My chance to wield the Megapixel Monster Nikon D800

Yesterday I had the chance to get hands on a Nikon D800, which as a new model in its own right (as opposed to a straightforward linear replacement/upgrade to the D700) and it’s hard not to be impressed with what's on offer.

Outwardly, I found that the Nikon D800 is very similar to the D700. It has the prominent hand-grip, which is very comfortable to my hand. The overall shape of the camera body seems to be a little bit rounder and streamlined, but otherwise the dimensions seemed very close to the older model.

This isn't a scientific test at all but just a possibility for me to see how I could handle the massive files and how the low light capabilities would be influenced by the high megapixel capture. This is certainly a camera for landscape photographers, but any portrait/lifestyle photographer will benefit as well in getting a lot of pixels to push around.

Sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to ISO 6400 in standard mode, which is widened by an extended Low1 setting that’s the equivalent of ISO 50 and a Hi2 setting that’s equivalent to ISO 25,600. So my main interest had been to what extent the densely populated sensor would affect the low-light image quality.

I have been quite happy with my D700, which was rightly praised for this ability to suppress noise at higher sensitivity settings and performed miraculous well in poor light conditions. In the short time I could use the new gear I found that it’s really not an issue at all. The D800 offers excellent high ISO/low-light performance.

Shooting at the Hanoi Opera at "Tchaikovsky night" in between ISO 3200 to 6400. Here a sample which pleased me at ISO 5000, 180 mm, f 5.0, 1/80 sec handheld with the 70 to 200 mm f 2.8 lens.

A real issue are the big, big files recording to your memory card and later transfer it to you computer and working in Lightroom, PS or any equivalent. If you have this camera you need most probably as well an upgrade on your computer hardware as well.

Tchaikovsky night from Kiribane on Vimeo.