Nikon D800 :: It's Not You, It's Me!

I've had a strange relationship with the D800 ever since it was first announced. I bitched about all those megapixels right from the start and feel that I've been forced into an arranged marriage that I should hate!. The trouble is, it's the best DSLR I've ever shot with! I still say that 36mp is too much (for me), but after having a hands on with the D600 and being unimpressed by it's lack of pro feel and features (great sensor though) I had only three options, D800, D700 or 5Dmkiii. If Nikon had put the D600 in a D300s body, I would have bought it right away!

The D700 is a fantastic camera, but lacking in two features that are crucial to me, dual card slots and quiet mode. Canon came so close to having another The 5Dmkiii user. It's a fantastic camera in the hands, so comfortable to hold, but the draw backs for me were just to many. I use custom white balance all the time and Nikon have a really easy way to handle this feature and is so quick. Canon on the other hand, use a reference photo (that you have to move to manual focus to take when using an ExpoDisc) that you then have to delve into the menus to find. It's just to many steps! Moving focus point is done by pressing a button first, a small thing, but one step more than Nikon. What it came down to in the end was that I have worked my way up to owning the best prime lenses that Nikon produce and I am so deep in Nikon's CLS lighting system that it would have been crazy to move. It was always kind of obvious, but sometimes you just don't see the woods for the trees! My friend Patrick LaRoque took the chainsaw out and made a small clearing...just enough to see the Nikon forest.

So the D800, the camera I said I wouldn't own is the body that I now think is pretty awesome! I've shot portraits and product shots with it and have been blown away by the quality and sharpness. My 85mm f1.4G is outstanding on the D800! In fact all my Nikon Primes have suddenly shown their true potential. My big problem with the D800 will be when shooting weddings. I probably shoot less pictures than a lot of photographers at weddings and I'm always trying to be selective on the day by composing as carefully as possible and definitely not praying and spraying! I'd rather spend my time in post editing, rather than wading though hundreds of images that won't make the cut. But at around 103 raw photos per 8gb card, my workflow will have to be adjusted. The up-side is that I actually shoot more shots at a wedding on the Fuji X-Pro1, so that takes a lot of the pressure of my hard drive.

Click on the photo above to see the full size jpeg and then the one below to see the full size of the crop.

So as you can see from the shots above, the D800 is a camera with amazing resolution. It's also the DSLR with the biggest files.  The  Raw file for this photo was 43.3mb and the jpeg was 12.6mb. I've been shooting  jpeg with the Fuji X100 and X-Pro1 and never once wished I had a Fuji raw file, so I'm thinking of shooting  jpeg on the D800 for weddings on one card and raw on the other. I'll import the jpegs into Lightroom and unless I need to recover any blown highlights (vary rare), the raw files might never get used.