Home > Photography, Travel > On the road with Nikon D800 Part 1

On the road with Nikon D800 Part 1

Nikon D800 with me in Indonesia and Vietnam

Some photographers say one should never go on assignment with a brand new camera without knowing it inside out in order to guarantee the outcome. Well, I am not professional photographer so I don’t have to worry about that much. However I am going to take Nikon D800 as my only camera for my 5 day trip to Indonesia. I didn’t take too many photos with it just yet. I briefly skimmed through manual, menus, controls but that is pretty much it.

First I thought I take my good old D700 with me but after holding my loaded camera bag I opted for one camera only, the D800.  I thought that controls on both cameras are nearly identical apart from few differences so it shouldn’t be a problem to pick it up easily.  I remember  taking D700 to Thailand few years ago without actually owning a Nikon camera before (well I had Fuji S3 Pro which is Nikon body based camera) and I had no problem to use the camera at all. Another reason for having two bodies was that I don’t have to swap lenses often and prevent the sensor to get dusty. However after giving it some thoughts I decided to leave D700 home.

To give you some idea what kind of environment I am going to use it as I mentioned I am going to Indonesia for 5 days. Ultimate goal is to climb the Mt Semeru, one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and also highest point on Java. Once in the area I also decided to pay a second visit to Mt Bromo. Environment I will be using the camera in ranges from hot and humid lowlands to much colder and also dustier places in Semeru and Bromo areas.

What is in my camera bag

  • Nikon D800 body
  • Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8
  • Nikkor 80-200mm 2.8
  • Nikkor 50mm 1.4
  • remote shutter release
  • spare batteries
  • ND and graduated ND Lee filters
  • IR filter
  • about 60GB worth CF cards
  • Macbook Air with Lightroom 4
  • medium sized Manfrotto tripod

Seems a lot huh? (This proved to be overkill for this particular trip) In fact my main backpack is lighter than camera bad. Well it always is 🙂 With huge size of D800 files there is never enough room on your CF cards so I decided to bring the computer and download the images on the go. It would be also good feedback to check upon images and see how sharp they are or if I need to brush up on my shooting technique (I am sure I will have to). There will be no attempt to do any image editing on Macbook Air. I do run Lightoom but the screen size and colours may not give the justice to files. What I can do is to see the overall image quality, do some basic sorting, key wording etc. In a perfect world I should have all the photographs backed up at least one more place but again, this is not a commercial shoot so I AM HOPING that nothing bad happens. I will also to try slow down a tad when taking photos and think first before pressing the shutter. My previous approach of taking thousands of shots and then pick one lucky sharp and well enough framed will not work with Nikon D800. So good luck to me.

I am not going to pixel peep the files, nor compare it to any other camera maybe with exception of D700 since I am familiar with it.  I am more curious about general handling, file management, performance in the field, answer the question about did I really need this camera? Well I can say I definitely did not….but I wanted it anyways. So folks, stay tuned. More to come….

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Categories: Photography, Travel Tags: ,
  1. Phil
    August 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Here’s to a great trip and a great camera….I’m doing a similar thing with my new D800 next week on family trip to Maine. Best of luck…I’ll check back later and see how things worked out for you!

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