I am often asked about equipment. What I use and what's best. The truth is it's all subjective and what works for one may not for another.
Back when I was regularly shooting film I used Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, Leica, all sorts of cameras, depending upon situation and requirement.
Now, when I switched to digital I knew a system needed to be chosen. To me it came down to simple ergonomics. Both Nikon and Canon had similar offerings at the time but the Nikon felt better in my hand.
I have been a Nikon Professional for many years now so, although I will/have used Hasselblad, Phase One, Leica and Fuji depending upon the need, I use Nikon as my go to equipment
Recently there have been exciting times within Nikon with the release of the D800. A full frame, 36.3 megapixel powerhouse that (many say) rivals a lot of Medium Format bodies.
I am not going to review this goliath of a body here, there are many websites that will do a much better job of that than myself, but I am going to explain how this has impacted my photography. Now, just because you have a driving license does not mean you can drive a Bugatti as well as a Mini (not to their potential anyway) and this camera is no different it will highlight every slight imperfection (both in technique and subject). If you do not show it due respect it will chew you up and spit you out! For many years I have preferred the freedom and flow of shooting handheld, and although it's perfectly possible with the D800 a steady platform (i.e. a Tripod) is truly a good idea to eek out all the sensor's potential. Also, although my collection of Nikon lenses are no slouches in the quality department, the D800 cries out for the best glass possible to show it's incredible sensor off.
Enter my newest tool, the Zeiss 100mm f2 T* Makro-Planar ZF.2.
So, we have the sensor, we have the quality of optics, yet still (for me anyway) there is something missing. Remember, I am trying to eek out every possible ounce of quality this amazing sensor can offer here, it is indeed an amazing body in it's own right (I am just searching for MY ultimate setup). As with so much in life, a sum is only as good as it's parts and I feel that the viewfinder and rear LCD screen are far outresolved by the sensor on this camera. The best way (arguably) to focus the D800 is on a tripod, using liveview and the electronic zoom function to fine focus. However, the lcd screen could be enhanced in my opinion to provide a better visual performance (and therefore better focussing leading to superior quality images, the quest for the ultimate remember).
Do I have a solution? I am not sure yet but I do have a plan. To add another tool to my kit which I believe will enhance my shooting experience even more and lead to possibly the best quality I can hope for from this camera, an EVF from the award winning company Zacuto.
I will write more about this little marvel soon and explain why, although it is mainly marketed as a video aid, I believe it will aid with the D800 and it's ultimate photographic capabilities,
For now, if you would like to read about the amazing EVF you can click below;
Zacuto Viewfind.Z-Finder Evf Pro