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Rohinton_Mehta

Mumbai, IN
530 posts

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Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002
Sun 30-Dec-12 07:34 AM

Please help me to decide. I am not sure whether I should go in for a D800 or a D600. I am aware of the specifications of both the models.

My fear/problems are:

1. The D800's files are too large (I shoot mainly in RAW) which will fill up my hard drives very quickly. I know that prices of HDs are always coming down but I don't want to keep many HDs and start searching them one by one when I want to find out some images.

2. The D800 has had a problem of some left hand side AF sensors not autofocussing properly. I don't know how serious that problem is or whether Nikon has solved that problem. If yes, which serial number should be avoided?

3. I don't know whether I'll be happy with only 4fps burst. I often find my D7000 with its 6fps also slow.

4. I know that in DX mode, the D800 can give me 16MP but I also have the D7000 (and the D700), so I don't see much advantage there.

5. Another main worry is about the noise levels. The D800 would be noisier than the D600, especially at higher ISOs. Let me add here that I was very disappointed with the noise levels of my D2X, which I sold long time ago. Please don't tell me that 'at the same megapixel level, the noise would be similar' because I do not agree with downsizing a large file so that noise levels could be compared. There might be some truth to that but it just doesn't make sense to me.

6. The D600 has oil-splattering and dust problems, which I am told, goes away after some shutter actuation. Is this true?

Sorry for the long query. I would appreciate your views. I need to make my choice as early as possible.

Thank you.

Rohinton

Abedirov

Moscow, RU
22 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

Abedirov Registered since 28th Jun 2011
Sun 30-Dec-12 09:50 AM

It is a very hard question to answer. I have been agonising over this choice for the last 3 months. When I finally went to the store, I spent one hour playing with both cameras and still I could not decide. In the end, I went for the D800. It was an emotional decision, not a practical one. I was afraid that if I go with the cheaper camera, the thought that I could had a better camera would nag me all the time.

There is a view that D800 is a specialised camera, more suitable for studio work or landscape shooting and when you need to print very large. The D600 is a more general purpose camera and is easier to handle in common casual shooting situations. Several of the well respected pros recommend D600 over D800 (Scott Kelby, Moose Peterson, Nasim Mansurov, Ming), although all of them have D800 and love it. But they are pros and they also have D4 when the speed is needed.

In my view, you should not make your decision based on the reports of potential problems with both cameras, when I went to the store, they had both cameras with serial numbers 6xxxxx, and I am pretty sure that Nikon has solved all the reported issues by now. If you get a faulty product, Nikon will fix it.

As to your other questions, both fps and noise performance are quite close, the difference in file size is also not huge. So, if you ignore megapixels and some handling differences, both cameras are almost the same and will give you comparable results in 90% of the shooting situations. That is why in my view, this choice is not rational one.

Sorry, I probably has not given you a simple answer. The most important thing is that you will be very happy with either camera, they are both state of the art. So, make a choice and move on to shooting!!!

Cheers,
Aziz

briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

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
Sun 30-Dec-12 10:29 AM

What is it you will be looking for in your next camera? Will it be a replacement for either of your current cameras, or an addition? How often do you need/want to shoot at more than 6fps?

I wouldn't worry about noise levels from either D600 or D800 - if you're happy with the D7000 and D700, you should be happy with either of them on that front. And personally, I wouldn't let the hysteria about AF or dust problems affect my decision.

But from the information you have given us, I would suggest that a used D3s might be a better fit than either D600 or D800. You'd get the higher frame rate and even better noise performance than your D700, without the apparent penalty of larger file sizes.

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2672 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Sun 30-Dec-12 03:19 PM

Frankly, I don't understand why you need a new camera. Considering your photographic interests and your lens inventory, I would rather spend my money on a longer lens, 300mm plus TC or 400mm.

Tristan

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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1168 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Sun 30-Dec-12 03:34 PM | edited Sun 30-Dec-12 03:35 PM by LMMiller9

This being the D800 forum it is probable that those responding will favor the D800, which is understandable. I fall into that camp since I don't have the D600 and I am very happy with the D800.

I think many of the issues you raised are overblown fears.

1. If you have a slow computer or a small hard drive you should probably upgrade in that department regardless which camera you buy. I just checked the prices at Best Buys and you can get a 3TB external drive for $149. That is an incredible amount of storage space at a very low price. I have not found it a problem. I strongly recommend a computer with a quad core chip and 12mb of ram.

2. I believe Nikon has solved the left focus problem, which I never had anyway.

3. As to the burst speed, this totally depends on the type of photography you do. If you are primarily shooting sports and want to capture ten shots as the diver leaps off the diving board, you probably should get a D4. For me, its not an issue.

4. Right.

5. Noise? I had the D700 before the D800 and I was thrilled with the low light ISO performance. The D800 is slightly better. Is it the champ in that category? No. But, its still great!

6. Don't know.

I would buy the D800 unless saving the thousand dollars is important to you. If you get the D600 you will always be asking, "Maybe it would be better if I got the D800." You will never question that if you have the D800. I know that's a pretty fuzzy criteria, but we are talking about NAS here.





Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
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danshep

Olympia, US
1629 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

danshep Gold Member Charter Member
Sun 30-Dec-12 07:57 PM



I have a D2h and a D700. Have been considering the D600, D800 and the D4.

Currently, I am favoring the D4. If money is not the issue, you might want to consider the D4.

You would get faster frames per sec, as well as a solid, balanced (in the physical sense) camera, as well as some new tech.

At 16 MP, it is a little better than 12, plus not so huge as the 36MP.




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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10537 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 or D600?" | 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
Sun 30-Dec-12 08:10 PM | edited Sun 30-Dec-12 08:17 PM by ericbowles

I've got both the D600 and D800E. They are both great cameras - and my older cameras are getting very little use.

My style does not require a high frame rate with any camera. Both are fine for my normal use.

The D800 body is like the D300,D200, and D700 with similar size, navigation, and feel. The D600 body is very much like the D7000 with a slightly smaller size, a different layout of controls, etc.

Image quality of the D800E is jaw dropping - noticeably different and sharper. It's so sharp that medium and small crops - and my laptop - don't even show the level of detail that exists. I can post a 50% crop here and you would never know it is a crop. But you have enough detail to see small issues with lens quality or sharpness. AF is excellent - near the level of the D4.

You are incorrect about noise. The large file size of the D800 makes it very difficult to see any noise until you get to high ISO levels. DxOMark rates the D800 and D600 as about the same in terms of noise. I would rate it slightly better than my D600 and it depends more on other factors such as lighting conditions, post processing technique, etc. The excellent dynamic range and color at low ISO levels are exceptional.

Part of the confusion on the impact of file size comes from viewing at 100%. Viewing a D800 image at 100% is looking at a much smaller crop than looking at a D700 at 100%. This sizing difference is worth about 1.5 stops on a D800 and 1 stop on the D600 - but the benefit in performance is more than that.

My D800 is a very early one with the left side AF issue. I will probably send it for service later, but it is not a factor in normal use. As you move from the center sensor to cross sensors and then to outer sensors, AF precision drops with all cameras. I use the back button to focus and normally use the central sensors when precise focus is needed. Stopped down it's not an issue.

The D600 is an excellent all purpose camera. Quality is still very good, and file size is bigger than almost every prior camera. But it strikes a nice balance of a little smaller file that is easier to handle.

I have had a little dust but nothing outside of normal. The D600 has much higher resolution than earlier cameras so a 100% view is much more magnified. The area of the FX sensor is nearly 2.5 time the area of a DX sensor, so there is a larger area to collect dust. You need to use a blower and clean any FX sensor. There is likely some dust in the mirror box that contributes to the issues, and a huge amount of misinformation. Many of these reports are from those who are new to FX cameras. I have 6000 frames on my D600 and have only needed to use a blower for dust. Since you are used to a D700, I don't expect you will see any problem with dust.

I never shoot in DX mode, but if I really needed to travel light might take a DX lens like the 16-85 and use it in DX mode. There is no normal advantage of starting out with DX mode when you can crop later if needed. Since you have a number of nice DX lenses, DX is an option for those lenses if needed.

If in doubt - you could just get the D600. It's a very good camera. If you want the best resolution possible, other better features, and want to use large files, the D800/E would be your choice. My guess is coming from a D700, you would be happier with a D800/E as image quality is truly stunning.

Eric Bowles
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Rohinton_Mehta

Mumbai, IN
530 posts

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#7. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 6

Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002
Tue 01-Jan-13 02:12 AM

Thanks everyone.

I have decided to go for the D800 body but there is still one nagging doubt:

There are talks about a green cast on pictures viewed on the camera LCD. Is that a real problem? If Nikon has solved the 'problem', could anyone tell me what serial numbers to avoid?

Thanks again for your help.

Rohinton

icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#8. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Tue 01-Jan-13 02:27 AM

Rohinton

Question 1: I've had my D800E sense May 25th and have just over 5200 pics on the hard drive according to LR 4.3. With that many pics, it takes up just under 200Gb's of storage. So get a 2Tb drive and you'll be good for storage for a long while.

Question 2: I've tested mine and think I have it to a small degree but have not noticed it in day to day use, even for paid small family photo shoots. So I wouldn't worry too much about this. I do think that the issue is blown up a little.... but that's just my thoughts on the matter.

Question 3: The D800 will do 5 fps in DX mode and 6 fps with a grip in DX mode as well. I've never felt I needed more then 4 fps to be honest, but you have a D700 that with a grip installed will do 8 fps if needed. Also to note, the D600 is a 5.5 fps camera.

Question 4: The D800 in DX mode will and does give a bit better image quality at the pixel level compared to the D7000. So could still use DX mode if needed, but most will shoot in FX mode and crop in post unless you need the FPS from above....

Question 5: The D600 is said to have about a one stop advantage at the pixel level compared to the D800. But unless you plan on printing very large, you may not ever see the differences.

Question 6: From what I've seen, lensrentals.com post some good insite on the matter. Here is the original blog:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/10/d600-sensor-dust-issues

And the update that states it does get better:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/11/not-surprisingly-d600-dust-issue-gets-better-over-time

I've also seen the magic shutter count for the issue to go away is about 3000 images, which really isn't that many.... Get a good cleaning kit is what I would recommend if you don't already have it:

http://nikonrumors.com/2012/11/29/the-oil-spots-on-the-nikon-d600-sensor-seems-to-disappear-after-3000-shots.aspx/

So basically, it comes down to what you shoot and what kind of build do you feel you need. Also, keep in mind, the D600 is much more like a D7000 with a FX sensor in it and the body is a little bigger. Where as the D800 is bigger like the D700 and has a little better build then the D600.

Other things to think about is the shutter durability/speed:

D600 = 100,000 - 1/4000 vs. D800 = 200,000 - 1/8000

AF Points for tracking:

D600 = 39/9 cross type vs D800 = 51/15 cross type

Flash sync speeds are a little different but worth thinking about:

D600 = 1/200th vs. D800 = 1/250th

There are a lot of small things(specs) to think about when making the choice. I think if the D600 came out before the D800, I may have bought the D600 and then would have wanted the D800 because it better fits my style and personal needs. Overall, I'm very happy with my choice and am glade I spent the extra money.

Hope this helps a little.....

Chris

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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#9. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 7

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Tue 01-Jan-13 02:32 AM

I do notice this as well and have my Auto WB shifted to magenta 1 step and seems to be OK for me.

Chris

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#10. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 7

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 01-Jan-13 08:07 AM

>There are talks about a green cast on pictures viewed on the
>camera LCD. Is that a real problem?

No

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10537 posts

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#11. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 10

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
Tue 01-Jan-13 12:55 PM

A agree with Brian - no issues with LCD color.

From a practical standpoint, the LCD is too small to be using for precise color. And the LCD reflects the embedded JPEG using in camera WB selection - or the lack thereof. So unless you are creating a WB in the camera using appropriate tools and carrying that through to your post processing, the issue is not very important. Even if you use Nikon software for post processing and carry forward the camera WB, you are provided with the same options of adjusting it in the field or in post.

Eric Bowles
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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1168 posts

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#12. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 7

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Tue 01-Jan-13 01:05 PM

I've never noticed it on mine.

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
http://lmmillerphotography.smugmug.com/

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RWCooper

Winnipeg, CA
1019 posts

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#13. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 7

RWCooper Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Jul 2004
Tue 01-Jan-13 01:06 PM

Hi,

I have two D800's, neither of them has any problem with a green cast on the LCD.

Enjoy!

Randy

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10537 posts

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#14. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 8

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
Tue 01-Jan-13 01:54 PM

DxoMark has the D600, D800E and D4 in a virtual tie for ISO performance. That would change slightly if you removed the impact of resizing which is implicit in their scores, but the difference is still irrelevant. The D3s is the top camera in terms of ISO performance - by just 1/3 of a stop over the D4. And the D3s is gives up a bit on Dynamic range and color depth so it is only better as it relates to ISO and not overall image quality.


Eric Bowles
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PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2807 posts

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#15. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 0

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Tue 01-Jan-13 02:51 PM

>Please help me to decide. I am not sure whether I should go
>in for a D800 or a D600. I am aware of the specifications of
>both the models.
>
>My fear/problems are:
>
>1. The D800's files are too large (I shoot mainly in RAW)
>which will fill up my hard drives very quickly. I know that
>prices of HDs are always coming down but I don't want to keep
>many HDs and start searching them one by one when I want to
>find out some images.

The file sizes between the two cameras are quite similar. You won't avoid this by buying the D600 over the D800.


>2. The D800 has had a problem of some left hand side AF
>sensors not autofocussing properly. I don't know how serious
>that problem is or whether Nikon has solved that problem. If
>yes, which serial number should be avoided?

Just buy a new one from a store that turns stock. No one knows serial numbers.


>3. I don't know whether I'll be happy with only 4fps burst. I
>often find my D7000 with its 6fps also slow.

Well sounds like you need a D4. Both the D600 and D800 are slower than the D7000.


>4. I know that in DX mode, the D800 can give me 16MP but I
>also have the D7000 (and the D700), so I don't see much
>advantage there.

I never shoot in DX mode. Waste of time.


>5. Another main worry is about the noise levels. The D800
>would be noisier than the D600, especially at higher ISOs. Let
>me add here that I was very disappointed with the noise levels
>of my D2X, which I sold long time ago. Please don't tell me
>that 'at the same megapixel level, the noise would be similar'
>because I do not agree with downsizing a large file so that
>noise levels could be compared. There might be some truth to
>that but it just doesn't make sense to me.

Noise levels on the D800 are the same as the D700 essentially. But with 36MP{, superior dynamic range, etc. D600 noise is VERY close to a D3s.


>6. The D600 has oil-splattering and dust problems, which I am
>told, goes away after some shutter actuation. Is this true?

All these cameras have issues. I have a D600 and D800 that work great and have been fine since day 1. Luck of the draw.

>Sorry for the long query. I would appreciate your views. I
>need to make my choice as early as possible.

Sounds like you need to be shopping a D4 or D3s.

------
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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3559 posts

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#16. "RE: D800 or D600?" | 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
Thu 03-Jan-13 07:10 PM

We do not know enough of what you intend to shoot to give an informed opinion. But you got many nonetheless.
Forget all the intenet chatter and complaints, what problems have you seen personally?

If high frame rate is your priority, none of these cameras are what you need. As with any camera class, you can have top image quality or you can have speed but not both at the same time. The D4 or D3s will give you the speed, the D600 and D800 will give image quality.
If you can explain your priorities and shooting subjects we can be more accurate in suggestions.
I was struck by your comment that you did not want to downsize, are you printing posters or how do you display your photos at close to 8000 pixels across if not downsized and re-sampled? Yes, noise performance improves due to averaging when down-sampled but as is the D800 is not matched at low ISO and at high ISO it will have more color, shadow detail and a finer grained noise than what you are used to.
Maybe it would be easier to make suggestions if you describe what is wrong about your D700 that you want to correct with a new camera.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Rohinton_Mehta

Mumbai, IN
530 posts

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#17. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 16

Rohinton_Mehta Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Feb 2002
Mon 07-Jan-13 04:11 AM

"Maybe it would be easier to make suggestions if you describe what is wrong about your D700 that you want to correct with a new camera".

There is nothing wrong with my D700. I am very fond of it. It is just that I want top-notch quality 20 x 30 inch landscape images and the D800 could give me that with minimal interpolation.

As to the question of downsizing, what I had meant was that I do not want to compare the digital noise after reducing the resolution of the D800. Maybe you could educate me further on this. I often read that if you downsize the image from a high-resolution camera and then compare the digital noise to another lower resolution model, you may not find much difference and so on and so forth. My way of thinking is that (and may be this is where I am wrong and you are right), it seems odd to have a high resolution camera and then reduce the resolution when it comes to comparing the noise. When we compare the image quality, we compare it at full resolution (for example, we say that image quality from a D800 is superior to that from a D700; at that time we do not say that we are comparing the D800's image quality at 12MP resolution to a D700, which is also 12MP). I hope you have understood my logic (right or wrong) and would be very pleased to hear from you.

Regards.

Rohinton

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2807 posts

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#18. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 17

PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Mon 07-Jan-13 05:33 AM

This iea comes from the logic of output size. If you are presenting your final work at 8x10 size, or on the web at 1800x1200, then comparing images as they would be used at your final size makes perfect sense. There are VERY few people who will need the full resolution of a D800.

If you plan on printing 20x30s, then a D800 is great for you.



>As to the question of downsizing, what I had meant was that I
>do not want to compare the digital noise after reducing the
>resolution of the D800. Maybe you could educate me further on
>this. I often read that if you downsize the image from a
>high-resolution camera and then compare the digital noise to
>another lower resolution model, you may not find much
>difference and so on and so forth. My way of thinking is that
>(and may be this is where I am wrong and you are right), it
>seems odd to have a high resolution camera and then reduce the
>resolution when it comes to comparing the noise. When we
>compare the image quality, we compare it at full resolution
>(for example, we say that image quality from a D800 is
>superior to that from a D700; at that time we do not say that
>we are comparing the D800's image quality at 12MP resolution
>to a D700, which is also 12MP). I hope you have understood my
>logic (right or wrong) and would be very pleased to hear from
>you.
>
>Regards.

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10537 posts

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#19. "RE: D800 or D600?" | In response to Reply # 17

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
Mon 07-Jan-13 11:32 AM

Rohinton

Let me share an example of why sizing makes a difference. Attached is the same image sized according to the proportions of the D800, D700, and a web post.

This is the full image simply resized for a 1000 pixel width.

Click on image to view larger version


This is the image as shot with a D800E viewed at 100%. Said another way, this is viewing a 10 inch slice of the image printed to a width of 6 feet based on 300 dpi.
Click on image to view larger version


This is the image resized for the D700 proportions and then viewed at 100%. This is equivalent to a 10 inch slice of the image printed at 3 1/2 feet wide based on 300 dpi.
Click on image to view larger version



As you can see, the D800 is much more zoomed when you look at it at 100% and you can see some noise and softness that is not visible at the viewing level of a D700 size image even at 100%. By resizing to a common proportion, you can get a better idea of how the image looks in the same print or web post.

Resizing can work either direction as long as it is to a common size. If you resize the image from D800 to D700 proportions, you are essentially taking three pixels from the D800 and interpolating them into a single pixel. Some of these pixels may have some noise, but by resizing the noise is offset by pixels without noise so noise is not as visible.

Eric Bowles
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