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I am not suggesting there are no differences, but increasing numbers photographers are accepting for most of their photographic needs any historical concerns relating to pixel density and noise can be largely discounted or even ignored.
But there will still be more noise in higher pixel density cameras than lower pixel densities - assuming the same technology. Whether the increased noise is significant is another matter. However the point I was making was that you can lose the noise from the higher pixel density camera by resampling at lower pixel count, so the extra resolution on the high pixel camera is basically a free lunch. The reason some people complain about these high MP cameras (i.e. the 36Mp FF and the 24Mp APS-C cameras) is that they look at the 100% picture and see that the noise is more than the lower MP cameras. The Sony A77 (24Mp) got a bit of flak for being noiser than the Sony A55 (16Mp) but when you resample the 24Mp image they pretty much the same from the noise point of view. But you'll still read reviewers (even in the AP) who will say that the 16Mp sensor is better than the 24Mp sensor for noise.
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To be honest, noise is a non issue with the D800, it has less noise at ISO 3200, than my old D80 had at ISO400 (about the same as it was at ISO200) - the only time you will see it is on screen, in print its a non issue.
The extra dynamic range is unbelievable, I can see a time in the not too distant future when there wont be a need for ND grads, as it is the D800 can get away with a lot less filtration.
Here is an image from the Fire Walk charity event we photographed the other evening. First is a 100% crop where you can clearly see the noise levels. The second is the full size image. Taken at ISO 6400, 1/60 sec, F6.3, focal length 72mm. This is straight out of camera RAW file. No processing. I compared this to images from the D4 we were using and overall I felt the D800 may have performed slightly better.
I've followed this thread with interest as I get what the OP is implying. I've been using my D800 (alongside my D700) for nearly ten months and I still don't trust it. Occasionally and randomly it will produce very soft images. I've questioned my technique a number of times and the camera has been back to Nikon three times to address focus problems. I thought the issues had been resolved by using higher shutter speeds but it seems not.
Today I had soft images at 1/800th of a second with a 70-200mm lens. At the time of taking I thought the lens wasn't locking on properly, but it works fine on other cameras. There's something not right and I can't put my finger on it.
Itís definitely not the infamous left-focus-point problem that many D800s had, Gary?
No, this was with all the focus points. It was almost as if you were viewing the images with milk bottle glasses on as it was so obvious. The odd thing is there wasn't a problem before. It came back with the fault after some attention for other issues at a Nikon service. I can't help thinking the camera is still faulty.
Upto now I can't fault the focus, but I only tend to use a single focus point, it does have different focusing technology to the D700 tho
I had a loan D800 from Nikon for one of the repairs and I have to say it felt like a different camera - the focus was quick and accurate. With mine I'm constantly checking and re-checking. I've been a pro using Nikons for many years and I have never had such a fundamental distrust of a camera as I do with this one. It's a shame as the image quality is just amazing when it nails it. I'm loathe to use it doing aerials or work from a boat because the movement will only exacerbate the problem I have with it.
Sounds like you have a problem, if you've given them a chance to repair I would be insisting on a replacement.
What lenses are you using Gary? I'm wondering if older lenses (or non Nikon ones) struggle in some circumstances. What's it like in liveview?
I am using my D800 more and more I have D3 & D3s also.
But I know both of these will deliver,- my challenge has been to push the D800 into the places the D3 & s will go using the same Nikon lenses, The D800 makes you stop - think and go back to your film days using the knowledge of photography f - stops - shutter speed Depth of field - ect.
If I need a shot D3 or D3s will never miss, if I want something more - D800 and experience, It is a superb Camera but it is also (as I have mentioned before in this thread) closer to a Medium format than a Coolpix.
Show it respect and understanding and it will give you stunning results.I do not think the D800 has many if any faults, But it can show us Ours.
Seems you are in the minority, Sharppictures.
Well it's kind of therapeutic to get feedback from some fellow users. I agree the camera is in a league of its own but I'm wondering if I've got a 'lemon'. I'm aware of the need to be methodical but sometimes you just have to get on with it and this is an unforgiving camera if you're not careful.
When you said the borrowed camera was much better, it makes me think you may have a problematic camera. Have you optimised the focus of each lens?
The problems are they hand held or on a tripod? If a tripod check the head is sturdy enough - or not broken ( I had that problem once).
Quote: But there will still be more noise in higher pixel density cameras than lower pixel densities - assuming the same technology. Whether the increased noise is significant is another matter. However the point I was making was that you can lose the noise from the higher pixel density camera by resampling at lower pixel count, so the extra resolution on the high pixel camera is basically a free lunch.
The point I was trying to make is similar but a little different in detail. You often get more than a free lunch
There will always be noise at whatever the current highest available ISO is, but because of manufacturing and design improvements resampling current technology higher MP camera to last generation lower MP cameras usually gives less noise.
My D300 had more MP than my D200 yet much better noise even at 400 ISO.
The D2Xs is not that old. It had 12.4 MP and a standard ISO range from 100 to a pedestrian by modern standards 800 ISO.
The D800 has 36 MP and standard ISO goes goes 3 speeds higher to 6400.
Your point that D800 36 MP noise at 6400 resampled down to 12 MP and compared to say the not good noise of the D2Xs at 800 illustrates how much high ISO noise performance has been improved in recent years.
I appreciate DX to FX is part apple to oranges, but the D2Xs had a lower pixel density than the D800.
@Nick_w I have 14-24mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm F2.8s which I share between a number of cameras. I would say I have a 99% focus/sharpness success rate with them on the reliable D300 and D700, but only around 80% with the D800. I have tried selecting much high shutter speeds than I would normally use at the expense of the best aperture settings just to ensure there was no movement. Even this has not been foolproof. I'm still trying to figure out if the last sequence of soft shots was down to movement or inaccurate focussing. The more I think about it, I reckon it's the latter. Perhaps I should send it back yet again while it's still under warranty?
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