Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ...
My question is: Am I gaining that much using a D800 and the same lenses I'm using now on my D7000? I'm pretty sure I'll be migrating in the next few years to a smaller less mechanical but programmable camera system. Yes, the mirrorless type. Hence my questioning buying a full frame D800 DSLR for little more than landscape and outdoor photography. What real advantages with that and 20 plus Nikon/Nikkor lenses in mind would merit the purchase?
I took some shots of humming birds today and picked a shot (link below) that has about as much detail and resolution and is as digitally neutral (ISO wise) as I would expect from a D800 and the same lens. I mean I'm using an f/2.8 300 mm AI lens that works as a 450 mm on the DX camera keeping the subjects larger than a full frame sensor and the same 300 mm lens. Granted the new sensor should provide more detail and camera IQ. One of the hummer shots that has me asking http://hsswan.smugmug.com/Animals/Birds-in-the-Oaks/9736269_SH8Zxr#!i=1736047240&k=dcn4j35&lb=1&s=A
This is sort of a cabin fever/sick cat sitting question but thanks for any clarity you can impart.
#1. "RE: Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ..." | In response to Reply # 0
#2. "RE: Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ..." | In response to Reply # 0
#3. "Some thoughts on the D800 for birds..." | In response to Reply # 0
I don't own a D7000, but I don't anticipate needing much more than the noise free ISO 1250 a D7000 is capable of. I have an fps issue with the D7000 and with the D800. I could easily end up buying the next iteration of the D7000 if no D400 appears. My biggest concern with the D800 apart from speed is the viewfinder.
My primary goal in a new camera is to shoot more without teleconverters. With my 500 f4 I get a reach of 850mm equivalent at a 12MP crop with the D800. With a 24 MP D400 that would be 1000mm. Now, that 1000mm intersects nicely with my normal rig: 500 f4 AF-S and TC-14E on the D300 - but without the TC. If, on the other hand, the D400 is only 16MP I'll be no worse off than with the D800 (866mm equiv. @12MP). And for the target crop in the viewfinder we're talking .93/1.4=.66 with a D400 24MP (or .93/1.15=.81 with 16MP, roughly equivalent to the D7000) vs. .70/1.7=.41 magnification with a D800. I think the D800 viewfinder image is unacceptably small.
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#4. "RE: Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ..." | In response to Reply # 0
Excellent shot! Now, regarding your question, if shooting birds is your main goal, or generally speaking shooting on the long side of lenses, I do not think switching to a D800 will make a lot of difference to the results, except for a little different shooting experience (heftier body, better viewfinder while shooting FX). In this case, I would probably wait for a D400, if the better handling (at least for me) and (maybe) higher pixel count are important to you.
On the other hand, if you also use a lot of wide / normal lenses, that's where FX shines. In this case I would switch to the D800, you don't loose anything on the DX-side (except for the DX-part of the viewfinder being smaller than the D7000 viewfinder), but you gain the FX advantages.
In the end, it's about personal preferences.
Holger - Nikonian in Switzerland
#5. "RE: Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ..." | In response to Reply # 0
Do you find you typically crop images from your D7000?
If the answer is yes, then I think you have nothing to gain from D800 and would be better served waiting for the D400. Once you crop the D800 image to or past DX lines, you've basically go the same resolution and same frame rate as the D7000, standing to gain (theoretically) in noise or dynamic range performance from the newer D800 tech. I think that's not $3000 worth of upgrade.
For bird shooting, I wholeheartedly agree with the previous poster that both cameras you're talking about have too limited a frame rate. With a D7000 in my bag, my D300s is still my go-to bird camera for its 7fps, and I expect it to remain so after I take delivery of D800. D800 will be a killer landscape camera, but it's a specialized machine. The low frame rate creates a liability for distant, fast-moving wildlife.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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#6. "RE: Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ..." | In response to Reply # 5
First, thank you for the responses. You've confirmed my reasoning which sometimes is a bit slow on the uptake. I'm going to consider my uses more carefully now that I have time, according to B&H Photo, I shouldn't expect the D800e anytime soon....
My digital gear of late has been geared to traveling on motorcycles and backpacking which means small and light, but with all the FX lenses in my kit and a seemingly uncontrollable urge to add a Zeiss 21mm I'll keep the argument in my head going.
As to the humming birds, I'm not a birder it's just my back yard. I have noticed that a few weeks a year the shadow of the house and sun provide for some great lighting. I won't take much credit for anything else in the shot than being in the right place and time. It's chaos and they move way too fast for me to claim a Cartier-Bresson moment. More like, just keep shooting while the light lasts and see what you get later. Here's another one from that shooting philosophy:
#7. "RE: Ordered a D800e but now, second thoughts about a D7000 ..." | In response to Reply # 0
The D800 would offer two advantages:
- For birds and such, it has much better AF than the D7000. The D7000 AF is pretty good, but I often encounter it's limitations, especially when shooting birds in flight. The initial acquisition time and the tracking abilities are not on par with my D700. The D800 combines the pixel density of the D7000 with the AF of pro bodies (it's even better than the D700).
- For landscapes, you will get better resolution. Since both D7000 and D800 have the same pixel density, you can think about it as if it were film cameras: a 35mm film camera and an APS film camera, both loaded with the same film. Once you take your shots and get the slides back, the side from the 35mm camera is twice the size as the slide from the APS camera. So you can make bigger prints from it, or prints are the same size will look crisper.
Bay Area Nikonian