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| p.1 #1 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800 |
I need some wise and experienced help thus the reason for my first post. I am a budding photographer who has been shooting and learning digital for 3 years. I shoot landscapes, street fotos, events, sports, architecture and soon weddings. (My wife volunteered me to shoot her friends' wedding) I used to shoot film 30 years ago and took up digital with the purchase of a slightly used D90. I really like its capabilities, IQ but dont like its plasticky feel and ergonomics. My second DSLR was a D40, which became my backup camera. I like its lightness and simplicity but only three focus points makes it hard to use for complex shots. I am a two camera shooter, thus I needed something more precise for a second camera. If Nikon made the D400, I would have bought that. However, about 3 months ago, I bought a used but pristine D300 with only 8200 actuations. I love the faster shutter speed and the feel and ergonomics of this camera but am coming to grips with its limitations which are poor low-light performance, lack of video , 1st generation Live-view settings and higher noise levels (in comparison to my D90). That said, since I got the D300, I have used my D90 only a couple of times.
Long story short, I have tussled with a choice of 3 different Nikons to replace my D90. I want better ergonomics, auto-focus video, improved low-light capability and higher resolution and better detail to shoot large prints. I am interested in the D700, D600 or the D800. All three come highly recommended but each have their drawbacks. Unfortunately, there are no camera rental places where I now live (Bermuda) so I cant try one out so easily. Several of the online "aficionados" recommend the D600 as the best choice. I have read quite a few of the "which one to buy"threads on two of these cameras but not with all three and nor with my specific criteria, so I thought that I would ask this fine community for its thoughts.
Thus far my impressions of these cameras are:
D700- Excellent ergonomics, very similar to the D300. Cheaper than the others by $200-$400. Good low light performance. Drawbacks are old sensor, no video, less detail ie. 12MP, and worse low light performance vs current gen cams.
D600- Smaller & lighter, better dynamic range and color depth, excellent low light performer & IQ, current generation tool with very good video capability. Drawbacks are possible dust issue, D7000-like 39pt AF, prosumer ergonomics and feature set (No AF-on,etc)
D800- Supposedly good pro ergonomics, much higher true detail, better dynamic range and color depth, excellent low light performer & IQ, current generation tool with very good video capability.Drawbacks are significantly bigger Raw file size (43mm vs 12-15mm) which will require longer postpro time and pc resources, $1k more cost.
Overall, I would like a slightly more versatile kit, using DX for the reach and speed and FX for low light and portrait work. I have an assortment of decent DX and FX glass:
DX- 10.5/2.8 Fisheye,11-16/2.8, 17-55/2.8, 35/1.8, 18-200/3.5 VR
FX- 28-70/3.5, 50/1.4MF, 50/1.8, 70-300/4.5 VR, 80-200/2.8, 105/2.8 Micro, 105/2.5 MF, 400/5.6, 500/8 Reflex
I also want a camera that will not outgrow as I grow as a photographer. Your comments and insight will be much appreciated.