90 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Very happy so far
, April 7, 2012
This review is from: Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (OLD MODEL) (Electronics)
I've had my D800 for less than 2 weeks and so far I am happy. here is my background
I've owned D700 (several samples), D7000 (several samples), D300 (several samples), D90, D80, D40, D40s, D60 in Nikon
I've owned 20D, 30D, 40D, 7D, XSI, T1i, T2i in Canon.
D700 is a brilliant camera, incredible AF, incredible low light shots, fast fps with grip (8), scene recognition in auto mode, built like a tank
D800 takes spectacular photographs in either JPEG or RAW. the AF is at least as good as D700. Scene recognition in auto mode is even better, it essentially focuses on the face.
The worst camera from the top tier consumer and prosumers in terms of AF is D7000.. I have gone through several of them. The AF Module on D7000 is inferior to D300/D700/D800. D7000 was the only latest Nikon where I experienced AF problems in low light. Never with D300 or D700. D7000 - yes. Problems with continuous AF when shooting White Birds on Contrasty Background - D7000 - YES, D300/D700/D800 - no.
The only things I am kind of not loving on D800 - the AF switching was changed from D3/D300/D700 way to D7000 way , where you have to now press the button and scroll one of the two wheels and you have to think which wheel does what. I liked the levers of D700, simple two levers controlled everything. But I guess I will have to get used to it. The second thing I am not happy about is 4FPS. And the third is of course - the battery life went down significantly from D300/D700.
Everything else, including the new Auto-ISO feature is brilliant. it basically now accounts for VR in lenses, where you can control how aggresive auto ISO is depending on the lens you use. If you don't have VR you may want it to select faster shutter speeds, if you do have VR, you can set it to select slower shutter speeds. You can turn off Auto-ISO via the wheel without having to go into menu.
5DM3 is a great camera too. I think the AF is pretty similar. AF has to do with not only the Camera but lenses. The truth is that Canon's USM on their top lenses is just brilliant and they focus incredibly fast. Just try the old 24-70 on any of their bodies. Nikons' AF-S SWF is pretty fast but not as fast as Canon's USM. On balance though, both 5DM3 and D800 will do brilliant job for you.
This review is obviously only based on less than 2 weeks of use. I will update it later as I get more experience with D800.
Another couple of weeks went by and I used D800 more. Loving the results. I am starting to get used to new way of changing AF and it is working pretty good. I took the camera to a very dark restaurant with 50mm 1.4G lens which everyone seems to be hating these days on D800, and got many great pictures in very dark conditions. The only problem I see is that poor battery life. I took about 500 pictures with very little live view and one or two short videos and my D800 shows only 33% of battery left. That projects to me under 700 photos per battery life. I was able to routinely shoot way over 1000 shots with D300, D700, and even D7000. So I don't know what is going there, but I am going to have to purchase another battery.
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