Why the Nikon D800 is the best for HDR Post Processing

The Nikon D800 is Nikons newest and probably most advanced creation. Its a 36.3 megapixel FX-format sensor DSLR many enhancements shared with the D4. These are around the autofocus system deliver and ability capture significant depth and detail.

Well the above is what Nikon claim is the case. Lets face it, the D800 has changed almost everything. DXo suggests that the sensor quality of the D800 has not exceeded that of medium format cameras which is a significant shift in capability. The interesting claims about sensor quality, megapixels, all new AF, ability to capture 14.4ev of dynamic range and all this with a pretty amazing 4fps made me buy the D800 making the Nikon D3 redundant.

As my primary photography work is conceptual designs, I always need more pixels. If you are in the mindset of 36mp is more than any ones needs then its time to start thinking differently. More pixels are great, bigger file size is of no significance as available storage space is peanuts in comparison. So my point was thinking about post processing, my hypothesis was that the significant enhancement in sensor quality would result in a new type of HDR, if not I will sell it and buy a D3x.

My post processing combines a bunch of differing techniques, some HDR, sometimes tonemapping and a load of photoshop work. I wanted to do a comparative analysis on results so I took the D800 to a photoshoot to get some results. I used the same photographic and post processing techniques, the results were amazing.

I had expectations that were surpassed by the quality and depth of the image. Nikon has certainly kept up with its claims.

So why is the Nikon D800 the best for HDR Post Processing?

We currently know tonemapped HDR that is compressed, holds artefacts, becomes blurry, colours do strange things and when viewed at 100% becomes unprintable. The D800 has changed that, its created the platform for crystal detail, punchy and defined colours, dynamic range to kill for and artefact free in the blacks.

The tonal range, dynamic range and quality of the images captured from the 36.6mp DSLR are far beyond anything I’ve seen before and is likely to assist concept artists and others to a new level of creation.

There was usually a small divide between Canon and Nikon however I think Nikon have just done something which makes the divide far wider. To the point that several of the amazing photographers we know who are die hard Canon fanatics have sold up and switched brand. Even testing the Canon 1Ds MKIII I remember it not being able to produce clean HDR images. This is not a dig at Canon, arguing about brand is crazy when its just a tool. For HDR and post processers, I would recommend the D800 over everything else in the DSLR market.

I believe that the Nikon D800 is significant, really significant and as it saturates, we will start to see really amazing work coming from it. Nikon has delivered on this, the D800 is everything is says it is but also, for those who post process, its a whole bunch more…


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