What has happened to Nikon?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Chad Gladstone Senior Member • Posts: 2,608
The D700 is 12 MP

I am substantially certain you can replicate the image with the D700, but to do so at 36 mp resolution is a ground breaking achievement not realized by any other body or any other manufacturer that exists on the market today, at any price.  When the specification and price were announced for the D800, I genuinely believed it was a hoax.  After printing my first few 20x30 prints at near native resolution, I was speechless.  I am suggesting that the D800 shatters all previous expectations of what images are not only now possible, but can actually be captured by the vast majority of shooters, given its extremely aggressive price point.  Other bodies may be operationally more intuitive, or more robust, etc, but for IQ, the D800 has no peers.  People wanted a D700 successor and they got it, it is the D4.  People wanted a D3X successor in resolution and the D800 promised to provide that.

The problem expressed here, at infinitum, is that the capacity of the hardware implemented into the D800 from legacy bodies has apparently not kept pace with the unforgiving sensor that the D800 possesses.  I get the argument and understand the frustration, but I see little reason to withhold the finest FX sensor and live with the operational limitations than the other way around (the Canon approach to the 5D MKIII).  If anyone would still actually print their images and scrutinize the final printed product, the expressed consternation here would be largely muted except in the most challenging applications that rely on the extreme outer focus points for critical focus.

I am not in anyway excusing Nikon's silence on the issues expressed here.  I may have severe AF issues and a blissfully ignorant or overzealous.  I don't care.  I never used 51 point, 3D tracking or any of those touted features in previous DSLR's because they were subpar then, and by many accounts have not matured to the point of repeatable reliability now, either.  Surely though, I cannot be alone in sharing the opinion that finally the masses can access a DLSR that can lock on, track and nail the focus in the most extremely demanding lighting conditions at an astounding 36mp, albeit with a tighter focus array than Nikon purported.  For action shots, I shoot the same as I did with the D300 (M, f/2.8, 1/320, manual WB, lock on long, 9 point afc, CH, auto iso max 3200) and I have gone from despair to utter delight what comparing the final printed product.  With the D300, I gave up even trying because the poor lighting resulted in oppressive noise and unusable files.

For those shooting single shoot and relying on the extreme corners for critical focus acquisition, the D800's CDAF may just not be good enough or the lens may require further stopping down.  With many of us coming recently from DX bodies, we are taxing the weakest part of our lenses that were never even part of the captured image before migrating to FX.  Put it on a tripod and switch to LV, zoom in to 200% and get the shot.  All this testing and retesting and returning and hoping for the elusive satisfactory result is leading to many dissatisfied consumers.  The tolerances for those points is just not accurate enough for the application.  Nikon may come up with a solution or they may not.  Either way, there are so many missed opportunities that are being squandered by the same dissatisfied consumers whose expectation may not be remedied until the next generation is marketed.  At this juncture, QC issues of misaligned sensors that many vocalized early on are unlikely to remain.  I speculate that the same core of dissatisfied consumers continue to monopolize the service centers for repeated adjustments that it is a possible reason why customer service turn around time is now unacceptably long.  I have long opined that focus module is just not good enough.  In fairness to Nikon, however, it is much better than I had imagined it would be.

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Chad Gladstone

 Chad Gladstone's gear list:Chad Gladstone's gear list
Nikon 1 V1 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +7 more
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