D300 to D800: initial impressions

Started Sep 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Ajayharsh Varikat
Forum MemberPosts: 87
Like?
D300 to D800: initial impressions
Sep 30, 2012

I have been using a D300 for over 4 years, and recently got a D800. I shoot mainly landscape, with a little bit of people photography, at times in low light where flash is not an option. I don’t really need 36MP. I don’t print very big. I don’t like carrying bigger or heavier lenses than I absolutely have to. 16MP is sufficient for most of my needs, and I was waiting for the D300 replacement to give me a bit more dynamic range. However, after carefully thinking about this, I realized that the D800 would give me a lot more flexibility.

I see that many others are in a similar situation, and are asking the same kinds of questions that I have had to answer. My reasons for choosing the D800 include:

- Bigger viewfinder for composing images. I have used DX cameras since 2004, but have always been longing to go back to the larger FX viewfinders from my film days.

- More flexibility in the lenses I have to carry. Since the DX crop on the D800 gives me more pixels and a higher quality image than my D300, carrying fewer lenses and cropping when needed becomes a viable option. Of course that would mean losing the larger viewfinder, but I hope I will have to do this for only a few images. More on this later in my post.

- When photographing predominantly red or blue subjects, I have at times found 12MP to be insufficient. Bayer sensors have only 25% of the total pixels in each of the red and blue channels, and I believe this reduces available resolution. It also affects B&W conversions, especially when I need to significantly increase the contribution from one color channel, usually the red.

- Increased dynamic range. Till now, I have been using multiple exposures to get higher DR, but this works only when objects in the picture are not moving.

- Better low light performance from the bigger and improved sensor. This is important for maybe 5% of my photography. Unfortunately, in those situations the D300 has been rather limiting. With the D800, it looks like I can gain roughly a 3-stop advantage (D800+50/1.8 vs D300+35/1.8, for example).

- I did consider the D600, and decided against it for 3 reasons. One, 24MP gives me slightly less lens flexibility. Two, the ergonomics and UI of the D800 are very similar to that of the D300 I have been using – so much so I have not had to open the D800 manual till now. And three, the price difference between the two where I live is only about US$600, which I don’t believe is sufficient incentive to give up the other advantages of the D800.

Continued in the next post.

Nikon D300 Nikon D600 Nikon D800
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow