Nikon D800 - Image quality

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens
All images - NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

You would expect a 36MP sensor to offer pretty special image quality, and that is certainly the case here. This is by some distance the best I've ever used, and after getting to use the D800 in some bright sunlight, the images on my screen are quite simply, breathtaking.

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

The promise that this camera offers Medium Format quality is well and truly delivered. The colour depth is astonishing, and dynamic range is well-handled. At ISO 100-320 there is no noise at all, and even with the anti-aliasing filter the images are superbly sharp with of course extraordinary resolution.

This does surely end all arguments about CMOS and Bayer sensors. Sony, who make the basic sensor and Nikon have come up with something quite special here. Should Leica be announcing an M10 this year, I would suggest that they don't have far to look for a sensor for that camera.

Factor in the high ISO performance that this is capable of and it can surely be regarded as the best all-round sensor for any digital camera ever.

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

NIKON D800  Nikkor 35mm f/2D lens

Whether or not I keep the D800 is dependant on whether my back survives carrying it around. Yesterday I was so enthusiastic about the wonderful light that I walked a fair distance. There were quite a few aches and pains when I finished, something I've been refreshingly free of carrying small CSC outfits around. However that is the only reason I would ever consider selling the D800.

There's not a lot of point in me doing lots of comparison tests with the camera, as they have all been done before. Its pretty well documented just how good the results are, and I'm going to concentrate on what its like to use this camera. However I felt it important to state just how good I think it is in terms of image quality.

Like the D7000 before it, the overiding impression I get from this camera is, apart from the size and weight, I completely forget about it. Its one of those cameras that lets me concentrate totally on the process of creating pictures. Though I can use my polaroid sunglasses with the optical viewfinder, the screen is affected by the polarising effect, and I have to take them off to see what I've taken. However after two days, I've basically stopped looking. The exposures are dead on virtually every time, plus the latitude in the files is such that any under or over exposure is easily taken care of in photoshop. The AF is sure and fast, and having used Nikons on and off since 1990, I seem to know instinctively where all the controls are.

I really enjoyed using the camera yesterday, my back less so!! Maybe I'll have a go at body building classes!! My way of dealing with this is going to be to keep what I take out with the D800 relatively light. Yesterday I carried my 35mm f/2D lens only. Its a great lens, and one that I ended up using on my D3X virtually exclusively, and the results were really very special. Indeed the D800 is a very special camera and I can't wait to get out and use it again.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
All original material on this blog is © Soundimageplus
For comment and discussion - join me over at Google+
about soundimageplus - soundimageplus website
soundimageplus on flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/45203414@N06/
soundimageplus blog readers pictures group - http://www.flickr.com/groups/1705334@N24/
soundimageplus on YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/soundimageplus
soundimageplus on Vimeo - http://vimeo.com/user1050904/video