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Nikon D800 - First Impressions

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User_Removed
10 Jun 2012 - 7:19 PM

Having spent a couple of months with the D800 and a Nikkor 28-300mm lens in USA, I have just yesterday had the opportunity to exhaustively test it in a completely different situation. Manfully enduring 5 hours of driving and six hours of boat trip to get to a remote Hebridean island, I had my first opportunity to give the D800 a really good test photographing birds with both the Sigma 150-500mm lens and the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRii.

The results are the final endorsement of the view that (for the time being) the D800 is - by a huge margin - the top 35mm-style dSLR in the world. (I don't imagine that it will be many months before Canon match or leapfrog it).

What really sets it apart from anything else for this type of photography are two principal factors:

1. The (virtually) noise-free performance at (relatively) high ISO that enable shutter speeds of 1/6400th at apertures of f/5.6 or smaller to be used to really freeze motion of birds in flight.

2. The fact that the 36Mp sensor provides images that can be very severely cropped so that shots taken at, say, 30 metres, can be portrayed as ultra-close-ups.

Those two factors, combined, provide opportunities for wildlife photography that have simply not been possible with any other camera I have owned or tested.

Once I have had the chance to process some of the 500+ photographs I took yesterday, I'll post a selection to illustrate those points.

The other factor that I found interesting was that, although even the official Nikon blurb stressed the desirability of using a tripod with such a high resolution sensor, despite taking a monopod and a beanbag with me on yesterday's expedition, in the event I used neither and all my shots were unsupported hand-held. No problem.

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10 Jun 2012 - 7:19 PM

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Ewanneil
Ewanneil  41118 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
12 Jun 2012 - 7:01 AM


Quote: The results are the final endorsement of the view that (for the time being) the D800 is - by a huge margin - the top 35mm-style dSLR in the world.

I thought I'd cracked it this morning.Grin

aaa.jpg

I'd love to be able to justify the expenditure on a D800 and so my heart skipped a beat when I saw what looked like 9 for sale at only £9.99 each. I thought my moment had come - buy the lot and make a huge profit selling them in the classifieds (just a grand each for epzers - I'm not greedyWink).

Turns out it's only a link to Nikon diaries. And they still want £9.99 for 2012 versions. Who would have thought it - a listing on e-bay that's not quite what it seems. Wink

Last Modified By Ewanneil at 12 Jun 2012 - 7:01 AM
User_Removed
12 Jun 2012 - 9:47 AM

Interesting that used ones still seem to be selling at a premium, given that several UK retailers now claim to have stocks available for immediate delivery.

peterjones
peterjones e2 Member 123860 forum postspeterjones vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
12 Jun 2012 - 5:30 PM

Many thanks very much for your reviews LeftForum; I don't know about others but I value reviews far more by a photographer who has actually gone out to take pictures over a period of time than a test bench result.

Putting aside any perspective issues in theory at least I could take a whole wedding with one wide angle lens only and crop to suit ; I am unsure whether I would do so but it looks as though ........sigh............ I am going to have to give serious consideration to buying a D800

Peter Grin

User_Removed
13 Jun 2012 - 11:47 AM

Here's an example of a full image and a crop from it. Obviously a computer monitor can't do it justice but hopefully it will give some indication:

1-shag1.jpg

1-shag2.jpg

Taken with the Sigma 150-500mm lens at 300mm, hand-held, 1/320th at f/8. ISO 400

.

Last Modified By User_Removed at 13 Jun 2012 - 11:50 AM
yamahaman
yamahaman  2 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2012 - 12:53 PM

Pictures look very nice indeed think i know the place you took some was it arundel west sussex

LoicfromFrance
13 Jun 2012 - 1:12 PM

ahaha:
with the best jpeg, if you camera permit it:
THERE IS ABSOLUTLY NO DIFFERENCE
quality is the same
compare to
raw mode...

yes!: test to open the 2, one in raw, other in good jpeg
in "camera raw adobe" ...
result and possibilities are exactly =

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73823 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
13 Jun 2012 - 3:16 PM


Quote: with the best jpeg, if you camera permit it:
THERE IS ABSOLUTLY NO DIFFERENCE
quality is the same
compare to
raw mode...

I'm sorry but this is not true. Just some of many reasons:
1 jpg is 8 bit, you throwaway a lot of info, that is usefull when recovering dynamic range (Raw 12 or 14 bit)
2. You cant undo the sharpening applied in the jpg algorithym
3. Colour correction isn't as easy (you already apply the WhiteBalance)
4. Jpg is a lossy format, each time you save you lose image quality

Last Modified By Nick_w at 13 Jun 2012 - 3:16 PM
mikehit
mikehit  46182 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
13 Jun 2012 - 3:31 PM

My immediate thought are:

1 jpg is 8 bit, you throwaway a lot of info, that is usefull when recovering dynamic range (Raw 12 or 14 bit) - but is JPEG from a 36MP camera any worse than the full RAW file from a 10MP camera. Both have about the same file size
2. You cant undo the sharpening applied in the jpg algorithym - nope. That is what custom settings are for so you can select for the occasion. Or set it to nil
3. Colour correction isn't as easy (you already apply the WhiteBalance) - you can white balance a jpeg. See also (1)
4. Jpg is a lossy format, each time you save you lose image quality - only if you deit and resave. If you intend to do this you can convert to TIFF and do it losslessly

Regards (1) I would question why you buy an uber-camera lie the D800 then rely on the camera to produce a jpeg that is no better than the RAW file from a model 2 down the food chain. But maybe the functions on the D800 are superior to make it worthwhile and at least you have the choice of image quality available...

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139392 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
13 Jun 2012 - 4:07 PM


Quote: I would question why you buy an uber-camera lie the D800 then rely on the camera to produce a jpeg

Quite. Unless you are producing photos for the picture desk of a newspaper, and everyone is in a hell of a hurry, to use something like a D800 (or indeed any other camera wich can shoot RAW) to shoot JPEG seems a tad bizarre.

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73823 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
13 Jun 2012 - 4:22 PM


Quote: My immediate thought are:

1 jpg is 8 bit, you throwaway a lot of info, that is usefull when recovering dynamic range (Raw 12 or 14 bit) - but is JPEG from a 36MP camera any worse than the full RAW file from a 10MP camera. Both have about the same file size the problem with recovering data still applies if under/ over exposed
2. You cant undo the sharpening applied in the jpg algorithym - nope. That is what custom settings are for so you can select for the occasion. Or set it to nil so are you telling me you set the different sharpening required before every single shot? As no 2 images are alike, what about selective sharpening, how can you do that in camera?
3. Colour correction isn't as easy (you already apply the WhiteBalance) - you can white balance a jpeg. See also (1) no the white balance is applied as part of the algorithm, so has an impact on the image data
4. Jpg is a lossy format, each time you save you lose image quality - only if you deit and resave. If you intend to do this you can convert to TIFF and do it losslessly true, however Tiff is not the best format, particularly for large images like those produced by the D800, PSD or PSB are much better when the file size is over 2gb

I also forgot what about the inbuilt tone curve, do you change that for every image in camera, like you do with sharpening? Must take ages hust to get an image in camera.

Regards (1) I would question why you buy an uber-camera lie the D800 then rely on the camera to produce a jpeg that is no better than the RAW file from a model 2 down the food chain. But maybe the functions on the D800 are superior to make it worthwhile and at least you have the choice of image quality available...

Carabosse
Carabosse e2 Member 1139392 forum postsCarabosse vcard England269 Constructive Critique Points
13 Jun 2012 - 4:32 PM

Guys, I think we have to realise that JPEG-fan 'LoicfromFrance' uses, and is a big fan of this camera. Wink

User_Removed
13 Jun 2012 - 6:52 PM

Grin

Wink

LoicfromFrance
13 Jun 2012 - 8:04 PM

simple experience befor speaking anyway!!!!:

only take software camera raw:
- open the same image in jpeg
- and in raw

after: modify exposure, wb, etc on CR

look in phoshop cs5 if theres any différence in any pixel

NO! after: record in psd adobe, print in jpeg/adobe 1998...
....
for the G100 YES IT IS A GOOD COMPACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LoicfromFrance
13 Jun 2012 - 8:09 PM

almost professional printers only use actually jpeg/adobe colorimetry nowadays.
in press photography we almost record in jpeg because the only effective difference is 8 bits instead of 16. no absolutly no others.

but so many people are considering quality only with "how many money does it cost?", storage also!

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