D200 Guy seeks input from D800 Owners...

Started Nov 10, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Old Ed Senior Member • Posts: 1,813
Re: D200 Guy seeks input from D800 Owners...


First let me thank you for taking the time to write a detailed response. Alas, there were a number of misunderstandings.

Some follow ups below...

Happy shooting, Ed

Pradipta Dutta wrote:

Old Ed wrote:


I want to go FX soon. The question is: D600 or D800.

It is something only you can decide. You need to get what is best for you as opposed to what is better for someone else.

I was surprised that more than one person misunderstood my second sentence; so I will rephrase: "The question FOR ME is: D600 or D800."

The D600 price advantage matters to me. So does the D600 weight advantage. And I am scared spitless of those 36mp file sizes. So the D600 would seem a no-brainer.

Why? Disk space? That is cheap. Post processing? Based on my experience from having used the D800 since June, my 2 year old i7 870 based PC handles it fine. I don't see a perceptible difference in speed between processing my D3 files and D800 files. Of course, D800 files take a little longer. But not annoyingly longer.

But wait, not so fast. DX lenses look ugly through the D600 finder. I heard somewhere that the D800 finder masks down to DX when using those lenses. True or False?

Can't comment on that as I have never tried using a DX lens on D600. But, generally speaking, if you are planning on getting an FX camera, you really need to have a plan to procure FX lenses as well. If your budget does not allow you to get the lenses now, you can wait to get the camera when you are ready to get lenses as well. Why would you want to move to FX without any FX lenses to use on it?

It's not directly relevant to my question; but since you ask, I currently have around 15 FX Nikkors. Most are MF (long-time user), and 3 are AF. (I could have one more new one for the price difference between D600 and D800, which is a consideration.)

BTW, others did answer my question on this. But I'm not clear on the described connection between AF Illumination and masking. I'll need to try it in the camera shop.

Also, I know that the D800 can shoot lower mp images. But I don't know whether the D800 is just throwing away pixels in those modes, or making good use of all pixels through some kind of averaging or binning. Could someone please tell me? I wouldn't feel at all bad shooting lower-mp-but-lower-noise images while saving up for my 100 TB supercomputer.

Yes, when you shoot in crop mode, you are just throwing away pixels. It is literally same as shooting in full frame and then cropping in post processing.

Please see clarification on this point under my "Mid-Course Correction" post.

I also see the 4:5 aspect ratio choices as a huge advantage. (3:2 is nasty to my eye, and losing the 3:2 "shoulders" would be a perfect way to lose some unwanted mp.) Can anyone comment on whether 4:5 works well? And does it mask the finder in some way?

4:5 crop mode is very useful for shooting group (family) portraits. But 35mm film photographers have used their 2x3 aspect ratio to shoot such photographs for ages. If they could do it then, why can't they do it now. No such crop modes were ever available in 35mm film.

With around 55 years of shooting in 2:3, I am well aware of its history (including its origin as two 3:4 movie frames put together). I am also well aware that manual cropping is possible, since I crop most of my images. But it letting the camera do some of this work is attractive to me. YMMV.

Lastly, I wasn't too happy with the recently published D600 "teardown." It's construction seems more unserviceable/disposable than I'd like. I'd like to believe that the D800 is more serviceable, not just heavier. Does anyone know? Has anyone seen a D800 "teardown?"

The tear down is a complete gimmick. First of all, the Nikon DSLR's have a very solid history of reliability (otherwise, you wouldn't be shooting Nikon, would you?). And even if you need service, you are going to send it to an authorized service center. The iFixit guys are not going to repair your camera anyways. So, why worry about it?

Actually, my Nikon DSLRs have not been trouble free. But I am pretty well locked into the Nikon system at this point, at least for DSLRs. Regarding worry, I'm not a follower of Alfred E. Neuman.

Other D800 pluses include more/better controls, USB3, and maybe a few more. So the D800 is definitely in the hunt.

Good luck with your research and hope you make the best decision for you. Not a decision based on "needs" of someone else.

At no point did I say or suggest that I would base my decision on the needs of others. But thanks for your good wishes.

Yes, I'm aware of the whole left-AF issue, and Nikon's poor response. But I don't know whether there is any hard evidence that this problem is resolved in current production. Do any of you know? (Guessing won't help me.)

I have owned a D800 since June (Sr # 3021xxx) from early production batch and never had any left AF sensor issue. What I am saying is while some may have had this issue (I don't know) but not all cameras, even from early production cycle, had this problem.

Please see clarification on this point under my "Mid-Course Correction" post.

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