Why I love my Nikon D800… and other camera gear

My new outstanding Nikon D800 full frame camera / plus what I use for gear and photo editing at FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Under the gun with a bathroom renovation deadline, I was staying up late and pulling out all the stops to gitter done, leaving ONE day to shoot, edit and build my reveal post. One day. 

Come 2pm, that was it. I hammered shut the last paint can lid, grabbed the tripod and camera before the sun went down, and pressed to shoot… but got nothing except a warning on the screen.

My camera was BROKEN!

The night before, I heard my son yell, “The camera fell!” It was on the tripod and I guess I left it in harm’s way. Ignoring the warning as I was busy painting the bathroom, I guess I should have listened.

My stomache did a bad flip, but only for one second. That’s when an ear to ear smile took over as I devised a 5 second plan that I had wished and shopped for a month ago.

At Christmas, I was so ready for an upgrade, but couldn’t fathom the very high end purchase of a full frame camera. I was still cranking out good pictures with my Nikon D3100, but admit, had trouble with poor lighting. The full frame promised so much more. But I just couldn’t muster up the permission. A broken camera on a deadline gave me free reign. GIDDY!!!!

After school, I passed my son at the entry way, shouting, “Let’s go out to eat! And buy a new camera…” Manipulation at it’s best.

My new outstanding Nikon D800 full frame camera – a review

Nikon D800 full frame camera review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Now of course, I had to capture the camera itself with my iPhone so I could show you the camera! How bitter sweet is that?
My new outstanding Nikon D800 full frame camera - a review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net
The camera

The Nikon D800 is one sweet ride. It’s a full frame camera, which really changes things in photography. I don’t begin to even know all the benefits yet, but what I DO I know is, this is one of the best professional DSLRs on the market and it’s in my house! Full frame gives you a bazillion more pixels, which offers unmatched quality compared to a lower end camera.

Pro means more $ naturally. The body itself was around $2500.

Lenses

Lens wise, you do need full frame compatible lenses as well. $ouch. Old lenses are compatible with a Nikon, however you just won’t get the full frame features the camera is capable of delivering. So I picked up two upgrades for now…

Micro Nikkor 60mm 1:2.8 for very tight and close shots

Nikkor 28mm 1:18 fixed lens for slight wide angle shots

Honestly, I truly haven’t tapped into the power of everything above yet. I was in such a rush to get the shoot done, I was grasping for the controls to ‘just work’ as I shot the bathroom, while googling how to find this and that.

Lens prices greatly range when you get in the full frame spectrum. From $350 and up, the sky’s the limit.

Back pack styled camera bag / My new outstanding Nikon D800 full frame camera - a review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Camera Bag

The Nikon D800 is noticeably heavier than my D3100, so when I picked up a new camera bag to go with it, a backpack style was a must. 

Back pack styled camera bag / My new outstanding Nikon D800 full frame camera - a review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

The camera dude told me this $29 Roots bag was IDEAL. The tabs inside rip out so you can position whatever you desire where. Tons of room, tons of pockets, and off my shoulder, I was sold. Sounds a little crazy to purchase such a cheap bag for such a good camera, but I’ll keep my eye on how it performs.

And I secretly pray everyday my son doesn’t mistakenly grab this bag instead of his nearly identical backpack when jetting off to school…

Back pack styled camera bag / part of Nikon D800 full frame camera review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

So I added a touch of girly to the mix. A burlap rose from Michaels. Cute! I hope it’s girly enough to scare away the boy…

Manfrotto tripod / part of Nikon D800 full frame camera review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

Tripod

And with a brand spankin’ new heavy weight camera, I needed a tripod upgrade as well.

This tripod base is a Manfrotto O55XProB. The body is sold separately from the head so you can mix and match the pieces to suit your own preferences. And can I just say how head over heals in LOVE I am with this set!

The bases came in two heights and I chose the tall one. First notch, your camera soars above your head. 2nd notch you need a ladder! Whoop! (My last tripod was always too short which proved beyond frustrating)

The head is a squeeze lever style, so there’s no more need to endlessly twist dials any longer! And it’s what single handedly sold me on this tripod.

Manfrotto tripod / part of Nikon D800 full frame camera review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

It isn’t cheap. You’re looking at about $250ish for each piece. But with a pro heavyweight camera, it’s a must. And in all honestly, a desire. :)

Salvaged bathroom photoshoot with a Nikon D800 on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

A photoshoot with the Nikon D800

Here’s the coolest part. 

The day I shot the Salvaged Farmhouse Bathroom Shoot (here) was DARK. The room was nearly black. I kid you not. I had no time to wait for a sunny day.

The full frame camera is exceptional for allowing in light without grain. Exceptional doesn’t even begin to describe the difference I am experiencing from the D3100.

I truly believe 100% that this camera saved my shoot, and made it one of the most successful to date.

Lightroom preview / My new outstanding Nikon D800 full frame camera - a review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

[ click photo above to enlarge ]

Photo Editing Software

No good camera taking is complete without a quality photo editing program. I adore Lightroom 5 (a review I did HERE). ADORE. It’s exceptional for toning photos. Naturally Photoshop does it all, but Lightroom is meant for toning and is amazingly easy to use. But do get the latest upgrade… it’s worth every dollar. The new distortion feature is amazing! (will review soon)

What I love most about it are the easy to use sliders to the right of the screen. No need to search through hidden menus for a thing. 

Two tuxedo cats shot with a Nikon D800 / part of a camera review on FunkyJunkInteriors.net

And just because no blog post of mine is ever complete without my other two fur babies in the mix…

A special thanks to Miss Mustard Seed and Songbird for all their advice and encouragement to go full frame. Having someone pick what you need was the easiest decision I’ve made yet. :)

Their own photography is true testimony that if you’re ready for a pro upgrade, go BIG.

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Categories: Photo Shoots, Photo Tips, Photography
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    • Hey Patty! They are generally fast movers but I’ll try working that shutter a little faster on this new machine and see what I can get it to do! :) I’ll attempt to take more cat pictures to show, they are growing so fast!

  1. Donna, your post is so well timed! I just bought my first “big girl” camera a Nikon 3200 and have so much to learn. Moving up from a point and shoot has made a huge difference already. Now I know what comes next. Enjoy your new “toy”. Your pictures are always exceptional, can’t wait to see more. Now I’m off to read about Lightroom:)

  2. What a wonderful review of your new camera! I have learned so much about photography from bloggers such as you and Miss Mustard Seed. Someday I hope to upgrade, and so I am reading reviews like yours with great interest. Your images are fabulous…..

  3. Thanks so much for this post! I love reading posts about equipment that other bloggers use. I purchased a Nikon D3100 last year and I am thinking about upgrading sometime this year.

    Take Care and thanks for the info!
    Mandy Jean

  4. That full frame camera is what I wanted from the very beginning. But I could not afford it :( I’m shooting with a D5100 which is better on lighting than the D3100 but can’t compare to your full frame! I can get decent shots but I work a lot harder to get them and have to do a lot more post editing. I LOVE lightroom 5! I know I’m not utilizing it like I could so I’m heading to read your review of it to see if I can learn anything new! And I can’t wait to read more tips from you on it!

    • Hmmm…. I didn’t offer much in the way of how to use Lightroom… may need to do a series on that!

      I was the same way with a full frame camera, wanted it from the start but couldn’t justify the $ at the time. Now I can! I think these improvements are good in small increments at a time because I would have been totally overwhelmed going to full frame from the get go. There is NO auto feature on a full frame camera, you truly are in full blown manual mode. I relied on auto for a good while there… haha

  5. Does your new tripod have a hook in the center? Where the legs come together…..I learned in a photo class that is for hanging your camera bag from. The weight helps give a tripod more stability. Not all tripods have it, perhaps your new one does. :)

  6. Thank you for sharing your photo tips. You are so “real” and honest. I am barely getting a handle on photo “lingo” and have you to thank for my choice in purchasing the Nikon D3100 and Lightroom 5. :)

    You help a lot of bloggers and I hope you get the appreciation you deserve!

    xo

  7. I am so confused now. I was all set to buy my camera and start my blog, and now I realize I don’t have that kind of money to start out with. What do you suggest for a beginner blogger as far as camera wise? Help!

    • Hi Joanne! By no means do I think everyone ‘should’ get a full frame camera! It took me 7 years learn enough to even consider such a purchase. You can get amazing shots with a good quality point and shoot. As your expertise grows, you’ll find you’ll want to further what you can do. But that comes with a great deal of time and experience. DO get the camera you can afford, and just start! :)

      • New D 800S ( or d810)
        Is about to be posted from Nikon on 26th of July figure one available in September? will have my name on it improved autofocus slightly higher max ISO setting improved visual display on Bach plus faster In camera processing plus raws ? Think it’s a compressed raw system of some type.,,. As with D800 shares same excellent sensor and you will have to have very good lenses to fully benefit from cameras very high resolution ability… So stepping up from D300 ( which because 1.5 multiply on Fx lenses is still very useful for sports nature) will be a huge increase in resolution plus being FF shallow depth of field with appropriate lens….can’t wait ..hmmm

  8. I am thinking of upgrading to an FullFrame Nikon camera. At the moment I am using a D7000. I have invested in good glass and now I think it’s time to upgrade the body.

    Do you recommend to buy the Nikon D800 now or wait for it’s upgrade. Rumors has it that they will be coming up with an upgrade. Would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations about this.

    • Mistake…Nikon releases official specification ion JUNE 26th 2004 (not July so would expect availability early in July/August/September Allan