Junior Olympic trials and training for whitewater were held in the local gorge this week so I went over today to shoot the slalom competition. I've shot whitewater competitions before but this was my first foray with my new D800.
My keeper rate went up in spite of the fact that I was rejecting shots I might have kept in the past. AF was quick and precise. The DR and detail obtainable are jaw dropping. Attached are two versions of one of the shots. Neither has any pp except conversion from RAW to jpg and resizing for posting. I love this camera!
D800, 70-200 f/2.8 VR1, A at f/2.8, ISO 100, HH
1. Full frame as shot, no pp
2. 100% crop, no pp, You can count the freckles on her nose!
The keeper rate really changes things. That was a great image technically and storywise. I find that it easier to cull shots because expectations have risen so much. Images I would have kept because they were technically good when the content was not, or the reverse, I just toss now. After the awe fades a bit, the expectation is that the image will be sharp, detailed, well exposed and with good color, anything less and it gets deleted in the camera. Maybe that comes from being mindful of the 95gigabytes have been saved so far and my 1Tb drive is filling up at fast pace. Tonight after I leave the office, i am going to switch to JPG fir the first time and see how I like the results. I would have been hesitant before because RAW was the rescuer of marginal technical quality of a file. Now, when the shutter is released there is an expectation that it is captured well. Or if it is raining as predicted I might dig out the manual and read it for the first time. When I got it, I was too thrilled taking shots and busy blowing them up 300% to even take the manual out of the plastic wrap. It is that easy of a camera to adjust to. I feel sorry for those who have gotten frightened off by the internet harping about it, they are missing some fun times. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I pretty much agree with your entire post. The increased keeper rate was somewhat of a pleasant surprise. I'm also tending to be more ruthless in culling, partly due to the size of the files, but also because the shots that are good are on a higher level than before. Why keep an almost but not quite shot? I'm also considering switching to jpg for some of my photography. For many applications the difference in results from a RAW file and a jpg is insignificant. The picture in this post is a good example. No pp except convert to jpg and resizing for posting. I didn't sharpen it and it's sharper than some shots from the past that I did sharpen. I'm really enjoying this camera.
John, One other exif data type question for you - using AF, were you using single-point on her face? I've had a few misses with my D800 with AF, and am curious if you were using single point, or some other - center weighted, etc with all of what must have been going on - moving water, moving paddle, and overall moving target.
I used CW 9pt. I generally try to focus on the chest area because of all the motion. It's a wider target. If the subject is close enough I would probably focus on the face, but in this case she was about 30 ft away and that would give me enough DOF to get the face sharp. I also set Focus tracking with lock on (a3 in the Custom menu) to 1.