Upload & Sell: Off
Regarding the D800's tendency to over expose, I did a bit of research yesterday and it seems quite prevalent.
I found this from Thom Hogan which probably explains what happened. It's funny too that my first DSLR was a D80 and I wanted to smash it after a while because of the same problem !! Now I seem to be back there again.
It's really been bugging me a lot lately, so I took 3 of my cameras (D800e, M9 & X-Pro 1) to a temple yesterday and shot the exact image with all three several times all with basically the same focal length lens or equivalent. Even the M9 nailed the exposure way more than the D800. The X-Pro 1 did too. I find myself having to take the image 2-3 times adjusting the EV to get it right. I don't think this is very good for such a technologically advanced camera on Matrix mode. Compared to my other two cameras, I find images from the D800e just too bright and washed out.
The handling of the body doesn't bother me in the slightest. I have the grip as well but only use it with long lenses ... but even the grip is OK. But yes, I too favour the D700 in hand over the D800.
Anyway, I guess I need to adjust the way I'm shooting or sell the thing and go back to a D700. I do like the sharpness it seems to give wide open though.
From Thom ...
You think I'm done? Barely started, really. Apparently Nikon believes that the D80 matrix metering system was the world's best (it was in actuality the worst matrix metering system Nikon has produced). More so than any other camera, the D80 would rethink its matrix patterns based upon the gray value it found underneath the current autofocus sensor. Put the focus on a bride's white dress and you got underexposure. Put it on the groom's dark suit and you got overexposure. Well, it's back. Not nearly as bad as the D80 was, but the D800 has the same tendency to overemphasize correcting what's under your chosen autofocus sensor. Try this little test at home: set your camera up on a tripod pointed at ColorChecker chart. Make sure the chart is a large part of the frame and that you can put your autofocus sensor on the individual white to black patches on the bottom. Now try moving the autofocus sensor in matrix metering and see what you get. I just did it: 1/320 on white, 1/200 on black (all other settings and lighting not changed). That's two-thirds of a stop difference when the exposure shouldn't have changed at all. This is a step backward, and not the matrix metering most of you high-end Nikon DSLR users are used to.
Why isn't it being complained about? Because a lot of you are shooting people. The color metering information in the viewfinder actually does a good job of finding skin tones and doing the right thing with them. So if you focus on people, matrix meter not so bad. Focus at different parts of a high contrast landscape, matrix meter bad. (Okay, "bad" is probably too harsh a word: the meter is never truly bad, just wrong a lot more than it was on my D3 models.)
I have added an some images here from yesterday. I'm no technician but the first one is what I see a lot from this camera.
I also added
NIKON D800E 0.0 mm f/0.0 lens 50mm f/2.0 1/125s 125 ISO 0.0 EV
NIKON D800E 0.0 mm f/0.0 lens 50mm f/2.0 1/200s 125 ISO -0.7 EV
NIKON D800E 0.0 mm f/0.0 lens 50mm f/2.0 1/400s 125 ISO -1.7 EV