Tue 08-May-12 06:52 PM | edited Tue 08-May-12 06:54 PM by Jim Pearce
If I were to shoot a D800 for wildlife I'd use the 1.2 crop, for five reasons:
1. It gives you 5 fps without grip. 2. It's a more manageable file size. 3. The viewfinder is just slightly smaller than a D300's with the 1.2 crop. This will tend to lead into cropping possibilities more naturally than the full viewfinder, especially for someone used to DX. 4. At 25 MP, you'll be competitive with the coming DX standard of 24 MP. 5. As with the new DX cameras you'll tend to crop no smaller than about 12 MP, or about a 1.4 factor from the viewfinder image.
So, to put it simply, comparing the D800 with the coming DX cameras, I see it as a 1.2 crop camera (versus 1.5) for birds. Now, to reach the 1000mm or so 35mm equivalent (at 24-25 MP) you'll need a 600 f4 plus TC-14E (or 500 f4 plus TC-17E).
That the D800 can outperform a five year old camera should go without saying. Anyone spending this kind of money should be asking where they'll be in a year or two. I'll wait for the "old shoes" with 24 MP and 8 fps - and get equivalent reach with my 500mm and TC-14E.