D800/D810 Handheld Shooting Sharp Images vs D7100

JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
edited June 2014 in D6x0/D7x0/D8x0
I'm currently very seriously contemplating buying the new D810 however, I'm reading a LOT of reviews and information on the D800's 36MP sensor and everybody seems to preach you:

A) Need to use very good "technique" when hand holding these cameras and
B) Plan on using shutter speeds in excess of the typical 1/focal length to get sharp results.

I own a D700 an a D7100. My question is this. Since the D7100 has a 24Mp sensor across a DX frame, wouldn't the pixel pitch and density be identical to the D800 and, if so, wouldn't hand-holding the D7100 represent just as much of a challenge as shooting with a D800?

Very much hoping some of you D800 guys can chime in on this topic. At this point, it's the only thing that is giving me slight pause as I hate using tripods (mostly) but I do really enjoy my D7100 and do find it is maybe a little less forgiving than my D700 but not overly so.

Thank you all!

Comments

  • jjb930jjb930 Posts: 80Member
    edited June 2014
    I have a D800 and I unless I am hand holding at a very low shutter speed, it is rarely an issue. With VR/VC/OS it probably won't be an issue shooting around or below the 1/focal length value. I find that the majority of my shots with the 85mm or 50mm 1.8g lenses are sharp unless I forgot to check my settings and I am shooting way below an acceptable shutter speed.

    Other than that, the D7100 is a fantastic camera. What are the limitations that you are experiencing that make you want to go FF? I love my FF and wouldn't want to go back, but I also am happy with my lenses (with the exception of a good telephoto I am holding out for). Do you have enough FF compatible lenses? Something like the D800/810 would need higher end glass, so don't skimp with kit or dx/fx lenses.

    Lastly, the D800/810 will be noticeably heavier, so take that into consideration for hand holding.
    Post edited by jjb930 on
    Nikon D800 | Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 | Nikon 50mm f/1.8G | Nikon 85mm f/1.8G | Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro | Tamron 150-600mm f/ 5-6.3 | Nikon SB700 | Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set | Cactus V6 Transceiver Set | SDMV Speedbox 60 Diffuser | FotoPro T83-C CF Tripod | FotoPro NGC-75 CF Monopod
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    @jjb930

    Thank you for the reply. Oh, I'm very happy with my D7100 but consider it to be my leightweight/casual camera. I shoot with the D700, did not upgrade to a D800 as I didn't feel I really needed that body. In truth, I probably don't "need" a D810 however the refinements over the D800 make it feel so right and I'd really like the Dynamic Range & ISO Noise handling of a modern day body.

    My glass is mostly made up of FX glass and I consider it to be pretty solid.
    70-200 F4 VR, 85mm 1.8G, 50mm 1.8G, 24-120 F4 VR, Tokina 100mm 2.8 Macro
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited June 2014
    Hand holding any body, at slow shutter speed, will always bring with it some challenges. If your technique has flaws, I can assure you, with 36MP, those slight movement will result in blurry images. So what you have been reading by other users is true. Of course, the more you practice the better you get. Moreover, knowing how to find the best combination of shutter speed and ISO settings, for a given aperture you wish to shoot at.

    Know this, their is no substitute for a good tripod if you wish to have tack sharp images and keep your ISO low. With these bodies you want to preserve as much dynamic range as possible, thus keeping ISO low is key.

    You lenses will reward you very well on the new D810.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • jjb930jjb930 Posts: 80Member
    edited June 2014
    Well it sounds like the biggest issue is whether you feel you "need" a D810 bad enough.

    Buying my D800 was a great experience. I love my camera and haven't regretted it at all. If you can afford it, you will enjoy it. It is a top of the line camera for most people (not everyone needs a D4S) and minor things like camera shake can be easily addressed/refined by the user over time. With the nice improvements on ISO sensitivity, you could probably shoot 1600-3200 ISO to get speeds where camera shake won't be an issue.

    I say pull the trigger if you can do it. If you are passionate about photography, it is a good investment. If you make some money from doing it, it will pay itself off. If not, $3000 isn't a crazy long-term investment for something you enjoy.
    Post edited by jjb930 on
    Nikon D800 | Tokina 16-28mm f/2.8 | Nikon 50mm f/1.8G | Nikon 85mm f/1.8G | Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Macro | Tamron 150-600mm f/ 5-6.3 | Nikon SB700 | Kenko Auto Extension Tube Set | Cactus V6 Transceiver Set | SDMV Speedbox 60 Diffuser | FotoPro T83-C CF Tripod | FotoPro NGC-75 CF Monopod
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    @JonMcGuffin

    If we take into account the field-of-view differences between DX and FX -- i.e., the crop factor -- it's actually the number of megapixels a sensor has (not its pixel density) which determines the hand-holding difficulty, all else being equal.

    So in theory the 36mp D810 will be just slightly more difficult to hand-hold than the 24mp D7100. There isn't actually any additional motion blur; it's just that at pixel-level the D810 will capture more of everything -- more fine details as well as more blur.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited June 2014
    As long as there are no side by side tests of D800 to D810 at shutter speeds equally 1/focallength, nobody really can tell.

    The difference between D800 and D810, @JonMcGuffin, is not of interest for you because your boarding the FX Steamer from a newer harbour. Whatever the old ship did, is not your concern.

    What the new ship will do, in terms of shutter-sound and -vibration, only few people know today and a lot are guessing and rumoring. All we know is, the shutter is a completely different system to the one in D800. And the mirror is (better) counterbalanced.

    After using D800 for 2 years now, I recall the major difficulties in two sections:

    More resolution will show more flaws that otherwise remained undiscovered. But were already made in lower resolution times. More resolution in case of a sharp picture will lead to a crucial reference for the less sharp and looking at 100% at them can make one doubt in his/her skills.

    The other section was the system itself. The huge mirror of a D800 creates a little earthquake I can always feel on each tripod I have, no matter how heavy or sturdy the whole thing is. Release the D800, touch a tripod leg and you will feel movement. Except in LiveView or Quiet mode.

    What I also found interesting: A motorized tripod head, like CamRanger is selling, is a supercheap plastic thing from China. Put the D800 on that wobbly device and you get - sharp pictures. The whole system appears to be flexible enough to swallow the energy. So far, I could not detect any blur caused by camera movement. So, be flexible, allow yourself to train, take care to your breath - in the beginning it's annoying, after a while you'll see the benefit of a better technique for all your pictures.

    EDIT: Forgot something/some people: The ones who shoot with a D800 and don't think about AF microadjustment or thinking, this is a ridiculous feature. They will face eventually AF problems and try to explain them with vibration blur, if there's no reference in the picture showing front- or backfocus.
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    edited June 2014
    Mate I slap out 60 weddings a year with a D7100 (18-140) and a D800 (17-35 no VR) I pick either up hand held Frame focus and bang bang bang ...Next please ..what are these people on about ..its a tool ..it works ..and no problems. Naturally I got my backfocus adjusted ... Pitchblack is right 95% myth or was that 100%
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    @PitchBlack - Thank you, this is frankly precisely the information I was looking for. And, oh my, what an incredible portfolio you have; consider myself a new follower and fan.

    @Pinsnbroke - Also, thank you very much as you're using the same combination of camera bodies that I will be using.

    Thank you ALL for chiming in on this subject. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the notion that field of view and distance to subject have anything to do with the qty of pixels in a sensor and the relative size of that sensor to those pixels and how that would make a difference in terms of the difficulty in acquiring a 100% sharp image.

    I was very much sure that shooting a D7100 @ 24Mp would require the same kind of care and proper "technique" as a D800 @ 36Mp. I don't consider myself to be somebody who necessarily has the steadiest hands in the world but at the same time I'm getting better.

    Jon
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2014
    95% of my D800 shots are hand held. I tend to use Aperture priority ( f4 to f8) and AUTO ISO plus 2 clicks with no max ISO
    IMHO the biggest cause of unsharp photos is camera shake, so I would suggest you crack up the ISO before reducing the shutter speed

    if I am doing landscapes, in poor light and need to keep to ISO 100, then yes, I use I tripod but other wise I hand hold

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    What I've also considered is that if a 36Mp FF sensor is much more susceptible to motion blur over a 12Mp or 18Mp FF sensor, than wouldn't subject motion play just as much of a factor in that motion blur?

    Therefore, it's not just better "technique" that can be applied to get tack sharp images, your subjects movement contributes equally to lack of sharpness in the image. All the technique in the world isn't going to solve that (nor VR). So, I summarize, as you have all stated here, you're gonna need shutter to be faster with the D800, all things considered equal over the 12Mp D700 but not tremendously so and all things considered, if you're willing to downsample your photo in post, there would be no difference.

    Does that sound correct?
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    If you are talking pure pixel density, the 36MP D8X0 is equiv to a 16MP FX. Your 24MP D7100 if scaled up would be a 56MP FX. So the full frame hocus-pocus people are just catching up to what us crop sensor folks have known all along: It just doesn't matter. Get the camera and take some photos.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,847Member
    edited July 2014
    Quote ...Ironheart Get the camera and take some photos.

    And so say some of us...
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 885Member
    edited July 2014
    I have followed this thread to see what the collective wisdom about FX versus DX is in the handheld department.
    This is a good thread! I am not able to use a tripod much, the price of trying to work and photograph both.

    We have learned with video though, use a tripod or steadicam if possible. Although even in video handheld can produce some interesting and very valuable videos. If I am just taking photos I think of myself as more of a tourist than when it is just to document our work and catch some cool scenery or wildlife when that happens. I assume that camera weight ONCE you are ready to shoot is not as much of a problem as GETTING it to the photo site? I know a heavier rifle is better at a long accurate shot than a lightweight and I am not talking about bench rest shots. On the other hand some people cannot steady a camera handheld, period. It also matters greatly what you have selected as ISO. I tend to shoot higher than most of you do. But my use of say above 800 ISO is VERY limited. I also find in night shots higher ISO are pretty much required unless they are moon telephotos.

    I work in the field and take photos there. I try to use the D3200 as much as possible when sawdust, etc. is an issue. When I don't need a D7100 I don't use it. When I tried an D800E I found the hazard issue was just that much worse. The D800E and the I am sure the D810 are AWESOME cameras. The D7100 is the best DX I have used. I was not as impressed with the D800E with DX glass. I was not all that comfortable with the crop sensor function. For that matter I am not as impressed with the crop sensor mode on the D7100 and try not to use it if possible. Either the better FX Nikon DSLRs and DX DSLRs will take stunning photos in the right setting at the right time. To me it is harder to get to the right setting at the right time than the gear factor. It is nice to think that just buying high end gear will guarantee results but that is not my personal finding. I take photos almost very day. Sometimes the camera is at considerable risk. We use Nikon 1 AW 1 quite a lot in tougher field conditions but it is NOT the same as using a D7100. Even the D3200 will be pretty rough for comparison to the Nikon 1 AW 1. Go Pro certainly is selling a whole lot of cameras that are subjected to very tough use.
    Post edited by DaveyJ on
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    For the record, based on what I've seen here plus how I've used my D7100, I just don't see cause for concern in regards to hand holding a D800/D810 because of the 36Mp image. Maybe I'll have a different opinion when I own the camera but nothing I've seen is going to stop me from taking the dive and jumping right in and doing whatever it takes to really utilize everything that body has to offer and truly making some really meaning and impactful images with it.

    I feel *SO* thankful to be in an era shooting with these kinds of tools available to me.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Having shoot many D800's I would highly recommend a good knowledge base of: light. If you intend to handhold this body, at low shutter speeds and wish to keep your ISO low, you will find that a great majority of your images will be out of focus or blurry. The additional 33% in MP of the D800/D810 will come into play.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • KoruKoru Posts: 36Member
    I guess I'm not getting it. I don't own a D800, but it seems to me that you could have a bazillion megapixels in a Full-Frame sensor and it would still make little difference notwithstanding Golf's excellent advice above (which holds true even with a DX). A 36 MP sensor is little more than a very fine grain film as long as you don't change the size of the sensor. If you had a 645 Pentax of Blad, yes, more care is needed when handholding (or a digital 4X5 for that matter). Somebody here said "It just doesn't matter - just get the camera and take pictures!" :)
    D5100 18-55VR 70-300VR
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    edited July 2014
    If you intend to handhold this body, at low shutter speeds and wish to keep your ISO low, you will find that a great majority of your images will be out of focus or blurry.
    Totally depends on what lens you are shooting with, and whether or not you use VR. I get tack sharp shots with the 16-35mm F4G VR at 1/25s on the D800, and I don't have super steady hands either.

    Focusing on the wrong thing is far more often the cause of missed/blurry shots with the D800. I say that because I find the AF a little jumpy compared to other Nikon bodies I've used (D80/D300/D7000/D700). By jumpy I mean that the AF seems to have a tendency to focus on something close to the subject at times, rather than the subject itself. It could be a calibration issue with my copy mind you (I have had it checked by Nikon and it has been better since then).
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    So, I don't mean to re-open the entire discussion, but information seems to conflict on this topic. Let me ask the question is the most to the point manner I can..

    Q) Is it a fact that as the MP count on a camera body climbs, the ability to acquire a tack sharp image becomes more of a challenge and thus faster shutter speeds are required to achieve excellent focus detail at the pixel level?

    Is this all a myth? Is it a truth, but in practice it makes little to no difference?
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    edited July 2014
    I don't think it is harder to get tack sharp images with the 36MP D800 than it is with the 12MP D700. I truly believe it is a myth that higher resolution bodies are harder to shoot with than lower resolution bodies, at least that is how it pans out in my own experience. Maybe I was using good technique already, but I noticed no change in my ability to get sharp files at lower shutter speeds between the D700 and the D800.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I think it depends on how big you look at the pictures. Same monitor, 100% view of a D700 shows a bigger FoV then the 3 times more pixel of D8x0 will do, therefore a blur caused by user or shutter vibration will become visible quicker. Same FoV probably won't show a difference. I don't know, I only learnt to be very careful to get sharp pictures out of D800. Can't compare it with fewer FF pixel counts.

    I found the difference between a technical good picture to a weaker one (missed AF or blurred by vibration) is very obvious - after looking at 100%. And because the technical good and taken with a good lens ones are just showing great details, the disappointment increases if there's a tiny weakness in. I can only speak for me but the D800 is kind of a detail drug. It's fun and surprising to wander through pictures afterwards. Discovering details I haven't seen when shooting them.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2014
    Jon, I would argue that, in the hands of most novice users, the odds of them not getting tack sharp images is more probable. So in that light, it is not a myth...the picture speak for themselves when the end user looks at his or her result. Moreover, I have been told by our very own Admin that, one of the key factors that resulted in him selling his D800 and switched to the DF, was because when he would examine many of his family shots at reasonable magnification, pixel level as you put it, the shots were not to his liking due to the blur. This address your first question to some extent.

    Our dear member, PB_PM is by no means the average user. His has many, many years of experience with photography gear; thus his skills are very fine tuned. Hence, "I was using good technique already..."

    The ability to take full advantage of pro-level gear comes with practice and patients. I think when you get your hands on the D810, you will find out for yourself. The D810 will test yours skills; but I have a feeling your learning curve will be shorter than most.

    And I quote: "I am a big supporter of the “get to know your gear” opinion. I strongly believe that the more you use something, the better you learn to take full advantage of the strengths of that particular piece of equipment, and the better you learn to manage its shortcomings without even thinking about it. To a point where they just disappear, in fact, and make the statement that gear does not matter as truthful as it is. Gear does not matter (to an extent), but knowing it and liking it does. This, I think, it the crucial link between equipment and photography itself." Read more: http://photographylife.com/lets-share-some-photography#ixzz37W92OyZX
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • JonMcGuffinJonMcGuffin Posts: 312Member
    Excellent point Golf007sd and I think therein lies really the true answer. As I have come to be really comfortable with my D700, I will gladly do the same on the D800. I'll learn all the little nuances and go through the trial and error necessary to understand where it's limitations are (or are not). Thank you both for your points!
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