Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

Started Jul 2, 2014 | Discussions
Craig Veteran Member • Posts: 5,911
Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

Anyone actually seen the difference between a D3 or d700, 12mp cameras and the D800 ?

I bet to the naked eye it's hard to tell if they were both processed correctly.

Why I ask because I rarely Mage enlargements more than 16x20.

Yes I know the cropping feature does have a use.
Still thinking about. D 810.

soloryb Senior Member • Posts: 2,255
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

Craig wrote:

Anyone actually seen the difference between a D3 or d700, 12mp cameras and the D800 ?

I bet to the naked eye it's hard to tell if they were both processed correctly.

Why I ask because I rarely Mage enlargements more than 16x20.

Yes I know the cropping feature does have a use.
Still thinking about. D 810.

Craig,

I've made plenty of prints that size and larger using a d700 and then a d800E. There is most certainly a difference that you can see with the naked eye - especially when you factor in cropped/enlarged shots. Twelve MP just can't compete with 36 MP for such prints in sharpness of small details. If you rarely make use of such resolution then there's less benefit to getting a D810.

On the other hand, owning all those extra megapixels may encourage you to make use of them once you see what a high resolution sensor is capable of capturing. If I didn't already own a D800E, I wouldn't hesitate to get a D810.

soloryb

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Kaj E Veteran Member • Posts: 9,326
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

You can start to see a difference at 12'x18' prints on a good printer if both are perfectly processed and not cropped. Its the difference between 240ppi and 410 ppi native resolution. With a good Epson printer you want to print at either 360 or 720 ppi.

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OP Craig Veteran Member • Posts: 5,911
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

I print up to 13x19 on a epson r2000 using Qimage and get excellent results

Kaj E Veteran Member • Posts: 9,326
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

Craig wrote:

I print up to 13x19 on a epson r2000 using Qimage and get excellent results

Then you get even more excellent prints from the D800. But you need to inspect the prints at this size close.

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It's about time we started to take photography seriously and treat it as a hobby.- Elliott Erwitt

Tkopa Regular Member • Posts: 117
Re: The D800 offers more than you think
1

The two things I least worry about with my D800 is not having enough reach with the lens and not having enough light for the lens.

The 36 megapixels gives you cropping and the DR gives you detail. You have a better chance of getting good images in difficult conditions.

That is the real benefit of the camera. It is ready to go wherever you take it and shoot whatever you want.

The only problem I experience with the resolution is fixing skin. A pimple is a volcano to the D800.

Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

Moving from a D700 to a D800E was like moving from 35mm film to medium format. My house is full of 16x20 prints from medium format film. The only 35mm shots I have up are 8x10.

You will be getting a 16x24 image out of the camera. So, you would have to crop the ends for a 16x20. To approximate the difference between the cameras, try printing a sample print at 200 ppi (D700) and another at 300 ppi (D800). You could also download one of Nikon's sample images for the D800 (full size JPEGs) and print it at 16x20 (or 16x24).

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LMCasey Contributing Member • Posts: 842
At std viewing distance, most people would not see difference
5

At 16x20, when viewed from a typical distance (distance equal to diagonal of print), most people (i.e. non-photographers) would not notice a difference in detail. On the other hand, photographers will come within 1cm of a print, and then make comment on how much more (or less) detail one print has compared to another. Most people who view prints for general enjoyment don't come that close in order to view a photograph. It is much, much more important to develop a good eye; good subject matter and good composition is so much more important than megapixels.

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maljo@inreach.com Veteran Member • Posts: 7,423
There is a difference

D3 images are very, very nice, I have many printed at 16x24.  I loved my D3.

D800 images are a little better, more detail, richer in texture.

You don't notice what's not there.

We had this same debate in film days; for many 35 mm was enough and medium format cameras were overkill.

But I liked the extra detail in a 2cmx2cm camera image so it was worth it to me to use a Hassie.

It's the old good enough vs better debate.

Draw the line where you like.

I'll stick with the D800 for now.

maljo

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OP Craig Veteran Member • Posts: 5,911
I am not doubting there will be more detail

My point is there a huge difference at 16x20.. I am sure when you go say 20x24 or on gallery wraps where you lose 2" all the way around there will be a big improvement with the d800+

Plus the DR is much better so overall the d800+ is a plus.

Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: At std viewing distance, most people would not see difference
2

LMCasey wrote:

At 16x20, when viewed from a typical distance (distance equal to diagonal of print), most people (i.e. non-photographers) would not notice a difference in detail. On the other hand, photographers will come within 1cm of a print, and then make comment on how much more (or less) detail one print has compared to another. Most people who view prints for general enjoyment don't come that close in order to view a photograph. It is much, much more important to develop a good eye; good subject matter and good composition is so much more important than megapixels.

No argument that "...a good eye; good subject matter and good composition is so much more important than megapixels." From sample photos posted on this forum, composition seems to be at the bottom of people's concerns. However, composition and resolution are not mutually exclusive.

I disagree with you about typical viewing distance and what non-photographers notice. Go into a museum or gallery and observe people looking at photo exhibits. They will look over the whole photo from greater than print diagonal. Then, if the photo interests them they will walk up and view it much more closely. This is particularly true of landscape shot, but any subject with texture and detail seems to get this treatment. Doesn't really matter what size the print is; how far they move in depends on their eyesight and how fine the detail in the print is.

I also think there is an easily discernible difference between the detail in a 12 MP 16x20 and a 36 MP 16x20 at diagonal distance.

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Robin Casady
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Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: I am not doubting there will be more detail

Craig wrote:

My point is there a huge difference at 16x20.. I am sure when you go say 20x24 or on gallery wraps where you lose 2" all the way around there will be a big improvement with the d800+

Plus the DR is much better so overall the d800+ is a plus.

A gallery wrap 20x24 means cropping. For the D800 a 20x30 is more appropriate. At that size you can definitely see the difference between a D700 shot and a D800E shot on photo canvas.

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Robin Casady
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OP Craig Veteran Member • Posts: 5,911
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

I will probably be doing more family shoots so larger prints hopefully will be a selling point with the d810

Here is a candid of a cutey from a wedding I just shot.

anotherMike Veteran Member • Posts: 8,689
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?
2

You'd lose the bet. Back when I owned the D700 (I shoot a D800E and D610 now), I did exactly such a test, at 13x19, 16x20 and 17x22. Assuming the subject has intricate detail (I mean, if you do some sunset over the ocean with a rock in it, there really isn't any fine detail that would make a difference), such as a reasonably typical landscape with flowers, grass, etc in the foreground, or a fashion shot with well lit hair and texture, most people will see the difference (even non photographers) at normal viewing distances for each of those print sizes. At 16x20 it's more than subtle.

Now, do the same thing between the D610 and D800E, and it gets more interesting, and the differences are much tighter. For most common print sizes we live in happy times now that we're a long way from the 12mp days of yore. And I expect when the rumored 54 etc MP bodies come out, we'll be splitting hairs trying to tell the difference between them and the 36mp bodies today.

-m

soloryb Senior Member • Posts: 2,255
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

If you're going to do larger prints then getting a D810 is a good bet. It provides the freedom to choose to crop/enlarge without losing much detail - more than lower MP cameras can.

The only caveat I'd include is a warning about being the 'first kid on the block to own one.' Just look what happened with the D800/E and the D600 to many initial users. I know Nikon doesn't always have such buggy new issues, but they do occur as history tells. After 6-months most if not all potential problems will probably have been addressed regarding the D810.

soloryb

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Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D800E Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D +9 more
calson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,578
Re: Compare photo of 16x20 using d3,s and d800?

Yes I have seen the difference but it is not as stark as I saw between the D3 and the D300 cameras. Where the difference is quite visible at normal print sizes is with the amount of tonal variation that is present. Think of the images you may have seen with early cameras like the Canon 5D that often generated images where people's skin looked "plasticky". What people were seeing was the lack of tonal nuances so the skin looked artificial. Noise reduction software also has this effect.

I can easily see the difference in people's skin and also with wildlife and landscapes where colors are merged and the tonality of the colors is reduced in complexity. I would not notice it in general but there are particular subjects or scenes where it is quite easily seen.

But if the question should be whether these differences would be visible in a 16x20 print to the average person at "normal viewing distances" I would say probably not. I would see them and it would bother me but that is a different question.

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