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Nikon D800 for Sports?

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scunny_chris
16 Feb 2013 - 8:51 PM

I currently use a D700 and shoot mainly motocross and although the camera will do 9frames per second i tend to usually take two or rarely 3 shots each time a bike comes by and never machine gun so my question for the D800 user is . Is the new focusing system lightning fast and I have read that the camera needs to be used with a tripod to ensure sharp images due to the large number of pixels (this would be a problem for me). I know some would say look to the D4 or D3s but cost is an issue there so i would be interested in hearing the opinions of experienced D800 users as my thinking is that maybe the better focusing system would go some way to negating the shutter speed difference especially when i never machine gun it anyway and I am always trying to get as much detail in the shots as i can. .thanks in advance .

Chris

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16 Feb 2013 - 8:51 PM

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User_Removed
16 Feb 2013 - 10:04 PM

No, stick with your D700. The D800 is a studio camera. It's too slow for what you want.

paulcookphotography

It needs wound up with a crank handle and still life pics need days of exposure...

(sarcasm - ignore)

paulcookphotography

The focus is very fast, you have read correctly.

The high mega pixel count means high resolution can show movement easier. HOWEVER that movement would be seen on any camera with such a high resolution. It does not 'need' a tripod

janeez
janeez e2 Member 51174 forum postsjaneez vcard United Kingdom8 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 11:10 AM

I'm taking mine out tonight to photograph people "walking" over hot coals! I'm going to need a need a fast focus for that one and I think I'm about to find out what hot pixels really are. Wink

puertouk
puertouk  21053 forum posts United Kingdom17 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 11:30 AM

I would have thought the Canon MKIII would be a more suitable camera for sports. The Nikon is maybe the best camera for landscape and studio work by a country mile.

thewilliam
17 Feb 2013 - 12:42 PM

If you must get a D800, remember that it'll auto-crop whenever a DX lens is fitted, thus halving the resolution. In addition, you can select a lower resolution in the menu and this will speed up the file handling.

If you fire single frames, then you won't have any problem with the drive speed. For real high speed sports you might need the higher frame rate of the D4. There was a good reason why the D4 was released ahead of the Olynpic Games and has a modest pixel count.

scunny_chris
17 Feb 2013 - 5:14 PM

Thanks all i am going to the focus show so might get chance to compare a few different cameras .puerto uk i have thought about the canon so will definitely have a look at the 5d mk111 cheers.

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62431 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
17 Feb 2013 - 9:48 PM

The D800 can be right for sports photography for you
You say that you do not shoot more than three shots at any one time, with an interval between.
With Ch shutter setting the D800 does 4 fps with full size RAW files - fast enough for your needs - though not fast enough for all sports photography.
The camera also does 5fps in Ch with any of the crop options, including 5:4 or 1.2x.
Downloading and editing RAW files takes some time if you do not have a USB 3 connection on your computer.
If your aim is highest quality rather than getting images quickly to a picture desk the D800 is likely to be better than your D700 because of faster central autofocus point AF speed, extremely good high ISO performance and greater dynamic range, with the bonus of a 100% viewfinder.
At Focus you might get a D800 for 1800 or less.
Avoid Sunday if you want time to handle cameras on the manufacturers stands.

Last Modified By LenShepherd at 17 Feb 2013 - 9:51 PM
scunny_chris
17 Feb 2013 - 10:01 PM

Thanks Len the point about highest quality is exactly what i am after .....i always use the nikon 24-70 2.8 and the nikon 70-200 2.8 vr2 and i am often asked about huge posters for customers and the point you make about the faster central focus point speed is what i am interested in as the d700 can sometimes struggle. To be honest I would use both cameras trackside but i really do like the idea of dragging as much detail as i can out of each shot . I will be at focus on Tuesday i think but it will be busy as I have been before during the week .....patience is a must at these things i think.

keithh
keithh  1022762 forum posts Wallis and Futuna29 Constructive Critique Points
17 Feb 2013 - 10:14 PM

I was shooting sports, professionally, at one time on a Nikon D1x at 3fps and then through two models of Canon 1Ds reaching the heady heights of 4fps.

I never missed a shot through lack of a frame rate only my sloppiness. Knowing your sport is worth a lot of frame rates and allows you to make judgements based on the likely hood of what will or could happen next.

Could I do the same with a D800. Damn right I could.

scunny_chris
17 Feb 2013 - 10:23 PM

Thanks Keithh I agree 100% with your comment about knowing your sport this is why i never feel the need to machine gun ...if i haven't got the shot in the first frame or two then the shot is gone so having a good idea of where the rider is going is definitely a massive part of the equation .

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62431 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
17 Feb 2013 - 10:35 PM


Quote: highest quality is exactly what i am after .....i always use the nikon 24-70 2.8 and the nikon 70-200 2.8 vr2 and i am often asked about huge posters for customers and the point you make about the faster central focus point speed is what i am interested in

With these aims and your lenses I suggest there is no better body than a D800, except possibly a D800e, including any body from Canon.
Having compared a D800 to my now sold D3s at several Nikon Pro events I am satisfied the f8 autofocus points are faster, particularly in lower light levels.
I now own the D 800 and am very pleased with its autofocus performance, as well as the ability to critically view A2 prints I have made from it viewed as close as 15 inches.
Whether I hire a D4 when the Tour de France passes my road end in 2014 remains to be seen Smile
Digressing to photographing the Tour de France, as an ex racing cyclist I forecast it will pass through the town where I live at an average speed of 40 mph. All accommodation sold out within two days.
The best photographic position should be on one of the major climbs where speeds on the steeper sections will slow to about 15 mph. As there will be vehicle access lockdown 2 to 3 hours before the Tour de France comes through you need to be in position early in the day. On the 2 mile climb I have short listed crowds at least 5 deep either side of the road are likely. Getting 40,000 spectators on and off a 2 mile stretch of moorland road takes time.

Nick_w
Nick_w e2 Member 73818 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
18 Feb 2013 - 1:50 AM


Quote: I have read that the camera needs to be used with a tripod to ensure sharp images due to the large number of pixels (this would be a problem for me).

If your technique is sound there's no problem what so ever (I was using it today and got sharp images under 1/10 sec, yes the lens has VR - no camera will freeze subject movement tho, how do I know it's sharp, well I can zoom in to 100% and see a the clock makers name on a clock dial.

The focusing seems pretty good, in very low light levels too.

LenShepherd
LenShepherd e2 Member 62431 forum postsLenShepherd vcard United Kingdom
18 Feb 2013 - 7:10 AM


Quote:
If your technique is sound there's no problem what so ever s VR

I agree. I suspect Nikon's guidance is aimed at those with sloppy technique who have never produced anything much larger than a 5 x 7" print prior to buying a D800.
Most experienced photographers have learnt without good technique you are unlikely to get a sharp A3 print. Technique needs to be first class for a top quality A2 print but suggesting a tripod is essential is, in my opinion as a D800 user, absolute garbage.
The D800 has at least one stop better high noise performance than your D700 so cranking up the shutter speed using ISO 1600 or even 3200 is not a problem.
Panning with a gold monopod is even better, but it always was anyway with your type of motor vehicle sports photography.
The lens has five speeds vibration reduction which ignores the direction of panning - with good panning technique and a monopod it is a safe bet sharp A2 pictures are possible at 1/15th of a second.
I know it is unlikely that the 70-200 f4 will be on offer at Focus at around 900, but if it is my credit card will get used Smile

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