Four months hands on with a Nikon D800 and D800E

I got my D800 and D800E in mid-July, and took the 800E on an 8 day backpacking trip at the end of July. After a few thousand frames in each, both cameras have been very good. They are characteristically well built, but with the vertical grip, they aren't as solid as my old workhorse D3x. The image quality on these cameras is stunning and the low light sensitivity is excellent. I love the HD video, though I am still a real video hack. The time lapse function is much more fun than I thought.

My standard shoot has my D800E on a 24-70 f/2.8 Nikkor and the D800 on my 600mm f/4 Nikkor VRII. (I know, lucky me.) Both have vertical grips except when I'm backpacking.

My biggest gripe with both cameras is the ridiculous CF/SD card cover. If you load either camera into a top loading case, then it is nearly impossible to grab the camera without accidentally opening the CF/SD cover. Yes, it's just a nuisance, but my D3x's cover was so nice, why the big back-slide?

I am somewhat surprised by the moire patterns in unexpected places from my D800E. I haven't experimented with software moire removal, but I'm seeing it in places like waves on a lake, where I thought the texture was coarse enough that it wouldn't be an issue.

My D800 came with a really clean sensor, where my D800E had a pretty big spot (~500 pixels) out of the box. It took two trips to El Segundo to get it clean. Not a big deal, but not what you want from your brand new $3300 body!

I have occasionally had trouble with the autofocus working properly; that is, I depress the shutter and nothing happens. It's only happened a couple of times, and I'm not sure why. I turn the camera off and back on and then it works.

The image files are too big. By that I mean it takes a while to render 1:1 images in Lightroom, even with my pretty fast Core i7 working on an SSD. If you have really high throughput, get a D3x or D4!

Overall, if you're shooting landscapes & animals, these are amazing cameras that make incredible images. Yes, I will probably be in line for the D4x when it comes out! I know, I'm a gear junky. ;-)