I currently shoot a D200, and photograph horse shows on a part-time, paid basis. My D200 is currently in the shop (black frames on startup/resume shooting after a break) and am contemplating a jump to a newer camera if the repair is too expensive.
I am thinking about a D7000, but have some concerns. The photographer I shoot for has me shoot RAW (which I would do anyway), and sometimes RAW+ if the images need to by uploaded during a long-weekend's show.
My D200 has a 21 image RAW buffer, and slightly less than that RAW+. While I don't do it often as I did when I was starting out, I will hit fill the buffer when doing cutting horse events....probably 2-4x during a day's shoot, esp if the horse/rider are good and the cows running well.
The write-speed on the D200 buffer is fairly slow, so I am wondering how the D7000's 10-image buffer for RAW images compares to the D200 in terms of "clearing out" the buffer.
Essentially...does the D7000's buffer write significantly faster that it's better than...or a wash with...the D200's buffer write-speed (e.g. D200 buffer 2x as large, but half as fast = D7000 buffer that is 2x as fast?)
Cutting horse and many rodeo roping events can easily fill my D200's buffer....barrel racing and other horse events will not. But I am trying to plan for the "what I normally shoot" scenario.
I can't see making the incremental jump from my D200 to a D300/300s, and I can't afford a new FF anything like a D600.
I've contemplated a used D700, as the FPS is the same as my D200, or faster with the grip + el14 battery...but it's also 50% more expensive, at least, than a new D7000, and I've not had the best of luck with used camera equipment (My D200 is only at 59k shutter actuations, and I got it at 14k).
#1. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 0
Port Charlotte, US
HI Tim, At the top of the D7000 forum there is a post called "Image Buffer Size and Settings" which is an great reference regarding the D7000's buffer performance.
Some of the later replies discuss the maximum speed to drain the buffer based on newer, faster SDHC cards.
In general, the D7000 is an excellent general purpose camera. I use it for everything from landscape to models to covering a triathlon. Results are always great. During the triathlon I shot approximately 2,000 images (Large-fine JPEG) over 5-hours and the battery on the D7000 was still at 30% (without a grip). I would have expected about the same performance with 12-bit RAW, but the sponsor wanted JPEG.
Good luck with your decision.
"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right ....and which is an illusion"
#2. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 1
Thanks for the referral to that post...I'll check it out. I'm usually pretty good at trying to research things before asking questions...I hate being "that guy" (esp as a new guy here)...but I'm still just trying to get used to this forum's layout.
I've been getting some feedback that the D300 might be better suited for the horse event/rodeo stuff I do (burst rate and buffer size), but was hoping to get something a little newer in the technology department.
Someone indicated that shutter replacements..which may be what my D200's issue is...run about $450, which is half the cost of a D300, which will have better ISO performance than my D200, my biggest complaint about it.
#3. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 2
St Petersburg, RU
Are you shooting burst? The D300 is really slow in 14 bit RAW(only 2.5 fps) but is fast in JPG and 12 bit RAW. The AF performance with a D300s will be better for action than the D7000 and the frame rate will be better in JPG or 12 bit but for all other criteria, the D7000 is a better image taking machine. If you have long enough FX lenses, the D700 sounds like what you really need. I assume you are shooting all outdoors because the cutters I used to shoot(my own, when training) were often in indoor arenas which are light sponges. I was shooting MF film so any AF would have been a wonder. At low ISO, a D200 is not that much different in image quality from a D300 but the D300 pulls firmly ahead over 800. If I was shooting the same subjects, I would prefer the D7000, the IQ is better, the low light performance is better, resolution is better, color depth is better, low ISO noise is much better(better than a D700 also). A cutter is much larger an AF target so the benefits of a D300s would not be seen with cutting horses the way, say, birds in flight would challenge the D7000 MultiCAM4800. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#4. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 3
With my D200, I assume I'm only shooting 12-bit, since I don't know I've ever seen the ability to change it.
I shoot fast-burst on the camera, and since you know cutters, I start shooting just as the horse starts to dip when they're about to make the cut back to follow the cow. I usually shoot 2-5 images depending on where the cow/horse are in relation to each other and how the horse/rider and cow are working together.
There are some horses and riders that have hit near perfect positions with every cut on every cow that day, and with them, I could just lay on the shutter for the entire 2:30. OK, I exaggerate.
There are occasions where I might shoot in a covered, but not indoor arena, so having to overcome the backlighting by boosting ISO would help, and 800 hasn't cut it in a couple arenas.
Were it not for the buffer size (10 frames RAW) of the D7000, I wouldn't even be asking this question.
If I had either a full-time job or the extra cash, I'd get the D700 + grip and hit 8 FPS. Add the 1.4 teleconverter and I have nearly the same "reach" as my DX camera.
#5. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 3
> A cutter is much larger an AF target so the benefits of a D300s would not be seen with cutting horses the way, say, birds in flight would challenge the D7000 MultiCAM4800.
True enough, but I can definitely tell the difference between CAM3500 (D300/D3) and CAM2000 (D2x), and that's on subjects that are at least as big as any horse I've ever seen: NASCAR / IndyCar / Formula One cars. I don't know much about the D7000's AF system but I don't think it's more capable than the CAM2000, despite the marketing numbers.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#6. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 0
Brighton and Hove, GB
I haven't done any scientific testing, I can only report my subjective experience from shooting at an airshow earlier this year. I have Class 10 45MB/s cards (Sandisk Extreme Pro UHS-1). In fast burst mode, shooting 12-bit RAW only, the camera filled the buffer (10 frames) in about a second and a half and then slowed down to what seemed like about 1.5 frames per second. With faster cards the initial burst of 10 will go at the same speed (the camera's frame-rate limit) but then it should chug along a little faster because the buffer will empty a bit quicker.
#7. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 6 Thu 01-Nov-12 04:17 AM by ShrimpBoy
Brighton and Hove, GB
I was just thinking about this mathematically. My 12-bit RAWs seem to average around 13MB each. So in theory clearing 6 per second (to keep the camera going at 6 frames per second) requires 6x13=78MB/s card speed. Based on that my 45MB/s cards should let the camera go at a little over 3 frames per second when the buffer fills, but it only seemed to achieve half that. Evidently there's some additional overhead getting in the way. I guess this another way of saying that even a 95MB/s card won't get you continuous 6 frames per second after the buffer fills, but I would hope it does better than 1.5.
#8. "RE: D7000 for sports shooting" In response to Reply # 5
St Petersburg, RU
Initial acquision is a bit slower but once locked, the 4800 tracks very well. I believe it is better in that regard than the CAM2000. All this is a moot point however since the main requirement is continuous shooting in RAW which pretty much spells D3s or D4 as the answer. A D300s is pretty cheap right now so if speed is the prime requirement and not IQ or high ISO performance, that is an option, more of a sideways move instead of a real upgrade in higher ISO performance. Stan St Petersburg Russia