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The D800 as sports camera...

PerroneFord

Tallahassee, US
2807 posts

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PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011
Sat 24-Mar-12 07:56 PM | edited Sat 24-Mar-12 07:59 PM by PerroneFord

So today, I took my new D800 off to shoot sand volleyball and track and field. I shot volleyball, sprints, and pole vaulting. I will shoot more tomorrow.

My initial impressions are as follows:

1. Handling - For me, awful without the grip. No vertical release when shooting mostly vertical shots (volleyball) was about as bad as it gets. I was on a monopod all day with either a 70-200 or 300/2.8 attached.

2. Speed - The camera is slow. If you are shooting something where it's rather easy to judge peak motion, it's fine. But if you need to shoot peak motion as well as secondary reactions, this is not the camera you want. AF speed seemed fine. A little slower than my D3s it seems, but I expected that. Also, I had previously been worried about blowing through cards and having massive download times with the large file sizes this camera produces. That is no longer a worry. It's so slow, I found myself generally just shooting in single frames rather than bursts. I actually had LESS data to download today than from my typical shoot. So looks like I am not going to need to buy new cards after all.

3. Battery life - Hard to say really. I chimped about 10x more today than normal. But seems on par with my D7000 from what I remember.

4. Accuracy - I shot in dynamic 9 point mode which is usually what I use on the D3s. Accuracy was good from what I can tell. I haven't finished going through all my images.


5. Overall Impression - So far so good. It's working about as I expected. Excellent for the quiet moments between points, getting candid portraits, or getting wonderful shots at peak moments. But no one is going to confuse this thing with a sports camera. In fact, when I shot my first set of photos, I had to glance at the dial, because I thought I had mistakenly put it on single shot... It wasn't. It was on CH.


So, I will use this camera mostly for studio work, fashion shoots, and some sports work where I am not rushed to get followup shots.

Here is my first sample image:

Click on image to view larger version



This is a shot I have absolutely struggling to get with the D3s, and I got numerous times with the D800. Because of the ability to crop, the D800 let's me shoot wide, follow the action and actually compose. Whereas with the lower MP cameras, I have to compose much more tightly, and usually miss the composition of these kinds of shots.

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Webpage: http://www.ptfphoto.com

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