Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?

Started Aug 22, 2012 | Discussions
ianbrown
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Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?
Aug 22, 2012

Would like to hear the views of owners of the D800.

DP Review say........

Flawless technique and top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod) along with a low ISO are requirements not options.

Is it essential to have top grade lens and use a tripod to get great IQ

when using handheld say in apeture priority taking city shots would the results be no bett than say the D7000?

Just curious to know how much effort is required to get maximum results

I appreciate you need to have fast shutter and steady hands etc, but not being too technically minded does the large pixel count effect the potential end result if not rock steady for example?

Thanks

Ian

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gomoku
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Re: Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

If you know the D7000 then it is a good comparison. The pixel density is about the same so it is just as easy/hard to make good handheld photos with the D800 as with the D7000.

I usually stay with 1/ 2x focal length as shutter speed (ie. 1/100 for 50mm, 1/50 for 28mm etc.). You can set up Auto ISO to control this for you. The shutter speed obviously also depends on your target (moving/static) and whether you use VR or not.

All in all nothing to worry too much about. Just pay normal attention to these things when you shoot.

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jgb
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Re: Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

Like the other poster, I use 1/2X FL for my shutter speeds and get superb results.
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Leos
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Re: Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

ianbrown wrote:

Would like to hear the views of owners of the D800.

DP Review say........

Flawless technique and top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod) along with a low ISO are requirements not options.

Is it essential to have top grade lens and use a tripod to get great IQ

when using handheld say in apeture priority taking city shots would the results be no bett than say the D7000?

Just curious to know how much effort is required to get maximum results

I appreciate you need to have fast shutter and steady hands etc, but not being too technically minded does the large pixel count effect the potential end result if not rock steady for example?

It has been said more than once, that the D800 will never be WORSE than e.g. D700 with the same lens and technique (when downsampled to same pixel count). There is some truth to that - the question is: how often will it be better?

If you want to capitalize on the D800's indeed very large potential (high DR, pixel sharp resolution at 36 mp) then you must use an excellent lens (preferably stopped down, but not further than f5.6-8), keep ISO down to 100-400 and use flawless technique.

The worst part for me is seeing how often I run into situations where I am left with a huge raw file that after a lot of postprocessing maybe will match what I would have got faster and easier with my D3s

This is not meant to bash the D800/E, I actually like the camera very much - but as a single camera/alrounder: No thanks.

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Greg Gebhardt
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In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

The D800 will exceed the I,age quality of the D3X handheld with equal lenses.

What DPR is saying is that to squeeze every bit of the possible quality out of the D800, you need to take some extra steps. While these extra steps WILL yield some extra image quality, I am not toting a tripod with me. Photography is full of compromises, the choices are yours but the D800 is just another DSLR with a highly pixeled sensor.
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harold1968
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nonsense
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

same technique as any good photographer

ianbrown wrote:

Would like to hear the views of owners of the D800.

DP Review say........

Flawless technique and top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod) along with a low ISO are requirements not options.

Is it essential to have top grade lens and use a tripod to get great IQ

when using handheld say in apeture priority taking city shots would the results be no bett than say the D7000?

Just curious to know how much effort is required to get maximum results

I appreciate you need to have fast shutter and steady hands etc, but not being too technically minded does the large pixel count effect the potential end result if not rock steady for example?

Thanks

Ian

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coudet
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Re: Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

ianbrown wrote:

Just curious to know how much effort is required to get maximum results

The same effort other cameras require will suffice.

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Steve Ridges
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well...
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

If you want the same image quality of a 12 MP camera, shoot it the same way and then downsize your images to 12 MP and you'll be golden. In fact, it will be even better than typical 12 MP cameras because of its ability to lift shadows and all the detail it captures.

If you want to have the same quality at 100% of a 36 MP images, step up your technique. Use nice lens, tripods, and be careful to focus on eyes (instead of noses etc.) and you'll have stunning images. If you use the same technique you did on a lower res camera, you'll find yourself looking at the pictures and wondering why they aren't taking your breath away. In this case, the problem is you, and not the camera.

Since moving from my D3 to a D800, I'm finding I have to up my game. When ever I doubt myself, I quickly downsize to 12 MP and verify that it's still giving me better images then I had before.

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Grevture
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Backwards perspective
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

ianbrown wrote:

DP Review say........

Flawless technique and top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod) along with a low ISO are requirements not options.

Which to me a is a complete backwards way of looking at this: What they write is equally true of any DSLR. It is just when you are dilligent with a D800 the results are better, or in many cases, much better then with any other DSLR.

Is it essential to have top grade lens and use a tripod to get great IQ

For the D800, as with a D3200, or a D700, or a D3x, or for that part a D90 or even an old D70 ...

when using handheld say in apeture priority taking city shots would the results be no bett than say the D7000?

Just curious to know how much effort is required to get maximum results

Same effort as with any other camera. It really is that easy. It is just with the D800 you can reap greater rewards from that effort then with other cameras.

I appreciate you need to have fast shutter and steady hands etc, but not being too technically minded does the large pixel count effect the potential end result if not rock steady for example?

To get equal end results as with, for example, a D700 (12 MP) you can be slight less careful with the D800 (with exposure, with white balance, with focus or hand holding. I know many will probably jump at this, but read what I wrote " To get equal end results ". The higher pixel count (and greater DR) allows for more fixing after the fact, which mean to produce for example an equally large print, you can fix more things with a D800 then you could with a D700.

Now, most people don't get a better camera to get equal results, but just as a baseline to consider.

More resolution is, contrary what many seem to believe, not in itself a problem, but actually an asset.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Backwards perspective
In reply to Grevture, Aug 22, 2012

Good one. Easiest camera ever to get a great shot.

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Howard Shooter
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Re: Backwards perspective
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Aug 22, 2012

HI,

hate to say it but I think it's a pain in the backside of a camera to use.

It is intolerant and I think anti intuitive when it comes to getting the best out of it.

The button layout frustrates me compared to my D4, the softness you can get with even the smallest of shutter speed shakes. The contrast isn't as lovely as the D4 either. The buffer is too slow when trying to shoot 4fps for more than a short burst.

I am trying to get used to it but I'm not a big fan. When you get it right the resolution is astounding if you want an enormous enlargement. Most people wouldn't see the benefit in a print A2 or smaller if using a D3.

I have been using Nikons for 15 years and this is not the same as any other Nikon.... Can be great... I use it for location shoots and it can be tamed, but it is not straight forward.....

just my thoughts...
Howard

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kayaker353
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A Different Take
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, Aug 22, 2012

If we were in a world where we were acustomed to 36MP and forced into a 15MP world, what would the pundits be saying? Wouldn't it be that to preserve as much of that lost resolution as possible, use the best lenses, tripod, et.c,? With any camera, if you want the best it can give, use the best lenses, tripod et.c. My experience with the D800, so far, is that it gives great images. I have yet to make a wall sized mural, which is where the differences would be seen.

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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Backwards perspective
In reply to Howard Shooter, Aug 22, 2012

Actually, it's exactly the same as the D90 and the D7000, only better. Anything an upgrader did on those cameras will translate perfectly, with the added benefit of having much better color, autofocus, metering, WB and resolution. I don't understand at all what is so hard about that. With VR, I can handhold down to 1/20th and still see pixels at 400%.

As to the D4, wonderful camera, I'm sure, but I don't want it. Too big, far too heavy, too expensive and half the MP.

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Grevture
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The opposite experience
In reply to Howard Shooter, Aug 22, 2012

I am not saying you are wrong - to each his own, and experiences made by different people will inevitably be, well different. But, my view is almost entirely the opposite of yours

I mostly shoot sports, event and generic PJ stuff with two D3 bodies, and this year added a D3s. To me speed and ease of use is crucial. I have little patience with slow or unintuitive cameras.

I spent about a month shooting with a D800 this summer side by side with my own cameras, and later with a borrowed D4.

Howard Shooter wrote:

hate to say it but I think it's a pain in the backside of a camera to use.

While I find it handles very well.

It is intolerant and I think anti intuitive when it comes to getting the best out of it.

Again completely contrary to my impressions. D800 is about the most easy camera to use, and easy to get good shots with which I have ever used (and I have been shooting for over 30 years now).

The button layout frustrates me compared to my D4, the softness you can get with even the smallest of shutter speed shakes. The contrast isn't as lovely as the D4 either. The buffer is too slow when trying to shoot 4fps for more than a short burst.

Theses things are also rather contrary to my impressions. And the part about the contrast I just don't get ... I find it very easy to get exactly the contrast I am looking for the D800.

I am trying to get used to it but I'm not a big fan. When you get it right the resolution is astounding if you want an enormous enlargement. Most people wouldn't see the benefit in a print A2 or smaller if using a D3.

Well, yes, for many situations, the resolution is not all that necessary. It is a like with the frame rate of the D3/D3s - just because its there, doesn't mean I need it for every shot. But is a potential, always available. And the resolution provides with much more then just detail - smoother out-of-focus rendition, better possibility to treat noise, to crop, to sharpen and it makes it easier to clone out dust from product shots. Resolution is not just an issue of print size.

And there is more to the D800 then resolution: the big DR is a true blessing when working with images.

I have been using Nikons for 15 years and this is not the same as any other Nikon.... Can be great... I use it for location shoots and it can be tamed, but it is not straight forward.....

To me the D800 is not at all a difficult camera to use - on the contrary, it is a remarkably forgiving camera, and so easy to get good results from.

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Grevture
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In reply to kayaker353, Aug 22, 2012

kayaker353 wrote:

If we were in a world where we were acustomed to 36MP and forced into a 15MP world, what would the pundits be saying? Wouldn't it be that to preserve as much of that lost resolution as possible, use the best lenses, tripod, et.c,?

It is always fun when someone provides with a different perspective on things. That was a good one

With any camera, if you want the best it can give, use the best lenses, tripod et.c.

Amen to that!

My experience with the D800, so far, is that it gives great images. I have yet to make a wall sized mural, which is where the differences would be seen.

Not only there ... More resolution means more then just more detail - like smoother out-of-focus rendition, better possibility to treat noise, to crop, to sharpen and it makes it easier to clone out dust from product shots. Among other things. More resolution, in simple terms, is about having more information available to you when creating a image. And aside from storage space, that is never a bad thing.

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Devendra
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Well SAID ! Exactly what I have been thinking lately
In reply to Grevture, Aug 22, 2012

Somehow people are getting sucked into HALF-EMPTY mindset based on what Nikon/reviews have have been cautioning about getting the max out of the camera. In actuality one has to put backward thinking to their advantage.

One should actually use the D800 to their advantage like you summarized below. It sets a baseline for an exceptional image when things are done right, and it is still great to forgive/recover back to an 22, 18mp or a 12mp image if the photographer messes it up.

Here is another way to put it..

If you are getting 70% perfectly sharp shots with D800 and 20% slightly blurred shots but sharp at 22-12mp, you are probably getting 90% perfect shots at 22-12mp pixel range.

Taking the same equation, if you are getting 70% perfectly sharp shots with a D300, and 20% blurry shots.. you are only getting 70% sharp shots.

Basically with D800, you get an improvement of 20% more shots using the half full concept.

The numbers are hypothetical, but one gets the idea.

After all we all strive to get the perfect shot, so why not use the D800 as an advantage. Plus added DR and what not also make a huge difference..

Grevture wrote:

ianbrown wrote:

DP Review say........

Flawless technique and top-shelf equipment (particularly lenses and a tripod) along with a low ISO are requirements not options.

Which to me a is a complete backwards way of looking at this: What they write is equally true of any DSLR. It is just when you are dilligent with a D800 the results are better, or in many cases, much better then with any other DSLR.

Is it essential to have top grade lens and use a tripod to get great IQ

For the D800, as with a D3200, or a D700, or a D3x, or for that part a D90 or even an old D70 ...

when using handheld say in apeture priority taking city shots would the results be no bett than say the D7000?

Just curious to know how much effort is required to get maximum results

Same effort as with any other camera. It really is that easy. It is just with the D800 you can reap greater rewards from that effort then with other cameras.

I appreciate you need to have fast shutter and steady hands etc, but not being too technically minded does the large pixel count effect the potential end result if not rock steady for example?

To get equal end results as with, for example, a D700 (12 MP) you can be slight less careful with the D800 (with exposure, with white balance, with focus or hand holding. I know many will probably jump at this, but read what I wrote " To get equal end results ". The higher pixel count (and greater DR) allows for more fixing after the fact, which mean to produce for example an equally large print, you can fix more things with a D800 then you could with a D700.

Now, most people don't get a better camera to get equal results, but just as a baseline to consider.

More resolution is, contrary what many seem to believe, not in itself a problem, but actually an asset.

-- hide signature --

I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every moment of it!

By the way, film is not dead.
It just smell funny

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TangoWay
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Re: nonsense
In reply to harold1968, Aug 22, 2012

harold1968 wrote:

same technique as any good photographer

I agree and +1 for the nonsense part.

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coronawithlime
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Re: Well SAID ! Exactly what I have been thinking lately
In reply to Devendra, Aug 22, 2012

I most typically purchase equipment one generation old and used. It gives me an opportunity to play with a lot of interesting stuff at a much reduced cost and then resell it with little or no loss. Either my wife or I have previously used the D3x, D700, D7000, D300s, D2x, D1x, and much beyond that my 65 year old memory begins to fade Included a lot of film stuff. Some large stuff I learned o use in classes.

I was initially disappointed with my D800 because my results were less than what I was able to achieve with the D3x. I had a lot of difficulty achieving sharp photos and was pretty much fed up with the camera.

And dthen a funny thing happened. My photos began to get better. And then a lot better. Images became sharper. The photos themselves became more interesting.

And then I realized that I had changed my working methods, beginning to use more of the techniques I had learned back in the late 1060's and 1970 when I took classes and used larger formats.

The problems were not with the camera they were with sloppy shooting, which in retrospect I believe was a direct result of the digital revolution in general. I had gotten out of the habit of actually setting up a shot. I wasn't really doing any planning on what I wanted or how I wanted to get it. I began to rely on the ability to shoot large numbers of photos and hope to get something by the law of averages instead of appropriate technique. I believe that I am now moving back in the direction of medium format technique and it is showing in an improvement to my photos.

It's a good camera. It just took a while for me to realize it wasn't being used by a very good photographer.
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kenwj
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Re: Ultimate IQ of D800 not easy?
In reply to ianbrown, Aug 22, 2012

I still use my D700 as a general purpose camera. I can get sloppy with it and still get passable images. I use my D800 when I'm serious about the image. The D800 isn't as forgiving as the D700 but it isn't as spooky as a lot of people are led to believe.

The D800 does require good technique or better technique but then again so does the D700 if you want to squeeze every last bit of goodness out of it. And the D800 has a lot of goodness to be squeezed out of it.

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ianbrown
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Re: Well SAID ! Exactly what I have been thinking lately
In reply to coronawithlime, Aug 22, 2012

Very interesting views and opinions, thanks for the insight.

The comparisons are with that of medium format which I guess again is about pixel count?

Is it the pixel count or density that makes the technique more important than on lesser cameras.

To be honest I don't want to have to lug a tripod everywhere, I have use FF cameras in the past but not with this amount of pixels.

I understand about composition and the elements that can make a good photograph and that doesn't change with whatever camera you use, I guess this is purely about tact sharpness of the image and the D800 has a lot more than that to offer.

Ian

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