D800 soft? pixel peeping

Started Feb 9, 2014 | Discussions thread
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,985
Re: D800 soft? pixel peeping

Lynn876 wrote:

Hello, first off, Yes, I'm a pixel peeper, and I'm fine with that.

I'm looking at getting a D800, however.... I've been to pixel peepers today and all images I've looked at at full resolution seem soft to me. I downloaded one and sharpened it, both with a good sharpen filter and a very fine micro contrast filter and I'm a bit disappointed. Lots of artifacts show.

I currently have a D7000 which has a smaller sensor, but I'm thinking if sensors are compared at the same size I might like my D7000 better.

Is there a setting on the D800 which increases sharpness of the sensor or is it just inherent? I guess there is an anti alias layer of glass in the D800. I'm guessing this might soften things up a bit?

And does anyone here work outside with sports or wildlife with a D800E? Is the moire issue all that bad? Is there more flare or more artifacts?

I like the idea of being able to print large, but the IQ in terms of sharpness and clarity doesn't seem like it's there yet. It just looks bigger and I'm not sure if I stretched the D700's images if they would look any worse? Or maybe I'm comparing JPGs to NEFs and it's like apples and oranges?

Would like any feedback from others, particularly those who look closely.

I don't know what "pixel peepers" might be, but without getting into any technical detail or hair splitting, I gather the reason for your post is to get a response as to whether the D800 would be capable of adequate image quality to satisfy your requirements.  The short answer is that it almost certainly will. 

You're unlikely to identify anything superior out there in the same format.  If the "sharpness and clarity doesn't seem like it's there yet" I would suggest you are evaluating results something less that the maximum capability of the camera.    For best quality, strongly consider purchasing the best lenses you can afford.

As you stated you "like the idea of being able to print large", pixel peeping is not the way to make the most useful comparisons in your instance.  Rent a D800 and print something.  Or at the least download a known good file from one of the many online resources and print it.

For many people, moire is simply a non issue.  Buy either one with confidence.   If you are interested in a technical explanation of the two filter options check out the Nikon site, their diagrams are quite good.

Since you are concerned with IQ, unless you have some overriding reason for needing to shoot jpegs instead of raw, I suggest you stop.

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