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Initial post: May 14, 2012 5:59:38 PM PDT
I'm thinking about sheding my d3100 for the new d800. Any thoughts? Does anyone have an idea on when the d800 might start shipping?

Posted on May 14, 2012 8:53:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2012 7:09:40 AM PDT
aznpoet says:
Do you have any FX lenses?
If you don't, while you can use DX lenses with better result on D800 than any other FF Nikon body, you'll need to pony up for some good FX glass to maximize D800's capabilities for starters.

Some of those who pre-ordered have been getting them.

Posted on May 14, 2012 10:32:11 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
Nikon is working on a few production issues. It sounds like they need to find and fix a firmware bug and they might have a problem with the viewfinder (although that problem sounded like it might have only impacted a limited number of bodies on a production run.) You can track the progress at and just track the "D800" category.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 12:03:30 AM PDT
EdM says:
A more natural step would be to go from D3100 -> D7000, which is an excellent APSc sensor camera. It can use all you existing lenses.
Nikon D7000 16.2MP DX-Format CMOS Digital SLR with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only)

If you are flush $$$, the D800 is by all reports an excellent FF (full frame) or FX (in Nikon Speak) DSLR. OTOH, it is not widely available yet, and cost ~ $3k. It has been shipping since sometime in March, but will likely be in short supply until sometime this summer. If that's your goal, try a local camera store or get on a list somewhere, perhaps here w/Amazon. Note, using existing DX lenses would not serve the idea of excellent FF sensor very well - you really ought to use excellent glass, not DX glass [although DX glass can be used with limitations - with the camera acting like a DX or APSc sensor camera).
Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)

One example of an excellent zoom would be the 24-70 f2.8: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor Wide Angle Zoom Lens.

There are some D700 DSLRs around either new remaining or used that are in the $2000 ball park, FWIW. Plus there are rumors about a fall entry level FX Nikon [D600?] that might be around $1500 for a new body. OTOH, who knows about rumors.

Still, to go from an entry level Nikon, the D3100, to a top of the line DSLR, the D800, is quite a jump in camera ability, cost, size and weight. If you're determined, be sure to check out the camera in person in a store when it is available [or maybe at a show with Nikon company people there to demo the D800]. You might find that you don't like the size and weight, or maybe that you do like it.

Be advised that going from a 14 MPx camera, the D3100, to a 36 MPx camera practically means that your file size will ~ triple, your computer will need new HD for photo storage, you may need a more powerful computer to process the files, etc. It's not just going to a bigger DSLR, it's all the rest of it that will need improving, from the lenses to your HD storage, likely all new memory cards, perhaps a new card reader, maybe a more capable photo-editing program, and so on. If you want and can afford this, it's fine, but be aware of what you'd be getting into.

Posted on Jun 4, 2012 9:40:14 PM PDT
BusyMom says:
Need fathers day gift idea for acessories for nikon d800. Price is less than 100 bucks., any hobbyist out there who can suggest something..

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 5, 2012 3:25:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 5, 2012 3:30:44 AM PDT
Tom Martin says:
You'll have to find out what size he needs, but, a Hoya 77mm DMC PRO1 Digital Circular Polarizer Glass Filter would be a nice gift.

Circular Polarizers are one of the few filters that can not be duplicated in post processing, so they remain needed even in the digital world.

edit: be aware you don't want a cheap filter stick with a quality one like the PRO1 from Hoya or a B+W. Avoid the temptation to buy the Tiffen one because it is 1/3 the price.

Posted on Jun 5, 2012 3:50:17 PM PDT
Gatorowl says:
64GB SD Extreme SD card or

16-32GB CF card. You can get a faster 16GB for your budget or a slightly slower 32GB CF card.

A photographer can never have too much memory!

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 1:29:19 PM PDT
A. Forward says:
Neoprene camera strap, amazon basics camera bag, CF cards as others have mentioned.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2012 7:16:14 AM PDT

That's a huge jump, in many ways. Let me list a few: size, weight, complexity, lenses. I'll echo the poster who said consider a D7000 first.

The size issue is quite real--if you are comfortable hand-holding a D3100 you may well find the much larger D800 awkward. The ergonomics are also changed when moving to a professional camera, requiring a fair bit of practice. The weight change is HUGE from a D3100, especially when you start adding the best lenses to maximize the results. The battery doesn't last as long, and the post processing requires a fair bit of computing power to handle the file sizes.

I am upgrading from a D7000 (which I used after a D50) to a D800 and I am awed by the amount I have to relearn or improve. With the D7000 I was able to take better pictures than with my D50, but I had to improve my technique too. The D800 is even less forgiving. The D800 is also less user-friendly if you have non-photographers in your household (spouses, etc) who want to just take a few snapshots, whereas the D7000 has more of the automatic modes for the novice.

Going from the D50 to the D7000 resulted in a greater number of "keeper" shots for me, but I really wanted to work on my landscape and panorama technique, so I've gone with the D800 as my next big step. The temporary drop in "keeper shot" rate as I learn the new D800 is a price I'm willing to pay, but it is definitely more work.

You can rent a D7000 from any of a number of reputable places and give it a try. If it isn't enough for you, then by all means order a D800 (invest in good glass though!). If you like the D7000, contact me and I'll sell you my old one!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 12:00:39 PM PDT
ANP says:
I pre-ordered my D800 on 3/15 and chose overnight shipping. Received it on 6/01. Hopefully that helps with the shipping questions.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 10, 2012 1:41:14 PM PDT
Tom Martin says:
You must live in Alaska, because that is one long night ;-)
Congratulations on your D800!

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 12:27:22 PM PDT
JDubbs says:
The D800 is a great camera but it is not a cheap upgrade.

Keep in mind that your cost do not end with the $3k camera.

You need to spend the money on the fastest memory cards out there and they are not cheap. A Lexar or Scandisk 64 GB compact flash card will run between $300-450. The SD cards are cheaper but they are not as fast. Also since the files are huge you don't get as many shots per card so you are going to want to buy larger cards than you would normally buy. If you are traveling you need to think about how you are going to store your files on the road. Either you buy more cards or you buy a Hyper drive or something to offload your pictures onto. Estimated additional cost 1,000 - 1,500.

Tripod quick release clamps and L plates:
Most of these are back ordered and will take an additional 1-4 weeks to get shipped to you. Estimated cost 150-250 (depending on if you get the battery grip). If you don't have a tripod you are going to want one. So add $600 $1,000 for a decent tripod

Upgrading from DX -
You now have a full frame camera and you are going to want to get a wide angle lens to take advantage of the larger sensor. So now you are adding another 1-2k to the price tag (depends if you go with the 14-24 or the 16-35). Maybe you already have a FX wide angle but most DX users were using a Tokina 11-16 or other similar third party lens.


The files are huge so think about how you are going to store them. As I pointed out above this will be more of an issue when traveling. If you do HDR you are going to need even more storage.


If you have an older computer your post processing is going to be slow.

I would suggest renting before you buy.

As others have mentioned this camera is not as forgiving as my D90.

The camera is amazing. The dynamic range and low light improvements over a APS-C sensor are great. I was shooting at ISO 4000 last night with almost no noise in my shots. I was hard pressed to shoot over ISO 800 on my D90.

Also keep in mind that this camera was designed for specific types of photography. It would be a great camera for portraits and landscapes but would not do well shooting sports.

Before buying determine what subjects you are going to be shooting, the gear you already own, your photography goals, the total cost you are willing to spend before buying.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 13, 2012 11:55:55 AM PDT
Kevin B. says:
Thanks for the price breakdown of going from DX to FX. $600 for a tripod? I know I do not want to put 4500 dollars worth of equipment on a $49 dollar tripod but wow? I did not think about processing time for downloading my files. This is something else that I did not put into the equation. Thanks again for the breakdown, I have a D90 now, I am going all in with the D800. I shot with some friends and noticed the difference in my shots vs. my friend with the D7000 and the difference blew me away (To be fair, same camera setting different glass, my Nikon 18-200 vs. his Tokina 11-16). That was enough to let me know that I needed to upgrade. Glass is not an issue, I have four FX lenses already(Great Deal). I would get the D7000, great camera, I just want the top of the line, tired of making decisions based on price. I do plan one day to get the FX 70-200 one day in the FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEE

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 1:17:26 AM PDT
Gary H says:
I'm jumping from a d5100 to a d800/d800e. I don't think it's going to be an issue for me to jump and the dx lenses that I have will work better and give me better pictures than on my d5100. I just bought an fx lens (28-300) so I'm ready to roll. Always get more camera than you can handle if you know basic photography. I outgrew my d5100 in a matter of months. I'll be giving that to my wife.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 3:13:45 PM PDT
Gatorowl says:
Yes, this thread is interesting. I think one can spend a bit less money making the transition to the D800 than JDubbs suggests. I have my old SLIK Tripod with quick release. It is fine for my purposes and I suspect that you can acquire something equivalent for $200-$300. Frankly, I haven't used my camera with a tripod yet, so you may be able to postpone that purchase depending on your shooting.

I bought a couple of 16GB Sandisk 90MB/sec CF for about $70 each on sale, and a 32GB Sandisk 90MB/sec CF for $150 (that price is lower now). Frankly, these memory cards are plenty fast for this camera. As for the computer, storage space is really cheap. A 3TB external USB3 drive can be had for under $140.

I think that the most expensive investment--other than the camera--are lenses. Using DX lenses on FX is a very stopgap measure. If you plan to do this longterm, you are better off shooting with a D7000. You really need to purchase FX lenses. I have the 14-24, the new 24-85 VR, and Tamron 70-300mm. These are all nice zooms; however, when I want to get maximum IQ, I use primes. the 1.8G prime lenses are all relatively affordable (the 28mm is the most expensive at $700) and have superb IQ. Start with the 50mm or the 85mm to complement your 28-300. That kit could hold you for quite sometime.

Posted on Aug 31, 2012 12:31:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2012 12:32:38 PM PDT
T. Campbell says:
Full frame sensors are more demanding of the glass. The sweet spot of a lens is typically near the optical axis. As the distance from center increases, the resolving detail tends to degrade. So whereas a DX lens only has to work at about 13mm from the optical axis, an FX lens has roughly 22mm from center axis to corner of the frame. That means the same glass that worked well enough on a DX body might not look as good on an FX body.

The D800 compounds the issue because of the sensor resolution. With a 36MP sensor resolution, the resolving capability of the sensor is only going to improve an image if the lens is good enough. Basically you want glass with good MTF curves at low focal ratios. Keep in mind the D800 starts to become diffraction limited at f/8 due to the 36MP resolution. A D800 can resolve fine detail at f/5.6. At f/8 it begins to become diffraction limited as the Airy disk now overlaps into adjacent pixels (it is no longer possible to resolve a single point to a single pixel.) At f/11 the Airy disk is approximately the width of 2 pixels (really the Bayer mask pattern of photo-sites). BTW, diffraction limits are based on math which assume the optics are perfect -- lens quality cannot overcome diffraction limits.

This doesn't mean the images will look bad... it just means that the increased resolution will no longer improve resolving power.

Basically some good glass capable of shooting at low focal ratios will exploit the benefits of the camera.

Posted on Sep 3, 2012 6:09:56 PM PDT
Hi ok I daily read and re read different things about the Nikon d7000 and the d800. I am casual photograher.with thoughts of maybe in timegoing on to professional. I realize the D800 has lots of extra costs behind just the camera. My question is how professional would the d7000 be??? or should I wait til I can back the expense of the 800? I have the d3100 with several lens. nikon zoom 55by 300,50mm1.8,tamronf2,8 28 by75. I also want another low light lens with longer range. I have no photography education other than online programs and scott Kelby books I don't have the photo shop either. honest opinions is needed.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012 12:33:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 4, 2012 9:45:33 PM PDT
aznpoet says:
@ Beverly, it's better to start a new discussion with more specific title (i.e. ... Deabating whether to upgrade to D7000 or D800 from D3100 ... )

Check out this video. I have to agree that one should spend more on better lens rather than the body if money is an issue and had to choose one over the other. Still, D7000 is much more robust camera with more pro-like features than your D3100. I've seen number of pros use it as a backup body for their main camera. With imminent release of new consumer oriented full-frame sensor DSLR body D600 from Nikon, the price of D7000 is bound to drop if you wait a bit. If you have the budget for a D800 now, perhaps an alternative is to consider is getting a refurb. D7000 and put the rest of the money into 70-200mm VR f/2.8 lens.
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Discussion in:  Nikon forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  May 14, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 4, 2012

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