We are professional Photographers, not equipment journalists or other types of keyboard rat with a vested interest selling you anything except our abilities as photographers. This is a pro review ie a simple review by people who use these cameras every day and have a few things to say. It is not a comparison of the listed features by a spinbot or a obviously sponsored trumpet bast for Nikon or a low shot by a brand blind Canon evangelist. We work all the damn time using the best Cameras that the Camera makers will sell to us, we test them to destruction and back again and we do not like stuff that is; over priced, badly made, poorly designed, unnecessarily hard to use, or just plain second rate lazily thought though. If you are about to buy this camera or the Canon EOS5D mk III read this article! If you have just got one get off the internet and get out there and take some good pictures. If you can’t use it properly yet, go out and take a lot of pictures, it is the best use of your time by far. Otherwise, please read on.
By the way we do not link to on line shops where you can buy this stuff, we just write the truth as we see it. Sometime the writing style, spelling and grammar will not be not perfectly in line with your own, if that is going to be a massive problem please do not be upset, bear with us, you might just find a real answer to a proper question here. We love photography and try to make our photo taking lives better by spreading the truth about the equipment we use, to hope we wake up the industry and stop people making the wrong choices when making these things or at least when buying them… if everybody just eats up the PR bull, the Camera makers can just keep selling us crap; that is just a little tiny better than the last crap, and not working as hard they should, to make the best gear they can…. that said, we think with this Camera; Nikon have finally stopped messing us around and actually sold us something we would like to have rather that the Camera they would like us to trade up to… (well almost). The anoucment of the D800 has certainly had an effect on us.
Ok, fist off, the D800 is the best Camera in the world right now – buy it.
If you work with Cameras all day like us or just have a lot of cash and also seriously like photography: go out and buy it now, in fact buy the e version too…the detail in your images will be quite enough on it’s own – what is that I hear from the back? Do we really need 36mp? It costs about the same price as 7 (very good) Nikon’s D3200’s – that do almost everything it can do… what makes it 7 times as good? Are we just paying for the fact it is new and “the current title holder”? Maybe I should consider the new Canon 5D mkIII instead?
Good questions but the answer is still: NO, buy the D800, it is far from perfect, it is too expensive (in europe), it is not very innovative, Nikon should have made this 3 years ago, (I for one can’t understand why, the technology was there?) But for all that, it is… the Camera you need and the only serious competitors are all “lesser” in some important way or other. Time to look at the body in some detail.
Handling: best Nikon, “bester” than Canon, but not best enough. Familiar, robust and easy to use. Cameras can do a lot lot more than they could even 2 years ago but handeling has never really improved since about 1998, we feel pro photographers paying this kind of money, deserve better handling even than this. We are no longer tied to the old “film in the back of the body” shape we all know and are familiar with, someone should take a deep breath down there at Nikon and improve some fundamental things a lot, if they lack imagination please email me I will be happy to make about 40 suggestions. Cameras like this could and should be more helpful to your hands. I still like the way the d800 feels (i.e. just like the D700 only with a slightly steeper shutter release panel) But for pities sake, by now all pro SLR screens should flip or detach out and to be viewable when on a tripod or held back to a wall shooting a small interior or over head. In fact a bigger screen ( a 4.7 inch would be easily possible, but it would mean a brave departure form the SLR shape of old). In short Nikon’s do handle better than the rivals, they are a little tricky if you have very big hands. Yes I would move a few things if I could but the shape works great it just could do with a fresh start- We here at photography-factory we all find current Canons a little slippery by comparison with Nikons, how much that has to do with trained muscle memory is debatable but it seem very clear to me holding the D800 that this is a good as it is right now. It always entertains me that the guys who like the shape of Canons more than Nikons always shoot video and have the thing in a rig or on a tripod 97% of the time (or they have hands the size and shape of baseball catchers gloves.)
Will write more soon… Got too work!