My review as an amateur user of the Nikon D800

Started Oct 4, 2019 | User reviews thread
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Giovanni_1968 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,128
My review as an amateur user of the Nikon D800

Before jumping into the Full Frame universe I was a happy enough DX shooter, I actually loved, and still do when I use it, my Fuji S5Pro, I already had a few F mount lenses and the transaction to the D800 was a rewarding big challenge, I had to re-learn the basics and it sure made of me a better amateur than I was and I am sure it will push me further and further along this journey photography being.

I never experimented with all the tons of features the camera offers, I am kind of a film shooter, central point AF (yes, even the left ones work correctly so far), no burst, no C-AF, no Matrix... well, I ended up trying AF-C, I decoupled the shutter off the AF button, customized the WB a bit but at the end nothing grand.

I like to shoot semi candid portraits and the AF speed has never been a problem not even with my screw driven lenses, the sensor is amazing, I never push ISO to stellar levels, actually I limited Auto ISO to 3.200 but in not too weird light conditions it does pretty well, again, no need for 5 digits ISO as well as no 11fps; for landscape use it is just great, 36MP give lot of room for cropping and still print BIIIIIIIG, hard to burn highlights (and, believe you me, with the S-CCD sensor of the Fuji S5Pro highlights have never been a problem), shadows always easy to recover, Dynamic Range is there, hard to expect more and I guess that nonetheless the D810 and D850 are sure improved they only have a small margin in regards to DR but rather more whistles and bells, sure a faster AF and burst as well as a more silent shutter but the D800 was and still is a monster camera.

Sport wise I can't tell much, my tele lenses are screw driven and never did any serious attempt at fast moving action, AF-C is not really my field of action, when I do I keep using single point AF and even with a limited 4fps I never missed my son hitting the ball when playing tennis.

Portraits wise it just is a perfect tool, to get better results it only takes better lenses than those I own, I don't shoot posed or studio but rather natural light and semi candid and it never missed a shot, AF accuracy, again, spot on with both AF-S and AF-D lenses, skin and eye details are amazing nonetheless the trend to remove the AA filter, just a great tool.

Landscape, ok, sit the camera on a tripod, switch to Manual and have fun whilst relaxing while enjoying the scenery, 36MP give plenty of room for cropping and, again, the Dynamic Range allows to recover shadows where (and if) necessary, to make it a better landscape camera, in my case, it needs better lenses (where I still fail).

Ergonomics is perfect to me for a D-SLR, everything is handy, no need to go through menus to change most needed settings, for me the important is to have ISO dial, metering and exp compensation quickly available and they are all right there, can do it all without to take the eye off the viewfinder.

Can it get better? It sure can and in fact they did with the D810 and then the D850 but, in my opinion, it was a matter of refinement of a very good base, the extra MP is not what would lead me to an upgrade, a faster burst would make of the D800 the perfect camera (FOR ME) the D850 is.

Long life to the D800!!!

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Giovanni - 70% GAS affected
Nikon D800 - Nikon D2Xs - Fuji X-Pro1 - Fuji S5Pro - Nikon F - Nikon F3
J.A. Michell Gyrodec - Audio Research SP-9 - Aeron AP-890 - JBL4311B
JN70CN - 14.14.30E 40.32.40N

 Giovanni_1968's gear list:Giovanni_1968's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro Nikon D2Xs Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm F2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +16 more
Nikon D800
36 megapixels • 3.2 screen • Full frame sensor
Announced: Feb 7, 2012
Giovanni_1968's score
Average community score
bad for good for
Kids / pets
Action / sports
Landscapes / scenery
Low light (without flash)
Flash photography (social)
Studio / still life
= community average
Nikon D800
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