The new Nikon D800/D800E has generated a huge amount of buzz. My inbox is full of questions from readers who are asking about the camera. Here’s a sample of some of the emails from the last 24 hours:
Mike – I was happy with my D300, but I’m interested in upgrading to the camera that would replace the D700 (going from DX to FX). you told me to expect a monumental Megapixel number in the new camera, and what do you know, you were right!
I’m a little put off by that pixel count on the D800 and not quite sure what to do.
I am an amateur photographer, primarily landscapes. I have long been intrigued by the High ISO performance of the D700. Not sure about the High ISO performance of the D800 with so many very small pixel sites (although you assured me that night that the D7000 DX camera had very good High ISO performance).
Please impart some wisdom to me. How should I be looking at this new camera?
Mike – There’s a lot of discussion before anyone touches the camera about the “E” version of the D800. Should that be a consideration? I imagine the extra sharpness would be useful for far-away animals with a close crop.
Also a lot of talk about the 36mp. Very big files, lots of storage. etc. What are you thinking?
Would you sell a D3 (the old D2Xs does not have much value) i visited Calumet today and they are selling a D3 for £1400 they might offer me £1000 and then I can modernise to say one D800 And perhaps one D800E. Carrying around different batteries and chargers, cards is going to be a real hassle. With 35+mp camera I can think of slowly building up some prime lens. Who do you recommend B&H/Adarama? Very large files need lots of storage also so just ordered a 2TB LaCie Tunderbolt. Computer and Software have to be able to handle such large files, 100+mb single image I believe.
Here are some more thoughts from me about the D800/D800E
1. Keep in mind that the D800/D800E cameras are designed specifically for people who need/want super-high resolution. The D800 is fundamentally for studio photographers and for landscape photographers. It isn’t really created for wildlife/sports photographers since the frame rate is much slower at 4 fps and the file sizes are so big.
2. My gut tells me that Nikon will produce a D300/D300s replacement sometime this year, especially since they’ve now officially discontinued the D300s. I don’t have any intel on this camera, but my guess is that it will be something around 17 – 20MP in a DX format.
3. The D800 should have the same high ISO performance as the D700. In fact, it has a similar sensor pixel pitch as the D7000 and I’ve been very pleased with the D7000 at 3200 and 6400 ISOs. We should expect the D800 to perform equally as well at these ISOs.
4. For you DX shooters out there with the Nikon D300/D300s, my suggestion is to buy the D800 only if you need the higher pixel count. If not, then wait for the D300s replacement.
5. If you are selling cameras, to help finance the purchase of the D800, then keep in mind that you are going to be giving up frame rate on a camera like the D3. However, I think you’d be making a good decision by selling the D3 and getting two D800 cameras. One D800 and one D800E would be a pretty cool setup. You can also sell the D2Xs and get about $500 to $800 for it. That will help!
6. I don’t have a good read yet on how the D800E will perform versus the D800. I do know that the E version has a modified anti-aliasing (AA) filter that removes the slight blurring effect of the normal AA filter. However, I also know that I’ve been shooting with AA filtered cameras since the beginning of digital. The purpose of the AA filter is to remove moire from images with tight patterns that appear on clothing, far-off buildings and other repeating patterns. The blur effect is subtle and is easy to correct by sharping the photos in post-processing. I bought the standard D800 model and know I’ll be happy with the decision. Here’s a link to a Nikon website that explains the differences in more detail: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d800/features01.htm#a12
7. One of the neat things about the D800/D800E is that it has CF and SD card slots. Also, the SD slot supports the Eye-Fi card technology so you can wirelessly download images to your computer in real time as you shoot. For studio photographers, this means you can write the RAW images to the CF card and the JPGs to the Eye-Fi card. Then, you can have your clients reviewing the JPG images as they pop up on your computer. This is a neat technology which means you won’t need to be fully tethered to your computer with a cable.
Finally, for those of you asking where to buy, I buy from B&H and have been for many years. In fact, that’s where I just purchased my D800 from yesterday. I just started an affiliate link with them, so if you purchase from these links below, it will help me out a bit.