d800 worth +1400$ over the 5dm2 ?

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Questions thread
kb2zuz Veteran Member • Posts: 3,202
Re: d800 worth +1400$ over the 5dm2 ?

"Is it better?" and "is it worth $1400 more?" are very subjective questions. What are the advantages:

  • Higher megapixels. Do you really need 36MP? What are you going to do with it? Do you plan on regularly printing 30x45" prints that you expect people to walk up to and analyze from a couple inches away... that's where you'll see the advantage of 36MP. Keep in mind this means bigger files and you'll burn through hard drive space and memory cards a lot more quickly. If you don't plan on printing huge or cropping out a ton of your shots, 36MP will mostly just end up wasting storage space. 21MP is plenty big for most use.
  • Better high ISO, probably has an extra stop or so of useable ISO, but the Mk II already has a couple stops more than the 450D. So yes the D800 is better, but how much do you need? Will the Mk II be "good enough" is the question you need to ask.
  • Dynamic range keep in mind even your 450d has more dynamic range than you can put in a print or on a screen (without making it look flat or having to do some HDR type manipulation), it just gives you more room to recover screw ups, or do HDR type manipulations. How much do you need? If you need every bit you can, the D800 has a touch over stop advantage over the Mk II.
  • More advanced AF. It depends on how you use it. 51 points is nice, but if you only use the center point and focus and recompose, the 5D Mk II has a really great center point focus that is very accurate and fast even in low light. Some people feel 51 points is too complex, some people won't live without it.
  • Pop up flash. Now if you're someone who says "I'd never use a pop up flash" it may still be useful as a commander for an of camera flash. Nikon can wireless TTL several other speed lights using the pop-up flash. It's nice and it keeps your camera small and light. You can still do this with the 5D, but you need a flash or ST-E2 commander on the camera to control the off camera flashes. Some people also find it useful to have to just add a touch of fill light when they don't have their full kit with them.

The Mk II is a great deal now because it is a very good camera and people have been shooting weddings with them very successfully for the past several years. Of course it's older and everyone wants something new and better, and the D800 has some nice options, is it worth $1,400 it depends on who you ask. If you don't need the "best" or the "latest and greatest" it can be a camera that does what you need for a reasonable price. Keep in mind 2 years there may well be a 5D Mk IV or D900 that everyone is clamoring over, maybe then your business will be doing well and you'll want to upgrade.

One other option I'll throw out there. If I was looking for a middle of the road compromise between the D800 and the 5D Mk II, I'd probably look at the Nikon D600 instead of the Canon 6D. It seems to have specs that are better suited for your needs, the only real downside is the 1/4000th max shutter. At f/2.8 that will still give you'll 1/3200th in sunny light (sunny 16 rule) for proper exposure, but if you like to shoot at f/2.8 and under expose the ambient and fill with HSS flash, you'd need an ND filter on the lens (which isn't the end of the world).

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 kb2zuz's gear list:kb2zuz's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Epson Stylus Pro 3880 +6 more
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