First Impressions: Using the Nikon D800

As updates go, the Nikon D800 is a pretty major one. Compared to its predecessor the D700, Nikon's newest DSLR features an impressive set of key specifications, and subtly refined ergonomics, too. After more than three years we expected the D800 to outclass its predecessor, but products don't exist in a vacuum, and it wasn't long after the 12MP D700's announcement that Canon brought out the movie-shooting EOS 5D Mark II.

Not only was the 5D II Canon's first video-equipped DSLR, but at 21MP it offered a class-leading pixel count, effectively equal in resolution to Canon's professional EOS-1 Ds Mark III. The D700 won plaudits for its versatility, low light image quality and 51-point autofocus system, but it couldn't compete with the 5D II on resolution, or of course, video. 

The D800 changes all that. Compared to the D700, the D800 is a thoroughly modern camera, boasting a highly advanced feature set for both still and video shooting. At 36.3MP the $3000 D800 comfortably eclipses its competitors in terms of pixel count and makes the $8000 Nikon D3X look distinctly irrelevant, too.

Compared to D700: Specification highlights

  • 36.3MP CMOS sensor (compared to 12.1MP)
  • 15.3MP DX-format capture mode (compared to 5MP)
  • 25MP 1.2x Crop mode
  • 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors, rated to -2EV* (compared to -1EV)
  • ISO 100-6400 extendable to ISO 25,600 equiv (same as D700)
  • 1080p video at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second, up to 24Mbps, with uncompressed HDMI output and audio monitoring options*
  • 3.2", 921,000 dot LCD with anti-fog layer* (compared to 3in, 921k-dot)
  • Maximum 4fps continuous shooting in FX mode, 6fps in DX mode** (compared to 8fps in FX mode)
  • Advanced Scene Recognition System with 91,000 pixel metering sensor* (compared to 1005-pixel)
  • 'Expeed 3' Image Processing*
  • Dual-axis Virtual Horizon (on LCD screen/viewfinder)(compared to single-axis)

* Same or almost identical to Nikon D4
** Maximum frame rate in DX mode is dependant on power source

We've had a D800 in the office for a few days, and we've spent that time shooting with the camera not only in our studio but also out in the big, bad 'real world'. We're some way off being able to publish a full review, but I wanted to share with you some first impressions. You've already read our in-depth preview, and you know what the professionals think, but now that we've got a production sample to play with, I want to give you an idea of what the D800 is actually like to use.

Handling

The D700 was a generally pleasant camera to hold and use, and so is the D800. Nikon hasn't made many drastic changes to the handling experience, and those that it has made are broadly in line with Nikon's design philosophy for 2011/12. Gone is the 'traditional' MF/AF-S/AF-C focus mode switch on the lens throat, to be replaced by the same combined MF/AF switch and AF mode button control that we've seen on the D7000 and D4. This updated approach to focus mode selection is nice and neat, because it associates all of the many options with a single physical control point, but as I pointed out in my recent article about the D4, it does make switching between AF-S and AF-C less rapid than it used to be.

 In general terms, the D800 handles a lot like the D700 that it replaces. Key controls are in almost exactly the same places, but the D800 does benefit from a redesigned live view control and drive mode dial. The screen has the same 920,000-dot resolulution as the screen used in the D700, but like the D4, it features improved moisture and dust-proofing. 
Not only does the drive mode dial lose the D700's 'Lv' position, it also features firm detents, so with the dial unlocked it is possible to tell by feel when you're scrolling through the various positions. This is a small change, but a very welcome one, and one which (with a little practise) makes it possible to switch drive mode with your eye to the viewfinder. 
On the D800, just like the D7000 and D4, live view gets a dedicated control on the rear of the camera, with a physical switch for still shooting and movie shooting modes. In movie mode, the framing reflects the 16:9 aspect ratio. You must be in movie shooting live view mode to initiate video recording, via the red button on the camera's top-plate.

Of more signficance to the average D7000 user will be the D800's updated drive mode dial and dedicated live view switch. Live view mode on the D700 was very much a 'first generation' implementation and although effective and useful, setting it via the drive mode dial was a pain, especially if you needed to grab a quick high or low-angle shot.

Improved Automatic ISO Sensitivity Mode

The D800's automatic ISO mode is inherited from the D4 and is improved over the same mode in earlier Nikon DSLRs. Previously, auto ISO customization was minimal, and consisted simply of an option to set the maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed when the camera was used in auto ISO mode. The currently-set ISO counted as the minimum ISO sensitivity (and in fact still does). This system was fine for shooting with a fixed focal length lens, but less useful with zoom lenses, where a 'safe' minimum shutter speed at either end of the focal range might be several stops apart. 

In the D4 and D800, Nikon has (at long last) added an 'Auto' option to the minimum shutter speed options, which allows the camera to automatically set the minimum shutter speed based on its knowledge of the focal length that you're working at. This response can be biased in 5 steps, from 'slow' to 'fast' depending on whether you'd like the camera to err on the side of slower or faster shutter speeds. A small change but one that takes Auto ISO a little closer to being the 'set and forget' function that it should have been long ago.


Click here to go to page 2 of this article: First Impressions - Using the Nikon D800... 

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Comments

Total comments: 310
123
munro harrap
By munro harrap (Mar 22, 2012)

I can open D800 RAW files on a 3Ghz dual core antique Athlon with 4GB RAM, to my amazement. It ain't fast, but until I double the RAM it'll do-cost £200 s/hand..

1 upvote
u007
By u007 (Mar 23, 2012)

Of course. The whole "I'll have to upgrade my PC" thing is so over-stated.

When I travel I use my netbook to edit Sony a850 files (24.6mp, and a raw file is around 40Mb). It isn't fast, but it gets the job done.

My i7 920, 6Gb memory and SSD churn through them no problem. And they're 1-2 years old now.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 23, 2012)

munro harrap:

My year old i7 with 8 gigs of RAM extracted the raws without trouble, and I'm not running an SSD.

0 upvotes
Aspenland
By Aspenland (Mar 22, 2012)

Awesome videos!! Thank you, Barney!! Way better than D4 video... nice resolution, but not so good bit rate... I am afraid 5Dmk3 is in another class on video. Barney, panning shots are a must for video tests - to see the effects of rolling shutter... Please include one ASAP :))

0 upvotes
dimalozz
By dimalozz (Mar 23, 2012)

>> but not so good bit rate
Bit rate is normal for all video cameras with good codec.
Canon used old type of coding so they supposed to give a much more megabytes to keep a normal quality.

0 upvotes
GiovanniB
By GiovanniB (Mar 22, 2012)

Very useful article but I'd not share complaints about the MF/AF switch no longer having dedicated AF-S and AF-C positions, since the new concept with just AF/MF positions and a button at the center allows the AF mode to be stored in custom memory settings, something which was a small but serious shortcoming on previous Nikons IMO.

Btw. it would be nice if a set of deliberately under- and overexposed RAWs (esp. at low ISO) could be provided for being able to try out the sensor's capabilities regarding highlight recovery and shadow noise.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Mar 22, 2012)

There's a much more detailed review in the pipeline where we'll explore the D800's sensor and IQ in greater depth.

3 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 23, 2012)

I agree with the idea of having some over/underexposed shots in the mix.

However, as someone with a D700 and D7000, I completely concur with their assessment of the AF/MF switch--it is indeed slower to use than a simple click switch. And the D800 doesn't have the U1/U2 switch.

0 upvotes
Deeso
By Deeso (Mar 22, 2012)

"If you're planning on purchasing a D800, some extra RAM for your PC should probably also be on your shopping list..." Thankfully RAM is cheap these days. 32GB configurations wont break the bank.

1 upvote
AnHund
By AnHund (Mar 22, 2012)

Don't need more than 8GB RAM and a quad core i7 (2-3Ghz) or similar. Handles 75MB NEF files easily.

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Mar 23, 2012)

...I disagree, having all that extra ram allows for more undo states without disk caching. That speeds things up quite a bit.

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 23, 2012)

RAM is so cheap (especially compared to other costs associated with photography) and easy to install that there is really no reason why you shouldn't have it maxed out in your image editing computer.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
u007
By u007 (Mar 23, 2012)

I think that hard drive is more important. In Lightroom, you're needing to load those files but also write the preview data into a folder. It's why Lightroom is sometimes laggy and delays when you try to view at 100%.

And of course, exporting files means that you are creating and writing a ton of jpegs, tiffs, psd or whatevers.

Faster hard drive = faster picture editing.

Crucial M3 is a good bet for a main drive. I do all of my picture editing on one. Then a few 2Tb HDDs are storage and backups.

0 upvotes
pdcm
By pdcm (Mar 23, 2012)

Am I wrong, but doesn't Photoshop only use a max of 8gb memory and that on a 64bit machine/OS?

0 upvotes
Josh152
By Josh152 (Mar 23, 2012)

@pdcm

Even if it does you can't let Photoshop use all 8 gigs if that's all the ram you have. You have have some left over for other things. So having more ram would mean Photoshop could actually use the full 8 Gigs. That said I don't know if PS is limited to using 8 gigs or not.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Mar 24, 2012)

Photoshop can use "As much RAM as you can fit in your computer" from CS4 64-bit on Windows and CS5 64-bit on Mac.

0 upvotes
dholl
By dholl (Mar 22, 2012)

Also really like the 12mp vs 36mp comparisons. I think some will be surprised how tame the difference really is between these resolutions. And will be even less noticeable when comparing 22mp vs 36mp.

I think for 95% of users, 12mp was always more than enough. Where 36mp will come in more useful in the real-world is when cropping. But as those crops show, don't expect a huge difference to your old 12mp sensor (unless you're a pixel-peeper).

I feel the 36mp is actually one of the least interesting things about this camera...looking forward to the review!

3 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Mar 23, 2012)

Agree, me think
95% satisfied with 12MP
97.5% satisfied with 22MP
99.8% satisfied with 36MP
the remaining 0.2% are whiners

0 upvotes
GBNG
By GBNG (Mar 25, 2012)

Agree. I ordered D800 last week and now waiting shippment arrive. I have a 200mm lens and want to by 300mm as well. Instead I think if I can tune down D800 to DX mode getting 15MP, I'd get 300mm with my 200mm lens... Save money to buy a new lens but get a new D800.. Same with my other lenses, I'd get 2 ranges of focal length for each lens without changing as I did on my D700...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
dholl
By dholl (Mar 22, 2012)

very good, Barney...as a manual lens user I really appreciate the section using the 2.5/105.

Lots to think about!

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Mar 22, 2012)

Thanks! Glad you found it useful.

1 upvote
Thakur Dalip Singh
By Thakur Dalip Singh (Mar 26, 2012)

Barney! your advise needed.
Normally , when any digital camera or hardware is introduced there are small defects or bugs which are improved with time. My question is =
Should I buy D800 now or to wait for improve on bugs?
I sold D700 and now need a camera, thus if wait is recomended, then , how long I should wait?
I have D300s body and am not desperate to buy but ultimately I have to buy.
landscapesofindia.com,
birdsofindia.com
THAKUR DALIP SINGH

0 upvotes
wsu1
By wsu1 (Mar 22, 2012)

Simply impressive!

0 upvotes
steven8217
By steven8217 (Mar 22, 2012)

Good review !
On exposure metering sensor : understand that dpreview have not tested the meter sensor accuracy in the past and I wonder if the D800 provide better i–TTL meter accuracy compare to D700 in real world test. For example, turn-on the build-in flash in command mode then use a SB-900/SB-910/SB-700 in slave mode for off camera flash for the same backlit subject, will D800 provide a better off camera i-TTL flash shooting result than D700 with the significant increase on meter sensor, 1k pixel on D700 vs. the 91k pixel RGB sensor on D800 ?

0 upvotes
RMSeatte
By RMSeatte (Mar 22, 2012)

Thank you for the samples and review! Nice to see Seattle on a sunny day. ;)

I'm still confused by all the comments concerned about the 36mp. If you don't want to use that much you dont! According to the manual gives you three FX RAW sizes! I certainly won't be using the Large size for most of my shooting but probably mostly be shooting at the Medium (20.3 MP). I like having the option however to go full 36MP.

Image area Option Size (pixels) Print size (cm/in.) * FX (36×24) 1.0× (FX format)
L 7,360 × 4,912 62.3 × 41.6/24.5 × 16.4
M 5,520 × 3,680 46.7 × 31.2/18.4 × 12.3
S 3,680 × 2,456 31.2 × 20.8/12.3 × 8.2

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
dudu_307
By dudu_307 (Mar 22, 2012)

This file size are just for jpg, raws are always full size.

0 upvotes
RMSeatte
By RMSeatte (Mar 22, 2012)

Got it.. didn't read the following pages *doh*
"Note that the option selected for image size does not affect the size ofNEF (RAW) images."

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Mar 22, 2012)

"Raws are always full size" unless your canon and use sRaw. I thought the D800 could shoot in DX mode and get a reduced size raw....umm

0 upvotes
pwilly
By pwilly (Mar 23, 2012)

sRaw and mRaw is not Raw. Nikon has many Raw options 14 or 12 bit lossles or lossy compressed. If you are going to bash Nikon get your facts straight.

0 upvotes
docfink
By docfink (Mar 22, 2012)

I gotta finally shout this out to all the whiney, geeky, pixel-peeping ninnies out there who love to tout one brand over another and make these photo forums the MOST ANNOYING AND UNINFORMATIVE areas for discourse on the net:

The D800 is sweet. The 5D3 will kick ass too. Your lenses will work beautifully on the D800 and the focus will be sharp--even when wide open. Geeks and pixel peepers will be annoyed by certain things, but clients and family will think you're the second coming of Ansel Adams. Got that?

Again, as someone who has several other hobbies for which I frequent Internet Forums, these photo forums ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT and a turnoff to those who actually want to learn. It's hard to filter out the useful with all the whiney crap posted in between. Police yourselves, please.

Let's get a moderator here to delete annoying comments that have nothing to do with the original post or go off topic.

Seriously--consider what I'm saying before you cry and post junk.

11 upvotes
Alan Brown
By Alan Brown (Mar 22, 2012)

your comments here say nothing about the D800.. isn't that 'off topic'?

they'll sell boat loads for all sorts of reasons.

a very good review, Barney.

1 upvote
docfink
By docfink (Mar 22, 2012)

Really? How about "the D800 is sweet". Like I said, "pixel-peeping ninnies". ..

...great early review of rhe D800. Looking forward to it showing me how average I am!

0 upvotes
Marshal
By Marshal (Mar 22, 2012)

Actually, his comments do say something about the D800 in the 2nd paragraph up there. And overall, I agree with everything he's saying from start to finish.

The news articles & review articles on this site are very good & informative. Unfortunately, as docfink says, the camera gear forums are mostly a waste of time & space. Too much pixel peeping, measurebating, trolling, flaming & all around childish behavior.

3 upvotes
Claus Mortensen
By Claus Mortensen (Mar 23, 2012)

Gotta agree with the OP. These are easily one of the most infantile forums out there.

1 upvote
MahmoudElDarwish
By MahmoudElDarwish (Mar 23, 2012)

you haven't been on candlepowerforums.com i take it? The flashlight nuts make the photo nuts look like saints ;)

3 upvotes
pdcm
By pdcm (Mar 23, 2012)

Like your post; but there are worse out there. One learns to just ignore the crap. What annoys me though is the stupid Nikon/Canon fanboys rivalry.

1 upvote
Craig1959
By Craig1959 (Mar 24, 2012)

Across the web, it would be nice to have a "pedantic" button next to the "like" button.

These bombastic comments have one upside: People can see they are smarter than the statistically average contributor.

0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Mar 22, 2012)

Looks good compared to the news last year.

0 upvotes
ScottRH
By ScottRH (Mar 22, 2012)

Still think the FPS is a negative its just not for me.

4 upvotes
jwalker019
By jwalker019 (Mar 22, 2012)

I was thinking I was going to sit out this round - but now that I've seen the actual output and had a chance to play with it, I may actually go for the D800(E). Downsampled to 16MP (which I would want to do anyway, 'cause who needs those honkin' files!), the D800 has virtually identical noise characteristics to the D4 but much better detail retention. So you get the best of both worlds: great high ISO performance when needed, incredible detail when needed, even a good-sized DX crop mode. I like it.

0 upvotes
Auke B van der Weide
By Auke B van der Weide (Mar 22, 2012)

D800 confirms what photography is all about: concentration, patience and craftmanship...... and a good lens. What a perfect compact travelcombo this is with a 50/1.4.

if you want ultimate lowlight and speed, buy a D4. If you want art, buy a good book about photography along with your d800 :).

1 upvote
Photogaz
By Photogaz (Mar 22, 2012)

I have to admit as a Canon lover this looks phenomenal. However, the low light capability isn't even on test here so it really depends what your uses are.

0 upvotes
louie c
By louie c (Mar 22, 2012)

Anyone know if the FPS count increases when in the DX and x1.2 crop modes?

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (Mar 22, 2012)

They have a summary in the review: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikond800/page4.asp#grip

Short story is you gain 1-2 fps depending on battery used. They only list Fx and Dx sizes...

1 upvote
louie c
By louie c (Mar 23, 2012)

Hmmmm... The grip is needed, not bad, considering that it's till resolving at 16MP... the mention of a 1.2x crop mode is interesting and still 25MP

0 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Mar 23, 2012)

5 fps in DX mode.

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (Mar 22, 2012)

The samples show what we already could have conjectured: under the right conditions - low ISO, perfect exposure, perfect focus, good-quality lens, no camera shake - you get better detail levels with the D800 than with any other 35mm SLR, but it doesn't take much before the tables are turned in the favour of the lower pixel count sensors with their better high ISO capabilities and lower sensitivities to user error.

I am a little bit torn between this and 5D MkIII for my next camera purchase. I would have liked the ultimate quality of those perfectly made photos with top-notch glass and a tripod, yet it would limit me when I often need the higher ISO capabilities of the MkIII for handheld shooting in low-light conditions. And I do prefer Canon's selection of lenses in the focal lengths I require.

Oh, but that extra bit of texture the D800's higher pixel count gives in perfect conditions...

I will still await more and better comparisons, and bide my time a bit longer before deciding.

2 upvotes
MahmoudElDarwish
By MahmoudElDarwish (Mar 23, 2012)

I was thinking the same thing.... until someone alerted about the Olympus E-M5, albeit not the same class sensor but geeze, $999 sans lens! Old time pro here BTW, so I know what to do with the camera... and my spare change ;)

1 upvote
paulraphael
By paulraphael (Mar 23, 2012)

All true. As a large format user, I can say this is just life when you're dealing with equipment capable of recording very high resolutions. You have to work hard and even get a little lucky to expoit the full capacity of the materials. I'm extremely careful when I shoot 4x5 ... I use a wood tripod that weighs 12lbs, and I focus with a loupe, sometimes spending several minutes getting focus right and waiting for the right lull in the wind, etc... Still, the difference between my sharpest pictures and my average ones is significant. I'd expect somehting like this with the d800, as well. This is not a critique of the camera, just a heads-up to anyone who expects it to have magical powers.

1 upvote
mikeoregon
By mikeoregon (Mar 23, 2012)

Right on, Paul! I'm looking forward to honing my skills to match the capabilities of this camera.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Mar 22, 2012)

The E version was not reviewed? An old Deardorff 8x10 junkie is considering that version. My friend, not me.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Mar 22, 2012)

It isn't available. We'll post comparisons as soon as we have a camera.

1 upvote
Petka
By Petka (Mar 22, 2012)

As the best 645 size 80 MPix digital back from Phase One beats all 8x10" films quite easily, this 36 MPix FF camera might be almost as good as 8x10 (with the Very Best lenses, not stopped down to more than f:8). Certainly much more convenient to carry...

I was greatly impressed by several of those sample images.

0 upvotes
MahmoudElDarwish
By MahmoudElDarwish (Mar 23, 2012)

Gosh. I'm trying sooooo hard not to get back into pro photo ;)

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
1 upvote
pocketfulladoubles
By pocketfulladoubles (Mar 23, 2012)

Sorry, not even close to 8x10. 80MP is close to 4x5.

1 upvote
michelowski
By michelowski (Mar 23, 2012)

that's the kind of bs they tell you on the luminous landscape, in this legendarily stupid comparison where they were scanning the 8x10 negative at 900 or 1200 dpi

0 upvotes
MahmoudElDarwish
By MahmoudElDarwish (Mar 24, 2012)

yea but 8x10 film didn't have aliasing issues ;) just those HUGE enlargers!

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Mar 22, 2012)

Mama Mia, atsa bella ragazza!!!

1 upvote
Boiga
By Boiga (Mar 22, 2012)

Can't wait to get my hands on the D800.
Would it improve my pics? - most definitely!

1 upvote
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Mar 22, 2012)

Actually, most definitely not.

6 upvotes
Nathan Hoover
By Nathan Hoover (Mar 22, 2012)

Suggestion: on your review samples page http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/albums/nikon-d800-preview-samples it would be really nice if you could put something more useful than the file name underneath. Like exposure info. Or in a tooltip. Please just give me some way to get aperture and ISO without clicking on the image.

1 upvote
Graystar
By Graystar (Mar 22, 2012)

DPR still doesn't understand the older Auto ISO function. It's already "set and forget".

Nearly all modern zoom lenses have VR. By the 1/FL rule, my 70-300mm needs 1/500s when zoomed in on my D90. But VR provides 4 stops relief...I can shoot at 1/60s (3 stops) and get sharp images if the subject matters allows. So why would I want to shoot any faster? 1/60s is about as slow as you can shoot anything alive...any slower really means a tripod. So it doesn't matter if the short zooms don't have VR...the 1/FL rule doesn't provide a fast enough shutter for handheld shots.

The new setting probably for those pro sports shooters who swear VR messes up their shots (though there's no proof) and so turn off the VR. Shooting sports with that 70-200 means you need at least 1/250s for the subject matter regardless of the focal length so I can't even see the need in that circumstance. There's simply no useful reason for a focal-length driven shutter speed on a modern camera with a VR lens.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Mar 22, 2012)

Moving subjects. VR can't do a thing about them.

3 upvotes
Graystar
By Graystar (Mar 22, 2012)

And neither does adjusting shutter speed by focal length. However, adjusting shutter by FL could definitely ruin shots of moving subjects...something that won't happen with the Minimum Shutter Speed.

0 upvotes
unknown member
By (unknown member) (Mar 22, 2012)

You might as well argue with a wall. They don't get it, and they never will. The focal length thing is something they saw on a Canon, and they fell in love with it for some reason. Hopefully that mess can be turned off in the D800 and the same auto-ISO we are accustomed to can be used..

0 upvotes
sfordfoto
By sfordfoto (Mar 22, 2012)

high ISO noise on this camera looks like a colorful trash heap compared to the 5D2. There is splotchy chroma noise all over. I like how all the Nikon fanbois are all over the high res sensor when last round they shunned Canon's sensor for high ISO noise. Now the D800 looks worse than the 5D2, and I'm sure the 5D3 will trounce it at high ISO. The D800 will be limited to studio use/controlled lighting environments with what few lenses can handle the 36mp sensor.

3 upvotes
Sonnyphoto
By Sonnyphoto (Mar 22, 2012)

sure, now that canon finally replaced that useless autofocusing system on 5d2. Everything has pros and cons....

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (Mar 22, 2012)

Post number seven, and already the prize is awarded for the dumbest comment...

12 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Mar 22, 2012)

where are you getting raws of these files, jpegs, even starting as raws, aren't too helpful for judging noise?

0 upvotes
afterburn
By afterburn (Mar 22, 2012)

@Sonnyphoto since everything I shoot is at ∞, what do I need AF for? However, since I shoot everything handheld, low noise high iso does help me.

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (Mar 22, 2012)

I see the resident clown has turned up. What is it about camera brand fanatics? It is quite clear that the D800 is a great camera, even at high ISO. And yet, for some reason people want to have brand wars over it. It is dumb and it makes the people who post these comments look like idiots.

This is not about brand A vs brand B. These are inanimate electronic consumer items. There is no Canon tribe or Nikon tribe.

Sometimes I think the mental age of some people here hovers around the 5 year old level.

6 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Mar 22, 2012)

Take a look at DxO Mark - 5 Nikons in top 10, not a single Canon. Does say just a little about what Nikon gets out of the sensors IMHO.

The D800 is clearly better regarding high ISO output than the 5DII - exactly like the D700 is also 1 to 1.5 stops better than the 5DII.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Sonnyphoto
By Sonnyphoto (Mar 23, 2012)

@afterburn there is your answer then keep the 5dm2 and don't worry about d800.. And if you want low light performance D3s is still the king...

0 upvotes
BeanyPic
By BeanyPic (Mar 22, 2012)

Still think the large MP's are a negative. That's just me though...

7 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Mar 22, 2012)

Looks like the noise issue is a non-issue but the need for absolute, ultra precise focus requirement makes me think you'll have to be Digilloyd to get everything this sensor can capture. Not that using a tripod, mirror lock and live view is a bad thing, of course.

0 upvotes
Zigmont
By Zigmont (Mar 22, 2012)

I'd like to replace my D200 with this but not sure I can swing the price of the D800.

I don't really need the video capability as I have dedicated videocams for that.

Too bad they don't make a de-contented D800 without the video at a lower list price!

1 upvote
MrMojo
By MrMojo (Mar 22, 2012)

Then perhaps a D700 at around $2200 is the camera for you. I'm leaning that way but I am waiting until the D400 is released to make a decision... The D800 high pixel count requiring perfect focusing technique at wide apertures gives me pause. As does its price.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 22, 2012)

with the D800 and co. the bandwith at dpreview will put to a test i think ... :)

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