Former Canon User with D800 First Impressions

Started Apr 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
Shop cameras & lenses ▾
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Junior MemberPosts: 46
Former Canon User with D800 First Impressions
Apr 4, 2012

D800 First Impressions (got it this morning)

Having been a Canon 1Ds Series user for many years, switching to Nikon has been an interesting move. My intent here is to describe the positives and negatives of my experience. Up front I will have to admit that I have not taken any serious photos yet – the weather is a snow and rain mix and the mountains in this beautiful Boulder Colorado area are covered with clouds. Fortunately this gives me a chance to learn all those things which come from hands-on discovery and reading user manuals.

User Interaction

In the computer industry, there is a tendency for competitors to copy each other, especially regarding the user interface and user interaction methods. There is a general standardization of how to do things. Not so between Nikon and Canon. Cripes, the first thing I did was try to take the lens cap off and found that the on/off direction is opposite! How does that happen? I grew up with “Righty Tighty” and “Lefty Loosey”. Maybe Nikon is the only “Righty Loosey” and “Lefty Tighty” company in the world. I am sure I will get used to it – not a big deal.

What is a big deal is the great accessibility of functions on the D800 compared to the 1DS. For example, to setup Bracketing, Image Quality and Mirror Up on the D800 there is a nice multi-function dial; whereas on the Canon you need to go into the Menus on the LCD and wander around for a while. In fact, Mirror Up and Bracketing settings are Custom Functions which take up to 17 steps in the menus to get to the settings.

Nose Screen

The D800 comes with a plastic monitor cover which at first I didn’t like so I took it off. However, as soon as I looked through the eyepiece, I left nose prints on the LCD. Oh, how I hate that! No amount of rubbing it with my shirt helps because every time I look through the eyepiece again it leaves another nose print. I put the Nose Screen back on and found that not only does it protect the monitor from nose prints; it also has a magical anti-nose print capability! Marvelous!

Eye Cover

The 1Ds comes with a comfortable and effective eye cover. The D800 does not. What’s with that? I suppose they had to cut back on something in order to price it for less than half of the 1Ds.


Of course the D800 is a much smaller camera than the 1Ds since it doesn’t have the built-in battery grip. I can compare the grip to the 5D II however. The D800 grip has sharper edges and provides a better place for my thumb on the back. My initial impression was not so good; but after holding and shooting a bit, I must say I like the D800 grip better.


Being primarily a landscape and cityscape photographer, I haven’t used a flash very much. Especially with the 5D and 1Ds, the lack of a built-in flash means I would never use a flash because I really didn’t want to carry one around with me. Ok, I am a bit lazy here, please forgive me. Having a built-in flash on the D800 means that I now have one available for those rare moments when it is needed.

Hand Strap

The 1Ds comes with a really nice hand strap that conveniently wraps around my wrist while I hold the grip. It is now on my D800 and will remain until I can find one with a Nikon logo on it. Wow, does this mean I can’t sell my 1Ds until if find a replacement hand strap?


I found the menus on the D800 to be generally intuitive with one exception. The Shooting Menu Bank (A thru D) is a good idea; however, if you try to rename one of them and misspell a word, it is apparently impossible to correct. You have to exit the menus and start over. Even that is not sufficient all the time. To remove a letter that you don’t want, the only thing I could figure out was to add spaces before the undesired letter until it fell off the edge of the screen. Maybe there is a better way to do this; but it certainly is not intuitive (nor is it described in the User’s Manual).


LOVE this feature – on one shutter release it takes two images with a + and – exposure (user defined) then merges them into one file. I did a quick test by taking an HDR image of a window to the outside. It did quite well not overexposing the outside and it also allowed for seeing the inside of the room without underexposure. I will have to try this with different settings, but to easily expand the dynamic range, it looks really nice.


That’s all for now folks. I am pleased with my D800 and can’t way to get out and take some photos!

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS-1Ds Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
(unknown member)
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow