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Author Topic: My D800 Review  (Read 9914 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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My D800 Review
« on: May 17, 2012, 06:31:33 PM »
Having used Canon SLRs since about 1968, and having owned the 5D MK II and 5D MK III and currently, the 7D and 1D MK IV, I thought i'd give the D800 a try.  There was nothing to lose, I can sell it used for more than I paid new.
 
So, I have a collection of many old film cameras, and a couple or three nikon AF lenses which I did not think would standup too well with the new body.  I picked up a few lenses locally off Craigslist during the 3 weeks I've been waiting, so I had my od 50mm f/1.8D, a 80-200mm f/2.8D, a 500mm ReflexC, a 24-70mm f/2.8G, and a 200-400mm f/4 AIS ready for it to arrive, which it did last night.
 
 
I played with it today, deciding the 50mm wasn't that good while the 24-70 was excellent, and the 80-200mm was very good.  The 200-400mm AIS had a difficult to use stiff focus ring, so I returned it to the seller for repair, and I haven't tried the 500mm Reflex yet.  I'll be spending the evening taking low light photos of a play rehearsal, I used my 1D MK IV last night.  It will be interesting to see what the difference, if any is to me.
 
My first impression was of the flimsy memory door and even worse battery door.  Makes my 5D MK II door look like a battle tank.  Then, the left half of the camera.. well, there wasn't one.  no real issue inless you wanted to hold the camera with your left hand. The eye cup... Oops, it doesn't come with a eye cup either, a $20 or 30 after marked product is all there is.
 
I'm learning to use the controls, no problems there, just a matter lo learning something new.  You can set a minimum shutter speed and that was one thing I set right away.  Formatting your card is easy too.
 
 
I did attempt to disprove the high DR talk, only to find out that its all true, I could not blow out one area while retaining detail in the shadows, I was suprised to say the least.
 
High ISO images showed a lot of noise when viewed at 100%, also as expected.  There is enough detail that a lot of NR can be used, and still have a very good image, but I need to see what happens tonight.
 
I haven't sold the ton of Canon lenses and bodies I own, but, I just might get a 14-24mm lens for the D800 if it works out, and it is off to a good start.  Like Canon, I had to AFMA my 24-70mm zoom at -10.  Thats just par for the course.  My FoCal software will work with it, but I haven't had time to set it up yet.
 
There are some things I like better about the 5D MK III, but I'll have a better idea after a few thousand shots.

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My D800 Review
« on: May 17, 2012, 06:31:33 PM »

Orion

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 07:06:33 PM »
Well, with all yur other gear, I would lveo to have the D800 JUST FOR studio and landscape. Leave the rest for mkIII . .. otherwise the mkIII will do it all, INCLUDING studio and landscape.

It will be interesting to see what you will do when Canon comes out with a MEGA res camera ;) Going to have to wait for the side by side field reviews :)

Thanks for sharing, and keep us informed!

sarangiman

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 07:45:50 PM »
Mt. Spokane Photography: You will not regret purchasing the 14-24. I recently adapted it to my 5D Mark III with a Novoflex adapter, & with Canon's awesome Live View implementation, have no problem getting edge-to-edge sharp images at f/4. Gone are the days of shooting f/18 w/ Canon ultra-wide zooms & still getting one side partially soft.

As for the DR, yeah, 2-3 stops extra DR is no joke. I followed up my quantitative DR tests between the D7000 & the 5D Mark III with real world shots of scenes with DR greater than the camera, and, wow... those sensors starting with the D7000 are game changers.

I anxiously await my D800... though I find it hard to give up Canon b/c of its amazing AF system (I really like having cross-type AF points all over the field).

JR

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 08:45:40 PM »
Keep us updated Mt Spokane.  I did the same as you:  I decided to give the D800 a try but am still waiting for mine.  Already got a few lens for it but I am still also waiting for the 1DX!  I have a fealing my final setup will be composed of the 1DX and the D800.  Cant wait to try mine!
1DX, 24mm f1.4L II, 35mm f1.4L, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L II, 135mm f2L, 24-70mm f2.8L II, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II :  D800, D4, and a whole bunch of Nikon lenses

dirtcastle

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 11:08:27 PM »
It's great to get a review from someone, who like most of us, is just looking for unbiased, no-BS info. Thanks!

Orion

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 11:25:44 PM »
It's great to get a review from someone, who like most of us, is just looking for unbiased, no-BS info. Thanks!

. . . well a few of those reviews have already been posted by pro stills and video users. There is also the 3 part series between the mkIII and the D800 in real world situations all the way to the studio. You can find them on this forum.

anyhoot,

as for the D800, I don't need such res, but I'll have another look once Canon decides to make one. MkIII and 1Dx are all anyone really needs for a killer combo.

V8Beast

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 11:58:24 PM »
Thanks for the review, and please keep us posted on your findings. I don't, for a second, regret cancelling my D800 pre-order, but I do plan on renting one just to give it a go. Quite frankly, I have no need for 36 megapixels, and while the extra DR is welcome, it's more of a luxury than a necessity for what I shoot. In the meantime, I'm trying to think up ways to incorporate scenarios that require a ton of DR into my typical shooting routine. I might as well get my money's worth while I have rented out.

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2012, 11:58:24 PM »

briansquibb

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 03:27:03 AM »
It's great to get a review from someone, who like most of us, is just looking for unbiased, no-BS info. Thanks!

. . . well a few of those reviews have already been posted by pro stills and video users. There is also the 3 part series between the mkIII and the D800 in real world situations all the way to the studio. You can find them on this forum.

anyhoot,

as for the D800, I don't need such res, but I'll have another look once Canon decides to make one. MkIII and 1Dx are all anyone really needs for a killer combo.


.... and then there will be the 3Dx ......

psolberg

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 07:51:02 AM »
Having used Canon SLRs since about 1968, and having owned the 5D MK II and 5D MK III and currently, the 7D and 1D MK IV, I thought i'd give the D800 a try.  There was nothing to lose, I can sell it used for more than I paid new.
 
So, I have a collection of many old film cameras, and a couple or three nikon AF lenses which I did not think would standup too well with the new body.  I picked up a few lenses locally off Craigslist during the 3 weeks I've been waiting, so I had my od 50mm f/1.8D, a 80-200mm f/2.8D, a 500mm ReflexC, a 24-70mm f/2.8G, and a 200-400mm f/4 AIS ready for it to arrive, which it did last night.
 
 
I played with it today, deciding the 50mm wasn't that good while the 24-70 was excellent, and the 80-200mm was very good.  The 200-400mm AIS had a difficult to use stiff focus ring, so I returned it to the seller for repair, and I haven't tried the 500mm Reflex yet.  I'll be spending the evening taking low light photos of a play rehearsal, I used my 1D MK IV last night.  It will be interesting to see what the difference, if any is to me.
 
My first impression was of the flimsy memory door and even worse battery door.  Makes my 5D MK II door look like a battle tank.  Then, the left half of the camera.. well, there wasn't one.  no real issue inless you wanted to hold the camera with your left hand. The eye cup... Oops, it doesn't come with a eye cup either, a $20 or 30 after marked product is all there is.
 
I'm learning to use the controls, no problems there, just a matter lo learning something new.  You can set a minimum shutter speed and that was one thing I set right away.  Formatting your card is easy too.
 
 
I did attempt to disprove the high DR talk, only to find out that its all true, I could not blow out one area while retaining detail in the shadows, I was suprised to say the least.
 
High ISO images showed a lot of noise when viewed at 100%, also as expected.  There is enough detail that a lot of NR can be used, and still have a very good image, but I need to see what happens tonight.
 
I haven't sold the ton of Canon lenses and bodies I own, but, I just might get a 14-24mm lens for the D800 if it works out, and it is off to a good start.  Like Canon, I had to AFMA my 24-70mm zoom at -10.  Thats just par for the course.  My FoCal software will work with it, but I haven't had time to set it up yet.
 
There are some things I like better about the 5D MK III, but I'll have a better idea after a few thousand shots.

nice to see somebody else actually create opinions while using one. I wish more people here tried that method. I had a similar exprience. DR just blew my socks off. But not as much as ISO100 shadow detail. I was able to recover incredible amounts of detail from what I thought were clipped shadows with very little noise. No canon DSLR even remotely approaches this capability. What canon bodies do is either clip the shadow or make it too noisy to want to recover it. The D800 is as close as 1 shot HDR camera as I've ever seen.

Like you, I find high ISO capabilities to be excellent because as you say, the extra detail allows for more NR not to mention after you cleaned things up a little you can resample to ~20 and results are often better than the 5DmkIII anywhere south of the ridiculous HI ISO boosted modes....which I never use in any camera as they are beyond my eye pain tolerance.

I've been loving the 14-24. definitively recommended as it does fantastic with the 36MP sensor. The nikon 70-200II also needed AF tuning. -10 in my case.

akclimber

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 12:13:32 PM »
Thanks for the write-up, Spokane.  Looking forward to reading more about your experiences.  I thought buying a 5D3 would satisfy my lust for a D800.  Hasn't worked out that way tho  ;)  I'm pretty sure I'll be a 5D3 + D800 user before too long.

As for the 14-24, I've used a rented, adapted one on my 5D2 and it is one terrific lens!  I do wish that the Nikon 24 PC-E was a match for Canon's 24 TS-E MK II (my favorite Canon lens) but from what I've read, it's close enough.

Cheers!

psolberg

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2012, 07:05:56 AM »
Thanks for the write-up, Spokane.  Looking forward to reading more about your experiences.  I thought buying a 5D3 would satisfy my lust for a D800.  Hasn't worked out that way tho  ;)  I'm pretty sure I'll be a 5D3 + D800 user before too long.

As for the 14-24, I've used a rented, adapted one on my 5D2 and it is one terrific lens!  I do wish that the Nikon 24 PC-E was a match for Canon's 24 TS-E MK II (my favorite Canon lens) but from what I've read, it's close enough.

Cheers!

the 24 PC-E is indeed very close except for the independent tilt and shift axis adjustment. I think nikon is the last TS OEM who hasn't made these axis independant so it is only a matter of time. it is a bit clumsy mounted because of the flash trigger but I'm letting that go because of the added capability to trigger speedlights without a hotshoe transmitter.

I used it to great results.

akclimber

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2012, 03:09:25 PM »

the 24 PC-E is indeed very close except for the independent tilt and shift axis adjustment. I think nikon is the last TS OEM who hasn't made these axis independant so it is only a matter of time. it is a bit clumsy mounted because of the flash trigger but I'm letting that go because of the added capability to trigger speedlights without a hotshoe transmitter.

I used it to great results.

Thanks for the info.  I've decided to buy a D800 so all the info on Nikon lenses I can get is helpful :)

Cheers!

briansquibb

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2012, 03:19:19 PM »

the 24 PC-E is indeed very close except for the independent tilt and shift axis adjustment. I think nikon is the last TS OEM who hasn't made these axis independant so it is only a matter of time. it is a bit clumsy mounted because of the flash trigger but I'm letting that go because of the added capability to trigger speedlights without a hotshoe transmitter.

I used it to great results.

Thanks for the info.  I've decided to buy a D800 so all the info on Nikon lenses I can get is helpful :)

Cheers!

Here is a great site for Nikon infomation:

www.nikonrumors.com

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2012, 03:19:19 PM »

Tov

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2012, 04:12:54 PM »
Lol @ briansquibb
AE-1+winder.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 06:49:21 PM »
I've been busy using the D800 and 1D MK IV, so I do not yet have much of a a update.  One think I can say, is that it takes a lot more time to edit, due to lengthy processing time for a large number of files, but it is not so much that spending $3K on a new computer wouldn't fix ;)
 
The other thing, is that it makes Nikons lesser lenses look like rubbish, and their best ones look none too good.  Without extreme care, images are no better than the 5D MK III and the kit lens. There are a few other quirks that bother me, and some features that really shine.
 
So far, I'm not in any hurry to dump my Canon stuff and switch to Nikon.  I tried video the other night, but was not impressed with the autofocus.  However, it will autofocus slowly while taking a video, but it loses focus and ends up with fuzzy video. (Even though the Green focus indicator shows its in focus)
 
To be fair, I've only used it for a few thousand shots over a 1 week period, but I can now operate it in the dark, even changing most settings, so I've become pretty proficient with it.
 
I do not have a equivalent of the 35mmL or 135mmL to use with it, in fact, I have stopped using all lenses but the 24-70mm G, its very good, but not up to the 35mmL or 135mm L.

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Re: My D800 Review
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2012, 06:49:21 PM »