I just thought I'd share with you my thoughts about upgrading from a D700 to a D800; or rather why I chose not to!
My main working body is the D700 and I love it. I used to have a D300s as back up, but when comparing image quality between the two; I was slightly dissapointed with the D300s. As a result, it hardly ever got used and so I sold it late last year.
I've then spent all winter considering weather to get a second D700 or upgrade to the D800. I've read lots of previews, of course there aren't many true reviews out there at the moment.
At the end of the day, I decided I loved the D700 so much that I would get a second. Here are the main reasons why (I'm not saying this as a matter of fact, it's just my opinion):
1) 23 Mp represents 3x the pixel count, however the proven low light level qualities of the D700 are because although 'only' 12 Mp, the pixel size is larger, meaning they work better in low light. 2) 23 Mp's will generate huge file sizes and create storing/backup issues. 3) I don't need a DSLR with video.
I see Nikon have released an online D800 users guide which seems to include some intereting caveats about using the camera and image quality issues?
Anyway, as I said before.... I've decided to stick with the D700 rather than simply be blown away by the pixel count. Hope you find this an interesting basis for a discussion?
The D700 remains a great camera and could be a great choice for you, but others might want to consider a few things. First, the sensor in that camera was first introduced in 2007 with the D3. The sensor in the D300 dates from the same exact era. Things have changed a bit since then and technology has improved. Pixel size isn't a good measure of quality by itself. If it was, I'd still be using my old D2H. From what I've seen in high ISO D800 raw files that I've processed, I'd much rather be using it than my D700. Second, optimizing your choice around something as inexpensive as hard drive space may not be the best thing to do. 2-3TB drives are dirt cheap, whether used as primary or back-up drives. As for video, I'm not a video fan either, but I'm honing my skills.
As for the D800 users guide, it's stuff we've known for years. I suspect they're just trying to educate people who have little experience with DSLRs or think magic things will happen without considering technique. That doesn't work with either 12MP cameras or 36MP ones. It didn't work well for my 4MP D2H either.
As you might guess, I've decided to move on from the D700 to a D800. I see many things I like in it, despite how much I loved my D700. My son now has my D700 and is thrilled with it. It's an incredible step up from what he had been using, which was a D200. I suspect we'll both be pleased with what we're using.
Rick, Hi.......... all good point you make there, especiall;y about storage. I run a 2Tb NAS drive, double mirrored drives, so not short of storage space; however, when shooting 20+ weddings a year AND wanting to archieve clients pictures, it is a consideration. Some people will always want the latest and greatest and good luck to them; but unless your printing massive posters, that level of resolution is wasted (in my opinion). I show clients some sample images at 200% magnification to let them see the detail and explain no one will ever 'pixel peep' there pictures in real life like that.
At the end of the day, it's what ever you feel comfortable with that matters. Hope you enjoy it. Post up some samples, would love to see 'em?
>Some people will always want the latest and greatest and good >luck to them; but unless your printing massive posters, that >level of resolution is wasted (in my opinion).
Really? The thing is, there are numerous reasons for wanting this level of resolution, and more. Perhaps not for what YOU shoot, but not everyone shoots the same subjects in the same way. For those who have to shoot birds or wildlife at distance, where cropping to 10% of the frame is often necessary, the resolution will be most welcome. For those who've been shooting fashion on medium format with more resolution than the D800 provides, this is a nice smaller camera for field use maybe. For those doing detailed portraits or product photography, this will be a welcome camera.
It's a tricky proposition calling a product someone else needs or desires "a waste". Certainly will be offensive to some, and others will simply see it as short sighted.
You are 100% correct, but this is a discussion board (as I keep saying) and all I did was post up an opinion, suggesting that people stop and consider if they need that level of resolution is not being short sighted
>the proven low >light level qualities of the D700 are because although 'only' >12 Mp, the pixel size is larger, meaning they work better in >low light.
It is NOT impossible that D800 will perform in low light better - three years is a long term in the reality of semiconductors. In your place, I'd try D800 before investing in the second D700. And, if you will be not impressed - think about a used D3s, it's much, much better then D700.
I'm fascinated with these posts in which people who have not seen the camera or comparative files from it pronounce it to be worse in low light than the D700.
The virtual reviews are rampant, and met with counter-reviews.
I saw a comparison published and my impression is the D800 was equal to or slightly better than the d700 in low light performance, most noticeably in the shadows.
My understanding is that I can shoot in a lower resolution for snapshots, and save the raw 36 mp shots for particular photos with greater potential. A 2tb drive is about $150 today. Isn't that enought for 10,000 200 mb images?
Given the d800 is nearly the same price as the D700 at launch, it's an impressive advancement in features. I will be happy to trade up the the d800, because I want to.
I hope more People pass on the d800. That's all the sooner mine will arrive!
johno, i agree, i am so waiting for the public to really test this camera. I hope stepping down the mp will solve this low light "con" everyone is talking about, i have not found any tests on this though. Not to mention lowering the resolution will be a must when hand held, I would think.
Vladimir, Hi... I know it's not impossible, my original post says something about this isn't a matter of fact; just my opinion. I will continue to watch with interest. I would certainly be happy to reconsider if the D800 is better?
I'm about to start a busy wedding season and so very much needed to decide now. I'm quite happy with me decision and got the D700 at a really good price simply because people are flooding over to the D800.
If it is significantly better, there's always next year?
I second Vladimir's note about the D3S. In my opinion it has less noise and focuses better than the D700. I own both.
Getting a D3S could allow you to skip the D800/D4 generation. Preliminary testing says the D4 is no better than the D3S at noise. Nikon promised better focus in the next generation. I could use that. I'm upgrading.
Nikon tries to explain how to get the best image possible out of the new equipment and many find fault. The Nikon Technical Guide was provided to help people understand that it does take does some skill, thought and the right equipment to get the best shots.
> >In essence you need good techniques, some thought as to settng >up the camera for what you are photographing, and higher end >gear to get the "best" the camera is capable of.
In over 50 years of photography I have never owned a camera where this advice did not apply! I must confess that, over the years, more of my images have suffered from lack of enough "thought" than any technical limits of the tools. I expect that will be true as well for the D800 if (more likely, when) I decide to get one.
Having time to give thought and ponder how to set up the camera is fine, if you have enough time. In a quick moving scenario like wedding photography, I have some simple rules I tend to follow: AP outdoors in good light; SP with higher ISO once we get inside. But I must be careful or we'll get off the thread of this post. Cheers, Paul
I did upgrade my D700 and purchased a D3s prior to the announcement of the D4 and D800. I do not regret this move mainly because having the D800 at 39MP is way to big for my type of photography, strictly for pleasure. I also do not have the proper hardware for that much MP and will not print more than 13x20. If the D800 was made available at 16MP maybe I would have considered it. As far as Video - I am not using it - strictly still photography.
I like the D4, of course, mainly for the wireless communication system - but 6K is too expensive. I rather invest in a new lens.
This is my opinion for now - will see what the future will bring. Jacques G
With the D3s 1.5 to 2 stops more light sensitivity, a big jump in QE, and a change in pixel pitch, the D3/D700 sensor is certainly not in the same league as the D3s sensor regardless of what Rockwell writes. He is honest enough to state clearly to not consider his writing as factual, but for entertainment. With the D800, Nikon changes the state of the art again, this time in extremely wide dynamic range over anything else at lower ISO but also does well at high ISO. Not many people were expecting that such a large jump in pixel density could coexist with low light performance. A lot has changed in the 3+ years since the D3/D700 sensor was state of the art. The biggest downside to the D800 is Nikon not having enough confidence in its sales potential, demonstrated by not investing in another production line, and using one for building another batch of D700's, making a great many people have to wait for 6-12 months before they can get theirs. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Stan, hi - thanks for that. Well that all sounds pretty convincing to me; but even at the risk of appearing slow to embrace the new technology, I still love the D700. In fact, my new second body has been dispatched and is due here today
I'll still watch developments with interest. I'm not trying to convert everyone else's thinking, just entering into a healthy debate
Hopefully you will find that the information you get at Nikonians is more reliable than the website you mention
The D3s sensor (and image processing) performs noticeably better than that in the D3 and D700. I used a D700 and D3s alongside each other for several months, and there was a clear difference, especially at higher ISO settings.
Brian, Hi.... I'm sure you are right on that. I wasn't saying there's no difference between the cameras abilities, that would be ludicrous; I was merely suggesting that the three cameras share the same imaging sensor? Performance could be boosted by a different processing chip and even firmware upgrades.
Do the Nikonians really think that the D700/D3 & D3S have different 12.1 MP sensors? I personally doubt it very much.
Other enhancements yes, but I bet that proven and well established sensor was common to all three.
OK, try this for size - a direct quote from the original Nikon press release for the D3s:
"The D3S features a completely re-designed 12.1 effective megapixel image sensor. The large pixel pitch, with a completely modified inner structure, means that the D3S can capture images under light conditions which were previously believed to be impossible.
By the way - I see you're in Newton Abbot. I'm just down the road in Marldon
Ok, let me try and demonstrate my point.... I've copied this across from another discussion board where I've attached a photo I happen to like, a rather enigmatic shot of the father of the bride taking a quiet moment to reflect.
I shot this from a good 50 yds away, hand held, using a Nikon 70 - 200 f2.8 VR II zoom.
At normal viewing size, his trousers look kind of grey; but zoom in to 200% magnification and you can see the detailed pin striping on the trousers, almost picking out the weave!
I mean come on guys, how much resolution do you actually need?
I show this photo to clients on the lap top, then I zoom in to show them what a good pro spec camera is capable of.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to change your points of view, but you have to also understand why I'm saying this.
(The inset kind of spoils the photo, but never mind!)
Paul, it's great that you're happy with your D700, but topics like this aren't absolutes. They involve individual preferences, different shooting styles, and different budgets. Some people will struggle to find any form of DSLR necessary. I've had many people come up to me while I was shooting and tell me "I don't know why you're bothering with that DSLR. My Panasonic point and shoot does everything you would need." Are they correct? They are for themselves, but not for me, and I suspect not for you. Similarly, there are people who prefer to use Phase One 80MB backs on their medium format cameras. Would that make economic sense for me or align with my preferences? Probably not, but it doesn't mean they're wrong. Past a certain point, we need to realize that there's no right or wrong in this discussion, and it's more productive to move on to a different topic.
Well, I LOVE my D700 but I will be upgrading to the D800
Four years on, the technology has moved on. The EXSPEED 3 processor is way ahead of the D700 as is the focusing system, dual cards, and video. I do not really want more pixels but some of the images posted have been to use an American word, awesome!!
I don't shoot too much in dark coal cellars so while the ultimate ISO may not be as good, I feel from what I have seen is good enough for me. I love portrait and event / wedding photography and here I think that the D800 will reign supreme.
Anyway, you can't beat a new toy when you suffer from NAS!!!
Garrett, hi - I'm sure the technology has moved on and I'm looking forwards to seeing what it (the D800) can do! In fact I'm going to start a post inviting those trailblazers to post up some samples. Dual cards would be nice, but I'm not fussed about the video side of things, which is where I think the biggest gains are seen?
Nikon Aquisition Syndrome, defined as an addiction to buying Nikon products, irrespective of their use, value or need. A very expensive addiction which can lead to marital disharmony and also storage problems. NAS can only be controlled by buying the latest Nikon gear, be it a camera (D800), lens or accessory such as a Speedlight. The addiction is severe when the victim goes and buys products such as the Nikon 1 range of cameras and lens although said member is a DSLR user and committed to their D700 and all the other D's in their camera storage area.
You may consider that the acronim NASA refers to the space agency but is it really a cover for the Nikon Aquisition Syndrome Anonamous. This has been proven when last year this "agency" purchased several Nikon D3S cameras under the guise that these were for use in space programmes. They were actually for severe victims of NAS!!! I am a NAS sufferer and this is why I have ordered a D800. Thankfully I have some control of the illness as I am not ordering a D800E or a D4 (well not yet anyway!!)
Garrette. Love your comments. It brings a little bit of freshness and a great sense of humor to this interesting topic. My extreme NAS has driven my wife to refurbish my entire office as a shrine where I can now keep all my equipment and spend hours admiring every piece that I have purchased even though some I have barely used. I can feel the NAS invading my body and strangling my brain with the upcoming D800 just around the corner. I most likely have to wait a bit to buy it since my wife has spent all my money building the “Shrine” and I am now officially broke. Therefore, for those of you that are anxiously waiting for your D800s, god bless and enjoy every bit of it. And please, pray for me so that I can recuperate from all the expenses that my wife incurred so that I can fulfill my NAS soon. In the meantime, I will continue to use my good ol’ D700 and hope that my wife stops spending. Love you guys. You are a great bunch and I thoroughly enjoy reading these great threads.