If you are thinking more megapixels is good and you should buy the Nikon Nikon D800, D810 or any high megapixel camera, you might want to consider the whole picture before you lay the cash in the sales person’s hand.
Having been seriously thinking of upgrading a D300s (my 2nd camera) body to a Nikon D800e. I have been doing my research and visiting a store or two to get a feel for how it fits in my hand etc. Speaking with different sales people it seems that the D800 is selling like hot cakes. Now I don’t want to sound arrogant in telling people what they should buy but it does raise an interesting question.
Do people who buy the D800, buy it for the mega pixels or do they have a special need for such a camera?
So before you start thinking of buying a Nikon D800 or D800e, D810 or any other high megapixel camera continue reading.
Let me review some of the “problems” which might be encountered when shooting in RAW file format e.g. NEF files
- The high-resolution will show every mistake the operator makes from poor technique, dust spots, lens defects and everything else. If you are less than perfect in your technique and you aren’t using the very best optics, or you put a cheap filter on the front of your lens (as many beginners do) your images will look terrible compared with a more moderate camera.
- Remember that you will have “HUGE” RAW file sizes, this will mean you will fill your memory cards faster with less images per card and then when you go to download the files to your computer it will take what seems forever.
- Processing, unless you have the latest version of the Big Players in software such as Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 (anything before Lightroom 4 or Photoshop CS5 can’t read Nikon NEF files from the D800) other software you may also find it almost impossible to process your files and even if you do have one of these software packages it will take longer to do anything on the computer, from drawing previews to just adjusting basic settings. The computer will have to work very hard to just deal with such file sizes. Forget it if you are using a laptop unless you have the biggest meanest laptop available.
- How many people who own the D800 or a large megapixel camera are going to print their hard-won images to a 24 X 30 inch print, or are they just going to put them on the web like Facebook, flicker or the like? Reducing a 7360 x 4912 px to a jpeg file of 1024 x 768 px for most web applications seems a bit counter productive, in my opinion.
In my honest opinion the Nikon D800/D800e is a specialist camera, it certainly isn’t a day to day general purpose camera and anyone thinking of buying this model should perhaps look long and hard at why they want this camera. There are plenty of more modest mega pixel cameras that will create stunning images with far less post production hassles than the D800/D800e.
Update 2016, in today’s market there are a lot more high megapixel cameras available from a number of brand names and my advice above would also apply to these cameras also.