D800; Expensive and Nominal IQ

Started Mar 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
Lance B
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Re: You're missing the point
In reply to zzzzzzzzzzz, Mar 29, 2012

zzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

Someone earlier in this thread said the D800 DX mode gives extra reach. The exact quote (not my quote) is as follows:

So, these people have a D700 and their 14-24 f2.8's or 16-35 f4 VR's, 24-70 f2.8's and 70-200 f2.8's and maybe the 300 f4 but would love a crop sensored camera for extra reach when required so that their 300mm becomes a 450mm, or their 70-200 f2.8 + 2x TCIII (400mm on FX) becomes a 600mm on DX for those times when they need it. It gives us all options. They don't want to lug around a crop sensored camera specifically for these times when they want to shoot long, but having a D800 gives them an option for cropping when required, for reach.

My post was intended to say that the DX mode does not provide extra reach, it just crops to the DX FOV. If you put a 300mm FX lens on a D800 and shoot in FX mode, and then shoot again in DX mode, you get the same reach (and magnification) in both images. The only difference is the DX image is cropped.

I personally don’t see any value in shooting DX mode with an FX lens mounted as there is no increase in reach or magnification. If I wanted to crop I’d rather do it manually on a computer to get the exact crop I need. Using DX mode is appropriate if you wanted to use a DX lens.

The same could be said for medium format over FX, we actually don't get "reach" using FX, just cropped when compared to medium format.

As Tony Beach stated, it has to do with pixel density when compared to previous forms of FX and DX over current forms. The point is, the D700 and D3x both have considerably less reslution than the D7000 and D800 (when used in DX mode or cropped in post process) and therefore could be thought of as having been used with a longer lens. Same as, say, an Olympus used at 200mm on the 4/3rds format or inversly, when you think of medium format over FX. When you consider that the D800 has better DR, better high ISO ability and more Mps in crop mode than either the D700 (in FX or DX) or D3x (in DX), then I would say that in DX format, or cropped to DX in PP, then it is giving you reach over either of those cameras for the same focal length.

I was not necessarily advocating that you use the in camera DX format, either. You can just as easily crop in post process which gives much better flexibility for composition purposes, especially say, with things like BIF and then you have much more room to play with.

Tony Beach wrote:

zzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

I don't think DX mode really gives you extra reach. It just crops the image. Your 300mm lens does not become a 450. Your 300mm image just gets cropped for a smaller FOV. You can get the same effect by just manually cropping your FX image.

It's not format that gives you "reach," it's pixel density when cropping, so when the pixel densities are greater for DX than FX then there is clearly extra reach. Even when the pixel density is the same between DX and FX the advantage of DX is that you optimize the mirror, viewfinder, and camera's electronics to the smaller format; all of which costs less, not to mention that the sensor costs substantially less.

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