D800 in DX crop mode question

Started Nov 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Joe Melillo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,066
To Comfort:

I thought so, thanks for confirming. Your explanation makes sense.

I have a dx lens that I really like for travel and may use the camera in cropped dx modes at times. Of course sometimes I want to shoot raw but don't really want so many huge  files.

Still, an image as good as that produced by the D7000  is not much of a compromise.

I'll look for Bill Claff's work.


moving_comfort wrote:

Joe Melillo wrote:

Do the DR and high ISO capabilities of the D800's full frame sensor deteriorate in DX crop mode ?


The answer actually is yes, if you end up enlarging the crop to regular display/print sizes. It effectively almost mimics a D7000's DR and high-ISO in that case, which is a stop down from the D800 native capability.

Think of it this way: If you take a shot at 36MP, print it at 8x10 (or display it at say 1600p-width on your monitor,) and then take a DX crop of that image and display it at 8x10 also, the image DR and noise performance at ISO will not be as good in that enlarged DX 8x10.

If however you print that DX crop at 5x7 instead of 8x10, the image DR and noise will appear to be the same as the 8x10 uncropped 36MP image - but the DX crop will need to be printed/displayed smaller to retain that DR/ISO.

Bil Claff has done some analysis of D800 in native and crop modes and has some nice graphs available showing the performance of the D800 in DX mode. Basically it performs as well as one of the best aps-c cameras out there in DX mode, the D7000 - which is very good.


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Joe Melillo
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