Which camera body has the better sensor?
Max, Nikon D800 and 85mm 1.8 *soft box
Jordan, Nikon D600 and 85mm 1.8 *beauty dish w/ sock
Okay, I really like this set up, orientation, light angle and crop. A lot. That being said I knew I was going to be able to fully compare these two cameras and sensors after shooting this image.
At first glance the D600 image is much sharper and retains so much of the texture and tone of the skin. I did however shoot this image at ISO 80 and f/11. The D800 image of Max is shot at ISO 100 and f/10. What does that mean? Well, in short the D600 file with look a little sharper with just those small adjustments to the image settings.
Also I used a different light diffuser for the images. I'm always partial to the beauty dish with sock. I really love the light that it projects. Max's shot is using a large soft box which will create softer shadows and highlights. I didn't use a reflector on Max for fill. Looking at Jordan's image that's almost a must for this shot. The reflector adds dimension and interest.
If I was to really have to choose between the D800 and D600 for sharpness and clarity it would hands down be the D600. In regard to ease of use and editing compatibility I would have to say the D800 all day long. Allow me to argue a little why I would be willing to sacrifice image sharpness for the D800.... Each camera has it's own unique RAW file. The D800 RAW files will open in CS5.5 or RAW version 6.4 which is what I currently edit in... No, I don't use Lightroom. I was a graphic designer first and I know PhotoShop better than you'll ever know Lightroom. The D600 was released AFTER the D800 and the RAW files for the D600 will only open in CS6 or RAW 7.2 or higher. The highest plug in for CS5.5 RAW is 6.4 and Adobe will not be supporting the D600 RAW files in CS5.5 because of Creative Cloud. So if you're not editing in either Lightroom 4 or CS6 you're not going to be able to open your D600 RAW files.
Learn from my mistake. I'm currently editing my D600 files in Lightroom 5. I so much prefer using PhotoShop that I really have no desire to use that camera ever again. The D800 is already my first love and I find it really hard to even want to shoot anything but it along with my 85mm 1.8. I'm going to try and get my hands on the D810 and see what she can do and then compare everything to the Canon 5D. I really think that the Canon body adjustments and controls are SO UNFRIENDLY after being a Nikon shooter, I'm excited to see what the deal is with this 5D.
The D800 remains my clear winner in the race with the D600. I'm curious what you think if you've shot either or both of these camera bodies please share your experiences!
Saint Paul based photographer offering Headshot and creative portraiture focusing on Commercial needs.
Nouvelle Design Studio
Elle Halls is a member of the American Photographic Artists
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