Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?

Started Jan 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,424
Re: Nikon D800 or Oly OM-D?

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.

Send it to Nikon instead of swapping it for another, which is probably from the same batch. I've had great luck in Canada with Nikon service.

And why not grab a used D700? Terrific stills and superb wireless TTL flash make it hard to beat if you don't mind the size.

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? yes (all m4/3 can do a decent job with fast lenses)
  2. Low noise at ISO 3200? low enough, all 16mp m4/3 sensors are decent at 3200 in decent light, but FF is better, period
  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? 25 1.4 is more versatile FL in lower light

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.

I've been visiting my home town for  years as my niece and nephew grew up ... I've shot images with the D700 and D7000 and the 700 was easier to shoot in dark living rooms. Obviously. m4/3 will be about as easy as the D700. I now use flash a lot ... bounced in manual mode ... that is the great equalizer.

The D800 would be a lot to carry around if we take the kids out but not sure how often that would be.

You will want a small body and fast lens to take everywhere IMO ... 14 1.4 will be perfect at science museums and the like as the kids run around and try everything. Later, of course, but might as well grab the best lens first. I didn't by the way ... and I regret it

I say that I would just bring the D800 wherever I take my kids but not sure how true that would be.

Not very. Trust me on that one. A small case versus a full siuzed camera bag while carrying diaper bags and snacks. Although you can shoot the D800 with 24-70 2.8 in very low light at 3200 or 6400 ISO so you could just drop it into the diaper bag or similar ...

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.

Send the D800 to Nikon and stop playing the lottery.

 Kim Letkeman's gear list:Kim Letkeman's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 990 Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR Nikon D90 Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 +15 more
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