The d800 is an impressive beast in this regard, but I'm butting heads with its limits. I'm working in a lot raw and abandoned industrial spaces, lit mostly by daylight coming in the windows or holes in the roof. My old dslr could only handle these situations with HDR processing. The d800 lets me forgo HDR much of the time. If I expose for the highlights and bring up the shadows, there's usually enough detail and tonality down there.
But I start hitting the noise limits, and in some cases the noise starts looking like it would be obtrusive even in modest size prints.
I'm experimenting again with HDR, but find the results extremely unreliable. Photoshop's HDR Pro 2 typically emphasizes edge artifacts. Also the controls and previews are limited and the workflow with lightroom is tedious. I'm demoing Nik HDR efex 2, which has a much better interface.
Both these programs, for reasons I don't understand, tend to throw out much of the highlight detail I'm trying to keep. My darkest exposure will have plenty of detail there, and the HDR image will show very little of it. It's possible I'm doing something wrong, but this has been a frequent issue with my d800 files.
I'm open to any recommendations, including less intuitive ways to get results from these packages, or different software to try. I'm not interested in HDR as an "effect" ... only as a way to increase my range by a few stops while controlling noise.