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 the field, the D800 Live View has proven itself to be competent for achieving critical focus.
- The Canon 5D Mark III Live View which at first glance seems better, in fact has its own limitations.
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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