"One Word - WOW!"on by GPHector
Pros + Picture is more crisp and better details
+ Video quality is amazing, recording up to 30 mins
+ Camera is feel very solid and the shutter sound is nice
+ Support both CF and SD UHS-1 (95MB/sce)
+ Nice lens, looks very sharp and focuses very quickly
Cons - Zoom in and zoom out buttons are reversed from the old models
- Very expensive Battery pack
Summary The first concern - having splashed out quite significant amounts of money - is was it worth it?
There have been times when having bought a new and supposedly "amazing" lens I find in reality the difference is too small to be worth mentioning!
I'm pleased to say so far the new D800 excels over the D700. I've taken a number of test shots with both and converted the RAW image to JPG using Nikon Capture NX2.
I've made sure ALL settings are identical - not just aperture, shutter and ISO but also amount of noise reduction applied, white balance, etc.
Comparing the D700 vs D800 at low ISOs the D800 is a clear winner. Increased detail and resolution are obvious. I also downsided the D800 images to the same size of the D700 and they look even better - slightly more details but sharper. The D700 looks very slightly soft in comparison - even when I applied sharpening in Photoshop. Its like a lens upgrade - and not one of those upgrades you really have to stare hard at 100% on screen to notice a difference ( which is often only in extreme corners! ). This difference will be obvious even in 10 inch * 8 inch prints.
I'm not sure why other reviewers are not seeing a difference. Maybe I had a duff D700 and I just never noticed! But either way the D800 is superb.
The other worry was of course high ISO images. The highest I generally used on the D700 was 6,400. So I did test shots indoors in a darkened room at ISO 6,400.
Now at 100% there is no doubt the D700 is a little smoother. Less detail captured by the D700 and colours not as accurate but definitely marginally smoother. I should mention I had Nikon Capture's noise reduction applied equally to both ( 32% intensity setting with sharpness set to 5).
The difference is small enough to really not be an issue.
However I then downsized the D800 image to the same size as the D700 - this smoothed things out as well as sharpened things. At the same image size the D800 beats the D700 hands down. Images are just as smooth but more detailed on the D800. Colour reproduction is also more accurate in particularly dark areas on the D800. On the D700 dark blues came out black - on the D800 its come out a very dark blue.
Although I've only had the new camera a few hours I've noticed the D800 images seems to be lighter at the same settings ( aperture, shutter, ISO ). I suspect in normal use perhaps 1/3 of a stop less exposure might be good.
The sun is starting to go down - as it does where I live it hits the neighbours house's slate roof and on sunny days like today the roof is blindingly bright even to the naked eye! A good test of dynamic range as the neighbours house is heavily shaded in some areas. I did 2 shots - one with the D700 on ISO 200 and the other with the D800 on ISO 100 ( its "native" bottom end ). I'm pleased to say the blindingly bright roof was a little less blown out on the D800 vs the D700. And the shaded parts of the house were visibly brighter on the D800 vs the D700. Its perhaps not a massive difference but its clearly visible.
Auto HDR: A new feature of the D800. I'd expected it to work similar to the Auto HDR on say the Sony NEX-5N - in that it works whilst hand holding the camera. However after a few test shots outdoors I found even on a very bright sunny day with shutter speeds of 1/250 second its still blurry - and that was with me resting my arms on a wall. Perhaps its me but I sense the Auto HDR requires use of a very sturdy tripod. Given the Sony NEX 5N does not need a tripod for Auto HDR this is a little disappointing if you are not keen on tripods like myself!
Video: I'm mostly a still shooter but there are times when its nice to take a video. Carrying the hefty D700 AND my camcorder was often too much like hard work - so I'm pleased to take just the one device. Carry two devices in my bag - not me I want to snap and go!
Video quality is amazing - at least as good if not better than my $1,500 Sony camcorder. Sound from the inbuilt mic was surprisingly good too.
The downside is focussing. There is an option for continual focus while videoing but focussing can be clearly heard on the sound track. Also the D800 movie mode focussing is something of a perfectionist - never happy with the focus and forever making micro adjustments - adjustments which are clearly heard and spoil the sound. I did a test filming a lamb and mum walking slowly across a field about 50m from me - and the focus just kept on re-adjusting.
The only answer is to use non-continuous focus mode and focus first before shooting the video. This works fine - so long as whatever you are filming doesn't move out of range of the initial focus. Or you use a lens/f-stop combination with very large depth of field. I'd planned to use the video mode for shooting dolphins on a sea Safari trip in May. But past experience tells me dolphins move fast and rarely stay still for a second - I'm not sure how well the video mode will work for this if continuous AF is not used.
My Sony NEX 5N's video mode may not produce the same quality but continuous focusing is much better and quieter.
Its still early days but so far I'm not at all disappointed in the D800 vs D700. There's nothing I can find that the D700 does significantly better than the D800. But I can find lots that he D800 does better.
NOTE: If you're will buy the Nikon D800, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you decide at: Digitalslrcamerabestdeals.blogspot.com/p/nikon-d800.html
However my wallet sure feels less happy about the purchase!
Pros Excellent image quality, amazing detail.
Cons Nikon's wide angle lenses fail to resolve well enough to make this camera truly useable at shorter focal lengths.
Summary This camera produces amazingly detailed images akin to medium format digital. But the release of this camera may be a tad premature from Nikon, as it does not have the wide angle lenses to support it.
Our 24mm PC-E Tilt **** lens has always been a stellar performer on the D3 and we have been happily producing 60 inch shift panoramas with it for some time. But on the D800E this lens is now completely useless, as it fails to resolve enough detail for this megapixel monster. Even unshifted this lens is now as soft as mush!
After many hours of investigation we have come to the conclusion that there is no wide angle solution from Nikon and as a result, an additional outlay for a Zeiss 21mm Distagon was required.
The distagon is not without issues however, as it is well known for it's moustache distortion.... but that is something we can correct for in post production, where as there is nothing we can do to correct the soft mush from the 24 PC-E on the D800.
So.... this is an amazing camera with longer focal lengths, but be prepared for additional outlay if you are a wide angle shooter.
I have posted some sample images to show both the detail and the softness here... http://www.australianlight.com.au/blog/post/nikon_d800e/
Pros Much faster and more lot more information available on the viewfinder. Love the different setting regarding aperture and shutter speed.Excellent video quality.
Cons Heavy and expensive
Summary Great Camera for experienced photographer, i am not sure about the ultimate sharpness, the manufacturer claimed about. I had better results with D7000 as for as sharpness is concern. I am not sure i am not a professional photographer may be i need more skill i am not sure.
Pros Stunning Color, speed & perfomance.
Built to last rugged body.
36 mega pixels is bigger than any 35mm FX camera on the plaanet.
Many pro enhancements over the D700
Lighter than the D700
Cons we have to wait for it.
Better than the D4
Better than my D700
Summary Once you go FX there is no going back! There is no DX as good as FX, period Do you want the best there is? Look no further.
Pros High resolution photos, dual card, auto cropped lens mode, histogram, horizon and audio controls in video mode, headphone jack, very fast autofocus.
Cons Definitely not at its best over 1600asa. Heavy.
Summary An incredible camera for the price. Have been testing it solidly last few days and it holds up very well. Perfect for magazine shoots.
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