I know many people flatteringly like my thoughts on such things, but I will start my ‘first thoughts’ on the D800 and D800E with a few general comments.
First, Nikon deserves a pat on the back getting now two cameras (D800’s & D4) at the pinnacle pro end of their line up into the market, following both the problems in Japan and Thailand last year.
That is some achievement and was probably a very good lesson in business organisation.
The D800 models were certainly effected by this.
My next comment is that I think most will have thoughts that can be summed up in three letters…wow! Especially when you look at the price.
But I must also right up front offer a few words of caution.
As many know I have a very established product expertise in this system, based not just on using so many products over decades, but their application in real use as a photographer across numerous genres.
So for example, having used the D3x extensively, plus medium format cameras regularly for specific tasks, I can say with some confidence the following; you are going to have to be right at the top of your game if you are to get the best from these cameras, and not in fact cause drawbacks due to the resolution, file sizes and associated optics and required technique.
I do not mean to put people off, but inspire them to look at all the other aspects that allow these cameras to shine.
For example, in commercial and some social photography, if you don’t have a make up artist and very good lighting skills, every flaw even in great skin can show. That may be too much for the average person shot, unless you really do want warts and all.
Don’t let me put you off, because in people photography, landscape and many others, there is real potential here that when you unlock it in the right way, will simply amaze.
But if your existing cameras are giving you plenty of quality for the way you use your images, do you want the extra post capture workload, and larger file sizes as well? It is a serious question worth asking?
But in the studio and out on location, these cameras I think are going to please a lot of people, both professionals and a significant number of enthusiasts.
That said, for many uses and types of photography, there will be other cameras such as the D4 or D3/s that are better practical solutions.
More to come in these first thoughts, as we consider among others which Nikon may be right for different needs and uses.
But just so you don’t think I am cool to the D800 models, I repeat this is a significant camera launch for many areas where demanding image quality is paramount.