Nikon D800, Canon 5D Mark III & Lightroom 4

March 16, 2012 by Jason Hines

So I’m a bit late posting about all of this, but there’s a whole lot going on in the photography world right now. Lightroom 4 has been released and let me tell you – the innovations are pretty awesome! If you haven’t downloaded purchased your copy or downloaded your trail yet, it’s time. And for all you Aperture users out there, it’s okay that you’re curious… It’s a natural thing. This is a great time to see what the grass is like on the other side.

The really big news of course is the latest DSLR releases. With the new Nikon D800 pushing the limits of image resolution to the new heights of 36 megapixels and the Canon 5D Mark III’s excellent performance in low light, both of these companies have made some great (if somewhat subtle) innovations which continue to push the limits of photography as we know it. Between all of this and with the crazy quality of the iPhone 4s camera and the introduction of the mirror-less camera system there is a lot of question about what the future will hold. All of this without even talking about the video aspects and possibilities of these new age cameras.

Personally, I am pretty excited about the Nikon D800. I love the performance and durability of my D700 but have been wishing for sometime for an increase of megapixels. Little did I know that Nikon would triple the resolution in the updated D800. From the initial test shots, I must admit that I hoped for a bigger leap forward in high ISO performance, but one stop step forward is better than no stop at all. Am I the only one who wishes that we could combine the performance of the D800 with the 5D III?

The Big Questions

My twofold question for you is simple – 1: What are you most excited about when it comes to the latest photography gear out there? 2: What would you like to see in the future?

Three Fingers

Today’s image is from the Devil’s Playground in Escalante. This is a great area that you can spend a lot of time exploring and come away with a lot of different compositions. I took this shot just after the sun went over the horizon so there weren’t any hard shadows to deal with.

The Devil's Playground - Escalante, Ut

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon 16-35
Processing: Photoshop CS5
Image Type: Single Exposure


  1. Samantha says:

    I must admit that I hoped for a bigger leap forward in high ISO performance, but one stop step forward is better than no stop at all.
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  2. Len Saltiel says:

    Fist of all very nice shot Jason. Very nicely composed.

    As far as the new Lightroom, I think they really improved the develop module. As far as the map module, I don’t think I will use it much and I haven’t tried he book module yet.

    I may have a very different take on the new cameras. I primarily shoot landscapes and cityscapes so I don’t know how often I would use the low light capability, probably not enough to pay up for it. The megapixels of the D800 leave me scratching my head fa bit as they are cramming a lot more pixels on the same size sensor which, in theory, reduce the quality of them. Maybe they have come up with new processing to minimize the quality loss. Since I am not a pro and I don’t blow up my images to huge sizes, not sure I see the benefit.

    I know that some leading photographers (including Trey Ratcliffe) are predicting the death of the mirrored DSLR. Time will tell. Till then I think I will be sticking with my D700 and D300s.
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  3. Adam says:

    I love the LR4 – really great improvements. EspeciallybI am quite excited about the ability to color correct video and trim it. Makes my workflow a lot easier.

    As for new cameras I must admit that my excitement is a bit below. I am a Sony-shooter – and I love my A77. My irrittation comes from the fact that this camera has gotten so little acclaim. We are talling full HD 1080p AVCHD2 recording, 24 mp, 12 fps. It is a great camera, but still it had gotten very little press on the web. It is a pity that we have accepted that only two companies compete in the DSLR-space. Especially since Sony is not that far behind Nikon in market share.

  4. A.Barlow says:

    First off awesome shot man!

    2nd I am amazed they were able to even move forward at all in ISO performance on the D800. That is a huge amount of pixels even for a FF sensor. Granted you get huge resolution and even more so if you get the one without the filter. I guess it’s one of those things that isn’t made for everyone. On the 5DIII side I think it’s WAY over priced – like much of Canon gear sadly. I was pretty underwhelmed with the changes they made. I’m still debating on if the HDR mode on can be actually usfull, or just a gimmick. Gunna get the chance to shoot with one soon, so let’s see.
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  5. ed says:

    Well I don’t know that the grass is greener for Aperture users in Lightroom. LR4 has only just now caught up in its video capability. Its ability to drive dynamic slide and integrated video presentations within the application is still far behind Aperture 3 and again they have only caught up to Aperture 3 in book publishing albeit with Blurb which is a great move. Aperture 3 has had curves and RGB curves since the beginning so Lightroom users only now get color channel curves. However I think that you need to consider LR even if you’re a diehard Aperture fan (as I was) as its ACR engine is superior and the community surrounding the application provides a huge advantage.

    LR4′s performance is sluggish vs LR3 at least in my experience, and also many others have noted this issue in the community so I fear they have some friction to deal with. All that being said the Adobe Camera Raw engine which is the processing core to LR4 is the best in the industry. Bringing shadow and highlight adjustments and adding selective noise to the brush is awesome. I don’t know why anyone would buy Topaz Denoise or any other 3rd party denoiser if they have Lightroom 4.

    However I am disappointed that I cannot use the fill slider in Adobe Process 2012 (core in LR4) and must switch back to Adobe 2010. This prevents a creative constriction in using fill, highlight, and shadow sliders together. There is something unique about Fill that shadows and highlights just don’t have.

    Having video in LR4 is great although limited in its ability to create video-slide shows. What is very cool for Photographers is the ability to do some minor color correction on your video files and even add some presets. To do a preset for video is very clunky as is the typical Adobe fashion in that you need to save a highlight frame, adjust that, save those adjustments as a preset and then apply to your video clip in the quick develop module-lame but cool at the same time.
    What’s more exciting is the new content aware, video editing capabilities and 3D effects in CS6. These new enhancements can take your photography/video to new levels and I’m waiting to get my hands on CS6.

    Lytros is a fantastic concept where the worlds of photography and social networking can collide right in your image. The mirror-less capabilities coming on scene show a huge shift in photography gear in the coming years and one has to wonder if the DSLrs as we know them today will be a relic in the foreseeable future.

  6. Wayne Frost says:

    From what I have learned so far, the D800 is going to be high resolution mega-monster (meant in a good way). I am drooling over the thought of acquiring one. Before I even consider the D800, I am thinking that I have to seriously beef up my computing resources. Can you imagine the size of the TIF files that would result from processing D800 images as HDR?
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  7. Adam Allegro says:

    So, I have been using LR4 for about a month now and have fallen in love. I agree that the Fill light slider is missed, but can mitigate that by losing highlights and upping shadows, then messing with overall exposure. I am still not able to export to Silver EFEX Pro with LR4…. I have been reading and reading and I cannot find a solution yet. All in all, a huge improvement over LR 3 methinks…

    D800 – Pre-ordered mine on Day 1. I have been waiting for this for quite some time now and held off on a D700 (as hard as that was…). A week and a half or so and I will be shooting with it.

    Oh, by the way, nice shot J! This one rocks!
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  8. LensScaper says:

    First – fantastic shot. The three fingers remind ever so slightly of the bizarre figure on Easter Island in the Pacific.

    What most excites me I think about the latest gear is how image taking, and the capacity to process them, is extending seriously into iPhone and iPad territory. That appeals to me. As for the future – call me old-fashioned – but I think the pace of change and the deluge of new cameras etc is getting to a point where the expense of keeping up with the ‘newest’ will become unsustainable. And we come back to the cornerstone that within limits – the gear always comes second to the ability to ‘see’ the image. WE all know that as photographers, but the guy on the street I guess splashes his cash and then can sometimes feel a bit let down when his images don’t suddenly rocket up the scale. That’s advertising for you! it’s good at persuading folk to part with a wad of notes.
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  9. Super clean processing Jason. I dig it!

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