10. You only take pictures of your cat, cub scout, and the deer in your back yard and post them to Flickr.
9. You always shoot in “P” mode and think P stands for Professional.
8. You got an extra big tax refund this year, so why not?
7. You never make a print bigger than 8x10.
6. You don’t own a tripod. If you do own one, it weighs 1 pound and has skinny aluminum legs and cost $29.95.
5. You post every shot you take. You do not sort out "treasures from trash" because it takes too much time and you think all of them are great, anyhow.
4. You don’t spend time cropping photos and then printing the crops to 16x20. Where would you hang big prints anyway?
3. You think Moire and Moira are twins, and you dated one of them in high school.
2. You advertise your professional photographer services on Facebook and Craigslist. You expect the camera to pay for itself in 6 months, just because it is so cool.
1. You know that more megapixels always means better pictures.
OK, so here’s the serious point. If you do not take commercial, architectural, landscape or wildlife pictures at a professional level, you do not need a 36 megapixel camera. This camera is for large prints with immaculate detail. It is for making large prints from tight crops. It is not for shooting little league games. There is absolutely no point in buying a Ferrari to pick up dog food at the feed&seed. It will do the job, but what a waste!
What most folks do not realize is that to get the most from this camera you will need to call consistently on the very best technique you have. Camera shake, for instance, is fatal to large prints. The fundamental sharpness of the image, especially when made into prints from deep crops or very large prints, will make unintended motion blur stand out like a pimple on a supermodel.
To avoid camera shake, you will need to shoot at high shutter speeds, even in crappy light, or you will need to take the time to use a REALLY GOOD tripod and ball head, using a remote trigger and mirror pre-up. The lower the light level, the more these precautions become necessary. For snapshots, no problem. For 8x10, probably no problem but for 40x60, big problem.
Here is an example, shot with a Mamiya 645 AFD with a 22.5 megapixel digital back. Tripod mount, mediocre ballhead on an Induro 313 (good) tripod.
The image looks fine at up to 11x14, but after that it starts to crumble. And at a full crop, you can see how badly motion blur louses things up.
You will also need extraordinary lenses. That’s because edge distortion, vignetting, and color fringing are a real problem with the camera design – not Nikon’s fault, just a matter of some nasty laws of physics. So get used to names like Zeiss, and prepare to spend a fortune if you want to get the best results.
The short version of all this is that while this beast looks like a 35 millimeter camera, it needs to be treated as if it were a medium format camera (645 or larger). If you shoot medium format, you're used to the care needed for gallery-quality large prints. If not, there's a learning curve ahead of you.
To get the most from big-sensor cameras, or from this one, you will need the very best supporting gear and lenses, a fair amount of patience, and a lot of technical skill.
Lacking those attributes, and having some regard for money, the D800 is a waste of your money. Get a D7000 – it’s all you’ll ever need.
Finally, I figure the odds of anybody actually listening to this advice are a zillion to one, because, let’s face it, the D800 and D800e are flat-out amazing machines.