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Author Topic: Nikon D800 - seems harder to justify Medium Format  (Read 31281 times)
KLaban
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« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2012, 05:19:13 AM »
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seems harder to justify Medium Format

I didn't realise I had to justify using MFD.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2012, 05:20:45 AM »
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If you take a given scene (life-size) and convert it (compress it) to 41X54mm to produce a capture, you will always get better quality information about the image than compressing that scene down to 24X36mm.
...
Digital medium format and large chunks of film will always look better than megazillion pixels in "miniature" cameras.
I dont think that this makes much sense. Does a pinhole camera using a 100x100mm sensor always give "better quality information about the image" than a D800 or MFDB? I think that you should rethink your claims, or at least show us the images and/or theory that you are basing them on.

-h
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2012, 05:30:45 AM »
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Is the D800 as good as a GFH2 in low light conditions?

I don't know if the D800 is good enough for web work... Maybe only OK for low resolution HTML sites with no more than 256 colors palette.

And then again only for viewers with sub par vision using black&white CRTs.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Doug Peterson
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« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2012, 05:52:35 AM »
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Besides the look, there still many reasons to prefer high end MF:
- higher pixel count in one shot,
- a more optimized thetered shooting experience,
- great support from VARs,
- a more pro looking appearance that matters to some clients,
- the satisfaction of owning the best,
- potentially still a bit more DR (to be checked).

- large and bright viewfinder***
- touch screen interface (some bodies); hard to find a system you can check 100% focus on faster on a specific part of the image than an IQ or Credo
- tools like auto-horizon and auto-keystone which correct the level and pitch of the image in software based on the electronic levels in the back, making every horizon straight and every vertical parallel without manual tweaking
- Flash sync speed with standard strobes rather than dinky flashes (up to 1/1600th)
- More tactile lens response when manually focusing (large focus barrel, actual lens gearing*)
- aspect ratio (some prefer 4:3 or 1:1, especially for verticals)
- waist level viewfinder (some bodies)
- ability to shoot vertical without rotating camera (some backs)
- low ISO without ND filters (useful for dragging shutter in some styles)
- ability to shoot film with same system as digital (some bodies)
- ability to turn sensor on/off independent of the shutter/flash firing (allows to build up exposure with strobes without excessive ambient light, even in bright conditions e.g. interiors)
- ability to crop a vertical and horizontal from the same frame (even 36mp in 3:2 is not enough for many applications when cropped to a vertical)
- ability to use on specific legacy cameras (some folks just plain love Contax, Hassy 500)
- ability to use on speciality equipment like Aerial, industrial, art-repro systems (obviously a niche)
- ability to use on tech cameras
---- rise/fall/shift/swing/tilt on every lens (if IC allows)
---- fully mechanical/traditional shooting
---- absolute best glass, period
---- ground glass (some prefer it regardless of other options)
- compatibility with view cameras
---- close focus possible with many lenses, not just select macros
---- rise/fall/shift/swing/tilt on every lens, not just select TS lenses
---- ground glass (some prefer it regardless of other options)
- less frequent updates required (we still have many happy studio shooters using H25 backs users, don't know many happy Canon 1D shooters)**
- longer software support (original Phase One Lightphase from 1998 is still fully supported tethered in OSX 10.7 and Capture One 6, while the Canon 5D from 2006 isn't even officially supported tethered in LR4 or EOS Utility in OSX 10.7, nor 1Ds II in Windows 7 64 bit)
- consistent shooting speed; an IQ or Credo can maintain it's frame-rate indefinitely with a fast CF card, any Canon/Nikon can shoot much faster but unless you restrain yourself you can easily hit a buffer and the camera won't fire when you think it should. The IQ or Credo will be slower (around 1.2fps for the 40mp model) but it is reliably consistent - you know when you can shoot next and can develop a rhythm.
- larger bodies (for some this will be a big negative, but for others their hands are simply too large to comfortably use a camera like the D800, even with the optional vertical grip)

And honestly it's 6am and I haven't had my coffee yet so I imagine I'm missing quite a few.

O yeah and the look, and the image quality which, yes, is still better :-).

*As opposed to e.g. the Canon 85/1.2 with fly-by-wire focusing and a dinky focus barrel
**This is not just a question of cost since of course the 1D owner could have updated to a 1DsII and a 1DsIII and spent about the same; some photographers just dislike the hassle of switching cameras - new batteries, new chargers, new cables, new settings, new button locations, new software, new look (forcing them in some cases to expend time/energy getting the new camera to produce the look of the old camera). Some photographers love getting new gear, some despise it.
***I never understood why this isn't mentioned/discussed more often; you have to look through the viewfinder for nearly every frame you take - it's your portal to the world you are capturing.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 06:01:57 AM by Doug Peterson » Logged

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JohnBrew
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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2012, 06:06:37 AM »
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Your comment was ill founded and contributes nothing to the thread unlike Geoff's useful comparison.  I suspect the truth is you're the one here who hasn't shot MFDB - at least it appears so from your images which all have that 3::2 DSLR crop look to them.     Actually that's one reason I prefer the Medium formats cameras.   I find the 3:2 crop very restrictive.   
Referencing his comment that he found the D800 heavy. AFAIK, Hasselblad, Hy6, Mamiya, etc, etc, outweigh the Nikon by a substantial amount. No, I don't shoot MFDB, but I have years of experience shooting MF film. And I agree with you on the 3:2 aspect ratio - I intend on shooting the D800 at the newly available 5:4 ratio (if the damn thing ever gets here).
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2012, 07:34:30 AM »
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And honestly it's 6am and I haven't had my coffee yet so I imagine I'm missing quite a few.

O yeah and the look, and the image quality which, yes, is still better :-).

Many good points here, keep them coming!  Smiley

Cheers,
Bernard
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Gigi
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« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2012, 08:56:49 AM »
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Let me try to ease this and explain the context for the "heavy" comment, which may have been misunderstood: we all agree that the D800 is lighter than the MFDB setups, significantly so. In fact, carrying MFDB setups all day is no joy, although ones with WLF (which I prefer) have an advantage here as they can be held at waist height, especially useful for those of us less young (!).

The point was rather about use of the overall package: by the time you figure the need to hold the camera up at the eye, stability and lens requirements .... the use pattern isn't that different than what is required for a MFDB. While Nikon starts with each separate aspect suggested as lighter/smaller/cheaper, etc., when considered as a whole, these things all add up. To get the most out of the D800 will likely requires a MFDB sensibility; high quality results may not be achievable with the more casual "point and shoot" technique.

The D800 is pretty attractive at its price point, and its a big sensor in an economical and integrated body. No denying that. Maybe its a  'tweener, something in between DSLR and MFDB setups, similar to the S2, which has aspects of both DSLR and MF setups (albeit at 7x pricing).

Apologies if this was ill-stated or misconstrued. Rather just trying not get swept away and look to at the larger picture.
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Geoff
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« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2012, 09:07:52 AM »
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A H1, Digital Back and 50-110mm lens. That's heavy.

Yes... I think my H4D-60 with the 50-110 is about 4kg
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2012, 09:20:42 AM »
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we all agree that the D800 is lighter than the MFDB setups, significantly so. In fact, carrying MFDB setups all day is no joy, ... To get the most out of the D800 will likely requires a MFDB sensibility; high quality results may not be achievable with the more casual "point and shoot" technique. 

To get the most out of a hi-res MFDSLR you need to use flash or a tripod... so you may not be hand-holding all day... 'cept for an H4D-40 for outdoor snapshots or any with flash for fashion, theatre, dance?  ¿try a monopod?
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NickCroken
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« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2012, 09:31:20 AM »
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My cutco cheese knife sure is shitty compared to my $20 8 lb axe when it comes to chopping wood....

C'mon folks, if the d800 does a better job for you than buy it and quit whining.  I'm sure most users (myself included) will end up with a d800 to complement their mfdb systems.  I am also confident many people will shoot with both cameras on the same set and the clients won't be able to tell the difference.   Which ever camera gets you the shot is the right one for the job. 
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Dick Roadnight
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« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2012, 09:52:37 AM »
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I don't know if the D800 is good enough for web work... Maybe only OK for low resolution HTML sites with no more than 256 colors palette.

And then again only for viewers with sub par vision using black&white CRTs.

Cheers,
Bernard

Thanks, Bernard, thanks for your support...

If you use a Bayer-interpolated camera with an anti-aliasing filter, and the AA spreads the light destined for each pixel over the adjacent 8 pixels, you need to down-res by a factor of 10 to get the best pixel quality, and then again by a factor of about 2 due to the Bayer interpolation, so, to fill a 2Mpx HD TV screen with high quality pixels from a DSLR with an AA filter you need to start with at least 40Mpx! (but I am sure many photographers will try to make do with a D800, as many web-surfers do not use 2Mpx screens).

Until you realise this, it is surprising how an HDTV picture looks better than a DSLR picture, with individual hairs clearly visible in head shots.
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2012, 10:53:10 AM »
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I have the D800 and about 2k images so far with it and I have a Phase IQ 160 with a Cambo tech cam with some of the best lenses around and tested the crap out of the two already. On the question seems harder to justify is really a interesting question. On some levels sure the D800 brings more resolution to the party and it really is damn good and I like it a lot but its not my 160 trust me. It really is a matter of complimenting each other more than anything else at least at my level as a working Pro. For the guy that always shot 35mm with no desire to jump in the MF arena no question it is the best 35mm cam right now when it comes to image quality. The real question here is folks that are on the fence and my e-mail and PM box is full of the same questions. The real answer here if you where going into MF than go into MF there is the MF difference and that will not go away, the D800 does get closer on a lot of levels and in some exceeds MF. Now if you went D800/E trying to get close to MF than you also better treat it like your shooting MF or you will be disappointed. This is not a P&S camera and to ekk the best out of it your going to need to up your shooting techniques and such. Just like you would in MF so for MF shooters this is already easy since that is what we have to do anyway. For 35mm only shooters time to get serious on what you are doing.( flame suit on) LOL

Not so sure this is a either/or situation but one that is based more on need and what your willing to put into it with money, time and effort. In reality if your 35mm now and want to stay in it than your golden. For the MF shooter that needs a 35mm your just as golden, it got better. End the format war, its meaningless.
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BJL
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« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2012, 11:31:13 AM »
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I have the D800 and about 2k images so far with it and I have a Phase IQ 160 with a Cambo tech cam with some of the best lenses around ...
If I may ask a question that I already asked in another thread:

How many professional are moving to using both 35mm DSLR and DMF gear, but owning the former while renting the DMF if and when needed, or maybe owning some of the MF kit (like the lenses) but renting the backs?
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2012, 11:52:40 AM »
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Sorry,

This seems to be gravely wrong. What you are saying that you need 40MP to replace 2MP HD-camera.

Here is a screen dump from Zacuto Bigchip Video Camera shootout 2011 (part II)

Left is Arri Alexa right is a raw image from a DSLR (I don't know which, but a Canon I believe) which is sharpest? Both images are in HD-res. My impression is that the Alexa is the best HD camera today.

My personal guess is that we see awful resolution from DSLR sensors in HD because the AA-filter is optimized for the actual sensor pitch and not for HD resolution so I guess that antialiasing is done in software, and that the software is not really optimal. Downsizing 20 MP to 2MP may not be easy at 50 frames/s.

Best regards
Erik


Thanks, Bernard, thanks for your support...

If you use a Bayer-interpolated camera with an anti-aliasing filter, and the AA spreads the light destined for each pixel over the adjacent 8 pixels, you need to down-res by a factor of 10 to get the best pixel quality, and then again by a factor of about 2 due to the Bayer interpolation, so, to fill a 2Mpx HD TV screen with high quality pixels from a DSLR with an AA filter you need to start with at least 40Mpx! (but I am sure many photographers will try to make do with a D800, as many web-surfers do not use 2Mpx screens).

Until you realise this, it is surprising how an HDTV picture looks better than a DSLR picture, with individual hairs clearly visible in head shots.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 11:20:53 PM by ErikKaffehr » Logged

Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2012, 12:05:52 PM »
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If I may ask a question that I already asked in another thread:

How many professional are moving to using both 35mm DSLR and DMF gear, but owning the former while renting the DMF if and when needed, or maybe owning some of the MF kit (like the lenses) but renting the backs?

Actually that is pretty much what I just did in a way was sell off my DF stuff, kept the back with the tech cam and three lenses and bought the Nikon to take on some of the DF roll. Now what I figure is when I need the high end stuff I have it in my tech cam but if I need a DSLR MF style well I can easily RENT and CHEAPLY rent the DF and a couple lenses plus I can get that overnight when a gig comes that would call for that ( that immediately put 12k into a better 35mm system). In the meantime for me the Nikon gives me that little extra boost plus gives me the 35mm little stuff that I need as well. Its called creative cheating with gear in my mind or maybe better said balancing out your system needs. I have both but I don't have to support 3 systems but 2 and can rent the other which is less costly.

Now i would bet many Pros are thinking on some of these same levels as well. Maybe depending on what they do they could rent the back when needed and hopefully pass that 600 dollar a day rental on to the client, some clients you can do this others you can not. Its hard for me to do this in my location but like NY the ad agency are used to this practice. Obviously this all depends on client, market and your needs as a a Pro but end of day we are all looking at this to save money , bill money and still walk away with workable images. Plus work at a profitable level to make our spouses happy. LOL

BTW very long thread on the D800 and also some comparisons to the IQ 160 if interested. Its a work in progress report mostly

http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/nikon/35804-nikon-d800-first-blush.html

« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 12:07:44 PM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

BJL
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« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2012, 12:37:58 PM »
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If you use a Bayer-interpolated camera with an anti-aliasing filter, and the AA spreads the light destined for each pixel over the adjacent 8 pixels, you need to down-res by a factor of 10 to get the best pixel quality,
Meanwhile, actual testing by Bart van der Wolf in another thread here indicates that the AA filter reduces resolution by about 1%, so this seems (how should I phrase it?) a rather pessimistic estimate of the effects of the AA filter.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2012, 12:39:54 PM »
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Guy, you just can't compare the two any more than you can compare a Canon 1D3 to a 1Dx. That an IQ160 has more IQ than a camera with 20 megapixels less resolution, um, duh? Honestly, the question should be does the D800 make it harder to justify medium format of the same resolution. That is a fairer comparison to make. Saying MF is better when comparing to an IQ160 is hardly a level playing field.
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2012, 01:01:00 PM »
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Guy, you just can't compare the two any more than you can compare a Canon 1D3 to a 1Dx. That an IQ160 has more IQ than a camera with 20 megapixels less resolution, um, duh? Honestly, the question should be does the D800 make it harder to justify medium format of the same resolution. That is a fairer comparison to make. Saying MF is better when comparing to an IQ160 is hardly a level playing field.

The real problem here Ben and not me but folks THINK they can compare a 36mpx 35mm cam to a 60 mpx warhorse. I know better why I have both. LOL

All I have done is show how the Nikon D800 really upped its game and that YES you can get closer to MF. Believe me if it was better I would be putting 40k back in my pocket in a heart beat but also the Nikon is the best game in town in 35mm or one of the best. Hate that word best, its like better than what.

To answer your second part of the question (D800 make it harder to justify medium format of the same resolution) the answer i still think is no it can't if you care about color, tonal range, DR and everything else MF is known for and that look that mystifies us all. Its still 35mm format photography and we keep coming back to exactly the same damn thing we always say bigger is better and it has not changed when we put a sensor in than a piece of film. Justifying it is a money issue and we all have different levels of that. I would love to put that money back in my pocket but it would not solve the quality issue, certainly make my wife one happy girl that I can tell ya. LOL

I think the real down the throat choke up question is what quality level are you willing to pay for. It ALL comes back to this question and no one has the answer except what you want.  Believe me I ask myself this question what do I really need or want here. I'm in the same boat as the guy willing to spend 40k just on different sides of the ship.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 01:14:16 PM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

hjulenissen
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« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2012, 01:16:06 PM »
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If you use a Bayer-interpolated camera with an anti-aliasing filter, and the AA spreads the light destined for each pixel over the adjacent 8 pixels, you need to down-res by a factor of 10 to get the best pixel quality, and then again by a factor of about 2 due to the Bayer interpolation, so, to fill a 2Mpx HD TV screen with high quality pixels from a DSLR with an AA filter you need to start with at least 40Mpx!
This really is nonsense.

-h
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BJL
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« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2012, 01:20:20 PM »
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It is often unwise to phrase issues as all-or-nothing questions like "is MF justified now that we have the D800?"
Instead, I am curious as to how developments in 35mm format (and in improved performance or price from DMF, but we have not seen so much of that lately) changes the use cases for medium format. That is, when is there an advantage to DMF over the D800 or D800E, and which hMF gear gives that advantage. For example, it is hard for me to see any sensor performance advantage of 22MP DMF over the D800/D800E options (yes, even in DR and tonal gradations), but other aspects like the lenses and leaf shutter lenses might still give a different and preferred look.
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