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Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?

Shy Talk

Port Glasgow, UK
653 posts

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Shy Talk Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jun 2010
Sat 11-Feb-12 01:46 PM

Well, is it?

Clearly, some of those who post on Nikonians are very well informed.

It seems to a casual reader like me that the new camera will do little that is not already done by the D700. Except perhaps vast prints- which of course it ought to do better due to the 36mp sensor.

It's early days, plainly I couldn't get my sticky hands on one today even if I wished to.

I realise that the D4, D3 etc are in a different league really as 'pro' cameras but, is this new D800 a replacement for the D700 or actually, as I suspect, a quite different beastie?

For me, it sounds attractive initially, but I can't for the life of me think why I should buy it- at least from an objective perspective.

Probably still going to get one at some point but, struggling to think what I'll gain?

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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#1. "RE: Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?" | In response to Reply # 0

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Sat 11-Feb-12 01:07 PM

The D800 has been listed as a "Full" Pro body by Nikon.

At least in the interim, it will replace both the D700 and D3x.
I see nothing new on the Horizon in that range for at least two years.
But, in this digital age things change fast.
So it may depend on what the competition brings out.

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3378 posts

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#2. "RE: Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sat 11-Feb-12 02:16 PM | edited Sat 11-Feb-12 02:17 PM by ajdooley

It certainly appears to be an entirely different animal -- very high resolution and probably less low light capability. I was wrong in assuming it would be a "logical" follow-on to the D700 -- a "better D700." Clearly Nikon sees the market differently.

I am very, very happy with my D700s right now. I do not anticipate buying a D800 or two of them as replacments. But I do see one probably in my future for aerial and location work -- the latter including construction photgraphy.

If I replace the D700 bodies for what I use them for -- photojournalism, essentially, it will be with a pair of D4 cameras. In the meantime, my D700 bodies have 40,000 and 6,000 clicks, so at age 67, they may fill the bill!

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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LuisGonzalezLT

Macedonia, US
971 posts

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#3. "RE: Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?" | In response to Reply # 2

LuisGonzalezLT Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2005
Sat 11-Feb-12 02:36 PM

Playing around with the D800 high ISO images that have been put out there I think that it is performing better at high ISO's than my D700 is, especially when you take a D800 full FX shot and down-sample it to 12MP.

I think what some people are doing is zooming in to 100% on these ISO 6400+ shots and directly comparing them to a 100% zoom of D700 ISO 6400+ shots. That's not a valid comparison because if you print both to a 16x20, or down-sample the D800 to the same MP, the noise pattern from D800 will be much tighter due to the higher initial starting resolution.

I am getting a D800 but keeping my D700 for now. Primarily because I use the D700 with an MB-D10 for the higher 8FPS frame rate in certain situations. That extra 2-3FPS can make a difference. I don't consider the D800 a full replacement of the D700. If they had bumped it up 8FPS with the MB-D12 in the DX crop mode then maybe.

Luis Gonzalez
Everlasting Photography, Inc.

KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
4962 posts

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#4. "RE: Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?" | In response to Reply # 0

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Sat 11-Feb-12 05:21 PM

Well, Nikon would like us all to get a D4 and a D800 and that would solve a few problems, plus don't forget to toss in a D400! The decision between these has gotten no easier, I will concede that. I've looked at a few high ISO D800 and I like them and am sure it will still make a great all around camera, but I can see the noise there and yes a gripped 6fps at full crop rather than DX would have been a dynamite feature.

If we look past the sensor though, the subsystem improvements on both the D4 and D800 look really really good though, so hard to go too far wrong, especially if one keeps a D700 or other recent pro-body kicking around to go with the D800.

Best regards, SteveK

'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7108 posts

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#5. "RE: Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sat 11-Feb-12 06:12 PM

I am with RRRoger on this. The D800 seems to be the upgrade to the D3X.

As a smaller sized D3, the D700 seems to have been orphaned on the "direct upgrade" path. The D3 has been updated with the D4. If you used the D700 as a mini-D3, the D4 would seem to be the high-cost upgrade path you are probably being pushed to for a high-ISO high-FPS sports camera.

If you were using the D700 as a general camera, or an FX landscape/studio camera, then you now have a choice to make on whether you want the megapixels or the ISO-FPS abilities.

Or you can stay with the D700 because it is still a great camera! I upgraded to the D700 from my D200 back in November because everything in the D700 was an improvement over the D200, I wanted a mini sports shooter, and the D800 was rumored not to be going in the direction I wanted.

---------+---------+---------+---------+
Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

MotoMannequin

Livermore, CA, US
8582 posts

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#6. "RE: Is the 800 a replacement for the 700?" | In response to Reply # 0

MotoMannequin Awarded for his extraordinary skills in landscape and wildlife photography Registered since 11th Jan 2006
Sat 11-Feb-12 06:51 PM

In the context of Nikon's lineup, I think the answer is yes, the D800 does replace the D700. In the context of functionality in your own kit, it's a maybe, but maybe not.

That seems like a contradiction for this slot in the lineup - you'd expect the D700 replacement to be an evolution of its feature set. I think there are a few reasons why this evolution is not so clear cut.

First, the D700 was Nikon's second full-frame camera and its first "prosumer" FX camera. Which is to say, its niche in the market was not all that well defined during its design. At the time it only had to compete with Canon's 5D.

The D700 inherited the ground-breaking low-light capability of its big brother D3, which made it everybody's favorite "see in the dark" camera. It's unlikely Nikon intended at that point for the FX Dx00 to be a low-light specialist, it's just the tech they had in their toolbox at the time.

Fast-forward to today and this market segment now includes the extremely successful 22MP 5DII and Sony's 24MP Alpha. Nikon must decide if the D800 follows the D700's low-light heritage, plays megapixel keep-up with these other bodies, or makes a big splash. For better or worse, the opted for the big splash.

For those not looking more pixels, but looking for continued class-leading high ISO performance, it's unclear (but probably unlikely) that the D800 replaces D700 in your kit. It's also unclear if the D800 is actually worse at high-ISO than D700, but if it's about as good, that's hardly a reason for a D700 shooter to upgrade, unless they feel they need the pixels.

Take a look at the market segment however, realize that Nikon is much more interested in replacing Canons and Sonys in people's kits than D700s, and you'll see what the D800 can do that the D700 is not capable of, and that's really where Nikon's strategy lies. I predict the D800 is going to be in high demand for a long, long time, and that's where Nikon will measure its success.

Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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