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A few D800 observations

TomCurious

Bay Area, US
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TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Tue 27-Mar-12 05:38 PM

My D800 came in. IQ is superb, as was already widely reported. Here are a few other observations from a longtime D700 owner:

1) Long exposure noise appears to be very low. With any new camera, I always do a quick test for hot pixels, shooting a 10s exposure at ISO 3200 with the lens cap on (High ISO NR off, Long exposure NR off). With such a test, my d700 shows quite a number of more or less dimly glowing pixels (nothing worrisome), but the D800 image is completely pitch black.

2) Why on earth did they have to swap the + and - buttons for the image zoom? I'm always pressing the wrong button now. Yes I guess I could get used to it if I only had this camera. But I plan to keep the D700 as well. This will be quite annoying.

3) The shutter sound is quite different than the D700. The D700 already had a loud clunking sound which I didn't care for much. Compared to that, the D800 sounds like a toy camera. It's not louder than the D700, but after the D800 shutter fires, there is an after sound, as if you hit a music box with a hammer. This is no big deal in most cases of course, but when shooting in a quiet environment it could get quite distracting.

4) The function button is in a much better place now, right below the DOF button. The ring finger sits on it automatically. On the D700, the function button was just in between the ring finger and pinkie, and I always had to "finger" for it.

5) The exposure compensation direction (both display and control) is reversed by default, but can be switched back to work like on the D700 via menu

6) The metering knob is hard to turn. On the D700, I could turn it with just my right thumb, even while looking through the viewfinder. It worked better than even on the D3s. On the D800, the knob is in the same place and it's about the same size, but the shape is very slightly different and it turns harder.

7) I love the "Easy ISO" option which can be turned on via menu. With that option, the ISO can be changed just by turning the command dial. I.e. in Aperture priority mode, the front control wheel sets the aperture, and the back control wheel sets the ISO. Newer cameras like the D7000 have this feature already.

8) The mode button has unfortunately been replaced with a video record button. Great for video shooters (not me). What were they thinking? The mode button is now farther away and harder to reach with the index finger (though it can still be reached without taking the hand off the grip).

9) The AF / M switch on the front of the camera is now harder to turn by accident. That switch on the D700 loved to catch onto something when pulling the camera out of the bag and then surprising me with manual focus mode.

10) The dedicated bracketing button is nice. On the D700, one could program a button for bracketing, but I already had other uses for the buttons, so the extra button is welcome. Exposure bracketing can still only be done only in increments of up to 1EV (unlike the D4).

So, there are many welcome changes I have seen so far. A few quirks that will take getting used to. Overall a superb camera.

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

outdoors4me

US
246 posts

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#1. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

outdoors4me Registered since 16th Nov 2009
Tue 27-Mar-12 05:14 PM

Thanks for the info Tom. Good report.

Beck

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MEMcD

US
31610 posts

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#2. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Tue 27-Mar-12 05:48 PM

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the review.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

gmth

Lewisville, US
761 posts

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#3. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

gmth Gold Member Awarded for sharing his excellent work and continued contribution to the forums, most notably at the Aviation forum. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 10th Feb 2012
Tue 27-Mar-12 06:45 PM

>
>3) The shutter sound is quite different than the D700. The
>D700 already had a loud clunking sound which I didn't care for
>much. Compared to that, the D800 sounds like a toy camera.
>It's not louder than the D700, but after the D800 shutter
>fires, there is an after sound, as if you hit a music box with
>a hammer. This is no big deal in most cases of course, but
>when shooting in a quiet environment it could get quite
>distracting.
>

Tom,
Thanks for these great observations. I was quite surprised at the level of noise from the shutter. Even when I tried the Q mode (quiet shutter mode) it was not reduced by much, if any...

Regards,
Glenn Thompson

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TomCurious

Bay Area, US
2352 posts

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#4. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 3

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Tue 27-Mar-12 08:30 PM

Glad it was useful! One more thing: I tried the RRS L-plate from my D700, but it does not fit. The D800 is slightly deeper than the D700. So I will need to order a new L-plate to mount the camera on my tripod with the quick release clamp. RRS has the D800 L-plate listed already for preorder. They say that it will start shipping in about 2 weeks.

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

tommiejeep

Goa, IN
4638 posts

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#5. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 4

tommiejeep Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2008
Wed 28-Mar-12 12:46 AM

Tom, thanks for the heads up. with the new batteries I was hoping one of my several L-plates would work .
Cheers,
Tom

Manuel Sousa - alias... T.D.Hardin
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mbecke2266

US
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#6. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

mbecke2266 Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Jun 2011
Tue 27-Mar-12 09:49 PM

Tom, Great review. Just one little question. How about picture quality? (Don't mean to be facetious -- well maybe a little.) Thank you!

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TomCurious

Bay Area, US
2352 posts

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#7. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 6

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Tue 27-Mar-12 11:07 PM

Thanks! Well it wasn't so much a review as a few thoughts after the first evening of using this camera, so other D700 owners who upgrade will know how the new camera handles. The images are better than anything I have seen from any camera, but I'll write more about that once I have some real pictures not just test shots.

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5751 posts

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#8. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Tue 27-Mar-12 10:20 PM | edited Tue 27-Mar-12 10:22 PM by Ferguson

Nice comments. A couple of additions from a D300 user (may not apply from others):

- I like the feature to turn on the back LCD info display when you use the light switch for the top LCD, I was always fumbling to hit the info button in the dark but could always hit the shutter power switch.

- I'm not a big fan of the auto-focus switch being buried in the AF/M switch button. I find it hard to hit accurately, but think that will change with time. But I do like the AF-S/C and other modes now being combined on the same setting.

- I'm annoyed that the DX/FX/etc modes are shown in millimeters in the viewfinder instead of the more common DX/FX/aspect ratios. I'll get used to it.

- I love the viewfinder cover being built in, I have never in my life been able to find the slide-in covers when I wanted one (but stumble on them at odd random times and think "what is that").

- I thought I read the whole manual but was surprised by hitting the info button twice, the surprised it only did the bottom two lines.

- What are all those extra noises after you use live view and take an image and if you take a series why does it wait for the card to finish updating before the image comes back?

- The round eyepiece is fully functional and comfortable and -- looks dumb.

- It takes more than 3 times adjusting it to remember to pull OUT on the eyepiece focus. I'm not sure how many more than 3 yet, will keep count. :0

- Isn't USB2 plenty fast for the fastest it can run? Why do I need to buy new cables, just so they can market as USB 3?

- The images just keep making me say "wow"!

Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

TomCurious

Bay Area, US
2352 posts

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#9. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 8

TomCurious Registered since 03rd Jan 2007
Tue 27-Mar-12 11:14 PM

Thanks for the addition! A few of these points won't be a surprise for D700 owners, as that camera is a bit newer than the D300 and already has them (like the info button / double click). I agree with the focus mode switch comment. The way the D800 switches between manual focus, af-s and af-c is actually fine for me since I always use af-c anyway (which combined with the af-on mode allows to use manual focus and af-s without switching focus mode). But I would have preferred to keep the switch for the focus point / area mode that the D700 had on the back. The D800 has the live view switch there instead.

Tom
Bay Area Nikonian


http://www.tkphoto.me/

Bluefin

Danville, US
432 posts

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#10. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 9

Bluefin Registered since 14th Nov 2006
Wed 28-Mar-12 12:06 AM

Tom,

Excellent info. Please keep the dialog going.

After using a D200 for a couple of years I was thrilled when I saw images from my new D300. And when I finally bought a D700 I was thrilled all over again. I want to believe that if I buy a D800e I will again, be thrilled by the IQ.

Waiting with great anticipation for more comments on the D800.

Mark Sloane
Danville, CA

mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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#11. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 8

mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Wed 28-Mar-12 09:17 AM



For this camera ... Usb3 is a must ... Transfer speed went from 12megabits to 5 gigabits with usb3 ... With these ridiculously high image sizes USB 3 is the only USB option.
___________________________________________________________

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - A. Einstein

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Ferguson

Cape Coral, US
5751 posts

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#12. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 11

Ferguson Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for the generous sharing of his high level expertise in the spirit of Nikonians Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004
Wed 28-Mar-12 09:58 AM

>
>
>For this camera ... Usb3 is a must ... Transfer speed went
>from 12megabits to 5 gigabits with usb3 ... With these
>ridiculously high image sizes USB 3 is the only USB option.

My understanding is USB 2.0 was 480mb/s. Though to be fair that's 60MB/s and is probably a bit lower than the maximum rate of the fastest cards. I'd be curious whether anyone with a fast computer and fast USB3 can actually sustain that speed from the camera itself for download.

But fair enough.

Hmmm... I used to have a USB Mini to Micro adapter, which was handy to keep on a cable because then phones which took either could be used with one cable (just pull off the adapter). Anyone seen an adapter to change a USB3 cable with micro-A to USB2 Micro A, so you could pull the adapter off for the D800, put it on and use a D700/300/etc? Then you could carry one cable with a 2" adapter on the end and be set for both?


Comments welcomed on pictures: Http://captivephotons.com

nrothschild

US
10916 posts

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#13. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 12

nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Registered since 25th Jul 2004
Thu 29-Mar-12 11:10 AM

>> Though to be fair that's 60MB/s and is probably a bit lower than the maximum rate of the fastest cards.

Realistically I think the maximum real world USB2 throughput is more like 40MB/s. That's the fastest I've seen USB2 move data between hard drives (maybe 45 on a good minute of a good day...). The theoretical throughput includes parity (error checking) data we don't count so divide by 10 (allowing for 2 parity bits) is a good upper limit of data actually moved. That is about 1 raw image per second or about 50-60 images per minute.

>> >For this camera ... Usb3 is a must ... Transfer speed went
>from 12megabits to 5 gigabits with usb3 ...

I think it's time for USB3 . USB3 won't move the 5gb claimed in the specs. But it can equal eSata so it should keep up with even fast hard drives. Don't forget that no matter how fast data can be read it has to be put somewhere and that is usually the major bottleneck

Personally I don't like to buy USB2 devices that move a lot of data. If I do I only buy it at a big discount for something where price is the major issue. That does not sound like a D800 .

USB2 is the floppy of yesterday... although CF is not far behind USB2, in terms of transfer speed (it is significantly slower than disk drives, where regular dynamic memory is multiples faster so camera cards, in principle, have a lot of room to improve).

USB3 *should* also be far superior to Firewire in terms of reliability and basic simple plug and play simplicity, which is very problematic on Windows machines since Microsoft chose not to seriously support FW, in favor of USB. Of course Macs prefer Firewire like Windows prefers USB so that is subject to a lot of debate, depending on your OS. For some reason the USB3 chip makers don't seem to have the drivers down right, with a lot of complaints in that area. I've had my own on some Win machines.

Just my own thoughts on this.

_________________________________
Neil


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Neilwww1

Sydney, AU
229 posts

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#14. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

Neilwww1 Registered since 12th Mar 2012
Wed 28-Mar-12 09:26 AM

Thanks for the report on your D800 so far.

Mike in FL

Jacksonville, US
581 posts

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#15. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 0

Mike in FL Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Apr 2008
Sun 01-Apr-12 01:01 PM

>3) The shutter sound is quite different than the D700. The
>D700 already had a loud clunking sound which I didn't care for
>much. Compared to that, the D800 sounds like a toy camera.
>It's not louder than the D700, but after the D800 shutter
>fires, there is an after sound, as if you hit a music box with
>a hammer. This is no big deal in most cases of course, but
>when shooting in a quiet environment it could get quite
>distracting.
>
>

Tom,

Thanks very much for your post on the D800, it's very helpful.

Regarding the shutter sound, have you tried the "quiet" mode. If so, how well does it reduce the loudness of the camera? Believe it or not, that's one of the reasons that I want to upgrade from the D700 (I sometimes end up shooting in an environment where I need to be quiet).

Thanks!

Mike

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#16. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 15

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Sun 01-Apr-12 01:35 PM

The quiet mode on this camera is not what people think it is apparently. It's designed to allow for a two part shutter release. Basically, you press the shutter button (and hold it) and get the "click" but nothing else. Then you put the camera somewhere discreet, like behind your back, and let the button go.

The D7000 introduced this, and the D800 continues it.


>Regarding the shutter sound, have you tried the
>"quiet" mode. If so, how well does it reduce the
>loudness of the camera? Believe it or not, that's one of the
>reasons that I want to upgrade from the D700 (I sometimes end
>up shooting in an environment where I need to be quiet).
>
>Thanks!
>
>Mike

------
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Mike in FL

Jacksonville, US
581 posts

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#17. "RE: A few D800 observations" | In response to Reply # 16

Mike in FL Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Apr 2008
Sun 01-Apr-12 03:39 PM

>The quiet mode on this camera is not what people think it is
>apparently. It's designed to allow for a two part shutter
>release. Basically, you press the shutter button (and hold
>it) and get the "click" but nothing else. Then you
>put the camera somewhere discreet, like behind your back, and
>let the button go.
>
>The D7000 introduced this, and the D800 continues it.
>
>
>>Regarding the shutter sound, have you tried the
>>"quiet" mode. If so, how well does it reduce
>the
>>loudness of the camera? Believe it or not, that's one of
>the
>>reasons that I want to upgrade from the D700 (I sometimes
>end
>>up shooting in an environment where I need to be quiet).
>>
>>Thanks!
>>
>>Mike
>


Perrone,

Canon's 1D Mark II had this feature, and I found that it did make the camera slightly quieter (though not silent). And yes, I was a Canon man for a long time, but I grew out of it.

Mike

G