Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: thomashoven on January 23, 2013, 05:58:18 PM

Title: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on January 23, 2013, 05:58:18 PM
This may be a strange question, as the cameras are very different and for very different uses. I am considering buying both, and as always check the web (dpreview, Nikonrumours, LL etc.) for comments. What I find on the web is what I compare and the reason for my question:

Sony RX-100: Everyone is positive and enthusiastic about what Sony has managed to put in this little package. Almost no complaints and issues.

Nikon D800/D800E: Many complaints about several issues including the major "left AF focus issue" and debris or oil on sensor, and some less significant ones like loosening 10 pin contact, greenish LCD screen, won't trigger wireless flash, camera "freezes" and dark live-view screen. Nikon QC issues??

My search was more thorough as I will also buy a complete set of lenses, and I found the search worthwhile before spending thousands of $. All the Nikon-issues I found also resulted in a search on the Sony, where I found little to raise concern. The Sony is definitely a YES.

Here on LL, few seems to have D800 concerns. Answers to my questions below may assist in my D800e purchase decision:

1. Has anybody here experienced any of these issues? Any problems fixing them under warranty?
2. Does anyone know if there are any fixes, like firmware upgrades or product recalls?
3. Are people expecting too much from the D800? What can you expect compared to some of the cameras I have been using: Some very simple test-pics can be found at www.abamas.com/test (A very mixed bag of cameras indeed)
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: David Watson on January 23, 2013, 06:35:34 PM
Thomas

It's a bit like comparing a John Deere tractor to a Mini Cooper.  I have both (cameras that is). 

The RX100 is a nice shirt pocket go anywhere snapshot camera that cost a few hundred pounds and in an emergency can back up a more serious camera or replace it if that is all that is available.

The D800E with 5 or 6 lenses is my go anywhere do anything location and outdoor camera.  It has had no faults at all, takes terrific very high quality images (with the best glass) and I cannot recommend it highly enough if you have the necessary craft skills and a deep enough pocket to buy the best lenses.

Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on January 23, 2013, 06:55:13 PM
David,

My intention was not to compare the abilities and features of the two very different cameras, but their manufacturing quality, and the issues people have been reporting about them on the Internet. Although in the end of my post, I do wonder how much of an improvement I can expect with a D800. May be the focus issue and the QC of the D800 manufacturing doesn't give me much of an improvement to what i have.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: kers on January 23, 2013, 07:17:38 PM
Sony RX-100: Everyone is positive and enthusiastic about what Sony has managed to put in this little package. Almost no complaints and issues.

Nikon D800/D800E: Many complaints about several issues including the major "left AF focus issue" and debris or oil on sensor, and some less significant ones like loosening 10 pin contact, greenish LCD screen, won't trigger wireless flash, camera "freezes" and dark live-view screen. Nikon QC issues??


people have different expectations with both camera's... in the case of the d800e they want it to be perfect...
 in the case of the rx100 - they are glad to get a decent picture out of this little camera.

I have a d800e and it is the best camera i have ever had in almost every aspect.

I have two things that could be done better..
1 I needed to check and adjust the autofocus for each f1,4 -2 lens wide open.. mine was -15 off- far too much! - I do not know if this problem is  affecting only my camera ...
2 liveview could be a litlle better - indeed dark in very dar situations and not 100% but 50%- still no problem getting the focus right on target...
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: AFairley on January 23, 2013, 07:33:19 PM
Your question as posed is meaningless, because it does not say what the end use of the photographs is.  I own both.  For dedicated "art" shooting, I use the D800E.  When I'm away for the weekend with the wife, I use the RX-100.  They are both terrific cameras.  The RX-100 does very nicely in good light for prints up to around 13x19, but if I'm thinking gallery prints, I use the D800E.  OTOH, I get lots of shots with the RX-100 I would never get with the D800E because I don't always want to be carrying a large camera around with me.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on January 23, 2013, 07:46:59 PM
I am trying to compare manufacturing Quality Control issues, as web-posts indicate a big difference between the Sony RX-100 and the Nikon D800 (in what people expect compared to what they get). I am not trying to compare the image quality of the two cameras, they are too different for that.

For me, the RX-100 is the camera to take when you didn't really want to carry a camera. The D800 is for studio and landscape (almost always tripod-mounted).

Kers is so far the only person who has tried to answer my questions. May be we are just expecting too much of the D800?

I would like to hear from users who have had actual D800 experiences with one of the problems I indicated in my initial posting.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 24, 2013, 12:06:16 AM
Hi,

Check this: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/six-months-of-the-d800-two-photographers-reflect

Tim has or had D800, D800E, RX100, RX1, IQ-180...

Worth reading!

Best regards
Erik


This may be a strange question, as the cameras are very different and for very different uses. I am considering buying both, and as always check the web (dpreview, Nikonrumours, LL etc.) for comments. What I find on the web is what I compare and the reason for my question:

Sony RX-100: Everyone is positive and enthusiastic about what Sony has managed to put in this little package. Almost no complaints and issues.

Nikon D800/D800E: Many complaints about several issues including the major "left AF focus issue" and debris or oil on sensor, and some less significant ones like loosening 10 pin contact, greenish LCD screen, won't trigger wireless flash, camera "freezes" and dark live-view screen. Nikon QC issues??

My search was more thorough as I will also buy a complete set of lenses, and I found the search worthwhile before spending thousands of $. All the Nikon-issues I found also resulted in a search on the Sony, where I found little to raise concern. The Sony is definitely a YES.

Here on LL, few seems to have D800 concerns. Answers to my questions below may assist in my D800e purchase decision:

1. Has anybody here experienced any of these issues? Any problems fixing them under warranty?
2. Does anyone know if there are any fixes, like firmware upgrades or product recalls?
3. Are people expecting too much from the D800? What can you expect compared to some of the cameras I have been using: Some very simple test-pics can be found at www.abamas.com/test (A very mixed bag of cameras indeed)

Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: K.C. on January 24, 2013, 12:45:23 AM
I am trying to compare manufacturing Quality Control issues, as web-posts indicate a big difference between the Sony RX-100 and the Nikon D800 (in what people expect compared to what they get). I am not trying to compare the image quality of the two cameras, they are too different for that.

If only you had stated this in your original post.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: Ellis Vener on January 24, 2013, 10:26:00 AM
[quote am trying to compare manufacturing Quality Control issues, as web-posts indicate a big difference between the Sony RX-100 and the Nikon D800 (in what people expect compared to what they get.)[/quote]

To do that you'll need to look at the number of D800 and RX100 cameras that have been sold vs. the number of complaints and positive comments for each camera. You will then need to subtract from the number of complaints and positive remarks all entries by people who either do not sign their real name or provide a valid email address so that you can confirm that for whatever reason they are not just trolling or blindly echoing what others have said.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: HSakols on January 24, 2013, 10:50:17 AM
I have a nikon d800 for landscape work.  I still have not checked the focusing issue that Thom Hogan mention.  Already a close friend has sent back his because of problems with the 10 pin shutter release connector.  He is quite frustrated. 
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: elliot_n on January 24, 2013, 12:26:44 PM
I bought a D800 last summer that had the left focus issue. The problem wasn't subtle - it would backfocus by about 2ft when focused at 5ft. Nikon UK spent over a month trying to fix it, and returned it with the left AF points perfect, but all other AF points front-focusing. This rather knocked my faith in Nikon (I've been a user for 25 years). I got a refund on the camera. Lately there have been far fewer complaints about focus issues, so I'm considering giving the D800 another go.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on January 24, 2013, 02:16:56 PM
Erik,

Thank you very much for a useful link. It is in line with my impression of the Nikon D800E acquired on the web. I have decided to put my D800E + lenses purchase on hold. Before considering a purchase, I will require the right to have a 14 day full refund no questions asked. May be some of the other guys (with better QC) comes out with something similar soon, or Nikon gets their act together, admit and sort out the problems.

Also thanks to elliot_n and Hsakols for additional supporting information.

Still no negative comments on the Sony RX-100, so I will buy before the next event where I need such a camera. This also involves significantly less money.

Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on January 24, 2013, 02:32:23 PM
Ellis,

I know I am not very scientific, but I have seen more than 20 posts on issues with the Nikon D800, many reporting the same issues. There are also a number of posts by happy D800 owners who do not observe these issues. To me, this boils down to a clear QC issue - enough to put my D800 purchase on hold. I don't think this is the result of a anonymous "hate" movement against Nikon going on out there, or some other irrational explanation to anonymous posts.

On the Sony RX-100 I have found posts from many happy owners, but only one with a complaint: The camera had a particle on it's sensor that appeared after a few shots. To me, that's not an issue, being only a single post. The camera is not environmentally sealed.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: LKaven on January 24, 2013, 03:46:59 PM
I think certainly that distressed D800 owners are the more active voices, in disproportion to the number of satisfied buyers.  This is not to discount the problem at all.  But when they work, they just work, as mine does.  If you have a good return policy, then I would say buy with confidence.  Once you've established that it is free from left-focus aberrations and any other concerns, I think you will enjoy a long life with it.  In general, Nikon bodies are conservatively engineered to be reliable under constant use. 
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: JohnBrew on January 24, 2013, 03:54:09 PM
Happy camper here with D800. No focus issues, no issues period. Just a damn fine camera.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: TMARK on January 24, 2013, 08:27:43 PM
D800e x 2. No issues except for the green cast on the LCD.  Nikon said a fix was coming.

Only one 1.4 lens needed micro adjust. These D800s were purchased in the summer and fall of 2012.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: Rhossydd on January 25, 2013, 01:46:52 AM
I am trying to compare manufacturing Quality Control issues,
Just as important is after sales service. No manufacturer is ever 100% perfect, so what their after sales service is like can be vital.
In the UK Sony's consumer service is terrible, whereas Nikon's is far less moaned about.

Another issue to remember here is the expectations of users. The D800/E will be bought by very demanding photographers that are more likely to discover any minor issue and anything found will be shouted about on the web. Can the same be said for the RX100 ?
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: Eric Brody on January 25, 2013, 12:49:49 PM
Playing with internet statistics, as Ellis said, is a real can of worms. There are a lot of crazy people out there, some have an axe to grind, most probably mean well, some are well informed, some are simply idiots. I am fortunate to have a lot of photo friends. Most of them, I'm happy to say, are honest knowledgeable folk but some are more knowledgeable than others and when I want advice, I pick and choose. I'm sure my friends who ask me questions do the same, choosing me when they think I might be helpful. No one asks me about video, they all know I'm quite ignorant. Reading objective reviews, if there are any such things, can be helpful, but adding up posts from people you do not know makes as much sense as asking a complex medical question of the local car salesmen and will likely get you the same quality of results.

I have a D800e and it seems to be working well. I do not have a Sony, though I'd like to. I am fortunate to have an excellent local store where I can go in, bring my own card and make some images with almost any camera or lens I'd like. That, and my friends, has been more helpful to me than anything else. I just bought a micro 4/3 zoom for a trip, an expensive lens, and while I had and took the option of testing it in the store and just outside the store, I'm still considering bringing it back. I know they'll be good about it, I'm an excellent customer and try hard to make purchases there. Their prices are fair, usually the same as or within 5% of B&H so it makes financial sense as well as. I realize this may seem off topic but there's a difference between reading and using. I will say no more...
Eric
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on January 25, 2013, 01:29:52 PM
After sales service:
I live in Norway, and Nikon used to be distributed and serviced by an independent company here. That company was fantastic. A few years ago, Nikon took over itself (through their Swedish branch?), and my experience is that the quality of after-sales service dropped to average. They had three attempts on my Nikkor lens before it was tolerable. Does this go hand-in-hand with their revised level of QC? (Just my thoughts).

Expectations:
I believe these are very different for the RX-100 and the D800. My impression is that RX-100 better meet it's expectations than the D800 meet it's. I must admit the average D800 customer is likely more skilled, but I anticipate many RX-100 customers are also advanced users looking for a good pocket-camera (like I do).

Decision:
My plan was to use the D800 for some studio and landscape photography after I took some photography classes and got inspired. There I also had the opportunity to use the Nikon D3 and the D3X (I really liked these cameras, the results and the way they handled, but not their price and weight). My photography is only a hobby, and I don't NEED the D800. I would buy it if I expect a positive experience, but now I am too concerned it will give me more headaches than pleasure, and my decision is to put the D800 purchase on hold for now. Thanks to all contributors here who helped me make up my mind.

Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: LKaven on January 25, 2013, 02:22:56 PM
I think the D800 lives up to expectations of it.  But I'm not pushing it for you.

But I would not walk into a photography course with an RX-100 either.

Did I hear you say you already have Nikon glass?  What lenses do you have?

Is there any reason the D600 would not be good, or even the great new D5200, which is a bargain? 

Think of the cost-to-use, which is the depreciation from purchase to resale.  It doesn't cost you very much to own a DSLR for a year, especially a D5200.  After your class, if you're inspired, you can trade up...or not.  Total cost for the year is around $200 or so. 
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: Eric Brody on January 25, 2013, 03:03:11 PM
I do not know how expert you are but... the D800 is a demanding tool. To get the most out of it requires excellent lenses and impeccable technique. Ask yourself the hard question, is this the camera for me? Should you get something less demanding, perfect your technique so you don't get frustrated and when you're ready, however long it takes, get whatever is the state of the art then, be it a D800, its successor or something entirely different. I use my D800e as a view camera substitute, it's almost always on a tripod and the eyepiece shutter is almost always closed as I use manual focus tilt-shift lenses and live view. When I'm out having a walk, or a non-photographically oriented excursion, I use my Olympus OM-D. It makes good images and is a lot lighter to transport if photography is not the primary purpose of the excursion. Good luck but please ignore the internet chatter.
Eric
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: KevinA on January 26, 2013, 05:47:15 AM
  When I'm away for the weekend with the wife, I use the RX-100. 
Now they are the pictures we all want to see :-)
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: pwatkins on January 29, 2013, 01:23:41 AM
Erik,

Thank you for the link to Tim Ashley's review - and thanks to Tim Ashley for providing the detailed commentary!

I am a Canon user and have been wondering, with the advent of the D800/E, whether it was time to move over to Nikon.  (I started with Nikon back in the '80's and switched to Canon in the early '90's.)  It certainly appears that such a move may not be easy or trouble-free.  I am surprised at that - one would think that Nikon would make the effort to get everything right, and it doesn't seem like they have.  And their lack of honest and straight-forward support is puzzling to me, and it seems like the lack of support has been evident for years.

And thank you Thomas for giving voice to the question.

--Paul Watkins
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: ErikKaffehr on January 29, 2013, 01:38:42 AM
Hi,

I think the Nikon D800/D800E is an outstanding camera. The D600 is also very good. It seems that Nikon has a lot of QC issues, LensRentals had addressed the issue in a funny posting:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/12/dear-santa

For critically sharp work you need a tripod and use live view focusing. AF may be good enough at f/8 but not at full aperture. If you don't use a tripod you don't need a D800, in my humble view.

Regarding the RX-100, mine is just fine at short focal lengths. In the long end, corners turn bad. It's a fine little camera, but it has it's limitations.

Best regards
Erik

Erik,

Thank you for the link to Tim Ashley's review - and thanks to Tim Ashley for providing the detailed commentary!

I am a Canon user and have been wondering, with the advent of the D800/E, whether it was time to move over to Nikon.  (I started with Nikon back in the '80's and switched to Canon in the early '90's.)  It certainly appears that such a move may not be easy or trouble-free.  I am surprised at that - one would think that Nikon would make the effort to get everything right, and it doesn't seem like they have.  And their lack of honest and straight-forward support is puzzling to me, and it seems like the lack of support has been evident for years.

And thank you Thomas for giving voice to the question.

--Paul Watkins
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: risedal on January 30, 2013, 10:59:49 AM
I have hand held my d800  together with many lenses  100macro VR, 70-200/2,8 VR  and equal lenses on my Canon 5dmk2  and got lot sharper results from D800, so it depends on your own tremor, exposure time , choice of lens  if you must use a tripod or not
there are more than sharpness, more pixels also gives finer tonal transitions, less jaggies, easier to correct with finer results , cropping rotation etc.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: Derry on January 30, 2013, 01:34:39 PM
only own the 800E and not one issue in my 6K+ photos so far and mine was an early release,,

would I buy again, YES YES YES,,

Derry
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: kers on January 30, 2013, 01:49:16 PM
Erik,

Thank you for the link to Tim Ashley's review - and thanks to Tim Ashley for providing the detailed commentary!

I am a Canon user and have been wondering, with the advent of the D800/E, whether it was time to move over to Nikon.  (I started with Nikon back in the '80's and switched to Canon in the early '90's.)  It certainly appears that such a move may not be easy or trouble-free.  I am surprised at that - one would think that Nikon would make the effort to get everything right, and it doesn't seem like they have.  And their lack of honest and straight-forward support is puzzling to me, and it seems like the lack of support has been evident for years.

And thank you Thomas for giving voice to the question.

--Paul Watkins

My experience is much different..
The nikon service is great ( Holland) Being a NPS member i get a spare copy for each lens/body while the other is in repair.
I have hardly had any problems with all the Nikons i have owned ( about 6) -
My dealer told me some time ago that they hardly get people back with Nikon (D3-D3s -D700-D3x) but a lot of Canon (5dmkII)



Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: thomashoven on February 01, 2013, 04:30:02 PM
My opinion is that Nikon has done a great design job with their cameras, I enjoyed using D3, D3x and D700 while attending photography classes - great cameras to use. The D800 appears to be based on similar design as the D700, but QC....

A great design needs to be followed up by adequate QC in manufacturing, to make sure all units are up to standard before leaving the factory. All the posts still indicate to me a QC problem on the D800 - some people has great working units, others are not so fortunate. These differences indicate QC issues to me. I hesitate to buy an expensive ticket in this lottery until I know more.

The lack of honest and straight-forward support as mentioned by Paul Watkins is an attitude I would like to see Nikon reconsider. Nikon: Please come forward, identify the issues, clarify how to get them fixed and advise after which serial number QC has been improved.

Finally, please also make a firmware-update to fix the only design-flaw mentioned I believe is major, the dark live-view screen making manual setting and focusing hard in poor lighting (e.g. when shooting with studio strobes) mentioned in a number of posts on the net. For me, this is one of the two intended uses for the D800 I was considering.

Who knows, may be a good alternative appears before Nikon gets things sorted...
Contrary to some other buyers, I am not in a rush.
Title: Re: Nikon D800 & Sony RX-100 comparizon. Is Sony better? Should I pass on the D800?
Post by: kers on April 05, 2013, 08:50:42 PM
Must say i have had one issue with the d800e - one that Nikon should have solved before letting it go from the factory..

i have checked the AF accuracy and found out i had to change the autofocus about   -15  each lens!

Surely Nikon made a mistake here and i already lost my faith in autofocus - but now even my 1,4 24mm is autofocus sharp at 1,4...
( but took me about one year to realize what was the problem)
...so check your autofocus!