I am looking for a second, smaller in size camera to compliment my D4 - I am looking at the D800 (pixels), D600 (compromise), and D7100 (reach and cost) - I'd use this camera for landscapes, portraits, and still life shots (some at night) - my Nikon lens are good and fast AFS 1.4, 1.8, and 2.8 - I think the most obvious choice is the D800 but I want to shoot in RAW and am concerned about image processing time in Photoshop - my wife already thinks I spend too much time on the pc so I don't want to increase her concern - your honest thoughts would be most appreciated - many thanks - Jim
Unless you need the huge files of the D800, I would go for the D600. You still get 24mb of resolution, but a quieter (sound) camera, and save a few dollars for a quite nice body. Yes, you do get fewer af points, but I find that a non issue, as I mostly use a single point af with my D4 anyway.
D7100 - DX, 24.1Mp, 51 focus points, very good hi ISO/noise ratio, $1,196.95
We must take into account that you're primary using the camera for landscapes, portraits, and still lifes (some at night). I'm going to knock out price as a factor, although from top to bottom there is a $1,600 difference.
For me, your planned uses would knock out the D7100 for you. It has "reach" as you put it, but none of your mentioned uses require reach.
The biggest difference between the D800 and D600 is mega pixels, focus points, and something I didn't list, the feature set, but for your use, I don't think the feature set nor the focus points will be a particularly big deal. The high ISO/noise ratio gives an edge to the D800, but it's only an edge.
As to the Mp, unless you have a very old computer which would already be giving you problems with the Creative Suite 5 you currently have, I don't think you're going to particularly notice a processing speed difference in your computer with the D800 file size. You will be taking up hard drive space more quickly with its files.
Okay, I lied about not using price in the analysis. The difference between the D800 and the D600 is $800, but that wouldn't deter me from the D800. For capturing detail in landscapes, portraits, and still lifes, it's wonderful, as long as technique is up to par.
If the extra $800 doesn't mean a lot to you for the purchase, I'd go with the D800, but if it's a big factor, the D600 will work out fine for you.
Ned - thanks much - your assessment is great! very logical which I so appreciate - after a lot more research this week, I am pretty much sold on the D800 - I want to perform one more test at my local camera store this weekend (how well does the 24-70 balance on the D800) - regarding the PC, I have a pretty fast Dell desktop with decent memory and plenty of external HD capability so I think I should be OK there for now - many thanks agian - Jim
Fri 22-Mar-13 05:54 PM | edited Sat 23-Mar-13 07:40 PM by BOAZ632
In my opinion, the D800 due to the button layout being very similar which equates to a easy transition while changing bodies on the fly. I wouldn't worry too much about the RAW files because it would be a backup and not primary. By the way, I currently use this combination.
The D800 images will certainly tax your computer system and they fill hard drives very fast. Based on the "needs" you described for the backup camera, the D800 should do the job nicely, but it has a slow FPS at Full Frame mode and a relatively low buffer. I am not sure of the FPS and buffer is on the other two cameras, but it might be a consideration on some types of shooting.
I have a D4 and D800 and like the wide range of shooting options you get between the two.
>In my opinion, the D800 due to the button layout being very >similar which equates to a easy transition while changing >bodies on the fly. I wouldn't worry too much about the RAW >files because it would be a backup and not primary. By the >way, I currently use this combination.
I have a D7K and D700.....I like the ability to quickly change on the fly from the top of the camera vs. on the body with the menu...
I think the D600 is a great machine; however, personal preference would lend me to a D800 due to the control set up on the top of the body.
There is considerable wisdom already provided above, and I agree with all this. I use a D4 and D800, typically carrying both around on serious 'missions.' One element not addressed is the notion of reach, and its nullification with the D800's huge pixel density. While you can shoot in 'DX' mode, I cannot see any particular purpose in doing it, and instead utilize cropping liberally, especially when 'reach' is insufficient to fill the frame. In short, the D800 can be viewed as a super-D7100, and a super-D3x. The coverage and synergy between the two bodies is truly remarkable. My humble advice is, if you can stretch for the extra money for the D800 over the D600, you will not be sorry nor look back. If the funds are tight, and if you buy it anyway, you will love it just as much, though something must give on another front. It was an easy choice for me in any case. All the best Gary
If you are really looking for a backup camera, the D600 might fit that role quite nicely but with your mentioned subjects, it appears you intend to use it as a complement to the D4, with different capabilities and optimization. If that is the correct read, get the D800, it is not a backup to anything, but a compliment to the D4. Both with be the primary camera for some subjects. Landscapes and portraits are the playground for a D800 in the same way sports and low light events have met their match with the D4.
How about a used D3 or D3s. Basically same body and controls and can be had for around D800 price. "Pro" style and toughness, just loose some megapixels as compared to D800. After all , you are looking for a "backup" body.