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I have both the D600 and the D800 and I like them both. They both produce excellent pictures. I tend to use my D800 for commercial type shots and the D600 for weddings as it's lighter to carry and I like to go as light as I can for a wedding (minimal kit). If I had to choose just one, it would be the D800 as it suits me best.
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Well rightly or wrongly I too the plunge, and settled for the D800, mainly due to the build quality, and the features been similar to the D700. Time will tell if I made the right choice - I will probably either do a couple of landscapes later if the light plays ball, or play with a couple of still life's.
Well done Nick.
The option that didn't come up on this thread (although I started another thread to cover it) was the D800e.
I opted for the D800 for two main reasons - the first was that I wanted the camera for a 7-week photo-tour of western USA in April/May last year and it was touch-and-go whether the 800e would have been released in UK in time.
The second reason was in two parts - firstly, the theoretical superiority of the detail and resolution of the D800 was so far better than anything else on the market that a further 5% enhancement seemed hardly worth waiting for. Secondly, even Nikon themselves were highlighting the assumed moiré problem - to the extent of including NX2 free with the camera for removing moiré.
The consensus seems to be emerging that the D800e does give a noticeable improvement in detail and that the moiré is not a problem. That being so, I probably would have opted for the D800e if buying today (although, whereas Park Cameras are now advertising the D800 at under £1900, the price of the D800e has not come down proportionately.)
If you have the money, D800, no brainer. If you're budgeting to include a new lens on top, D600 is a great alternative, but it's not as good, no matter what anyone says.
Thanks, I've already taken the plunge and went for the D800
Quote: If you have the money, D800, no brainer. If you're budgeting to include a new lens on top, D600 is a great alternative, but it's not as good, no matter what anyone says.
Speaking with a salesperson at Park Cameras recently, he told me the D800 was outselling the D600 by a factor of 15/1
Well that figure is certainly not born out worldwide un fact I doubt it's even born out at Park, you have to sell a shed load of D800s before you can start quoting reliable comparatives.
And how the D800 v D600 can be a no brainier when there is so much to consider in cost extras alone I have no idea.
I'm happy with the D800, but I'm sure the D600 would have also been more than enough for my needs (as is the D700 it replaces). The main reason I plumped for the DE800 (besides the bonus) was the controls were almost identical to the D700.
I would be surprised if the D800 was outselling the D600 tho.
Not considered so far is that there is more to print image quality in a big print then the lens resolution in isolation.
Those in photography as long as I have been will recall that although medium format often had no more resolution than 35mm it often produced better quality large prints because there were more film grains per inch on the print, with better transitions from highlights to shadows or better acutance.
In a 20 inch wide print, 12 MP provides 200 camera pixels per inch, 24 MP provides 300 and 36 MP provides just over 350. If your aim is the finest detail and tonal separation on close inspection of a large print, regardless of lens resolution more MP has an advantage.
In the film era manufacturers quoted film resolution measured in isolation at 1000:1 and 1.6:1 contrast. You then made an educated guess as to likely resolution at a typical everyday 125:1 scene contrast.
As a rule of thumb resolution falls 50% between highest and lowest contrast with film. I have not seen similar figures for lenses or sensors. You do not get the resolution in everyday photographic scene contrast that MTF and websites, both usually based on 1000:1 contrast targets, imply. On a detail MTF is a measurement independent of lenses or camera. Most web tests are a combined lens and camera result.
In the era of 10 MP my best guess is good lens and sensor resolution were each about equal at optimum aperture and ISO settings. When each is equal the optical formula is file resolution is 50% of the lens resolution measured in isolation. The size of the Airy disk and the detail of the Airy disc diffraction pattern are relatively unimportant when only 50% of the lens resolution is recorded.
With 36 MP it seems sensor resolution is about double the best lens resolution. With this combination the optical formula is 66% of the lenses resolution is obtained in the image file.
Around 150 MP (some way off!) should again double sensor resolution. The optical formula, assuming lens performance has not improved, is file resolution will be 80% of the lens resolution. Even with 400 MP with current lens technology file resolution is unlikely to exceed 90% of the lens resolution.
This is why for the foreseeable future increasing sensor resolution will increase file resolution with any lens, in much the same way as improving film resolution increased the detail on the slide or negative.
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