Review First impressions with the D800

May 10, 2009
Perhaps this was what Markus saw:

(my black)

There's good news in that test: the D7000 holds its own far higher into the upper ISO ranges than you might think. It's a good ISO 1600 camera to start with, but if you let me downsample from 16 to 5.4mp size, it's even better. So I'm expecting the D800 to be as good when downsampled to 12mp. Is that as good as a D700? In some ways yes, in some ways no. The pixel peepers are almost certainly going to notice noise at highest ISO values (just as they do on the D7000).

Also, the thing that is a bit unique about the D3/D3s/D700 sensor tech is that it is relatively friendly to highlights. More so than any other Nikon camera, I can recover more highlight detail, even if my exposure is a little hot (but not too hot). What's happening with the new sensors (J1/V1, D7000, D800) is that we're getting really good detail definition in the shadows (partly due to the on-board ADC and very low read noise). We're all finding an amazing level of detail down in the lower bits with these latest sensors. To a small degree, more so than with the D700. But at the highlights, not the same. So one thing everyone is going to have to adjust slightly is their exposure practices--highlight recovery is tighter on the D800 than on the D700. Thus, maximizing a D700 is a bit different than maximizing a D800 (okay, I'm theorizing here, as I don't have a D800 in my hands yet to test that assumption; but still, I'm pretty sure from everything I've heard and seen so far and the side evidence of other recent sensors that this will be the case).

Hi Steinar,

thank you for the link, I have read Mr. Hogans findings right now. The part you have pointed out with the high ISO is exactly what I have noticed when doing my own comparisons.

And you are absolutely right when stating that the "highlight recovery is tighter on the D800 than on the D700": This was also my impression when doing test shots outside: You can push the shadows quite far (which is really amazing), but have to watch the highlights closely.



May 19, 2008
St. Louis, Missouri
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