Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

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Nicolas_K New Member • Posts: 1
Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Hey everyone,

I was looking for an FF DSLR because I really wanted a body to mount the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 to. I found a used D800 for under 600€. Note that this is at a reputable camera store, not eBay, so I trust the camera to be in good condition. Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price? Any input, especially from (former) D800 users, is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

(Note on pricing: "under 600€" equates to about 700$, though mind you sales tax is preapplied where I live.)

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Tom Joad New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?
5

Nicolas_K wrote:

...I found a used D800 for under 600€. Note that this is at a reputable camera store, not eBay, so I trust the camera to be in good condition. Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price? Any input, especially from (former) D800 users, is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

(Note on pricing: "under 600€" equates to about 700$, though mind you sales tax is preapplied where I live.)

In my opinion yes the camera is worth that price. I recently sold my D800 for more than that and got a D850. I'm mostly a still shooter. While I'm very happy with the D850 and glad I upgraded, for most photos I cannot tell the difference vs. the D800. The D800 is a superb camera and the price you name seems fair given that it's a reputable camera store, presumably with a return option if for any reason you are unhappy.

IMO you cannot buy any interchangeable lens camera that is better than the D800 at that price point, for still photos. Video of course would complicate the matter but I've always been able to get solid video from the d800 within its limits.

In general I think used cameras are one of the greatest bargains in life provided you know what you want/need, don't overpay and are able to avoid getting burned. The reputable dealer aspect really helps lower the risk of being burned. I'd say get it, absent other info.

The other info that would be helpful is what type of shooting you plan for the camera.

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I am Bowie Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

The D800 has held up to 2020 - especially if you are talking about just manual photography (ie for the 35mm Tamron you are buying the camera for).  The UK price you quoted seems on the high end, but not outrageous considering the confidence you have in the shop that is selling it.

However, for just photography and just for one fixed portrait lens, save yourself some money and consider the D700, D600, or D610. Unless you are going for extra large prints (>A4), any of the older DSLRs Ive mentioned will suffice to make quality prints for your Tamron 35mm in 2020.

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Wahrsager
Wahrsager Senior Member • Posts: 2,350
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?
5

Nicolas_K wrote:

Hey everyone,

I was looking for an FF DSLR because I really wanted a body to mount the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 to. I found a used D800 for under 600€. Note that this is at a reputable camera store, not eBay, so I trust the camera to be in good condition. Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price? Any input, especially from (former) D800 users, is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

(Note on pricing: "under 600€" equates to about 700$, though mind you sales tax is preapplied where I live.)

How many shutter actuations? Left focus issue?

https://nikonrumors.com/tag/nikon-d800-left-focusing-issue/

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/50941623

Also, the rubber encompassing the grip had a tendency to detach from the alloy body underneath. I’d check for signs of separation.

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T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,150
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

As was asked, what's the shutter actuations?

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Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,083
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Nicolas_K wrote:

Hey everyone,

I was looking for an FF DSLR because I really wanted a body to mount the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 to. I found a used D800 for under 600€. Note that this is at a reputable camera store, not eBay, so I trust the camera to be in good condition. Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price? Any input, especially from (former) D800 users, is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

(Note on pricing: "under 600€" equates to about 700$, though mind you sales tax is preapplied where I live.)

I have a D850 - upgraded from my D800, which I refuse to sell as it's right up there with the IQ of the D850 with incredible DR and smaller files than my D850. The D850 just has more new features and MPs; I've yet to notice better IQ. In my opinion a D800 in mint condition with a relatively low shutter count is a bargain.

MFL

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,257
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Only you can say if something is 'worth it', regardless of price.

I've got the D800e, D810 and D850.   The D800e sits on the shelf now, while the other two each get a shoulder strap.  But I used it for years.

You sort of need to compare it to its replacements, and to other cameras available around the same price.   For the same price, nothing else seems likely to come close.

The D800e is kind of a D810 that isn't quite finished.   There were a bunch of little individual improvements that added up to more than the sum of the parts.  Almost all of those were body improvements/shutter improvements.  The images coming from the D800e and D810 are mostly indistinguishable (and close to the D850).   Apart from video (which I don't use), the only difference in sensor performance I can see is that the ISO range has been expanded.   The base ISO of the D810 is 64, and the D800 is 100.  (D810 also goes past ISO 6400 natively).   Base ISO files on the D8xx series are just some beautiful files to process - there is tremendous dynamic range to play with.

The main difference between D800 and later versions basically comes down to the body being 'snappier'.  Shoots faster, sounds less clunky.  And while it sounds like nothing on paper, the difference between shooting 4fps (D800) and 5fps (D810) is something you can feel.   The D810 also has Group AF where the D800e does not, and that lends itself more to things like flying birds.

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Neil-O Contributing Member • Posts: 593
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

I recently acquired an 800E at that sort of price, I was a little apprehensive but the shutter count is low and it had the usual 6 months warranty.  It's the only full frame camera I have (apart from the 35mm film cameras...) and I got it really just for digitising film/slides, but I find myself falling in love with it.  I have owned a few FX dslr's and never been happy with any of them, but there's something about the D800/E that just feels right somehow, and it's the first CMOS camera I have owned that renders pleasing colours - to my eyes, YMMV of course.

vbuhay
vbuhay Veteran Member • Posts: 4,301
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Tom Joad wrote:

Nicolas_K wrote:

...I found a used D800 for under 600€. Note that this is at a reputable camera store, not eBay, so I trust the camera to be in good condition. Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price? Any input, especially from (former) D800 users, is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

(Note on pricing: "under 600€" equates to about 700$, though mind you sales tax is preapplied where I live.)

In my opinion yes the camera is worth that price. I recently sold my D800 for more than that and got a D850. I'm mostly a still shooter. While I'm very happy with the D850 and glad I upgraded, for most photos I cannot tell the difference vs. the D800. The D800 is a superb camera and the price you name seems fair given that it's a reputable camera store, presumably with a return option if for any reason you are unhappy.

IMO you cannot buy any interchangeable lens camera that is better than the D800 at that price point, for still photos. Video of course would complicate the matter but I've always been able to get solid video from the d800 within its limits.

In general I think used cameras are one of the greatest bargains in life provided you know what you want/need, don't overpay and are able to avoid getting burned. The reputable dealer aspect really helps lower the risk of being burned. I'd say get it, absent other info.

The other info that would be helpful is what type of shooting you plan for the camera.

I opted for the D800E because the D800 had some issues early on...but I do have the Tamron 35 f1.4 and I like that lens very much here is a sample shot from my D800E

+ Tamron 35mm f1.4:

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X Ray Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Nicolas_K wrote:

Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price?

It's a good camera, but you have to be aware of the quirks that some of them had.

1) On my D800, other than the center auto focus point, most of the others are unreliable, so yes, that's a real problem. I just use the center AF point which works flawlessly. Frustrating but I make it work.

2) On the D800's rear display, colors appear slightly more green than they actually are. This doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm really shocked that so many people complained about it.

3) The above average mirror vibration of the D800 does blur images when using light weight lenses and shutter speeds that aren't roughly double or higher than double the lenses focal length. I've cured this by only using my heavy lenses with my D800 (80-200mm AFS, Sigma ART 18-35). Heavy lenes dampen the vibration.

So check to see if all auto focus points are working properly on it before purchasing.

So to recap, yes, it's a good camera. But honestly, so is every other full frame Nikon camera regardless of megapixel quantity. You can capture AMAZING images to today's standards with anyone of them.

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Jay Paul H Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

All of the D810 improvements you outlined add up to be a D850 with fewer MP.

I have the D800, D810 and D850. For my use the switch between the D810 and D850 is seamless. The D800 is like a prototype, not quite fleshed out.

If I were in the OP's position, I would pay 50% more for a D810. I plan to give a friend who has a D500 my D800 for Christmas.

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Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,083
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?
2

"The D800 is like a prototype"
That is absolute bunk. I've been using my D800 professionally for years and it's now my backup camera for my D850. For the price/performance the D800 is a downright steal.
There was a small percentage in the early batches that had an issue with one focus point (the far left one), but the vast majority were unaffected and it was easy to test to see if one's sample had that issue. Frankly I preferred the AA filter on the D800 over the 800E and later for many reasons, which is one of the reasons why I kept my D800.  Yes, the D810 is an improvement, and I'd buy a D810 over a D800, but the differences really are marginal compared to a D850 which is a major leap over either the D800/E/810.

Regards,
MIke

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T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,150
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Michael Firstlight wrote:

"The D800 is like a prototype"
That is absolute bunk. I've been using my D800 professionally for years and it's now my backup camera for my D850. For the price/performance the D800 is a downright steal.
There was a small percentage in the early batches that had an issue with one focus point (the far left one), but the vast majority were unaffected and it was easy to test to see if one's sample had that issue. Frankly I preferred the AA filter on the D800 over the 800E and later for many reasons, which is one of the reasons why I kept my D800. Yes, the D810 is an improvement, and I'd buy a D810 over a D800, but the differences really are marginal compared to a D850 which is a major leap over either the D800/E/810.

Regards,
MIke

There are good ones (likely most of them) or else there would have been a class action lawsuit and likely the Chinese government cracking down on Nikon a la D600.

But the problems were far beyond one AF point for many.  Bad info from you.

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Michael Firstlight Veteran Member • Posts: 4,083
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?
4

T O Shooter wrote:

Michael Firstlight wrote:

"The D800 is like a prototype"
That is absolute bunk. I've been using my D800 professionally for years and it's now my backup camera for my D850. For the price/performance the D800 is a downright steal.
There was a small percentage in the early batches that had an issue with one focus point (the far left one), but the vast majority were unaffected and it was easy to test to see if one's sample had that issue. Frankly I preferred the AA filter on the D800 over the 800E and later for many reasons, which is one of the reasons why I kept my D800. Yes, the D810 is an improvement, and I'd buy a D810 over a D800, but the differences really are marginal compared to a D850 which is a major leap over either the D800/E/810.

Regards,
MIke

There are good ones (likely most of them) or else there would have been a class action lawsuit and likely the Chinese government cracking down on Nikon a la D600.

But the problems were far beyond one AF point for many. Bad info from you.

Once again, you are spreading disinformation. The D800 was wildly and broadly successful with no more issues than any other model - none broad or significant other than the left focus point issue on a limited number of early builds.  Sounds like YOU got a bad sample that tainted your badly skewed opinion. Many issues - like al other models, were rectified by firmware updates. I know from prior posts that you've based the D800 - and you've been only one of the few lone voices doing that. But let's take your and my vastly opposing opinions out of it - all the original poster has to do is search on D800 issues here on DPR to learn the facts.

MFL

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PHXAZCRAIG
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,257
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

X Ray wrote:

2) On the D800's rear display, colors appear slightly more green than they actually are. This doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm really shocked that so many people complained about it.

I thought that was addressed with a firmware update?

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ericbowles
ericbowles Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

Nicolas_K wrote:

Hey everyone,

I was looking for an FF DSLR because I really wanted a body to mount the Tamron 35mm f/1.4 to. I found a used D800 for under 600€. Note that this is at a reputable camera store, not eBay, so I trust the camera to be in good condition. Has the D800 held up well enough in 2020 to justify the price? Any input, especially from (former) D800 users, is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

(Note on pricing: "under 600€" equates to about 700$, though mind you sales tax is preapplied where I live.)

The price is about right - maybe a little high.  I use KEH as a barometer for used gear pricing, but discount their prices by about 10% because they have regular discounts and because they provide value added items such as inspection, conservative grading,  and a liberal return policy.  Their stock is limited right now, but the range is $650-825 for a D800.   That translates to $600-725 US.  I'd put the price quoted as in the ballpark with some room to negotiate.  The D800E is worth about $150-200 more.

The D800 is a solid camera, but it is a model released nine years ago.  There are a number of small updates with subsequent cameras, but the D800 is still regarded as a good camera.  I have a D800E that does not get much use, but is still appreciated as a good camera.  I tried to sell it about a year ago for $700 and had no offers.

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Bernard Waxman Senior Member • Posts: 1,622
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

I still use a D800 and I am very pleased with it.  Mine has no focus issues at all.  I know that the 800E is a bit sharper but as far as I can tell the difference is pretty subtle.  I have made prints as large as 24 X 30 from the D800 and they look great.

Sure I have thought about buying a D850 but I try not to buy new cameras all the time since  I am pretty conservative about spending money.  About a year ago I bought a Z50 to have a lighter camera for travel.  I am very happy with it even with its smaller sensor and pixel count.  I love how light it is with the 16-50  kit lens compared to the D800 with the 24-70 F2.8.

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X Ray Forum Member • Posts: 74
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

PHXAZCRAIG wrote:

I thought that was addressed with a firmware update?

I'll need to double check but I'm pretty sure I have the latest firmware.

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Daniel Bliss Senior Member • Posts: 1,962
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?

From a current D800 user, this seems about right. I would be sure to check whether the left AF issue is fixed, as the miscalibration of the focusing sensor seems to have hit most cameras. I have two cameras quite late in the production run, both of which had it, but both of which were recalibrated under warranty. It is a straightforward repair but you want to be absolutely clear as to what the cost is going to be if it's going to be on you.

Also check to make sure central autofocus is comparably accurate in both indoor and outdoor lighting. Every Nikon body I purchased from 2000 through 2012 had some kind of issue with mirror angle misadjustment, which typically resulted in backfocus in 2700 kelvin (i.e. warm indoor incandescent lighting) even as outdoor sunny weather (5000K) focus was correct and you might even get front focus on a cloudy day with bluish light (7000K). None of the D800 bodies I've tried have it, and it did come out about the time the incidence of this problem in Nikon declined sharply, but just something to be aware of.

T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,150
Re: Is the D800 worth it at this price in 2020?
1

Michael Firstlight wrote:

T O Shooter wrote:

Michael Firstlight wrote:

"The D800 is like a prototype"
That is absolute bunk. I've been using my D800 professionally for years and it's now my backup camera for my D850. For the price/performance the D800 is a downright steal.
There was a small percentage in the early batches that had an issue with one focus point (the far left one), but the vast majority were unaffected and it was easy to test to see if one's sample had that issue. Frankly I preferred the AA filter on the D800 over the 800E and later for many reasons, which is one of the reasons why I kept my D800. Yes, the D810 is an improvement, and I'd buy a D810 over a D800, but the differences really are marginal compared to a D850 which is a major leap over either the D800/E/810.

Regards,
MIke

There are good ones (likely most of them) or else there would have been a class action lawsuit and likely the Chinese government cracking down on Nikon a la D600.

But the problems were far beyond one AF point for many. Bad info from you.

Once again, you are spreading disinformation.

I most certainly am not.  There are dozens of threads on it, and a lot of members on here had issues beyond left AF. I'll leave it to you to do a DPR search and pass the links on to the OP

The D800 was wildly and broadly successful with no more issues than any other model

So it didn't have more issues than the D810 or D850?  How about D4s or D5?

- none broad or significant other than the left focus point issue on a limited number of early builds.

The left AF issue was on more than early builds. I had a D800 that I bought first of April 2012.  Likely one of the first ones in Toronto.  That one did not have a left AF issue.  I bought a used D800e that was the replacement for a left AF issue one, and was replaced under Henry's full replacement warranty. Neither my "good" D800e nor the one it replaced was an early build.

Sounds like YOU got a bad sample that tainted your badly skewed opinion.

My D800 had a bit of a screwy AF issue, an issue identified by many on here. Relax - you don't own Nikon and likely didn't design the D800. It's not personal.

Many issues - like al other models, were rectified by firmware updates. I know from prior posts that you've based the D800 - and you've been only one of the few lone voices doing that. But let's take your and my vastly opposing opinions out of it - all the original poster has to do is search on D800 issues here on DPR to learn the facts.

MFL

Search doesn't work that well. You and many others, take it as a personal affront. Obviously, many and most were good. My brother loves his.  I don't think he would be deeply offended though, if I pointed out a screwy AF issue.

Also, there's Thom Hogan's cracked chassis thingy.  I hesitate to being it up as it's likely to result in someone taking Thom's name in vain, but we'll see how it goes.

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