I just surrendered the camera today and I've got about 100 shots to look at and mull over. Admittedly, this was a hurried test, but I wasn't out to confirm the already proven image quality of the D800E but to see if it would fit into my workflow. I have no doubt that when I'm day hiking with a tripod and cable release I'll be happy with the results, once I've figured out the general handling of the camera (my, what a lot of buttons and menus!) But when I backpack, I don't work with a tripod and I only carry one lens, so my questions were whether or not I could hand-hold the Nikkor 24-120 zoom and produce usable pictures. And are they appreciably better than what I have done with my Canon 5D and its 24-105 lens.
The quick answer is yes on all counts. Vibration Reduction and steady hands produced pictures with no evidence of excessive camera shake, even at 1/40th second a couple of times. Although I generally shoot at an ISO of 100, I certainly was pleased with higher ISO settings when I felt I needed them to obtain higher shutter speeds, whether for reduction of camera shake or subject movement.
I know I'd be even more thrilled with the results using prime lenses, but for backpacking sans tripod, the lack of VR on most of those lenses makes me wonder if their increase in resolution might not be sacrificed at slower shutter speeds.
So it was a successful weekend-no great shots but enough telling ones to provide answers to my questions. And Bernard, thanks for waving you magic wand and making the clouds go away Saturday. If I had known of your influence, I'd also have asked for spring weather, green hillsides and flowers.