Nikon D800 Sample Edit

Nikon released image samples from the D800 a few weeks ago. With all the new hardware and software I recently purchased, I decided to try and edit one of the marketing samples.

This sample was taken with a Nikon D800 by famed wedding photographer, Cliff Mautner. The original was taken in RAW and converted to a JPG. Unfortunately, Nikon won’t provide the actual RAW file, but the 17MB JPG Fine sample will do.

Here is what the original looked like:

If you click on the file, you will get a 50% reduction of the original 75MB JPG. I had to do this to be able to post to this blog. The image details, even at this highly compressed and reduced sample are stunning! Supposedly, there was no editing done on this original. If you could see the original 17MB JPG file, you could see every hair out of each pore on her face, tiny specs of make up dust, even the edges to her contact lenses!

Here is my edit in Aperture 3:

Here is another edit using Lightroom 4:

Again, these edited samples are a 50% JPG reduction from the original 17MB JPG which was created from a 75MB RAW file! I went a little overboard and over-cooked her face a bit in both edits. I could have spent another 10 minutes getting it just right, but my purpose wasn’t to get the perfect image, it was really to test out what it would be like to edit these types of files.

After this experience, I am a bit worried about the performance with editing a 75MB RAW file. The file I was editing was only a 17MB JPG file and my maxed-out iMac i7 with 16GB of RAM was far from snappy! Aperture 3 definitely needs to be upgraded to keep up with these new file sizes. Lightroom 4 seemed to handle the larger files better.

Should I cancel the D800 and save a little longer for the D4? Oh, first world problems! 😛

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5 thoughts on “Nikon D800 Sample Edit

    • Yah totally 🙂 I’m just getting the typical pre-arrival nervousness and buyer’s remorse. It’s funny because we spend all this money to get the greatest detail out of the photos we shoot only to destroy much of the detail in post process! LOL It just got me thinking that for my use 36MP is overkill, which I already knew, but actually going through the process of editing something that large made me realize it even more. I can see why so many studio and landscape photographers are excited about this camera!

  1. I remember when HD TV became mainstream, there were concerns about how much it would highlight the imperfections of newscasters, actors, and other performers.

    This image drives that point home. With a lower resolution, you might just think of what a stunning woman she is. But with all this detail, you can see every nose hair, ever line on her face, every wrinkle, etc…

    That’s not to take away from the overall picture, it’s just going to be a big change!

    • 3-4 years from now we may be looking back to today and think, “36MP, that’s it?”

      I am not a professional photographer. Photography and the associated equipment is strictly a hobby for me. Technology is my hobby. I totally understand that getting all this equipment is not going to make me a better photographer nor is it going yield “better” shots.

      Based on everything I’ve read or seen, this should be a fantastic camera for professionals. We will see how pleasant or frustrating it will be as an everyday camera for an everyday person like myself.

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