A99 vs D800 real world testing

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Questions
nikony c
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A99 vs D800 real world testing
Dec 10, 2013

Hello there I have owned the Minolta 7D and it died, so I got the D300s and it still works great. But I’m retiring soon and I want one more camera. Has anyone done any tests with the A99 vs D800, I know that files are larger with the D800. But on dp the test showed the A99 to be a better FF camera. I was just wondering if anyone had done any real world testing with these two cameras. I basically photograph people in the studio but would love to a better low light and IQ camera also and I still have my 50 & 135mm for the Minolta and a 50 1.8 & 85 1.8 for the Nikon. With what I have which zoom lens would I need for either of these. Or would an A77 in the studio be enough mp for any case where I needed or wanted to crop? Any help would be appreciated.

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Nikon D300S Nikon D800 Sony SLT-A77 Sony SLT-A99
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jimrpdx
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

A quick online search shows several head-to-head tests.  DxO implies that the Nikon does high-ISO better by enough to make a difference, as other scores are too close to be meaningful.

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yihlee
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

Bought D800 last June and A99 last November. Sold the A99 after two months of fun.

D800 has slightly better dynamic range and low light performance (ISO 1600 and up). And slightly better AF function and performance. Those are the reasons I kept it.

D800's 36M sensor would greatly magnify the faults from both the lens and the user. It will take some effort to master D800 and definitely top quality lenses to show off the beauty of its sensor. Avoid Nikon D-type lenses - most of them are good, but not good enough for D800.  Avoid budget zoom lenses - they are for budget camera.

A99 is more customizable and generally an all-around very fast and very capable camera - better than any cameras I've used. It's an easy-going, easy-handling and fun-to-use camera. And I would highly recommend Sony G-type lenses. Most film-era lenses are just not matched for modern digital sensors. And again, no budget lenses here.

As for A77, I can't say.  But I do have a A65 which uses the similar sensor as A77. Above ISO 800, its IQ is way behind A99. So I would think A77 may not do much better.

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steelhead3
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

For studio work, I would look at the A7 twins and you can use your Nikon lenses.

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Mark K
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to steelhead3, Dec 10, 2013

I have had D800 for more than one year and have never stopped being amazed by its quality. I was about to use D800 for pile of old Nikon glass I have but ending up with buying newer G lenses.

For the same reason.I have not got A99. I got 5D III instead. I believe a newer FF body from Sony will be better.

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Vikas Rana
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

I don't have any of the above but I manage to get D800E for a couple of days. I think its one of the camera which produces the overall best image quality.

I saw a non-sense thread on DPR where the OP was selling his D800 for Nokia Lumia 1020 with 41mp of camera. Here is the link : http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3566936

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dave
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

nikony c wrote:

I basically photograph people in the studio but would love to a better low light and IQ camera also and I still have my 50 & 135mm for the Minolta and a 50 1.8 & 85 1.8 for the Nikon.

I think your best choice is the Nikon D610. It has better high ISO performance then the other two due to larger pixels and IQ is about the same. It has smaller files and costs less. Nikon also fixed the new model issues of the D600 with the D610.

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danny006
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

Looking at the studio comparison tool I don't see a lot of difference between the A77 and A99, at low ISO that is, ISO200/400. From ISO800 and higher the A99 does better.

So for studio work you might aswell get an A77.

And yes, the D600 has lower noise, I think 2/3 stop. But I am always put off if I see the jpegs from Nikon, just not good enough. Raw IQ is good.

D800 has more noise in my opinion, by that I mean visible noise. DxOmark rates it higher probably because of the higher pixel count which gives also more detail. Jpegs again are not good.

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VirtualMirage
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

Someone else mentioned this too, but have you considered the A7 or A7R by Sony?

If you are insistent on using lenses from both camps, this can be done with the cameras mentioned above by using adapters.

The A7 is using a similar sensor found in the RX1 and A99 while the A7R is using a similar sensor that is found in the D800E.

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nikony c
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to dave, Dec 10, 2013

I was also thinking about the 610 and have heard good reviews about it. I have about three or four months before I do anything (birthday gift), who knows there may be a D400 or a A79 by then. But until then just having fun with what I have.

Thank all
Carl

PS: I realize it's not the bow but the Indian, but nothing wrong with having a good BOW

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nikony c
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to VirtualMirage, Dec 10, 2013

It's not that wanted to use lenses from both camps, it's that those were the best primes I have form both camps. So in other words those would be my starting lenses.

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JusLookN
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

I also shoot Sony and Nikon.  If you are picking between the A99 and the D-800, I would surely go for the D-800 if this is going to be your last camera.  There is no question you can shoot any Nikon lens you would want and not even have to worry about flash. Anything from Nikon from here on out is hardly going to better the D-800.  If a D-400 comes out, I'm gonna get one! 

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cosmonaut
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

I own and use both. I prefer using the a99 because of the articulating screen, EVF, IBIS, smaller size, better live view and Zeiss auto focus lenses. The D800 is a more complex camera that takes more effort to get good results and it's only advantage over the a99 is about a stop better noise control. This is the short story.

if you are old school and like using older SLRs the D800 might be your ticket.

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nikony c
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to cosmonaut, Dec 10, 2013

I'm not necessarily old school, it's just that my glass is ole school .

Haven’t used a Minolta/Sony in a few years, but I loved the way the Minolta 7d felt in my hands. Truly a sad day when it passed on… and as I stated I have a D300s so the Nikon is one that would easily be more familiar to me right now and take a lot work to get all I can from it. But Min/Sony is where I started loved everything I bought the 300s (film) 800s the 7 and the 7D. But Nikon does have a better flash system or at least I like it. Also as was stated I could get a A77 and use it a while and then hide it after it has paid for itself….lol (in other words not let the wife see it (a new one, whatever it may turn out to be) Live for today and think about tomorrow.

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cosmonaut
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

The D800 is a very good camera. Nice dynamic range and amazing low light performance. The a77 however is a noisy camera above 1600 ISO.

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Michel J
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

nikony c wrote:

I’m retiring soon and I want one more camera.

A new A9x should appear in a few month, with 36MP...

Be patient.

Has anyone done any tests with the A99 vs D800, I know that files are larger with the D800. But on dp the test showed the A99 to be a better FF camera.

Or would an A77 in the studio be enough mp for any case where I needed or wanted to crop? Any help would be appreciated.

Just my 0,02, maybe it would be better you "shot as you crop" instead to think you're supposedly needed to crop as much (remembering the film days...), because you can increasing your artistic skills, no matter the camera you could choose. That can save your time in PP to enjoy longer session in the real life..

Regards,
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Michel J
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nikony c
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to Michel J, Dec 10, 2013

True Mike, but have you had a good shot that when you cropped it it was better? When I photograph people I do try to look ahead in my mind  or take a shot  look at it and take another slightly different. Just have a few more MP just helps.

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Michel J
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Re: A99 vs D800 real world testing
In reply to nikony c, Dec 10, 2013

nikony c wrote:

True Mike,

Thanks

but have you had a good shot that when you cropped it it was better?

If I say "no",I'll go to be very pretentious I wanted to say"no" because the background and the foreground are a part of the aesthetic. So if you cut ... Ok, I would say "it's very rare", reason why I'm a fast shooter and use a good zoom, maybe.

When I photograph people I do try to look ahead in my mind or take a shot look at it and take another slightly different. Just have a few more MP just helps.

accordingly"The better is the enemy of good" (?) - Voltaire

Best Regards,

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