I have had a D200 for 6 years now and it has been an amazing camera. I have been tempted by the D700 for the last couple of years but always wanted to wait for the next generation camera (this wait went on a little longer than I expected!).
When the D800 was announced I decided to take the plunge and over the next few weeks I am going to write a blog about my experiences with the D800. This is day 1.
The main type of photography that I do is
- Landscape Photography – this is my main area of interest
- People photography (mainly my kids)
- Sports photography
- Starting to do more natural history photography
What I do with my photography when I have spent hours editing it!
- Share on Flickr
- Enter competitions
- Print it (up to A2 on Espon printer) and hang it at home / exhibit it
First of all I wanted to address the main reasons that I bought a D800 and why I wanted to upgrade from a D200.
- I wanted better noise performance – the D200 isn’t great above around ISO 400
- I wanted to take videos
- I wanted slightly more resolution as I often crop my photos (however never thought I needed 36 MP)
- I wanted better dynamic range for landscapes
There are also quite a few things that I haven”t liked about the D200 (this list was difficult to compile as most things have been brilliant!)
- Dust on the sensor – I have to get it cleaned every 4 months
- Screen – it is poor quality and makes it difficult to review images
- Focus problems – I have had a few focus problems on fast moving subjects and in low light
- Battery life – it is poor and only good for 250 photos
Finally a few points to note
- This test isn’t an absolute test of the D800 – for that go to dpreview”s great d800 review
- This is my opinion as a keen photographer – I maybe wrong – but it is how I see it!
The D800 arrived from Park Cameras at 9:30am. What I had completely forgotten was that I needed to charge the battery – so 1 hour later (and about 65% charged) I started shooting. What is immediately obvious is how clear the view finder is and how good the screen is (Very good colour rendition, brightness and sharpness). You can use it to actually review your images accurately. So I put on the only normal length lens I had that would have any chance of performing with the D800 and started shooting – the Sigma 50mm F1.4! All images were shot in RAW (not RAW ).
Some of the images link to Flickr higher resolution versions – so click away!
This is one of the first few images from the camera.
I then decided to have a run out with the camera. I left the Sigma 50mm lens on and snapped away
Two Trees – ISO 50 – Sigma 50mm f6.3 1/640s (RAW – No processing) – CENTRE OF IMAGE
Two Trees – ISO 50 – Sigma 50mm f6.3 1/640s (RAW – No processing) – TOP LEFT
These photos show the performance of the Sigma from centre to edge. As you can see there is some Chromatic Aberration towards the edge of the shot.
I also wanted to compare the D200 to the D800 even though it is comparing a 6 year old camera to a camera that is just released I wanted to see how much impact the 32 Mp had.
Cheshire Wall to Shutlingsloe – ISO 50 – Sigma 50mm f/16 1/6s (RAW)
I took this shot on the D800 with Sigma 50mm and used the 17-55mm Nikkor on the D200 @ 34mm. The Nikkor lens is far superior – so it isn”t by any means a scientific test. What it does show though is the level of detail (even with a £400 sigma lens) the D800 can produce.
Cheshire Wall to Shutlingsloe – D200 (TOP) vs D800 (BOTTOM) D200 is upsized
Ok – the boring stuff over with – onto creating some great images. I decided to take some natural history shots and where better than the garden!
The 70-200mm lens is a great lens – it is pin sharp and produces great Bokeh.
The first thing I tried was shooting in DX mode which you can force the D800 to do. The photo below is shot in DX mode. The highlighted crop below is taken from this 15 MP DX image.
A lot of people have said that hand holding the camera would prove difficult – however here is a snap I took with the 70-200mm lens. The detail when blown up on screen is stunning!
Bull! @ ISO 400 Nikon 70-200 @ 200mm f/4 1/2500s
Sigma 100 – 300 F4 EX DG HSM
I then switched to the Sigma 100 – 300 f4 EX DG HSM and decided to take some video. I shot this @ 50fps and then created this 50% slow motion video @25fps. I will investigate the video function a little more tomorrow.
The blue tit image at the start of this post is actually a fairly small crop of the original DX image.
I also managed to capture a nut hatch!
Before I invest in a new wide angle landscape lens (probably the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens and the Nikon 16-35mm f/4G ED VR II AF-S IF SWM Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens) I wanted to see how the Nikon 17-55mm F2.8G\AF-S DX IF-ED lens lens and Tokina ATX 116 PRO DX AF11-16mm F/2.8 that I currently have operates (obviously I can”t use it at 36.2 MP)
I have got some interesting results on both these lenses – but that will have wait for tomorrow as it is getting a bit late now! Need sleep!
Oh – the battery went down to 32% (from 65%) and I took around 400 photos, 10 videos and used the viewer lots!
Finally – I found a list of lenses that Nikon recommends on the D800 (should anybody be interested in spending a lot of money!)
[table id=1 /]