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Archive 2013 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!
  
 
Maki65
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


My wife and I have a Nikon D300s with a 18-200mm lens and we are thinking of an upgrade to FX. I want better lenses and feel that DX lenses are not as good an investment as FX, not to mention the optical quality.
Also the D300s is not so great when the light dims, even at higher ISO's.

I have a couple of thoughts, either a used D700 or a new D800. Both different and both great cameras. I can live without video although it is nice to have it. I just want the best picture quality I can achieve ( Down to me really!).

Th D700 is a little long in the tooth now but by all accounts a fabulous camera with few niggles, however, still only 12MP. The megapixels are not to big a deal, though I do fancy getting a few large prints for the wall.

The D800 is far more expensive, and requires more work with the larger files but I suppose has superior image quality. My PC is up to date with an i7 processor and 32GB of RAM with a 1 TB Hard Drive.

It also appears that there is a D400 in the offing, however, this is still DX but a little intriguing none the less.

Have any of you guys any advice on this?



Jun 20, 2013 at 07:33 PM
pburke
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Get a D600 and - it does almost everything the D800 does, shoots faster frame rates and is significantly cheaper. Free bonus is the lower risk that you'll end up buying lenses with $2k+ sticker prices exclusively because your 36MP images show you some flaws in the corners of those $1000 lenses.








Jun 20, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Maki65
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


If the D600 handles like the D7000 which I nearly bought last time, no thanks. The D300s fits my hands far better. I do have largish hands and the D7000 felt like a toy compared to the D300s.


Jun 20, 2013 at 07:49 PM
M Lucca
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Maki65 wrote:
If the D600 handles like the D7000 which I nearly bought last time, no thanks. The D300s fits my hands far better. I do have largish hands and the D7000 felt like a toy compared to the D300s.


Hmm.... then you'd be disappointed. The d600 is not a bad camera apart from the oil and dust issues. My experience with it led me to feel this camera weakest area is its ergonomics. It felt cramped with buttons like a Brazilian favela. Changing settings was a pain. What's with the ISO button next to the LCD screen. That means you'd have to insert your finger in b/t your face and the camera each time you change ISO. Well unless you are on LV. There are also a few two-fingered actions required. Reminds me of the old Canon 1d-series.
Like you, I am more at ease with bigger bodies like the D300 and D700.



Jun 20, 2013 at 08:04 PM
pburke
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Maki65 wrote:
If the D600 handles like the D7000 which I nearly bought last time, no thanks. The D300s fits my hands far better. I do have largish hands and the D7000 felt like a toy compared to the D300s.


you should just go to a shop and handle them all if that is so important. I don't think the D800 or D700 are much different in my size L hands from a D600, at least not enough to make that part of my decision process.



Jun 20, 2013 at 08:17 PM
thedruid
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


This question can only be answered by you, you dont like the D7K form factor you won't like the D600. The choice is then either a D700 close to five years old, or big $ investment ib D800 and glass. Nikon don't make a body for me right now as I don't need 36mp, so I suffer along with the cheapo D600 ergo, because the files are very nice.


Jun 20, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Two23
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Maki65 wrote:
I have a couple of thoughts, either a used D700 or a new D800. Both different and both great cameras. I can live without video although it is nice to have it. I just want the best picture quality I can achieve



That would be a Leica-S. Anything else is a compromise and not the best you can achieve.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/09/17/Leica-S-medium-format-lens

I upgraded from a D300 to a D7100. The difference is quite noticeable. I tried it and D600--D7100 is the better camera. I shoot less than a dozen weddings per year so I skipped the D800. My clients would never see the difference and wouldn't pay me more anyway.

For most of this year I've been collecting and shooting vintage box cameras (c.1900--1955.) Some of my best photos so far this year have come from them. I've come to think that the camera gear is the least important aspect of photography when I get right down to it. Last month I charged a couple $250 for an outdoor photo session I shot with a Kodak Brownie and a couple of flashbulbs.


Kent in SD



Jun 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM
edl415
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Maki65 wrote:

Have any of you guys any advice on this?


Use the search button.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1199831/0?keyword=d300#11439861
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1207695/0?keyword=d700#11507151
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1196536/0?keyword=d700#11409746
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1194470/0?keyword=d700#11389597



Jun 21, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Maki65
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Thanks for the effort in replying chaps; it is appreciated. Out of interest, how much real world difference do any of you notice in image quality from the D700 and the D800 as I struggle to believe that at around ISO 200 there is a huge difference.

I am aware that technique is far the biggest factor in all this.



Jun 21, 2013 at 09:00 AM
playerofwar
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


The difference is night and day!
D800 is just WOW, D700 is alright.
Dynamic range is worlds apart and iso performance is also much better on the D800. And you have iso 100 on the D800, which is awesome.
Good comparison:
http://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d800/5
and
http://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-d800/6
for iso.



Jun 21, 2013 at 09:50 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



jbouchard
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Maki65 wrote:
My wife and I have a Nikon D300s with a 18-200mm lens and we are thinking of an upgrade to FX. I want better lenses and feel that DX lenses are not as good an investment as FX, not to mention the optical quality.
Also the D300s is not so great when the light dims, even at higher ISO's.


If you like your D300s for now, you might want to buy FX glass now and a new body later, unless you are fiscally able to buy a new body AND new glass at the same time, which is a big chunk of change. When I bought lenses for the D200 I purchased full frame lenses so I didn't have to buy all new glass if/when I went to FX. It was a good plan, at least for me. If you buy some good FX glass you should see a significant improvement over your all-in-one DX zoom, even while using it on your D300s.



Jun 21, 2013 at 10:49 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Long in the tooth D700 Printed up a gorgeous 20 X 24 for the landowner of this rookery Just sayin'...
It'll feel/handle just like your D300s and you gain ~ a stop and a half of clean high ISO and FX goodness.
Handheld SOOC




riversbendphotography

  NIKON D700    420mm    f/8.0    1/2000s    400 ISO    -1.0 EV  




Jun 21, 2013 at 11:30 AM
frankpetronio
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


I think the D300 platform is the best bang for the buck - great auto-focus and quick responsiveness with a professional build - and you could simply hold your horses and put the resources into savings and experiences rather than buying the next soon-to-be-obsolescent digital toy.

A couple nice prime lenses and a film body if you must spend any money at all. Try a $150 F100 and see if the full frame finder is that big a deal?

A D700 is nearly the same as a D300 at 2-2.5x the used price, the differences being an extra stop and half and a larger finder. A D600 will have noticeably worse auto-focus. And a D800 will be an expensive jump as you will likely drink the Kool Aid and rationalize a new lens kit. With either of the newer FX bodies you have to weigh the risk of being one of the unlucky losers of Nikon's lousy quality control.

Funny how 99% of the advice on this board is to spend more money in the hopes of becoming a better photographer through gear acquisition.



Jun 21, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Maki65
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


I am beginning to think a little more time spent on learning to get better is better than spending on newer gear.

It seems to me the D300s still takes great images ( why wouldn't it!) in 2013. After all, I bet most people could not tell in a blind test what image came out of which camera.



Jun 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Two23
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


frankpetronio wrote:
Funny how 99% of the advice on this board is to spend more money in the hopes of becoming a better photographer through gear acquisition.



It's taken me a number of years to finally come to understand that. I think we like new gear because it's easier to buy that than it is to actually improve our photos. The latter takes a lot of work and effort. Unless you are photo'ing something exceptionally demanding such as birds in flight or macro shots of insects, changes in gear mostly seem to lead to disappointment. For landscapes, really just about any photo gear will allow you to make stunning shots. I'm taking a vintage 1940s Leica IIIc to Hawaii with me next month. I plan to spend time at the top of the volcanoes and in the fresh lava fields. The Leica loaded with Ilford FP4 film is just the ticket! If I can't make great shots in a place like that with the Leica, I can't do it with a D4 either.

While I don't look at camera gear as an "investment," (especially digital cameras whose value seems to drop like a rock,) I will guess that in as little as 10 years my 1942 Leica will be worth as much or more than a D800, and maybe even a D4. In 20 years it certainly will be. Cameras have become disposable, much like computers.


Kent in SD



Jun 21, 2013 at 01:09 PM
playerofwar
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Maki65 wrote:
I am beginning to think a little more time spent on learning to get better is better than spending on newer gear.

It seems to me the D300s still takes great images ( why wouldn't it!) in 2013. After all, I bet most people could not tell in a blind test what image came out of which camera.


Give me 2 images of the same subject at the same time and I'll show you which is which .
(between D700 and D800)



Jun 21, 2013 at 01:25 PM
ckcarr
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


frankpetronio wrote:
Funny how 99% of the advice on this board is to spend more money in the hopes of becoming a better photographer through gear acquisition.


That's because this is a Nikon-mount SLR gear board. That's what is discussed. In general, new gear is what gets discussed on a gear board.
And, spend more money is often true, when someone is starting, with kit or general purpose lenses. But, it should be lenses, not bodies. Unless there is a need for a specific purpose.

You want information on landscapes, go to the Landscape board.
You want information on photographing people, you go to the People Photography Board.
You want information on nature & wildlife, go to the Nature & Wildlife board...

You can learn a lot on those boards by studying exifs, lenses used, composition & technique. You don't even have to talk, just use your noggin and look at the images!



Jun 21, 2013 at 01:27 PM
James R
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


frankpetronio wrote:
I think the D300 platform is the best bang for the buck - great auto-focus and quick responsiveness with a professional build - and you could simply hold your horses and put the resources into savings and experiences rather than buying the next soon-to-be-obsolescent digital toy.

A couple nice prime lenses and a film body if you must spend any money at all. Try a $150 F100 and see if the full frame finder is that big a deal?

A D700 is nearly the same as a D300 at 2-2.5x the used price, the differences being an extra stop and half
...Show more

The OP wasn't asking for gear that would make him a better photographer. He was looking for advice on purchasing an FX format digital camera, which is what he got.



Jun 21, 2013 at 01:59 PM
frankpetronio
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


Well my advice, related to Nikon gear, was not to "invest" too much. You don't always have to "upgrade". People made great images back in 2007 with D300s and even in 2005 with D200s....

Frankly when I see somebody all decked out with a rack of 2.8 zooms and the latest "pro" bodies, I tend to categorize them as somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate amateur photographer ;-p



Jun 21, 2013 at 02:11 PM
jasoncallen
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Nikon D300s upgrade or What!


The D700 long in the tooth? D700 is alright?! Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

You will see a marked improvement in image quality by using good, fast glass on a D700 vs an 18-200 on the D300s. With fast glass and a D700, you will be able to shoot at faster shutter speeds, and in lower light. The D700 will give you better dynamic range, too.

I've made 16x20", 24x20", and 20x30" enlargements from 6, 10, and 12 megapixel shots from a D40, D200, and D90/D300/D700... if you can't get a good 20x30" print from those cameras, the problem isn't the camera or lens. Hell, I've printed 16x20s from D2H (4.1 MP) shots.

All that said, you'll see a marked improvement in your images on your existing D300s if you use faster, sharper lenses than the 18-200. There are excellent ultra-wide lenses like the Tokina 11-16/2.8, the Nikon 12-24/4, etc. There are excellent primes in the normal and telephoto ranges that are FX lenses as well, should you decide to switch to FX later. There are tons of great, and (compared to FX equivalents) inexpensive f/2.8 zooms that are razor sharp, like the 17-55/2.8 AFS, the Tamron 17-50/2.8, Tokina 16-50/2.8, etc etc.

What exactly ISN'T your D300s doing that you need improved? Is it the look of FX's shallower depth of focus vs. DX? Is it the low-light performance after ISO 1600?

I will say this: unless you're printing billboards, the D800's resolution will be lost on you, and you will be regularly buying hard drives to hold the massive files. The D800's dynamic range is amazing, however.



Jun 21, 2013 at 02:23 PM
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