First impressions of the Nikon D800
I’ve been using the Nikon D4 for a while now, and love it. For me, the Nikon D4 offers more than enough resolution for wedding photography.
Of course, wedding photography is a niche. There are other genres and types of photography where large files are a benefit. Landscape photographers and commercial photographers have a need for large digital files for maximum detail. And with that Nikon must have seen a gap, and made the surprising jump from the 12 megapixel D700, to the incredibly high (for now at least) 36 megapixels of the Nikon D800 (affiliate)
Today I had the chance again to photograph Ulorin Vex in the studio, and I decided to use the Nikon D800. Looking at the first series of images, my response immediately was: “Holy macaroni! The files are incredible!”
The amount of detail will astonish anyone (like me) who hasn’t had the opportunity to use a medium format digital camera. Now that image quality is accessible to nearly every photographer who has a bit of a budget for cameras.
This is a 100% crop from the image at the top. It really is an incredible amount of detail to pull from that photo.
The Nikon D800 is more than just a high-resolution camera – it offers an extensive feature set. More features than most photographers would ever use; but then, I also believe that we should have equipment that offers more than we are capable of. Then we have room to grow as photographers, rather than have gear that limit us.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll post more thoroughly about the camera. So this is far from a review. But I did want to show a photograph from today’s photo session with Ulorin Vex.
My work until now has been mostly on-location, and with that I’ve been using speedlights and Quantum flashes; and a Profoto AcuteB 600R when I needed more power. With this, I decided that it is high time then that I acquire studio lighting gear as well.
The lighting kit that decided on, is the Profoto D1 studio light (500 Ws) (affiliate). It just made sense to go with Profoto gear, since I already had the Profoto AcuteB and various light modifiers, including a Profoto beauty dish (affiliate).
As always, I’ll share anything interesting here on the Tangents blog as I explore studio lighting. Time to play and experiment!
In the articles listed below, there are more details about the specific lighting setups during this photo session with Ulorin Vex. There are pull-back shots and explanations of settings and equipment used.
More on this photo session with Ulorin Vex
- Behind the scenes video
- High-key studio lighting for portraits (part 1)
- High-key studio lighting (part 2)
- Using the Westcott parabolic umbrella
- Low-key lighting in the studio
Camera settings & gear (or equivalents) used in this photo session
- camera settings: 1/125 @ f/8 @ 100 ISO
16 Comments, Add Your Own
1Ron Lemish says
Congrats on the move up to a shared studio. I have been following your blog for years and learned so much. Now the use of Profoto lighting changes it all. Will you still be mostly covering the use of Nikon flashes?
2Neil vN says
Ron, most of my professional work will still be with speed lights. So that’ll still be a consistent topic in the future.
But then, this website wasn’t ever specifically about Nikon flashes, and this blog is called Tangents for a reason … it leaves it wide open for me to write about anything I feel like.
3SEAN SHIMMEL says
I am intrigued and look forward to your full review.
I, too, just moved up from a modest 12 MP (D300) and made the eager jump to the D800 when my D300 died. Beyond the much hailed ultra-resolution is the seemingly limitless dynamic range. That, more than anything else, has been most exciting.
Having said all that, I’m still so pleased with the imagery produced by my now-ancient D80 which was all I had to use while I awaited the shipment of my D800.
Here are some of the final images right before the D800 arrived:
4shawn sandy says
Interesting belief, most “pro photogs”, beat on the gear don’t matter mantra…
5Neil vN says
Shawn … it’s a topic I’ve touched on a few times already:
Wedding photography – when style, technique & choice of gear converge (2011)
Photo gear that enables you to grow as a photographer (2007)
Also mentioned in point #2 here:
If anyone says equipment doesn’t matter, they’re not being entirely truthful.
I am quite curious to see the lighting setup, especially to see how you managed to have a super white background while the model is not that far away from it and doesn’t seem to have any flare from the background light(s) on her face/hair etc…
7Neil vN says
Carlo, here’s more info about that part of the photo session.
Fabulous photos coming from that D800. One day, when I learn everything there is to know about my D7000, I would love to venture into the full frame world.
9Trina Cheney says
Just purchased the D800 from a local camera store here in Houston July 13. I had been waiting for the D800 from B&H since February… I must say the camera is amazing. I used it at a wedding July 14. Wish I had known to buy it sooner from the local store and could have used it for the entire wedding, but I only had a 16GB SD card (181 pictures in raw). This camera will make you rethink photography. I was wondering why I waited soooo long to upgrade to a real pro camera. I will never go backwards… May purchase the D4 next.
I own two Nikons D700 and I use it for weddings and studio shots. I really love the cameras. Do you think there is a need to upgrade to a D800 and for studio shots Shall I buy a D4? I appreciate your comments.
11Neil vN says
Carmen, this really depends on your needs, and specifically on the size you regularly print your images to.
The pictures look amazing. Ulorin is so pretty! This is the first pic I’ve seen of her wearing one of my pieces! Beautiful!!! This made my day
13Ryano Tandayu says
Neil, btw, do you find the left most af point problem with your D4s and D800?
How about the green tint on the LCD?
14Neil vN says
Ryano … the LCDs look quite neutral, whether on this D800 or my two D4 bodies. No issues there.
No issues with the AF either.
The only problem I had with the D4 cameras, was the lock-up issue which was solved with the firmware update. Annoying, but they did fix that.
15Ryano Tandayu says
Hi Neil, thanks for the reply. I am lucky enough that my d800 is free of that problems.
16Roman (Canon user) says
Actually for me the 100% crop looks not so crisp. As I know 70-200 II is a very hi-res lens. Is there any miss-focus or a model motion? Lips looks like sharp but the eyes are not.