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D800 - Initial Evaluation

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2690 posts

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"D800 - Initial Evaluation"

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Thu 16-May-13 04:53 PM | edited Thu 16-May-13 11:00 PM by GiantTristan

After using the D700 for almost five years, I decided to acquire a D800. My main reasons were:
- I routinely use MF lenses and the LiveView function on the D700 is not that convenient to use.
- I like to use a 100mm prime lens for landscape and detail resolution is important to me.
- Improved DR avoids the use of ND filters.

Now a few points that I consider noteworthy:

Learning Curve - While the battery was being charged I was able to digest everything that was different from the D700.

Auto Focus - Using the center AF point and the 24-70/2.8 I got mostly sharp captures. (For the testing experts: My target was a foliage covered rock in my back yard and my standard for sharpness was manual focus in LiveView). I also looked at the left focus points, and the captures were also sharp most of the time. The conclusion is that the AF system is accurate and occasional unsharp pictures are caused by the limited precision of the AF or by operator error.

LiveView - The LiveView implementation is much improved over the D700. For best results I adjust sharpness and contrast in Picture Control to their highest values.

Blurry Pictures - While I had to wait for for a tripod plate, I took handheld pictures. Using high shutter speeds I had no problem getting sharp exposures. After some sharpening, 100% crops were sharp when viewed on my 30", 4MP, monitor.

Image Quality - With my 24-70 lens IQ was not dramatically different from D700 results even for wide apertures. However, between areas of different contrast, e.g. between trees and sky, transitions appeared to be smoother and more pleasing to the eye. However, when using my rather sharp prime lenses, the D800 captures were decidedly better (sharpness, color depth, micro contrast). Perhaps one needs real good lenses to realize the full potential of the D800 sensor.

File Size - I have noted no differences in LR4 processing time compared to D700 files.

Summary - In my opinion the D800 is an excellent product with a fair price tag.



Tristan

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A general, generic topic D800 - Initial Evaluation [View all] , GiantTristan Silver Member , Thu 16-May-13 02:53 PM
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