Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?

Started Jan 9, 2013 | Discussions
xador
Junior MemberPosts: 29
Like?
Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
Jan 9, 2013

I ordered a Nikon D800 and it had the left focus issue.  Returned that for another one and that one had the issue also, it was actually worse than the first one I received.  Now I’m thinking of getting the Oly OM-D E-M5.  I was giving permission from the boss to be able to get my dream camera once she became pregnant with our first kids.  My dream camera for years was a D700 but since they discontinued that and come out with the D800, I decided to buy that.  I own a Pan GF1 and it served me well when I traveled to other countries, the size was good for traveling.  Now I want a good camera to take pictures of my new kids once they arrive.  I know the D800 would produce better pictures (better IQ, more bokeh, better low light, etc.) and the OM-D is smaller and has IBIS.  But I’m just wondering if the OM-D can hold its own compared to the D800 when used with good lenses.  Can it:

  1. Produce nice bokeh?
  2. Low noise at ISO 3200?
  3. Will the IBIS noise be heard when recording video?
  4. Should I get the 12-35 f/2.8 or 45 f1.8 as a first lens for taking baby pics?

I’ve never had kid so my expectations of the kind of pictures I would take at least for a few years would be static subjects with flapping arms and legs.  The D800 would be a lot to carry around if we take the kids out but not sure how often that would be.  I say that I would just bring the D800 wherever I take my kids but not sure how true that would be.  Cost is not that big an issue because I have more Nikon lenses than m4/3.  I’m going to try one more time to get a good D800.  If I don’t I may opt for the OM-D depending on the feedback I get from the community.  To think, if Nikon would have had better QC on the D800 then I would not have even thought about getting the OM-D.

Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
bunfoolio
Regular MemberPosts: 389
Like?
Why carrt a D800 when you can carry the OMD
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

I have a 10 moth old and could not imagine carrying much bigger then a OMD.  Babies have a lot of stuff and my E-pl2 does very well as a family camera.

Just my 2 cents.  If you need the performance of a DSLR then go with it.

Good Luck.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JeanPierre Martel
Senior MemberPosts: 1,952Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

xador wrote:

I know the D800 would produce better pictures (better IQ

Yes. The OM-D e-m5 is as good or better than entry-level or middle-of-the line DSLRs by Nikon but can't compete with top of the line cameras from that company (like the D800).

  1. Produce nice bokeh?
  2. Low noise at ISO 3200?
  3. Will the IBIS noise be heard when recording video?
  4. Should I get the 12-35 f/2.8 or 45 f1.8 as a first lens for taking baby pics?

1. Nice bokeh : it all depends on the lens that your buying. Just look at the many examples of photos in this newsgroup and you'll find very good ones (the M.Zuiko 60mm for example)

2. Low noise : Judge by yourself (at ISO 6400):

3. IBIS noise : In a perfectly noisless room, maybe...

4. Lens for taking baby pics : Yes the Lumix 12-35mm would be a good choice (that's my favorite lens). Or you might give a look at our primes : Leica DG 25mm F1.4, the Lumix 20mm, maybe the M.Zuiko 17mm.

 JeanPierre Martel's gear list:JeanPierre Martel's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
number_6
Regular MemberPosts: 104Gear list
Like?
Re: Why carrt a D800 when you can carry the OMD
In reply to bunfoolio, Jan 9, 2013

bunfoolio wrote:

I have a 10 moth old and could not imagine carrying much bigger then a OMD. Babies have a lot of stuff and my E-pl2 does very well as a family camera.

Just my 2 cents. If you need the performance of a DSLR then go with it.

Good Luck.

I agree with this sentiment.  Diaper bag + huge DSLR camera bag = too much.  In fact, it was the extra diaper bag we had to cart with us on Thanksgiving that was the last straw for my old Canon DSLR.

That having been said, if you have the means to get a D800, get it.  It and its lenses will hold their value quite well (assuming you also invest in good glass - and getting a D800 w/o good glass is silly).  Either you'll get it and love it, end of story... or you'll get it out of your system and trade it for a smaller system in the future (with money to spare).  But, IMHO, you'll regret not getting that masterful piece of machinery when you had the chance.

You'll love whichever camera you get.

Cheers!

 number_6's gear list:number_6's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RicksAstro
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,417Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

xador wrote:

I ordered a Nikon D800 and it had the left focus issue. Returned that for another one and that one had the issue also, it was actually worse than the first one I received. Now I’m thinking of getting the Oly OM-D E-M5. I was giving permission from the boss to be able to get my dream camera once she became pregnant with our first kids. My dream camera for years was a D700 but since they discontinued that and come out with the D800, I decided to buy that. I own a Pan GF1 and it served me well when I traveled to other countries, the size was good for traveling. Now I want a good camera to take pictures of my new kids once they arrive. I know the D800 would produce better pictures (better IQ, more bokeh, better low light, etc.) and the OM-D is smaller and has IBIS. But I’m just wondering if the OM-D can hold its own compared to the D800 when used with good lenses. Can it:

  1. Produce nice bokeh?
  2. Low noise at ISO 3200?
  3. Will the IBIS noise be heard when recording video?
  4. Should I get the 12-35 f/2.8 or 45 f1.8 as a first lens for taking baby pics?

I’ve never had kid so my expectations of the kind of pictures I would take at least for a few years would be static subjects with flapping arms and legs. The D800 would be a lot to carry around if we take the kids out but not sure how often that would be. I say that I would just bring the D800 wherever I take my kids but not sure how true that would be. Cost is not that big an issue because I have more Nikon lenses than m4/3. I’m going to try one more time to get a good D800. If I don’t I may opt for the OM-D depending on the feedback I get from the community. To think, if Nikon would have had better QC on the D800 then I would not have even thought about getting the OM-D.

I had the D800 and GH3 (previously an OM-D).    To give an absolute answer on #3, no, the IBIS is not really heard during video capture.

For #1&2, both cameras can produce images with nice bokeh and low enough noise up to ISO 3200 to not be objectionable even for fairly large prints.   The D800 of course will give you more DOF control options, and a lens like the 85 1.8G will produce a little more dramatic thin DOF shots than the Oly 45 1.8 if that's your thing.   That said, the IBIS of the OMD would be quite beneficial for that lens and the liveview waist level shooting with fast AF will likely make it easier to give you more natural shots without a camera smashed in front of your face.

The D800 will certainly allow you to go up to ISO 6400 allowing it to have faster shutter speeds to stop movement, but I bet you'll find you take the OMD with you more often than you would the D800, and that it a pretty big deal.

For #4, it's a difficult question.    It may be better to get the kit lens for outdoor shots and a few primes (including the 45), which will total similar cost to the 12-35 and give you better results but be a little more inconvenient.    The D800 with cheap kit lens (24-85) will give you thinner DOF and better noise control than the OMD w/ 12-35 and I found it at least equal in sharpness at equivalent f-stops (5.6 on D800 vs. 2.8 on the OMD).    If you want to go that route, you may be better off going with the D800.    But the small, high quality primes is where the OMD with the IBIS really stands out.

The 45 will also allow you to be a little farther away from the baby without getting in its face, which would be good.

Hard to go wrong either way...the D800 will do about anything besides offer IBIS with primes and do it with about as good of quality as any camera out there.    The OMD will still give great results and likely integrate better with a family lifestyle.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
number_6
Regular MemberPosts: 104Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

Ah, I forgot... w.r.t. bokeh.  I have very pleasing results with the Oly 45/1.8 which is tiny and cheap.  The PL 25/1.4 has pretty good bokeh as well, but not as perfectly creamy as the little 45.



Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8

 number_6's gear list:number_6's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RicksAstro
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,417Gear list
Like?
Re: Why carrt a D800 when you can carry the OMD
In reply to number_6, Jan 9, 2013

number_6 wrote:

bunfoolio wrote:

I have a 10 moth old and could not imagine carrying much bigger then a OMD. Babies have a lot of stuff and my E-pl2 does very well as a family camera.

Just my 2 cents. If you need the performance of a DSLR then go with it.

Good Luck.

I agree with this sentiment. Diaper bag + huge DSLR camera bag = too much. In fact, it was the extra diaper bag we had to cart with us on Thanksgiving that was the last straw for my old Canon DSLR.

That having been said, if you have the means to get a D800, get it. It and its lenses will hold their value quite well (assuming you also invest in good glass - and getting a D800 w/o good glass is silly). Either you'll get it and love it, end of story... or you'll get it out of your system and trade it for a smaller system in the future (with money to spare). But, IMHO, you'll regret not getting that masterful piece of machinery when you had the chance.

You'll love whichever camera you get.

Cheers!

That last point is pretty important...the D800 and good Nikon glass hold their value very well!

I just bought my D800 as a refurb from Adorama for $2300, which is about what they are going for used.    It does NOT have the left AF issue (I went through 3 of them last year and they all did to some degree).    I was exclusively OMD for a while, but got back into the D800 for doing kids sports and another project.

The D600 is also a great option, maybe even better for you since it's much lighter and still very capable of great images, essentially similar to the D800 in 90% of the cases.    Too bas the extreme sale is over where you could get the D600 and 24-85 for $2k,  under what an OMD + 12-35 would cost.

Buying on the used market (like Fred Miranda and mu-43) is a great option as well so you don't lose your shirt, although I'd be cautious buying a used D800 if you're concerned about left AF issue.    That's why I went with the refurb, where I could return it if not happy.

-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sigala1
Senior MemberPosts: 3,353
Like?
D800 obviously outclasses the E-M5 is several ways
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

36 MP and full-frame sensor, not comparable.

However, it should be noted that in order to truly take advantage of that resolution, you need to use high quality prime lenses, or very expensive and heavy zooms, so you are looking at both a huge price difference and huge size and weight difference between the m43 system and a D800-based system.

I'm not sure I'd want to carry that thing around. I've been considering getting an E-PM2 because the E-M5 is too big and heavy for me

An m43 camera with a good prime might produce nicer images than a D800 with a cheap zoom. Heck, maybe the Olympus kit zoom could produce a better image than a cheap zoom on the D800.

Also, you don't need 36 MP for viewing on an iPad, or even for printing normal-sized prints (up to 13 x 19 maybe?). The D800 is for professionals selling their stuff in galleries, or billboards.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
xador
Junior MemberPosts: 29
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to number_6, Jan 9, 2013

number_6 wrote:

Ah, I forgot... w.r.t. bokeh. I have very pleasing results with the Oly 45/1.8 which is tiny and cheap. The PL 25/1.4 has pretty good bokeh as well, but not as perfectly creamy as the little 45.



Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f/1.8

Nice!!!  Was this taken handheld?  I could never take a pic at 1/10 without camera shake.  IBIS must be nice to have.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
xador
Junior MemberPosts: 29
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

Thanks for all the input!  I forgot that I need diaper bags along with the babies  Still deciding what to do

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
miketala
Regular MemberPosts: 253
Like?
Re: D800 obviously outclasses the E-M5 is several ways
In reply to sigala1, Jan 9, 2013

i've got 2 little kids and often carry one of them, a diaper bag, and a camera (G3). camera and lens size is a big deal, especially if you're carrying extra lenses.

of course the D800 is a wonderfully capable camera, but you won't have it with you as much because of its size and you will inevitably end up relying on something smaller while it sits at home.  also, as someone has already pointed out, you need great glass and the right conditions to take advantage of the 36MP.  A D600 might be better.

you already got 2 D800's and returned them.  why not just try out the OMD -- you can return it if its not to your liking.  Get the PL 25 (killer for kid portraits in context - it lives on my camera, and you'll get the added benefit of 5 axis ibis) and something else like a zoom or the Oly 45.

have fun!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
usnek123
New MemberPosts: 2
Like?
Re: D800 obviously outclasses the E-M5 is several ways
In reply to sigala1, Jan 9, 2013

With 45mm, depending on the spaces in your house, you might find yourself backing against the wall. It might also be a bit difficult taking picture of the baby in the crib from the top. I would suggest 25mm 1.4 to start with.

Also, I usually don't get too far away from my baby girls (indoor and outdoor), so the 25mm worked out well.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
OldDigiman
Senior MemberPosts: 1,936Gear list
Like?
Re: D800 obviously outclasses the E-M5 is several ways
In reply to miketala, Jan 9, 2013

I own both the D800E and the E-M5.  If you make 17"x22" prints from your files you will see a difference on the print, but really only up close; at smaller sizes not really at all.  The D800 has the advantage in high ISO performance; the E-M5 has the advantage is portability.  I use the D800 almost exclusively now because of the print detail it will give me on big prints, but I only take it out when I am exclusively photographing.  I use the Sony RX-100 as my always have with me camera.  I rarely use the E-5M anymore, though it is such a nice camera I'm hanging onto it.

-- hide signature --

___________________
ODM
www.ahfairley.com/gallery/index.html
www.olmstedactupuncture.com

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sosua
Senior MemberPosts: 2,259Gear list
Like?
Why not a D600?
In reply to xador, Jan 9, 2013

There are many, many reasons to get an OMD, but low noise at ISO 3200 and shallow DOF are not among them.

The OMD is decent at 3200, but probably gives up almost two stops to the D800... IBIS offsets this for still objects, but not for other subjects.

And shallow DOF, well, the 25mm F1.4, 45mm F1.8 and 75mm f1.8 are enough for me, but likely not if you are used to an 85mm f1.4 on full frame.

What lenses due you plan on using if you get a working D800?

-- hide signature --

www.samwaldron.co.nz

 Sosua's gear list:Sosua's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
reygon
Senior MemberPosts: 2,003
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to xador, Jan 10, 2013

xador wrote:

Thanks for all the input! I forgot that I need diaper bags along with the babies Still deciding what to do

With the baby, diapers and other baby stuff you need a portable but still with quality IQ and great lenses. OMD EM5 is the perfect fit. You can start with the 12-50mm all weather kit or some primes (12mm, 45mm and 75mm). You'll get most these with your Nikon budget

your wife will also appreciate the portability of these gears. Have fun on your choice

-- hide signature --

reygon
----------------------------------------------------------------
Take nothing but photos... Kill nothing but time... Leave nothing but footprints...

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kodachrome200
Contributing MemberPosts: 757Gear list
Like?
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?
In reply to xador, Jan 10, 2013

I have a Nikon D800 and no focusing issue. I am pretty sure those cameras have been sold by now. The problem is you simply cannot kick out the backround enough for portrait with an m43 camera. APS-c will do it but there are not many f/2.8 zooms for aps-c mirrorless cameras anyway. your better off having your main camera be a dslr. By an e-pl5 to be portable. the kit lens is fab and its basically an omd.

 Kodachrome200's gear list:Kodachrome200's gear list
Ricoh GR Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
tgutgu
Senior MemberPosts: 3,231Gear list
Like?
D800? Total Overkill!
In reply to xador, Jan 10, 2013

To me, for your purposes, the D800 seems total overkill. The D800 is a camera, which is best operated on a tripod. Due to the massive resolution you need to work much more carefully to get images that this sensor is capable to do. Handheld photography might not give the quality you expect.

Photographing your kids likely means some action, so a small, lightweight camera, as the OM-D is, is more beneficial than a megapixel monster, which is more targeted to fine art photographers than family documenters.

-- hide signature --

Thomas

 tgutgu's gear list:tgutgu's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Denhamcla
Junior MemberPosts: 26
Like?
Re: D800? Total Overkill!
In reply to tgutgu, Jan 10, 2013

I have owned a D700 and now own an OM-D. Do you need the small size? Yes? OM-D. No? D800. The Nikon will destroy it for pictures in all regards, and the IBIS is useless on a moving child for stills.

Honestly it should only come down to a size restraint keeping you from a D800. You want that creamy bokeh portrait of your kid? Get the D800.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Kodachrome200
Contributing MemberPosts: 757Gear list
Like?
Re: D800? Total Overkill!
In reply to Denhamcla, Jan 10, 2013

exactly m43 requires an obnoxiously long lens to get any amount of bokey on a full body portrait and it still doesn't do as much as nifty fifty will. m43 makes a cool toy but you want to say shoot portraits especially full body and these little camera are at best a pain in the but and at worst cant do it. D800 shoots absolutley fine pictures handheld. infact know what your doing and focus properly you can get pixel level sharpness. the d800 pixel pitch is less than the omd so it actually demands less sharpness from the lens while still taking a sharper picture. Also consider any other nikon dslr. For shooting portrait they are ALL better than an omd

 Kodachrome200's gear list:Kodachrome200's gear list
Ricoh GR Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM +3 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dave Sanders
Contributing MemberPosts: 862Gear list
Like?
Re: D800? Total Overkill!
In reply to tgutgu, Jan 10, 2013

tgutgu wrote:

To me, for your purposes, the D800 seems total overkill. The D800 is a camera, which is best operated on a tripod. Due to the massive resolution you need to work much more carefully to get images that this sensor is capable to do. Handheld photography might not give the quality you expect.

While lots of people say this, it is a myth largely perpetuated by folks who have not shot with a D800. A D800 will produce sharper, more detailed images with more resolution handheld in every single situation compared to an OM-D or D700 or any lower megapixel cam. Even with terrible glass. It's the nature of more resolution. A Nikon 28/2.8, by no means even an average lens, is already handily out-resolving an OM-D wide open. To extract that last bit of resolution out of the camera, yes, high quality glass is required.

However, does anyone actually need that resolution? No. If you're a professional who needs to make big prints or crop to extend super teles, yes. Anybody else and it is indeed total overkill. On that we agree 

Photographing your kids likely means some action, so a small, lightweight camera, as the OM-D is, is more beneficial than a megapixel monster, which is more targeted to fine art photographers than family documenters.

I bought the OM-D to specifically carry more often so that I can take more pictures of my family. I find that the flip out screen and touch to focus/release is an awesome trick for getting candids of busy 7 and 8 year olds.

-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads