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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

SS Nikon D800 Reviews (reviews only please)
Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Powell | TN | USA | Posted: 9:43 AM on 03.30.12
->> I kept searching for threads on the net that would help me understand what role this body will play for me in what I do as a shooter and all I could find was "box openings," "when I'll get mine," "Best buy has one in the Midwest," etc... This is intended for Sports Shooter members who actually have the camera and have shot it and have something to say about it that will help others to discern it's eventual purchase.

First, I got myself on lists at B&H, Amazon, and the other likely places but as usual, Roberts was the one place that came through for me, although in fairness to other retailers, I was able to use my NPS # at Roberts.

OK, I shot the D800 all day long yesterday on a commercial job so these are first impressions that I hope will be useful:

File size and quality: This actually could be my the last camera of my career. With a massive 104.6 meg files from simple jpegs, a modern CMOS chip, the detail, color, and sharpness are absolutely amazing. I have long believed that all the NIkon bodies I've shot so far (D300s, D3, D3s, D700) have all tended towards heavy yellow, so much so that I have a preset in Light Room to remove -50 Y. My first "real" camera that replaced my need for medium format gear cost me $8500 and that bought me a Canon 1Ds body with a whopping 11MP chip. when I say it could be my last camera, I mean that worst case, I could shoot this guy for the rest of my career and be fine. I'm sure there will be other cameras in my future but for the first time in my life I will be deciding often how far to turn DOWN the file size on my primary freelance body rather than dreaming of future file sizes.

AF Speed and accuracy: With the D3s as my benchmark for AF sensitivity, the D800 held up quite well, even in low light. At one point during my day, I was shooting in black light for laser-tag and goofy golf. With both the 14-24 and the 24-70, I was able to get an AF confirmation idiot light to work consistently. I had brought a little dim-mable LED in there with me to be able to focus with and it ended up being totally un-needed. I find that once you shut down the Auto AF Lock feature off, it grabs things really fast. While not scientific, I would say that if the AF speed and accuracy of the D300S is a 7 on a 10 scale, and if a D3s was a 10, that the D800 would come in easily as a 9. I am more than pleased at overall AF performance of the D800 and even after just one day of shooting the camera, I have confidence in it's ability to nail things in any light level and for action photography.

Size & Feel: This feels and looks like a very pregnant D7000 body but without the horizontal AF-ON button in the wrong place. It's phat! It feels and acts like a real pro body. when I switched to Nikon back in Aug. one of the first things I noticed was that the build quality of the Nikon Prosumer stuff was very unlike the plastic and chincy feel of the 7D, 5DMII. I found the D300S and D700 to feel just like the D3 stuff but with the ability to remove the grip and make them lighter and smaller. The D800 goes even more towards the D3 in build quality and feel. While the overall feel will have to wait till I can get my hands on a Chinese knock off grip (I refuse to pay what they are asking for the %^&*$ Nikon version, I have every confidence the D800 will feel great in my albeit big hands once the grip is attached. Even now without the grip, it feels good because it's so large in my hands.

Flash: One of the things that I hated about the flash use on the D700 was the button on the side of the finder only allowed you one stop of over/under exposure. The D800 allows for three tops in either direction without having to get into the complicated flash menus. Like Bon QuiQui, I don't like "complicated orders." This is a big time saver when you are shooting under pressure and your ambient is changing all the time. The flash system has long been a strength with Nikon vs. Canon and the D800 is no exception to that trend.

Video: To be honest, all I've done so far is shoot some test videos sweeping back and forth to see flutter and it's really excellent. The best I could ever do on the 5DMark II was a sloooooow pan on a good fluid head. If you went fast, the results were really bad. From just playing with the D800 in video mode, it's obvious that the engineering guys in Japan have been staying up late working on their version of a 5DMark II killer. The headphone jack in the side of the body is AWESOME after having purchased more crap in the past to try to figure out how to do audio on the Canon FF body. Manual audio on-board and the headphone jack with so many options for frame rates and resolution makes me a very happy camper.

Vs. the 5DMark III: I have no idea as I've never shot one. I think they must both be awesome cameras but you have to decide which is more important, 6fps vs. 4, and 21 mp vs. 36. Because I already switched to Nikon and because sports action photography makes me less and less $$ every year, I'm feeling really good about my D800 purchase.

D800 Cost: It's a steal at $3k. Period. End of story.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 11:10 AM on 03.30.12
->> Patrick,
have you shot at a high ISO (2500 plus)?
Thoughts compared to D700?
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:14 PM on 03.30.12
->> The local store where I got my D800 did some bench mark tests comparing it to a D700 and Canon 5D Mark III.

The D800 beat the D700 in high ISO tests for noise. And its clarity/resolution was a clear winner too.

Having expected to pay more for the body before the price was announced, I took the extra money saved and bought a Sekonic C-500 color meter which measures Kelvin down to 10k steps -- which is the same increment you can set the D800 at. I did some tests under different lighting. The match between the color meter and the camera was dead on. The meter also measures strobe Kelvin and I've found that some of my 30+ year old flashes are warmer than my current ones. My next project is to test and label each strobe with their Kelvin. That way if I want a kicker light that is a warmer I know which one to choose.

The color meter will also allow me to measure and dial in the exact temperature of arenas, stadiums, stage events, etc. With precise control through my D800 settings this should greatly reduce my post-production color corrections.

Others have noted/criticized the D800 for not having high FPS. It is 4 in FX mode and 5 in DX, versus the D4's 10 FPS. I'm old school and grew up on the Nikon F whose motordrive had a lightning fast 3 FPS (4 with mirror lockup). All of us back then had to learn to anticipate and get the shot on the first frame -- and in focus using manual lenses. If the first shot wasn't in focus, frames 2 3 4 etc. weren't going to be any better.

It is probably safe to say that an aspiration for nearly all of us is to shoot for SI on a regular basis. This will naturally include basketball and hockey games where you strobe the arena. In that situation a D4's 10 FPS isn't going to do you a bit of good since the power packs need a few seconds to recharge between shots. So that puts being able to anticipate and capture the prime moment on the first frame absolutely essential. Well if you can do that in basketball and hockey why can't you do that with other sports? And if you can get "the" shot on the first click, what's the FPS difference between a D800 and D4 going to do for you? None. I know many photographers using a single frame rate who can outshoot others using 8-10 FPS.

Now granted there are many sports where a high FPS rate requires a D4's capabilities and it would be ridiculous to expect a D800 to perform those tasks. Both cameras are tools of our trade and that's all -- tools -- with some features of one being superior to the other. The key to making great images with either of them is to learn how to use them correctly.

And the same comparison goes for a Nikon D4 versus a Canon 5D Mark III. Neither one is the defacto symbol of perfection. I'm sure people will swear that one is better in some respects over the other and vice versa. But both have the exact same characteristic -- they are both tools. And the key to greatness is learning how to use tools to their optimum level.

If you buy a piano that doesn't make you a concert level pianist. If you buy an Indy 500 race car that doesn't guarantee you'll automatically win. All of us go grocery shopping, but that doesn't mean we're also acclaimed gourmet chefs. With that simple logic, then buying a professional camera should no way make that person a professional photographer. Yet it does in the mind of wanna-be photographers, GWCs, clients who don't understand professional imagery requires professional pay rates, etc. This mystery is far more important to us as a profession than which tool is better.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 12:21 PM on 03.30.12
->> Everything Patrick said.

After deciding the D4 didn't agree with me I was very cautious about the D800. Two of my D4 gripes (vertical AF button and XQD card) simply don't exist on the D800, so I was less grumpy right off the bat. I was very happy to have an SD slot and I've already utilized an Eye-Fi card on a shoot. Yay. Ergonomics are good in my opinion--with or without the vertical grip--with two exceptions: 1. Pro bodies should never, ever, have a pop-up flash and 2. The maddening removal of CF f3. More on that later in the post.

I decided on a high-ISO torture test right out of the box. I concluded that it was on par with the D3, which was and still is outstanding. ISO 6400 on the D800 is not something I'm going to do unless I have to, but if I have to, it's workable. So to answer Debra's question, the D800 is more or less the same at high ISO as the D700.

Like Patrick I have not had a chance to really test the video, but also like Patrick, I've done a lot of vid with the 5D Mark II and the D800's video features--like the headphone jack--look promising. I like the fact that I can, through custom functions, start and stop video recording remotely with pocket wizards.

But, of course, speaking of custom functions...Like the D4, CF f3 has been removed on the D800. Please, please Nikon, tell me why I can customize every stinkin' button on the right side of the camera--including the shutter button--but image review now MUST be done in one and only one direction. It's firmware. Please have someone write a line of code and restore this option.

And last but not least, unlike the D4, this camera does things the gear I already own does not--100mb files. Yowsa. I admit this will be overkill for 90% of my work, but for that 10% it will make the difference between a nice print and a stunning print. I had to laugh the other day when I was using the Eye-Fi. I had the RAW going to the CF card and set the Eye-Fi card to receive the smallest possible JPEG: Basic Small. Even that was 24 mb and beautiful opened up. Wow.

I have noticed the slight color cast of the LCD vs the D3s that has been mentioned on other sites. My years shooting Canon must have given me a tolerance for wacky LCD color casts 'cuz this doesn't trouble me.

Bottom line for me--any second thoughts on skipping the D4 pretty much erased by the D800.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 2:58 PM on 03.30.12
->> I'm in absolute opposition to Matt's assertion that a pop-up flash should "never ever" be on a pro body. Just because it is there doesn't make it less pro. In fact, it is an option that can add that extra touch of technical professionalism. I'm all for the pop-up and use it.

Now, do I use it as the main flash? Absolutely not unless a situation occurs where I can't access a SB-900 fast enough out of my bag -- and then it is an image saver. I do, however, use it as a tool.

For example, to liven up a portrait during a beautiful slightly overcast scene. In this instance I set the pop-up output to 3 stops under. That twinkle of a pop puts just the right about of catch-light in the eye, and/or adds that smidgen of sparkle to a sweater or silk tie. Yes, a SB-900 can do the same, but you have to get it out of your camera bag, mount it, and set the TTL output under exposure or manually to say 1/64th power. That takes time. But if you keep the camera's pop-up setting to 3-under by default all you have to press the pop up button and you're in business almost immediately.

I've also used it with great success to add a touch of specular sparkle when using umbrellas and softboxes.

Just because the camera has a pop-up doesn't make it less of a camera. It actually makes it more of a one because of its availability. And just because it is there doesn't mean you have to use it. But because it is there does mean you have the option.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 5:34 PM on 03.30.12
->> Those shooting video with the D800 will want to have a long look at these tests (two videos and some discussion of the results):

http://www.cameratown.com/news/news.cfm?id=10605
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Powell | TN | USA | Posted: 11:35 AM on 03.31.12
->> I didn't touch on the high ISO performance of the D800 as I sort of assumed everyone knew that it's not what this body was intended for. This thing is not a monster file answer to everything photographic. It's an absolute beast designed, I think, to stay below 2500 ISO, which is where I found where you really start to see a difference in noise levels as you climb up the scale.

I also didn't mention that I can FINALLY shoot at ISO 50 which I have greatly missed as I like shooting my fast glass wide open even in bright sunlight, so the additional stop of ISO going downward is great to have once again.

I did shoot some things at 6400 in black light and they were pretty noisy, but it was in black light!!!!! FWIW, the D3s and D800 do a wonderful job in black light situations which I know all of you find yourself in on a regular basis ;).

For an old dude like me, getting decent results at 2500 ISO is still pretty cool when you consider I began my career with Tri-X in Accufine, shooting in black high schools in Milwaukee where many of the lights had simply burned out.

You guys re doing great, btw, keeping this thread on subject of the D800 performance for those that have actually shot with it. One of the reasons I don't post here and elsewhere as often as I used to is that people just can't seem to stay on a topic these days. Please keep the thread as a growing source of real information and filled with helpful links like Maichael just put up.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 4:19 PM on 03.31.12
->> There appears to be a real issue that might not be resolved through firmware updates: there is a significant green cast on the D800 (and D4) LCDs. It is starting to bother me more and more on my D4, above and beyond all the other things that were hashed out in the D4 thread (and which were ultimately resolved to *my* satisfaction using the camera for a week...although I'm still waiting on tethering). It is, actually, a genuine PROBLEM...as in, manufacturing DEFECT:

http://nikonrumors.com/2012/03/27/nikon-d800-issues.aspx/

How important this is to any given shooter is going to vary, and the problem is more apparent under certain lighting situations. I mix fill and ambient all the time at very high ISOs (I shoot at 8000 all the time), and for me it's affecting how I can assess my images in camera.

NOT GOOD.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 5:59 PM on 03.31.12
->> Just for funsies I did a highly UNscientific side-by-side comparison of my D700, my D800 and my 5d Mark II. Shot 'em all at ISO 1250 because...well...I don't know, I just did. 5DII with the 17-40 f4 L and the Nikons with the 16-35 f4 G. Really, really close as far as noise, but tough to say for sure with such a difference in file size. Again, I say UNscientific 'cuz I'm just going on my eyeball and my gut reaction to the noise, sharpness, color, and general feel of the image. Just on the noise question I'd say the D800 won by a nose, the 5d Mk II was a close second and the D700 was third but still not bad. Overall I thought the D800 made the clearly superior picture--there was just that much more detail to begin with, and the Nikon 16-35 just smokes the Canon 17-40.

And once again to show how subjective all this stuff can be--the LCD color cast doesn't trouble me. I'm in a near apoplectic rage over the dropped custom function but I guess I shot Canon long enough that inaccurate and inconsistent LCD color is just a fact of DSLR life.
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Michael Fullana, Photographer
Miami | FL | USA | Posted: 7:54 AM on 04.01.12
->> I received a D800 on release date and have been testing it side by side with a D700 and the Image Quality of files have just been incredible. I have printed a couple of images at 24x30 and the detail in the files is beyond what any DSLR in the past has been able to produce.
To say that I'm ecstatic with the camera is putting it mildly.
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Darron Silva, Photographer
Granite Falls | NC | USA | Posted: 4:38 PM on 04.01.12
->> If any of you lucky D800 owners have a chance to test the camera with old manual focus nikon primes, I would love to hear a quick review. One of the appeals of this camera is the ability to use the old, super sharp, super well made, and very inexpensive primes - like the 85 f1.4, 135 f2, 24 f2, etc. I'm wondering if those old lenses are able to hold up to the huge sensor of the D800.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 5:12 PM on 04.01.12
->> As I mentioned above, the LCD color cast (which is not on all cameras, meaning it's probably a hardware problem) is not going to be a concern for everyone. After shooting yet more low-light events over the weekend it is, unfortunately, a *HUGE* issue for me; it is very hard to assess light source mixing on the LCD (unlike the D3/S/X). You can see some of the typical ambient/fill/high ISO mixing that I do almost daily here: http://dmtimaging.com/galleries.htm

The new camera needs repair, and I've contacted NPS. This is, truly, a DEFECT.

Sorry to report this, but there is a REAL problem with some of the new bodies. Since not everyone has the issue (virtually any forum you care to look at has multiple threads on the subject), it would seem almost certain that there is a supplier/manufacturing/quality control issue involving the LCD and/or related components...meaning new firmware is not the answer. Anyone buying a D4/D800 would be very smart to *check the camera first* in a physical retail store (if at all possible); again, not all bodies exhibit this defect:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=41049725

Once corrected, I'll happily get another D4 (over a D800...although that's an awesome sensor...waiting for a D4X in a couple years); it trumps the D3S in every way (for me). Low-light 3D AF alone is worth is worth the upgrade...it's that good.

And no, I wouldn't dream of returning my D4; I'm using it daily. Besides, it already has scratches, scuffs, mud...and got rained on yesterday.

:0)
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Jeff Fusco, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 8:30 PM on 04.01.12
->> After a few days of chasing the kids around the house testing the camera, I shot 2 jobs with it. First job at night under the El with a single speedlight softbox. Lighting was dim, but nothing to bad and the focus was snappy. Shot the 16-35 at 1/25 f5.6. Files are stunning.

Second job, put it through the paces with the 16-35, 24-70, 70-200,105 f2 and jut for the fun of it the 35 1.8 at full frame. Shot ISO 64 - ISO 200. The detail is stunning. The 70 - 200 really loves that camera. Unreal detail. Focus is dead on, hits it fast. Even the 35 1.8 looks real good, has that look.

Later on that night, shot the D700, D3s combo at XFINITY live complex opening at night and the cameras kicked butt. No need for the D800. Sure it have done fine, but no need.

I only bought as I have a client that wants 5d Mark II size files. Hopefully this is an investment that pays off. Really was hoping not to buy a camera this year.

So my point is, it is a great tool in the bag, stunning detail, great colors, great focus. But that's all it is, a tool in the bag. It is not going to bring world peace.

O and beware, my 8GB of ram Macbook pro is not a happy camper, does the job, but getting some progress bars on that crazy file.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 8:38 PM on 04.01.12
->> Like you said Michael, this LCD issue does not affect everyone. I don't need to see Color Balance on my LCD because my D800 Images are shot in the studio and before I start shooting I shoot a McBeth Card and that's where I get my Gray Spot for Color Balance on NX2. Is it green?? I don't know, I don't shoot two bodies side by side in the Studio to make a comparison. Furthermore, none of the LCD's on my D3's are the same in brightness and Color output. I am thrilled with the D800 and I'm using it in the studio and maybe on future Location Shoots where the 36MP is necessary. I got my D800 on Thursday, and as soon as the battery was fully charged, it went in the studio for a Book Cover Test shot. I got my 85mm lens on Friday and I'll start testing the combination very soon.

Like it has been previously mentioned, the D800 is NOT meant for high ISO Photography, just because it's name is 100 numbers more than the D700, I don't think this body was created as a replacement for the D700. I consider this body to be a D3X+ Lite, if that makes any sense at all. My D800 is not for any Action Photography assignments either, that is where my D3's come into play. About 95% of my Action Photography assignments happen in bright sunlight outdoors, where I shoot at f4-5.6 at ISO 400 and I get shutter speeds that are sufficient to my needs.

And yes, I do believe this thread is very valuable for others here that want to purchase this body, they do need to get the unbiased pros and cons for every piece of gear they will be spending their hard earned money on. We all do different things and use our gear differently. If this LCD Issue is something that can be fixed, I hope it gets fixed ASAP so folks like Michael can get the tool they need for the job at hand.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 9:26 PM on 04.01.12
->> Wish I could shoot the D4 in studio instead of the D3X...but there's no LR4 tethering (yet), dammit!

;0)

And yes, I'm doing some "secret sauce" stuff with my DSLRs that most photographers aren't doing, and have a 30-year background in color correcting...so the LCD color cast is officially driving me up the wall. For others, it's a non-issue (or their bodies are rendering color balance properly). Everything in my particular workflow is color managed.

I'd also like to state that the D800 sensor looks INCREDIBLE from what I've seen, but I don't consider the body to be a PJ camera AT ALL. I'm actually doing my best to resist a D800E...hoping for delayed gratification with a D4X down the road.

Here's an AMAZING D800 shot...BUT...it would be even better if taken with a D4 (less noise...just sayin'):
http://g4.img-dpreview.com/484EAA90DCB342E98DA1C42AE312BF10.jpg
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 9:44 PM on 04.01.12
->> OOOOOH, that shot is incredible!!

My Book Cover Test went well, they gave me direction and the shot will be done tomorrow. I'm definitely loving the D800 in the studio, I want to do some Portraits with it this coming easter weekend. I might finally do my daughters Senior Portraits before she graduates in May ;) I'm trying to resist the D800E too!!

I know how you feel about color Bro, When I got out of school, my first job was to color Correct for a Catalog Studio in Irving, TX, they would shoot 4x5 Transparencies at the end of each day, run them first thing in the AM and I would come in and create Filter Packs for every shooter for that day. OY!! The funny thing was that they didn't care about the product being shot, but they wanted the Background to match ;) Go figure.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 10:10 PM on 04.01.12
->> Oh man...those were the days! Densilators, D5 Omegas, ruby liths, filter packs, contrast masking...young photographers now simply have NO IDEA. As in, NONE.

Ah hell, where'd I put my teeth...where's my walker!!!

;0)

BTW...D800 portraits...mmmmm, some (all?) models might need to exfoliate, shave and then be touched-up by stylists for two hours before being photographed (check out the D800E sample image #5 of the lovely model towards the bottom of this page):

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=U...

Maybe there's such a thing as TOO MUCH RESOLUTION lol...
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:02 AM on 04.02.12
->> OMG!!! There is such thing as WAAAAAY too much resolution!!

She is very cute, but that is waaaaay too much detail.

When we were in school portraits were printed on a softer paper and we didn't want that much detail, even with 4x5 Tri-X

Y
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 1:01 AM on 04.02.12
->> Yep, she's stunning, but download image #18. Oh my.

I *LOVE* that D800 sensor, but not for this sort of work (portraits). Or the aurora shot linked above. Or (especially) photojournalism. But for landscape work, architecture or product photography...WOW...I'd love to have one. For almost everything else, the D4 *kills* it.

More pixels are NOT the answer for great portraits (studio or otherwise)...examples:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&thread=40768258&p...
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Gregory Greene, Photographer
Durham | NH | USA | Posted: 12:41 PM on 04.02.12
->> Maybe I'm missing something but #18 looks awesome to me. Just because the D800 can really shine at landscapes doesn't mean it's not capable of taking wonderful portraits as well.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Powell | TN | USA | Posted: 10:33 PM on 04.02.12
->> FWIW, I shot a baseball game the other day with the D800 and a 300mm f/2.8. It was way too loose for the way I like to shoot but you could crop almost anything out of the frame. One 2nd base shot I ended up using was probably a 75% crop of the total area of the frame and it looked great.

Here is the thing about sports photography that I learned a long time ago... It's really a single frame gig. What I mean is, if you really want the decisive moment of peak action, relying on a motor drive to capture it for you will almost never work. But if you are patient, set you body to single frame, and then time everything and practice, you can get the ball coming off the bat or the pitcher's release every single time... but you will never get there with a motor drive.

It's an old school thought but I think it's worth mentioning here on this site because so many people are shooting sports. The D800 is likely the best possible remote camera ever made for strobed hoops. What matters most is consistent lag time, frame to frame, and this is where you can nail images with regularity rather than waiting on the cosmic alignment of the planets to get your next clip contest win....

The D800 can be a fine sports camera if you have the timing and patience it takes to go the old school route.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 11:40 PM on 04.02.12
->> I agree, simply mashing the shutter is not a good technique for capturing peak action. The D3X was my camera of choice for shooting MotoGP with its sluggish frame rate... but the D4 changes that (OMG that AF!). It's REALLY nice having 11 fps when you need it, but timing and patience trump fps for *everything*, frankly.

Gregory, the problem with #18 is that you see EVERYTHING (click on the image to download, takes a minute because of the file size). Every crease, every wrinkle, every blemish, every pimple, every pore, every hair follicle, every flake of dead skin, the layers of makeup, EVERYTHING. I use the D3X in the studio all the time (since it has ISO 100) and am often forced to dial back the clarity, especially for women. The D800 trounces the D3X for sheer detail and dynamic range, and I'd love to have it...but not so much for portraits. The D3X is already pushing it in my opinion.

Returned my D4 because of the LCD color cast btw. Should have the replacement by the end of the week. NPS had not heard of the issue, to my great surprise, but Nikon and the dealer are taking care of it; exchange for a new one was easiest for all parties as it turned out. Body had already seen lots of action in two weeks with nearly 5500 actuations...hated returning it today. Replacement will be here at the end of the week...I'm having withdrawal symptoms already.
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Robert Caplin, Photographer
New York/Barcelona | Worldwide | | Posted: 10:36 AM on 04.10.12
->> Preston Mack got his hands on the camera and gave his review:
http://thephotobrigade.com/2012/04/nikon-d800-review-by-preston-mack/
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 2:27 PM on 04.10.12
->> Also, for what it's worth, prior to the D800 release there were claims on various websites that the 24mm PC-E lens would not work with the D800 due to some of the control knobs on the lens banging into the prism.

24 PC-E works fine. You can't rotate it a full 360 degrees, but you can get all the movements you need. Harder to explain than show.

See here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nehkWWCRWZE

Bottom line, all the PC-E lenses work fine with the D800.
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 3:33 PM on 04.10.12
->> The D800 is going to be my primary body for most of my work.
I am a portrait/corporate photographer mainly, so speed (FPS) is not a concern. I like that the camera is fast. Fast AF, goo lag. Responsive. Feels like a pro body, not plastic-y like the D7000.

The files are impressive. A portrait shooter's dream. I shot a Magazine assignment the other day and was easily able to shoot a lit photo at F/4, helped out by the base ASA of 100 that the D800 uses.

I do think the color on the LCD is a little off, but I shoot in controlled situations and RAW, so it is less of an issue.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 6:52 PM on 04.10.12
->> The green LCD color cast is a *HUGE* issue for some, however.

Imagine shooting with an art director (untethered...since Nikon apparently has not provided the SDK to Adobe yet for Lightroom tethering) and they want to see what you are shooting on the LCD: "What's wrong with your new camera, why are all the images green?!"

Or, you are shooting a wedding, and the bride wants to see that candid you just took of her with her mom: "Why is my dress green...what's wrong with your camera?!"

And forget about having any clear visual sense of light source mixing (balancing flash and ambient) at high ISO covering events like you can with EVERY OTHER NIKON.

A pro camera should render WB properly in its LCD...it's a FUNDAMENTAL FEATURE. The D4/D800 is unable to do so at this time (I have seen no evidence of any variation in production...they are all, apparently, the same).
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 9:10 PM on 04.10.12
->> Michael, we have been spoiled by LCD's!!

My F3 didn't have one and I mixed Lights on theory only!!

Or tests were to run to the lab and rush a quick roll to see if our balance that we did was OK.

I know this issue is big to you, but like you said, not to all of us.

I don't see it on mine, maybe I've become color blind with age
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 10:35 PM on 04.10.12
->> If you have an art director I would assume you should afford a wifi card and a ipad or laptop to show images on?
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 04.10.12
->> Most Art Directors I know of don't care much about Color Balance on an LCD to begin with!! They just look at the Image and nod with approval. They know that the Image they see on the LCD will not look anything like it on the final version. They know I color balance, sharpen and mess with the images.

I shoot in RAW, so what they see on the LCD is a quick JPG, not the RAW Image. I am NOT concerned, there are more important things than what the LCD shows. Part of our jobs as Image creators is to educate our clients on what they are seeing.

In the last 12 years of shooting Digital, I have NEVER had an issue with a client complaining about what the LCD shows, and I started shooting Digital with the D1 and compared to todays DSLRs, that LCD sucked.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 11:19 PM on 04.10.12
->> Do the pro bodies even have a jpeg setting? ;0)

Yes, I have those things David mentions, including a WT-5A. But tethering directly into Lightroom is not possible yet (should work fine into Photo Mechanic but haven't tried since I'm using a D3X for now in the studio until Adobe releases LR 4.2...using a D3S tethered when on location). My AD interaction was on location at Carmel beach...just us, the models and a D4/D3S (no peripheral hardware). Files from both were *gorgeous* once downloaded later (especially the D4), but the D4 LCD WB...not so much. I had some 'splaining to do to the AD at first, who had to just trust me that the files were fine (they certainly were)...both cameras were showing a different beach (one with white sand, the other with green).

I shoot work at ISO 8000 almost every night, and often use three bodies at once. Assessing light source mixing (which I did just Yamil describes back in the 80's LOL) is very difficult with the D4 compared to all the other Nikons I have shot. I work from a pool of eight D3/S/X bodies (four of my own, my assistant's and a business ally who has three)...they all match each other and our color calibrated monitors; but not the D4. Makes it very hard to visually confirm results on the camera with how I am shooting many of these events:
http://dmtimaging.com/galleries.htm

Nikon is apparently looking into it...I certainly hope so. Could not be happier with the service from NPS and my dealer, and I'll gladly add to my Nikon SLR arsenal once this is resolved (that D800E is *very* tempting). I'll say it again to be clear: the D4 is the BEST camera I have ever used, hands-down. It just has this one surprising, senseless, irritating issue...
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Nate Ryan, Assistant, Photographer
MInneapolis, St. Paul | MN | | Posted: 4:56 PM on 04.19.12
->> I have been really happy with the D800.

While I do a fair amount of still photo work, I am doing about 80% video projects at my staff position (Radio station 89.3 The Current) and close to that for freelance as well.

I shot this video project the day after getting the camera, and posted the final edit without color correction so you can see what the file looks like out of the camera. I am really happy with it, and find the rolling shutter/ jello effects dramatically reduced from even the D7000.

http://vimeo.com/nateryanphoto/jackshousebowling

The clean HDMI output is really a huge game changer. I did a live webstream production yesterday from the camera and was very happy with the results. Only would have liked a little improvement on battery life (just under 2 hours live streaming on one battery, but our event was just over two hours). I had to cut the stream for about 10 seconds to change the battery.
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Michael Troutman, Photographer
Carmel | CA | USA | Posted: 3:12 PM on 04.22.12
->> LCD update:

http://nikonrumors.com/2012/04/21/nikon-claims-that-the-greenish-d4d800-lcd.../
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Ben Krause, Photographer
Minneapolis | MN | United States | Posted: 1:20 AM on 04.23.12
->> Michael,

In case you're interested I tested my D3s, D4, and D800 side by side.

http://www.benckphotography.com/Misc/20120331-Screen%20Comps-0002.jpg

They were all shot identically. I definitely agree the D4 and D800 LCD's are different from the D3s, but it just looks like they are slightly warmer in white balance to me. I didn't think mine looked green the way the Nikon Rumors image does. The light in my room was from some CFL light bulbs, which are rather warm in tone. So I do think my D4 and D800 LCD's technically do look more accurate in that situation. However, I can see them being a problem if you really need a more neutral white balance in the LCD.

Anyway, I just thought I would throw out what I saw in my LCD's if it was of any help.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:32 PM on 04.23.12
->> This is the cool thing about how we use the same tool for totally different uses. Some of us use these for Events, Portraits, PR or Studio work.

So far, in my case, the D800 has worked flawlessly in the studio. I'm working on my second set of Magazine/Book Covers with it, it is SUPERB!!!

I don't plan on taking it out of the studio for the foreseeable future. But if I get a Gig like the FT Bragg shoot last December, it will go out for that.

The LCD thing is a non issue for me. I never saw a difference, but then again, I have D3's and I don't shoot them side by side to compare LCD's.
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Thomas Meredith, Photographer, Assistant
Austin | TX | | Posted: 1:25 PM on 05.09.12
->> http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/08/Nikon-D800-D800E-review-published

if you're worried about how the camera would handle high ISO with 36MP - don't, from my experience, it's been great. though I haven't shot much above 4,000, and given the massive file size, i've been shooting JPGs.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 10:23 PM on 11.08.12
->> I got a D800 last week and it's the first camera I have had with multiple image area modes. I actually end up using the 1.2 crop quite a bit for sports, rather than DX. It's a happy medium, with a bit more shooting speed, much easier to see what's in the frame, and better quality than DX, particularly in high ISO. Seems like it would be a good base format for a faster DSLR, significantly less pixels but only losing the outer edge.

But I've been trying to figure out a different way to select modes. What I really want to do is be able to use the AE/AF-L button and select the next area mode with one touch, and not having to use the wheel in combination with the button. It just makes too much sense for this not to be an option, where you can change modes on the fly more quickly and easily in fast moving situations.

After spending a lot of time digging through the menus it doesn't seem like this is possible. Maybe it's something they could ad in firmware. If anyone knows a way to do it please let me know.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 10:51 PM on 11.08.12
->> Doug-

Nikon NEVER EVER E-V-E-R does anything that makes sense. I haven't figured out a way to do what you're looking to do either.

dbr
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 1:05 AM on 11.09.12
->> I liked the D800 the weekend I rented it for a wedding. After an hour or so setting to how I like, I loved it.

I did find better high ISO on my D700 and I just bought a D600 and despite the change of only SD cards, there's not much of a difference. the D600 files look amazing.

The build on the D800 was like my D700/D3. The CF/SD card thing was nice and the files were super.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 7:17 PM on 11.09.12
->> By the way, does anyone know if there is an external swivel LCD attachment for DSLRs for shooting video at waist level and other positions that the viewfinder and LCD screen do not accommodate? There probably is such a thing, but incredibly expensive. I hope there is an affordable alternative out there.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 1:16 AM on 11.20.12
->> After doing some reading on the web I got a Meike brand battery grip for my D800 for $60 through Amazon, and it has performed well so far. It feels good and fits tight, and looks like it belongs there. I recommend it.

I personally can't make a legitimate case for spending $400 samolians on the Nikon MB-D12.

If it were $200-ish AND used EN-EL4 big batteries and double charger that I already have for my D300, I might think about it. But it's almost identical in size and function to the MB-D10 grip for the D300 and D700. There's really no reason they couldn't have made the same one fit.

But here's the kind of thing that really bugs me the most. With the extra grip, and the right battery combo, you only get one FPS speed boost (to 6fps), which is cool, but ONLY in DX mode. You get nothing extra with an extra EN-E15 in the grip, and you get nothing extra in any other crop mode, period. It doesn't make much sense, because it doesn't even give you more reason to buy an extra EN-EL15 when you can get AA batteries that actually give you more power.

But here's the tell: When you opt for the eight AA batteries to get the extra 1 FPS boost in DX mode, when these batteries run totally out of juice, and it's running only on the EN-EL15 inside the camera, you still get the same 1 fps speed boost in DX mode, just for having a grip attached with a dead battery. So obviously, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the extra power, as some have suggested it does. So they're just crippling a $3000 camera's native capabilities.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 8:39 AM on 11.20.12
->> I have been using the D800 since the day they were released in April. I have yet to feel my camera was "crippled". I've had more of my work published shooting that camera than my D3s.

As faras attaching a monitor for recording video, there are numerous options, but I have no idea what "affordable" means for you.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 6:16 PM on 12.03.12
->> One new thing I really like on the D800 is the center button in the middle of the selector switch that you can push to instantly get the histogram on the LDC image, instead of having to scroll through all the info.
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Thread Title: SS Nikon D800 Reviews (reviews only please)
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