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Rumors Indicate That a New D800 is On it's Way

Published: 05/10/2011
By: larry

It's not that I'm obsessed with new gear, I just hate to see anyone buy gear just before new stuff comes out. claims that there's a 99% probability of a upgrade to the D700 that will be called the D800 and will have a whopping 36MP sensor. I guess Nikon didn't get the memo that explains that megapixels don't matter any more. Price is expected to be around $4,000 USD and the announcement is suppose to be October 26 and the release November 24.

This would probably be a good time to restate what I always tell beginners in real estate photography: You are better off spending your money on a great wide angle lens than on a fancy DSLR body. When I put my real estate photography hat on, the single most important thing about full frame DSLRs (5DMKII, D700, D3 etc) is that you can get the most out of the two greatest wide angle zooms on the planet- the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II .

Probably the most frequent question I get is what lens should I use for my small sensor DLSR like D90 or Rebel XTi? My answer is always, if you have a Canon small sensor DSLR like a XTi etc,  get a Canon 10-22mm if you can afford it otherwise go with the Sigma 10-20mm. Sigma makes a 10-20mm for Canon, Sony, Minolta and Pentax. This is probably one of the most widely used wide-angle lenses in real estate because it is good quality for less than $500 USD.

14 comments on “Rumors Indicate That a New D800 is On it's Way”

  1. @Larry - you are always giving great advice. I am in total agreement with you regarding putting your money into the lens. With the wide variety of bodies on the market, most have just about every feature you could want. The only real choice to make in a body is full sensor or not and with the great wide angle lenses out, a beginner can get away with a smaller sensor.

    That being said - we are full sensor people and what makes the difference for us is our 24 tilt/shift lens by Canon. This lens lives on our camera. Our lens before the t/s was the 16-35mm by Canon and that was just about perfect. As we grew our business and our financial status changed, we moved up to the 24 t/s, but even now, we keep the 16-35 in our bag for those times we need a little wider or a little narrower or need to get a little closer. With the 24 t/s we can always stitch a few pictures as well. We do our panoramics with the 16-35 in a vertical position on our nodal ninja head. And, we also use our 16-35 on our backup camera which is a 7D if two of us have to shoot at the same time.

    Before buying any camera or lens, the other thing we do (we are lucky because we have a great professional rental company - Tempe Camera in our backyard) is rent the camera or lens to see if it is worth the money to buy or upgrade.

    Best of luck to all of you beginners and for those of you upgrading either to a new Nikon or a new Canon - remember to upgrade for the right reasons - your business needs the features or your old camera is just too old to use anymore. Or, you could just be a techno junkie and heres to hoping for a lot of fun with your new toys!

  2. @Suzanne- Excellent point about the 24mm tilt/shift lenses! These are the ultimate lens for shooting interiors. These are sharper that the zooms, correct converging verticals in the camera and make sure you don't get carried away with ultra-wide shots... it doesn't get any better than this!

  3. Great advice. Have been using a D700 and D3 with a 10- 24 and 12-24 for several years now . I get a 5.1 mg raw file with great results. See my website. Much faster processing less storage. Have 14-24 2.8 (fantastic) lens but really unnecessary for 90% of real estate listings. Keep your expenses and time processing down. Only go to the new and larger stuff stuff to play. Don't put it in your business model.

  4. It could be a D400 instead. They got wrong in September where they said the D800 was going to be released and nikon just gave out a mirrorless with interchangable lenses.

  5. Unfortunately, there are far too many "photographers" out there who live and die on pixel count ... (see this blog post I wrote on ActiveRain regarding the "mega-pixel myth": As you can see from the comments, a lot of people just don't get it.

    That said, I agree with your advice - unless there's a compelling reason to upgrade the camera body, it makes far more sense to put money into good glass ... or time-saving software.

  6. Also worth mentioning is that anyone thinking of stepping up their camera body to one with many more megapixels will need to also make sure their computer setup is up to the task - in terms of HD Space, RAM and processor speed (usually in that order).

  7. Suzanne, in case you don't know, you can use the Canon 24mm ts-e with the Canon 1.4x teleconverter to achieve a focal length of approximately 35mm. Quality is still good with the original 24mm ts-e, and with the new 24mm ts-e II, the quality is still quite high, and should be higher than with the 16-35.

  8. Hello all, thank you very much for your contributions on real estate photography, it has given me a little more insight into this world in which I am very much a beginner.

    I do have one question which I cannot find an answer to.

    I understand that Full Frame is the way to go for the optimal shot (with a great lens of course) BUT how much of a difference does having a smaller sensor make? I'd like to purchase something asap but have not gotten a clear answer to this. Are there any side by side shots of a full frame with great lens vs. great small sensor with great lens? Does the difference come down to distortion? How much does software alleviate this and is it generally a quick fix or time consuming?

    I'm an agent in NYC which typically has cramped spaces...I'm just looking to take beautiful shots (will learn over time obviously) and would be willing to maybe pay up for a full frame with great lens provided that it produces enough of a superior shot to justify it for me. If it's nominal I'd just go with the small sensor and call it a day.

    Your help is greatly appreciated!

  9. The reason why people don't always use full frame is: cost, weight.
    In the end, a lousy photo with a flagship full frame dslr is a lousy photo, a good photo with a cell phone camera is a good photo.
    A photo taken with the worst full frame camera with the worst full frame lenses is still better then a photo taken with the best cropped sensor camera with the best lens.
    Elan, just google. go to Dxomark and compare sensors, go to dpreview and compare images of different sensors, go to snapsort and compare cameras.
    Does it make a difference? yes. Is it noticeable on 95% of the shots after editing and making them small size? Only if you very closely inspect it and search for the finest details. No normal person will notice really.
    There are only very few situations where a full frame and lenses will give you a great advantage, real estate photography is not one of them.
    But it's not so linear, new cropped sensor cameras perform very similar (image quality wise) to mid-range full frames (because there are no recent full frames, yet).

    And don't forget, lenses are far more important then the camera. The difference from a shot taken with the same lens on different cameras is not much, with photo taken with different lenses in the same camera the difference is huge.
    I had to make that decision and after much researching and analysing imo full frame is not worth it.

    The key for you is to understand how the difference is in real world scenarios that you will use the camera for.
    Many great photographers don't use full frame cameras, the limit is you, not the camera. Just check the post about the last winner of the PFRE Photographer of the month, it was taken with a D90 and a Sigma 10-20mm lens, not even an high-end cropped sensor camera, the lens is nothing special, nikon 10-24 and 12-24 are much better. Anyway, the photo? fantastic, suberb, really incredible. would it make a great difference if the photo was taken with a full frame? sure not.

    Of course for this kind of photographs you always need to some serious editing either if the photo taken from full frame or not. You have many posts about correcting the verticals. Check previous posts about PTlens, you will love it.
    Don't forget, your skills are way more important then any dslr you use.
    Just read the blog and buy the ebook.

  10. @Pedro- Thank you very much, that was a very helpful post. I'm ready to go forward with a D7000 purchase. Now my question is for the lens. You say Nikon 10-24 is better than the Sigma 10-20. Mind explain how so? The lens review page seems to indicate the Sigma is superior on Nikon crop factor cameras. Your advice is appreciated!

  11. I've been using a Sigma 10-20mm with Nikon for real estate for almost five years now (with a D70, now D200 and occasionally the D7000), and it's perfectly fine. In fact it's really sharp, and no realtor will ever be able to tell the difference between photos shot with a Sigma vs. Nikon lens. (Heck, I bet a lot of photographers wouldn't either, unless they're pixel-peeping.) The fact is that your average real estate photo is going on the web and maybe a flyer -- even if you're doing high-end work. The difference in quality won't be noticeable by your client, while the difference in price will be noticeable to your accountant. Same goes for camera bodies, in my opinion -- get the right tool for the job.

    Don't get me wrong -- I agree with Larry and the conventional wisdom that good gear makes a difference, and spending money on lenses is better than bodies. And while I'm sure to lust after a D800 (although 36MP is ridiculous), I would be purchasing it for other work -- not real estate.

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