After a week shooting Client product work and special events with the D800 (upgraded from D90), I can safely report that my work is better, the clients see the difference, and my technique has improved.
What has D800 done to "make me a better photographer" (rather than a better post-processor)?
- I love using the Virtual Horizon for studio/product photography. Alignment is spot on, fast and accurate, whether shooting 6 inches or 8 feet off the ground, you can square up to your target in a hurry.
- I use mirror-up and delayed release for improved sharpness
- I use HDR to handle in-studio high contrast issues that were a bitch to solve in post
- I use Live-view and zoom in on the bigger LCD for critical focus, often comparing AF with Manual at super-high mag.
- I use less flash and lower ISO for noise-free results due to strong low light performance of the camera, coupled with f2.8 zooms and 1.8 primes
- The sheer mass of the camera, with a 24-70mm 2.8 for instance, results in a steadier hand-held shot
- The video results are miles ahead of D90. Once I got the hang of the new user interface and the REC button position, it is easy to get good results on the fly. And my effort to get spectacular results is rewarded with D800, whereas D90 seemed to limit the potential
- Getting better audio to pair with video is much easier with D800. The accessory mic plugs in and has much better wind resistance and fidelity, saving huge time in post from separate audio for even routine interviews in the field.
- Knowing that much of this technical workflow has improved, I am freer to be more attentive to, and push composition, be more patient when needed, and have the confidence that the camera will capture the moment in most any situation.
There is no question that I am a better photographer this week than last. And my client feedback and results are bearing that out.