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D800 vs. Canon 1Ds3: Some oservations.

Started May 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
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D800 vs. Canon 1Ds3: Some oservations.
May 16, 2012

1. The claims that "unless you use a tripod on a D800, your pictures will be blurry" is misleading. The pictures will be no more blurry (and probably less so) than if they had been taken with a lower-megapixel camera. BUT:

2. To get the highest resolution that the camera is capable of, you need either a firm support (tripod, monopod, whatever), or electronic flash (that gives you an effective shutter speed of typically around 1/1000. sec. I shot a portrait with reflected flash, and it is sharper than an outdoors scene with bright sunlight (no tripod for either). the Nikon 24-70 f2.8 lens was used in all cases.

3. Lens diffraction limit (remember your college optics) is something to keep in mind if aiming for the highest resolution possible. Again, this is no different than for any other camera. as diffraction is a lens and not a camera issue, except that the D800 is capable of eliminating the causes of blurry photos due to poor resolution in the focal plane chip. Best to have the lens f stop at around 5.6. Anything much narrower will cause diffraction problems; anything much wider will let the lens imperfections limit the end result.

4. D800 Image size in NEF (RAW) is about 40MB. JPEG of the best quality is about 20-25 MB, TIFF with no compression using Nikon NX-2 is between 100-200MB.

5. I saw no difference in the quality of the end result in converting from NEF (RAW) to JPG between using Photoshop CS5 or Nikon's $150 "Capture NX-2" (latest version; free for 60 days). I find Photoshop Cs5 much more convenient.

6. The controls on Photoshop do different things to a photo from the D800 than from the Canon 1Ds3. The "vibrance" level enhances the blues in 1Ds3 RAW images, but does almost nothing to D800 images. Similarly, the "clarity" slide does wonders on 1Ds3 RAW images but almost nothing on D800 ones.

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