Simply the best - the Nikon D800E


All images - Nikon D800E + 50mm f/1.8D

Its been a while since I used my D800E. However on the third straight day of sunshine on a bank holiday weekend (can't remember the last time that happened) I decided to go out with just one lens, the 50mm f/1.8D. Locations included a bluebell wood with pools of sunlight through the trees and the grounds of a stately home.








With all the chatter about new Olympus, Panasonic and Leica cameras its always a pleasure to use the camera that pretty much puts everything else in the shade. Everytime I use the D800E I realise just how special it is. Still the largest pixel count this side of medium-format with images that can be printed the size of an wall, if you can stand the weight, the size and a shutter that has a seriously loud clunk.
And no, more pixels doesn't neccesarily mean better quality, but in the case of this camera, it does in fact mean just that. The mirrorless revolution is here, for better or worse, and the days of the DSLR are probably numbered. But in reality that is probably quite a large number. Nikon have been making these beasts for a long time and while they do the job as well as the D800E there will always be people who want to buy them.

My trip to the centre of Birmingham the previous day illustrated just how camera ownership is changing. There were a lot of people about and it seemed the vast majority were taking pictures, though mostly on phone cameras. I only remember seeing one DSLR the whole afternoon. This is somewhat different to my usual experience. However, the day I took these pictures there were still plenty of DSLR's in evidence. So why the difference? Well the second day involved an older population and what appeared to be (certainly from the cars they drive) a wealthier one as well. There were lots of Nikons and Canons and BIG lenses, though to be honest there were more people carrying their cameras rather than using them. At least the mobile phone snappers were actually snapping. 

All this on a day when a picture library accepted the first picture of mine shot on a mobile phone.


Out of interest I had sent this to a lot of libraries and most had declined to put it on their webstes, however one finally accepted it. I sent this because its the only picture I've taken on a phone that I would have taken on one of my 'proper' cameras. So have I become a convert? Well no. It is however the best picture, quality wise that I've ever achieved on one of my phones, and many of the rest of the pictures I took at the same time aren't technically as good, showing that in terms of producing the results every time, they still have a long way to go. However I will report back should I ever sell this.

So what, if anything, is the point of these ramblings. Well, I like Nikons, I like the D800E in particular and lots of people use phones to take pictures with these days. So, nothing new here then.

The actual point is that the D800E is a fabulous camera that takes fabulous pictures but in the future cameras like this, admittedly probably in some different mirrorless incarnation, will be rare. And if I'm really snobbish about it, that will probably sort out the wheat from the chaff. Mobile phones for the snapshooters and cameras like the D800E for us 'serious' photographers and probably everything in between disappearing. At least it will stop every owner of a cheap DSLR and standard kit lens thinking they are a photographer! And yes I am partly joking, but then its up to you to work out how big a part is the joke and how big a part is serious.