D800 worse that I had hoped for :( Locked

Started Feb 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Robin Casady
Forum ProPosts: 11,682
Welcome to the Discipline of Photography
In reply to msusic, Feb 6, 2013

msusic wrote:

Recently, I got D800 as a replacement to my Olympus 43 and m43 gear. Friend also switched since we're doing weddings together (from 5D2).

We got D800 and plan to get D600 as a second body, but I'm quite disapointed in D800 regarding few things.

True, resolution in good light is really good and as a landscape camera it's great.

However, first I noticed problems taking portraits.

Many of your complaints are a natural consequence of moving to a larger format with higher resolution. If you had the photographic knowledge that a professional should have, you would have known this. This applied in the days of film just as much as it applies to digital photography. This is nothing peculiar about the D800. If you had gone from a half-frame 35mm camera to a Hasselblad, you would have experienced the same difficulties.

First, AF in lower light is hard to rely on as it has tendency to miss on different distances.

Some have reported that AF fine-tune increases reliability of the AF system.

I've rarely experienced missed focus with my D800E. If find AF on this camera to be more accurate and reliable than any of my previous AF Nikons (D100, D2x, D700).

Second, it's hard to get sharp images with 85mm 1.8G with shutter speeds under 1/160s.

You are probably comparing images at 100% on screen, right? Do you realize that is like looking at an 8 x 6 ft. print from 3 ft. away?

Going by old shutter speed rules, it would be sufficient to have 1/80-1/100s, but of course due to higher resolution, D800 is much more sensitive to shake or subject movement.

When you compare a 16 MP image at 100% to a 36 MP image at 100% you are going to see flaws in the 36 MP image that you could not see in the lower res image. Your ability to hold a camera steady did not change between cameras. You are just getting a better look at your abilities.

This, along with very shallow DoF sometimes means I have to use high ISO often to get sufficient shutter speed and DoF.

This has always been the nature of going to a larger format. Try shooting 4x5 film.

While D800's high ISO is quite good, it decreases it's quality and nullifies it's resolution advantage.

Show me a camera that does not decrease image quality as ISO increases. Have a look at various cameras and see how ISO increase affects dynamic range.

In comparison, I used to have Olympus OMD with 45mm 1.8 lens and in lower light if subject posed I could easily use f1.8 and 1/30-1/40s or lower to get sharp results, but with D800, I have to use 1/160s and probably f2.8 to tame DoF and remove excessive CA in OOF areas.

Again, a natural consequence of moving from 4/3 to FX with higher resolution. You should have known this before you made the move. This is basic photography.

Is it true that D800 only makes sense for landscape photographers and those who use it mostly in either good light or on a tripood?

No. If you had spent any time reading this forum you would have seen many examples people successfully using the D800 for different types of photography.

Also, sometimes the card write light stays lit and I can't preview the image until it stops (which can take a 30s or more), despite very fast CF card in the camera.

Not my experience.

I have no idea what to do to fix this issue, except selling it off...

Sell it and get an iPhone.

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