I had a look at the D800, when I was comparing and went in search of the blogs, on it... some users weren't all that impressed
Like this one...
As a professional with over 40 years dedicated experience with Nikon gear I was, like many other photographers, keen to get my hands on one of these. I picked it up yesterday from a High Street store. took it home and eagerly unpacked the beauty. Oh yes, don't get me wrong, I am NOT rubbishing this camera, far from it. IT IS EXCELLENT - but in my humble view, no better than the D700 it replaces or my D3... I did consider giving it just 3 stars BUT, as i say, it is an excellent camera, just not the major improvement the hype suggests. And so to my review:
Looks good, feels good to handle, big bright view finder. Familiar layout of controls come easily to hand making it a joy to handle. I could hardly contain myself
First off, I fitted my trusty 24-70mm f:2.8 Nikkor lens. A benchmark optic for all Nikon owners). I took a few images and zoomed in on the very large, bright display. Umm, could I believe what I was seeing? I expected really significant increases in image quality - well at £2399 and 36.4 MP you would, wouldn't you? Wrong!
I was so concerned, I fitted the same lens to my trusty D700 and repeated the images. In fact I conducted a series of comparative tests using my 55mm f:3.5 Macro, the 24-70mm and also my, maligned but much loved 24-120mm f:3.5/5.6 lens.. These were 'eventually' imported into Adobe Photoshop CS5 BUT Bridge could not recognise the NEF files. A quick trip to Adobe and download of the Beta version of ACR 6.7. [interestingly the older version of Nikon's own View NX2 recognised the files instantly... umm!].
The RAW, unprocessed images were compared side by side of 2 colour calibrated NEC Multi-sync 24" monitors. [this was essential to make the comparison on common ground]. The 'processed' images are good, very good BUT NO BETTER THAN THOSE FROM MY D700. I then printed off the results on my HP Colour laser jet to show the shop-keeper....
Excellent colour fidelity. Good control of moire and accutance. Improved colour space in sRGB (standard setting on camera out of the box). Great to have dual card slots. Some nice changes to buttons and general handling feel. Where it falls down badly, in my view, is the apparent lack of increase in definition in spite of a 3 fold increase in pixels. The hype surrounding it's release overstated the increase in image quality. Sorry it does not cut the mustard...
The D800 went back this morning for a full refund along with the sample prints. . Sorry Nikon, not this time for me...
This is why I settled on the D700... as one option.
I used to do super-macro on my Pentax LX in my SLR days, and thought it would be good to delve into that side once again only with a DSLR, so I was looking for sensor quality as my main motivation for choice, however general photography needs and handling are also a must, along with a good range of available primes.