Nikon D800E Field Trip

Having taken delivery of the new Nikon D800E a week previous it was time to take it out of the house for a field trip.  Being a sunny pleasant day we decided that O’Reillys in the Lamington National Park was as good a location as any.

Like all hiking/walking photography excursions, what gear to take verses how much do I want to carry is always a compromise.  In this instance as the majority of the images would be rainforest and macro with perhaps some birds just a couple of lenses plus the flash and tripod seemed sufficient.  At the end of the day my body was telling me that any more would have been a major mistake.

The D800E has a 36mpx sensor and there has been much discussion, including technical notes from Nikon, that excellent camera technique needs to be applied to extract the maximum image quality.  As such any handholding needs to have a shutter speed much faster than the 1 / focal length heuristic previously employed.  Fortunately the high ISO capabilities of the camera meant that that quality should not be overly compromised, and I did have my tripod and flash.

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This was taken with the Nikon 105mm Macro and the 36mm Kenko extension tube.  Pop-up flash fired, 1/250s, F16, ISO800, handheld.  This is a smallish crop as the subject was only about 5cm across.  The detail that this camera is able to extract is incredible.  It handles very similar to my previous camera the Nikon D700.

The camera performed very well throughout the day and for a full frame DSLR was not too heavy to lug around.  I am not overly familiar with live view although it is something that I need to practice as it is especially suited to macro and landscape.  The Nikon implementation has the lens stopped down to the shooting aperture when using live view.  In the gloom of the rainforest this made both composition and focusing extremely difficult.  It is an area that I will have to explore to arrive at a workable technique.

 Overall I am extremely happy with the camera and certainly have no buyers remorse.  The final image is a crop from the above image.  It represents 18% of the original frame and I can still print it at 240dpi (my default for my Epson 3800 printer) for a 14×8 inch print.  Astounding!!

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