Warning: Nerdy Photographer Talk Below
After Nikon announced the D800, I started watching for the D700 prices to fall enough to where I felt justified in purchasing a previous generation body. But the day after I rented a D800 from CharlestonAVGear for a wedding I found myself placing an order for Nikon’s newest (and IMO finest) camera.
Then I started reading the various photography forums and panic started to creep in because it appeared that I might not get this camera until August!
I had a delivery estimate from Amazon, and then early last week the estimate vanished and was replaced with “unknown”. Gahh! I started following this thread on NikonRumors because some posters were letting people know when various retailers had stock available. I got lucky on Tuesday morning because someone posted that NikonUSA.com had them listed in stock. I quickly ordered one and moments after I placed my order they were listed as out of stock again. Regardless, on Wednesday morning I had the new camera in hand! The funny thing was that I got a notice from another fine camera retailer, Robertscamera.com, later in the day on Wednesday that they had some in stock, so I shared that info on the Nikonrumors forum that helped me out and some other shooters were able to get D800′s from them. Paying back on the forum that helped you is a good recipe for internet karma. And as of now it seems that a lot of people are getting the camera’s they’ve had on back-order for months, so I am assuming that the supply is reaching the level of demand to some degree.
So, I was itching to go out and use my new tool, since it’s a very different animal than my previous body. The local photography group, the 21st Century Photography Group, was hosting a photo-walk at the College of Charleston on Sunday. A perfect opportunity!
I brought my son Kegan along, who was shooing with my P7000.
Unfortunately it was quite hot and he was not feeling the whole walking part of the photo-walk. He did get a box of crackers to snack on, but even that couldn’t sooth the savage Kegan
I’ve been shooting with a cropped sensor for so long now that switching to a new full-frame sensor is introducing a whole new way for me to approach the things I am used to. The focal lengths are now properly represented, so my 50mm lens is a true 50mm instead of the 80mm equivalent on a cropped sensor camera. This means I’ve got to get closer! That has the effect of decreasing the available depth of field, so focusing properly is crucial. The 36 mega-pixel sensor in the D800 also brings another challenge: The resolution is so high that it is not forgiving at all if you have bad technique hand-holding the camera. You can see the effects of camera shake when you view things at the full resolution. Luckily, most people aren’t viewing your images like that, but I think it’s a valuable thing because it challenges you to improve your technique!
It’s not easy changing the class of bodies either. My D90 is laid out very differently than the D800, so I’m constantly hitting the wrong buttons because they’re not where I’m used to finding them. That’s OK, it’s only a matter of going out and shooting as much as possible that will quickly remedy it. I did have some moments of panic when shooting a wedding with it, but I’ll talk more about that in a future post.
I can’t wait to shoot some studio stuff with this camera. The resolution is so amazing. I’ll be sure to write another post soon about that experience. For now, I’m buried with post-processing from previous shoots. The good news is that my computer seems to be dealing with the giant NEF RAW files from the D800 quite well, so one of my biggest fears has been put to bed. It does take a tremendous amount of time uploading the full resolution jpegs to Flickr though, but that’s something I can happily deal with
On a side note, I checked out one of Apple’s new Retina Display MacBook Pro’s this afternoon. Holy Balls. My D800 photos look even better on that thing than I could have imagined. It looks like I’m going to need to book a bunch of these real soon!