How many MP is enough?

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: How many MP is enough?
In reply to Peter 13, May 1, 2012

Peter 13 wrote:

Funny thing, a year ago I was reading a long thread in the Nikon FF forums. Almost everybody (owning the D700 anyway) believed that 12 mp was enough. The roles changed now. Apparently in the Nikon world, 36mp is welcome, but 22 mp became the new "enough", for the Canonites. Go figure.

I see this a lot, and it is just wrong, IMO. I think D700 owners, like me, are satisfied with the camera because 12mp actually is enough for most endeavors. The fact that the sensor performs so brilliantly and that the functionality is so good doesn't hurt either. Nikon didn't ask us what we wanted as an upgrade.

Many D700 owners, like me, have tried DX crop sensor cameras to get better reach for certain situations, like wildlife and sports, and I expect most of them find, as I do, that the cameras don't perform as well as the D700, primarily because of the AF system. For those who have $8000 lying around idle the easy answer is to put a new 500mm f4 lens with a TC on the D700 and get the reach they need. For many of us a 300mm f4 is as long as it gets, so of course the D800 is immediately attractive. Shooting in DX crop mode the camera has great reach for all those times when we needed a second camera to augment our D700s (note that a Canon 21mp sensor doesn't have enough reach either, especially since the only way to do crop mode is to deal with the full sized image).

So some of us are stepping lightly into the D800 (D800E for me just shipped). I'm not sure I want it yet, even though it has shipped. I'm not sure I can believe that it does ISO6400 as well as a D700. I'm not sure I want to deal with full sized images, although I have plenty of computer and storage. I wasn't crazy about the large file size of the D7000. But I want that kind of reach, and I want a top notch AF system to make it useful. If the D800 AF is only as good as the D700, I'm all in.

This is what Nikon has given us, and it is up to D700 owners to decide if they want the added mix of benefits and liabilities. I'm going to try it, but I will keep my D700 for now because it is quite simply the best camera I have ever owned (I've owned a bunch of them since the 60s).

I believe a lot of the hype and excitement about the new camera is coming from owners of other systems. And apparently the sales are as well. If only Nikon users were buying these cameras you wouldn't be able to sell a D800E for $5000 on ebay, but if you check completed auctions you will see that you can. If the only buyers were current D700 owners, Nikon would be in trouble because many of them are not going to do it. But I think you have quite a few members in this forum who would give up a testicle for a D800E.

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