I’ve been a Nikon user for many years now. Last night I received a text message from a fellow photographer here in Goa asking me whether he should buy the D600 or the D800 in addition to his D700 body. I said I am not buying either of them. About an hour ago the photographer came over to show me his newly purchased D800 so I could have a feel of it. It does of course feel good in the hand but I’m still not going to buy it and I’ll tell you why.
I grew up in a Polish house and my mother used to tell me many stories as I was growing up. I’ll tell you a story. After the war in Europe there was a shortage of supplies in the stores. A man from a small village in Poland decided to go to the big city of Bialystok to buy a new pair of black shoes. He walked into the shoe store that was half empty and asked for a 43 size black shoes. “We are all out of size 43”, said the salesperson, “we only have size 45 left”. “Oh”, said the man, “this is too bad. How much are the 45 then?” “Only 10 złoty, same as the 43″ ” replied the sales person. “In this case I’ll take the 45” said the man.
This is exactly the case with the new Nikon D800. It is a couple of sizes too big for my needs and will be uncomfortable and a huge waste of money for me. I have two D700 bodies that have been with me for a while now. It is time to change but I have very different needs than what Nikon thinks. I do not need, and do not want, a 36 megapixel camera. I never need more than 12mp but if you really want to give me a bigger file than please not more then 16mp. Why on earth would I need more? Such a large file means more memory cards, a lot of additional storage space and a brand new computer to handle the huge files that I do not need. I have no need for the video feature but I can live with it as another feature I do not use but what I do want is a higher iso sensitivity and low light capabilities, which are still better in the D700 than in the new D800. So it seems that five years later Nikon had produced a camera that is actually not as good as the discontinued D700 that I have. Shame.
What I fear is that this is where the world is going and there will not be a way back from the high megapixel count. My two D700 bodies that served me so well are still in good shape and I will hold on to them for another year with the hope of seeing something new that I actually need. After all, the idea of buying a new camera is to have the ability to do things that were not possible earlier. The D800 does not give me that unfortunately.