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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:43 pm 
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Thomas wrote:
Camera is on its way :D


Excellent news Thomas, pleased for you. Just in time for your UK trip too.
Looking forward to your review of it. 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Yeah, just in time, Carlos. I would have been devastated traveling beautiful England without the most beautiful wife (hehe, what did you think?)
- and the best new full-frame Nikon....

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:24 pm 
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lagnificent wrote:
Dpreview did a head to head comparison of D800 and 5DMk3 from ISO 100 to 25600+ RAW/JPEG recently. I looked at the RAW samples. I personnally felt the chroma noise in shadows was very similar at equal ISO's. Given the 36 MP versus 22 MP, this really impressed me. I also thought the improvement from the 5D2 to the 5D3 was less than a stop in RAW.


I agree, the D800 looks stronger by the day at it's price point! Even though I am a Canon user I think this gives quite a bit more than the 5D MkIII.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Hi everyone, I just published my full set of Nikon D800 sample images, including a full sequence in low light from 50-25600 ISO. The angles and conditions are similar to those from my Canon 5D3 gallery, so open them both and see what you think!

Nikon D800 sample images

Canon EOS 5D Mark III sample images

I'll have a formal noise comparison for you soon, plus a load of sample movies and more!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:01 am 
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Thanks Gordon.

To me, it´s like the Nikon is just a bit worse when it comes to higher ISOs, the megapixel count though, is 1.5 times as high. I find this an excellent result, but I wont jump to conclusions that Canon ´´failed´´. We have to wait for the final RAW vs. RAW high ISO test I guess...

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Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:58 am 
Thomas wrote:
Camera is on its way :D



When you say dealer I'm assuming you ordered yours from a small store?? How much did you pay if you don't mind sharing??


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Sorry Gregory, but I'd rather not discuss dealer details. Nikon's policy of distribution certainly led to some hand-wringing all over the globe. But that's how it is when you produce an item that is in high demand. There is a nice article over at bythom: "Still Lots of Confusion III".

As to results from the new body here's a first image from London's new attraction: The 310 m (1,017 ft) high "Shard of Glass" (on the right).

Image
Tower Millennium Pier 50628 by Thomas, on Flickr

Shot with Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8 at 29mm, f5.6, 1/250 sec. Developed from 14bit compressed RAW in Capture NX2 with +0.75 EV as the D800 exposed for the sky and +9 for the shadows. Other than that I used standard settings. Click through to access the full-resolution image.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:29 pm 
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A few other images from London, this time of the "fashion"-type. The first one from inside "Miss Selfridge", a dark setting with spotlights which created a dynamic-range nightmare.

Image
Barbie 50589 by Thomas, on Flickr

Shot with Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8 at 32mm, f8.0, 1/30 sec, ISO 180. Developed from 14bit compressed RAW in Capture NX2 with +0.5 EV and +20 for the shadows as the contrast was extreme. Other than that I used standard settings.

The other two are from Portobello Road:

Image
Good Girls 50590 by Thomas, on Flickr

Image
Coco Who 50591 by Thomas, on Flickr

Shot with same lens at 70mm, f8.0, 1/125 sec this time. Developed with same settings as above.

Lots of details in this, so by clicking through the images you can delve into 100% pixel-peeping until your eyes hurt :wink:
And no: the moire in the black&white dress in the middle of the last image is not there in the original image. This comes from down-sampling to max 1024 pix width.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:06 pm 
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Here's a ISO 4500 shot processed (almost) to standard settings in Capture NX2. The only thing I changed was the setting for the noise-reduction to high quality (strength was automatically set to 24, sharpness to 5). Again a fashion theme, not from London this time but from the Fashion Museum in Bath.

Image
Dresses 50831 by Thomas, on Flickr

Captured with the Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8 at 24mm, f5.6, 1/30 sec. The reflection in the glass is responsible for the low contrast of this scene and I should have used a pol-filter or up the contrast in post-processing. Both measures would in turn have increased noise.
Btw. this is one of the classic cases where a tripod is a no-no: They would have arrested me immediately at the entrance, as photographing was strictly prohibited at their premises. So I had to rely on the "quiet" mode and the benefits of Auto-ISO adapting to focal length - plus a pair of steady hands. 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:42 pm 
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As flickr only down-samples to 1024px width (and smaller) I have provided two additional versions of the above image: at 9MP and at 2MP. I've used the "Save to Web" feature of Photoshop with a quality setting of 60.
9MP is effectively binning 4 pixels into one and came out at 874kB. If you look at 100% at this image you'll still see noise, albeit very reduced.
2MP is still full HD-quality and weighs in at a meager 296kB and noise is practically invisible in this image.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:01 am 
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Currently preparing for my future lens-reviews with the D800 replacing the trusty old D300. Here are some thoughts on what I will do.
I'll be using the same test-target, so Siemens-stars and funny circles will stay :twisted: They have the advantage that you can get a very good impression on the various aspects of image-quality:
    - resolution: how large (or small) is the grey disk in the center of the star?
    - astigmatism: is the gray disk circular or elliptic?
    - haloing: are the borders of the black rectangles well defined or is light seeping into them?
    - distortion: is the rectangle rectangular or skewed?
    - lateral color aberration: do the borders show color-fringes?*
So what you can actually see from these test-charts is much more than you can read from numeric diagrams.
See the following example from the my macro-lens comparison (AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G with Nikon D300 at f8.0, 100% crop from corner):
Image

The big question is, can I make the new tests comparable to the old ones?
Short answer: Not really!
And here's why. The pixel-density of the D800 sensor is slightly higher than that of the D300: it's like having a 16MP instead of 12MP on the same sensor-area (APS-C), so the theoretical linear resolution went up by 15%. The unknown factor for the real resolution is the strength of the AA-filter of the D800 compared to the D300 but assuming those are similar one can say that a 15% increase in linear resolution is on the border of being visible. My own rule-of-thumb says that a 20% gain in resolving power can be seen. There are in principle three ways to handle this difference:
    1. shoot D800 from the same distance as D300: the target will look 15% larger in 100% view, the grey disk will grow by the same amount so the relative size of the grey disk will remain the same.
    2. same as before, but downsize the resulting image by 15%: the target will look the same size from the D800 than from the D300 but we would be messing with the test-image on a pixel-level, effectively binning a row of 7 original pixels into a row of 6 pixels rendered by some algorithm in the post-processing software of choice. I'd never do this for the same reason that I never use any distortion-correcting algorithm on my test-charts: I prefer to leave the original pixels geometrically unaltered.
    3. increase D800 distance to test-target by 15% over D300: The target will look identical in size in 100% view but is actually projected 15% smaller on the sensor. This is like you were looking with a 1.15x stronger loupe at the performance of the lens. Thus the grey disk will grow 15% which for a good lens might mean that the grey disk on a 26" monitor will increase from say 7mm to around 8mm.

Personally I prefer (3) as it gives you a clearer sense that the new D800 test-bed is indeed more critically looking at the lenses of my lens-reviews. It also keeps the distance between printer resolution (for the test-target) and resolution of the combined lens-camera system, which in turn makes it more future-proof.

I'll now go back to the bench to build a new test-target that will be used to test lens-performance near the center of the optical axis, near the corner of the DX image-circle and near the corner of the FX image-circle in one setup. Mind you, not necessarily in one shot as I focus on each spot individually to exclude any effects from field-curvature! This also means that you might take the center and DX-corner performance as an indicator to D7000 performance as it has the same pixel-density as the D800. You should be aware though that the effects of different AA-filters and (to a lesser extend RAW-conversion) might make the D7000 perform slightly different to what you will see from my D800 test-shots.
And one thing is clear: The FX corner performance from the new D800 test-shots will differ clearly from the results obtained with the D700 in earlier tests as the linear resolution of the D800 is 73% higher. This might lead to some re-evaluation of older results regarding FX corner performance of some lenses. But we'll see as my testing with the new setup gets along.

I hope to bring you some insights soon and reveal how lenses perform on Nikon's brand new "Über-Body".
Cheers!

---
*please remember that I always test with automatic correction for lateral CAs ON as this has been a standard in Nikon bodies and related RAW-converters for a long time. So when you'll see lateral CAs in my tests it's what the automatic could not remove.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:19 pm 
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Just encountered my first real problem with the new camera: There is some horrible moire / aliasing artifacts in live-view (photo-mode) when you zoom in e.g. to 100% for best focus. See the following screen-shot from CameraControl Pro - but it looks the same when you use the LCD-monitor.

Image
D800-LV-Moire by Thomas, on Flickr

That makes exact focusing a real nuisance but fortunately the picture taken is free from moire and sharp.
Unnecessary to say that the D300 doesn't show this behavior under same circumstances.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:37 pm 
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Finished my work on the new test-target. If you're interested head over here.
Expect to take a new Nikon AF-S 85/1.8G through its paces and see how it performs on the D800 compared to the Nikon AF-S 85/1.4G.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:47 pm 
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But back to "sample"-images from the new body. The following was shot with the Nikon AF-S 24-70/2.8G at 32mm, 1/2000 sec, f/4.0:

Image
Cliff Fall 50166 by Thomas, on Flickr

It is slightly cropped but available at full-resolution. This time I developed the image for more "punch" at vivid settings plus used a slight S-curve to enhance contrast even further.
Enjoy!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:30 am 
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On processing times in Lightroom 4:
It takes about 8 seconds to newly render a 100% view of a 14 bit lossless compressed RAW (40-50MB) on a 4 core i5 2500K machine (3.3GHz) with 16GB. All 4 cores are 100% busy at that time. Once the 1:1 preview is rendered it takes only a second to switch between full-screen and 100% view. Processing was limited to Camera Standard settings with lens profile for correction of vignetting and CA-correction.
To freshly render a full-size jpg is around 3 seconds with no processing dialed in.
On a laptop with i5-520M (2 core, 4 threads, 2.4GHz) it takes double the time.

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