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Thread: Advice on DSLR purchase

  1. #1
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Advice on DSLR purchase

    I bought a nikon 3200 about a year ago and started learning about using a dslr.

    I decided after hours and hours of looking around at better cameras and glass looking for deals and this and that, why not just get a real camera. I made some extra cash that was pretty easy and so I decided to go ahead and get something that I can use for a good long while and be happy.

    I am looking at these two cameras, I think the E is rated better, any advice about this much appreciated.
    D800 & 800E

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    I've marched my way up through the whole Nikon line over the years. The D800E is the best camera I've owned so far. Very versatile with the option of shooting full frame 36MP or shoot in DX mode and still get over 15MP images. The only down side is lower fps than I would prefer. It's an excellent piece of gear.

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    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Great Images Dan wow how fantastic to be able to shoot in those environments.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Last week I ordered on line a D800E that was on special at $100 above the D800 I was intending to buy. About 15minutes latter the sales manager rang me apologising that they had run out of stock of the D800E and I could either wait 3-4 weeks for one to arrive or I could have an ex-stock D800 with a $200 discount. I have been testing my new D800 today. For most practical uses I doubt that you would notice the difference. I was obviously prepared to pay a $100 extra for a D800E but not prepared to wait 3-4 weeks and effectively pay $300 more than a D800.

    At this stage after 4 hours of playing with the D800 I am very happy.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    ...how fantastic to be able to shoot in those environments.
    One pays dearly during the long, dark winter...

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Dear Benny,

    what real makes the difference are the lenses. To really see the difference between D800 and, say D600 or others, you need very good lenses. To see the difference between the D800 and D800E you need really very good lenses.

    IMHO the only cons I see with both D800 and D800E are:
    1) slow fps. This means that for fast actions they are not the best.
    2) big files. This means a reasonably powerful computer and adequate storage.

    Cheers
    A.

  7. #7
    yobenny's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    I have been looking and looking at good glass. My thinking at the moment is to just rent what I think I want for a few days and work them out a bit to see what happens.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    I bought the D800 rather than the D800E because I felt I would rarely, if ever even take the D800 camera to the limits; much less the D800E. The best glass, shooting off a heavy, stable and weighted tripod, mirror lockup, low to no wind on site, etc. I've done that perhaps once or twice since I got the body last May just to see the results, and they are only noticeable over a good hand-held shot if I pixel peep on a super large image; I rarely print above 17" x 22". I have gotten into some very occasional issues with Moire with the light AA filter on the D800, so the D800E would be even worse.

    It turns out I was right. The difference in the maximum capabilities of the cameras is slight, and I rarely push the D800 to the limits. I suspect I would never push the D800E to the limits; I just have no real interest in that type of photography. Remember you will need to drop about $4500 extra just to pick up the f/2.8 24-70mm and f/2.8 70-200mm to take advantage of the sensor on either body. I consider these lenses to be must haves on those bodies.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Hi Benny,

    I am not being nasty now. My personal opinion: if you need ask the advice of others on buying a camera in that class you are not really ready yet to move up there.

    Buying professional gear you need to do a lot of research before taking the leap. You want to dump the D3200 for a D800 simply because you want a “real camera”? The wrong reason, Benny.
    You need a very good valid reason to upgrade from a D3200 to a D800.
    A D3200 is as much a real DSLR as a D800.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    You want to dump the D3200 for a D800 simply because you want a “real camera”? The wrong reason, Benny.
    You need a very good valid reason to upgrade from a D3200 to a D800.
    A D3200 is as much a real DSLR as a D800.
    Quoted for truth. You may be surprised at how small the differences are between a D3200 and a D800(E). Noticeable on enormous prints, but if, like most people, you publish on the web and don't make prints much larger than 13x19in, you won't see much of a difference. Manfred is one of those rare people with the infrastructure to support a D800.

    If you're getting a D800(E) because it's shiny and you want one, that's fine, but the decision's impervious to logic. I'm about to get a Canon 1D Mark II N - partially because I'm starting to lose work from not having a second body, and partially because I just want it.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    I agree with Andre. You have a real camera. The D800 is a fabulous camera, but is your camera body what is holding you back? And if so, what specific things would you want a new camera or have that your current one lacks? Depending on the answer, the D800 might be a good choice or a poor one. For example, if you need a fast burst rate more than additional dynamic range, this might not be a good choice. And do you have lenses capable of taking advantage of this camera's resolution?

    I shoot Canon, not Nikon, but I believe the D800 and D800E are the same camera, except that the latter lacks the usual anti-aliasing filter. Neither is 'better'. They are different. Which is better depends on your uses.

    I don't know what you have in hand or how much you have already learned, so these comments may be off the mark. However, for a lot of folks early in their time doing photography, a really expensive body is not the most useful way to spend money. For example, are you interested in landscapes? This is one of the uses for which the D800 is in my view superb. If so, do you have a good tripod and head? Do you have lenses appropriate for landscape work? These are likely to make more difference.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    Manfred is one of those rare people with the infrastructure to support a D800.
    I knew I would be going full-frame eventually after I started shooting with a DSLR, so started buying high end lenses a few years before I actually got the D800. I only picked up one lens (the /f2.8 14-24mm) after getting it. You are quite right, you do need to consider the rest of the infrastructure you need and end use before you drop a lot of money on a body.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to full-frame cameras, and if you are paying a lot of money for features you don't need on a camera on the Canon and Nikon pro lines, you might want to reconsider your reason for buying the camera. In my case, the viewfinder, the on-camera (rather than menu driven) controls and the dynamic range at low ISO were the deciding factor. I know I did an awful lot of research before going to the D800 and went that way because it looked to be the best camera choice for my personal shooting needs.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Wow. Some strong comments. Sounding a bit borderline between offering advice and brow beating. So I'll offer a corollary view.

    While it may be true that one won't utilize the full potential of the D800 without the best glass, it is also true that one can achieve the best results possible for a given lens relative to other camera bodies. And while it is true that one can achieve excellent results with a D3200, it is also true that shooting with state of the art equipment eliminates questions of whether less that stellar results are equipment related or due to poor technique.

    In a bit fuller response to the OP than I originally offered:
    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    I bought a nikon 3200 about a year ago and started learning about using a dslr.

    I decided after hours and hours of looking around at better cameras and glass looking for deals and this and that, why not just get a real camera. I made some extra cash that was pretty easy and so I decided to go ahead and get something that I can use for a good long while and be happy.

    I am looking at these two cameras, I think the E is rated better, any advice about this much appreciated.
    D800 & 800E
    If you have only been shooting for a year, it's not likely that you will utilize the full potential of a D800/E for a while yet. However, per your post, if you can afford it and you want to get a good piece of gear that will be all you need for quite a while, the D800/E fits that bill with the exception of high frame rate. The 800 can achieve 6fps in DX mode with a grip. If you need more than that it's not the right choice.

    As to whether one is better than the other, in theory the E is capable of sharper images but it's not likely that you will notice the difference.

    And though you didn't actually ask whether you "need" a D800/E, unless one is shooting professionally, no one actually "needs" pro level gear. Just like few of us need to drive to work in automobiles with 250hp engines but choose to do so anyway. But aside from need, the D800 sure is a pleasure to shoot.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Benny, I believe part of the reason you're getting such strong responses is that you've selected a camera with a pixel count high enough for a full-on medium format digital camera. The D800(E) has been dividing opinions since it was a rumor.

    General consensus is that it's a very, very good landscape and portrait camera, but the high pixel count demands high shutter speeds to prevent blur. That said, with 36MP to play with, you could simply downsize slightly blurry photos. It's frequently considered a poor action camera, and to a degree, that's true. Large file sizes will fill the buffer quickly, and the quoted 6FPS burst rate is only for running the camera in DX (crop) mode. Smaller image = less data in buffer per shot. The D7100 and D600 basically match this burst rate. For a higher burst rate, the only current Nikon option I know of is the D4 (10FPS). Action remains one of Canon's stronger areas.

    Of course, this is all adcademic FYI stuff, since we haven't heard the camera's intended use. That info will let us make more specific recommendations.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by RustBeltRaw View Post
    General consensus is that it's a very, very good landscape and portrait camera, but the high pixel count demands high shutter speeds to prevent blur.
    Lex - that is a very common misconception that I can put to rest. The camera's resolution is so high that if you pixel peep hard enough you can see some blurring for hand held shots. Look at the same shot with a lower resolution camera and you won't be able to get to that level of resolution and the shot will actually be less sharp due to the lower resolution of the sensor. Every device is limited by its weakest component; whether it is the lens, the sensor, the diffraction limit, etc. Just like with a medium format camera, the only way to get these really super sharp images is to use the best lenses on the market, shot at an aperture (around f/8) where you are able to balance off lens aberations against diffraction, shoot off a heavy duty, weighted tripod with the mirror in the locked up position using either a remote release of the camera's self time to prevent any camera shake from pressing the shutter release. I have been told that even in these ideal shooting conditions, you can get some blurr from the vibrations from the shutter mechanism.

    As for burst mode; I quite agree. The D800 is not a sport's photographer's camera. The issue with the larger sensor is that the camera has a lot more data to process. A 16MP D4 has less than half the data to handle; so the real limitation with the D4 is the cycling of the shutter and mirror mechanism, not the data processing and transfer pipeline.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    One can argue the technical nuances and philisophical aspects of this topic from now to eternity. But once in a while it helps to look at emperical information (aka common sense). While I'm no expert photographer I can at least claim to be beyond novice level. If not in results then at least in accumulated knowledge. In my gear locker sit D7100, D800E, and D4 bodies (and a D300 until about a month ago). Ninety percent of what I shoot has some degree of motion to it be it wildlife or the family dog fetching a ball. And when I walk to my gear locker to grab a camera my default is the D800. I have to consider and convince myself otherwise before I use one of the other two. I've even started shooting the D800 at dog agility events rather than the D4. Granted it is possible that I'm some freak of nature. But with the D800 I simply get a higher percentage of in-focus, well exposed, usable shots under a broader range of conditions. I'm a technical person by training and profession and understand all the arguements for why the D800 is specialized for this and that. But my experience argues otherwise and I know there are quite a few other wildlife shooters of the same opinion.

    One can get bogged into analysis paralysis or one can simply accept the obvious and get on with life. Personally I'm running out of time and go with the latter more and more often.

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by yobenny View Post
    I bought a nikon 3200 about a year ago and started learning about using a dslr.

    I decided after hours and hours of looking around at better cameras and glass looking for deals and this and that, why not just get a real camera. I made some extra cash that was pretty easy and so I decided to go ahead and get something that I can use for a good long while and be happy.

    I am looking at these two cameras, I think the E is rated better, any advice about this much appreciated.
    D800 & 800E
    Benny;
    I have to add my 2 cents. I took up shooting afer 20 year when my wife bought a d-60. After 2 years I was tired of scrolling through menus to change settings and the slow buffer speed. I was looking at the d7000 for about 6 months ( I had heard rumors of a new model) The day I went to buy the 7000 the 7100 came out so I reserved it and waited 2 weeks. I could not be happier with the camera, I could say the only thing is the memory space it uses it is huge! I will need to increase memory on my computer this year, I had to buy bigger cards, and my elements 10 will not support it so I will have to move to LR or 11. I love landscape photography and it is ideal. but it is heavier then my d-60 by 2 times. This is not something you think about in the store but in the field you may notice it. I just wanted you to know I have no regrets but the added weight , new editing programs and additional memory cards are something to think about, as I try to include these in my purchase decisions. Would love to see your photos with your new camera.

  18. #18

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    I knew I would be going full-frame eventually after I started shooting with a DSLR, so started buying high end lenses a few years before I actually got the D800.
    Manfred has followed the road I will also take when it comes to upgrading. Reading several reviews and after having had a discussion with a camera salesman at ORMS, over the weekend, it seems to be the best option to invest in the best glass available rather than investing in a body and using “inferior” lenses. Slapping a Nikkor 24-70mm (FX) lens on a D3200 will prove to be a beter investment rather than having a Sigma lens fitted to a Nikon D800 body.

    From what I can gather the D800 requires you to use only the best of lenses available to justify investing in a D800. It seems that perfect sharp focus on the D800 is the critical factor in getting most out of the cameras magnificent resolution.

    Benny, my advice to you would be to rather invest in very good FX lenses(going FF in future) and use it on the D3200 body, unless you have the funds to invest in a D800 body and some lenses.

    PS. Benny, don't forget to save some cash to upgrade your computer.
    Last edited by AB26; 16th July 2013 at 09:10 AM.

  19. #19
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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Manfred has followed the road I will also take when it comes to upgrading. Reading several reviews and after having had a discussion with a camera salesman at ORMS, over the weekend, it seems to be the best option to invest in the best glass available rather than investing in a body and using “inferior” lenses. Slapping a Nikkor 24-70mm (FX) lens on a D3200 will prove to be a beter investment rather than having a Sigma lens fitted to a Nikon D800 body.

    From what I can gather the D800 requires you to use only the best of lenses available to justify investing in a D800. It seems that perfect sharp focus on the D800 is the critical factor in getting most out of the cameras magnificent resolution.

    Benny, my advice to you would be to rather invest in very good FX lenses(going FF in future) and use it on the D3200 body, unless you have the funds to invest in a D800 body and some lenses.
    When I finally moved to a digital SLR after years of 35mm film I just started using my existing lenses on a Nikon D200 (DX) and always knew it was just a stopgap until I was in a position to revert back to a full frame digital. Consequently the only lens I have purchased for the D200 was a Nikon 28-300mm(FX).

    There seems to be a myth that the D800 only offers benefits if you only use the best available lenses. I have only had the D800 a week but even with a medium quality lens I am observing tremendous benefits in regard to tonal quality, exposure latitude (high dynamic range), shadow detail, colour fidelity and greatly improved high ISO capability. Obviously I would have observed some of these benefits if I had gone for a D3200 or even more with a D7100 but because I like using wide angle lenses and have over 40years of using full frame film and medium format cameras for me there were a D600, D800 and a second hand D3s on my possibles list.

    I did not select the D800 over the D600 for its resolution but because of the 1/250sec flash sync that I need and it's all round suitability for the photography I do. Today I was able to shoot some photographs for work in Jpeg at a reduced size and when I got back to the office the PP work was significantly less than using RAW files as I had to do previously to bring out the shadow detail needed. It gives me a far more film like result than I have been able to achieve before.

    In the weekend for personal enjoyment I will be taking photographs and saving 14bit RAW files and the lenses may well be the weak point if I was a pixel peeper but I am not. I think of myself more as a photographer and until I need to print on the side of a building I think my lenses will be more than adequate.

    P.S. Its early days yet so at this point I would like to reserve the right to change my mind but the current indications are that I will not.
    Last edited by pnodrog; 16th July 2013 at 10:25 AM.

  20. #20

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    Re: Advice on DSLR purchase

    Hello, I hope you are making great & improved photos with your new camera. I use my Nikon D 40 with great Nikon glass and it seems to work well with them. I do have Nikons with more bells and ribbons. My D40 works very well. Please post photos that you photographed with your new camera. There is always a way to improve taking photos without spending more & more money.
    Regards,
    Mal Stevens

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