Finally the D800 is here. I must give a big shout out to Camera Electronics who have pre-ordered the camera for me. Thanks Guys!
There’s nothing much to say here. It is another high end Nikon camera that ‘feels like a Nikon’. There are few differences in the way the controls are laid out, all those details can found on official Nikon website.
Dampness of the Release Mode Dial is really cool and feels as if it has been air cushioned.
Presence of the new Movie Record Button in front of the Mode Button is another new change with the introduction of Video. Camera is bit more curvy than it’s immediate predecessor.
Fine detail of the high resolution image is mind boggling.
Here is a 100% crop from the above image at 600 px x 400 px
I can finally print at A2 size without up-sizing images. File transfer via Firewire 800 card reader was quite brisk despite the large file size. Saving converted RAW files is at least three times slower than saving D700 files
High ISO and Low Light Performance (vs D700)
Following images are cropped at 100% magnification to demonstrate the noise levels – No sharpening applied
Low ISO settings look absolutely amazing. ISO 100 easily beats Velvia 50 slides scanned at 5400 dpi. That is a frighting thought for a person who shoots slide films for nostalgic reason. Now, I have absolutely no rational reason to shoot Velvia 50 again, except to slow down the shutter by one stop!
Here is D800 at ISO 800. Note the appearance of bit of noise (This is pixel peeping at it’s best!)
Here is the D700 at ISO 800 same set up and lighting. Note the similar amount of noise level as the D800…..!!!!!
Here is the D800 ISO 800 image resampled to D700 resolution, again at a 100% crop.
Now, let’s jump to ISO 3200,
D800, ISO 3200. Noise is bit more visible, but this is way better than ASA 400 films I used to shoot!
D700, ISO 3200. Surprisingly I cannot see any significant difference.
Here is D800 at ISO 6400
Here is the final cropped image, D700 ISO6400
Here is a sample image to illustrate the real life usage without pixel peeping.
Click on the image for the larger version.
Although these are 100% crops, fitting them to the blog has caused a slight reduction in size. As a result D800 images are bit more “re-sampled” than D700 images.
My Personal Conclusion
I bought the D800 mostly for it’s pixel density and the base ISO of 100. After the above test I’m absolutely convinced that I have made the right decision. Therefore I’m going to sell my D700, which is only 3 months old to get a D800E. I have absolutely no hesitation to push this camera to ISO 6400 if I have to!!!