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Whither Jarvie Goeth
Well when you get a request like this from one of your best buds you gotta do a write up... so this is my long winded writeup and is a conversation between a wedding/travel photographer and my friend the event/ballet photographer.

"Waiting for +Scott Jarvie s impressions of the new D800.
Whither Jarvie goeth, so maybe will I. Going from Canon to Nikon has long been kicking around in the back of my head and the autofocus on the 5DMKII just not cutting it for me, I might consider jumping." +Wade Heninger
By the way before I start +Wade Heninger is one of my favorite photographers because he knows what's up and he's a great person. He's worked for apple, helped design lightroom 1&2 and smugmug

D800 is where I goeth.

Let's be honest first... I have a lot of bills that companies around here supposedly get upset if I don't pay. As much as I'd like to not pay rent for 3 months and use that money I kinda have to not count all that money and find even more. AND to top that off it's Not wedding season. If it were maybe it'd be an easier decision.
When the D4 was announced I was all in... it was pretty much perfect for my needs. Then I had to replace half my engine in my car and taxes are coming up... soo...
It still is a pretty perfect camera ... except the cost.

So when I see the D800 at half the cost of the D4 my eyes open very wide.
3000 is not just twice as easy to come up with than $6000 that amount goes up exponentially in my book. Let's just say it's probably 5 times a better price.

Will I miss the much better ISO on the D4 ... of course I will. I'll be sad indeed
When I'm shooting with flash I don't shoot at a high ISO

There are situations where I love me some high ISO
- Most Wedding ceremonies
- Concerts
- Any Events where bounding flash is not possible or not looked upon favorably
- My work with the Utah Symphony

LUCKILY, My most important work does not require high ISO and I usually don't need to go above 400.

Wade: This will hurt you just as much as me... with your frequent work with the ballet you'd be benefited in getting a camera with high ISO
So if your new job gives you a $6k bonus I might look that way for this alone.

4fps just seems like a step backward for me.
But hey I'll have a camera that shoots 8fps and another that does 7fps if I want it.
In fact when you put a Grip with AA batteries on the D700 it shoots up to 7or8 (can't remember) and here's the thing I haven't bothered to do it. So i guess experience says I will be ok.
Wade: I assume you don't need a fast FPS since you're used to using the 5DII


What IS awesome is the new AF module says it will be better able to focus in low light situations and getting a good focus in the dark is something I need a lot.
wade: we both know that this was the main area of your concern. Dark ballet stages moving subjects... it all spelled a disaster for the 5DII and you were considering nikon for the AF ... and now it's gotten even better. Faster and more capable of low light. Sounds like a win for you. Supposedly it's the same as the D4 which makes me happy.

The expeed system is also the same... and people rave about it... though to be honest I'm not certain how it will impact my work ... or yours.

But i read that expeed3 is responsible for "image files with plenty of detail in the shadows, highlights and every tone in between."
Wade: this sounds pretty good for you

Focus spots 51
Most canon shooters I know use the center focus... Nikon users use all the spots. I'm sure there is a reason for that... both the way we change focus spots and the trust in it's ability.

Wade: I think this has the same ability to track movement and the same number of spots as the D4 which will be pretty awesome.

Do I want video... yes of course I do.
Will i use it... no probably not very often at all.
Though LR4 will have some better abilities with video so that will prompt me to take more.
Wade: You already had a pretty good camera with video and as I recall never used it much. So you're probably like me.

Sometimes many of us just give up on metering and go with manual... I happen to shoot in Aperture mode a bunch (along with manual at times)

Wade: I say any improvement on metering is a big plus. but for me it remains to see how this will change the game for both of us. You deal with dark backgrounds changing lights and hot spots. So I wonder how the metering will handle things like the ballet.

"an HDR capture mode that captures two images and combines them for up to a 3 EV exposure advantage"
Makes me wonder what +Trey Ratcliff thinks about this.
Wade: You won't care about this at all... but seeing as I do a lot of travel stuff and am not presently motivated to spend time editing HDR this could be pretty cool for me.
But it also uses a pretty great active delighting system which will bring down the really bright areas, I assume this is improved over the D700
wade: with all the hot spots of light at a ballet I'm thinking this is a good thing for you.

Must have features
I have always said that my next camera must have
2 memory cards
2 memory cards - and it does Cf+sd is pretty cool in my opinion though I'm sure some would like 2cf
Wade: When you go to a camera with two cards you just won't go back. the d300s had this same set up and I really miss it. It was how I tested new cards. For you it's a matter of being safe with those ballet pictures.
It must have a good silent mode... and if it's as good as the D7000 then I'll be happy... though of course I'd want it to be even better.
I've been ON stage with the symphony and I'm frequently shooting ceremonies both places where silence is of the essence. Even for my travel photography it can come in handy walking down the street doing incognito from the hip shots.
wade: I think it's self explanitory how the silent function would come in handy for the ballet. You're getting by with the 5DII but maybe this means you'll be able to shoot in more sensitive areas without worrying too much.

Nice things
Bigger screen... alway always a plus to have a better brighter bigger screen to view the files.
Better battery - supposedly this battery system is not better. Oh well. But then again it kinda remains to be seen.
This is the big conundrum for me.
I'm just starting to wrap my head around all this Anti-Alliasing stuff and Moire... I saw LR4 had that feature and I thought to myself when would I use it. I don't have it happen very often. But that's because there are things that prevent it from happening.
I hear landscape photographers way excited about the extra detail and well I'm half travel photographer so that's gotta be good for me. But the other half work a lot with people and lots of different fabrics... like tuxes and families with all sorts of patterned shirts.
Wade: I assume (based on my small amount of knowledge) that the D800E is of no interest to you.
I'm still not certain... one big thing is the D800E comes out 1 month later... which is a bother. Or it might not be... because who knows when I'll have the money. I hope March but maybe not until April when the D800E comes out.
I still have yet to find an easy to understand desisive response as to whether the D800E has an on/off option for this AA removal thingy. If so it sounds like a sure bet and worth the $300

One last thing MegaPixels
I have embraced the inevitable... 36mp
I am not excited in the least... but I'm not let's say sad.
It means lots lots more storage space and my 8bay drobopro is already full with 9TB of files and I burn through 2 and 3tb drives for backup like no ones business.
I don't shoot as many frames as +Thomas Hawk when shooting... but I do a lot more photoshoots.
I also worry how much my computer will slow down with the bigger files. I assume importing and exporting will take longer for sure. Culling images works off of previews anyway... and then I guess Developing will be the big question.
Will the catalogs be larger because of it will they become slower over time? I'm probably worrying too much about the slow down in my workflow... but it is a big thing to me I've built my business around the fact that I'm very efficient (speed + quality)
But I do imagine people at weddings walking around with a 36mp D800 while I have a 12mp D700 and being way to smug about it. haha

Wade: You face some of the same issues of taking a lot of pictures and needing to be efficient with your time. But you're also used to a larger MP so you tell me.

One question I do have is... isn't there some sort of MB cap on pictures uploaded to +SmugMug ? I never had to even think about it before but what is it? 25MB? Will a full size JPG be too big?

Getting one anyway
It'll be 4yrs ago that I got the D700 and I've almost shot 400k images... it's time for me to get a new one anyway. I have at times suffered from not having a full frame camera as a backup and now I won't have to worry as the D700 will slide into that spot. I need a new camera anyway so it's the perfect time to upgrade.

Believe me if I had the money I'd go with the D4 but even so I'll save $3000 which I can put towards savings so that the next time my car breaks I won't get an ulcer or something. Or heck maybe one of these years that money will come in handy if i need to buy a ring or something ;)

Wade: I think you'd be profited by switching. But then again if you have the money go for the D4... OR get the Mark X and stick with Canon... I have no qualms with canon. Maybe you don't have many shoots until nutcracker comes around and you want to see how canon counters this with a 5D3 haha

So I told +Nick Gilson at +pictureline inc. that he should probably not expect me to use my waiting list spot for the D4 and instead to get me on the list for the D800

One things for sure... I need to book some more weddings to get this bad boy!
Wade do you ever do weddings? I can't recall. BTW I don't charge for travel to weddings anymore... not sure you knew that.
Thomas Hawk's profile photoGene Bowker's profile photoMichael Seneschal's profile photoScott Jarvie's profile photo
I wish Canon would hurry up and come out with the 5D M3.
I'm sure whatever they do will be impressive.
+Thomas Hawk what would you like to see the 5D3 have? I assume better AF better ISO 2memory slots better silent function... what else?
As a video pro and semi-pro photographer the D800 is the best of both. But you know Canon is going to come out with something very similar on the 5D M3. Since I'm invested in Canon glass I'm taking the wait and see approach.
+Scott Jarvie better AF like you say, even higher ISOs, #1 request built in geotagging (if they can geotag in a tiny little iPhone they certainly should be able to geotag in a $3,000 digital SLR), some sort of tech to keep dust off the sensor, maybe more than 3 bracket bracketing. Can't really think about much more than that 21MP is fine for me. I don't need more FPS.
I wouldn't mind the 5D3 having a better FPS, that is one thing I love on the 7D.
+Thomas Hawk I agree with the built in GeoTag feature. Any more data automatically added to the EXIF is a good thing.
I wish people talked more about cameras shooting DNG. If cameras stored their RAW files as DNG, Lightroom would be actually editing the RAW data, rather than a converted-interpreted-glorified TIFF. 
ahhh yes GeoTagging... luckily it's not terribly hard for me on Nikon... but like you said built in would be better. And dust... good calls +Thomas Hawk

I also want nikon to have a faster system for scrolling through the pictures you take like canon.
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