My apologies in advance if this topic has been covered here in some form or another.
I am in the process of upgrading from my old gear. I currently have two D200 bodies (one with less than 20 actuations as it was a back up body I never used) and two D1X's with buffer upgrades.
As far as lenses I currently own the following (all Nikon):
-35mm 2.0 AF-D (I love this sharp little lens) -50mm 1.8 AF-D -85mm 1.8 AF-D -180mm 2.8 AF-ED (non D version, but probably the sharpest lens I have ever used) -300mm 4.0 AF-S -17-55mm 2.8 AF-S DX -28-105mm 3.5/4.5 AF-D -80-200mm 2.8 AF-D -Manual focus AIS: 24mm 2.8, 35mm 2.0, 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, 105mm 2.5
Other Nikon gear:
-Flashes: Two SB000 speedlights -Way too many Nikon film bodies (S2 rangefinder, F with standard prism, F with FTN Photomic finder, F2A, F3, F3HP, F100, FM2 chrome body, FM2 black body, N80, plus motor drives for all minus the S2).
Photo imaging software:
-Photoshop CS2 (I know, I should have upgraded when I had the chance; I was/am happy with this old version)
I mostly shoot people and the occasional wedding/sports and travel pics. I'm guessing that I'm shooting maybe 10 weddings per year; not my primary source of income. My only true "pro" workhorse lens is the 17-55mm 2.8 DX. I haven't upgraded since my D200 because of financial issues. Now I'm ready to upgrade, but all I can spend is near the $2,700 range. I would like the camera for all around use plus the occasional weddings.
I had originally thought about going with either a D800 or a Canon 6D with 24-105 L kit lens, but after reviewing my finances I don't think I can go with either one as I have to update to a new computer and CS6. That leaves me with less spending money, so the options now are either a D7100 or a D600.
I am used to using DX and have gotten used to post processing my D200 images to control noise and WB issues. So, DX doesn't really hinder my workflow much as I'm used to using it. I would like to shoot FX, but I can't afford a D800 plus all the computer/software upgrades that it requires. Also, my only "pro" lens right now is my Nikon 17-55mm 2.8 AF-S DX. At some point down the road (far down the road) I will have to purchase a similar FX equivalent "pro" lens, but for now I'm stuck with what I currently own.
My impression is that the D7100 seems better built (ruggedness/weather sealing) than the D600. The D600 has a reputation of getting oil on the sensor. That detail has been nagging me ever since I started doing the research on this camera. I have read that many D600 users have not experienced this issue, but I have also read about many who have.
If I get a D7100, will I be getting a top-of-the-line pro DX body (like a D300), or is it simply a more rugged version of the D5200? Should I go with a D7100 for now (plus new computer and CS6) and wait a year or two until I can afford a D900 (or whatever FX) body? Should I go with a D600 and NX2 (not sure if it would be compatible with XP though)?
I posted a similar question on another forum and most people recommended I buy a used D700 for now. I haven't seen too many used D700's recently, so I'm not comfortable with buying used at this time.
The first point - Either one will be a great upgrade for you so this is a win-win. There are different degrees of winning, however.
I prefer the FX D600 because of the slight edge in low light, however, keep in mind that the D7100 is very close.
Both are about the same regarding ruggedness and weather sealing. The D600 dust/oil issue is settling down plus, that never was a weatherproofing issue.
The D7100 and the D600 are both considered prosumer cameras so it really depends on your long-term goals. Do you want to stay with DX or move to FX. As I said in the beginning, you won't loose either way. Both cameras will deliver. It's really up to the photographer to push them to their limits.
"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right ....and which is an illusion"
>The first point - Either one will be a great upgrade for you >so this is a win-win. There are different degrees of winning, >however. > >I prefer the FX D600 because of the slight edge in low light, >however, keep in mind that the D7100 is very close. > >Both are about the same regarding ruggedness and weather >sealing. The D600 dust/oil issue is settling down plus, that >never was a weatherproofing issue. > >The D7100 and the D600 are both considered prosumer cameras so >it really depends on your long-term goals. Do you want to stay >with DX or move to FX. As I said in the beginning, you won't >loose either way. Both cameras will deliver. It's really up to >the photographer to push them to their limits.
My guess is that I will be using this camera for the next three years until I'm able to upgrade again.
I have been pushing my D200 to its limits, but I think I reached a point where I need better IQ.
While browsing through the available cameras on B&H, I noticed that they still sell the D300s. I wonder if I should go that route? I'm sure that any newer camera will have a much better sensor than my D200.
As far as DX or FX, I would prefer FX, but it's not a deal breaker for me since I am used to shooting with DX. Better construction/reliability is probably higher up on my wish list. I have used prosumer cameras in the past (D70) and they failed miserably under stress (humid environments, etc). I would hate to spend the $2100 on a D600 only to have it fail on me under slight stress. On that note, the oil on the sensor issue makes me nervous as it could be a sign of faulty design in which a major malfunction might manifest itself after 10,000 frames or so.
Any camera you buy will, from D5200 up, will give better IQ but what does IQ mean to you? The first one to cross off your list is the D300s. It is a marginal step up from the D200, is nicely built and has good AF but any modern camera has better DR, lower noise and higher resolution and color depth. The D7100 has superior AF and excellent DR and color, the best DX camera made. For sports or wildlife shooters, the D7100 would be a better choice than the D600. For everyone else, the D600 might be the best bang for the buck going. None of these cameras have a history of not being rugged or falling apart under hard use. Being lighter than the D200, also means not needing to be as heavy to be resilient. Dropping any DSLR on rocks while hiking is going to do damage, while dropping your cell phone or point and shoot will possibly not cause damage. None are waterproof, even the only really weather resistant camera in the Nikon line, the D4. The D7100 and D600 are similar in construction, based on the D7000 in layout, materials and internal placement of modules.
A D700 would be a good choice that combines modest used price, rugged build, good AF and acceptable 12mpx. Everything built since it was introduced has better DR and color depth however. You can get one for just a little more than a D7100. A D600 will have better IQ however and twice the resolution.
I would think the decision would be easy, to need to upgrade usually implies that a characteristic of the present camera is preventing achieving ones photographics goals. What is your D200 keeping you from doing? If you print large its small files size might be the problem. Or if you were required to shoot without enough light, that would be reason enough to upgrade but for general photography, you will not see much difference between the D200 and newer cameras or between any DSLRs. The new cameras have additional capabilities that are mostly useful in the extremes, like extreme DR scenes or in very low light but typical shots, using decent light, or with flash properly used, not so much difference can be seen.
Just to complicate things further, note that a D800 refurb can be found for as little as $400 more than a D600 and is certainly the best imaging device in the DSLR format today. It would offer the IQ and ruggedness you seek and then some.
Your needs will determine what fits more than spec lists and features. One of the needs will be the update of your software and hardware for post processing, is a major consideration for all of us. These large files are a load for any system so lots of memory, external drives(typically 2TB per year for raw files for a D800),USB 3.0, Quad core processor and color managed high res monitor.
If in your shoes I would do what I actually did, saved up for a D800, but for portraiture and weddings, the D600 comes very close in IQ and noise. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Thom Hogan (http://www.bythom.com/) gives some good perspective in his 23 Apr blog “DX versus FX (again)”. Just scroll down a bit from the top of the page. It’s one of the sites that everyone should probably bookmark. - TJ
#6. "RE: D600 or D7100?" In response to Reply # 4 Sat 27-Apr-13 01:55 AM by snegron
Cape Coral, Florida, US
I'm looking for better low-light/high-ISO results, less noise. While I post process with CS2 and Noiseware Professional plugin, I find myself going through way too much trouble to get images from D200 NEF files to the point I want for large printing.
I would love to get a D800, but as you mentioned, the cost of upgrading my computer and software at this time are beyond my reach. In addition to whether I go with a D600 or D800, I'm going to need pro-quality glass in the near future. I'm set with glass for now if I go DX, but I would like to dive into FX at some time.
As for wedding work, I'm not too terribly concerned with either DX or FX. When I went digital (from medium format film) I used D1X's and was able to get nice print books and 16"x20" prints without a problem. Like you mentioned, any newer camera will have a much better sensor than what I currently own. Also, I don't shoot too many weddings a year anymore (maybe 10), so I would like a more "all around" camera.
I like the compact/lighter body of the D7100. My gripped D200 with 17-55mm 2.8 and SB800 currently weigh at least a ton (or so it feels after the first hour of shooting). Even the ungripped D200 body with a small lens feels heavy lately; definitely not a travel-friendly camera. Of course, if I were to use a D7100 with my 17-55 lens I would have to have a battery grip to balance out the weight. I have tried using the 17-55 with an ungripped D200 and my hand cramps up.
I know this may sound silly, but I consider the old F100 film body to be the perfect fit for my hands. It was the perfect size and weight.
>Thom Hogan (http://www.bythom.com/) gives some good >perspective in his 23 Apr blog “DX versus FX (again)”. Just >scroll down a bit from the top of the page. It’s one of the >sites that everyone should probably bookmark. - TJ
Thanks for the link! Very good read! I think Thom Hogan is right and makes plenty of sense in this article. The proof is that if Nikon would produce a D400 it would probably tip the scales in favor of DX. With my luck, as soon as I buy a D7100 Nikon will release the D400!
Thanks again for the link. It truly placed everything in perspective for me. Looks like I am now leaning a bit more toward the D7100!