Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hello D800 (And why it's a good time to stick with DX)

Most readers of this blog are at a reasonable proficiency with their skills, and would have at one time hoped to jump to full frame, perhaps the D700. I was in that camp at one time, and originally built up my lens collection to suit an eventual jump to full frame.

Then the D7000 arrived. It's not quite the D700, but in some ways, it is better. So then the question becomes... did you want the D700 all along or did you actually want a camera that was better than what the average user was shooting with? Well, better than average has just arrived. 36-megapixels solidly cements it into professional territory. This also means 20mb jpeg files. Don't want to think about how big RAW files would be. Actually, I'm using 36mp images already. Software stitching opens up many avenues for landscape photography for us amateurs.It also lets you get by without having to buy ultra-wide lenses.

On one of my many Craigslist excursions, I ran across a gent who was learning to shoot on a D1x. That camera was ahead of its time, and like all over-engineered products, it was still a viable product long after the cheaper contemporaries had passed on. I was using the D80 at the time. His camera was built like a brick. Mine was the cheaper, lower-market consumer model, and it was now the better model of the two.

There are still many good reasons to use a D700, but age catches up to everything. As cameras get smaller and more capable, carrying the full weight and size of one of those things gets a little less persuasive over time. Certainly, if you can afford one, there are also good reasons to buy the D800/D800e, but the continuing cycle of innovation/obsolescence shows us that its always best to go for something that you can get the most use of out of now, instead of buying for some as-yet-undetermined future.