"A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" Sun 28-Apr-13 08:12 PM by ljordan316
It has now been one year since I took delivery of my first Nikon D800. I have to say that Nikon gave me an excellent year with the introduction of this superb body.
I am not an NPS member, so I had to play second fiddle to NPS members before I could get my hands on one. I received the package just days before I was scheduled to go on a Nikonians slot canyon trek with Winston Hall. Needless to say, I had to scramble to learn as much as I could before departure. Many of the postings in this forum helped me learn the camera.
Winston had already received his D800 before he led the trek, and he was able to give me a lot of pointers. I had been shooting a D300 for three years before buying the D800, so I had a pretty steep full-frame learning curve to climb.
When processing the slot canyon images, I was astounded at the level of details I was getting with the D800. I was also impressed with the dynamic range. Instead of processing nine HDR images from the D300, I was able to process five in most cases and just a single image in some cases to get the range I needed for my final images.
Last summer I got started using the FoCal AF fine tuning software. As a result of that testing with my D800 and a new D800e that I had purchased, I made the command decision to sell my D800 and buy another D800e. After shooting thousands of shots with both of the D800e bodies, I can say with confidence that I made the right decision to switch to the D800 and finally to the D800e.
If you were a D800 forum reader early last year, you remember the panic about the left-side AF issue as well as concern with moiré with the D800e. After reading about the AF issue here and doing the required testing, I found that my D800 had the issue. Nikon Melville repaired the AF problem on the first round. As to the moiré issue with the D800e, I have only seen one instance of it in a close-up shot of a warbler that had fine feathers. Otherwise, I just get incredible details in every image.
#2. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 0
You have some greats shots there. Congratulations. One question that I have in mind is do you think you would be able to gain the same level of sharpening in post processing when applied to d800 or there is something significantly better about it (d800e) that made your mind up?
#4. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 2
While doing FoCal AF fine tuning, I compared the black & white images of the target for the D800 and D800e. At the pixel level, there was an obvious advantage for the D800e. When I compared the actual field images, the D800e images had better contrast and better color depth than the D800. With enough work, you achieve almost the same thing with D800 images as D800e images, but why bother when you can get the best there is right out of the D800e body with no additional work. The D800e reduces the number of workflow steps.
#12. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 4
Thank you Larry for the images and your observations of the differences between the D800 and D800e. Your post was not the deciding factor, I had already decided and sold my D800 to raise funds to buy the D800e. About 60 more days of work and I should have the money!
#3. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 0
San Diego, US
You have some very special images here. Thanks for sharing them and thanks for offering your insight and experience with the D800 and the D800E. I recently have gotten an 800E and am still learning its capabilities. I am also very impressed with the resolution and the DR of the camera. Really something special. Hopefully a year from now, I may be able to post a gallery of images similar to yours.
Thanks again for sharing and very nice work. Hope to see more soon.
#5. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 0
I would like to add on to this and have just used D800e for the first wedding of the season.
Comparing with the set up I had with D700, I found big enhancements over. I see great improvements on the accuracy of the sharp focus with the improved camera focus function and dynamic ranges. In low lights, it functioned absolutely better than D700.
The only problem is the file size (I take all in RAW) and it took me a long time to upload to the server.
#6. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 5
I had to upgrade my external hard disks and connections to computer to USB 3.0 because of the large file size. With a complete USB 3.0 load path and the 3x to 5x speed increase over USB 2.0, I was able to get the image load speed back to a reasonable level.
When I say complete USB 3.0 load path, I am including: - CF card reader - USB hub - USB adapter card in computer - External hard disks - All cables connecting these devices
#11. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 7 Wed 01-May-13 12:07 PM by ljordan316
Antero, I am still seeing posts here on Nikonians that says the D800e can't measure up to a D3X or D3s for hand held shooting. I wonder what I could have gotten in bird shots if I had used one of those bodies or a D4 for my bird shots. Maybe I am still missing opportunities that I would get with those bodies. I guess I will never know because I have no plans to use anything but a D800e for the forseeable future.
I was shooting ponies on an island last week that does not allow vehicles. I was lugging two D800e bodies with a 70-200mm and a 200-400mm. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to hike all over that island with more camera body weight hanging from my shoulders.
#10. "RE: A year of great D800 and D800e shooting" In response to Reply # 9 Tue 30-Apr-13 12:56 PM by ljordan316
I use the 200-400mm with VR off and no TC. I have it mounted on a Bushhawk.
By the way, most BIF trek leaders will insist that you need to shoot in manual mode in order to meter for the birds versus the background. I never shoot in manual mode. I do sometimes dial in -0.7 EV exposure adjustment.
One thing the D800e has trouble with is shooting BIF with any clutter/trees in the background when that clutter is anywhere near the bird. I try to avoid clutter, but sometimes I have no choice if I really want to capture the bird.
I also shoot with AF lock on turned off. That may cause some of the issues with background clutter. If I trusted myself to have the bird in the center every time when I start a sequence of frames, I would dial in AF lock on, but I am not that good at centering on the bird.