First D800 Shots

After a 6 month wait, I finally received my new DSLR. I actually gave up on ever receiving the Nikon D800E, so I settled for the D800. I must say, I’m impressed. The images are absolutely enormous – 7360 x 4912 pixels. I had to reduce the resolution from more than 36 megapixels to 6 megapixels (3000 x 2000) to even make them tolerable for viewing here at thedude.com.

The three images below were shot with my beloved and super-cheap, manual focus 85mm 1.4 lens. They are 3000 pixels wide. Drag the images to your desktop to view at that size.


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Here’s a shot was taken last night with the glass-tastic Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 – on a sturdy tripod, of course.

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Dying to see a couple images at full camera resolution without any sharpening applied? Click here and here.

Some Observations:

  • The D800 has many features I like. Most of the D3’s features are here – even the Intervalometer, the ability to work with non-CPU lenses and GPS devices. The ability to control Nikon flash gear from the crappy built-in flash is also a definite win!
  • The resolution of the sensor seems to exceed that of most of my lenses.
  • Focus is extremely important! It’s so easy to take out-of-focus shots. Shooting with this camera takes some planning.
  • Low-light performance is nowhere near that of the magnificent Nikon D3.
  • This new camera will have a huge impact on my compute and storage resources. Raw files are more than 40 GB in size, 16-bit PSD’s weigh in at over 200 GB, and this is without any added layers, etc. Individual images can easily occupy more than 500 Gigabytes each. If I’m going to be working a lot with these huge images, I’ll definitely need a very expensive computer upgrade.
  • I also need to upgrade Lightroom and PhotoShop to work with the new Nikon RAW file format. This really sucks.

The bottom line? This camera produces fantastically detailed shots, but is extremely unforgiving. You’ll probably need to upgrade some of your glass, and you’ll definitely want to break out that heavy tripod. Shooting with this camera is like shooting with a medium-format film camera. It is definitely not suited to casual photography. It’s best suited for landscape, architectural and portrait photography for those who can afford a top-of-the-line computer. I’m glad I have the D3, and have no plans to get rid of it.

4 comments

  • Antonio

    Hi Jim,
    I am sorry I may be partly responsible for this purchase by alerting you to the news of the d800’s availability. If you get rid of this poorly focusing camera with bad low-light performance and excessive file sizes, please don’t throw it away but lob it gently in my general direction.

  • andrew

    Love your Continental 175/55 R tires on the Smart Car…. Geez!

  • Hugh Caley

    So the D800e just wasn’t available? How sad … I had no idea that the cameras were doing built in “softening” to defeat moire, I was kind of excited to find out if it was actually a problem for anyone.

  • thedude

    Yeah – I waited 6 months. Boo. My neighbor already had the D800. I would have liked to see if there is a difference. Oh well, I’m pretty pleased so far. Seems like the sensor is finally more capable than the lenses.

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