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D800 Live View vs Other Nikon Bodies and Canon 5DM3

The Nikon D800 Live View implementation is perhaps its weakest point as a camera, because the Live View image at full magnification has an interpolated look to it.

Two important caveats apply:

In short, my own experience is at odds with some internet claims that D800 Live View is “unusable” at full magnification, and my experience is also at odds with claims that the 5D Mark III Live View is superior. Detailed comments on those cameras are found below.

My actual results show that I am able to achieve pinpoint focus with the D800 as well as I can with the D3x or D3x (using the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro). Given the higher resolution, that is saying something. Though it does not excuse the sub-optimal Nikon implementation; the D800 demands more effort from the user than should be necessary (as do the D3x and D3s and Canon 5DM3). Why do neither Canon nor Nikon implement focus peaking as found on much less expensive cameras— it’s a glaring omission.

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Since 2006, Diglloyd Advanced Photography is the authoritative review and reference for DSLRs and their lenses: Canon and Nikon primarily, but also Pentax and some medium format. Reviews of key DSLRs are included, but the primary focus is on lens performance. Also included is a wealth of technique and workflow approaches.

DAP includes thousands of pages of exclusive coverage and high resolution Retina-grade examples detailing Canon and Nikon DSLR bodies and their lenses, with in-depth analysis of sharpness and contrast, color, bokeh, vignetting, distortion, MTF, and flare, behavioral and practical usage.

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Nikon D800 Live View — 1 step off maximum magnification
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