>I simply ask you: How many amateurs will rigorously follow >the procedures that the Nikon Technical Manual lists to ensure >quality images from the D800/800E?
Who cares if they do or if they don't. I mean there have been camera users since the dawn of mechanical photography who have complained about or been stymied by new features introduced in camera models succeeding the one they already owned. The derisive mantra - "RTFM" - is not new, and has been the appropriate advice given to far too many new users of new and existing camera models (and innumerable other devices) for several generations.
I'm suggesting that rigorous instructions are nothing new for camera user manuals.
The more D800 owners who fail to read the user manual and the technical guide, the more lively the D800 forum is likely to be at Nikonians and elsewhere. Seems to me that would be a win all around - lots of questions, and lots of opportunities to quote and requote "RTFM" over and over again.
There's something in the air (or the water, or something) that has led an apparently increasing percentage of the population to think that they can pick up any device they purchase (sometimes because it's the lastest and most technically powerful and complex device available no less), and just start using it immediately without pause for instruction, tutorial or even the briefest glance at a accompanying guide or user manual for that known-complex device. Seems to me that general product marketing (Easy! Fast! Powerful! Get Started Right Away! - or words to that general effect) is working far too well and, to some extent, to the partial detriment of competent product usage as a result.
I'd also suggest (although Gator Bob certainly did not allude to this at all) that it's not the cameras which are overly complex, but rather a certain percentage of users who want to use a new camera right now while at the same time being unprepared for the disappointment which ensues because their assumptions result in poor photography.
There's also a lot of thinking out there, among common consumers of advanced hardware, that the more we trend into ever more technologically complex products, the more the products should be intuitively usable. That's false logic. I don't know how prevalent such thinking is among Nikonians members, but it has certainly appeared.
Personally, I hate reading user manuals and technical guides, but I do it anyway out of self-defense.