Upload & Sell: On
I would love to get the D2x but after further thought and the comments here, perhaps I ought to be thinking of picking up something like a used D300 instead. It seems to me that in good light the D2x will perform well, and I would hope to be able to bring out the best of the files in Lightroom, but as previously mentioned, I would also be using the camera in doors capturing family moments almost on a daily basis. Seems like the D2x may struggle here without flash, and the D300, with its better ISO performance and on...Show more →
The D300 AF is not very capable... it's amazing. It's essentially the same AF module as in the D700 and D3, with about 95% to 98% of the performance (the D3 is a hair quicker, probably due to higher voltage) and even better coverage because the AF points cover a larger part of the DX frame. I put over 100,000 clicks onto a pair of D300 bodies shooting aviation (see this old thread for some examples), and the D300 absolutely rocks.
There are better high-ISO bodies than the D300 (D7000, D5100, D5200), but since you want fast AF and a rugged build then the D300 is probably the camera for you.
As regards landscape work, both would seem be rugged enough to cope and take a beating. IQ and DR on the D300 perhaps a little better?
In the end, 12 MP will be a great improvement over the D50 (now dead), and I’ll have the ability to print bigger. Having greater low light capability is a plus for indoor and family pics. 2013 may see the introduction of the mythical D400, but who knows. In the interim, whilst saving for better glass (currently using Nikon 18-70mm) and keeping my ‘big purchase upgrade’ options open, I need something that will meet...Show more →
Joy to use, check.
Larger prints than what you can get from the D50 and D2x bodies, also check. Rugged enough, definitely.
What I would also definitely suggest is that you pursue more glass. For your indoor family shots, something like the $100 "nifty 50" (50/1.8D or G) would give you at least a 2-stop brightness advantage over your 18-70, and sometimes more. There are all kinds of old, manual-focus prime lenses you can mount on a D300 which will give you great results for very little money (for example, I have a 28/2 and a 35/2 that each cost me around $200 or $300). And on the much-more-expensive side, my personal favorite lens for both landscapes and portraits is the 70-200… And that new 70-200/4 looks absolutely scrumptious.