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Thoughts on Nikon D800?

As you know, I am thinking of replacing my Nikon D300. In a short-term (now to 4 - 5 years or so), I plan to stay mostly with Nikon line, as i have a significant investment in lenses. In a longer term (2-3 years from now) , I am planning to slowly build a a smaller mirror-less system with a handful of small primes. Nikon D800 is a part of the first phase. I like the fact that it can use the DX lenses in a cropped mode, offering nearly 16 mpixel resolution. I also have some full frame lenses (teles and normal) and I would have to get either a 21mm (Zeiss) or perhaps 14mm and 35 mm from Samyang to have a pretty complete full frame system.

My concern is whether I will get appreciable improvement in light sensitivity and dynamic range over my current camera. Clearly I will get a massive improvement in resolution (3x 12 mpixel to 36mpixel). I am not sure how much actual improvement in image quality will I get, as I am not sure my lenses will keep up with the resolution. (Sigma 200 macro, Nikon 105 mm macro (AF model), old Nikon 50 mm 1.4 and Nikon 70-300)

I would appreciate any views before I jump. This is the most jump-ready I have been for a long time. My camera is now 5 years old (I believe) and I would like to have something new. However, I do not know what the Nikon D400 will be like, if it will ever see the light of day.


Please see my photos at (fewer, better image quality, not updated lately)
or at (all photos)

The D700 is am awesome camera, so if the D800 maintains the low noise qualities of the D700, it will be a winner.

My advise: get the D800e which has no anti-aliasing filter. The AA filter kills critical sharpness by intentionally blurring every pixel a tiny bit. This is done to prevent moire effects but my M( has no AA filter and I have seen moire in maybe 2 shots in 5000 and it is easily corrected in post.

The exception would be if you are taking a lot of closeups of fabric samples or some such subject that makes extensive use of high frequency lines in a small area. In that case, you might want AA - other than that good riddance.

My first thought: It's great to finally see the replacement for the Canon 5DmkII, I just didn't expect it to take Nikon lenses.

Honestly, I'm not sure what Nikon's plan is with this one. They're clearly aiming at digital medium format territory, but resolution isn't everything. Of course, low-light and high speed also isn't everything, but don't let the D3s hear you say that.

The Nikon D3/D700 upset a lot of the D3 early adopters, because nobody expected Nikon to release the same sensor in a camera that cost half as much. At least there's a clear differentiation between the 16MP D4 and the 36MP D800.

I would love to have the resolution bump that the D800 gives, but then if I want 40MP files from my D700 all I need to do it take multiple shots and process them through Photoacute. But I've only done that occasionally, so apparently higher resolution and lower noise – simultaneously, through the magic of software – isn't something that I'm questing after. If I had $3150/$3450 + tax, this isn't what I'd be looking to spend it on.

But with Nikon's newfound interest in the megapixel race, I'm very interested to see what the "D400" will look like. A D800-size body, weather sealed, with a 24MP sensor would certainly get my attention. Give it to me without an anti-aliasing filter, and it might just get my money, too. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Matt: good thought on the new megapixel race. I was thinking earlier about how little I require 36 MPx photos. Not that I care about disk space that much, but I just haven't found 18 Mpx on a FF sensor to be that limiting. I have to crop pretty hard before I can't get a quality 11x14 out of it.

24 Mpx might just be a sweet spot if that ends up in a D400 (with no AA filter), it might get a few of my $ too.

You're all missing Christmas already. Rolleyes Big Grin.

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.

Well, as it turns out, the 800E does still have an AA filter which they go to great lengths to reverse. How bizarre! I am sure they have some logical reason for doing this rather than just not putting one in at all, but they are mum on the subject...

Here's a movie captured entirely on the D800 with Nikkor lenses - much like what Canon did when the 1Ds Mk II(??) launched.

Plenty of predominantly dark night scenes, to showcase the high sensitivity and dynamic range. I had to laugh though when he went straight off the bike into the theatre. Big Grin

Hi Pavel,

Some new on production of the D800 / D4:

I think it looks quite good. Blush


Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.

For me the possible moire and color issues (from the limited samples iv seen) is something i rather not deal with. So if i was buying one it would be the NON e version. Nikon should be applaud for keeping their competition on their toes, their variety in cameras catered different genre's in the market is unsurpassed imo.

Strives to make photos instead of taking them...

Over on dpreview, they've interviewed a couple of pros and asked their thoughts regarding the D4 & D800.

My take - incremental improvements on camera that already were excellent at what they did. Most of the article talks about the new HD video capabilities... Big Grin

This is funny - apparently they used video footage from a Canon 5D Mark II as part of the launch of the D800. Plus, they used the footage without contacting the owner...

[Image: Nikon_uses_TSO_Photography_without_permission.png]

Oops, looks like Nikon UK have priced their pre-order D4 and D800's too high, to the tune of 500 and 200 pounds respectively. Apparently they are going to honour their prices for those who pre-ordered, but bad luck for those after the announcement.

The D800 prices are now closer to the Canon 5D Mark III but still...

Quote: DPnow - "Nikon UK has also confirmed to us that this price rise will only affect customers in the UK and Irish markets - other regions are not affected."

Lumix LX5.
Canon 350 D.+ 18-55 Kit lens + Tamron 70-300 macro. + Canon 50mm f1.8 + Manfrotto tripod, in bag.

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