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Is Nikon D800 an unfortunate buy?

photos2photos2 Member
edited February 2014 in Nikon
Am I coming to the wrong conclusion, or is the D800 not a good choice for weddings / portraits?

Many thanks


  • you will find two opinions here 1) yes, it is and 2) no, the files are too big.

    Plenty out there use it for weddings and, I suppose, storage has become cheaper for the massive files. Processing the files will take longer but is this and the storage an issue?

    I am a Canon owner and love the cameras, flashes and lenses but would have no reservations about owning the D800 as well since I do love to shoot landscapes. Would I use it for portrait type photos (and casual shots) as well? Probably not because of the file size.

    No one can really answer the question for you-rent it and find out. It certainly is a great camera.

  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    The D800 is a superb choice for portraits because of the oodles of pixels.

    But that also means it is a challenging choice for event photography where you shoot a volume of images.
  • BlackiceParisBlackiceParis Member
    edited February 2014
    Hi photos2, I used to be an ancient Canon fan with many Canon camera ending with a 5DMKII, a 1DMKIII and all lenses and accessories that goes with it for many years.
    Early 2013 I switched the whole equipment for a brand new D800, 24-70mm f2,8, 14-24 f2,8, 2xSB910 flashes, 85mm, 60mm Macro, 35mm and as a spare used D300... in case of...
    I do not regret this move, even if I had to relearn how to use the settings of a camera and get rid of all my Canon habits. Took me a while specially when I was in a hurry!
    This camera lets you use it as you like in terms of frame size and weight. So this is not an issue. You adapt the quality and size to your current job in progress. For instance when I have a single portrait I shoot in raw, but the rest of the time I remain in Jpeg High or Medium definition, which is largely sufficient for corporate events or exhibitions, especially if you consider the later use (mainly internet or magazine ad pages...). You can even choose to shoot in DX format.
    The quality is really impressive and I edit less my pictures than I was doing with my Canon (why I don't know?).
    At the beginning, the skin color balance seamed a bit more orange/yellow than my Canon was, but the correction is very easy. To be honest, after a while you do not even correct it anymore as the global balance of the colors is convenient. The management of the flash colors and intensity is much better than with Canon with a lot less over exposed pictures, in TTL mode.

    So to conclude, this is probably the best tool you can purchase to do portraits and weddings on the market today. You will just have to enter the "beast's" architecture and select the best definition according to your needs and computer capacities. By the way I work with an old Macpro tower 2x2,66 and 10Gb Ram of 2005 with 2x3To internal HD and believe it or not it works very well and is not much slower than with Canon pictures I treated. I was told so many stories about the management of the size of the pictures but apart the size of the storage, no big difference.

    So if you want to go for it your are definitely moving the right way... and I was a big Canon fan!
    Have fun.
  • Thank you for your thoughts! Appreciate it!

    Neil, why doesn't 32 GB cards solve this problem of large volumes of images? Or are you referring to a slower speed of shooting in RAW?
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    It's not the CF card size, and it's not the 'buffering' of RAWs rendering in camera while shooting; it's the 'Processing' of the volume (hundreds) of those large files he is referring to.
  • Trev, would you please recommend the most suitable memory cards for the D800 - How fast do they need to be to make reading reasonably fast? I'm worried about editing time. I've looked at both Lexar and SanDisk, 32 GB - but they differ in MB/s and therefore understandably in price - what is a sensible speed? And, most importantly - how many images in RAW do these cards deliver? What are the consequences when shooting at either 12 or 14 bit RAW - regarding editing time?
    Many thanks
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Get the faster cards, every time. Especially since your camera will be writing large files.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    What Neil said, obviously, but they do get expensive the higher the transfer rate.

    I answered your question regarding sizes in the other thread you started.
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