Customer Review

39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great camera! Please do not pixel peep, June 14, 2012
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This review is from: Nikon D800 36.3 MP CMOS FX-Format Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) (2012 Model) (Electronics)
Let me first state that this camera will not make you a better photographer. Not even close. It may even make you a worse photographer. Why? because the hand shaking that was forgivable before will now be more evident at 100% zoom. Wait, why are you pixel peeping a 36MP camera? For pixel peepers, avoid this camera at all cost! I'll explain more below.

The beauty of a high megapixel camera is that it makes your pictures better at the same megapixel size as your last camera! Let me explain this, for most lens, sharpness differences can be viewed at 100% zoom. Unless you print at gigantic 36MP, which only a very small percentage of pros will be using, it's moot. Now, when you downsize a picture, the pixels are interpolated. Lens that were previously unacceptable at 12MP all of a sudden look pretty decent at 12MP downsized from 36MP! For example, a picture that was taken with slight motion blur at 100% pixel peep will disappear when I re-size it to 12MP. That's the thing, most will not print a 36MP picture at 36MP! You will have to resize it to make prints! It's pretty insane to upload 36MP JPEGS to make 4x6 prints anyway. Although someday, I will hang a 36MP picture on my wall.

So what's the purpose of getting a 36MP? First, high ISO noise will be interpolated out of existence when downsized. Second, blurriness will be sharpened out of existence when downsized. Third, your not so sharp lens at 100% will look pretty darn good downsized. You need to compare the pictures produced at the printed size and not at 100% zoom! If you take a picture of your face and zoom in at 100%, it'll be pretty unflattering with all the pores and stuff. Same concept here. So if you buy this camera just to view pictures at 100% zoom, you will all be disappointed because that simply is not the point.

Coming from a D90, these are the things that are better.

1. Full frame. Your 50mm prime now has a real 50mm FOV rather than a fake 75mm FOV.
2. Bokeh. You get to see more of that 50mm FOV which means the bokeliciousness that were lost on the D90 is now there. The further you go away from the focus point, the softer the bokeh is. When the DX picture is truncated, you lose that bokeh. This is why full frame appears to have better bokeh.
3. ISO. When downsized, my ISO 6400 looks like ISO 100 on a 12MP. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little...but not by much.
4. Sharper image with the same lens. Yes, at 100% zoom, all the short-comings are there to see. At 12MP downsized, it will look very great.
5. Cliff Mautner looking pictures. Yes, I went there. I've always looked at those nice midday pictures where Cliff take pictures of his models in front of a green background (trees) and the model's faces has that cool looking rim lights... yeah, I can replicate that! Except his models are better looking. Is this due to the better sensor or the better imaging processor?
6. Better dynamic range. When the sun's beating down on you at high noon, dial the exposure compensation down -2EV, shoot without flash, and then fix the under exposed parts without blowing out highlights. Tada, natural light at high noon without flash! Very nice, Nikon!

I have no green cast. I have no out of focus focus points (that I know of). My beep on focus function is broken. I turn it on, but it doesn't beep. I don't know why. At 100% zoom, my prime doesn't look that sharp at F1.8 as it does at F4. But I don't care. If you want a camera to test out lens sharpness, this camera is it! But don't blame me if you proceed to throw them all in the trash to buy sharper lens.

Is this a better camera than the D700? It depends. Is it worth the $1300 premium for the added functionality? Is a $3000 Channel purse worth $1300 more than a $1800 LV purse? A purse doesn't even take pictures and you sure as heck can't downsize it on command! And yet my wife buys a new one each year. For me, yes it's worth it! I'm referring to the camera, not the purse. Then again, if you were reading carefully, I previously own a D90 not a D700.

As a final note, I'm going to read more books on photography because this camera tells me what I'm terrible at it. I look at the pictures on Flickr that people took using this camera, then I compare it with my pictures, all I want to do is to punch myself in the face. If I become a better photographer as a result of owning this camera, then I guess the $3000 is worth it.

This is the Internet. Feel free to tell me I'm idiot and that I'm wrong in the comments.

Update 6/23/12: (1) The beep issue was resolved by deleting bank A and then use bank B. Unfortunately, my camera has the left focus issue. Most of my lens are fine, however I borrowed a friend's 24-70mm and the left most focus definitely has a problem on this one. In liveview, it works fine. I'm going to wait a few months to see what Nikon says about this before sending it in for repair.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 14, 2012 9:23:36 AM PDT
Hitman says:
I do agree with your review, i come from D90 as well. Thought I had a great shooting technique and knew a lot about D90... but D800 is totally different, a lot of new features and technique required to get a great picture... I am still learning this camera

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 10:40:00 AM PDT
N. Lopez says:
Hey KD,

Try taking your pictures with a much faster shutter speed and let me know. I can't wait until I get mine; it's been almost 3 months now.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 11:12:04 AM PDT
KD says:
The point I'm trying to get across is that I'm fine with it. I don't want to increase ISO to get a 100% zoom sharpness. I am Not printing 36mp pictures. It doesn't matter as long as it looks sharp at my printed/viewed resolution.

Posted on Jun 14, 2012 3:56:03 PM PDT
Ishtar says:
About the beep, how do you set it? You know it's d1, right? And perhaps you should try to set it louder or change the pitch from high to low. But did you set your a2 autofocus prior to that?

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2012 11:42:55 PM PDT
KD says:
Yup. I set it. It worked when I first received it. For whatever reason, it stopped beeping. I put it on loudest, medium, low, it just doesn't beep. I'm pretty sure it's a bug.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2012 2:45:22 AM PDT
Number Six says:
Very nicely put, KD.
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Location: Bay Area, CA

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