Once again, I've been so busy that I've neglected keeping this blog up with fresh content, so I thought I'd better address something while sitting in front of my computer this weekend.
There are so many things I could write about, but since my Nikon D800 finally arrived a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd share some of my impressions. There's already a lot of content flying around on the web on this game changing camera so, I'll just hit the highlights of my initial observations.
There are some things I will miss about my D700 which I sold (in large part to help pay for the D800). That would primarily be its incredible low-light capability and fast burst rate.
A few days after I got the D800, I headed off to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for a little workout. When I photograph animals I nearly always put the camera on CF (Continuous Fast) burst rate mode to record an optimum frame of the creature's expression or behavior. The D800's burst rate is noticeably slower. It seems to me that its CF speed is about that of the D700's CL (Continuous Low) speed. I guess that's the tradeoff one must endure for writing image files more than 3 times larger. Which brings me to my next reality check; the files are huge! Not just in pixels, but even more so in disk size. My 8GB San Disk Extreme III card was only able to record 101 images. Transferring a card full of RAW images to my computer, which once took only seconds, now takes several minutes.
As soon as I returned home from the park, I ordered both a 32GB SD and CF San Disk Extreme Pro cards. The D800 has slots for both. The reason for the Extreme Pro version is the ultra fast 95 to 100 mb/sec write speed capability, which should help during those shutter burst situations.
Obviously, the reason I bought the D800 was so I could print much larger. What I hadn't given much thought to at the time, however, was that the images are so much bigger, I feel (for the first time really) that I can now crop my images. This has allowed me to produce different final images from just one RAW capture and has opened up all kinds of various creative possibilities. For example, in the attached image of Izu, the lion, while editing close on his face I realized a much better picture was produced by cropping in tightly, eliminating the distracting background. The cropped shot was still larger than the output from my D700.
There are of course some other observations I have regarding the D800, but I'll save that for another time.