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Wetpixel D800 review


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#61 Paul Kay

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:00 AM

If you have seen some of my posts concerning my D700 housing you would have seen that I was not happy that Seacam did NOT have a control for changing the ambient light metering pattern (from spot to matrix to centerweight). And that Paul Kay, a Seacam distributor-dealer immediately countered with the comment that HE used only spot metering with his Canon camera underwater. I also commented that I thought that a brightly colored housing can sometimes cause visually acute marine life to "back off" sooner than a darker housing and had even painted one of my older white F4 Aquatica housings camou and did tests with shrimp gobies. Again Paul rushed to Seacam silver's defense saying that it was probably seeing their reflection in the front of the port that had caused the gobies to dive.

Off topicish, but I've only just seen this but feel inclined to reply.

Firstly, the reason that I do not use matrix metering or its equivalent is because at the end of the day it is a form of automation. Its assessment of exposure is based on a variety of parameters and as such can be fooled and so has a degree of unpredictability built in. I prefer to use my own knowledge and experience and sort out exposure myself. This is not a counter but an explanation.

Secondly, I apparently rushed to Seacam's defence, but my observations were the same in the days when I used greeny-blue, film Subals. IMHO it is still not the colour but the reflections, perhaps allied to the round 'eye' like appearance of a port which causes problems.
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#62 adamhanlon

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 01:59 PM

Hi again folks,

A few more images from testing today:

Sigma 15mm:

Posted Image

With a Tokina 10-17mm in DX mode:

Posted Image

Both unedited/uncropped as before.

Adam

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#63 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:38 PM

Sorry for the slow reply. I was away shooting and off line.

I also enjoy reading the WetPixel camera reviews. I was making suggestions that I thought could make them better.
Adam - perhaps the News announcement of Alex's testing of the D4 in Iceland included the picture of the camera that your link shows. But I just did a quick look of Alex's full story entitled "Nikon D4 Underwater Testing, Live updates from Iceland" as it appears in the digital Slrs/Housings forum. There is no picture of the D4 itself anywhere in that story-forum topic. But there are more than half a dozen pictures of the Nauticam housing or parts of it on the four pages of the field test. So to me, this looks like more of a D4 housing review/promotion than a camera review.


Just to clarify Fred's query. This was a Live Updates From The Field Thread:
http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=45907

Rather than the Wetpixel review of the D4 (which as it happens, starts with a picture of the camera):
http://wetpixel.com/...4-field-review/

I shared images from the field - because these were the only (and I believe still are the only) underwater photos from a D4 in a D4 housing that have been shared on the internet. I shared images of the housing as this was the only housing for the D4 in the world at the time. It is more than a month later and I am not sure yet if there is another that there still has been diving. There were already thousands of photos of the D4 camera available online. There were no photos of a working underwater housing. It made sense to share what was newsworthy - D4 underwater photos and D4 housing - that made them possible.

For the record the Nauticam D4 is not my housing, I have yet to decide on which housing to get myself. So I have no specific bias towards them. But they deserve praise for having a housing available so early and for it being such a good housing. Other manufacturer's will have to go some to better it - which benefits us all. There is no doubt that Nauticam are putting tremendous effort into housing ergonomics and they 100% listen to their users and adopt ideas and suggestions from their user group. I'd suggest not discounting the Nauticam brand because of any perceived bias by the reviewer.

John-yes you are good.


Adam - I think you have a typo. Maybe a sticking 'o" on your keyboard! :lol:

--------------------

Regarding the FX vs DX thing - I covered many of these points in detail in the D4 review, but I know that review is super sized making them hard to find.

D800 in DX:
Slightly better pixel per pixel than D7000. Although slightly less pixels. Better AF than D7000.
Poorer viewfinder (using D800 viewfinder in DX mode means a much smaller view than D7000 viewfinder). This is a significant point - unless you like small viewfinders!

Regarding the Tok (from D4 review):

Many DX users fear they will miss the 10-17mm, but actually they don’t that much. I have both FX and DX systems and when I swap back to the 10-17mm I find I see more of its optical flaws than I used to. On full frame the choice is Nikon 16mm and Sigma 15mm. The Sigma focuses closer, the Nikon is better shooting into the light (the Sigma is a flare monster).

For the record I was shooting the Nikon more than the Sigma in Iceland.

I agree with Fred about the cropping in post aspect of the D800, rather than need for a 10-17mm or indeed super macro accessories (from D4 review):

I believe that the D800 offers enough resolution to be a game changer. To change the way we shoot and take photos with the intention of cropping in post.


I think cropping in post is more appealing that changing between FX, 1.2x and DX underwater. Which is certainly something that requires stopping shooting and navigating menus. It is much more time consuming than twirling a zoom gear. As a replacement for the 10-17mm on the D800, I think you just crop in post.

Alex

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#64 davichin

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 11:58 PM

Hello Alex and all the other D800 users!

I have a question regarding AF: I think the D7000 AF has some annoying issues:

In the AF-S mode we can ONLY choose 1 or 39 AUTO focus points and nothing in between (in AF-C mode we hace a lot of different options); the D300 is better in this aspect (even the D200 would allow more configurations)

The AF-A is a mix between AF-S and AF-C so if I have both S and C set with shutter priority: why is always AF-A locked in a focus priority mode?

Both of these problems could be firmware fixed...

How are the D800 AF modes? do they offer more options?

Thank you very much!
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#65 Udo van Dongen

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:52 AM

Hello Alex and all the other D800 users!

I have a question regarding AF: I think the D7000 AF has some annoying issues:

In the AF-S mode we can ONLY choose 1 or 39 AUTO focus points and nothing in between (in AF-C mode we hace a lot of different options); the D300 is better in this aspect (even the D200 would allow more configurations)

The AF-A is a mix between AF-S and AF-C so if I have both S and C set with shutter priority: why is always AF-A locked in a focus priority mode?

Both of these problems could be firmware fixed...

How are the D800 AF modes? do they offer more options?

Thank you very much!


Hi David,
I'm afraid the options in the D800 in AF-S are the same, except for the fact that you have 51 points instead of 39.

best, udo

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#66 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:52 AM

Hello Alex and all the other D800 users!

How are the D800 AF modes? do they offer more options?

Thank you very much!


Yes there are many AF options.
You can group in single point, 9 and 21 or full 51 points in AF-C. You can shoot AF-C in focus priority too. Options reduce when add teleconverters etc so that the maximum lens aperture is greater than f/5.6.

I will dodge writing a lengthy reply now and suggest a quick look through the AF section of my D4 review:
http://wetpixel.com/...ield-review/P4/

There is also a bit of 3D tracking in my D3 review:
http://wetpixel.com/...ific-part-2/P3/

I'm sure others will have comments too. The D4 has a first frame focus release priority in continuous shooting - which looks very good for action photography (bait balls), (i.e. the shutter won't take the first frame until focus is confirmed, but will allow subsequent frames to be taken even if it cannot confirm focus). I suspect this will be on the D800 too.

Alex

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#67 davichin

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:31 AM

Hi David,
I'm afraid the options in the D800 in AF-S are the same, except for the fact that you have 51 points instead of 39.

best, udo


Argggh! Is that only me who likes using zone area AF-S mode? I donīt like AF-C because many times it "rethinks" just when fully pressing the shutter and loses AF ruining the picture, specially on lowlight macro pictures. I think it would cost zero to nikon to offer (as it did in previous cameras) these options...
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#68 davichin

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:33 AM

Yes there are many AF options.
You can group in single point, 9 and 21 or full 51 points in AF-C. You can shoot AF-C in focus priority too. Options reduce when add teleconverters etc so that the maximum lens aperture is greater than f/5.6.

I will dodge writing a lengthy reply now and suggest a quick look through the AF section of my D4 review:
http://wetpixel.com/...ield-review/P4/

There is also a bit of 3D tracking in my D3 review:
http://wetpixel.com/...ific-part-2/P3/

I'm sure others will have comments too. The D4 has a first frame focus release priority in continuous shooting - which looks very good for action photography (bait balls), (i.e. the shutter won't take the first frame until focus is confirmed, but will allow subsequent frames to be taken even if it cannot confirm focus). I suspect this will be on the D800 too.

Alex


That is a great review although it wasnīt clear how the AF-S mode worked. Thank you for taking your time to write such a long essay!
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#69 Ryan

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 07:03 AM

Argggh! Is that only me who likes using zone area AF-S mode? I donīt like AF-C because many times it "rethinks" just when fully pressing the shutter and loses AF ruining the picture, specially on lowlight macro pictures. I think it would cost zero to nikon to offer (as it did in previous cameras) these options...


This is why back focus is so popular. Getting af activation off of the shutter release and on to your thumb eliminates this issue. Using Hugyfot housings I think this is only practical if you grip the housing (not the right handle) when shooting.

Edited by Ryan, 21 May 2012 - 07:03 AM.

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#70 TomR1

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

Ah well, I use focus as the shutter release priority and even then i get unfocused shots. I will try the 3d tracking on my d-300. Thanks Alex.

Tom

#71 davichin

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:35 AM

This is why back focus is so popular. Getting af activation off of the shutter release and on to your thumb eliminates this issue. Using Hugyfot housings I think this is only practical if you grip the housing (not the right handle) when shooting.



I donīt use the right handle but I still find very inconvenient to shoot that way... I prefer to use one point only and risk it does not acquire focus... Oh well, there is not much more to say :lol:
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#72 Udo van Dongen

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:57 PM

I donīt use the right handle but I still find very inconvenient to shoot that way... I prefer to use one point only and risk it does not acquire focus... Oh well, there is not much more to say :lol:


Hi David,
As Alex stated it's possible to set the AF-C in focus priority mode via the menu, which means it only releases when the focus is locked, i wasn't aware of that when i posted my previous reply. The other two options are release priority (always release when pushed) and release+focus priority, which means that it continues to focus (more slowly) when the contrast is too low or if it gets lower. On the other hand, in AF-S mode you can also set it in release mode. Anyway, i agree with you that the old switch with AF-S, AF-C an AF-M was more convenient.

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#73 eyu

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:23 AM

I bought 64gb SD and 32gb CF cards. I realised pretty quickly that my older cards weren't up to it.


In regards to either the SD or CF cards, did you notice the difference between say a 60 mb/s card versus a 90 mb/s when using the D800? Did a slower card cause any delay?

thx,
Elmer

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#74 loftus

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

In regards to either the SD or CF cards, did you notice the difference between say a 60 mb/s card versus a 90 mb/s when using the D800? Did a slower card cause any delay?

thx,
Elmer

Hey Elmer,
I just bought the Lexar 1000x, and it definitely makes a difference as far as the cache filling up goes. With my Sandisk Extreme III the cache starts to fill at about 16 frames and slow down. With the Lexar it goes to 18 or 19 before slowing down. It is pricey though so not sure it's really worth it.
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#75 Drew

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 09:36 AM

Oh I think you'll find it's worthwhile once you get a baitball. :P

The SD cards are so slow they won't do much for the buffer. I'd shoot RAW to CF and jpg to SD. Or just shoot stills to CF and video to SD.

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#76 adamhanlon

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:00 AM

Broadly speaking, I concur with Drew.

I'm doing some read/write testing for the review-so will post details soon.

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#77 Drew

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:26 AM

Check out Rob G's tests:

http://robgalbraith....?cid=6007-12451

Even the fastest 95 mb/s SDHC card is only midpack in the memory card speed test!

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#78 Don in Colorado

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:54 AM

If my math is right, the 1000x card is writing at about 500x. Maybe the D800 can't write any faster, or internal processing speed of the D800 is the bottleneck.

70 mbs/s 70/.15 = 467 x

Edited by Don in Colorado, 24 May 2012 - 11:58 AM.


#79 eyu

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:32 PM

So I'm thinking that a 60 mb/s card should work out fine for strobe photography and a 90+mb/s card for non-flash active shots on the D800.

Elmer

Edited by eyu, 24 May 2012 - 01:33 PM.

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#80 TomR1

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

Hi David,
As Alex stated it's possible to set the AF-C in focus priority mode via the menu, which means it only releases when the focus is locked, i wasn't aware of that when i posted my previous reply. The other two options are release priority (always release when pushed) and release+focus priority, which means that it continues to focus (more slowly) when the contrast is too low or if it gets lower. On the other hand, in AF-S mode you can also set it in release mode. Anyway, i agree with you that the old switch with AF-S, AF-C an AF-M was more convenient.

Udo


I shoot one point in focus priority, Af-C. It seems to work well but sometimes the shot is still out of focus. I'll try Alex 3d tracking idea next time in the water