A quick question for which I need help with an opinion.
When shooting indoors at high ISO (say 3200+) and high shutter speed (1/500th), given the same lenses etc, does the D800E perform better , worse, or the same as a D3 with respect to image quality, and noise ??? There are a number of comparisons to the D3s here....but not the D3. This may help me make some tough decisions as I head into the fall.
DxOMark provides a good comparison of performance of the two cameras. Both are very good with an edge of about 1 stop to the D800E for Noise and Color. Dynamic Range and Tonal Range are very close to the same with a slight edge to the D800E.
#2. "RE: D800E vs D3" In response to Reply # 1 Tue 21-May-13 07:17 PM by PSAGuy
Lake Elmo, US
Thanks....not actually looking to buy one instead of the other. Looking at the solid results now (from my D3) and their ability to please my clients. My clients love the hockey and basketball images I get them now at ISO 3200, so if they are similar, this D800E may be the ticket for me. Frame rate is never a big deal for me. I seem to get the stop action images I need with 2-3 frames. My thinking is I can save $3 G's over going to a D4, and get great crop ability for shots across the ice when using a 70-200. PLUS I get a sweet new camera for my personal photography like landscapes etc.
I have been very, very pleased with my D3...and really don't need anything better to maintain and grow the business. I think the D800E would be a nice second body.
At reasonable print sizes, I find the high ISO performance is virtually identical between my D800e and my D3s. Color and dynamic range are better with the D800e, and the sharpness is simply amazing. ANd you get all those pixels to crop…
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
Interesting dilemma. If 2-3 frames are shot at continuous high the D3 might get 3 shots of the same action during a moment in time when the D800 could only get 1 or 2. D3 9fps ~ 0.11 seconds interval between shots vs D800 4fps ~ 0.25 seconds, as a rough approximation of course. You could use DX crop plus the MB-D12 grip to get up to 6fps ~ 0.17 second intervals. I really depends on your technique whether it would affect capturing fast action. Comparing at the same output size, the D800 has better image quality. Whether your clients will notice it is another issue.
Having used the D3 extensively at ISO settings up to 6400 and owning a D800e the difference in noise is so small as to be no concern at all. I get greater variation based on the color temp of the light source and the reflectivity and color of the clothing and skin of my subjects.
Autofocus is markedly better with the D800e in low light situations.
The drawback to the D800e is that in many situations the 36MP is overkill and 95% of the time the image files from the 12MP D3 camera are every bit as good.
There are no indoor situations that come to mind where the D800e camera's greater resolution is going to be important and a benefit. It also needs to be used with care as if 15 shots are done with RAW capture in quick succession it will fill the camera's buffer and then it takes a full 15 seconds to clear before you can resume shooting. The camera was not designed for event or action photography so this is not really a flaw but simply a characteristic of the camera.
>The CROP is the part that intrigues me. So if the D3s and >D800E are similar in high-iso performance, I think this makes >my mind up....because the D3s is BETTER than my D3.
This has certainly not been my experience at all. My D3s completely trumps my D800 at ISO 1600 or above. It focuses faster and it has less noise. Now below ISO 1600, the D800 is a DREAM. I also skipped the D4 in lieu of the D800 for much the same reasons you are considering. It's a phenomenal camera. Honestly, if I was just shooting sports, I'd probably have gotten the D4. If I was just shooting studio and portraits, I'd have only considered the D800. But in truth, the first camera out of my bag in most instances these days is the D600. Better ISO performance than the D800, WAY better resolution and color than my D3s.
This is not to say that the D800 cannot shoot at ISO 3200. I have done so and have been generally ok with the results. I am picky. I cannot compare to the D3 because I don't have one and have never used one.
Rent or borrow a D800 for a session to see if it is better for your needs. If viewed with the same dimensions and distance a print should be better in noise, color and dynamic range, plus metering and low like AF should be better with the D800. But is it better in your shooting conditions? Rent and find out. Stan St Petersburg Russia
YES...the solution I need to look at is rental of a D600 and 800e during a shoot, to figure which is best for my application. I will continue to use my D3 (at least for this coming hockey season) and then look at a D4 or maybe even a D4s/x when available. Make no mistake the old D3 runs like a champ and has produced some superb images at 3200 and 6400. It has never once missed a beat.
Obviously there are a lot of factors to consider......things like how does the camera handle white balance, autofocus in arenas etc. As for burst rate, like I mentioned I almost never have to use more than 2-3 bursts to capture my image.