Several readers have written to say they are considering a move to Nikon, in particular the D800, due to disappointment with the Canon 5D Mark III (that’s a link to my comments and reader comments, not taking credit for such decisions in any way).
I have not recommended the Nikon D800 or D800E, nor will I do so until I have an opportunity for my own evaluation which must wait until I have the camera in hand.
Since B&H Photo closes for Passover on April 6th for 10 days, my hopes of having one before mid April grow slimmer each day. But there is still a good chance with a bit more than a week to go yet.
UPDATE: B&H corporate communications tells me that they did in fact receive and ship Nikon D800 cameras already. But I have not received a loaner unit as yet.
My advice for subscribers considering a switch from Canon (or an upgrade from the D3x) is to wait for my review. In addition to image quality, my reviews are intended to capture everything I can think of that is relevant to an efficient shooting experience. I don’t waste time rehashing specs or marketing claims— I use the camera in the field and see what is good and what is not so good. In my view, the camera ergonomics and efficiency of use should play a big role in choosing a camera.
The Nikon D800/D800E looks very good on paper. But every camera has its issues and the D800 could have some difficult ones; my primary concern is the quality of Live View, and there are reports floating around of issues with the D800 Live View quality.
I will not make any judgments based on discussion board postings. They are just clues which might or might not be valid. I will wait until I can see for myself, there being no substitute for having used every Nikon pro camera since the D1 and then applying all that perspective to the latest model in my own hands, particularly in comparison to the Nikon D3x and D3s.
I have already ordered a Nikon D800E for myself, but that is for my own particular reasons, and should not be interpreted as an endorsement or recommendation. I also expect a D800 for review from B&H Photo, so I will have both models to compare side by side, assuming there are no further delays from Nikon.
Canon 1D X option for Canon users
I am almost certain that I won’t be spending my money to acquire the 5D Mark III but I remain optimistic that the Canon 1D X “big brick” will deliver image quality meeting my preferences, as I must have both a Canon and Nikon body for my reviews. Otherwise, the 5D Mark II remains just fine for testing lenses on Canon, since Canon has no D800 high-res model.
I prefer the full-size Canon bodies for shooting, if not for carrying, and I suspect that the Canon 1D X will show superior image quality for noise and color.