As you might have noticed, I have nothing but praise for image quality from Nikon D800E. Large sensor will always remain large sensor, and no matter how much effort goes into APS-C or 4/3 sized sensor development, they will probably always stay behind in image quality.
High ISO noise is low enough I wouldn’t even care what ISO I am using all the way up to 3200. Well I would, but when needed I wouldn’t hesitate to raise the ISO value. It is just incredible how much details can be extracted from RAW images with almost no noise or noise reduction artifacts. ISO 6400 is also quite good, but above that noise starts to become apparent.
From what I’ve seen, dynamic range in 14-bit RAW files allows almost 2 full stops of overexposed areas to be pulled-back. That’s massive! Colors are splendid, and images generally provide a lot of data for safe post processing.
A sentence or two about the details… I haven’t used regular D800, but the D800E has such amount of per-pixel sharpness I find it incredible. Viewed at 100% magnification on PC screen (pixel-peeper style), images are painfully sharp! Just look at the examples below (image on the right is 100% crop), and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
ISO 3200 example below:
Nikon D800E is not without the flaw; low light focus is quirky, I would (personally) like a beefier grip, shutter sound is loud(ish) and the lack of medium/small RAW option is simply frustrating…
…but every camera is here with an ultimate goal to produce photographs, and boy how the D800E does its job! I will have to say it plainly sooner or later so here it is: amongst all the digital cameras I ever used, D800E produces highest image quality of them all! The colors, dynamic range, amount of recorded details and headroom for post processing manipulations is supreme. D800 and especially D800E are specialized cameras though. Do not get tempted by its resolution if you are not sure you really need it; it requires impeccable shooting technique and will fill your hard drive in a heartbeat. Also, be sure to use really good (expensive) lenses – you want to feed this sensor with best light possible. But alltogether, this camera is a blast! I don’t even consider it expensive after I saw what it’s capable of.
- Class leading image quality; best I have ever seen
- Massive dynamic range
- Low high ISO noise
- Highest resolution on the market
- Excellent ergonomy
- Huge set of options and camera customizations
- Excellent price/quality ratio
- No medium/small RAW file format
- Limited hand-held usage; high resolution requires at least twice faster shutter speed than value proportional to lens focal lenght used
- Phase AF inconsistent in low-light
- Avarege battery performance
- Loud shutter sound
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