Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
on 30 April 2014
No really, this camera still stuns me with its abilities. I started with DSLR's a few years ago, being unable to afford new stuff i bought used and progressed from Fuji S2 to Nikon D2x, then made the huge step up to the amazing D700. That was a genuine Oh My GOD! moment, i knew that the D700 was a great camera, my photography suddenly took a huge step in quality. Added a big sigma lens into the mix and I found it hard to believe that the D700 could ever be bettered.
Step forward 12 months and a healthy works bonus (not a banker LOL) I was able to do 2 things, first buy a D800 and second buy my first ever new camera since a Pentax Z10 many years ago.
Apart from the almost reverential opening of the gold box I couldn't wait to get to grips with it, first impressions were good, very similar to the D700, a little larger but slightly lighter, undeniably from the same stable as the D700 and everything in the same old familiar places.
First shock was putting my 32gb card into the 800 and it will hold a massive 400 images, over 1300 in the D700. Fitted with a good old 50mm f1.4 lens I had a play, wow, shocked and mystified.
Shocked because of the quality and detail available in the image, they are just unbelievably detailed and sharp. Mystified because I don't have any idea how the D700 could be improved on by such a huge margin.
The D800 has a lot going for it, its sensor is amazing, settings are as I would expect for any Nikon, the right controls are in the right places, and apart from the addition of a dedicated video recording button almost identical to previous nikons. Menu's are simple and straight forward.
I have now been out and about with the 800 a few times now, wildlife photography, landscape, music/gig images in poor lighting, flowers you name it I have tried it (Except weddings) it has no failings, some will claim that the 3-4fps rate is too slow, well its fine if you plan your shots and watch for your moment its not a problem, I never really bothered with the speed of the D2x even for sporting events.
As a second surprise the video quality is also very very good, even with the internal mic. I have recorded a couple of videos for friends while at gigs and I was very very happy with the results, so were they.
So if this camera is so amazing does it have any downsides? Yes, there are a couple. First off it does need a good lens, although it doesn't have to be prime Nikon all the way, I have a f1.4 50mm that works great as well as the Sigma 50-500mm which is fantastic, but some would have you believe that you need Nikon primes and nothing but. Secondly drive space, at 40-50mb per RAW image you will need a lot, and a decent PC/Mac to run the images through Lightroom (other image editing packages are available) I have a laptop, 16mb Ram, i7 processor and 2tb of hard drives, its filling up quickly. I can't knock stars off for either problems of these problems as really they aren't problems at all.
On the whole I have no idea how this camera will be bettered in the future, it's a tough call, unless they can push the sensitivity even further there is nothing that springs to mind.
Despite what other reviews have said this really is an all round camera, you can shoot anything with it, moon shots have become easy but they are so croppable with that amazing pixel count. Image quality, speed, accuracy, handling they are all there.
For any of yo wondering if the 800 can really be 'that' much better than the D700, let me assure you it is. On the plus side I now have 2 of the finest full frame digital cameras ever made, luck me :)