Since I have just bought a D700 and still have a D300 I thought I would do my own comparison tests on the famed ISO capabilities of the D700 against a not so feeble ISO capable D300, I was hoping to get miraculous results, but expecting much less, how wrong was I!!!!
I know this experiment has probably been done 1000's of times but I wanted to prove it myself.
Both setups were on a tripod (not moved) using the same settings and lens (although I tried to adjust focal length to get a similar image) taken under florescent and standard bulb lighting in my kitchen on auto white balance @ f8 in aperture priority mode.
The images were opened in CS3 cropped, positioned and exported to JPG's only, no other PS work done, not even sharpening
#1. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
#4. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 3
Looks plain enough that the D700 has considerably less noise at 3200 and at 6400, which is what counts the most. The other great advantage with the D700 is, of course, the true "full frame" format. It's so nice to be able to once again use my Nikor 50mm f/1.8 as a normal, general purpose lens, and to use the Nikor 85mm f/1.8 as a true portrait lens (instead of a telephoto, which is what it is with a DX camera), and to be able to use my Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 as a true wide angle for shooting large groups in tight quarters. And what stunning super wide angle pix I'm getting with the Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8. And when I need more reach, I simply switch the D700 to the DX shooting mode. We have a D300 at work which I have used, and it is a very good camera. But now that I own and have extensively used the D700, in my books the D700 is the gold standard. I came close to buying a D300, but opted for the D700 instead. To me, it's worth the extra $$. To some that may not be the case, but I find the D700 is the better choice for my style of photography, which features a lot of wide-angle shooting, as well as shooting at 3600 ISO and above.
#5. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 4
My D700 is still on the way but seeing this just reinforces my decision to go with the D700 instead of the D300. In fact I had the D300 here at the house but even before getting it set up I sent it back and ordered the D700. I also am looking forward to using my old lenses. I expected there to be a huge difference at ISO 1600, 3200 and 6400, but even at 800 the difference is so visible. I am glad I made the choice to spend the extra grand+.
#7. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
Thanks for posting!
I have tried myself at a photoexpo. It is a different experience trying it yourself. Unfortunately, I am not much of a wide-angle shooter, but mainly using 200 mm+. Buying a D700 will not only cost me more for the body, but much more in lenses. And weight...
However, to me it looks like the D300 shots are underexposed compared to the D700 shots.
#9. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 7
#11. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 9
>>However, to me it looks like the D300 shots are
>>compared to the D700 shots.
>i left it in AP instead of fully manual and the d300 metered 1
>stop under on the 1600 & 3200
I see. But even the 800 shot seems to have a different exposure.
#12. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 11
>>>However, to me it looks like the D300 shots are
>>>compared to the D700 shots.
>>i left it in AP instead of fully manual and the d300
>>stop under on the 1600 & 3200
>I see. But even the 800 shot seems to have a different
nope the 800 metered the same
#13. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 12
>>>>However, to me it looks like the D300 shots are
>>>>compared to the D700 shots.
>>>i left it in AP instead of fully manual and the d300
>>>stop under on the 1600 & 3200
>>I see. But even the 800 shot seems to have a different
>nope the 800 metered the same
I didn't say it didn't meter the same. Just that the two pics look like they have different exposure, as do the 1600 and 3200 pics.
#14. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 13
#16. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 15
Like others... I pulled the trigger yesterday on a D700. Went to D300 from the D200 and the noise performance was much better. However what is interesting about your posts is the difference in exposure. My copy of the D300 had a tendency to underexpose a bit if I followed a light meter. Also, with the D300 I shot next to someone using the other "C" brand camera and I had to crank up my exposure over one full stop to get similar histograms in low light and even with more light, my histograms had quite a bit less information then the "C" brand - visually the images reflected what the histograms indicated. I was a bit frustrated and called Nikon - They have great tech folks - and they informed me that Canon may underestimate the sensitivity of their reported ISO's. Regardless - it looks like the D700 will address any concerns I have. Perhaps I just had a bad copy of the D300 though it still performed very well once I learned how to use it.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#17. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
Great post. Makes me glad I skipped the D300 and got the D700. In my own comparisons, I judge the D700 at ISO3200 to be about the same noise-wise as the D2x at ISO400 and the D200 at ISO800.
#19. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
This comparison is typically of what I have seen and what makes me think the D700 will be a long lived DSLR camera in the hands of its users, regardless of how long Nikon manufacturers it.
#20. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 19
Every time I waffle a little and think I might settle for less, I see a comparison like this and realize I need to wait to afford the D700.
It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
#25. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 23
Dave, if you have any spare time , could you possibly post side by side one-stop and two-stop progressions of these same images?
E.g. D300 ISO 800 stitched to a D700 ISO 1600
D300 ISO 800 stitched to a D700 ISO 3200
or going as high as possible e.g.
D300 ISO 1600 stitched to a D700 ISO 3200
D300 ISO 1600 stitched to a D700 ISO 6400.
My motivation is that I have long-wondered:
- is D700 closer to 1-stop or closer to two-stop benefit over D300?
- and I suspect most of the benefit is at the high-end so the second series above would be more telling I guess?
Anyhow, really appreciated this series that you posted!
Best regards, SteveK
My Nikonians gallery
'A camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.' -- Dorothea Lange
#26. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 25
hope this helps
#29. "Big color difference?" | In response to Reply # 0
For the oranges that are split between the two cameras, I see a big difference in color. Maybe it is exposure as others have mentioned but the D700 certainly looks better in this regard. I am tempted to sell one of my D300's for a D700 and this comparison is really pushing me.
#30. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
thanks so much for the comparision...
have been pondering lately over which one of the 2 i should get...
you have just helped to clear my doubts about the extra cash for the D700...
thanks once again and merry christmas...
#31. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
Thanks for the comparison photos. A this time, I am very seriously considering the D700. The D300, which I have, and the D700 would make a very powerful combination – actually it is a no-brainer. However, I do know that the "combo" will be it for me, for about 10 years or more, when it comes to cameras. That is why I’m not pulling the trigger, yet. On the other hand, the combo is an almost identical camera system and I have most of the accessories. In addition, there is not that much of a difference between the cameras that it would not make any sense using the D300. DX has an advantage on the long end and FX is much cleaner with an advantage in the wide end.
I believe that the D700x (with the D3x sensor) will be announced around January and I have no idea how much Nikon will charge for it. I’m still trying to figure out the D3x sensor and how good it is and how much different will the D800 be? Or the future will also hold a D800 and a D800x?
Nikon shoots themselves in the foot by not announcing their future plans. Trying to figure out all of these is like navigating in the dark, blindfolded.
#32. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 31
I have started to feel the same, that I will have an FX and a DX camera. Never thought I'd not be happy with the D300. Well, I am, but the ISO performance of the D700 is something completely different...
>I believe that the D700x (with the D3x sensor) will be
>announced around January and I have no idea how much Nikon
>will charge for it. Iï¿½m still trying to figure out the D3x
>sensor and how good it is and how much different will the D800
>be? Or the future will also hold a D800 and a D800x?
What about a possible D400?
#33. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 32
>What about a possible D400?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
No, I would not go for the D400. The D300 is more than enough for a DX camera for me. In fact, I love the D300 and will never sell it. The next camera is a 35mm one. The question is whether to get the D700 or wait. The D700x is just around the corner but I would venture to guess that it would be between $4,500 ± $500. Are the extra pixels (twice as many) worth twice the price of the D700? I do not know the answer to that question.
Another question? If I get an FX camera that is far superior to the D300, will I ever use the D300 again? I do not think so. I just got the three DX lenses – 10.5mm, 16-85 VR, and the 55-200 VR. I really intend to use the D300 as my main camera. In addition, I have to dip into my savings for the D700, but I knew that for some time. You only live once and a 35mm digital camera is a dream come true. However, I will not withdraw more than $2,500 from my savings. Period. If I wait the D700 will only decrease in price. Since, I am freezing the expending with bodies for about 10 years, what’s the difference if I wait a bit longer. Under that scenario, I will also see when the D800 comes out, the direction the whole thing is going.
Are more pixels important? Oh, yeah! And how! However, what about computer power! More pixels = more computer power, including a laptop that can handle it. The whole thing is never ending. We have to think along the lines of a system and not just the individual components like camera bodies. For example, the most important thing that I did was not to purchase a new lens or camera body. It was to get a 24” widescreen for my monitor and upgrade the PC to dual core 3GHz. The D300 and D700 are part of the same system with the same accessories. The system is only as good as its weakest link.
I do not know yet; I’m still thinking about it.
#34. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 33
I guess that I can now be a full charter member of this forum; ordered the D700 (last night,) due to arrive 2 January 2009 (it is in the “Processing” stage at B&H.) Now, for better or worse, I’m stuck with it for not waiting. It does not matter if the D800, D900, D1000, etc are better or not. I just simply cannot afford to keep upgrading bodies. I know that in five years from now, I’ll be walking around with dinosaurs for cameras. On the other hand, I only publish on the Web.
The D300 + the D700 combo was too good to overlook and the Nikon rebate ends on December 27th. However, this does not mean that they won’t have an even bigger rebate after the 27th. Who knows?
As I said before, a 35mm digital camera is a dream come true. I can’t believe that the AF-D 35mm will be a true 35mm, that I now have a true 50mm 1.4 and a 85mm 1.4 and with high ISO. It is like having a 1.0 or bigger like .5. I know that in Hollywood they made movies with .95 lenses. I just can’t wait to see what the 14-24 would be like in low-light, high ISO, without flash! A true 14mm! Wow! I wonder how the fisheye 10.5mm will be like in DX crop? However, Gracie (D300) is my first love and will continue to be the main one. What a graceful camera the D300 is! She is going to be joined by a clumsier, bigger, and noisier (shutter noise) sister, Bertha (D700.)
With an FX body, I only need just two more lenses and I’m done – the Nikon 24-70 jumped to the front of the line together with the 70-200 VRII, a close second. Unfortunately, I just can’t get to any of them. Maybe Christmas 2009 for the 24-70, if I do not win the lottery before. On the other hand, it could be worse. I could not have the D700 and the 14-24, Tamron 17-35, AF-D 35mm f/2, AF-D 50mm f/1.4, AF-D 85mm f/1.4, AI 200mm F/4, and the AF-S 70-300 VRII . However, the 24-70… This thing is never ending, because, in all honesty, I do not make it so. What I'm going through is like the Maslow’s category of needs. As soon as you satisfy the basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, etc, you jump into the self-realization needs without knowing it. I must have the 24-70… now that I have the D700.
#35. "RE: D700 v D300 ISO Comparrison Shots" | In response to Reply # 0
I've had my D700 for 2 weeks and I'm still saying "wow!". My D200 will make a nice back-up, but I don't think the D700 will be coming out of my hands.
As far as waiting for anything else, I was being published and displaying in galleries with my 6mp D100. So, I feel fairly content with 12mp. The high ISO performance of the D700 is all it's advertised to be--simply amazing.