I'm a D300 owner shooting mostly sports photography at the high school level. Lighting conditions at football stadiums and in gyms for basketball vary greatly from facility to facility. At my local high school I typically shoot ISO 2000/2500 (70-200mm/f2.8-wide open) for football and 1600/2000 (50mm/f1.4 -typically f2.0) for basketball. Most photos are posted to high school website and printed typically in 8X10 size. I would appreciate perspectives on the capabilities of the D800 vice D300.
#1. "RE: High ISO Capabilities" | In response to Reply # 0ljordan316 Nikonian since 10th Feb 2010Sat 25-Aug-12 10:51 AM
I shoot a lot of landscapes and old buildings at ISO 100, but also do birds and animals...and sometimes flying insects I have shot as high as ISO 2000 without difficulty. As you get above ISO 640, the noise will start to show when you zoom more than 50%, but you will not see it on web shots and prints above 8x10 when you get above about ISO 800.
On the shots that I took at ISO 2000 recently, I was able to easily remove the noise with Adobe Camera RAW, Nik Define or Topaz DeNoise. I printed them on canvas at 9x12. People must like them because I have sold some already through two galleries.
You can see those bird shots in my Feathered Friends folder on SmugMug (first 16 shots).
Read Thom Hogan's book for good info about D800/E noise. I have found that information right on mark.
D800E, D500, 14-24, 16-35, 24-70, 70-180 Micro, 80-400mm AF-S, 500mm AF-S II
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#2. "RE: High ISO Capabilities compare to D300" | In response to Reply # 0RRRoger Charter MemberSat 25-Aug-12 10:59 AM
The D800 is a FullFrame DSLR that can shoot cleaner at ISO 6400 than the D300 at 1600.
The 36 MegaPixels can be cropped drastically and still give you a bigger picture than a 12MP camera.
Or, you can shoot in crop mode with or without DX lens.
As for speed, fast enough. I shoot large fine JPEGs set at 5fps but only need up to 3fps for motorsports or even at the start of a Running Event.
There is a huge difference (improvement) in the DxOMark for the D800.
That said, you should get "Hands ON" before you buy.
There are some differences in handling that you may not like.
Also this camera is much less forgiving.
More pixels show user error Mo Beta.
And give yourself plenty of time to learn.
This camera is much more capable because it has more settings.
After 3 months, I now am getting my best keeper rate ever.
I shoot Aperture priority, AutoISO 6400 at 1000s.
My next camera will either be an E or D600.
I will decide next month.
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#4. "RE: High ISO Capabilities compare to D300" | In response to Reply # 2MotoMannequin Registered since 11th Jan 2006Sat 25-Aug-12 09:04 PM
>The D800 is a FullFrame DSLR that can shoot cleaner at ISO
>6400 than the D300 at 1600.
>The 36 MegaPixels can be cropped drastically and still give
>you a bigger picture than a 12MP camera.
>Or, you can shoot in crop mode with or without DX lens.
>As for speed, fast enough. I shoot large fine JPEGs set at
>5fps but only need up to 3fps for motorsports or even at the
>start of a Running Event.
Just note, if you shoot in crop mode you lose about 1 of those stops advantage. That's counterintuitive to a lot of people, but if you consider the FX sensor is about double the area of a DX sensor, it can collect twice as much light for the same picture, and twice the light is a 1-stop advantage in signal-to-noise ratio, which equals 1 stop of extra ISO at your disposable. That's a little understood part of the magic of FX.
That has a subtle side-effect to the OP: If you want to take advantage of all the D800 has to offer, you may find yourself realigning your lenses a bit. That means, events you previously shot with a 50/1.4 you might consider adding an 85/1.4 or 85/1.8.
You will also be dealing with a slightly slower frame rate than your D300 but for sports where the flow of action is easy to anticipate this might not be an issue. You might want to throttle down your D300 to 4fps to see how that works for you.
Generally I'd say, printing no larger than 8x10 that the D800 is completely overkill. If low light is a real issue you're trying to overcome, you can get about a 1-stop advantage from a D700 (or even a D7000 without having to realign lenses) and those might do what you need for a lot less money.
Larry - a Bay Area Nikonian
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#3. "RE: High ISO Capabilities" | In response to Reply # 0
Hi, I shoot sports and sports fashion for a living and can say the D800E that I use is Awesome. The ISO I set to Auto, and set it to a Max of 6400 works great. I have published photos up to 6400 ISO. The focusing is very fast and works good in low light. I am very happy with the quality of the photos that the D800E puts out with mild to low noise in lower light. Post processing is very easy and pro with light room 4 and CS6. "BUT...I would for sure rent one, and make your own decision. The D800 is not for everyone. But if you are a experienced photographer, and know how to shoot fast paced photos. Then you will adapt to the D800 fast. Here is a sample shot I took for you to see. Good luck =)
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
#7. "RE: High ISO Capabilities" | In response to Reply # 5Hawk Eyes Registered since 09th Jun 2012Sun 26-Aug-12 03:23 AM
Thank you guys, I really appreciate your kind words. I hope that people will realize the D800/ D800E is a revolutionary DSLR. It is my favorite camera so far that I have used. good times =)
#8. "RE: High ISO Capabilities" | In response to Reply # 0
I recently shot a major wedding with the D800 under difficult constraints such as poor lighting and no flash allowed. Most shots were at ISO 5000 and a few at 6400. There's some noise if you really look for it but bottom line is that even large prints are gorgeous. I also have the D300 - a fine camera in its own right but no match for the D800 in terms of high ISO performance. Consider the D800 is full format meaning you can use longer focal lengths for equivalent field of view (compared to DX with a wider lens) so you don't have to enlarge nearly so much to achieve a given presentation size. This also causes any noise artifacts to be correspondingly less visible.
IMO the D800 is revolutionary. Too bad the AF issue got out of hand but, in fact, Nikon has responded quickly and mine was fixed in 2 days. It's good enough I now seldom lug my medium format cameras around which I never thought would be the case. Bear in mind that to exploit what the D800 has to offer you need to invest more ca$h in top-line lenses.
#9. "RE: High ISO Capabilities" | In response to Reply # 0
I'm bit late to the party, but if you are comparing D800 with D300 only with regards to high ISO capability, there is no contest - it is D800 hands down.
When I used to have my D300 I rarely pushed it up to ISO 800 - but D800 (and D700) gets pushed to ISO 1600 and 3200 without much of a hesitation.
I did a blogpost somewhat related to this subject the day I got the D800. It was a comparison with D700, but you'll be able to see 100% unsharpened crops of images at ISO 800, 3200, and 6400 from D800 on that post, and you can find it at