So I used my D800 at a wedding for the first time last weekend as my primary camera, been using it on engagement shoots every weekend for the last 2 months.
In Daylight the D800 is amazing ! I freaking love it ! In the Church and at reception ... I hate it !!
High ISO capabilities of the D800 was just not good enough ! Because of the low light I got a lot of soft or slightly out of focus pictures.
The reasoning for wanting and having 36mp goes right at the door once you start taking pictures in low light with ISO higher than 1000, My photos dont look any better than it did with a D7000.
I think the killer combination for weddings is a Nikon D3s / D4 and a D800. D3s / D4 for in the church and reception hall and the D800 for Formal photos in daylight in the park or wherever.
I will be using a D3s as primary in the church and reception hall and my D800 as secondary in church, wont even take it out of the bag at the reception hall. My D800 will be the camera i take all my formal photos with between ceremony and reception.
Sat 09-Jun-12 07:36 PM | edited Sat 09-Jun-12 07:41 PM by DiamondPhotography
I totally agree and am finding exactly the same thing myself. Even during ceremony when I could use a tripod, at 1000 ISO images are soft. And like you, I was wondering if they had not focused properly.
I don't have a D3s or D4, so for natural light shots I will be sticking with my trusty D700.
Very Nice Shot. I assume you shoot NEF. Wondering what your picture control settings and active D lighting settings were to generate this JPG we are looking at. To my eye it is ever so slightly overexposed which seems to be pretty typical of both the D700 and D800 (I have both) and always have a slight exposure compensation with both.
This shot was ISO 1000. I over exposed it in Lightroom, just liked the look of the picture better over exposed. This picture is also scaled down alot ( I have no idea how to tell how many megapixels a scaled down photo is ??) Anyway I scaled it down to 1200 pixels in the long end in lightroom.
My point though is that when taking photos in low light with a D800 the end result is pretty much the same I would get from a D7000
If you were shooting the D7000 and the D800 with the same focal length lens (say 50mm) and then looking at them at 100% on screen that is what I would expect. If you shot the D7000 with a 50mm lens and the D800 with a 75mm lens and looked at them both at 100%, I would expect more detail in the D800.
If looked at either case as a 8X12 print size, the 50mm/75mm scenario the D800 print shouls look better. In the 50mm/50mm case - They will either look completely different based on cropping and framing (one is 50mm effective focal length the other a 75mm effective FL (50mm x 1.5) or you will have cropped the D800 image to look like a 75mm and then it should look ejust like the D7000 image based on about equal pixel size.
Pint the images and see if you feel the same. 100% crops of huge files can be deceiving.
Sun 10-Jun-12 02:17 PM | edited Sun 10-Jun-12 02:20 PM by DVDMike
I am not sure what the problem is with high ISO (1000) is supposed to be with this shot. I don't see any noise. I see pretty good DR in a scene with mostly flat light. What is the issue with the shot? There is some corner softness and DOF blurring and perhaps a tad blur due to hand-holding, but not bad. None of these issues would be due to poor or average high ISO performance though.
To calculate your pixels, just multiply your pixel height times the width and divide by 1,000,000 to calculate "mega" pixels.
You mentioned you are surprised that the D800 low light performance is not much different that the D7000. As someone, who just moved from the D7000, I expect no difference. The D800 and D7000 have roughly the same pixel density and size. The D800 simply has more pixels which gives you more cropping room. And more important for me: Better results after doing post processing. That has been the main difference between the two cameras.
I have both the D7000 and the D800 is much better at over 3200 ISO. There are many reasons for this but lets start with a physically bigger, more advanced Sensor, faster processor, better focusing and metering.
Even with the excellent DR of the D7000 it would not have handled this case of very high degree of back lighting, nothing would have except the D800, done as well. The other shooter in the background had a better scene to work with. I have and like my D7000 but would never expect it to pull out the range of scene lighting extremes my D800 does with ease. Considering the contrast degrading that occurs with strong backlighting with most lenses, I think this image is a good testament to how flexible and easy the D800 is compared to anything else, at least anything I have used. A D700 or D3 sure would not have been able to retrieve the tone range, the D7000 could come closer. Give it time, and after a few thousand shots you will get used to its capabilities and really notice the difference when switching to anything else. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Mon 11-Jun-12 03:57 AM | edited Mon 11-Jun-12 04:02 AM by Clint S
What little testing I’ve done between the D7000 and D800, I like the D800 images better. Given the same shooting parameters and distance the D800 pulls more dynamic range and cleaner IQ.
The higher the ISO the more I like the D800. I shot a few photos Friday at 3200 ISO that came out excellent considering the back lighting. And in the same circumstances I have not shot at higher than 1250 ISO with the D7000 due to IQ.
You said the images were a little soft for your liking. Was that at 100% on screen? Or was it an image that was already down sampled? I can tell you the D800 leaves a lot of room for soft/out of focus at full size to produce a decent image when down sampled.
Right now I beleive technique with the D800 is a little more critcal than the D7000 to produce an extremely sharp image. But I have yet to shoot that much with the D800 and my judgement comes from prints, not the screen. I pick up some 30" prints tomorrow so they should show if steadiness is more critical.