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Thread: Nikon D800

  1. #1
    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Default Nikon D800

    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Pub...or-performance

    DxO Labs reviewed the new Nikon D800's sensor, and found it to be the best sensor they have ever tested. Still to come, how the D800 works with Nikon's lenses.

    DPReview is working on its full review of the D800. So far, they have posted initial impressions

    http://www.dpreview.com/previews/nikonD800

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    Nothing more to say.
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  3. #3
    haven is offline Expedition Portal Moderator Expedition Leader
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    Here's another glowing report
    "the D800/E...will be the benchmark from now on against which I measure other cameras that cross my desk."
    "...this camera is so exceptional, in so many ways, that it will force the rest of the camera industry to up its game..."
    --Michael Reichmann, Luminous Landscape

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...ressions.shtml

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    Red face Too Good for Your Lens?

    My son-in-law, who is a very artistic photographer, has an D800e on order. We were discussing all the chatter about lenses-that-are-good-enough to use with the D800, the requirement to use a tripod, etc. This is going to be a very nice camera, to be sure, but I don't think that any digital sensor yet exceeds the resolution of classic color slide film and we certainly used a lot of different lenses back in the day. You might argue that modern lenses simply do not have the quality of old lenses and this might be an issue when you consider that most new lenses are zooms, but I don't think it is true. I suspect that the D800 may make the differences between lenses more obvious, but what this means for the real world quality or "value" of images is less obvious.

    The funny thing is that camera lenses have almost always exceeded the quality of the output of a camera. For example, you put a $1000 piece of glass on your camera, shoot a slide, and then project that slide through a slide projector. I never paid more than $200 for a slide projector, including the lens. Similarly, what is is the quality in an 8x10 from the the drug store, or even Kodak? And today, most people look at images on 72-100 ppi computer screens. (Or small 300 ppi prints.) And that is before we even get into things like soft focus, etc. How much resolution do you really want for the pimple on your model's nose?

    Don't get me wrong, I think that this is going to be a very nice camera and hope to get one next year; been saving ever since the D700 came out. But at the end of the day, a D800 will not make me a better photographer and I really doubt that many people will look at pictures from a D800 and exclaim at how much better they are than those from a D200. (And yes, I am only too aware of the D200's weakness as a high ISO machine, etc.)

    Thom Hogan had an interesting article about digital photography hitting a plateau at about the 10 MP level. Certainly, I am inclined to think the the real breakthrough in digital photography has been the steady increase in sensor size, rather than the increase in MP.

    And Canon is not going to let the D800 slide by, so we are going to be seeing some nice toys. Now, pay for the trip or pay for the camera?
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  5. #5
    A really good, properly scanned 35mm slide film resolves at a level of around 10-12 megapixels. The level of detail from 36 megapixels is on par with traditional medium format film, which means a 35mm lenses weaknesses will be more much more apparent with the D800. Ironically enough though, the pixel pitch of the D800 sensor is just slightly larger than that of the D7000, which means the D800 is no more demanding of lenses then the D7000 is at a pixel for pixel level, at least on a general scale. Obviously things like corner weakness will come into play with full frame, but if you take the center 5 megapixels on the D7000 and the center 5 megapixels on the D800, those pixels on the D800 will not test the resolving power of a lens any more than the D7000 would. The D7000, just like any of the newer/higher megapixel cameras like the Canon 7D, Sony NEX7, A77, etc, all test a photographers shooting technique and a lenses qualities just as much as the D800 will. The only difference is this time we are seeing this test played out on a Nikon full frame camera, so corner performance of current lenses is really the only area where new insights as far as a lens quality goes, will come from. If the center of a say a 70-200 is good on a D7000, it will be equally good on the D800. ...and of course if your shooting technique is sloppy, it will show, just as it will with any of the other high megapixel cropped cameras.

    I do agree, the D800 will not make you a better photographer, and most people may never utilize all 36 megapixels. But for those who are demanding of their equipment, and the D800 is designed to be a high end professional imaging tool after all, the D800 is a ground shake. For instance, 14.4 stops of dynamic range compared to 11.5 on the D200 is a massive difference that equates to a photographer having to use a 3 stop grad filter for a landscape shot and dealing with those limitations, or simply not having to. It means dealing with a lot more blown out highlights or lost shadows in one city shot, or seeing a more natural complete range of detail and tones. In terms of colour reproduction, 25.3 bits compared to 22.3, means more life like, more flattering, less jarring transitions in colour, from skies to skin. 36 megapixels is the difference between having a sharp, nicely detailed 24x36" print, and one that looks soft or has jagged edges. And lastly, the high ISO performance between the two equates to more than 7 stops of usable light. That's like a wedding photographer shooting with a F1.8 lens on one camera and a F9 lens on another. Will any of this stuff make a difference to someone who can't utilize it, of course not, does it make a difference to someone who can, you bet.
    Last edited by Lost Canadian; 05-01-2012 at 12:13 AM.
    Trevor-
    The quiet country is my church, my cathedral. It's where I go to get a sense of what life is like when it is left alone.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Canadian View Post
    A really good, properly scanned 35mm slide film resolves at a level of around 10-12 megapixels. The level of detail from 36 megapixels is on par with traditional medium format film

    ... 14.4 stops of dynamic range ...

    ... high ISO performance between the two equates to more than 7 stops of usable light...

    Will any of this stuff make a difference to someone who can't utilize it, of course not, does it make a difference to someone who can, you bet.

    A point and shoot camera with just one third of the D800 sensor would make a big difference to countless people who would get more sharp and nicely exposed pictures without doing a thing. Hopefully this level of performance will pour rather than trickle down.
    Graham Fitter

    Talk is cheap because supply exceeds demand.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Canadian View Post
    A really good, properly scanned 35mm slide film resolves at a level of around 10-12 megapixels.
    Trevor,

    I scan at 4000 dpi, so I would guesstimate at closer to 20 MP. In any case, they come out of my Nikon Coolscan V ED as massive 100-120 MB TIFF. Whatever the numbers, the resolution of old Kodachrome 64 can be amazing. Even these compressed for the web JPEG just keep on going. Interesting website, that I just found in response to your post, here: http://www.mindspring.com/~dreamflie...s-Coolpix.html



    You can even see that the second train has a steam engine. (Ashai Pentax, SMC Takumar 135 f2.5, Kodachrome 64)

    Or this one:



    (Ashai Pentax, SMC Takumar 35 f2, Kodachrome 64) Thought these might bring back memories.

    EDITED TO ADD: Just noted that Aperture computes megapixels. 35mm slides and negatives work out to 3,000+ x 5000+ pixels, or 19-20 MP, depending on crop. Note that these are the dimensions of the scanned slide, not specifically the optical resolution within the image. The latter is limited by film grain.)

    Trust me, I know why I waited for the D800. I would just note that the images linked in the Luminous Landscape article were precisely the images that do not really benefit from the increased resolution.

    For those of us who shoot travel and landscape, the increased resolution is a gift, bigger prints and, in the case of critters, more scope to crop. To say nothing of the ability to use faster shutters when shooting tele. As I say, I KNOW why I want one. (Now I just gotta find the $$.)

    All the best!
    Last edited by DiploStrat; 05-01-2012 at 10:46 PM.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by DiploStrat View Post
    ...they come out of my Nikon Coolscan V ED as massive 100-120 MB TIFF.
    That's it?! JK. But in all seriousness, a 14 bit raw from the D800 converted into a 16 bit TIFF is a RAM crushing 200+ MB! My Mac almost had an aneurysm the first time I converted a file to run through Silver Efex. What's even scarier is that the raws themselves are pushing 70-80 MB. So beyond the camera itself, if a buyer is thinking D800, they should also be prepared to invest in lots of memory and possibly a computer upgrade.
    Trevor-
    The quiet country is my church, my cathedral. It's where I go to get a sense of what life is like when it is left alone.


    Trevor L Brown Photography, Tacoma

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    I have a 2007 MacPro 1,1 with 21 MB of RAM. With the new 5770 video card, it tends to chug along nicely. I actually have a SSD, but it is currently living in my 2006 MacBookPro in preparation for two trips this year. That said, I can get serious pauses when going to full res, sharpening or unsharpening, and when working with processor intensive processes like Shadows (Fill Light in Lightroom.) The thing that annoys me is that I fear that my box may not run Mountain Lion and there is a rumor that Aperture 4 might be linked to Mountain Lion.

    I don't use any of the plugins that require TIFF, but I agree; 200 MB will stretch even modern computers - both for image processing and for simply getting the files on and off disk.

    In any case, I can afford neither a new Mac nor a new D800 before my next two trips, so I will simply have to be a better photographer!

    Elsewhere in the news, did I ever compliment you on your Cuba pictures? If not, they are nice.
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  10. #10
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    I have just purchased a D800. I came from a background of FM2, F3, Pentax 67ll and always using Velvia 50 and a tripod. I have been hanging back on the purchase of a topend DSLR believing a camera of this stature would be available one day. Previous posts on this thread suggesting "most" photographers may never utilise the full resolution of the D800 may be true but not for me. When you see a snapout image there for the taking, you want the very best you can capture, leastways I do. Otherwise, why bother? You may never pass that way again, so the best is what you want. A point overlooked is that we don't have to use the full resolution every time, it's just there when you need it. Documentary shots etc. can still be collected at a lower quality. Anyway, it's a steep learning curve for me and I firmly believe all the precise, ritualistic lessons I have learned over the years when setting up a shot are still highly valid in a digital world if the utmost quality is desired. Cheers.

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