Help me pick a full frame body
/forum/topic/1177467/0

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chuck77
Registered: May 11, 2012
Total Posts: 13
Country: Canada

This has been a tough question for me for the past week. I initially bought a D600 with the 24-85 kit lens at a great price ($2000), and it came with a full retail version of Lightroom 4. Having used a Canon 5D Mark II with the 24-105 L lens, I guess I expected better image quality out of the 24-85 Nikon kit lens, but it dissapointed me in comparison. I sold the 24-85 kit lens for a good price at almost $500, making my D600 effectively $1500 (price not including the free copy of Lightroom 4).

But you know how these things go - I spotted great deals on the D800 and D800E, both brand new. The D800 is going for $2465 and the D800E for $2725. These deals don't last long, but I was guaranteed one of these cameras for the next couple days.

I've played with the D800/D800E and find the handling on both cameras better than the D600, with much quicker AF operation. Other than that, I have not been able to do any direct comparisons. For the D600, I do recognize that it has a higher burst rate, and a $1000 - $1300 cheaper price tag than the D600 I got. The D600 does have 5.5 FPS, but the D800/D800E has a better AF system. But, who are we kidding? Neither are action cameras.

If I do decide to sell the D600 locally, I am confident that I am losing much money on it.

Between the D600/D800/D800E, which would you guys recommend? Is the extra money worth saving for good glass instead? I own a 85mm F1,8/G currently, and access to a 14-24mm F2.8 and a 105mm F2.8 VR in my family.



Gregstx
Registered: Dec 07, 2010
Total Posts: 595
Country: United States

If money is not a concern, the D800 does have advantages. Resolution, ISO, 51 pt focus system, AF-ON button, adjustable iris in LV, etc, etc. Other than $$, maybe the only disadvantage is that the higher resolution seems to place more demands on technique. I have a friend who has an 800E and he is convinced that the camera can only be used on a tripod. I think he needs to work on his settings and technique. But he is old school and knows his methods have worked on his D300, so they should work on the D800E, as well.



CAlbertson
Registered: Dec 17, 2012
Total Posts: 99
Country: United States

chuck77 wrote:
This has been a tough question for me for the past week. I initially bought a D600 with the 24-85 kit lens at a great price ($2000), and it came with a full retail version of Lightroom 4. Having used a Canon 5D Mark II with the 24-105 L lens, I guess I expected better image quality out of the 24-85 Nikon kit lens, but it dissapointed me in comparison. I sold the 24-85 kit lens for a good price at almost $500, making my D600 effectively $1500 (price not including the free copy of Lightroom 4).

But you know how these things go - I spotted great deals on the D800 and D800E, both brand new. The D800 is going for $2465 and the D800E for $2725. These deals don't last long, but I was guaranteed one of these cameras for the next couple days.

I've played with the D800/D800E and find the handling on both cameras better than the D600, with much quicker AF operation. Other than that, I have not been able to do any direct comparisons. For the D600, I do recognize that it has a higher burst rate, and a $1000 - $1300 cheaper price tag than the D600 I got. The D600 does have 5.5 FPS, but the D800/D800E has a better AF system. But, who are we kidding? Neither are action cameras.

If I do decide to sell the D600 locally, I am confident that I am losing much money on it.

Between the D600/D800/D800E, which would you guys recommend? Is the extra money worth saving for good glass instead? I own a 85mm F1,8/G currently, and access to a 14-24mm F2.8 and a 105mm F2.8 VR in my family.


If you want an analytic answer then you have to tell us what you intend to do with the images. Are you making large prints or displaying to on an electronic screen? Is this for landscapes, studio work or football games?

But really most people buy a camera for non-technical emotional reasons, they say "how much money do I have" then buy whatever fills the budget and gives them the bragging rights they want. We can't help you there



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1265
Country: United States

Gregstx,
I think a TriPod is best for any camera, so your friend could be right.
However, after several months of tweaking my camera settings and honing my technique ,
my hand held keeper rate is the highest it has ever been.

As for resolution: I like the 20MP Best quality, Medium, Fine JPEGs from my D800 better than the 24MP Large, Fine JPEGs from the D600.
This reduced file size is very easy for me to deal with at our Sporting Events
and I can use 36 MegaPixels for Landscapes.

I shoot at 4fps so why would I care if the camera can shoot more.
What does matter is that the D800 is faster focusing than the D600 and the D4 is the fastest yet.

Chuck77,
How does the D600 fit your hand?
Are the buttons located conveniently?
Do you like/use the locking mode dial and the U1, and U2?

If the D600 is doing everything you need,
get some good Pro Glass
It is a better investment than a camera body



chuck77
Registered: May 11, 2012
Total Posts: 13
Country: Canada

RRRoger wrote:
Chuck77,
How does the D600 fit your hand?
Are the buttons located conveniently?
Do you like/use the locking mode dial and the U1, and U2?

If the D600 is doing everything you need,
get some good Pro Glass
It is a better investment than a camera body


I came from a Canon 40D, which fits in my hand very well when equipped with the battery grip. When I switched between my gripped 40D (which I can hold very steadily in my hand) and the D600 (no grip right now), My thumb feels a little cramped because of the smaller body. I would also prefer the D600 to be heavier, which helps me reduce camera shake. I played with the D800 at the store today, and at first the absence of the rotating dial was strange to me. However, after spending a little time with it, I feel it was quicker to customize settings on the D800 than the D600. I don't mind the mode dial on the D600, but I can't say I am a fan of the locking dial. As for the U1 and U2 settings- I have not used them yet, but I can see how they can come in handy.

Perhaps the biggest thought on my mind is whether I should save the $1000 (or $1300 for the D800E) and put it towards a good lens, like the 24-70 F2.8, or if it's not worth sacrificing better handling of the D800. I know I won't need to print big, so I am not sure if there will be a difference in image quality between the two cameras. As far as I can tell, the dynamic range on the D600 and D800 are very similar. On the other hand, my time spent with the D800 showed me that the autofocus is much faster, and the mirror is better damped when taking photos.



lukeb
Registered: Nov 13, 2010
Total Posts: 1825
Country: United States

CAlbertson wrote:
chuck77 wrote:


If I do decide to sell the D600 locally, I am confident that I am losing much money on it.

Between the D600/D800/D800E, which would you guys recommend? Is the extra money worth saving for good glass instead? I own a 85mm F1,8/G currently, and access to a 14-24mm F2.8 and a 105mm F2.8 VR in my family.


If you want an analytic answer then you have to tell us what you intend to do with the images. Are you making large prints or displaying to on an electronic screen? Is this for landscapes, studio work or football games?

But really most people buy a camera for non-technical emotional reasons, they say "how much money do I have" then buy whatever fills the budget and gives them the bragging rights they want. We can't help you there


We really need to know what you shoot!



chuck77
Registered: May 11, 2012
Total Posts: 13
Country: Canada

lukeb wrote:
CAlbertson wrote:
chuck77 wrote:


If I do decide to sell the D600 locally, I am confident that I am losing much money on it.

Between the D600/D800/D800E, which would you guys recommend? Is the extra money worth saving for good glass instead? I own a 85mm F1,8/G currently, and access to a 14-24mm F2.8 and a 105mm F2.8 VR in my family.


If you want an analytic answer then you have to tell us what you intend to do with the images. Are you making large prints or displaying to on an electronic screen? Is this for landscapes, studio work or football games?

But really most people buy a camera for non-technical emotional reasons, they say "how much money do I have" then buy whatever fills the budget and gives them the bragging rights they want. We can't help you there


We really need to know what you shoot!


Well, here are some of my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/perpetuus17/sets/

Looking at my photos, I would say mostly portraits and landscape. Most of the photos on my flickr are from my 40D, and a few are from my Lumix LX3 and NEX-5N.



jmcfadden
Registered: Oct 30, 2002
Total Posts: 30235
Country: United States

you compared a lens that costs 3x as much and were disappointed that the cheaper lens was not better?



chuck77
Registered: May 11, 2012
Total Posts: 13
Country: Canada

jmcfadden wrote:
you compared a lens that costs 3x as much and were disappointed that the cheaper lens was not better?


Well, there is the Canon 6D kit, which includes this same 24-105 L lens at a comparable price! I have a few Canon lenses myself, and would've switched to the 6D, but the D600 is even better than the 5D Mark III in almost all ways, except for AF and build quality, in my opinnion. The 6D is not something I prefer.



lukeb
Registered: Nov 13, 2010
Total Posts: 1825
Country: United States

IMHO the D800 would serve you well.



roman.johnston
Registered: Jan 24, 2004
Total Posts: 2478
Country: United States

Well the kit lens is not a horrible lens to start with. I would test the original lens with the original camera. Use a tripod and see if it is back focusing or front focusing any and use the internal settings to compensate if any is needed. Also try Live View focusing as it is usually deadly accurate and can also tell you a bit about if focus is off a bit.

If it focuses well on a tripod, the problem would be your technique. If it doesn't, you can play with the focus adjustments ...or maybe sent the unit back to Nikon and get it tweaked by them so it IS spot on. Yes...that would put you OUT of a camera for a little bit, but with the time you have wasted to date....easily could have been done by now. And the result will be spot on accuracy.

Just my pov....good luck in whatever you choose.

Roman



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1265
Country: United States

If/when you do the LiveView TriPod test, try zooming in (+) with the LCD Monitor.
Then press the AF-ON button before the shutter.
With the D600 you will have to program the AE-L/AF-L button.

You can do this hand held as well.



aaronbor
Registered: Mar 20, 2012
Total Posts: 92
Country: United States

IMHO, it does not sound to me like you are out there shooting weddings or sport events. Do you need a fater shooting rate of 5.5fps? Do you need the fastest auto focus system? I think you really need to analyze what you need versus what you want. ( and how much that is worth to you $$)

If you have a body that you are satisfied with, I personally would take the extra money and buy good glass. I think you would be hard pressed to see a difference in the quality of your images between a D600 and a D800 if you are using high end glass.



lxdesign
Registered: Jan 04, 2004
Total Posts: 5900
Country: Canada

What else can I say ..... I have a D800, and highly recommend it.



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1265
Country: United States

Chuck77
Perhaps a used D3 would suit you better yet
or the ultimate, a D4 if you can afford one.
It is bigger and heavier
you don't need a grip
It is much faster than a D600
more forgiving of user error
easier to deal with the file sizes.



chuck77
Registered: May 11, 2012
Total Posts: 13
Country: Canada

RRRoger wrote:
Chuck77
Perhaps a used D3 would suit you better yet
or the ultimate, a D4 if you can afford one.
It is bigger and heavier
you don't need a grip
It is much faster than a D600
more forgiving of user error
easier to deal with the file sizes.


Roger,

A D4 is definitely too expensive, and a D3 is probably not as good value as a D800. I played with the D600 extensively yesterday and still couldn't get over its small size and handling problems for me, so I sold the D600 locally today.

My choices are now down to D800 or D800E, unless there is a third camera, like a D700S or D600S.
$300 separates the D800E from the normal D800. Is it worth the extra money?



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1265
Country: United States

I really like my D800 and would not like to give it up to get a D4.
The e is only better if you print really big and/or are a pixel peeper.



spdntrxi
Registered: Oct 06, 2006
Total Posts: 405
Country: United States

I highly preferred the handling of the D800/e over the D600...



James R
Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Total Posts: 5108
Country: United States

Chuck77, It comes down to preference. RRRoger would not trade his D800 for a D4 and I sold my D800e because of the D4. The D800e will provide some problems if you don't have good shooting techniques. If you want a pro body, then buy a gently used D3s. Otherwise, buy a D800. I looked at your photos, which are pretty eclectic and basically snapshots. You might find more pleasure learning post processing and the basics about exposure, ISO, and shutter speed (Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure... is a good starting point). I don't mean this as criticism. This is something every photographer has to go through to improve their craft.



RRRoger
Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Total Posts: 1265
Country: United States

I would trade my D600 for a D4.
Problem is that it is too heavy and expensive for me.
The D800 is the most comfortable in my hands and pocket book.
It is also fast enough nearly all of the time, especially outdoor sports.
But I always wonder if the D4 would get better pictures in the poorly lit indoor horse arena,
and of runners in the dark Redwood Forest.



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