Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

English German French

Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Recent Photos Contest Help Search News Workshops Shop Upgrade Membership Recommended
members
All members Wiki Contests Vouchers Apps Newsletter THE NIKONIAN™ Magazines Podcasts Fundraising

OK, how good is it really?

GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author
GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 01st May 2012
Tue 29-May-12 01:34 AM | edited Tue 29-May-12 10:53 PM by GaryPk

Hi all. I currently have a D300 and plan to order a D800. Shoot mostly landscapes near and far. I even sell a few. Looking at photos posted on Flickr from both cameras and don't see much difference when both cameras are in the hands of a good photographer. Am I likely to only see the difference in prints over 13 x 19 inches? I want my landscape photos to look high definition, like a National Geographic special on my HDTV. Is the D800e there? Thank you ..

Gary
www.GaryPackPHOTOGRAPHY.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

mbecke2266

US
202 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#1. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

mbecke2266 Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Jun 2011
Tue 29-May-12 12:01 AM

First and foremost, I do not own a D800 and am unlikely to purchase one due to cost considerations. That said, most of the reviews I have read have been positive. But some cautions remain. I have been reading Mr. Bjorn Rorslett's review of his use of the D800 on Nikon Gear and the results, to my interpretation, do not appear to be stellar. If I am reading his comments accurately, and I hope that I am, Mr. Rorslett believes that this is a difficult camera to hand-hold and obtain sharp photos. Mr. Rorslett is a very well known and highly respected photographic reviewer.
In addition, another respected reviewer, Mr. Ken Rockwell, apparently gives the nod to the new comparable Canon release based upon overall photo quality and camera ergonomics.
As these are two of the prominent photographic reviewers that I follow most closely, along with Mr. Markus Stamm, I am concerned if they are not overly enamored with this $3,000 + (USD) camera. In addition, I am concerned that some/many of the reviewers who have posted positive reviews are doing so merely to self-justify a very expensive camera purchase. Whether the D800 actually produces better quality photos than the D700's, et al., may be an illusory belief. The bottom-line is that I just don't know -- and I readily admit it. Therefore, I would strongly suggest that you try before you buy. My own way of thinking is that I would not want to spend over $3,000 for a camera unless it is proven (by me) to be substantially better than what I already own (in my case a D7000). Yes, I do expect a big difference in improved picture quality if I am going to spend over $3,000. That is not an unreasonable expectation. So, first try it out; if you like it, buy it. If not, you saved yourself a lot of money.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

DigitalDarrell

Knoxville, US
5987 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#2. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 1

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
Tue 29-May-12 12:17 AM

Interestingly, over the last two weeks I have taken over 2500 very sharp shots handheld with my D800 (graduation and wedding). Of course, it could be that those sharp shots were merely justification for buying a $3000+ camera. With merely 33 years of shooting SLRs, I suppose I may not know what a sharp handheld shot looks like.

==============================================
Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) www.pictureandpen.com
"Better too many words than not enough understanding."
==============================================

klrbee25

Naples, US
1386 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#3. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

klrbee25 Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jun 2006
Tue 29-May-12 12:30 AM | edited Tue 29-May-12 12:34 AM by klrbee25

>Hi all. I currently have a D300 and plan to order a D800e.
>Shoot mostly landscapes near and far. I even sell a few.
>Looking at photos posted on Flickr from both cameras and don't
>see much difference when both cameras are in the hands of a
>good photographer. Am I likely to only see the difference in
>prints over 13 x 19 inches? I want my landscape photos to
>look high definition, like a National Geographic special on my
>HDTV. Is the D800e there? Thank you ..

I speak from the D800 (non-E) ownership group. The camera is an upgrade from my D300 which has gone to backup duty. In good light and low ISO values, images are generally similar between the two bodies (resolution ignored). Surely printing large sizes will highlight an advantage of the D800. The ability to crop aggressively and maintain adequate resolution for high quality prints is incredible. Imagine all those shots you've taken that after cropping you say "####, it's 2MP". Well, that same image is about 8MP after cropping on the D800...very usable.

The high ISO ability of the D800 is a big step up from the D300. Maybe it's a small step from a D700, but there was no way I was going to pay $2000 for a 5 year old camera (technology-wise).

The D800 video quality is excellent and a bit of a surprise bonus for me. The control of DOF during video is very professional movie-like and something most consumer video cameras can't do.

Finally there's the dynamic range abilities. I have yet to fully appreciate it, but I have taken some photos in harsh lighting where I could save all the highlight and shadow details. This wasn't possible with my D300.

This stuff about difficult handholding is pure garbage. I too have had NO problems getting razor sharp images handheld. Use adequate shutter speeds and don't be a shaky wreck and you'll get perfectly sharp images. Just use good technique. It's not a point and shoot camera.

So, the D800 is absolutely a significant improvement over previous cameras. People just need to realize that it doesn't make bad photos/subjects look good. Upgrading the camera doesn't upgrade the photographer just as buying a Ferrari doesn't make you Fernando Alonso.

-Alex Rosen
www.flickr.com/photos/klrbee25/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

AreBee

Inverness, UK
531 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#4. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 2

AreBee Registered since 27th Apr 2008
Tue 29-May-12 10:32 AM

Darrell,

>...over the last two weeks I have taken over 2500 very sharp shots handheld with my D800 (graduation and wedding).<

What proportion of those photos would you say were shot with the aid of a flash?

Rob
www.robbuckle.co.uk

geoffc

San Pedro, US
132 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#5. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 3

geoffc Registered since 21st Apr 2008
Tue 29-May-12 11:14 AM

There is no comparison between the D300 and D700, let alone the D800. Sensor size, ISO (!), dynamic range, it's not in the same league. I've owned all and used all of them professionally.

I just shot a dark, mixed lighting event with a D800 & D700. My D800 quick hand held shots were no different than the D700.
The handheld issue boils down to this: If you need to maximize the D800's resolution potential, yes, you will need to employ the maximum steady shooting techniques (steady tripod, mirror release, or the fastest shutter speed if you must handhold). But it's ISO and resolution are no different than the D700, especially if you reduce it down to the same megapixel count.

What you get with the D800:
-stellar video (albeit with some moire)
-dual card slots (crucial for paid event work)
-enhanced DR. Difficult to articulate, but it truly is there
-the ability to crop and still have a high MP count final. I shoot architecture, and the ability to crop in a wide angle to where I'd like, and still have a 12-20mp image is a god send.

By the way, in all honesty, the D800 'wins' over the 5d Mk III, unless you're a dedicated video or wedding shooter. I say this after reading/watching many reviews, and anecdotaly after noticing the MK III's sitting lonely in my local camera shop while a long wait list for the D800's still exists....

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

AliceTrask

US
3 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#6. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 5

AliceTrask Registered since 04th May 2012
Tue 29-May-12 11:32 AM

The only complaint I have with my 800 is having 2 different card slots...one SD and one CF...I don't understand why they couldn't both be the same.

Darrell Cottam

Halifax, CA
29 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#7. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

Darrell Cottam Registered since 15th Apr 2012
Tue 29-May-12 11:36 AM

I have the D800 (non E) and am blown away by the results I get. I shoot mainly landscapes and the dynamic range is outstanding. I find that the quality of the images I am getting are extremely good. I print a lot of 13 x 19 and the results are great. I think you would be very pleased with the results.

mgd7

New York, US
104 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#8. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Tue 29-May-12 07:08 PM

Comparing with Flickr isn't really fair, since those images are size-restricted JPGs. That said, the D300 is a great camera, and if I were still shooting DX I'd still have one myself.

I think one question you may want to answer for yourself is whether or not an FX sensor is right for your photography, since this will give you different (shallower) depth of field for an identical angle of view / aperture than on DX. After all, the D7000 still has a slightly higher pixel density than the D800, and the 24mp Sonys are even better in that regard. Also, it's harder (read: heavier and more expensive) to get reach with FX than on DX if telephoto focal lengths are important.

For me, I started with the premise that I wanted to go FX (lots of reaons for that, but suffice to say I still shoot film and missed not being able to use some of my favorite focal lengths on the DX sensor), and for a variety of reasons the D700, great though it may be, did not interest me (as I expect it does not interest you).

The benefits of the D800/E's sensor isn't only in large print sizes. Other benefits of a high resolution sensor include the ability to crop an image or to correct for distortions like keystoning and still be able to print large. Only you can decide if these are important enough to justify the cost.

Mike

CaptPegLeg

Kitty Hawk, US
112 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#9. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 8

CaptPegLeg Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Nov 2008
Tue 29-May-12 09:58 PM

Never having owned a D300 I can't compare it to the D800. I don't feel comfortable in giving opinions on cameras I don't own. I do have a D3 and D700 I used for backup and I can tell you that I think the D800 is one great camera and it's my favorite camera for most things that I do. I shoot landscapes and portraits and some sports. My only complaint is it feels small after shooting the D3. I will be getting the Nikon battery holder. My advice is to hurry up and get on the waiting list, you won't regret it.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

yunjo

Portland, US
75 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#10. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

yunjo Registered since 06th Jul 2008
Tue 29-May-12 10:11 PM | edited Tue 29-May-12 10:12 PM by yunjo

>Hi all. I currently have a D300 and plan to order a D800.
>Shoot mostly landscapes near and far. I even sell a few.
>Looking at photos posted on Flickr from both cameras and don't
>see much difference when both cameras are in the hands of a
>good photographer. Am I likely to only see the difference in
>prints over 13 x 19 inches? I want my landscape photos to
>look high definition, like a National Geographic special on my
>HDTV. Is the D800e there? Thank you ..
>
>Gary
>www.GaryPackPHOTOGRAPHY.com
>


You have some nice images there on your website, Gary. Based on what I've seen on your site, if that is a relative sample of what you shoot then I would definitely nudge you towards the D800(E).

Being able to get wide with an FX sensor is what I wanted over my D300 and in that regards, I could have opted to get a D700 (but it is 5 year old technology). But after careful consideration, I decided on the D800E. The ISO and dynamic range difference between the D800E and D300 is the biggest difference to me, besides having a true 14mm on a 14mm lens. Typically I would not be pleased with ISO above 400 on the D300 but with the D800E, I've used ISO 3200 and have been quite happy with the results (trying to stop motion blur of flowers blowing in the wind). The ability to recover lost details in shadows and highlights are also much improved over the D300 - although Lightroom 4 has also been helpful in this regard.

Looking at images on Flickr may not necessarily show any drastic difference, but when printing, cropping, or editing/touch-up, having 3x more pixels really helps.

Over the last several years I've upgraded my glass in anticipation of going FX, so selling my D300 and getting the D800E is a decision that I have not regretted one bit.

Marmion4

Near Sacramento, US
188 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#11. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

Marmion4 Gold Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2008
Tue 29-May-12 10:42 PM

I am a passionate amateur Nikon Nerd (I say this with utmost respect to all, no offense meant! )

The nerd piece is that I follow and read many professional Nikon pieces, anything and everything I can find! Plus other photo reviews and magazines, not just Nikon info.

I had a tough time deciding between the E and D800...as luck would have it, I ended up w/ both versions within a 24 hour period. This gave me the opportunity to shoot w/ both for the past 3 weeks and make my own mind up. At this time, I am not posting my photos...I did the research for me and didn't want to hear how it wasn't valid--because it isn't! (also am in process of switching my workflow to external drives....files too big for my Mac Pro...)

For me, I have selected the D800E. I took it to an auto show and tried to get moire. I shot every pattern I could find and after 100+ shots had one...both cameras went to Mendocino, CA and Mono Lake...I prefer nature, but shoot many subjects.

If it is possible to bond with an object, the E got it! Just feels better, which I know is ridiculous, but for me, it worked.

We have many great Nikonians who have published their results, do your research and follow your heart & gut! Rent one. I fell in love w/ D700 after renting it. Knew I would upgrade to FX w/ 100% in the viewfinder. We all have different reasons for selecting our tools.

Best wishes!
Laura



Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#12. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 11

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Tue 29-May-12 11:02 PM

Thanks everyone ! I had just about changed my mind in favor of the D800 over D800e based on the reviews stating that any sharpness advantage was lost with smaller high-DOF aperture settings. Since I shoot landscapes I need at least f/16 in most cases .. your comments will have me take another look.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

gmmatthe

Camino, US
6 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#13. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 12

gmmatthe Registered since 16th Aug 2004
Wed 30-May-12 12:24 AM

I have owned a D300 since it came out. I now have a D800.

Good:
- Dynamic Range is so much better than D300
- High ISO noise is better. To me, it's a full stop more before you notice, and it degrades more slowly after that as well. You can actually use ISO 6400. DR goes away with ISO though, it's not a panacea.
- Extra resolution is good and bad. Good if you need it, hard on your computer and workflow whether you need it or not. LR4 does OK with it. I'm going to have to move to >2TB primary storage. I have hex-core Intel 64-bit Win7 LR4, and so can't say what would happen with a lesser PC.
- For you and me, coming from DX, it gives a landing zone until you fill in your glass with FX of the quality you decide on. Many poo poo that saying "if you get an FX camera, why would you take DX? Well, if I'm traveling I may still want the lighter kit. And if I don't have the one lens in a range yet, I can get by for now.
- Focus tracking is a lot better than D300. Focusing on the right thing isn't always as good. I have quite a few shots with backfocus when tracking something moving, but when it tracks the right thing, it does a great job. I'm sure I have more to learn about the camera here.

The not so good.
- Ergos to me are quite bad. I have already a seemingly permanent bruise on my middle finger. The D800 is designed for 2 fingers on the grip, one on the front command dial, one on the shutter. But, coming from D300 you are likely a 3 on the grip person. And, it's too heavy for only 2 on the grip IMO. If you use 3, the 'rest' for your top finger is too sharp and too low relative to D300 to be comfortable. After adding the grip, and then NiMH batteries to the grip (can't find Nikon batteries yet), the extra weight makes it worse. I only see a few complain about this, so maybe it's me. I have small hands, but I would think that would help, not hurt. Also, I carry the camera one handed a lot, and bringing it from my side up to my face is I think where the issue is coming in. But I've done that with D300 for years with no issues at all, even with a 70-200 2.8 lens and grip attached.
- Weight and size. It's quite a bit bigger with grip, and more it's heavier than D300. With FX lenses, even heavier. Be ready for that.
- Grip is too expensive, and honestly I don't think the feel is as good as the one for the D300. And being bigger, I can't use the wrist strap I used to use on my D300, it's just too big. Also, if D300 fit in your old bag, D800 may not. Other reason I have to lose the wrist strap.
- Funny LCD behavior. I notice on many shots a yellowish to greenish color cast in areas of the image that are light colored on the LCD. There is a small effect in the actual image in the worst cases. I believe it is a non-linearity in the response. Hopefully not in the sensor, as that would be hard to fix (but could be tuned with firmware I suppose). I have a black and white pup, and in sunlight a pic of the pup the white areas on the sunny side can be garish, even when highlights are tuned down, as an example.
- I used a set of 8GB CF cards with my D300. You'll need 32GB cards if using FX with D800 for similar capacity (>400). Card speed matters, not just for continous speeds. More it matters saving an image in Live View mode. With a slower card, it takes many seconds and during that time you can't take another shot (LV is stuck waiting for the card).
- GPS still requires the 10-pin socket. I guess that's good and bad. Bad you still need one externally. Good you can use the one you have for the D300 (if you have one).

The unknown
- Many will say you have to use only the best glass. My 70-200 VR1 seems to work well enough. I was hoping to use the 70-300 as a walk-around lens for street photography, but many have said it's not great on D800. I was hoping to use 24-85 3.5-4.5 as a walk-around normal zoom, and now many are saying it's not great on D800. My 16-85 DX seems to do fine. I don't notice it being less sharp than on my D300. Opinions are still out. But it raises the question of how much a particular lens will hamper the D800 vs previous cameras. If it turns out you won't be happy with anything less than either a prime or 24-70 2.8 in the normal range, I'm not sure that won't turn out to be a game changer for me. I want the choice to use a slower lens that is smaller and lighter when smaller and lighter matter. I will say I tried my 12-24 DX (FX image circle from a bit under 18), and can say the shots I took looked terrible, even @ 24 where on D300 it is very good. And I'm not just talking the corners. My Tamron 90 2.8 Macro looks fine tho.

Am I happy with D800? Overall yes. The ergo issues I don't think are going to get better, so I will always be wishing for the D300 grip shape. IQ is better in many ways, and it is worth the upgrade for that. Focus system is better when it doesn't back focus. Most days I love the camera. Today, my had hurts so I'm on the fence .

Greg

Greg Matthews

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

mgd7

New York, US
104 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#14. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 12

mgd7 Registered since 06th Mar 2012
Wed 30-May-12 12:40 AM

Sounds like some perspective control lenses may be in your future.

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#15. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | 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
Wed 30-May-12 01:17 AM

Well, if your criteria is the NG Specials on HDTV you are in luck, the resolution, DR and noise are better on the D800 for stills by a wide margin but there are some differences such as 10-100 times more expensive cinematographic lenses and support systems that cost more than your car.
You might want to ask the photographers of the images you see on Flickr how many shots were required to get something worth posting. I am sure you will find the keeper rate much higher with the owners of D800's,
Why? The D300 owners have to wait until conditions are optimum for minimizing the limitations of the D300 whereas the D800 can capture a wider range of light, contrast, detail, smoother color gradient and tone gradient, and with significantly better metering and AWB shots in conditions that would test the D300's outer fringes of capture are handled with ease. I find that the most dramatic difference in the d800 vs my D7000 which has more capability in the image capture department than a D300. It is a single shot capture situation now. I find that I take a lot fewer frames and keep a more of total frames due to the basic photographic fundamentals of light color and time are just better accommodated, making the D800 the easiest camera I have ever used. That is in comparison to D3,D700, D300, D7000, 5DII.
That is just the starting point, better captures. Then moving into the post processing realm and things get interesting very fast. The files are very flexible, there is more data captured than you could ever see in a Flickr display, try boosting shadows of D300 files and you see the lack of detail left to work with, D800 files on the other hand have gobs of low noise impacted detail for you to play with depending on the mood of the image you want to produce. AWB is much better on the D800 so little messing around with correcting multiple light source images.
Everyone mentioned cropping. More than one person has been relieved that they do not need that high cost esoteric lens they thought they would need to fill a frame with some fury or feathered subject. It is a relief to me finding that my 200mm lens is plenty long enough on the D800 compared to the D7000, even with its crop sensor.
Overall, I can;t think of a image related reason for NOT choosing a D800 over a D300, unless 12 bit frame rate is the ultimate criteria for you. In higher quality mode 14 bit, the D800 is even faster, than the D300's 2.5fps.
Good luck in deciding!
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

SRoss43

US
51 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#16. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 14

SRoss43 Registered since 10th Apr 2012
Wed 30-May-12 01:49 AM

I have had the D300 since it came out, and have had the D800 for the past month. It is a change. For me, it is a lot to adjust to a shallower DOF, but that is because I take close ups and Macro mostly. For face shots it is dead on. I have found that for just walking around, jpegs work great, and I have programmed that function button to switch to DX mode for that extra reach. It focuses better and is much better in lower light. I think it takes a while to handle lenses differently. Yes, you should up the shutter speed. I have found that going to f16 or f22 is not always bad. You just have to try out the lenses and see what works. My Tokina 11-16 DX does not work to well, byt my Sigma 10-20mm works well for close-focusing (I have some samples in my gallery). I am pretty satisfied, but like my D300, it is a learning experience.

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2807 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#17. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 13

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Wed 30-May-12 02:22 AM

>The not so good.
>- Ergos to me are quite bad. I have already a seemingly
>permanent bruise on my middle finger. The D800 is designed for
>2 fingers on the grip, one on the front command dial, one on
>the shutter. But, coming from D300 you are likely a 3 on the
>grip person. And, it's too heavy for only 2 on the grip IMO.
>If you use 3, the 'rest' for your top finger is too sharp and
>too low relative to D300 to be comfortable. After adding the
>grip, and then NiMH batteries to the grip (can't find Nikon
>batteries yet), the extra weight makes it worse. I only see a
>few complain about this, so maybe it's me. I have small hands,
>but I would think that would help, not hurt. Also, I carry the
>camera one handed a lot, and bringing it from my side up to my
>face is I think where the issue is coming in. But I've done
>that with D300 for years with no issues at all, even with a
>70-200 2.8 lens and grip attached.

This is a very interesting obsservation. One I hadn't paid any attention to. I'll have to see the next time I am handling the camera. For me, the grip transformed the camera. I am now not missing a 36MP pro body any more. I'd still prefer one, but this change makes me not miss it.

>- Weight and size. It's quite a bit bigger with grip, and more
>it's heavier than D300. With FX lenses, even heavier. Be ready
>for that.

Yep, love it. Feels like a camera now with a grip. Not a toy.

>- Grip is too expensive, and honestly I don't think the feel
>is as good as the one for the D300. And being bigger, I can't
>use the wrist strap I used to use on my D300, it's just too
>big. Also, if D300 fit in your old bag, D800 may not. Other
>reason I have to lose the wrist strap.

Grip is pricey. But I get to actually USE the camera now. Without pain. Well worth the trade-off for me. Especially with Volleyball season coming up, and 80% of my shooting being portrait mode.

>- Funny LCD behavior. I notice on many shots a yellowish to
>greenish color cast in areas of the image that are light
>colored on the LCD. There is a small effect in the actual
>image in the worst cases. I believe it is a non-linearity in
>the response. Hopefully not in the sensor, as that would be
>hard to fix (but could be tuned with firmware I suppose). I
>have a black and white pup, and in sunlight a pic of the pup
>the white areas on the sunny side can be garish, even when
>highlights are tuned down, as an example.

Meh. I don't judge color on the $50 screen on the back. I do that at home. All I am looking for is blown highlights, framing, and focus.

>- I used a set of 8GB CF cards with my D300. You'll need 32GB
>cards if using FX with D800 for similar capacity (>400).

Yep. No doubt about it. If you are going to shoot a lot, you're going to need cards. Whether that's more smaller cards, or a few bigger ones, it's up to you. I was subscribing to the more smaller cards until recently. When card management became a distraction, I decided to go to 64GB cards.

>Card speed matters, not just for continous speeds. More it
>matters saving an image in Live View mode. With a slower card,
>it takes many seconds and during that time you can't take
>another shot (LV is stuck waiting for the card).

I use Sandisk Extreme and Extreme Pros. The Extreme Pros are a bit overkill, and I bought those for the D3s. But yes, using very old cards will really slow your day down. However, rather than get stuck, a quick off/on cycle gets you right back in the game.

>The unknown
>- Many will say you have to use only the best glass. My 70-200
>VR1 seems to work well enough.

Mine too.

>I was hoping to use 24-85 3.5-4.5
>as a walk-around normal zoom, and now many are saying it's not
>great on D800.

I've posted images here on Nikonians from all manner of glass including 12 year old kit lenses and people have raved about the sharpness. Just shoot what you've got.

>it raises the question of how much a particular lens will
>hamper the D800 vs previous cameras. If it turns out you won't
>be happy with anything less than either a prime or 24-70 2.8
>in the normal range, I'm not sure that won't turn out to be a
>game changer for me.

We've discussed this plenty. It's a non-issue.


>I want the choice to use a slower lens
>that is smaller and lighter when smaller and lighter matter. I
>will say I tried my 12-24 DX (FX image circle from a bit under
>18), and can say the shots I took looked terrible, even @ 24
>where on D300 it is very good. And I'm not just talking the
>corners. My Tamron 90 2.8 Macro looks fine tho.

Not sure what's going on with that lens because I don't own it, but every piece of glass I've put in from of the D800 made me very happy.

------
Webpage: http://www.ptfphoto.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Marmion4

Near Sacramento, US
188 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#18. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 15

Marmion4 Gold Member Nikonian since 21st Sep 2008
Wed 30-May-12 11:19 AM

Stan, great info!

So glad you got your D800, appreciate your reflective thoughts.

Laura

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#19. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 18

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Wed 30-May-12 12:57 PM

Thank you all again for your thoughts and experience with this. The consensus seems to be to go with the D800e for landscapes. So glad I asked this question and even happier with the helpful and friendly nature of the responses ...

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

John Varndell

Dogmersfield, UK
65 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#20. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 3

John Varndell Registered since 17th May 2006
Wed 30-May-12 03:35 PM

Very well said Alex.

I have a D800 and it is simply the best camera I have owned by miles.

I also have a D3; D300; D2X; D200; D70 and D1X. The D800 beats these in every aspect of my photography.

Hand holding and sharp images seem simple to me and I don't rate myself as a great photographer.

The D800 is simply a gigantic step forward IMHO.

John

smb_ohio

Canton, US
1290 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#21. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 1

smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006
Wed 30-May-12 04:07 PM

>In addition, another respected reviewer, Mr. Ken Rockwell,
>apparently gives the nod to the new comparable Canon release
>based upon overall photo quality and camera ergonomics.

As many here would attest, be careful when assigning that "respected reviewer" title to Ken Rockwell, as his opinions are well known to vary with whatever direction the wind is blowing at the time. He seems to have had a personal beef with Nikon ever since the D3x was released at a price that he considered outrageous. And he also makes ridiculous claims such as 6 megapixels being more than anyone ever needs... let alone his insane statements about how real photographers only use film, etc. (While his expensive professional-level dslrs are best for family snapshots...)

I just received my D800e, and while I have not had time to fully evaluate it, I'm very impressed with the detail and low noise of the first few quickie test shots I've made with it. At first glance it appears to be at least as good as my D3x and significantly better than my D300. I find the ergonomics to be very good, as well, and it looks to be a very well-built camera.

My first impression was that it is much smaller and lighter than I expected, which is a good thing. All the controls feel solid, and the shutter is reasonably quiet. As far as I'm concerened, it's a keeper !

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

pollarda

Provo, US
68 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#22. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 6

pollarda Gold Member Nikonian since 23rd Feb 2007
Wed 30-May-12 06:09 PM

I read somewhere where someone from Nikon commented on the two card slots. They said that there simply wasn't room inside the camera for two CF cards but there was room for one CF and one SD card.

I'm not sure if it is true or not (and how would we ever know) but quite frankly it makes a huge amount of sense given all that is in cameras nowadays.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

mikesrc

OKLAHOMA CITY, US
299 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#23. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 19

mikesrc Registered since 03rd May 2009
Wed 30-May-12 09:38 PM

I'm going to keep it simple, It's really, really Good.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#24. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | 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
Thu 31-May-12 03:57 AM

My take on the size and handling of the D800 changed a lot after putting the hand-strap on it. I've gotten used to it, missing the grip and balance of the gripped D7000, but the D800 seems quite comfortable in hand after the hand strap was mounted. I anxiously await getting a grip however since a great many of my shots are in vertical orientation. The new 5x4 framing helps by not needing portrait orientation as often.
The D800 does seem small compared to the D7000 which is a lot taller and a bit heavier with a grip mounted so a grip is definitely in the D800's future.
I am surprised so many people mention the high weight of the D800 and large size. It is really quite compact and compared to the lenses attached to it, quite reasonable in weight. It is not a heavy load but maybe users are comparing to their phone cameras or D3000. Possibly the way it is held or supported is the problem, or using a neck strap, which will get tired with any camera hanging from it.
As far as lenses requirements go, I have not found a lens in the bag that wasn't improved simply by mounting it on the D800. For example my lowly kit 18-105 is pretty impressive on the D800. The D7000 improved it also over the very competent D90.
So, overall, I find the D800 to feel as good as it works....with the hand-strap and expect it to feel even better when I get a grip.
We are creatures of habit, whatever we get used to is the "norm" and anything we are not used to yet, will feel wrong quite often. If it does not feel good now, wait for a few weeks and judge again. Opinions change with habit.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#25. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 23

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Thu 31-May-12 10:11 PM

D800e now on order ....

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#26. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 25

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Fri 01-Jun-12 03:16 AM

Congratulations!

It seems that the pipeline is becoming less clogged so hopefully you will not have as long a wait as those ordering from the large on-line dealers have had.

Several posts concerned the size of the holding area. Just to give a bit of perspective, here is a shot I just took seconds ago, using my D7000 in one hand, of the D800 in my right hand(not easy to focus, align and trigger with the left hand alone) showing the 3 fingers on the grip, index finger free for the sub-command wheel, with hand strap and a 70-200vr for comfortable single hand shooting with a moderately heavy lens. The D800 grip area, as you can see, is not as small as some comments suggest. With the optional grip it should be perfect.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

Visit my Nikonians gallery.



Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

HGhave

DK
9 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#27. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

HGhave Registered since 30th May 2012
Fri 01-Jun-12 08:53 AM

I upgraded from a D300 to a D800E. You know how often you buy a new piece of kit and then do a lot of pixel-peeping to convince yourself you didn't waste your money? Forget that - the D800E blew me away - so much more detail, so much data in the shadows and highlights. It's a joy to use!

geoffc

San Pedro, US
132 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#28. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 26

geoffc Registered since 21st Apr 2008
Fri 01-Jun-12 03:33 PM

After using D700s for hundreds of hours, the D800 was quite odd to my hands at first.

2 days later, just fine. Ignore the grip complaints as Stan says.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Fovea

Colombo, LK
3653 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#29. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 0

Fovea Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Sep 2002
Fri 01-Jun-12 04:53 PM | edited Fri 01-Jun-12 04:54 PM by Fovea

>Looking at photos posted on Flickr from both cameras and don't
>see much difference when both cameras are in the hands of a
>good photographer.

If you are comparing images at flicker resolution, even two identical images of the same scene at the same time made by a good photographer in good light with a Phase One 80MP back and a now obsolete D1 will look the same!

Regards
Dinil


Struck by Light - Blog & Gallery
Visible Range - Commercial photography & digital imaging solutions

GaryPk

Bailey, US
537 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#30. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 29

GaryPk Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Apr 2012
Fri 01-Jun-12 05:26 PM

Yes, thanks ... I understand that now.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

rteremi2

Grand Rapids, US
74 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#31. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 26

rteremi2 Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Aug 2007
Fri 01-Jun-12 06:11 PM

I have a similar grip to what Stan is showing that I've used since the D70 and I have no complaints on the handling of the D800.

Rick Teremi

http://www.flickr.com/photos/totalphotollc/

wesmannmsu

US
302 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#32. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 1

wesmannmsu Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Mar 2011
Fri 01-Jun-12 10:42 PM

The Last thing i would call Ken Rockwell is a "Respected Reviewer"

Did you see he called the D800/e a Cash Suck?

http://www.nikonfanboy.com/2012-05-30/ken-rockwell-and-the-nikon-d800-cash-suck

Visit My Website Nikon Fanboy.

Gromit44

UK
730 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#33. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 21

Gromit44 Registered since 04th Jan 2012
Fri 01-Jun-12 11:13 PM


>At first glance it appears to be at least as good as my D3x ....

Steve - have you had time to do more of a comparison with your D3x yet?

smb_ohio

Canton, US
1290 posts

Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author

#34. "RE: OK, how good is it really?" | In response to Reply # 33

smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006
Sat 02-Jun-12 07:52 AM

No, not yet. Maybe in a week or two.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

G