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Archive 2013 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800
  
 
lazar223
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Two23 wrote: weddings are more about fast lenses and lighting system than they are about camera bodies. You are trying to go in too many directions for what your budget seems to be.

Thanks for the feedback Kent. Early in this thread, I described what I have shot. I have not developed a specialty yet. I am now being drawn into weddings, an area which I don't have a lot of experience. So, I am trying to upgrade my equipment, learn what I need and what I need to improve upon at the same time. I could buy all that I need now, but I learn and improve more when I proceed incrementally

Comments like yours are insightful to me. Given the indoor and flash-less nature of a wedding, I can understand why fast glass is imperative. In your own work, what glass works best? In what situations? By lighting systems, I assume that you mean using a series of hot shoe flashes both on and off camera. Or do you mean more expensive strobes? Could you briefly elaborate why you feel these would matter more than focusing on a body. Thanks again Kent.




Jan 30, 2013 at 02:26 AM
LarryBoy57
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


roland hale wrote:
It's infuriating that Nikon did not make a natural replacement for the D700. The pros and cons list of choosing between the 600, 700 and 800 is ridiculous. SMH!


+1000



Jan 30, 2013 at 02:38 AM
M635_Guy
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


lazar223 wrote:
Comments like yours are insightful to me. Given the indoor and flash-less nature of a wedding, I can understand why fast glass is imperative. In your own work, what glass works best? In what situations? By lighting systems, I assume that you mean using a series of hot shoe flashes both on and off camera. Or do you mean more expensive strobes? Could you briefly elaborate why you feel these would matter more than focusing on a body. Thanks again Kent.



I know this wasn't directed at me, and while I'm not a pro in any respect I have a few comments to offer. (strictly speaking, you sound a lot like me - involved/interested in multiple fields and pulled into others). [Edit: This turned out a little long - apologies.]

I can't claim a lot of experience - I've been a GWC at a number of weddings, and been asked to shoot baptisms and other events for friends as the only photographer.

Weddings involve two different styles of photography - set/posed/group photos and the more "documentary"/candid stuff. During the more posed stuff, you have significant light challenges because you're virtually always shooting in crap light and you're expected to create very nice images. You need multiple flashes and a strong command of how to use/mange them because you generally are expected to do a lot on the fly and taking a minimum amount of time from the event. (on-location they'll almost aways be hotshoe flashes because strobes take too much time, room, power, etc. - you're on the run! They are back in your studio for the portrait sessions). Some of the set poses give you the choice to choose location and light, but those are only part of the body of work. During the documentary stuff, you're often in even worse light, which is where fast glass comes in. Your glass is going to account for more stops of light than your body, and the cool thing is you'll get it on your next body, too.

For example, you know how much the ISO performance improved on the D800 over the D700? 1/3 of a stop (though you do get over 2 stops of dynamic range). Even the king of low light (the D3s) is only a half-stop better in terms of measured ISO performance over the D700.

The specs don't fully represent the advantages of those bodies over the D700, but hopefully you get the point: Glass gives you a lot more than the body ever will, and keeps on giving. Get the "lower" body and better glass and you'll never regret it.

Which glass goes to style as much as anything, but I'd say you need a couple primes (a fairly wide one and a portrait prime e.g. 85 f/1.8) and a couple f/2.8 zooms (24-70, 70-200). For a lot of the set stuff, you'll find a good tripod/head system to be a big plus.

A comment or two on the wedding you're being asked to shoot: Are you the only photographer? If so, I'd recommend some reading and lots of planning. It is a BIG responsibility and damn hard. I've picked up a bunch of good information on shooting weddings/events (and photography in general) from Scott Kelby's "Digital Photography" series (4 books). If you're not the only one, and there is a paid pro involved, I'd highly recommend talking to that person. I always made a point to do that, and made sure to say they should feel free to let me know if I was in the way. I tried to limit my shooting to candids and other things that wouldn't impact his/her opportunity to make their money.

My personal journey has focused on getting a really solid kit of glass. I saw the glass improve the results from my D90 significantly. When it was time to upgrade, I went with a D300s over a D7000. Why the heck would I get essentially the same sensor over the latest sensor available (at the time)? Easy: Handling. The D300s is a revalation when it comes to getting the camera set like I want it very quickly and with minimal requirement to look at the camera itself. I love the switches and dials vs. holding a button and rotating while looking at a screen - which is the D90/D7000/D600 handling and even the D800 has some of that now (as noted above).

Net: Handling has saved more shots for me than a better sensor ever would. Glass has improved my photography more than any body could, and will keep paying me back on whatever I have next. Glass holds value very well, too...

I guess I can't call that my $0.02, can I? Probably at least a nickel...



Jan 30, 2013 at 01:19 PM
RKB58
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


OK, had a post to this typed last night, scrapped it - boiled it down to this.

For you D700 proponents, can you state that it will produce files with better image quality than the D800 (or D600) most of the time? That was the deciding factor for me to get the latest cameras.

I had two D700's, part of a D3s, and now a D600 and part of a D800. Each of these cameras has some good points and issues. I am pretty happy carrying around the D600, don't wish I still had the D700. If the difference is $900, then I like the D600 and lense money vs. the D800.

I have had most of Nikon's digital (and serious film) cameras. In the good old days, the Nikon F was state of art from 1959 to 1972 or so. I used my F and other mechanical film cameras happily until digital became mainstream.

In contrast, In a year or two Nikon will (probably) introduce a new model that will be more effective than the current offerings. Guess I have accepted the upgrade cycle now. Referring to the OP's initial write up, it is not really an "outgrow" of the D600.

My take on the benefits of the D800/600 vs. earlier: I get more keepers shooting basketball due to improved autofocus performance (yes, D800 vs.the D3s, D600 is OK here). The high ISO files are significantly better than the D700 and about equal to the D3s. I have more detail (MP) in the files if I need it.

My first serious photo mentor always stressed getting the best "negative" possible. I think that is best accomplished with the current cameras.




Jan 31, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Tete
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


I think the best image are the ones you can capture because of the ability to have controls at your finger tips and not in the menu somewhere. The d600 can produce great images of course in a controlled environment I would probably pick it over the d700. But weddings are not controlled, kids and street photography are not controlled. I find it more difficult to handle a d7000 than a d700. But that's just me.

The only reason I don't have a d600 is because I like the d700 in my hands. I know where the controls are and how to control everything on my side of the camera, on the other side of the camera is where I am hopeless.

Ergo is important to not just MP and sensor. If that we're the case I think we could all get by w a d3200



Feb 01, 2013 at 01:27 PM
M635_Guy
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Tete wrote:
I think the best image are the ones you can capture because of the ability to have controls at your finger tips and not in the menu somewhere. The d600 can produce great images of course in a controlled environment I would probably pick it over the d700. But weddings are not controlled, kids and street photography are not controlled. I find it more difficult to handle a d7000 than a d700. But that's just me.

The only reason I don't have a d600 is because I like the d700 in my hands. I know where the controls are and
...Show more

^^^ What he said. Nobody is arguing that the sensor in the D700 is better than the D600, but the sensor is only part of the story. Handling has made me miss far more shots than the sensor ever did on my D90, but I can't recall that being the case once yet on the D300s I got this past summer.



Feb 01, 2013 at 03:37 PM
agelessphotog
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Not only is the D600 sensor better than the one in the D700. I also would not want to shoot a wedding with a camera that only had one memory card slot.


Feb 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Tete
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


I would prefer to have more memory card slots however I can change cards pretty easily and it becomes pretty obvious when I'm am getting low on exposures. What I can't do is make the ergo any more effecient. I see two memory slots as a luxury not as essential. Having dedicated control buttons I see as essential. It will far greater effect on my keeper ratio. You can get a bigger card if u find that to be a problem, I Pecos ally like to have a bunch of smaller cards so I can keep track easier.

Most important to me is flash sync. I can take my d700 to 320 which can be pretty helpful, however I hear that at 1/200 you are getting black curtain issues in the d600. I'm certainly playing devils advocate because I figure at some point the d600 will probably end up in my stable but I'm still hoping and praying for a true d700 replacement. If not then ill see a d800 in my bag before the d600. I put the d700 out there the same way some people say the older M3s are the best BMWs ever made. It just works.

Edit-------------
The most important thing is the same old thing. Lenses. Without good glass infront of the d600 you will not be seeing the full capacity of such a fantastic sensor. You really need the glass to resolve all those pixels. The argument for d700 is the same but I would say its a bit more forgiving int that regard. Not to mention post production. Working in d700 files in post is a dream. When I shot w a 22mp canon 5d I did notice more lag than I do w the d700, that is certain.



Feb 01, 2013 at 08:11 PM
Jon_Doh
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


I'd say get the D800. But what i would love to see is the D600 sensor in a D700 body.


Feb 01, 2013 at 09:37 PM
roland hale
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


I've reached my solution: a D3. And I'm curious how many people are in the same boat.

For background, I'm a photojournalist transitioning to weddings.

I was originally I excited about the D600 - great image quality, ISO capabitlies, FX at a great price. But there are WAY too many drawbacks. I'm used to pro bodies. Aside from the D3's I've used for work, I had a D300s for a personal camera. The ergonomics, size and controls of the 600 are a step-down from even that. I expect quality on all fronts from a Nikon FX camera. The D600 falls short in too many areas. Really? A D7000 focusing system? Not to mention the current dust/oil issues. No way I'm going to drop 2k on a camera with consistent, known issues.

So there's the D800. This seems to be a great camera, and I'm sure there are wedding photographers that can make it work for them. But for me, the ridiculous file sizes are a huge turn-off: cards, storage, and the crazy amount of time it'd take to process the files. Comparing the D800 vs. the 5DM3's raw shots SOOC, what the D800 wins in image quality and resolution it loses in character.

The D700 was my front-runner for a while after I'd ruled these out. It's a sweet camera and it's been used reliably for years. The only shortcoming for me was the single CF slot - I don't feel comfortable shooting weddings with only one card. I've never had a card go bad on me, and I'm sure I could get away with it, but there's Murphy's Law. Why risk it.

So, despite my bitterness at Nikon for effing around and not coming out with a REAL D700 replacement, and being held back from switching to Canon only due to the amount of money I have invested in Nikon lenses, I decided on a D3.

You can pick up a D3 for about 2,200, roughly the same cost as a new D600 or a used D700 in really good condition. I'll use my 300s as a backup for a few months, or perhaps until Nikon comes out with a viable D700 replacement.

If I can't make the D3 work for weddings, then the camera definitely isn't the problem. Wish me luck.



Feb 01, 2013 at 10:37 PM
 

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Arka
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


I have a D700 and a D800. Both are great cameras, but the D800 is better. Same AF, better and more malleable files, video ... the only real advantage to the D700 is FPS. Also, the D700 may be slightly more rugged.


Feb 02, 2013 at 04:58 AM
Tete
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Flash sync


Feb 02, 2013 at 05:34 AM
lazar223
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Guys,

Just a follow up. After much research and indecision, I finally pulled the trigger a couple of months ago and bought the D800. What an amazing camera. The resolution and detail that you can pull out of one these is astounding in comparison to anything I have ever seen. Its low light capability is superb and its colors are sharp, crisp and "lifelike". It is everything that I could have imagined in a camera and more. It will take a while to master this thing as the manual is 450 pages long. However the handling is very similar to that of the D300, which is a big plus.

That said, the files are pretty big. My compromise is to shoot lossless compressed 12 bit for most things which leaves the NEF files around 29-30mb each. I shot a parade this weekend and for the first time actually filled a 16gb CF card. So multiple 32gb cards are a must. Also shooting pics with live view is a chore. The delay from when you take the picture and when the camera resets itself is very long. No multiple action shots in live view. Additionally, I now understand what people meant regarding use of maximum proper technique with the D800. You may not have to have the best lenses but you must use sharpshooter technique to get the best images. They are sensitive buggers. Plus, you must have the shutter set faster than you might with other cameras to avoid camera shake. One other thing that is a royal PITA. Nikon reversed the position of the zoom in button from all of the cameras before it. Am still not use to that. My current backup is the D300 so it is confusing going back and forth with those two cams.

From my DX kit, I have used my 10.5 fisheye, 17-55/2.8, 35/1.8 and have gotten decent results with all of those. I didn't like how the Tokina 11-16 behaved on the 800. It doesn't register as a DX lens so it always vignettes and is basically unusable. Thus I bought the Tokina 16-28/2.8 from the guys at Adorama. I tried several until I found a perfect specimen. I love that lens on that camera. The 80-200 ED is also superb on this camera. As expected, the 70-300 VR is less so. I haven't really played around with the manual focus lenses yet. My next two purchases are the 24-70/2.8 and I decided that a used D700 would be the perfect compliment to the D800. I thought about the D3 but think that it is too big and heavy. As it is now, the D800 and the 16-28 weigh 5 lbs together. Besides if I want the speed, I can always add the grip.

Thanks for all of your help, ideas and insight. It really helped me shape my choice.



May 27, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Grantland
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


sounds like a good decision to pick up a D800. I love mine.

be sure to post some pics.

grant



May 27, 2013 at 02:58 PM
rodmcwha
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


D3 will serve you well and for a long time.


May 30, 2013 at 02:47 PM
ScottHM
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Was a little curious which way you were going to go with this...don't worry though after a little time you'll get used to shooting with it pretty quickly until it becomes second nature. I pretty much only use live view if I'm doing landscape shots or subjects I know aren't going anywhere.
I see your still alive so I guess the wife didn't mind too much.



May 30, 2013 at 03:52 PM
Alan321
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


lazar, if you want to get the best dynamic range out of a single low-iso photo then you'll need to go back to using 14-bit files instead of 12-bit. Apart from pixel count, that extra DR is one of the big features that separates the D800 from most other cameras and it seems a shame to lose it, but it's only relevant at low ISO.

- Alan



May 30, 2013 at 04:08 PM
CGrindahl
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Enjoyed this conversation. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience with each of these cameras. The decision has been made and the D800 won the day. I wish OP every success with his new camera. That said, I'm one of those folks who feels Nikon hasn't given me the replacement for the D700 that suits my needs, and hence, I'm staying with this exceedingly fine camera. I hope I'm not joining the club of eternal optimists who are still waiting for the D400, perhaps creating another branch of that club... But for now at least, I'm waiting...


May 30, 2013 at 05:15 PM
lazar223
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Gentlemen,

This has been an honor for me as well. I learned quite a bit and was exposed to ideas I would not have thought of. In other words, I got just what I needed from this post. It really did help me make a much more informed decision.

ScottHM wrote:
I see your still alive so I guess the wife didn't mind too much.


She continually blames her friend whose wedding that I am supposed to shoot. Thank goodness for a a fall guy!

Alan321 wrote:
lazar, if you want to get the best dynamic range out of a single low-iso photo then you'll need to go back to using 14-bit files instead of 12-bit.- Alan


Alan thank you ever so much for that great tip. Unless someone said that to me I would have never known. That insight is why I am here!

CGrindahl wrote:
Enjoyed this conversation. Thanks everyone for sharing your experience with each of these cameras. The decision has been made and the D800 won the day. I wish OP every success with his new camera. That said, I'm one of those folks who feels Nikon hasn't given me the replacement for the D700 that suits my needs, and hence, I'm staying with this exceedingly fine camera.


To Mr Manual Focus, thank you for your kind words. I did go with the D800 and have not looked back. My family IS jealous of my new love affair. My 10 yr old daughter tells me I love the camera more than her. Not quite...but close! . That said, I have decided to pick up a D700 and the 24-70 sometime in the next couple of months. Now that I have the 800, I understand. Now the limitations are only me. However, it really is not a very forgiving camera and does make huge files. Sometimes you really just don't need so much resolution. Thus my desire to pair it with a 700. The 800 and the 700 should be a perfect combo as I usually shoot with two cameras. I have been waffling on whether to keep or sell the d300, 17-55,11-16 and the 10.5 fish. I like the lenses but dont like the noise of the 300. But now that I have gone FX, do I really need any DX.




May 31, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Dustin Gent
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · Decision on D700, D600 or D800


Here is my take on these cameras - and again, it is based on what I use them for.

I have a D700. Had an F5 before that. The D700 is a SOLID camera. Built is FANTASTIC, and that says something as a former F5 user. I had a 1Ds for several years prior - so build quality is important.

About two months ago, I listed my D700 for trade. I wanted the better DR and IQ of the D600. Well, I had received many offers for the camera, but I was still kind of on the fence, and turned them down. Glad I did. One of my buddies has a D600, and he started to have problem with his D600. He was shooting waterfalls here in the Gorge, and it would shut on and off intermittently. Wasn't shooting in some crazy down pour. His D7000 did the same thing, and Nikon had to replace the PCB board and such, due the same thing.

After I heard that, I pulled my D700 from the B&S forums. I will just wait until I can get the D800. With this said, and not everyone shoots in rain, the D600 seems like a wonderful camera - and I think you would be super happy with it!

D700 is no slouch either. To be honest, I am very impressed with the dynamic range of the D700



May 31, 2013 at 04:06 PM
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