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Christmas Gift Guide

ISO 200

Sharpness

Dynamic range, highlights

Noise, ISO 400

ISO 800 JPEG

ISO 1600, JPEG

ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

ISO 3200, JPEG

ISO 3200 JPEG

Extended ISO, raw

Auto white balance

Moiré

Picture controls

Color

Sharpness

SB-910 flash

This is just a basic image shot at ISO 200. The D800 produces excellent, very naturalistic shots. (Download the full 13.7MB image.)

(1/100 sec, f7.1, ISO 200, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 56mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
I think this shows how sharp, but not overprocessed, the D800's images can be. (Download the full 14.8MB image.)

(1/100 sec, f7.1, ISO 200, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The camera retains enough detail in the highlights to allow for significant recovery in raw processing.

(1/100 sec, f8, ISO 50, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 32mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Normally, fixing the exposure on this inadvertently underexposed image (inset) would result in at least some noise and/or color shifts. But note how clean the adjusted image still is and how saturated the colors remain.

(1/125 sec, f2.8, ISO 400, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This ISO 800 photo looked so clean that I gave up looking for an example of noise artifacts and instead cropped in on the detail available in the image--that's from all the way in the back through the tunnel.

(1/15 sec, f4.5, ISO 800, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 24mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Blacks and dark blues are especially difficult to render well at high ISO sensitivities, but I think this evening sky came out pretty well.

(1/250 sec, f8, ISO 1600, AWB, spot metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 66mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
You can see some noise in the ISO 1600 shots, and the processing smears out some of the detail. The raws are very good, though.

(1/160 sec, f4.5, ISO 1600, AWB, spot metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 31mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
An ISO 3200 sample, scaled down in Photoshop using the bicubic sharper algorithm.

(1/125 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The D800 has noise at ISO 3200, but its in-camera processing is pretty intelligent. Notice how you can only see the artifacts in the true shadowy areas, but none in the brighter areas. (Download the full 21.4MB image.)

(1/125 sec, f3.5, ISO 3200, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 48mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
This shot registered in the extended ISO range as ISO 10159. The JPEG looked a little mushy because the camera boosted the exposure a bit too much, but with some quick-and-dirty processing, the raw looks pretty good at small sizes.

(1/160 sec, f9, ISO 10159/Hi 0.7, AWB, spot metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The D800 has two AWB settings: one for "normal" tones and another that preserves the warm look of indoor lighting.

(1/160 sec, f4, ISO 1600, AWB, spot metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 56mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The D800 does a very good job on tricky textures like this. It'll be quite interesting to see how the D800E handles the same. (Download the full 11.4MB image.)

(1/100 sec, f6.3, ISO 200, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The Standard and Neutral color settings are similar enough that I had no qualms about shooting in Standard; the greens are just slightly pushed in Standard. But they're so similar that I might have switched the samples here. I can't tell. Neutral does have the sharpness turned down, however.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The D800 renders excellent color. The flowers in the upper right might look like there's some color contouring (depending upon how your display is calibrated), but that's an artifact of scaling.
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
The camera does a good job of resolving detail, even at midrange distances.

(A protestor who described how the police beat her twice, broke her ribs, and grabbed her camera to erase photos she'd taken.)

(1/125 sec, f2.8, ISO 3200, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
I haven't yet had a lot of time to work with the new flash, but thus far I like the quality of the light it emits and how well the exposure system works in conjunction with the D800.

(1/100 sec, f2.8, ISO 100, AWB, matrix metering, 24-70mm f2.8 lens at 70mm)
Caption by / Photo by Lori Grunin/CNET
Updated:
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