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Thread: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    I realize that for many the D800(E) is more than an evolutional step.
    It seems to make MF-shooters to buy back (additionally) into a DSLR system, and others say it is the first DSLR which can do what they need.

    I am trying to resist so far, but owning many Nikon lenses I still wonder what to expect from the D800(E)

    So what makes this camera so different from lets say a D3x or an A900?

    1) 36MP? Is it really that 24MP was not enough and 36MP what many need?
    2) the "E"? Is this the first DSLR which does not have that typical AA-filtered look which often lacks slightly micro detail?
    3) Dynamic Range improvement? (the D3x wasnt bad in regards to DR)
    4) price - it is like a small D3x for half the money and even more MP?
    5) color - is the D800 improvement or a clear step forward vs a D3x or a D3s?

    Personally things that interest me most are micro detail and color.
    Please dont answer "all of the above". Please share in which area you find the D800(E) to be more than an evolutionary step.
    Regards, Tom

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    Hi,

    I shoot MF film and digital, but also 35mm DSLR. I shoot both landscapes and people professionally. I initially thought the D800/e, would be the choice for me, but realized that I also shoot on city streets with models that tend to wear wispy fabrics. Certain cityscapes have busy backgrounds with lots of detail, and lots of symmetry in exteriors too. Distant patterns might be an issue, so wanted to avoid moire and ordered the D800 instead.

    I also owned a Sony A900, and it was one of my most successful cameras, (I hate the hot shoe adapter though), using Zeiss lenses, but I wasn't too heavily invested in Sony lenses, so decided to get the D800. This camera(D800) seems to closely match all other Nikon variants in the pro range, even matching the D4 for useable high ISO, or very close to it. Obviously, price was a factor or I would have purchased the D3x. I'll have to confirm the dynamic range of the D800, but according to DXO, it 's really good!
    It's interesting how much forum chatter is generated comparing the D800 to MFD and price to quality ratios, but the one thing that's not usually mentioned in these comparisons, is the fact that the D800 also shoots broadcast quality video and has live view for landscape shooters!

    Amazingly enough, One can purchase both the D800, and D800/e, as back ups to each other and shoot accordingly, for about the same price as just one MFD camera, DB not included. I think your bullet points above are primary reasons why so many are switching, or at least considering.

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    Senior Member eleanorbrown's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    I have been shooting MFD since 2005... Phase One back and currently have the P65+...and I'm considering selling my canon gear for the D800e. When I travel or hike any distance I'm looking for a smaller and lighter alternative to medium format...that might be the d800e for me. I want high micro detail, autofocus, live view etc stabilized lenses when available...no AA filter...all thid points to the d800e. Eleanor

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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Hi,

    I shoot MF film and digital, but also 35mm DSLR. I shoot both landscapes and people professionally. I initially thought the D800/e, would be the choice for me, but realized that I also shoot on city streets with models that tend to wear wispy fabrics. Certain cityscapes have busy backgrounds with lots of detail, and lots of symmetry in exteriors too. Distant patterns might be an issue, so wanted to avoid moire and ordered the D800 instead.
    I'm interested in your experience in urban environments without an AA filter. My work is mostly urban / industrial / post-industrial, a mix of landscape and interior. My suspicion is that in these settings the E version will offer more trouble than benefit, but I have no direct experience to base this on.

    Have you used MF much in these settings?

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    I'm interested in your experience in urban environments without an AA filter. My work is mostly urban / industrial / post-industrial, a mix of landscape and interior. My suspicion is that in these settings the E version will offer more trouble than benefit, but I have no direct experience to base this on.

    Have you used MF much in these settings?
    While most post processing can eliminate much of the moire/artifacts, some still remains at the pixel level. The only issue in an urban environment that seems apparent for me, are distant symmetrical patterns. Sometimes exterior windows in a distant skyscraper can show this, or tight, fine patterns, such as an air conditioner grill. Big sensors with high MP are best for this. Although, with my M9, I would observe moire in the RAW image, but one click in post, and it was no longer an issue, but I think the penalty for this is slightly less resolution. I think fine patterns in fabric, are most relevant close up, but distant patterns, such as fences, windows, or anything with fine symmetry could show moire/artifacts. When the first D800e finally get their cameras, urban areas would be a good setting to review any limitations.

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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    Thanks John. That's consistent with what I've been hearing elsewhere. Still too early to tell. I'm leaning toward the non-E version, but have both on order so I can make a verdict after real world reports accumulate.

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    Subscriber Member weinschela's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    For me, shooting M9 without AA filter, moire is a sometimes but not often issue. The 36mp of the D800E are double the M9, but even so, if you have dealt with non AA before, the E seems a logical choice. If the PP removes just a bit of detail that takes you back to 800 for the times it is an issue. Otherwise I prefer to capture and start with as much detail as possible. But I don't do weddings and similar jobs as to which the lack of AA is asking for trouble.
    Alan

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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    I am looking forward to see more comparisons and experience about the 800 vs the 800E. Many seem to have ordered both so I expect to get more results and experience soon.

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    I know that general advice is 'don't worry too much about moire, deal with it in post' but I want to present a minority report here: do worry.

    I have had a lot of moire on my M9... example below. I have mostly used this as an urban shooter and you have to keep an eagle eye out for moire. And whilst you can deal with the colour aspects of it, you often can't satisfactorily deal with the the frequency aspects of it without a lot of effort. Also, it comes out more in files as you tweak them. I have even seen it in the texture of entire walls in Venice, where things are highly decorated.

    I have ordered a D800E partly because I am used to looking for Moire, used to treating it and intend to use the camera in more of a landscape way. Partly also because it has smaller photo sites and so I hope the moire will be less obvious. I have, for example noticed far less moire on my IQ180, and that has about the same pixel pitch as the D800E.

    So my feeling is that the warning about moire should not be taken lightly. You should only order the D800E over the 800 if you are experienced with moire, or are willing to take the risk. But you will see it and it will be a problem: you will be gaining some extra resolution and only you can decide how much that is worth in terms of the moire issues.



    and a 100% crop before I treated the colour moire in every mesh grille. This sort of thing can be tedious in cityscapes!

    Last edited by tashley; 5th April 2012 at 10:52.
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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    And here's an example of where it can crop up VERY unexpectedly...




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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    Bricks are one of the specific things that concern me.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: What is the biggest improvement in the D800(E)?

    For what I plan on using a DSLR for, a light AA filter remains a BENEFIT. Fortunately, the D800 regular has a very nicely balanced AA filter -- just enough and not too much. (Canon should take note ) Moreover, there are maybe 3 lenses that can make full use of the non-AA'd Nikon sensor. At present, I have zero interest in the D800E version.

    If however I did not have an MF back and wanted to do the best possible work, I would consider a D800E as a second body to the D800, and then add a set of the PC lenses to use on it.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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