Resolution, pixel density and lenses: D800 vs. D610

Started Apr 9, 2014 | Discussions thread
Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: I'm late to answer this thread, but my thoughts are..

TQGroup wrote:

Kudos for another very well thought out and discerning post!

To further discussion, a couple of points:

1. I agree that with modern computing power, cheap storage and fast USB 3.0; there is no need to be "scared of file size horror stories".

I recently shot a wedding together with a good friend for mutual friends and we later displayed our JPGs on a very good TV screen for the wedding party. My D600 images loaded very quickly, almost instantly and the slide show was smooth... my friend's D800 loaded, bit, by bit, by bit by .... it was taking over 5 seconds, drip by drip to load each picture! Smooth... actually painful for the audience and it was aborted. When the images did load, we used identical 24-70 F2.8 ED lenses + SB910 flashguns, we could see no discernible quality difference on the screen!

A TV screen is much lower resolution than either the D800E or D610. For such an event you should have been shooting NEF+JPEG small. That would eliminate the load problem.

I suspect they the two of you were not shooting identical settings. A D800E file is only 50% larger than a D610. If you were shooting with the same settings your images should have taken 3.75 sec. drip by drip.

So, please consider your intended display media in your selection decision and the repercussions of file sizes thereon.

2. Please evaluate your "shooting style" and shooting circumstances; for example, I like to shoot "from the hip" in markets, street, etc where the camera never even comes close to my eye. For "my" size hands and preferred grip, the D600 works, the D7100 works better and the D800 is very uncomfortable and barely usable. Naturally, for tripod use and general shots, it is just fine.

3. I use the D600 as my primary body and the D7100 mainly when I want the extra reach from the 1.5 X crop sensor. So, for example, my 300mm F4 (FX) becomes an effective 450mm F4 on my DX D7100. In my view, this is a bargain! What other lens will give me performance like that for around a thousand bucks... not to mention a "back-up camera thrown-in?

I have the 300mm f/4 and while it is a decent lens it is not an ultra-sharp lens. This should be more apparent on a D7100 than on any FX body.

4. The D600 and D7100 are like "peas in a pod". Their control layout is very similar and, as I'm getting old and grey and I don't shoot that much all the time, I do not get confused by pressing the wrong buttons when switching between cameras.

To me, the lack of AF-ON button and lack of exposure emulation in Live view with the D610 would be significant factors.

5. IMHO, to "wrestle" the extra potential out of the very demanding 36 MPX sensor, especially in RAW, most shots need to be taken in either very good light or on a tripod. Even very well stabilised lenses can come up short here and produce results no better than if taken by the D600 / D610 sensor.

Your D7100 has smaller pixels than a D800E so it should be more demanding on camera movement than a D800E. Also, the difference you can see in camera movement between a D610 and a D800E is the same amount of detail improvement you would get from the D800E. The D800E doesn't magically turn on image movement compared to a D610. If you can't see it on D610 then the image from a D800E will not be worse.

6. If you intend to shoot mainly RAW and print "large" and especially if your photography is for remuneration, then the extra "potential" of the D800 / D800E cannot be ignored and most likely is the better bet in most cases... but please hope that you do not need a quick burst at 6 fps or so to nail that shot!

To really nail that moment you need to be shooting 60 fps. Or, you need to learn the camera's delay and be able to nail it in one. I don't do a lot of spray and pray, but I found the "pray" to be a well justified element of the phrase when shooting crashing waves with D2x at 5 fps. Many of the shots fell before and after the point I wanted. It was only luck that I got what I wanted. Another fps would have been sufficient.

Finally, isn't it just fantastic that Nikon shooters have such a delicious problem choosing between two great sensor / camera options? We are indeed spoilt for choice!

-- hide signature --

Robin Casady
"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."
—Mark Twain

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