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Full Version: D800 or D800E?
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The article and comparison photos by Rob Galbraith are quite revealing and interesting. The increase in sharpness is very perceptible with the E and moire does not seem too bothersome in scenes I would likely photograph. Given a choice, I would go for E, but that is probably even harder to come by than the plain vanilla (????) D800. But sharpness is not everything and I am very happy with what I got. However those of you considering buying D800, give D800E some thought. I would also not mind swapping and paying the difference in purchase price.

I have the battery door fixed, LCD cover replaced by a cut to measure protective film and now I am waiting for Tom Hogan to come out with his book on D800. Perhaps Matthew will give me some hints in the meantime. I am a bit bewildered by all the choices.
I too have had a few "could have bought a D8/e" moments, but I've decided to become skillful at sharpening instead. Under ideal-for-resolution conditions the D800E images are better to begin with, but don't seem to benefit from sharpening to the same degree. Since Lightroom and similar have been designed over the years specifically to combat the blur caused by bayer demosaic processing and high-pass filters, this isn't much of a surprise.

(it's also worth noting that the D800 has a relatively weak anti-aliasing filter, while the D800E actually has an anti-anti-aliasing filter. That's not quite the same as the Fuji Xpro, Leica M8/8.2/9/M, and MF cameras that don't have an AA filter at all.)

I used to think that I knew a bit about cameras, but that was before I bought Thom Hogan's Guide to the D700. I'm going to need to work through the D800 guide once it's out as well. But until then, I'd be happy to compare notes…

(May 11, 2012, 12:20)matthew Wrote: [ -> ]I too have had a few "could have bought a D8/e" moments, but I've decided to become skillful at sharpening instead.

Ha ha, nicely done Matthew. I think sometimes we need to turn off that inner monologue - and just be happy that we made the best decision at the time, with all the facts at hand. And these days most purchases are best case compromises - I would argue, specifically engineered by manufacturers to generate the desire to upgrade to the next best thing. After all, if they made the perfect camera then no one would ever spend any more money. Big Grin
Matthew, you are in luck with sharpening, as compared to D300, D800 can soak up amazing amount of sharpening without showing oversharpening artifacts or without the photos looking oversharpened. With D300, you could go over the limit really easy, as can be seen on my earlier photos and on great many photos I see in competitions as a judge or on Flickr
Dpreview have published their D800E findings, compared side by side with the D800.


Interesting to note:

Quote:At F2.8, the slight blurring from lens aberrations is sufficient to narrow the gap between the D800 and D800E to the point you'd probably not be able to see any real difference in normal shooting. It's only at the lens's very sharpest apertures, i.e. F4 - F5.6, that the difference between the D800 and D800E is really pronounced. The latter gives clearly higher contrast, but at the expense of the more-prominent moiré that we noted earlier.

Not to mar the D800E in any way.... I think the D800 produces such exceptional quality already, that additional resolving power of the D800E is probably splitting hairs.
My take is that if i was doing the decision now, I would probably go for the E, but The 800 is a wonderful camera - hugely better than the great D300. My photos are sharper, less noisy, dynamic range at low ISO is amazing, it is easier to focus accurately the tonal gradation seems smoother but my photos are only marginally improved overall. Additional small incremental technical improvement would not make my photos more creative or give them a significantly better impact.
That DPReview, erm, Review certainly piqued some interest in the D800E – the shop where I work part-time received more calls looking for it yesterday than it did in all of the previous week.

I've been looking at the results and occasionally felt the 'E' model calling my name, but the reality is that I would never see the difference. I don't always use the sharpest lenses at their best apertures, and even when I do use a tripod (rarely) it's a light-weight model that still doesn't let the camera reach its best potential. And while the price difference between the two isn't huge, relatively speaking, it's still enough to cover all of the costs of my next day trip to New York City, and I absolutely will see the difference that that will make to my photography.

Another thing to consider right now is that the D800E is an extremely rare camera. My rough guess is that Nikon is shipping ten D800's for every one E model that escapes from the factory. Given that the reviews are going to further push demand to the big "E", I'm betting that the stock D800 will be sitting on the store shelves for a couple of months before the E stops being a pre-order item.
(Jun 13, 2012, 18:18)matthew Wrote: [ -> ]Another thing to consider right now is that the D800E is an extremely rare camera. My rough guess is that Nikon is shipping ten D800's for every one E model that escapes from the factory.

In Vancouver, the wait time for an "e" is about a quarter of the time for a JA800 (just an 800)...

I have to admit that I am a fan of the no AA filter "reverse" feature of the e.

Strangely enough, its not that the e has no AA filter - it does. In fact, they have placed a second filter in front of the AA filter to reverse the effect. Am I the only one that feels that is the hard way to solve the problem? I suspect that the manufacturing process to install the second filter is a few cents a unit cheaper than changing the "normal" assembly process for the 800.
I really do not understand the vast price-gulf between the E and the 800 when the issue is merely the nature of the AA filter: I gather then that the E merely allows Sir a choice of "balancing" the AA filter in the same way a balanced cable in audio applications gives a "cleaner" signal...and isn't the issue here one of moiré ratherthan "sharpness!?
Er...and are we really meaning sharpness...or acuity..?...
My feeling is this is all marketing froth designed to play on the paranoias/hopes of the mid-level (pro)sumer whilst wringing the last yen.
Rob, you're exactly right about the filter assembly difference; it's not "no AA filter", it's that its optical low-pass filter has a second LPF installed to reverse the other. It's not an ideal situation, and probably isn't as good as doing it the right way, but it speaks to Nikon's expectation that the D800E would be a niche product. It doesn't look like it's going to turn out that way, so it will be interesting to see if they retool their production and lower their unit price.

Zig, I wouldn't say that the 10% price difference between the 800 and the E is a vast gulf – a bay or an inlet, perhaps, or maybe a nice fjord, but I suppose there's not much precedent for pricing on two very similar cameras. (The Leica M Monochrom is 15% more expensive than the M9, and the M9 is 40% more than the film M7… but the Canon 60Da is 50% more than the 60D.) There is a real, visible difference in the level of fine detail that the "E" can resolve – at least under ideal conditions. For those of us who don't experience ideal conditions then there's no advantage to the fancier model, but everyone wants to think that they're the exception to the imperfect-technique rule.