I did get out for quite a while with the D800E today. Main task: carry it around town with one hand for a while, see how it feels. (At this point I'm evaluating this camera and lens for purchase, not "testing" it in any objective sense. When I'm photographing, I tend to walk with the camera hanging from my right hand—a holdover from a long-ago medium-format SLR that didn't accept a camera strap.) Verdict: comfortable enough. But I'd get a wrist strap.
As promised, here's the Virgin Mary statue picture (this is at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Waukesha, by the way) with more ambient daylight, taken about half an hour after sundown (ISO 1600, handheld). I don't see how including the telephone poles adds anything to the picture.
This color record shot shows you approximately how dark it seemed subjectively when I took the first picture—still a little light in the sky. (Click on any of these to see them somewhat larger.) But just for fun, check this out:
That's a screenshot of the telephone wires in the background to the right of Mary's head—the white rectangle from the JPEG above. If you click on this you should see it 200%, which is really larger than you need to pixel-peep if you're printing (100% is plenty). No noise reduction of course, and bear in mind those wires aren't even entirely in focus.
I don't know about you, but this is plenty of detail for me, after shooting 35mm Tri-X for twenty years.
And look at this. This is a frame straight out of the camera, at I think ISO 2500, a screenshot again:
And just look at all the shadow detail that's in the same frame when I crank the sliders:
Yowzuh. That'll set ya free.
This is about as good as I can do from tonight's shooting, and I don't like it better than the original shot from yesterday. Sometimes you have to see in order to tell, though. (And a disclaimer: there's some Photoshop compositing in this, to get rid of some stray light sources, as you can see in the two frame grabs above it. No £10,000 for me.)
I do not get good pictures wandering around town, but this must be the King of Stumps. Somehow I've got to find out what the story is behind this tree-that-was...this bad boy is twenty feet tall.
The amount of detail you get seems almost a little...intoxicating. Or whatever the photo-geeky equivalent of "intoxicating" is.
I might actually like this. There are all kinds of delicate things going on in the big version; might depend how much detail shows up in a print. I'd have to put it on the board for four or five days to sort out how I feel about it.
Again, seems like plenty of detail for me, at ISO 1600. (And again, do I really need a tripod here?) Although it could take a bit of noise reduction, depending on what showed up in a print—the files have a slightly gritty look from way in close (although I haven't even shot the camera below ISO 800 yet!). Bear in mind that noise relates to size; this detail is only ~600 px wide, so the whole file is twelve times as wide as you're seeing this. (I should do a comparison of the A900 vs. the D800E, shouldn't I? Don't hold your breath...that's not the sort of thing that interests me very much. And making sure such a comparison is rigorous, as Ctein will attest, is too much like work.)
Here (above) is the same detail converted in Nikon NX2, saved as a TIFF, then opened in Photoshop and converted to grayscale. Seems to have none of that grittiness—less noise—but not as much sharpness; as the ACR conversion could use a little noise reduction, this could use a little unsharp mask. Looks better to me, though.
Did I mention the weather cleared up? Anyway, here on Day Two, the Big Dragoon and I are getting on quite well.
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