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Thread: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

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    D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Hey everyone,

    This is my latest video, where we compare the D800 to a Hasselblad H4D-40. We went out with Dale Roth and Michelle Ramberg, the brilliant photographers of Roth and Ramberg (Michele Ramberg)

    I'd love to hear your thoughts, and bear in mind that YouTube compression can make some of the subtle differences more difficult to see.

    D800 vs Medium Format with Roth and Ramberg - YouTube
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    I enjoyed it. Thanks!

    Hope you would feed the mic guy better.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Good video, thanks. Seems the D800 is quite the beast and I wonder how it fares when the files get turned in to prints. The D800E might be the ticket for better tonal gradations, I reckon.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Jordan,
    Thank you for the video, well produced in a controlled setting and real world situations. I think that the D800 is great for providing high res output in an affordable package. As mentioned in the video, not as good as the Hasselblad but if you did not shoot them side by side or never have the means to own the Hasselblad . . .

    The other side to the story is that if you make a living and charge clients a high rate, then the illusion of the camera is better does play into the mix. When I was assisting some 30 years ago, the AD looked at the photogs Mamiya 645 and said "I have my Hasselblad back at the office, do you want me to get it?". Perceptions are important in the business, and you don't want to have the same camera that the clients' wife uses to shoot snaps of the kids with, no matter how good it may be.

    -Al
    Al Tanabe my website https://www.altanabe.com

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Jordan,

    I like to watch your stuff.

    2 comments though:

    1. 16bit == 65K shades. As far as I know Photoshop TIFFs only 15bits are used for data which would make it 32K. I don't get caught up by numbers but if then it should be correct, right?

    2. You talk about DR and gave the edge to the Hassy. DR is shadows + Highlights.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Jordan

    well done ! This is actually the first real life D800 comparison I enjoyed watching ! And - it is amazing how well the Nikon does. If taken into account that the shadows seem to have more reserve, as Uwe said, to me the nikon seems to win the DR section too ! It just means you will have to shoot it a bit darker overall maybe half or 3/4 of a stop, giving better saturation and - matching the measurements by DXO.

    About the little magenta touch in the skin tones, this is easy to get by if you have used Nikon stuff before.

    Hmmmm. 3k against 20k....... I would say on par on image quality- and if you take into acount workflow and speed and high Iso, I would say there is a winner.............

    I really need to test the D800 by myself.

    Regards
    Stefan
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    I expected these results - really great for the Nikon!

    Considering that you normally get pretty well exposed pictures from the Nikon if you rely on their pattern metering, then overexposed should not appear. As well as when you talk the time to do the right exposure with spot metering and zones. So here the Hasselblad has actually not a real advantage!

    I expect the D800E to be far superior to the D800 in tonal gradation as well, so again no real advantage for the Hassi - although this remains to be proved.

    Considering the high ISO capabilities of the D800 and the much wider lens choice, the Nikon clearly wins.

    Considering the price difference and the final achievable results from both the Nikon wins hands down!

    IMHO it is a no brainer - Nikon is the overall winner in the are up till 40MP. And who need really more?

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    For all of you Hassy shooters, how much -- if at all -- was the H4D-40 handicapped by processing in LR4 instead of Phocus?

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    Question Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    [QUOTE=ustein;409709]Jordan,



    1. 16bit == 65K shades. As far as I know Photoshop TIFFs only 15bits are used for data which would make it 32K. I don't get caught up by numbers but if then it should be correct, right?

    Why would Adobe cripple the use of 16 bit - it really doesn't make sense - please explain?

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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Hi Swissblad

    see here:

    Macintosh Performance Guide: Wither 16-bit in Photoshop?

    greetings from Lindenberg
    Stefan


    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Jordan,



    1. 16bit == 65K shades. As far as I know Photoshop TIFFs only 15bits are used for data which would make it 32K. I don't get caught up by numbers but if then it should be correct, right?

    Why would Adobe cripple the use of 16 bit - it really doesn't make sense - please explain?
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
    facebook:hcam.de - www.hcam.de - www.hartblei.de

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Herzlichen Dank Stefan

    Baffling to say the least - must be a serious hitch for pro MFDB users...!

    I wonder why PhaseOne, Leaf and HB don't kick up a fuss, as 16 bit is a major part of their marketing strategy...?

    Best

    S
    Last edited by Swissblad; 22nd April 2012 at 05:38.

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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Hi Swissblade

    not really a loss. There is no sensor available that exactly generates more than something like 8-10 bit of data. There is a religious war going on about how many bits are enough (has been discussed here in GetDPI also recently)
    and if this actually has ANY technical and visual advantages. The whole fuzz about true 16 bit is kind of a belief. Those who want to see it will see it.......

    The others just make nice images and do not care much about this....

    regards
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Reading some other threads...one can see the difference between the D800 and the D800E, but the D800 is very very close to MF - does this mean the D800E beats MF in IQ?

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I expected these results - really great for the Nikon!

    Considering that you normally get pretty well exposed pictures from the Nikon if you rely on their pattern metering, then overexposed should not appear. As well as when you talk the time to do the right exposure with spot metering and zones. So here the Hasselblad has actually not a real advantage!

    I expect the D800E to be far superior to the D800 in tonal gradation as well, so again no real advantage for the Hassi - although this remains to be proved.

    Considering the high ISO capabilities of the D800 and the much wider lens choice, the Nikon clearly wins.

    Considering the price difference and the final achievable results from both the Nikon wins hands down!

    IMHO it is a no brainer - Nikon is the overall winner in the are up till 40MP. And who need really more?
    Peter,
    I wonder why the word "considering the price" comes up if we compare IQ.

    PS: Considering the cost/price in a longer term I would say the best system is the one which one uses for a longer period of time
    Last edited by Paratom; 22nd April 2012 at 10:09.

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Question Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by ptomsu View Post
    I expected these results - really great for the Nikon!



    I expect the D800E to be far superior to the D800 in tonal gradation as well,
    Why should the E be far superior with regard to tonal graduation - I thought the AA filter mainly affected resolution .... it's all a bit unclear to me.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Peter,
    I wonder why the word "considering the price" comes up if we compare IQ.

    PS: Considering the cost/price in a longer term I would say the best system is the one which one uses for a longer period of time
    Well you are right, for daily photography I am almost never using The Hasselblad, as it is simply to bulky for me. I can imagine I will use my D800E much more frequently, then also be more used to the system and thus overall achieve better results. I bought the H3D39 mainly for landscape and portrait and in those applications the D800E with selected lenses is at least very close if not superior from IQ, but offers all the additional advantages over any MFD we already listed several times.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Why should the E be far superior with regard to tonal graduation - I thought the AA filter mainly affected resolution .... it's all a bit unclear to me.
    Not only resolution - I am through these experiences with the E5 with 12MP and very weak AA filter, so having now a camera with FF sensor and 36 MP without AA filter will simply just top the D800 by far. WRT resolution, micro contrast and tonal gradation.

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    Senior Member David Schneider's Avatar
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratom View Post
    Reading some other threads...one can see the difference between the D800 and the D800E, but the D800 is very very close to MF - does this mean the D800E beats MF in IQ?
    I was wondering if the D800/E is close to MF, how does it stack up against the Leica M9?

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Jordan

    well done ! This is actually the first real life D800 comparison I enjoyed watching ! And - it is amazing how well the Nikon does. If taken into account that the shadows seem to have more reserve, as Uwe said, to me the nikon seems to win the DR section too ! It just means you will have to shoot it a bit darker overall maybe half or 3/4 of a stop, giving better saturation and - matching the measurements by DXO.

    About the little magenta touch in the skin tones, this is easy to get by if you have used Nikon stuff before.

    Hmmmm. 3k against 20k....... I would say on par on image quality- and if you take into acount workflow and speed and high Iso, I would say there is a winner.............

    I really need to test the D800 by myself.

    Regards
    Stefan
    OK but then ETTR die with the D800 ?

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    ETTR - no why ? You can probably do whatever you want to get the histogram of your choice !

    Regards
    Stefan
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    ETTR - no why ? You can probably do whatever you want to get the histogram of your choice !

    Regards
    Stefan
    I try to understand this

    Do I need to change my way to expose my rawfiles, shoting with the D800 ?

    Now I shoot with + 2/3 EV (RAW). To get the optimum performance out of the digital image sensor. (ETTR).


    But it appears, from posts here on the Forum and the video, that the D800, sensor is better to use shadow than the bright areas. In other words, more expose the left.

    QUOTE : It just means you will have to shoot it a bit darker overall maybe half or 3/4 of a stop, giving better saturation and - matching the measurements by DXO.

    Right? or Im way off ?

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Actually- if your file is not clipping on the right it should be ok.
    but of course there are images which can take blown highlights whereas there are others which definitely need a tone everywhere. It depends.....

    Regards
    Stefan
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    >To get the optimum performance out of the digital image sensor. (ETTR).

    I interpret the rule this way: Shoot as much to the right that you can safely recover all the highlights. This differs from camera to camera, scene to scene and different exposure meetering.

    >Now I shoot with + 2/3 EV (RAW).

    This is clearly not similar for all cameras. I actually try to have at least 1/3EV latitude in the highlights. Once highlights are gone they are gone and fake recovery does not get you quality highlights back.

    Try to photograph white Egrets in sun light and you will see when it clips :-). Check these images on the internet and you see how many are oure white (clipped).
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Q: > I interpret the rule this way: Shoot as much to the right that you can safely recover all the highlights. This differs from camera to camera, scene to scene and different exposure meetering.

    The 2/3 EV was a average, and sure I'll take care of the clipping The light is often not that harsh, as you get with the the Cali sun...

    It was more if the D800 maybe better of shooting -2/3 (in general) then +2/3 (in general)... but i think i have the picture now...

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    I took some test shot with D800E against one of the phase one back. I process both RAW file in capture one, but I can't seems to get the skin tone and color to come closed to the MF even with a grey card reference. The Nikon color on the skin tone when shooting indoor look dull. How do you get process and profile the color?

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Pretty lame comment at the end of the video about the client having the same camera as the photographer.... He say's that as a professional he can't have that happen.....
    That's sort of the bigger [email protected]#k theory at work. From my experience it's skill that counts, not who has the most expensive tool.

    The truth is that there is very little difference between the cameras.

    If there was a significant side by side difference you can bet your bottom dollar that MF
    manufacturers would be showing comparative tests all over their websites. There is a smaller and smaller advantage to MF over high end 35mm DSLR. Now that very fast 35mm DSLR lenses are producing high quality even wide open the shallow depth of field advantage is no longer there.

    The part about blown out skin tone recovery is not really very relevant. IF you look at the quality of what is recovered , while the Hasselblad can recover more, it still looks nasty.
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by yatlee View Post
    I took some test shot with D800E against one of the phase one back. I process both RAW file in capture one, but I can't seems to get the skin tone and color to come closed to the MF even with a grey card reference. The Nikon color on the skin tone when shooting indoor look dull. How do you get process and profile the color?
    You will most likely get better results using Nikon's software.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    I'm baffled by the idea of "recovered" highlights. There's no such thing. Digital sensors are linear up to 0db where they clip; then there's nothing to recover. When there's what looks like recoverable highlight detail, it just means that the default raw processing settings are placing the white point somewhere south of the sensor's actual clipping point ... so there's room to adjust it upward.

    Dynamic range, from a post-processing standpoint exists purely in the shadows. It's all about how many stops of information have exist above your threshold of acceptable SNR. The d800 acquits itself very well in this capacity.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    >I'm baffled by the idea of "recovered" highlights.

    You are right and also not. You can recover some of the clipping seen in standard raw processing. Recovering means to adjust the clipping done by the standard processing. Standard/default processing is often very harsh to the highlights. There is often more data available than the default processing shows. If of course the sensor data are really clipped you are out of luck. Although a single clipped channel can sometimes be "fixed". Not perfect but it may save your day.
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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    From my experience it's skill that counts, not who has the most expensive tool.
    You know that and I know that. However, some of us have hobbyist photographers as clients who can't quite wrap their minds around the concept of skill. Every little thing we do and every way we represent ourselves to and around our clients contribute to our brand and how we are perceived and valued. A 5DII with a decent lens may be more than enough camera for the job, but if I can shoot it with a medium format camera just to differentiate myself from my clients with their 5ds and 7ds, I'll do it.

    Silly? Perhaps. But a lot of marketing and branding is. You and I both know that all that matters is the final image and whether or not it met the client's needs, but the realities of an ongoing business relationship are a little bit murky. If I am trying to position myself at a higher level in the market and to higher level clients, every little thing helps. Never mind that nothing will ever be run at a size or resolution that would have challenged my Canon 10D from a decade ago.

    Some years ago, I did a test with a friend when we had a bunch of head shots to do. We did half on a Hassy (501 or ELM, not that it matters) and half with a 35. People reacted very differently to each camera.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    Recovering means to adjust the clipping done by the standard processing. Standard/default processing is often very harsh to the highlights.
    Yes, I realize, but in this case the variable is the default processor settings, not the camera. If the settings lop off more high values, you'll be able to "recover" more. But the limit of what's there is a hard one.

    Shadows are a different story.

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    Re: D800 vs. Medium Format Video

    >but in this case the variable is the default processor settings, not the camera.''

    The problem is that people often talk about the camera and they only see the output from one RC.

    - Colors
    - Clipping

    Of course there are hard fact about the sensor, the color sampling and such. But we only see this indirectly via any RC.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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