There are many reasons why hobbyists buy the D800. My reason is simply my age. At 84 it is ‘if not now when’. I welcome the challenge to see if I can achieve a decent level of proficiency with such a great camera. I have researched enough to be aware of the tough road ahead. I ordered the camera with the 70-200 F4 lens and have some lenses from film days including a nikon 85mm. The film days were with my F4 HP which I still have but at my advanced age I should probably sell. Might not be worth much anymore but it was/is a wonderful camera. I still have a Bogen 3221 tripod I used with the F4 that I hope will work with the D800. I am presently using a Gitzo 1258 that I used with the D80 and still use with the D300 . It is pretty stable especially if I hang a little weight on it but is probably a little light for the D800. I intend to buy more glass when I can. Probably next will be the 16-35. I am also aware that I may have to get a new computer but will wait and see. I intend to keep my D300 and lenses for a while to see how things go.
Way to go Douglas! You made a great decision, and I know you are going to be glad you did. I would encourage you not to apply labels to yourself or how you see your proficiency, but rather see this camera as a vehicle to having fun. I hope you really enjoy your D800, keep photography fun, and keep on playing!!
All the best with the new cam Douglas, keep us posted when it comes in and your impressions!
On the computer side, I think my own experience and what I hear from others is having enough RAM is a key. 16 gigabytes is good. I actually don't find all that much of a diff processing 36 megapixels from my 12 and 16 megapixel cameras. I think bulk operations are slower, but I usually do something else when I'm running a bulk operation anyways, so it doesn't bother me. It is the journey that counts
Douglas - You will be amazed with your new D800. And as has been advised, don't label yourself as old. I'm a little behind you, but not all that much in this day and age. Especially coming from a DX format, prepare to be absolutely blown away by resolution, shadow detail (especially if you shoot RAW) and just an overall sense of WOW! Your decision-making skills obviously are just fine too!
Have fun and enjoy, which I am sure you will! Keep the F4 HP. That comment comes from a pack rat that cannot find the heart to part with anything. I always figure that I cannot get what it's worth, at least not to me.
Want to buy a German Kodak Retina IIIC?
Scott Chapin Powder Springs, GA, USA Nikonians Team Member
The road may be not quite so tough since you already have a d300. For me, the d800e was my first DSLR - and I sometimes find myself fiddling with issues like long exposure noise reduction which for others is a regular feature they know from their prior cameras. I would say, even if you treat the d800 like your d300, the pictures will have an improved technical quality - not only with regard to details, but also the dynamic range! And if you are going to carefully use that wonderful tripod of yours - well, I would like to see some pictures when they come along. Have a good intellectual journey with this camera.
Have fun with you great new camera. I doubt you will have any problem since the controls and size, and features are not that much different than the D300. One bit of initial advice, bump the shutter speed up more than you are used to with the D300 for hand held shots, all other factors are non-issues in making the transition. Many have mentioned the "wow" factor and if seen on a modern bright hi res monitor or printed large or on one of those Retina display iPads, there is no other word of it other than Wow. Every subsystem is more intelligent, better and easier to use. If you, like all of us, get the urge to zoom in to see the detail, remember that 100% view on the screen is much more magnification than on your D300 so some are disappointed in seeing more motion blur and loss of sharpness without realizing they are blowing it up much larger, seeing a much small part of the image than they are used to. There is a sudden desire to blow every scene up to see what the license plate number is on that car 1.5 miles up the road says. Or reading menus from outdoor cafes down the street. And it works! Stan St Petersburg Russia
Welcome to the D800 club. Your upgrade path is like mine and I still keep all those bodies. Why? You might ask. My answer to that is just like yours, although I am still catching up. Honestly, I only take out d800 nowadays. This body works well almost with any lens, DX, FX, WA, etc. due to its 36MP sensor. The opportunity to crop is endless. A new desktop pc is desirable with more than 12MB memory and 2 GB drive. Yes, a high speed Internet is a must if you share your photos. Enjoy!
I really admire your spirit, Douglas. After having learned on the full frame 35mm cameras, I found the smaller viewfinder of the cropped sensor D300 slightly difficult to use. Now I have the D800, and I've found it to be one of my favorite cameras. Good luck!