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D800- why bother to crop

dhmiller

US
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dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Wed 28-Mar-12 10:01 PM

I looked at a D800 today and noticed that when you go into one of the crop modes, a frame appears in the VF showing you the area that will be in the image. Outside the frame, the image still appears but is slightly blurred.

For whatever reason, I actually thought the image in the VF would enlarge when you used a crop mode, in effect, filling the entire VF with the portion within the newly sized frame (my mistake).
But now I am not clear on any benefits to be attained through using the crop mode in camera, except perhaps to save a little time in post, with the disadvantage that you no longer have an image from which you could make arbitrary crops after the fact. It's a done deal.

As it turns out, I will be giving up my D7000, my only DX camera, and "replacing" it with a D800 (committed to that at this point - my wife wants and will get the D7000 ) and it seems that I will not be able to focus long shots as easily as I could on the D7000 without the benefit of a true "enlargement" of the image in the sensor. I had been using my D7000 primarily for long shots via an 80-400 and 300 f/4 with 1.4 TC.

Does anyone now using a D800 have any comments on this?
Dennis

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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
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#1. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Wed 28-Mar-12 08:09 PM

I crop in the camera (to 5:4) for the same reason I do on my D3s Because it lets me see my EXACT frame in the 4x5, 8x10, and 16x20 sizes that I sell.. I have no interest in doing a DX crop unless I have a DX lens attached.

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dhmiller

US
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#2. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 1

dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Wed 28-Mar-12 08:15 PM

That makes sense, so it's all about framing and composition.
I do see that.
DM

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Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
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#3. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 1

Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006
Fri 06-Apr-12 09:15 AM

>I crop in the camera (to 5:4) for the same reason I do on my
>D3s Because it lets me see my EXACT frame in the 4x5, 8x10,
>and 16x20 sizes that I sell..

I find the 5:4 crop very useful when I know the final print will be an 8x10 (or other 5:4 aspect ratio). Sometimes (depending on composition) you can't crop to 8x10 in post. Ask me how I know.

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DigitalDarrell

Knoxville, US
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#4. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 0

DigitalDarrell Team Member Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Charter Member
Wed 28-Mar-12 08:12 PM

Dennis,

I would shoot at the D800's native 36MP format and use sneaker zoom to get a little closer to the subject.

If you can't get any closer, the D800 gives you excellent cropping capability. Just crop the subject out of the middle of the sensor and you'll have an image equivalent to the D7000 without switching to DX mode.

You aren't losing anything over shooting with the D7000 except for a larger image showing in the viewfinder. The D800's massive resolution allows you to crop significantly and maintain detail.

Later, sell your house and buy a 600mm f/4 Nikkor!

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dhmiller

US
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#5. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 4

dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Wed 28-Mar-12 08:18 PM

Indeed, so no advantage (other than that mentioned above - framing, basically) given. Don't know what made me think the image would sort of "automatically zoom in" to match what I see on the D7000 (but in fact, that doesn;t seem technically impossible, at least on the LCD), but I missed the boat for sure.
Until I get that 600, I wonder how hard it will be to focus on those things that are actually easier to see with the added reach of the D7000, which I always carried alongside the D700 and used for precisely that reason.
Guess I will find out.
DM

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EnviroBob

Franklin, US
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#6. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 5

EnviroBob Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Aug 2007
Wed 28-Mar-12 10:44 PM

On the D800, the crop mode field of view is shown on the LCD in Live View mode. In the viewfinder, it just shows the area by drawing lines so you can compose for the particular mode. Hope that answers your question.

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dhmiller

US
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#7. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 6

dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Wed 28-Mar-12 10:53 PM

Ah, so it is actually cropped to DX/"full size" in the LCD - I didn;t check that.
Well that would be of some use for non-moving objects.
Thanks for that.
Dennis

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micres

US
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#8. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 7

micres Registered since 04th Apr 2012
Thu 05-Apr-12 02:19 PM

I think cropping can be a real plus to the D800, especially with file size. If you are photographing a subject that is far away and you do not need the full sensor, you can crop down to the DX mode, which cuts the file size down to 16MB versus 36 and thus still photograph in raw and have a smaller file size.

dhmiller

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#9. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 8

dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Thu 05-Apr-12 09:10 PM

True, but you don;t get the benefit of a crop sensor camera is having the frame "fill up" with the image, so in terms of focusing on far away subjects, the D800 won;t help you much. It does show a fill-the-frame sized DX crop in LV, but not in the VF.
All of which is to say that I will be using my longer lens on the D800.
BEst

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walk43

Pennsylvania, US
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#10. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 5

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Thu 05-Apr-12 03:20 PM

See my post and gallery with the daffodil I shot with the D800 and a Nikon 70-200VR. I was 10 feet away and shot in FX. Then cropped out a postage sized image (in a 4x6 image size for example)and you can see what I got. If I ever tried to do that on my D90 it would be way too grainy and loss of detail. But with the D800 resolution it is acceptable. This was just a quick shot by the way for a test.

Dan
(Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40)
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walk43

Pennsylvania, US
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#11. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 4

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Thu 05-Apr-12 02:43 PM

I agree with Darrell 100%. I came to the same realization that you did after I started shooting on my D800. When I first started shooting DX, a while back, I thought it actually added reach...like having a 450mm lens instead of a 300mm. On the D800 you can see that there is only a perceived reach in DX because the image fills up the DX camera VF. In fact...as many others have said before...it is the same 'sized' image in DX body as cropping the center out of an FX...just like the D800 shows in the VF. I now shoot all FX on the D800 except when I use my only Nikon DX lens (10-24)...that will be ugraded eventually.

Dan
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IntegrityPhotos

Deerfield, US
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#12. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 11

IntegrityPhotos Registered since 26th Apr 2006
Thu 05-Apr-12 02:50 PM

While not owning the D800, from my reading of the specs, one of the biggest advantages to DX mode is the frame rate of 6fps vs 4fps, with the grip of course. That's a real advantage for sports and wildlife action. I don't know how quickly you can change from FX to DX mode and back, so that would be a concern. But if you really want the best of both worlds, money no object, then a D800/D7000 or a D800/D3s or D800/D4 is the way to go.

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walk43

Pennsylvania, US
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#13. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 12

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Thu 05-Apr-12 03:13 PM | edited Thu 05-Apr-12 03:26 PM by walk43

This is to the original post not #9...sorry.

UR exactly right. Plus another advantage is what the OP said about space on your cards and maybe your PC ability to handle bigger files. It is very easy to switch from DX to FX and back on the D800. Push two buttons and roll the selector. Takes 4 secs. I don't personally need the speed difference and don't plan on buying a grip until/if there is a good knock-off... as Nikons grip is $400+. The thing that convinved me on the D800 was the options to do DX or FX. For me there is more advantage to use FX and allow for better (more selective) off center crops that I might not have if I fill the DX frame.

Dan
(Nikon D800,V2,Sony HX400V,Lumix ZS40)
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dhmiller

US
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#14. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 12

dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Thu 05-Apr-12 09:13 PM | edited Thu 05-Apr-12 09:13 PM by dhmiller

"I don't know how quickly you can change from FX to DX mode and back"

Looks like there are control combinations - glad to hear that.
DM

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mkaplan

Kitchener, CA
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#15. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 0

mkaplan Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Apr 2012
Thu 05-Apr-12 11:18 PM

Another benefit (although still just for framing) is that in DX mode, the focus points almost fill the frame which may be a reason they don't blow up the image to fill the frame because they cannot blow up the focus points. If you are birding or other real zoom functions, having focus points almost filling the frame makes for better continuous tracking. Of course it is the same if you shoot FF and crop yourself but is better represented in the DX frame mode.

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walk43

Pennsylvania, US
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#16. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 15

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Thu 05-Apr-12 11:27 PM

Excellent point!! Even though you can technically track more because with the larger FOV you can anticipate more direction, if the subject movement is outside the DX frame you would lose focus tracking.

Thanks for making that point. One more thing to add to my new technique list!

Dan
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ZoneV

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#17. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 15

ZoneV Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2005
Fri 06-Apr-12 01:33 AM

There is in theory a way to use optical tricks to magnify the optical image in DX mode, but you would also lose the viewfinder information. Still, Nikon should pursue developing such a system.

Nikon user since 2000

David D Busch

US
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#18. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 0

David D Busch Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Nov 2011
Fri 06-Apr-12 02:23 AM | edited Fri 06-Apr-12 02:27 AM by David D Busch

>But now I am not clear on any benefits to be attained through
>using the crop mode in camera, except perhaps to save a little
>time in post, with the disadvantage that you no longer have an
>image from which you could make arbitrary crops after the
>fact. It's a done deal.
>

I can think of roughly a dozen advantages to using the crop mode on the D800, versus not using the crop mode and spending "a little time in post" to crop it there. Clearly, if someone is just going out to take a few photographs, the scenario is exactly as you suggest: crop later and get the same results. However, a tool like the D800's crop mode is likely to be used in applications where it has specific advantages. Here are a few that are most important to me:

* If you're using the D800 in crop mode to get a little extra reach when shooting field sports, then cropping in post involves a great deal more than just a little time. At a typical football or soccer game, I'll shoot 1200-1500 pictures. For motor sports, I might shoot even more. The last thing I need for photos that need to be turned around quickly is to have to crop the ones I select in Photoshop. Certainly, I'm not going to use hundreds and hundreds of pictures, but the ones I do use, I want composed the way I took the time to compose them in the first place, and not have to fiddle around in post processing.

* On a related note, many people have a very strong preference, a mania, if you will, for composing in the camera. That's how we ended up with so many prints with the sprocket holes showing. For those whose creative vision is focused on the viewfinder and who, for whatever reason choose to work in DX mode, having the camera crop to the frame that was composed is preferable to trying to recapture the original composition, or come up with a new one in post. I personally am not a big fan of arbitrary crops after the fact.

* If you're using a DX lens on a D800, there's a definite advantage to using crop mode, especially if you're fussy about image quality at the edges. Granted, certain DX lenses do have an image circle that covers more than the DX frame at certain focal lengths. But if I'm using my 10-24mm Nikkor on my D800 for some reason, I'm a lot happier if the camera crops the image down to the area that the lens was designed for.

* I've always loved one aspect of crop mode for shooting sports. While I got used to shooting sports with both eyes open so I can see when a fast-moving subject is approaching the frame, if I'm working in crop mode I can actually see that wide receiver in the FX-area of the optical viewfinder before he works his way into the DX frame and I ultimately snap the picture(s). Yeah, I could crop in post and could even take the photo before he's centered in the DX frame, but that's not why I'm using crop mode.

* Etc. I've got other crop mode advantages, and the one's I've listed won't apply to everyone. Cropping in post is always an option, especially if the number of pictures involved is relatively small. But the D800 is a sophisticated tool and by all indications a wildly popular camera right now, and I expect it will be used in many situations where crop mode's advantages will shine.

Clint S

Chula Vista, US
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#19. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 18

Clint S Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2011
Fri 06-Apr-12 03:49 AM | edited Fri 06-Apr-12 03:50 AM by Clint S

If shooting raw in crop mode, is the raw image reduced in size? If the raw image is not reduced in size, does Lightroom 4 recognize the D800 crop?

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tommiejeep

Goa, IN
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#20. "RE: D800- why bother to crop" | In response to Reply # 18

tommiejeep Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Jan 2008
Fri 06-Apr-12 10:54 AM

David, it was your comments on file size for travel shots that started me playing with the crop in the D3S and lead to my decision to buy the D800.

I'm with you on 1200-1500 shots for a soccer match and if it is a tournament with a morning match and one in the late afternoon....

I also found that you can see the action outside the crop in the VF. I've used it mainly for long range birds so far, where I am going to crop big time anyway, and if I want the bird with something specific in the background I can watch the bird coming into the crop frame.

I will not have the D800 until next week , if all goes well and the cameras are not in the questionable AF batch , so will program the Fn button for area ? I have very bad habit of forgetting to change settings in the heat of battle but at least this change will be very obvious in the VF

Many thanks,
Tom

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
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#21. "RE: D800- why bother to crop - AF sensor impact" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Fri 06-Apr-12 09:15 AM

The crop is pretty straight forward, but nobody has mentioned the impact of the number of focus sensors available or the relative size of the AF sensor compared to a DX camera.

The D800 has 51 AF sensors across the full frame - they cover about 70% of the image horizontally. But when you are in DX crop mode, there are 11 AF sensors covering 90% of the frame - placing some sensors outside of the normal composition. The D300s puts 51 focus sensors on a crop frame - 11 sensors horizontally covering the central 75% of the frame.

In relative terms, if you are cropping to DX mode the FX AF sensor is going to be slightly larger covering a less specific area of the image. In other words, the sensor may cover the head of an animal rather than just the eye.

Now I'm not sure whether this is actually the way it works in the camera. My comments are based on illustrations from the respective manuals.


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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
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#22. "RE: D800- why bother to crop - AF sensor impact" | In response to Reply # 21

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
Fri 06-Apr-12 12:43 PM

If using live view for shooting in any mode,
you can zoom in on the subject to get best focus.

I have a related question:
Which image quality is better shot in JPEG fine?

Please rank these:

1. FX Medium 5520x3680 pixels 10.4 MB average file size
2. DX Large 4800x3200 pixels 8.0 MB
3. 5:4 Medium 4608x3680 pixels 7.5 ?
4. 1.2 Medium 4608x3056 pixels 7.0 ?
5. FX Small 3680x2456 pixels 5.2 MB
6. DX Medium 3600x2400 pixels 5.1 MB

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walk43

Pennsylvania, US
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#23. "RE: D800- why bother to crop - AF sensor impact" | In response to Reply # 22

walk43 Registered since 07th Feb 2012
Fri 06-Apr-12 03:04 PM

Great question. I am anxiously awaiting opinions. But why did you leave off the FX Large option? Thats what I usually shoot in FX.

Dan
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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
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#24. "RE: D800- why bother to crop - AF sensor impact" | In response to Reply # 23

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
Fri 06-Apr-12 07:19 PM

Quote>Great question. I am anxiously awaiting opinions.
But why did you leave off the FX Large option? Thats what I usually shoot
in FX.<Quote<<<

FX large fine is up to 27MB, it is also obviously the best quality.
I use it for Landscapes and Group shots.
I think it is too big to email.
So I am checking my options for a smaller file size.

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Wildbirdy

US
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#25. "Solution: MK-17M magnifying eyepiece" | In response to Reply # 0

Wildbirdy Registered since 03rd Apr 2012
Fri 06-Apr-12 11:52 PM

I had exactly the same concern about the viewfinder image, coming from D7000 which has greater magnification of images enabling you to be more precise with focus on small objects. The Nikon DK-17M magnifying eyepiece totally solved it, plus it's a better eyepiece than the one the camera comes with.

You are spot on about no reason to shoot in DX mode, I love the freedom I suddenly have.

dhmiller

US
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#26. "RE: Solution: MK-17M magnifying eyepiece" | In response to Reply # 25

dhmiller Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 19th May 2009
Sat 07-Apr-12 12:11 AM

I have a DK 17M on one of my cameras (700 or 7000) - can;t recall which. But I think it might not fit with the glass cover on the LCD. Could be wrong - I will check that and be sure to get one for the 800 - thanks for the reminder.
DM

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