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Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions
  
 
the solitaire
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p.1 #1 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Hi all, I need some advise from those who used one or more of the cameras.

There is a reason for me to stick with these "old" models, and the reason is money.
I have a $1500 budget for this endeavour.

Now, I have a D300 camera, with MB-10 grip.

For most all purposes it's a great piece of equipment, looks a bit worn but serves me well. I use it for 2 main subject styles and for one of those two it is more camera then I need, or at least enough.

For one, I photograph a lot with manual focus Nikon lenses. The D300 serves me well here, other then that the viewfinder could have been a bit bigger.

The other subject is sports. This is more of a hobby and I do not get paid for it. The D300 high ISO performance seriously lets me down, and when using the 80-200 f2,8 AF-D two ring lens AF speed could be faster but is adequate as long as I pick my shots.

There are a few things I like about the D300
-File size
-Burst speed (NEF as well as JPG)
-Control layout and camera build
-AF performance

Then there are things that leave me wanting
-viewfinder size
-high ISO performance

One of the perks of the D300 body that I like but could pass on is the flash command mode using the built in flash. A few Yongnuo units could easily fix that on a D3.

I got 2 good offers. One for a D700 with 21k actuations looking really good

The benefits of the D700 over my D300
-bigger viewfinder
-better high ISO performance

The same
-control layout and camera build
-file size
-burst rate
-batteries

The cons
-only 95% viewfinder coverage

Then I also got an offer in my price range for a D3 with 150k actuations but also looking good and recently serviced

Benefits I see in the D3 over the D300
-bigger viewfinder
-better high ISO performance
-control layout and camera build
-burst rate and faster/better(?) AF tracking

The same
-file size

The cons
-150k actuations
-expensive batteries

From those who handled any or several of these cameras, would you buy a well used but well treated D3 over a similar priced hardly used D700?

And if you are willing to comment on it, what would be the reason behind your decision?

I'm trying to make up my mind and at the moment I gravitate towards the D3, also because it will be slightly smaller then a gripped D700

Edited on Jun 24, 2014 at 07:46 AM · View previous versions



Jun 20, 2014 at 05:43 PM
Richard Booth
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p.1 #2 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


I have owned a D3 since they first rolled out. It is an absolute workhorse and will not disappoint. I just purchased a D800 because I couldn't pass up the 36.5 mp sensor. I will NEVER get rid of my my D3. Buy this over the others. You won't regret it.

Richard



Jun 20, 2014 at 05:58 PM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


D3 The dual CF slots are HUGE and the EN-EL4a's last for days of shooting.
I have the gripped D700 as well and the IQ's almost identical, but the handling's
not quite the same. The D3's rated to 300K so no worries there and an extra perk
is the ability to shoot in 5:4 (read 8 X 10's SOOC) FWIW, My batts are 7 years old and
still going strong. Just sayin'



Jun 20, 2014 at 06:02 PM
Mataz426
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p.1 #4 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


I only own the D700 but here are a couple of things to think about. Do you like having a smaller (not gripped camera) for still life? You could use the grip from the D300 for the 700. If you are serious about shooting sports with any camera, you might as well get the en-el4a batteries (so that shoots the battery cost down for the D3) I wouldn't let the 150k be a negative in deciding on the D3. They can far exceed that. The D700 has the sensor cleaner also. Get the D3


Jun 20, 2014 at 06:07 PM
r_o_b_s_o_n
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p.1 #5 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


D700 Hands down... it's (almost) everything that the D3 is... same sensor, same AF unit (although supposedly the D3 does have a bit of an advantage...), cheeper than the D3, and more versatile...

if you've already got the grip for the D300 it will also work on the D700.



Jun 20, 2014 at 06:31 PM
Spectro
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p.1 #6 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


I have the D700 and two D3s bodies. I previously had two D3 bodies. I shoot sports and events and the D700 stays at home. I like it as a personal camera but the difference in operation for just about anything other than a smaller lighter camera is night and day. I really like the D700 but I would not consider it for sports. Some do really well with the grip for sports but the D3 is just much better ergonomically. If you plan to shoot winter sports(I shoot Alpine Ski Racing) you can operate the large buttons on the D3 without removing your gloves. Even if the D3 shutter dies down the road for about $500 Nikon puts in a new shutter and you just keep going. Rain/snow/hot/cold it's all good with the D3. As far as IQ and ISO the D3 and D700 are identical. They're both great.


Jun 20, 2014 at 06:36 PM
the solitaire
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p.1 #7 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Thank you all for the wise words of advise.

I sent a message to the shop that offered me the D3 and will wait and hope they still have it.
Sounds like the D3 will be the more substantial when coming from a D300



Jun 20, 2014 at 06:52 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #8 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Ouch ... tough choice ... My gut says go with the D3 like you finally did ... but the D700 is nice for having the same layout and being able to share the grip ...


Jun 20, 2014 at 07:51 PM
the solitaire
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p.1 #9 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Andre, I do intend to keep the D300 around, so sharing the grip would rather mean buying another MB-D10 if I went with the D700

The D300 in my opinion is that good, and it really is Nikons decision in not offering a successor that made me decide to buy a used pro body instead. And in the end it was pure ergonomics and brute power the D300 offered that I did not find in the D7100 or D7000.



Jun 20, 2014 at 09:00 PM
JeffAUSTIN
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p.1 #10 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


i bought my d700 new for 2200 back 7 years ago, is it still worth 1500?


Jun 20, 2014 at 09:27 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



CanadaMark
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p.1 #11 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


JeffAUSTIN wrote:
i bought my d700 new for 2200 back 7 years ago, is it still worth 1500?


Closer to $1200 if it's a good sample, but you definitely did well on your 7 years depreciation!

OP - Nice choice on the D3. With the minimal price difference between a used D700 and D3, I'd have gone that route as well.



Jun 20, 2014 at 09:32 PM
the solitaire
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p.1 #12 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


CanadaMark wrote:
Closer to $1200 if it's a good sample, but you definitely did well on your 7 years depreciation!

OP - Nice choice on the D3. With the minimal price difference between a used D700 and D3, I'd have gone that route as well.


The price difference between the D700 and D3 was about 10% of the asking price on the D3. Not exactly $1500. In Europe prices tend to be a bit higher then in the US.

I paid EUR 1300 for the D3 (that's about $1800) and the D700 offered would sell for EUR 1150 which is about $1500, If I would buy in the US however I would have to pay 19% on taxes and another 6% on import duties. With that in mind, when comparing prices for items in the US and Europe I tend to substract about 20% from the prices on stuff over here to reflect these additional cost and determine whether buying overseas really makes sense.



Jun 20, 2014 at 09:56 PM
pr4photos
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p.1 #13 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


I went from D300 to D700 and never regretted it. I still use and its a brilliant camera


Jun 20, 2014 at 10:26 PM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #14 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


the solitaire wrote:
The price difference between the D700 and D3 was about 10% of the asking price on the D3. Not exactly $1500. In Europe prices tend to be a bit higher then in the US.

I paid EUR 1300 for the D3 (that's about $1800) and the D700 offered would sell for EUR 1150 which is about $1500, If I would buy in the US however I would have to pay 19% on taxes and another 6% on import duties. With that in mind, when comparing prices for items in the US and Europe I tend to substract about 20%
...Show more

I did not notice you were from Germany! Glad you found a deal you're happy with.



Jun 20, 2014 at 10:33 PM
louel512
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p.1 #15 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


I really like my D700. You get that full frame look, but doesn't cost as much as the D3. Yes, the D3 does have 9 FPS RAW, which is great for sports, but since you already have the MB-D10, you would just need to buy an adapter battery cover to use the D3's batteries, allowing you to shoot 8 FPS, which is good enough. Plus, the D700 has the same sensor as the D3, but if you wanted to carry the d700 around for traveling or what not, you wouldn't have to carry around the battery pack with you all the time. I bought a used D700 for $750 believe or not. And though it has >300K shutters, it would only cost $300-400 to replace it, still costing less than the average D700 out there.


Jun 21, 2014 at 05:27 AM
the solitaire
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p.1 #16 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Lorenzo, that's an incredible deal indeed, and I do believe Nikon knows how to build a camera that lasts. There are still many good D700's around even today, and a lot of the folks that I generally chat with love theirs.

For now I bought the D3 and will keep the D300 that I already own as a backup. Even if I will most likely grab the D3 for 90% of the photos I take, occasionally it's just nice to have a 2nd camera with mounted lens at the ready.

Yes, 8 FPS is pretty neat, but if the D700 is anything like the D300 focus tracking is more reliable at 6 FPS. At 8 FPS I usually miss the first few frames, the next 3-4 are dead on and the last 2 or 3 from an 8 shot burst are OoF again.

Once I mounted the MB-D10 on my D300 I did not take it off, except to change the camera battery when depleted.

I started photography with a Nikon FM2 and one of the best purchases for that camera was an MD-12 motordrive which allowed me to handle the 80-200 f4 Ai-S better. I never took the motordrive for the 10+ years that I used the camera.

I had a vertical grip for my D70s. Passed on th edodgy plastic grip for my D200 but the MB-D10 fealt substantial enough again so I was happier with my D300 then I ever was with my D200.

The D3 will have about the form factor of the F5 that I also own and love. If I feel inclined to bring a smaller camera it will be the Nikon F3 or FM2 that I bring, along with 2 or 3 small primes. That is one thing the digital era took from me. A pocketable full fledged SLR with the build quality that gives me the confidence to slip it in a coat pocket without worrying that something breaks and with the tactile experience of those old full manual cameras and lenses. It's a dream, it won't happen, so I just take my old cameras instead and scan the negatives.

Some things about photography just need to be experienced, and I will soon own a D300 and D3 to cover everything else

@ CanadaMark, thank you. Yes, it is a good deal that I found. And within my budget. Now I will just go and hope the D3 will last me a good while, but going from my experience with the D200 that I used from 2006 until the start of last year without a glitch I'm fairly positive that a workhorse like the D3 will do just that.

I only bough the D300 in February 2013 because I sold the D200 well and could get the D300 without paying much towards the profits of the D200 sale. Nikon then did not seem to be very willing to anounce a predecessor and back then I could not get a better camera for my money then the D300. The same applies to the D3 now. Still no D400. Even though my lenses lose some reach now, I think the high ISO performance will well make up for that.



Jun 21, 2014 at 07:42 AM
PotchieR
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p.1 #17 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


I was in the same dilemma before but I went with the D700 to save money. I then sold that and bought a D800E for the 36MP sensor. I've never had a D3 but I'm sure you'll enjoy it and be able to use its full potential.


Jun 21, 2014 at 08:21 AM
nikt
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p.1 #18 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Congrats on the purchase buddy.


Jun 21, 2014 at 08:51 AM
xecaoebrung8
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p.1 #19 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


Congrats.


Jun 21, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #20 · Need advise: D300, D700 or D3 More thoughts and questions


the solitaire wrote:
If I feel inclined to bring a smaller camera it will be the Nikon F3 or FM2 that I bring, along with 2 or 3 small primes. That is one thing the digital era took from me. A pocketable full fledged SLR with the build quality that gives me the confidence to slip it in a coat pocket without worrying that something breaks and with the tactile experience of those old full manual cameras and lenses. It's a dream, it won't happen, so I just take my old cameras instead and scan the negatives.


Too late.. I was going to add my vote to the D3 (mirror assembly rated to 300k anyway so yours should still last you a long time before needing a new one).

re. your comment above on FF SLR for your manual lenses. Without appearing to be too much of a Sony A7(r) fanboy (though I seem to be edging in that direction !), once you have tried one of those cameras you will be hooked .. line & sinker. MF is now enjoyable for me again (after dropping MF on the D800 as my relatively poor eyesight couldn't handle it on that camera). There is focus peaking (I have changed mine to a red outline) and two zoom magnifications, focusing MF lenses on an A7(r) is just so much FUN again

Maybe one for the future for you when funds become available. In the meantime if you get the chance (e.g. at a show or demo day) go and give it a try with a couple of your lenses (buy a cheap US$10 adapter before you go).



Jun 21, 2014 at 09:47 AM
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