During the weekend I had the time to shoot many images with the Nikon D800E. After doing a comparison with 6×7 and 6×9 medium format film, I decided there was no reason to continue to compare film vs digital and focus on learning the D800E.
After many images, I must say that this is a truly revolutionary camera. I mostly shoot landscapes (that’s why I got the E version), so I don’t crave for high ISOs and many frames per second. For my style of photography this is a superb piece of gear.
The resolution and dynamic range of the D800E (especially when combined with good lenses) is truly awesome. This is probably the camera that will slowly draw me away from film (well, not completely, but I sure I am going to choose it over my medium format film cameras for many future trips).
The absurd resolution of 36mp gives you the chance to crop when you need to, and still have plenty of megapixels for printing. Also, by doing a 2-3 images stitching you easily end up with a file over 50 megapixels (the less images you stitch, the better for the final result). Also, the huge 14-bit NEF file can take a lot of abuse in Photoshop without losing much of it’s initial image quality.
Features like Live View and the virtual horizon in the viewfinder make life easier and lead to better images. I didn’t really expect to be so thrilled about this camera, but it seems that it opens new spaces for me (I even did some serious macro work, and I almost never do macro with any camera !!)
Of course, in order to get the most out of this camera, it requires a good technique. A tripod, a cable release and using the mirror up function really helps in getting the 100% of what the D800E offers. Good lenses are of course essential to the final image since 36mp is a huge resolution for a 35mm sensor.
So, everything is perfect about this camera ?? Well, on the downside, the D800E produces huge files which really take time to import and process (and I mean lots of time). I usually shoot very few images on a regular photo trip, but this times I shot over 300 RAW images in order to test the camera. The whole procedure of importing the images to Lightroom (12GB) and process them is very time consuming and my MacBook Pro really struggled during the whole process (I mean the fans were turning like crazy during the whole time !!)
But, I didn’t expect anything different with a 36 megapixels camera. After this test, I am going to return back to my usual way of shooting (I will probably treat it more like a film camera), so it will really have no significant difference than my usual medium format scans process.
So, as a first conclusion, the D800E has really gotten my serious attention !!!
(c)2012 Konstantinos Besios. All Rights Reserved.