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mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Tue 14-Feb-12 12:08 AM

1. Is this camera a good upgrade from the D300 given that all my lenses are FX.
2. Will the camera shoot more fps with an attached battery grip ... Like the D300.
3. I've heard that this camera will not perform particularly well in low light ... Will it perform better than the d 300.
4. Is the video truly uncompressed via hdmi?

I am trying to figure out if I can sell my D300 to soften the blow of the d800 price tag.

I assume that the normal photographer would be better off with the D800 than the D800e.

Thanks everyone
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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1169 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 0

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Mon 13-Feb-12 11:27 PM

1. Did you mean to say that "all my lenses are FX" or DX? If all your lenses are FX lenses than the answer is absolutly "Yes." If your lenses are DX then you have to factor in the eventual costs of new lenses.

2. Yes.

3. Yes, it will definitely perform better than the D300 in low light. If you have heard that "this camera will not perform particularly well in low light" you have been misinformed. The low light specifications are the same as the D700 and the photos we can see illustrate excellent low light capability. We all know that the D700 is much loved for its low light performance and so far, there is no reason to believe that this will be any worse.

4. I don't know.

As to being better off with the D800 vs the D800e, that is my opinion, but it is a subject with varying opinions.

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
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mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 1

mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Mon 13-Feb-12 11:31 PM

Thanks ... All my lenses are FX ...

Yeah weird ... I have been reading that the ISO range is not particularly great
....
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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1169 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 2

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Tue 14-Feb-12 12:28 AM

I think what you have been reading about low light capability is that some were hoping for better capability, such as the D3S. However, no one has really tested this compared to the D700, so other than the specs which are equal, we really can't say that it is any worse of any better.

I am quite happy with the fact that it seems to have equal low light capability along with the greatly improved pixel count, video, and other features.

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
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MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
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#4. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 0

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Tue 14-Feb-12 12:00 AM | edited Tue 14-Feb-12 12:04 AM by MotoMannequin

>1. Is this camera a good upgrade from the D300 given that all
>my lenses are FX.

Your same lens kit will perform entirely differently. You'll have more reach on the wide end and less on the telephoto end. Depending on how you use your kit, that could be a good thing or a bad thing. If you find yourself limited by the telephoto end of your kit, then you'll find you want a longer telephoto on FX. Of course you can run the D800 in DX crop mode which certainly isn't worse than a D300.

>2. Will the camera shoot more fps with an attached battery
>grip ... Like the D300.

With the battery grip, in DX crop mode, D800 will shoot 6fps, the same frame rate as your D300 without a battery grip. Given the D300 shoots (8fps?) with the grip, speed is one area where the D800 is not as capable.

>3. I've heard that this camera will not perform particularly
>well in low light ... Will it perform better than the d 300.

I'd expect it to exceed the D300's low light capabilities by a wide margin.

>4. Is the video truly uncompressed via hdmi?

Yes according to the spec.

>I am trying to figure out if I can sell my D300 to soften the
>blow of the d800 price tag.

You'll mainly be losing the speed of the D300. I'm not sure what a D300 fetches used. I'm a big fan of keeping a backup body.

>I assume that the normal photographer would be better off with
>the D800 than the D800e.

Difficult to say, but if you shoot anything with fabrics I'd stick with the D800.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3574 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Tue 14-Feb-12 01:07 AM

Is there a particular feature or characteristic that motivates you to upgrade? Is there anything that the D300 does not do that you really want?
If you are not dead-set on FX, the D7000 will give many of the benefits of the D800 for a Dx shooter.
If you are constrained by the very good D300 AF, the D800 will be an upgrade. Resolution, which is wanted by many but needed by few, will of course be great on the D800 in either DX or FX mode.
Low light is being debated now but tests of DR of image files place the noise level as better than the D700 and maybe slightly lower than the D3s except at low ISO where, along with the D4 and D7000, better than any prior generation cameras.

The only weak spots for the D800 so far to surface is the gigantic file sizes in FX mode, lower frame rate, bizarrely overpriced vertical grip, and the inventive excuses or justifications needed to be created to pass the wife test. The best way for the latter is to say that you need a camera so fine that it can capture her beauty as it was meant to be captured. You are only doing it for her. But this one sacrifice is not too much a burden to bear(better sweeten the pot with studio lighting and Photoshop CS.5 also)
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 5

mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Tue 14-Feb-12 01:42 AM

The wife test looms large
... But your advice should help !

I want to upgrade to this camera in order to shoot great video. I am a special fx supervisor. I also shoot landscapes and portraits.

Anyway ... I am going to go for it preorder the 800 non e tomorrow at b&h

Thanks !!
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torwood

Jefferson Hills, US
761 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 6

torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010
Tue 14-Feb-12 03:18 AM

I agree with most of the above. The D800 will surpass the D300 in every area but one - frames per second. The D7000 far surpasses the D300 in low light performance in the DX format. The D800 will blow the D300 away. AF will be better. Metering will be better.

Now, here is where I disagree with a lot I've read in this forum. I think the 4 FPS is a real handicap. Yes, you can buy a vertical grip and get that up to 6 FPS, in DX mode only, but now you've spent an additional $450 (no, I am not kidding) - so now your camera cost $3,450 just so you can get 6 FPS in DX mode, at reduced resolution - which is pretty much what the $1,100 D7000 gives you, without a grip. Yes, you also get upgraded AF and metering, as well as the same control layout you're used to on the D300, but at a tremendous cost premium.

You have FX lenses. That means you may be comfortable with the wide angle limitations of DX?, but (depending on what you shoot) you might miss the reach of DX if you go to an FX camera? It's exponentially less expensive to solve wide angle on DX(the 10-24 DX works great), than it is to solve telephoto on FX. This last paragraph may mean nothing to you. For all I know, you used all your FX lenses on film, and are perfectly happy with their performance on the 35mm/FX format.

Short story long,...you should decide which format you really want, and why. If it's FX, I'm sure the D800 will be awesome for you (and for not that much more than the cost of a D700). If the answer is that DX really is better for you, then I'd wait for the D300 upgrade which is probably no more than a year away at this point. Or, look at the D7000, which is an order of magnitude better in low light performance over the D300, and spend the extra $2,300 on a really nice lens,...or two.

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mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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#8. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 7

mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Tue 14-Feb-12 09:16 AM | edited Tue 14-Feb-12 09:28 AM by mdonovan

My understanding .... And I could be wrong ... Is that telephoto should not suffer on this camera at all because of the extreme resolution. Essentially you gain reach via the ability to severely crop without quality loss .. No ? I am a touch worried about the loss of fps ...I go to Jets training camp annually ... But I think timing is more important than 7 fps.

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johno

St. Louis, US
525 posts

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#9. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 8

johno Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd May 2006
Tue 14-Feb-12 02:29 PM | edited Tue 14-Feb-12 02:41 PM by johno

I have owned a D300 and now own the D700. For me the D700 has been a pure joy to own. I expect the D800 will be as well. I think you will be THRILLED with the D800, but your emotions may vary.

The D700 is a much better camera than the D300 in every way but the design of compact flash door, and the flimsy covers that are in the front left side of the camera. But the best thing about full frame is ---full frame. Full frame is how God intended a DSLR to be shot. DX shooters can point out the benefits of DX getting that last extra whisker on an elk from x yards away, and debate the finer points of depth of field theory, etc. But with the D800 you can shoot in DX all you want with more resolution than the D300 has at all.

You will serve yourself best to pay no attention to people here who state guesses about camera performance as fact, unless they have personally tested the camera.

I have heard it sucks in low light too, but I heard that from people here who have never held the camera.

If you ask will a fx lens work well on the d800 you can trust that answer you get here because it will work the same as it does on any full frame camera including your old Nikon 35 mm film camera.

As for whether to upgrade from your camera to a D800, few of us "need" to, but none of us need to justify buying the camera based on any criteria other than simply wanting it.

As for lens performance on a camera with this resolution, back in the D200 days people were saying back then the D200 "needs a steady diet of high-quality glass.".

If you get this camera I believe you will love it and enjoy the features it offers compared to your current camera, even if the 4fps shooting rate poses risk you will miss that Pulitzer shot during the 1/20th of a second when the camera isn't capturing that 5th shot, or the few 10ths of a second intervals you will miss next to the guy shooting 10 frames a second.

I just remembered when the d700 came out people were complaining about the 95 percent viewfinder being "completely unacceptable."

Here again, times is hard.

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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#10. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 9

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Tue 14-Feb-12 02:59 PM

This comment should be made a sticky, and should be required reading for anyone joining the forums...

It's a dang camera. It's better than the last one, a new and better one will be along in a couple years to replace it. Been that way since the 1800s, and will continue for the foreseeable future.

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#11. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 9

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 14-Feb-12 03:04 PM

>The D700 is a much better camera than the D300 in every way but
>the design of compact flash door, and the flimsy covers that are
>in the front left side of the camera.

As one who owned and used a D300 and D700 side-by-side, I'd have to say that I found them pretty much identical in performance up to around ISO 800-1000. Above that, the D700 pulled away.

>If you ask will a fx lens work well on the d800 you can trust
>that answer you get here because it will work the same as it
>does on any full frame camera including your old Nikon 35 mm
>film camera.

We will have little idea how the D800 will perform with any particular lens until it has been tried with a production example.

But the rest of your statement is inaccurate... there are (or were) several lenses in the Nikkor range which performed very well on 35mm film Nikons but have been less good on even the existing FX DSLR's. The FX sensor asks more from a lens, partly because the sensor is sensitive to the angle at which light strikes it and film was not, and partly because of the potential resolution.

I expect the D800 to impose a greater load on lenses than previous FX Nikons, especially in the corners - but we'll have to wait to find out if I'm right

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

johno

St. Louis, US
525 posts

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#12. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 11

johno Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd May 2006
Tue 14-Feb-12 03:30 PM | edited Tue 14-Feb-12 03:39 PM by johno

The d300 and the d700 are different cameras and I perceived them to be different in every way. Of course they had similar photo qualities at Iso 400 or whatever. So i guess i was in fact wrong about that being different. If I ignore the so called crop factor, which makes the 400 ISO shots kind of different after all.


All of my lenses work fine on my d700 and if you have data showing inferior lens performance between one camera and the next please share it. I feel that FX lenses will work fine on an FX camera, but I could be wrong. Which lenses are we talking about? That would help clear up this lens quandary.


"no idea" how a lens will perform? I do. Better than I can shoot.

There was one lens I tried on the D700 that had rave reviews 17-35 or something like that. On my camera I hated it and found the corners to be unacceptably sharp. A pro photographer took the lens off my hands after seeing the same sample images I hated.

A lot of people stopped liking the 70 to 200 vr on full frame, so you may have me there, but the data is still...missing.

opinions are at just that without data.

My opinion is he will like the upgrade from the d300 to d800.

Maybe all of the people lining up to get the D800 will be gravely disappointed by the 4fps rate and the inferior ISO performance. And the extreme stress it puts on lenses. And the video capability.

But at least the viewfinder is 100 percent now! That was a horrible inconvenience to me on the D700.




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mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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#13. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 12

mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Tue 14-Feb-12 03:37 PM

I love my 70-200 ... i hope it performs well on the new camera =)


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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#14. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 12

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Tue 14-Feb-12 04:27 PM

That many older (and some newer) Nikkors don't perform quite as well on FX digital as they did on film is well-documented. The 70-200mm VR version I Nikkor is one recent example of a lens that is better suited to DX than FX (though mine was still quite usable on a D700 and D3s).

You're right to ask for data, but how any given lens will perform on the D800 is yet to be seen - so we should to wait for that data before drawing any conclusions one way or the other.

>My opinion is he will like the upgrade from the d300 to d800.

Yes, I think so too

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2817 posts

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#15. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 14

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Tue 14-Feb-12 04:52 PM

>That many older (and some newer) Nikkors don't perform quite
>as well on FX digital as they did on film is well-documented.

What does this mean?

Surely distortion isn't different. Is there more vignetting? Is there not enough resolving power in the lens? What does "doesn't perform as well" mean?

I use my 70-200 on my D3s every week and I am DARN happy with it and so are my clients. I also use it on my D2x, D7000, etc. I have not used it on my film bodies yet...

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johno

St. Louis, US
525 posts

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#16. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 15

johno Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd May 2006
Tue 14-Feb-12 05:13 PM | edited Tue 14-Feb-12 05:14 PM by johno

What's happening is opinions are blurring with facts. I am guilty of that.

Even with that 17-35 I sold immediately after buying it used - I thought the corners were blurry as heck wide open, but the pro who bought my camera was happy to have it.

And that lens was revered on a film body. But I could never prove it was a dog on my D700.

And I could see a significant difference between that 17-35 and the 14-24 I bought instead.

(not sure I'm recalling the 17-35 focal length right.)

Let's face it, this is a forum where a 95 percent viewfinder is seen by some as unacceptable. Which i think is silly. But i suppose I should do a better job of deferring to opinion.



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MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
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#17. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 15

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Tue 14-Feb-12 05:55 PM

>>That many older (and some newer) Nikkors don't perform
>quite
>>as well on FX digital as they did on film is
>well-documented.
>
>What does this mean?
>
>Surely distortion isn't different. Is there more vignetting?
>Is there not enough resolving power in the lens? What does
>"doesn't perform as well" mean?

One major difference between film and digital is that digital sensors perform better when light hits straight on. Film records like fine regardless of the angle the light strikes the surface of the film. Digital on the other hand has a series of filters sitting above a light well, and the result is, light striking at an oblique angle doesn't register as well. This could result in softness and vignetting, and will be most noticeable in the corners when using very wide lenses.

Digital sensor design has improved this issue, by placing microlenses over the light wells which help to focus light entering at an oblique angle. More importantly, newer FX ultra-wide lenses like the 14-24 and 16-35 have been designed to be more tele-centric. Compare these to a classic strong performer on film, the 14mm f/2.8D, for a solid demonstration of this effect.

Regarding the 70-200 VRI, Nikon certainly felt compelled to redesign this lens in the world of FX digital. I think for the most popular applications for this lens, corner softness and shading are non-issues.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3574 posts

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#18. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 17

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Tue 14-Feb-12 07:53 PM

Another difference between film and digital regarding lens performance is the newer digital optimized lenses deal with the much higher internal reflections from light returning from the mirror like sensor assembly. Film was more matte surface so less more light strikes the rear lens. One of the results is lower contrast unless coating controlled.

The comment that no one knows the ISO performance of the D800 is not quite right, it has been measured using several techniques. One practical parameter is Photographic Dynamic Range, PDR used by Bill Claff:


Those who have calculated its performance based on the data contained in the current image files available seem to be surprised that the D800 is so good, better than the D700 for sure. At low ISO it is right up there with the D4 and D7000 and at mid ISO, (there have not been enough photos to measure at high ISO) is it about 1 stop or slightly less than 1 stop better than a D700.
No one that has used the camera, that I have heard about is pessimistic about its performance in low light, but those who have no contact with it and have not measured the files seem to be sure it will be poor. How poor they claim it to be is highly correlated to how recently they bought a suddenly less desirable expensive camera.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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johno

St. Louis, US
525 posts

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#19. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 18

johno Silver Member Nikonian since 23rd May 2006
Tue 14-Feb-12 10:03 PM

I love your last two sentences.

Thanks for sharing this data.

I can't wait to get my d800. I am number 5 on the local list, and hope I don't have to wait for months.

My only quandary is whether I should get the 800 or the 800E.

I have settled on 800, out of fear over dealing with moire.

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nrothschild

US
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#20. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 7

nrothschild Neil is an expert in several areas, including camera support Registered since 25th Jul 2004
Wed 15-Feb-12 05:04 PM | edited Wed 15-Feb-12 05:05 PM by nrothschild

>> but (depending on what you shoot) you might miss the reach of DX if you go to an FX camera?

The D800 "reach", however you define it, will be virtually identical to the D7000 reach and better than any lower res DX sensor. If you put the D800 in DX crop mode the basic image, resolution, and number of pixels, etc., will be virtually identical (ignoring other matters related to IQ that could vary from any sensor to any other sensor. It will be about a 16 mpx image with identical field of view.

A lot of people (including me) define reach as the number pixels across a target shot from a constant distance, and that is the context I use here. Other definitions of reach ignore the camera sensor or film and relate to focal length only but that would be more out of context with the question here since it eliminates the body.

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pqtrths

Roseville, CA, US
1016 posts

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#21. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 5

pqtrths Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 02nd May 2007
Wed 15-Feb-12 01:41 PM

Stan wrote:

> ...and the inventive excuses or justifications needed to be created to pass the wife test. The best way for the latter is to say that you need a camera so fine that it can capture her beauty as it was meant to be captured. You are only doing it for her. But this one sacrifice is not too much a burden to bear (better sweeten the pot with studio lighting and Photoshop CS.5 also) <

Stan:

I'm filing this statement away for my future use when I buy all that new Nikon stuff that I don't need but must have (lol), for the new stereo equipment, and for the 500 vinyl records sitting in my office and slowly being smuggled home (lol maniacally).

Mp

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mdonovan

Mahwah, US
321 posts

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#22. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 21

mdonovan Gold Member Charter Member
Thu 16-Feb-12 01:14 PM | edited Thu 16-Feb-12 01:16 PM by mdonovan

>Stan:
>
>I'm filing this statement away for my future use when I buy
>all that new Nikon stuff that I don't need but must have
>(lol), for the new stereo equipment, and for the 500 vinyl
>records sitting in my office and slowly being smuggled home
>(lol maniacally).
>
I think using this line for stereo equipment might result in extreme doghouse solitude ... =)
___________________________________________________________

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chiefmasterjedi

US
313 posts

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#23. "RE: D800 Questions" | In response to Reply # 0

chiefmasterjedi Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2009
Tue 14-Feb-12 05:44 PM

Johno's first post above is the most sense I've read for a long time.
The D800 is the latest piece of kit from Nikon, I don't need a reason to buy it, I don't even have a reason to buy. I just knew on Tuesday February 7th 2012 at 7am, when I was looking at it on B&H's website, that I had to have it. It took me 15 minutes to way up the pros and cons of the E version versus the regular D800 and then I pre-ordered. I told my wife that evening that I had just pre-ordered a $3000 camera and if she argues about it then she and my daughter can go live somewhere else (I was joking when I said it to her!).
The D800 will come with other expenses like bigger flash cards, another hard drive and a battery grip but that's just the way life is, stuff gets better and needs better stuff to go with it. My D700 is a great camera but it will have to go.

Just the fact that you are here posting these questions means you want it, whether you need it or not is another question that may never find an answer. I know that if you gave me a Nikon D90 and the 16-85vr lens I would never "need" another piece of camera equipment again but it's human nature to want better and I'd still go looking for that mythical beast that will make my photography better and make me feel good............that beast will be arriving in March.

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