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Archive 2012 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?
  
 
thr1961
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


I love my D7000 and have been getting great images with it. That said, I see what is being produced with full frame Nikons and am impressed with the high ISO capabilities of the D3 and D700.

I am about to change jobs and will be receiving an unexpected signing bonus. To me, this equals new camera body!

To be honest, I am not interested in shooting video with my DSLR and the ever-increasing megapixel count seems to create a corresponding storage challenge.

I love shooting indoor sports and museums and since both have extremely challenging light conditions, I really look to ISO performance as key. I like the idea of a "pro" body with better ergonomics and grip, but I am not unhappy with my D7000 in this regard.

This may be opening up the floodgates, but given the recent new models and changes in Nikon world, what would you, the experts, suggest and why?

Thanks for the help.



Mar 15, 2012 at 02:10 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


D3s is what you want. I shoot rodeo/musicians under the lights with a D3/D7K and fast zooms.
I'm comfortable with ISO6400 on either body. The D3s will look great at ISO12800 Had one
when they 1st came on the scene...but hey, I didn't do video and couldn't justify the $1500 or so
difference being tied up in a body at the time. I'd take another...in a heartbeat, if I got a bonus
I'd need a job for that, eh?!



Mar 15, 2012 at 02:30 PM
thr1961
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


Thanks for this. The D3s looks amazing in terms of specs. I do like the dual-card feature and what I am reading suggests it is top of the line in terms of low ISO. I honestly do not feel like the 12 mp is a huge issue. I do not make large prints and I am constantly struggling with storage anyway!

I will be curious what other folks have to say about this direction. And then of course I need to find a decent used one and sell my D7k.



Mar 15, 2012 at 03:06 PM
bortoni
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


The D3s is killer. If you didn't mind the full body size and had a means to get it, you will be in love.


Mar 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM
honorerdieu
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


D3s. I upgraded from the D700 and haven't looked back.


Mar 15, 2012 at 04:05 PM
DABNIK
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


trenchmonkey wrote:
. I'd take another...in a heartbeat, if I got a bonus
I'd need a job for that, eh?!


Will - give yourself a bonus - that's what self-employment is about


I think that once the D4 & D800s are out in the market, D3 and D3s will be coming up for sale at a good price (at least I'm hoping )



Mar 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
thr1961
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


It sounds like there are no arguments on the D3S! Perhaps a first here on FM!

It is interesting no one pushed the 700, but I suppose my D7K is only a small step down whereas the D3S is a game-changer. Now to look for a decent used version here, consider it against new, and get my D7K posted here for sale...



Mar 15, 2012 at 06:15 PM
pookipichu
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


Why are you struggling with storage? Just last week the 3TB Western Digital playbook was $169 which is not a lot to invest in camera peripherals. You should use part of your sign on bonus to get some external drives.

thr1961 wrote:
Thanks for this. The D3s looks amazing in terms of specs. I do like the dual-card feature and what I am reading suggests it is top of the line in terms of low ISO. I honestly do not feel like the 12 mp is a huge issue. I do not make large prints and I am constantly struggling with storage anyway!

I will be curious what other folks have to say about this direction. And then of course I need to find a decent used one and sell my D7k.




Mar 15, 2012 at 06:20 PM
honorerdieu
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


thr1961 wrote:
It sounds like there are no arguments on the D3S! Perhaps a first here on FM!

It is interesting no one pushed the 700, but I suppose my D7K is only a small step down whereas the D3S is a game-changer. Now to look for a decent used version here, consider it against new, and get my D7K posted here for sale...



I have not shot with the D7000, but comparing specs on paper I don't think it will be a step down. The D3s a cut above the D700 and D7000. I enjoy it so much that I'm thinking of getting another D3s as a backup body instead of the D700.



Mar 15, 2012 at 06:58 PM
thr1961
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


I agree. I was trying to suggest that the 700 was a relatively small step above the 7000; whereas the D3s is a huge jump....


Mar 15, 2012 at 07:03 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



honorerdieu
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


My bad.


Mar 15, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


thr1961 wrote:
I agree. I was trying to suggest that the 700 was a relatively small step above the 7000; whereas the D3s is a huge jump....


I think it's the other way around -- the biggest step is from the D7k to FX, with a relatively smaller step from there to the D3s. it's not just a matter of pure sensor performance -- you have to consider the better handling of all the FX bodies, changes to lens selection and performance, etc.

The D700 is still a pretty big jump over the D7000 in low light. The D7000 is the best crop DSLR yet, but in low light, the D700 offers better dynamic range, AF speed/accuracy, and viewfinder visibility. It's not a subtle difference.

It might be worth watching to see what happens with prices over the next few weeks/months, though. The D4 may further suppress D3s prices, and you might just decide it's worth stretching to the D4. Shooting the D700 (and some crop stuff), I don't find myself craving the D3s, but the D4 is a bigger step up, and if I had the cash I'd be eyeing it closely.

Having said that, the D3s would be fantastic.



Mar 15, 2012 at 07:18 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


IMHO the jury's STILL out on the high ISO abilities of the D4 vs a proven D3s. You be lookin' @ a $1500+ price diff
for maybe not that much more. Patience, grasshopper....patience.



Mar 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM
DonM2
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


As others say above, the Nikon D3s is a GAME-CHANGER for hi-ISO output.

The new Canon 1Dx and the Nikon D4 are going to need another order-of-magnitude stretch to rival the D3s in the ISO department! Both in noise-suppressiion AND color retention at hi-ISO levels.

If I was a pro-shooter, I'd consider getting another D3s if there comes any significant price-drop after the new stuff gets out. Just for the 'comfort zone'.

But I don't see anyone rushing their D3s out the door anytime soon!



Mar 16, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


trenchmonkey wrote:
IMHO the jury's STILL out on the high ISO abilities of the D4 vs a proven D3s. You be lookin' @ a $1500+ price diff
for maybe not that much more. Patience, grasshopper....patience.


Oh, don't worry, I'm being patient.

;- )

Patience is actually exactly what I was suggesting. Whether the D4 improves upon it at higher ISO remains to be seen. What also remains to be seen is the new staging of prices as you move up, from D700-D3-D3s-D4. I doubt that the current price for a D3s is smart money, given that it will likely soften up more once the D4 is widely available, and given the long term resale value of each. The smart money might be on a gently used D3s 6-8 weeks from now.

I would not, however, kick either one out of my bag.

;- )



Mar 16, 2012 at 03:05 AM
lankyelectric
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


I have two D700 and believe me they are a big step up from the D7K.


Mar 16, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Sean Hoffman
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


I shoot weddings with a D700. My second shooter was strapped for cash so he sold his D700 and picked up a D7000. Our first wedding was a disaster for him, the camera just wouldn't focus correctly in low light and in my eyes, all the high ISO stuff was just garbage. It didn't take long for him to go back to FX. Although I drool for a D4 or D3s, the D700 is a HUGE step up and you could even pick up a 70-200 VRII plus another $500+ dollars by skipping the D3s this round.


Mar 16, 2012 at 08:52 AM
gfinlayson
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


I switched from a D700 to a D7000 last year to squeeze more reach for wildlife. Sure, the D700's low light performance is noticeably better if you're printing at barn-door sizes. For most "normal" print sizes, the D7000 does exceptionally well up to ISO6400.

As far as focusing in low light, both the Multi-CAM 3500FX and Multi-CAM 4800DX systems are rated down to -1EV, so neither should struggle in low light. My D7000 has been great in some truly awful lighting conditions. I can't say my D700 did noticeably better.

The D7000's AF system takes a bit of getting used to though. Has he fully gotten to grips with it? Also, is he using fast glass? Many of the DX lenses are slower, so don't afford the AF system as much light to focus with.



Mar 16, 2012 at 11:38 AM
retro99
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


gfinlayson wrote:
I switched from a D700 to a D7000 last year to squeeze more reach for wildlife. Sure, the D700's low light performance is noticeably better if you're printing at barn-door sizes. For most "normal" print sizes, the D7000 does exceptionally well up to ISO6400.

As far as focusing in low light, both the Multi-CAM 3500FX and Multi-CAM 4800DX systems are rated down to -1EV, so neither should struggle in low light. My D7000 has been great in some truly awful lighting conditions. I can't say my D700 did noticeably better.

The D7000's AF system takes a bit of getting used to
...Show more

I (respectfully) disagree on the D7000..The ISO is maybe good up to 3200 not 6400. I sold mine, It was also very slow to focus in poor lighting conditions. Maybe I just got a bad copy. It cant compete with D700. My D700 will now be my backup to D4! More reach on the wildlife I would agree with

The D3s is an awesome camera and I would not hesitate to buy a used one!!



Mar 16, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Smiert Spionam
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Ready to go full frame: best choice for high ISO?


I think part of the difference in opinion about the D7000's performance relative to the FX cameras has to do with the quality of light that people regularly shoot in. In fairly broad, even light, the differences aren't that great (ie, for sports) -- but in light with very low color temperature, high contrast, and buried shadows, the benefits of the FX cameras really stand out.

Both are great, of course -- but there's a difference, and it's not insignificant.

And again, it comes back around to lenses. If you are shooting at 200/2.8 on DX vs. 300/2.8 on FX, the latter is going to shine. If to reach the comparable field of view on FX you're using a TC on a 70-200/2.8 or a 300/4, the difference shrinks. I usually shoot events (esp. music) in dark spaces, so I use a 35/85 combo on a D700 a lot. On occasion, I put an 85/1.4 on a crop body, since I don't own a fast 135 for the D700. In that case, the extra effective reach of the faster lens on the crop body helps make up for the light that would be lost by shooting a 70-200/2.8 or 150/2.8 on FX.

The rumored 135/1.8g VR would of course restore the FX advantage, but for now it's vaporware, and I'm reluctant to invest in the 135/2 DC.

Edited on Mar 16, 2012 at 04:50 PM · View previous versions



Mar 16, 2012 at 04:32 PM
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