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3 years, 4 months ago 11


I am starting to feel like and idiot, for days now I’ve been running tests that have not turned out how I expected them to turn out!  I was not sure that 36 mega pixels was going to be as impressive as it has turned out to be!  I was sure sure that packing 36 million pixels on a 35mm size FX sensor was not going to work so well in the noise department.  I selected an airplane hanging from the ceiling in our work area in the Nikon sponsored Sun n’ Fun Media Center, and carefully shot identical shots of the plane at ISO’s 100 – 200 – 400 – 800 – 1600 – 3200 – 6400 and 128,000.  The image above is at ISO 1oo directly below are examples of a cropped section of the original files at each ISO.  You may notice that I jump from ISO 100 the first shot, to ISO 800!  What happened to ISO 200 & 400?  No need to show them, they are identical in every way to the ISO 100 shot, yes no noise change of any consequence until 800 and even then I think the noise is only very slightly greater!


ISO 100 Crop

ISO 800 Crop


ISO 1600 Crop


ISO 3200 Crop


ISO 6400 Crop


The D800 goes to High 1 which is 128,000, but it was noisy enough to not bother showing it, however I think the D800 is spectacular out to 3200, and very usable at 6400.  My personal stsandard for noise is any ISO that will not require noise reduction later is usable for me.  Any ISO that does require noise reductions software, in the past, meant some significant sharpness would be lost in the process of processing the noise.  Not true with the D800!   The D800 files are so incredibly sharp to start with, a small loss of sharpness is almost not noticeable!  So I have to run over to the restaurant for another slice of humble pie!


I shot some more examples this morning and the ability to blow up these files is nothing short of amazing!  Enjoy!




And now another tight crop this time image one is full frame, image two is a 100% view!!!!





3 years, 4 months ago 2


Well it’s day two and the thrill has not worn off!  If anything, it’s intensifying!  My intention was to further test the High ISO noise, but that will have to wait for tonight.  This morning, Scott Diussa, Bill Pekala, Francis Yeh, and I went back out to the warbirds area to shoot some more, I continued to try and learn “the” camera.  I attempted this morning to compare the D4 and D800 and work further on learning how the gradation works with this camera.  Above is a full frame jpeg fine image of a Mustang’s tail.  Notice below how smooth gradations are  (smooth transition of tones), in the severe crop directly form the image above.  Also, keep in mind you’re viewing 72 dpi images of full 300 dpi full files!!!!



Another set of image and cropped area:  Notice the smoothness of the metal tones in the crop!  Nothing short of amazing….





Another great thing about this much resolution is the ability to crop if needed.  I am a big believer in filling the frame in the camera, but some subjects simply can’t be captured without extremely long lenses, below are a couple of shots one straight out of the cameral the second cropped to show just how much detail holds, these images were made hand held by Scott Diussa, D800 with the 70-300 AFS-VR. This example  is simply amazing, I can say that since I didn’t shoot it!  So can you get sharp images hand holding the D800,  1/250th of  a second at f 13, zoom setting at 240 mm.


Wow, Holy Cow, Holy  Moly, I’m loving this camera….


Today the Lord blessed me mightily when Carl Turner came over to shoot some and hang out, what a great brother!!  If that were not enough I met a young man at the Media Center which Nikon is sponsoring, name Brian Kissinger, his mission after two bouts with brain cancer is raising money for research nd spreading his great love for our Lord, a great young man and a real blessing in my day!!   You can check out his ministry at


Be blessed and expect more!


the pilgrim


3 years, 4 months ago 10


Well, I’m ready to eat a big slice of humble pie, maybe a whole pie!  After one morning out shooting the D800 my reservations are washed away!  The camera simply makes files that are superior to anything I’ve ever seen in 43 years of photography, period.  Is it perfect?  We will see, because much more testing needs to be done, but I can tell you from one mornings shoot, I am going to own this camera, actually I already do, Nikon will never see this one again, I expect to be writing a check!  So let’s get down to business on this bad boy, and I do mean “bad” boy…..


So far I have determined that 36 mega-pixels “does” make a huge difference.  The biggest gain is, of course, resolution, but even more important the gradation (smoothness of tones across the scale)!  The images below show the full image, (all are jpeg fine, at ISO 100 shot from a tripod with a cable release ), followed by tight crops of the original image, prepare to be impressed!




So is there any penalty?  Not really.  The files are big (duh!) and they move through the computer slower than you’re used to, but not as slow as I had feared, I feel like it took about 2.5 times longer to crunch a 5 stop HDR, but when the image is finished, it’s worth the wait.  I will do some testing on how the noise looks at high ISO, but my partner in crime from Nikon, Scott Diussa, shot some stuff at 2,500 this morning and they were surprisingly clean, very little noise!  Last night I shot a hand held image in the room at ISO 1600 and was shocked, I had feared that with all that resolution hand holding would be iffy, not so, the image shot at 1/8oth of second was sharp!



So, tomorrow it’s more testing, or maybe just having a lot more fun, again!!!!!!  Tomorrow more low light, High ISO tests, and more.  Needless to say, I’m more than very impressed!


the pilgrim


Update:  After a full day of editing and processing D800 images, I have a few suggestions;


1.  If you buy a D800 go ahead and get some larger cards, 64 and 128 might work great, at least 32 & 64 gigs.


2.  Upping the Ram in your computer will also speed things along, I’m guessing 8 gigs will be enough, but then you never have “enough”  RAM!


3.  If you have not gotten a solid tripod, head, and cable release, it’s time!


For now that about covers it, more info to come!

3 years, 4 months ago 8


This last week and early this week, Nikon D4 and D800 cameras have started to be delivered, and the reviews are rolling in!  I got my production model of the D800 today, and tomorrow, the test begins.  I have really been looking forward to this camera that has raised so many questions!  How much of the 36 mega-pixel resolution will you really see?  How good will images look at High ISO?  How big will the files be?  Well we will know all that and a lot more very soon!  I intend to shoot the camera this week hard and really put it through it’s paces. Already DXO has rated the sensor the highest of any it has ever tested, a score of 95, even better than medium format sensors that are in cameras costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars!!!!


What can I tell you right now?  The camera is solid, and feels very tough, the weight is not too heavy, but it is really well built, and is very much, every bit the tough feeling camera of the D700!  It feels a little thicker and feels great in the hands.  The viewfinder is big and very bright.  How big are the files?  First with a 32 gig card, you can shoot 957 jpeg Fine images, or 403 in RAW.  A RAW file opened in Capture NX2 came out to 43 megabytes, a jpeg Fine in the same software was 17.9, not as big and bad as I had feared!  I tried to shoot a few hand held, available light images with the camera in my hotel room at ISO 1600 and though this is far from a scientific test, they were razor sharp and no matter how much I enlarged them it only showed more detail, and noise was just, almost, non existent!!!!!  Of course the real test will be shots of highly detailed airplanes in great light, locked to solid tripod, and fired with a cable release!!  Can’t wait, and you will see the results later tomorrow!


One slight disappointment, I thought the camera could be fired by the little ML-L3 infrared remote, sadly I misread some literature before receiving the camera, it will work with the ML-3 Modulite, which I have, but not the little remote for the D90/D7000!  Only a small let down, but I do love those little remotes……


Tomorrow months of questions will start to be answered, I have to say, I’m very excited, I can see why so many have been ordered a D800, tomorrow and the rest of this week, I will find out, if I will join them!  Tune in!


Tonight’s Prayer:  Father, thank you for letting me do what I do for living.  I know that few people get to do what they love to do for their job,  don’t ever think that it is lost on my, what a blessing You have given me!  Amen.


the pilgrim