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Amateur Photographer D800e, D800 and Hasselblad H4D-31 comparison

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LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62359 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
17 May 2012 - 8:54 AM

This weeks AP compares these three cameras, with similar but not identical MP, for resolution, for use with a still life subject, for use with a portrait subject and for recovering shadow detail.
It is interesting in this test generally the D800e had about 4% more resolution and the D800 and Hasselblad are about equal.
4% is rarely significant and one comparison in isolation is not the same as 10 comparisons.
There are examples of high ISO noise and dynamic range, colour palette and viewfinder (easy Hasselblad win).
AP rightly point out higher MP Hasselblad should resolve more detail than the D800e. The H4D-50 with standard lens seems around £21,000.
With the D800e and 50mm f1.4 G at around £3,200 and the Hasselblad H4D-31 with 80mm f2.8 around £9,500 the market place is getting interesting.
How do others regard this type of comparison?
Although there are some aspects of the comparison I think could have been better it helps me decide whether or not to start upgrading to achieve high quality A2 prints.

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17 May 2012 - 8:54 AM

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knikki91
knikki91  732 forum posts United Kingdom
17 May 2012 - 9:18 AM

I find them interesting but for me useless.

Why?

The main reason is that I am never going to be able to afford that kind of kit and to be honest I ran a 5Mb camera a few years ago and produced some really nice A2 prints off that. It was for a college course I when I stuck them on the wall people were certainly complementry towards them.

However if you are a pro and making money from your photography or you create large prints for exhibitions then this kind of camparision would I think be useful.

Last Modified By knikki91 at 17 May 2012 - 9:20 AM
Stillbase
Stillbase e2 Member 253 forum postsStillbase vcard Wales
17 May 2012 - 9:43 AM

Photographers now seem to be split into 2 camps - there are those who are seeking technical perfection and those who are seeking artistic perfection. The tekkies will be forever looking for a new camera/lens with fantastic resolution in darker and darker conditions and good luck to them if they can afford it, whereas the artists will probably be satisfied with less of the ultimate in resolution and be more compositional/colour aware (there's not a lot of detail in Hockney's pictures for example, but the colours and composition are brilliant) . There is room for both.

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62359 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
17 May 2012 - 10:25 AM


Quote: and produced some really nice A2 prints off that. It was for a college course I when I stuck them on the wall people were certainly complementry towards them.


I am happy to say often there is a clear and obvious quality distinction between medium format and where 35mm was 2 years ago; printed to a high standard at A2 and larger.
Subject matter is a different topic - either it is good Smile or it is not Sad
My request for feedback was more aimed at those wanting to migrate to very good A2 quality at less than medium format equipment prices. I am not suggesting the price is inexpensive - but it is more affordable than last year.
Up to about 20 years many amateurs used 645 or medium format to better effect than was possible for some subjects from 35mm film. By 20 years ago film resolution had improved to the level there was negligible difference in a 16x12 print compared to 645.
We are probably entering an era when high end DSLR's can equal current entry level medium format in most respects. If your subjects were good enough visitors would likely have been even more complementary if they had been photographed on what is available now rather than what was available then for similar equipment cost.

NEWDIGIT
NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
17 May 2012 - 10:34 AM

Stillbase has it about right.
Professionals, that can recover the costs from clients, not forgetting of course the tax implications, i.e. claim tax back against company property investment might justify upgrading on a fairly regular basis.
Tekkies simply must have the latest, trouble is the one they bought last Saturday was upgraded on Monday, take a guess what they are doing this Saturday.
Mere mortals like me, possibly 99% of us, have to justify spends on our hobby/interest.

But back to original thread pound for pound comparing a D800e £3,200 against a H4D-31 £9,500 and a H4D-50 £21,000. is in my opinion not a fair comparison at all.
Based on these sort of comparisons no one would buy a Works Mini Cooper S £23000 as its slower than a Ferrari £160,000

puertouk
puertouk  21010 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 10:42 AM

Electronics development is never ending with new cameras, TV's, computers etc pushing the boundaries every day. The Nikon D800/D800E are phenomenal cameras for the price. Anyone who has around £3,000 to spend would go out and buy one tomorrow. These cameras are aimed at professional/semi-professional photographers, with the enthusiast on the fringes who can afford one. I would think that anyone who has an Hasselblad and are thinking of changing it, would seriously look at the Nikons. The Nikons are an all-round camera that can do everything and more than a Hasselblad can. How many photographers are trying to get shots in poor lighting? Photographers take along lighting equipment to make sure they get the shot they want. Also, with Photoshop CS6, post production means virtually perfect images every time. It's a none brainer really, but you will still get Hasselblad owners loyal to the brand no matter what other bring out. Maybe like judging a person who owns a Rolls Royce to someone owning a top of the range Mercedes.
Stephen

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 11:16 AM


Quote: Maybe like judging a person who owns a Rolls Royce to someone owning a top of the range Mercedes.

Quite so - the RR is a top of the range BMW - far superior! Grin Wink

knikki91
knikki91  732 forum posts United Kingdom
17 May 2012 - 11:19 AM


Quote: My request for feedback was more aimed at those wanting to migrate to very good A2 quality at less than medium format equipment prices.

Fair point however before I would commit to spending that kind of cash I would look how good an A2 image I could get from my current gear then compare it against one from the MF and or the D800 and see if or how much of an improvement.

However looking at another way then yes the D800 would certainly make it a cheaper way to producing very nice A2 prints Smile

cathal
cathal  9492 forum posts Ireland4 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 1:00 PM


Quote: Based on these sort of comparisons no one would buy a Works Mini Cooper S £23000 as its slower than a Ferrari £160,000

They would, if they had to get two kids and the shopping in the boot!

Flippant, but not unrelated. I'm fortunate enough to have used a Nikon D700 and a Hasselblad H2D side by side in the studio. Its in real world use that the differences are really telling. The 'Blad was a lot heavier and slower to use than the Nikon. Both are true system cameras, but the Nikon system is vastly more extensive and adaptable. There are many styles and genres of shooting that simply will not suit a 'Blad. There are many situations where the flexibility and far greater ease of use of the Nikon will win the day.

The 'Blad had a technical edge in the pictures, but not by as much as you might think. Throw in a bit of RAW processing and the Nikon is back in the hunt again. The price difference between the two systems was huge... and I don't buy into the argument that the pro can write off all the costs to the extent that it doesn't matter.

Quality alone is not enough to decide. Just like the Mini and Ferrari comparison... it all depends on what you want to do!

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 1:12 PM


Quote: I don't buy into the argument that the pro can write off all the costs to the extent that it doesn't matter.

I don't think anyone has ever made the argument in that way!

However, the ability to write of the cost of equipment against taxable income (spread over 3-4 years usually) does reduce the pain somewhat. Wink

strawman
strawman  1021991 forum posts United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 1:50 PM

But CB it has been my experience that the happy non-professional often has more disposable income. OK you can skip some Tax but as an example 20% off a £3,000 item when you have £2000 a year to spend is more noticeable that the full price when you have £10,000. Most working photographers I know struggle to make a decent living.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 2:03 PM

I would agree to this extent: the pros regards their equipment purely as tools - a means to a clearly defined end. They will only upgrade on the basis of need.

Whereas, with the enthusiast non-pro, desire comes into it..... sometimes big-time! And, yes disposable income/assets will play a big part in that. Same is true of cars and other major assets.

keithh
keithh  1022557 forum posts Wallis and Futuna29 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 2:04 PM

This old adage has been trotted out by CB for many years.

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139367 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 2:09 PM


Quote: This old adage has been trotted out by CB for many years.

The "adages" I have trotted out are:

(1) You can offset the cost of new equipment against taxable income if you are a pro.

(2) A pro will buy new equipment on the basis of the needs of his/her business.

Can anyone tell me what is wrong with either of the above statements? If They are inaccurate I'd really like to know. Smile

keithh
keithh  1022557 forum posts Wallis and Futuna29 Constructive Critique Points
17 May 2012 - 2:23 PM

Because when you first mentioned it we were talking about cameras that cost in excess of five grand and the 'Pro' has to be cash rich in the first instance. Being able to off-set a proportion of cost against tax is not a help in the first instance.

Many 'Pro's' I'm, sure would love a Hasselblad DSLR and would have a use for it but the initial outlay is a killer on the business plan. It's the reason that so many hire what they need when they need it.

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