First let me say that I often like to shoot using the vivid or some other high contrast/saturation picture control. While trying to set focus using LV under dark conditions I've cursed the D800 more than once for its grainy, dark rendering making manual focusing almost impossible. Last night I discovered something that makes life easier: Say you are shooting with picture control set to vivid. Doing so, LV looks like a extremely dark, grainy image. Now, create a new picture control (I named it "LiveView". Set the sharpening, contrast and saturation to minimum/zero. I've also made it monochrome to further ease focusing but haven't tested it for many different scenes where colour might be useful. Anyway, using this customised LV picture control the LV image is still grainy but clearly more useful for manual focusing. My process is now: Set camera to "LiveView" picture control, focus, set the camera back to your desired picture control and shoot. The image below was shot with very modest ambient lighting.