On the other hand, the D800 has two features that make it a very good sports camera: 42ms shutter response, and 14 stop DR since most sports are conducted in very wide levels of dominate light, often in the same scene.
I am also a little perplexed as to how frame rate is the make or break spec for cameras for so many people. If frame rate was really the key to capture the peak of action they would use a video camera.
Maybe it is thought of as a bypass or short cut around learning the subjects behavior patterns. Where something happens, in most sports, is not a random accident but the predictable result of angular momentum, distance and mass. Where a play path ends up is not an accident either, and knowing the players, their skills and behaviors, or the team strategies/coaches etc has predictive importance to a skilled photographer.
Sometimes I get the impression that the majority of photo fans think the object is the camera and gear. What makes a sports photographer is not having sports anointed gear or shooting sports, anyone can do that so it has no commercial value. What does have commercial value and is paid for willingly by those needing the photos, is game, talent, and action awareness of someone who, as rare as it is, can deliver to goods.
When I was in the recording industry, there was a general notion held by amateurs that the only thing holding them back was lack of the big budgets and gear. Same with this discussion. No, in fact the ones who could deliver the goods were the only ones who knew gear was not a factor at all in the value of the work done or the results. Consistently with all sorts of unique projects and all sorts of equipment, the skilled engineers and producers delivered the goods. Only the amateurs missed the point that all it took was free talent, free study, free passion, devoting all free time, and free vision to be worth the big bucks. In fact when producers called my studio(which had an unlisted phone number) to get a quote or find out what gear we had, we suggested they go to one of our competitors. Why? Because if they did not know the gear did not make a difference, but the ability to consistently deliver the goods, then having them as a client would lower our odds of keeping the streak going. Sure we had good gear but so did hundreds of other studios in the world, but at any given time, only about 8 studios produced 80% if the hit records....and what gear made little difference. From 1979 to 1986 we had more hit records than any studio in the world, and not one Billboard weekly chart without at least 1 song in the top 10. And gear made little difference. The EXACT same thing is going on in these camera discussions, the focus is on gear and the apparent reason for lack of big time acceptance being lack of top gear or 800 frames per second, 200 bizillion ISO or 6gigapixels. If a sport shooter is not getting the images, it is not the gear, it is not spending 10s of thousands of hours studying the sport, the players, the coaches, the old films etc. The free stuff that separates the sought after pros from the hobbyists. Stan St Petersburg Russia