Great review – and makes me glad that I didn't rush out to get the D800 (yet)….

Great review – and makes me glad that I didn't rush out to get the D800 (yet).  As he suggests, I'll hold on to my D90 and wait till I see what the D600 is like.

Reshared post from +Thom Hogan

My review of the Nikon D800 and D800E is now posted at:

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Nikon D800 and D800E Review by Thom Hogan
A review of the Nikon D800 and D800E digital cameras by Nikon expert Thom Hogan.

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  • July 9, 2012 - 13:36 | Permalink

    I read that one too.

  • July 9, 2012 - 14:44 | Permalink

    You're not waiting for the D600 are you +Jeff Austin ?  I would imagine that the D800 would be more appropriate for you, given the studio photography you shoot?

  • July 9, 2012 - 21:44 | Permalink

    Really fair and balanced article. Not sure I agree with his argument that people who have only used lowend dslrs should wait for the d600. If one is willing to properly take the time to learn technique, the wouldnt the d800 be a good thing has it will force you not to become lazy? The production quality control issues are more of a serious issue. Though now that there is a fix for d800 focusing issues, does it still make sense to wait for the d600? Especially considering the quality control issues with this latest launch…might not the d600 run into its own share of major problems?

  • July 9, 2012 - 23:42 | Permalink

    As a 800E owner I agree with 100% of what he wrote. The colors blow the mind, the handling irritates, noise versus pixel is better than expected, it beasts lenses, it is incorrigible off tripod (and too much wind on will still be more than it can bare), etc.

    But… I don't know if the D600 will solve all of this. For example, if the irritating handling just a new Nikon way of thinking? For me, that's the only gripe, but I've managed to relearn since I've not been on my last camera so long.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:14 | Permalink

    I am actually in line at Map Camera for a D800e.  I will use it more for landscape images as the studio work I am currently doing does not require that type of camera ( I would look for a D800 if it were to be my main studio camera).  Perhaps one day though.  I must also admit there would be a learning curve in the studio to accommodate for the jump in resolution.  I imagine a similar curve for the landscape as well.   
    If the D600 comes out with the specs we are hearing then it will be much more forgiving camera and yet still retain some solid resolution.  
    As for launch problems it is certainly possible to have some issues, most cameras do, but very few have been so major to damage the rep of the camera.  At least within the world of DSLRs.  
    With the D800e I will have bought 4 Nikon DSLRs and have not experienced any of the issues that were associated with them.  Each camera had its learning curve, butons move, menus change, and each one handles light differently.  For me each new senor has been like a new film stock.   Similar to the one before, but not exactly the same.  

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:18 | Permalink

    +Matthew Lamb , true, I agree that with patience and some effort, even the those with lower end dslr's can learn to effectively use the D800.  My takeaway is that it's more about what those users are expecting out of their cameras.  I'd say that going from something like a D90 to a D800 is a pretty big jump, and unless one is full prepared and understands what they're getting into, it could be very frustrating.
    Also, for someone like myself who wants a bit more of an "all-rounder", the D600 looks (according to the rumored specs at least) more appealing since it will likely be a bit more forgiving/versatile in various situations.  

    I don't particularly need the extreme resolution of the D800, and given that I'd probably have to a) get a new computer to handle the file processing, and b) invest in some pretty high-end glass in order to get my money's worth out of the D800, at this point it just makes more sense for me to see what the D600 offers before upgrading my camera.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:32 | Permalink

    +Jason Arney , file size, glass requirements, and handling aside, I'm reconsidering my concerns on the D800 as not suitable for street photography after seeing Takahiro Yamamoto's shots from the G+ anniversary photowalk.  Those were hand-held, and I'm just blown away.  He even used the same Sigma 50mm that I have – and he got better shots than I did with my D90…. makes me feel like I've got a ways to go when it comes to photography…
    I guess it's likely that the handling on the D600 will continue to irritate long time Nikon users, but that's not something I'm too concerned about tbh.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:34 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya I can only speak from person experience, but my D3s is infinitely better at street than my D800E. The 800's AF is too slow, too picky, and too bitchy on settings.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:38 | Permalink

    +Jeff Austin, to be entirely honest, I'm still occasionally coming across things with my D90 that I didn't know of, which is part of the reason why I've held back on jumping for the D800.  I can see where you would certainly benefit from it though, and I hope you get it soon.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:41 | Permalink

    +Jason Arney , coming from a D3s, that's not surprising at all – I'm not advocating the D800 as a street photographer's camera, but just readjusting my expectations of what it can/can't do.  I'd definitely go for the D3s for any shoot where speed plays any kind of factor.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:44 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya Well I for one am shocked by your reservation. You were such the salesman you talked me into mine even! 😉

    I will be straight and say if you do landscape/architecture on a tripod, the D800(E) will blow your mind. As a positive for it anyway. Also, I did some portrait stuff with it via cool Jeff's tutelage and when the D800E nailed it, it was jaw dropping. The issue is on the street, your hit-to-miss ratio will jump.

    I think Takahiro saw a reverse, his old m43 was more miss than hit. D700/D3-series people will see more miss.

  • July 10, 2012 - 00:59 | Permalink

    Hm, never thought of myself as much of a salesman – maybe I just wanted you to plunk down the cash so I could enjoy the pictures vicariously 😉

    Haven't seen any of your portrait work yet though – was there a course offered by the admittedly-very-cool Jeff?

  • July 10, 2012 - 01:29 | Permalink

    I think with regards to file size and usage it really falls down to the individual. I used to go out and shoot 800 street pictures and keep them all. Now I shoot 150 and keep maybe 10. So, I'm not really worried about file size.
    With regards to if it is a street photographer's camera or not, I think that all cameras (including large format) are. Cameras should be chosen based on the photographers shooting style and needs. For me, I care less about the web and more about 20 x30 and larger prints. I want the smallest details of the scene to be visible should the the viewer step close to the print. Additionally, I want that resolution for portraiture. Which is why my biggest decision isn't between D800 and the D600. It is between the D800-Pentax645D-and the Leica S2(if price drop rumors are true)
    With regards to AF speed and ergonomics, my style of street shooting is anticipatory and slow. I try to find interesting scenes and wait for something to happen within them. As for ergonomics my hands are …freakishly large so all digital cameras feel to small with too many buttons clustered together. (even with grips attached).
    At the end of the day, I need a camera I can grow with, that is durable, has high resolution, has high quality lens( im dreaming of that 135mm f2 dc), and that is suitable for my shooting style.
    I'm on the fence about the D800 not because of its what many say are drawbacks but because of its other feature. As of now, I don't shoot video. Im not interested in in-camera HDR or the host of other features. I just want something simple and clean. Preferably with manual aperture,shutter speed, and iso controls.

  • July 10, 2012 - 01:39 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya well done then. I was thoroughly suckered.

    +Matthew Lamb uh… I think you have to realize larger formats handle light differently and thus there's a reason people don't do street in medium or large format.

    If you want something just for portraits, then think about your needs there. I can't really provide a meaningful opinion on your plan other than I support any consumerism.

    Jeff/Matt – the file size issue is in 2 forms. Size on memory card requiring larger and more expensive cards (minor issue) and brutality towards your PC. For example, my typical landscape piece from my D3s ended in a PSD that would be between 700MB to 1.2GB; the same process (actually, less work) for the 800E is typically 3.2G to 7G. I wish I was kidding. Thus, RAM, SSD speed, CPU, etc, become real factors. After trying to edit on my old machine (albeit a very beastly PC) I upgraded to a retarded beast PC (32G RAM, i7 CPU, bigger SSD).

  • July 10, 2012 - 02:17 | Permalink

    Wow. A backhanded quadruple insult. Thanks.
    1) I'm aware that light is handled different with MF and large format. I like the distinct looks one can achieve in those formats. Street photography is what you choose to make it.
    2) I'm aware that for my current portrait needs even a d800 is considered overkill by some. I'm considering my future and where I hope to grow with regards to editorial and commercial portraiture.
    3) Consumerism. Considering the slow systematic and researched approach I'm taking before I heavily invest a third or more of my yearly salary in a system. Not even close.
    4) I'm a former Apple employee and a lifelong computer geek. I'm more than familiar with how computers work as well as file sizes for both the d800 and mf cameras.

  • July 10, 2012 - 02:30 | Permalink

    +Matthew Lamb you managed to pull all that from my half-paragraph? Might be time to step back a little.

    1) I was talking about it taking longer for those sizes to record light. Considering a lot of street is done at night… (this also ignores that most of those formats don't have lenses that open more than f4). But, it is a pointless topic.
    2) Didn't mention anything on this. Stressed I don't know what your needs are (I don't have a clue).
    3) I still support any consumerism. This has nothing to do with your buying pattern.
    4) Merely stating my experience and how it relates to the meaning of file size (not size, but bloat). Your initial comment regarding file size was entirely about volume of files, i.e. HDD space. In this era space is a minor issue, RAM bloat in post is the real killer.

    4a) I don't recall what you shoot, but I know what Jeff does so I was aiming this at his view on file size as well (thus the "/").

    Relax man.

  • July 10, 2012 - 02:32 | Permalink

    Was there an insult (or four) in Jason's comment?  If so, it completely blew past me… (maybe I'm just not good at picking up subtleties 😉  

    In my case though, it was interesting to read of his take/experience with the D800 and the associated "side effects" (new computer/memory cards, etc)

    I was also not consciously aware that various formats handle light so differently.  I mean, I kinda-sorta-know it, but not in any quantifiable way (basically, I haven't done any research on this), so it was a good reminder for me that I should look more into it when I get some time.

  • July 10, 2012 - 03:11 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya well, I will be buying a medium film this year to toy around with. They aren't too crazy in price now and it would be fun.

    But I'm an ultra tweak with tons of time to read bullshit at work so I've heavily looked into various bits. I've also shot a little with my father's 5×4 large.

  • July 10, 2012 - 03:13 | Permalink

    Perhaps I read to much into your comments. If so, the please pardon my response. The phrasing put me off from "you need to realize".

  • July 10, 2012 - 03:14 | Permalink

    *have to realize

  • July 10, 2012 - 03:40 | Permalink

    I'd say "perhaps" was an understatement. Hardly matters though. As I said, I'm all for consumerism so you're free to buy and use what you buy in anyway you like. My opinion shouldn't matter.

  • July 10, 2012 - 03:43 | Permalink

    Moving on.
    What are you planning to buy in terms of MF film and why?

  • July 10, 2012 - 03:58 | Permalink

    +Matthew Lamb still looking at it. It won't be something serious and with film I don't need to be that picky. The film inside will matter more than the body (least important). I think something about 80mm for lens should be enough to get 50~65mm-ish views of the landscape stuff I do now. I've seen a good variety that can meet this at under 8man.

  • July 10, 2012 - 04:05 | Permalink

    Have you checked out the fuji gw690/gsw 680? The ga645w(i) is also fairly good. I've seen them priced around 4man in Shinjuku.

  • July 10, 2012 - 04:18 | Permalink

    Yes, those are all on my short list but I'm leaning towards something with a waist level view finder.

  • July 10, 2012 - 04:26 | Permalink

    Maybe a rolleicord in good condition?  Or perhaps a banged up pentax 67 and add a waist level finder to it?

  • July 10, 2012 - 04:31 | Permalink

    You've both gotten above my head – I have zero knowledge of MF cameras, and even film is pretty much uncharted territory for me.  +Jason Arney , get yours quickly so that I can take a look when we next meet!  😀

  • July 10, 2012 - 04:35 | Permalink

    +Jeff Matsuya still a ways out and it would be strictly something that joins me on landscape trips. Actaully though, the dynamic range in the 800 makes me wonder if I should. Mostly just for the hobby of it I will though.

  • July 10, 2012 - 04:56 | Permalink

    +Matthew Lamb still considering too many possibilities at the moment to even have a clear picture (oh, puns). I wonder if Map Rental rents any… seems like they do with Hasselblad 503 series. I wonder if there's any others…

  • July 10, 2012 - 05:31 | Permalink

    +Jason ArneyI know what you mean. I would love to buy every one. I see plus a contax 645.
    BTW map does rent hassys but im not sure if it was the 503 or 500.
    +Jeff Matsuya Are you free on Monday? We can go out and shoot my film cameras.

  • July 10, 2012 - 07:17 | Permalink

    +Matthew Lamb , appreciate the offer!  However, I'll be flying back to Tokyo the night before, and I'll likely be resting on Monday and catching up with things.  Next photowalk we meet at, I'll take a look at your gear 🙂

  • July 10, 2012 - 13:28 | Permalink

    Y'all need to talk less and shoot more. /derp

  • July 10, 2012 - 13:34 | Permalink

    Aye aye Cap'n +Joanne Yu !  😀

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