 PM by FineArtSnaps
Manitou Springs, US
Try down-sampling some of your disappointing shots to 16 megapixels and compare them with comparable shots from your D7000. Down-sample some of them to 12 megapixels and compare them with shots from your D300. The comparison should tell you something important about your technique.
I should have added: Try the new 70-200 f/4 for some handheld shots. A while back I put up a post saying that on the D800 that lens probably is better even than its f/2.8 brother, but Brian evidently moved the post. The new VR on the 70-200 f/4 is incredible, and the D800 is the best lens testing hardware around.
#61. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 53 Mon 10-Dec-12 04:00 PM by Henry64
I'm absolutely happy with my D800 and D800e, I read the technical guide from Nikon before purchase, so I was kind of "prepared" for difficulties with this upgrade from my D200 and D700.
But basically I have had far less problems than I feared for
I have learned that the shutter speed is an issue, especially when I shoot motor sports (e.g. motorcycle race). I used to get more keepers from my D700 & 500/F4 (monopod), I now have to use a faster shutter speed from 1/250-1/320 to 1/320-1/500, I see about the same pattern is true for my 70-200/2.8 (hand held), I needed a faster shutter speed to make sharp images. Even though, after 6000-7000 shots, I still get less keepers than before. Perhaps more practise next year will allow for 1/320-1/400.
I do need these slow shutter speeds to get the "right" dynamic in the image, so it's a real challenge to get the speed just right and still make sharp images.
3 times the reciprocal of the focal length is a bit dramatic and it wont work for my photos. Thinking it must be a "magic" number to make sure that any user will get sharp images - However I think it might be worth giving that a "free" try, before claiming the camera to be faulty.
#62. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 33
St Petersburg, RU
No one made accusations but my post was targeted at finding a logical diagnosis of a possible fault or change since the only images we have to go by are sharp, quite good, taken in the first few days of ownership, and that there is a subjective failure to consistently repeat that 9 out f 10 success rate, something is different. How else would you or anyone go about coming to an accurate diagnosis of the problem? Anyone who sought a resolution would asked similar questions.
#63. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
After several months I realize the only truly sharp D800 >images I have were done with a tripod
A good indication of root cause right there. I have noticed that I need to take exta care bracing the D800 and holding it still when shooting handheld. I am also typically using about 1 stop faster shutter speed than with D200/D300 that I had previously.
I have used every focus mode but have relied most on AF-C >d51, manually moving the focus point, expecting that to >provide the best results. All I can say is: It is doesn't. >
Inappropriate; unless shooting moving subjects that move fast across the whole frame I would try something else. AF-S for static subjects. The avian shooters seem to prefer AF-C d21 for birds in flight.
There are a host of custom settings that alter responsiveness. If we knew what type of photographs you mostly do, and the applicable lighting conditions, could offer some more targeted advice. My D800 required a few changes from default settings before I was happy with it.
#64. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Chula Vista, US
Part of what is heard about having to use a tripod and better hand holding technique in part comes from the D800 Tech manual in keeping blur to a minimum. But using tripods and better hand holding technique is not new. Try shooting any 35mm film camera and making a 30 inch print - If you want tack sharp, then you better have a good technique and a tripod.
Perceived image acuity is also relative to how large an image is viewed and/or print size. The larger the viewing or print size, the steadier a camera has to be to produce excellence.
Whenever I am not achieving what I think my equipment is capable of I return to the basics. Even with the D800 I am not a fan of the various metering nor focusing modes. My preferences are spot and center weighted metering, select my focus point and use AFS Single Point or AFC 9 point focusing, and my Focus Tracking is typically at 5 or off. Each depending on the situation.
#65. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 35
>Here's my primary unresolved concern that can explain some >of my complaints: Many people say the D800 needs a higher >handheld shutter speed than other cameras. You are going to >have to explain this one to me. Why does the D7000 with >the same pixel density NOT require an extra stop?
Being FX the mirror is bigger (and heavier) than the DX sized mirror in D7000. D800 is the first SLR I have owned where I can easily feel a reaction (camera kicks in my hands - ever so gently but still noticeable) when the mirror flips up prior to opening the shutter. so the camera is moving as the shutter opens. Heavy lenses increase the inertia of the combination and help to reduce this. Faster shutter speeds also help, as does tripod and mirror delay.
#66. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 47
I am glad to know that you have found the D800 to perform well at ISO 3200. I thought that it was effectively pretty much limited to 1600; however, I realize that what is "acceptable" is subjective. 1600 is the maximum ISO for my D200, and far better to leave it at 800.
It is helpful to have the benefit of your experience. Permit me one more question: In what way do you find the D600 to be superior to the D800 for sports work?
#67. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 0
Wow what a thread. Craig, why is it you don't want to show a image of the problem you are having as asked many times to do so. Most everybody in here wants to help but it seems like you really do want to resolve the issue and just want to let us know you have one. I hope you get it worked out. For me the D800 is exactly what I thought it would be and I am enjoying every second of it. If you care to follow the link below to my site and look at my current work, every image there is with the d800. My only nit concerning the D800 is the shutter is louder then any other Nikon body I own.
#69. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 65
> >>Here's my primary unresolved concern that can explain >some >>of my complaints: Many people say the D800 needs a >higher >>handheld shutter speed than other cameras. You are >going to >>have to explain this one to me. Why does the D7000 >with >>the same pixel density NOT require an extra stop? > >Being FX the mirror is bigger (and heavier) than the DX sized >mirror in D7000. D800 is the first SLR I have owned where I >can easily feel a reaction (camera kicks in my hands - ever so >gently but still noticeable) when the mirror flips up prior to >opening the shutter. so the camera is moving as the shutter >opens. Heavy lenses increase the inertia of the combination >and help to reduce this. Faster shutter speeds also help, >as does tripod and mirror delay. > > Thanks James! I have been reading this thread with high interest because I am thinking about purchasing a D800. Your response to the question that Craig poses is the first one that I find to be a plausible explanation for why the D800 requires a faster shutter speed. Craigs point that the D7000 and D800 have the same sensor pixel density so it does not make sense that similar hand-holding technique employed on the two different cameras should result in any difference in focus sharpness at the pixel level. When he looks at the images 1-1 on his monitor in LR he should see similar performance – unless the camera itself shakes more as you have proposed. Maybe when (if) Nikon comes out with a D800s they will find a way to dampen the mirror movement so it is less of a limitation. I guess what this really means to me is that the effective sensitivity for hand-held shooting is reduced by a ½ stop. I shoot both portraits and sports so I’ll have to take this limitation into account when deciding between the D800 and D600. Thanks again for this explanation! Very useful for me
#70. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 66
>I am glad to know that you have found the D800 to perform >well at ISO 3200. I thought that it was effectively pretty >much limited to 1600; however, I realize that what is >"acceptable" is subjective. 1600 is the maximum ISO >for my D200, and far better to leave it at 800.
My tolerance on the D200 is no more than ISO400. My tolerance on the D800 is ISO 3200. I find they have similar noise signatures at those settings.
>It is helpful to have the benefit of your experience. Permit >me one more question: In what way do you find the D600 to be >superior to the D800 for sports work?
Better noise performance than the D800, better frame rate. The D800's focusing is faster and more accurate though.
#71. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 67
He has done the same on numerous threads. I am frankly surprised the mods don't shut him down.
>Wow what a thread. Craig, why is it you don't want to show a >image of the problem you are having as asked many times to do >so. Most everybody in here wants to help but it seems like you >really do want to resolve the issue and just want to let us >know you have one.
#72. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 69
I call BS. the motion in the D800 PALES in comparison to that of the pro bodies, and even further behind that of the medium format cameras. If this was a significant issue, pro's would have been screaming for 10 years. The fact is, it's not. The D800 is no harder to use than any other camera if you have good technique.
I can pick up my D800, Nikon 1 v1, D200, D3s, or D600, and shoot all of them at the same shutter speed on the same subject and not have a SINGLE problem. I've got 8x10s to 20x30s here in my room, shot handheld with the D800 and they look stunning.
If someone has a non-defective copy of the D800 and they can't get good files from it, it's not the camera. Period.
>Thanks James! >I have been reading this thread with high interest because I >am thinking about purchasing a D800. Your response to the >question that Craig poses is the first one that I find to be a >plausible explanation for why the D800 requires a faster >shutter speed. Craigs point that the D7000 and D800 have the >same sensor pixel density so it does not make sense that >similar hand-holding technique employed on the two different >cameras should result in any difference in focus sharpness at >the pixel level. When he looks at the images 1-1 on his >monitor in LR he should see similar performance – unless the >camera itself shakes more as you have proposed. Maybe when >(if) Nikon comes out with a D800s they will find a way to >dampen the mirror movement so it is less of a limitation. I >guess what this really means to me is that the effective >sensitivity for hand-held shooting is reduced by a ½ stop. I >shoot both portraits and sports so I’ll have to take this >limitation into account when deciding between the D800 and >D600. >Thanks again for this explanation! Very useful for me >
#73. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 72
Then explain why Nikon states that a shutter speed faster than the general rule of the focal length is recommended? They don't state this for the D7000 and yet it should have the same susceptability. In fact the Nikon tech guide for the D800 advises using a tripod and live view for best results - live view means no mirror shake. See page 6 of the technical guide. http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/o/Y6wrkA9OU_z04IreazIXl_22UII/PDF/D800_TechnicalGuide_En.pdf Are you using heavy lenses? Perhaps the total mass of the camera and lens does some dampening?
#74. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 73 Wed 12-Dec-12 08:02 AM by PerroneFord
>Then explain why Nikon states that a shutter speed faster >than the general rule of the focal length is recommended?
Likely to stave off the AVALANCHE of complaints they got after releasing the D7000 when users complained that the cameras must be faulty because they couldn't get solid files. Problem is exactly the same.
Yea, I read the guide before the D800 was released. It's good advice. But I don't think a tripod and mirror up are going to help me at the basketball game on the baseline.
>Are you using heavy lenses? Perhaps the total mass of the >camera and lens does some dampening?
I've shot everything from my 50mm 1.8 to a 300mm/2.8 on my D800 without issue. I remember when people were reading that same technical manual and everyone was talking about how the D800 would demand the very best lenses in order to get viable files. People were putting up their AF-S F4 lenses and trying to get into the F2.8 zooms. I went into my room put a lens on my D800 and snapped a photo. Then asked people's thoughts. Everyone marveled at the detail. As it turned out, I had attached my 1965 Fuji 55mm/F1.4 lens. The oldest and cheapest lens I own. I did the same with an old 28-80mm kit lens. Everyone swore the pics looked great.
The OP said his files looked great on the tripod. Well here's some news for you. The hands do a much better job of damping camera vibration than a tripod does. And neither of them do a thing to dampen mirror slap.
#75. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 73
<<Then explain why Nikon states that a shutter speed faster than the general rule of the focal length is recommended?>>
This has been a bug bear of mine for years. Only the other day I mentioned that the whole issue of acceptable shutter speeds in another forum here, in that case both handheld and when to use VR as the VR is not covered well by Nikon. Thom Hogan is the only commentator I've read who has bothered to explain when and when not to use VR and the consideration of high shutter speeds. Now, back to the issue.
It has been a principle of photography and this applied mostly to handheld, that a speed of x1.5 of focal length should be used to avoid camera shake. With my D800 and either my 24-70mm f2.8 or 50mm f1.8 I can go as low as 1/60 and not experience poor quality shots provided I match it with a required aperture, say f8. However, there is always a risk of loosing a desired shot at slow speeds and to negate that up and up go my shutter speeds.
I usually use a tripod for my landscape or portrait shots, but I'm not shy of using 1/60 or even have had success at 1/50th to get "that" shot, once again with a higher shutter speed than the lens focal length. This is even more important with long lenses and as such I never capture below 1/600 with a 300mm lens handheld.
In short, I see no reason why one should be forced to use a tripod to achieve sharp shots as long as a suitable shutter speed matched to the desired aperture is used. Obviously studio and some wedding photography etc. will sometimes benefit the use of a tripod, but much I see of those genres is achieved handheld.
To conclude, I feel that Nikon should produce a generic, definitive dSLR manual, forgetting the camera model. There's a lot more to getting it right than is contained in either their Technical or User manuals. I think Nikon have missed a trick not publishing something better than they do. Thank Goodness for the other writers and commentators, oh and of course the folks on here
#76. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 74
<<Likely to stave off the AVALANCHE of complaints they got after releasing the D7000 when users complained that the cameras must be faulty because they couldn't get solid files. Problem is exactly the same.>>
Yep, I was one of those who learned their lesson. It actually did me a favour, because then the D800 was like a ride in the park
#77. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 72
Is that qualifier that is critical: "if you have good technique". Mine was initially marginal when shooting the D800, so I needed to step it up a bit. I am not a steady enough shooter to take a shot a 1/50th, ISO 100, no flash, with a 85mm lens. I can do that with the D3s.
#79. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 78
>Agreed. After spending 2hrs hand holding a 300mm/2.8 I am >not either. Thus I do what is required to get the shot. But >I am not going to blame that on the camera. > > >>Some of us a not as steady as the rest of you when >>handholding. So it becomes necessary to compensate. >>Mick >>http://www.mickklassphoto.com >>or >>Visit >>my nikonians gallery> > Me either.
#80. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 71
OKLAHOMA CITY, US
Hell yes I'm happy. Bought this camera on release date and it has been perfect. Have used the same hold still get the speed up as I had to do on my D7K works great. This may be the last camera I need buy.
#81. "RE: Are you happy with your D800?" In response to Reply # 75
Good points all ... thanks for the insights. I shoot with a D7000 and sometimes when I get a soft focus in a portrait shot I would blame it on missed focusing. But perhaps I should be pushing that shutter speed up some and open the aperture a bit more instead of the other direction. I do have a question about how to account for the 1.5 DX factor for the shutter speed rule. Should I use the focal length as indicated on the lens or should I multiply this by 1.5 to get the equivalent full frame focal length when shooting with a DX camera and an FX lens? When I shoot sports I always shoot with my shutter speed at 1/800s or faster. The longest lens combination I have is a 1.4 tele with the 70-200mm 2.8 VRII. So my max focal length in 35mm terms would be 1.5x1.4x200 which is 420mm. Using your rule of shutter speed minimum as 1.5 the focal length gives me 1/630s in full frame terms. So the setting I have found by experience that works best when shooting sports handheld is consistent with your rule. Of course the other obvious reason to use 1/800s or faster when shooting sports is because my subjects are moving. I now wonder, however, how much blur is caused by handholding the camera versus subject movement. Does anyone know how to calculate a subject movement speed (say traversing from side to side) which leads to subject motion blur? I can images that there are several factors involved but is there a general rule of thumb here too? Probably academic I know, since from a practical rule I find that I need 1/800s for the kind of sports I shoot ... but I wonder if I might be able to slow the shutter down some if I used a tripod or monopod. I can often use the extra light.