I just picked up a D800 this last week. Of course, the weather was terrible on my first day off, dark, rainy and cold. I took the camera out anyway to see what it could with the flat light. I kept the ISO at 1600 just to see how the detail held up.
D800 | 400VR + TC17E f/5.6 | 1/4000s | ISO-1600 This one is a very deep crop - as cropped this is a 4MP image.
f/5 | 1/2000s | ISO-1600 | uncrpped
f/7.1 | 1/1000s | ISO-1600 | small crop
f/7.1 | 1/2000s | ISO-1600 | cropped just a bit smaller than the DX frame.
It appears that, with good exposure, ISO-1600 is as good a ISO-400 on the D300 at the pixel level.
I like the coot Dave. Interesting, looking at dxomark results for Screen (pixel level), the D800 has the DR and colour sensitivity of the D300 (at ISO 400) at ISO 1600 but the D800's SNR is 1.3 dB lower even at ISO 800 - and a whopping 4 dB lower at ISO 1600!
Thanks Jim! You know it is a slow day when all you can get is coots and geese.
I am very happy with the sensor performance. It looks like I can shoot up to 1600 without a second thought and 3200 with careful exposure.
I was surprised to get any decent detail in the shot of the golden eye. That would have been past my normal cropping limit even with a DX body
In 1.2 or DX crop I get 5FPS and a buffer capacity of 25 shots (1.2 crop) or 30+ shots (DX crop) using a Lexar 400x 16GB card. The buffer should be a few shots deeper and clear faster with the 1000x cards. That is shooting RAW 12 bit lossless compressed.
Nice shots Dave! Great detail and noise control with the 800, I'm envious! Really like the last goose and the coot. Thank my favorite goes to the goose portrait. Excellent detail, sharpness and exposure in all though. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing you put the new body through its paces.
A while back you were going to wait and see if the D400 appeared, and if not go for D800.....I guess you decided not to wait. I was in the same boat - borrowed the D800 from the local camera shop and I have to say it is really tempting. Great (easy) transition from the D300s.
Congratulations Dave, a great decision and shows how well it works in poor light. I appreciate the low light difficulties as it's a daily prerequisite for a wildlife photographers life in the UK I'm afraid
<<A while back you were going to wait and see if the D400 appeared, and if not go for D800>>
That's my story too. In the end I bought the D800 as both a replacement for my beloved D700 and in hope it would do a better job for wildlife than my D7000 with the D800's' high pixel count allowing tight crops. I was not disappointed and apart from a lack of fps it does a fabulous job.
However, although I too wanted a D400, I got fed up with the waiting and pounced on the D7100. For wildlife feather detail etc, the lack of the AA filter on the D7100 is a revelation. Now, I have two cameras which do everything I need in bucket loads My desire for a D400 has diminished somewhat. Together both cameras satisfy my every need.
Nice set, Dave. Especially for "practice" shots! As others have said, I'm looking forward to seeing the results of a "serious" outing!! Like you, I got tired of waiting for the D400, but I opted for the 7100 instead. And, again like you, I am looking forward to a spring and summer of some serious shooting. Take care, CK Nikonian in Ontario, Canada
Tue 30-Apr-13 01:35 AM | edited Tue 30-Apr-13 01:39 AM by dm1dave
It is hard to get a pleasing coot image – I really liked the water in this one.
The D800 – D7100 is a difficult choice. The images quality of the 7100 is superb, great color even at high ISO and magnificent resolution. The oddly small buffer and the use of only SD cards were big detractors for me as well as some of the control differences.
I had talked to Scott (Bump57) down at L&D-14 – His impressions of the D800 planted the seed that grew into full blown NAS. His eagle shots this year were awesome. He was able to produce images on overcast days that I think would have turned out dull if shot with a D300.
My big concerns about the D800 were the frame rate and the size of distant subjects in the viewfinder. I think the viewfinder issue is not as bad as I had thought it would be. In fact it may help keep me from clipping my subject’s winds.
The frame rate is slow but Scott and other are saying they get more keepers per burst due to the great AF system. I figure that I can shoot in 1.2 crop mode when I need speed and get 5fps (6fps if I get a grip – that’s the same as a D300 without a grip.)
Then reexamining the specs I also realized that the D800 buffer is fairly deep if you shoot 12bit Lossless compressed RAW. Using the CF cards I already have (Lexar 400x 16GB) and shooting 1.2 crop mode I can get a full 5 seconds (25 images) before I hit the buffer limit. Looking at memory card testes it looks like I could add a few frames to that with the 1000x Lexar cards. In DX mode I am getting just over 30 images. That is significantly better buffering than the D300/s and could be more beneficial than the extra 2 FPS.