Adele – D800

July 31, 2012

Last week I had a shoot with Adele from Willow Model Management. This was a great opportunity to break in the D800 and see how it performs. In this entry I go over the pro & cons of the D800, include a lighting diagram as well as a short behind the scenes video.

Check out this short but dreamy behind the scenes of this shoot:

As well as using the D800 for the first time, I used the white Paul Buff / Alien Bee beauty dish (I also have the silver high output one). During the shoot I don’t think I was as impressed with the white BD as I hoped to be, but once I was going over the images on the computer I was quickly won over.

This was a simple one light setup with the beauty dish boomed over the center. Some of you my have noticed that there is an octabox in the video. Towards the end of that look, I swapped in the octabox, but did not use any of those images.

Nikon D800
Whats my inital thought? WOWEE-WOW-WOW

+ As you can see from the crop below…the MEGAPIXELS! MP are not overrated. I think people see 36MP and their knee jerk reaction is “thats more than I need”. Look at it this way, 5D Mark II 21mp = 5616 x 3744 vs Nikon 36mp – 7360 x 4912. It’s not as crazy as a jump as one would think. That said, I was using a 12MP d3, so the extra resolution was the main reason I choose the D800 over the d4.

+ ISO Performance. While technically not improved, it’s is on par with the D3. Factor in the resolution and it surpases the D3. Remember, at full res you can run noise reduction and then downsize the image to say 20mp which produces a clean image.


– Body: I miss the pro body. For the most part I never really used the verticle grip on the D3, but now that I am shooting more portraits I see how nice it would be. Also I miss the buttons a long the bottom. Also, what is with the green backlight on the D800 display…its a throw back to when I owned a 1979 Mercury Capri.

– NON Dual CF slots: For me I rather have dual CF slots. I noticed when it rolled over to the SD images took a lot longer to process. Several times I had to wait for 20-30 seconds for it to finish buffering. I ended up swapping in a new CF card.

Overall, I am more than happy with the performance of the D800. I love the all the detail. After a couple more shoots with it, I will revist and post and update. Feel free to ask me if you have any specific questions.