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Help me please...

Partytrooper2

Adelaide, AU
246 posts

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Partytrooper2 Registered since 17th Oct 2008
Wed 20-Feb-13 01:38 AM

Hi I have a D300 and mostly FX lenses, (17-35,24-70, 84 1.4, 70-200) with one DX 70-300. I love taking photos of children etc and sport, mainly equestrian events, the D300 is great for the equestrian events but in poor light struggles sometimes and I hate using it at 800 ISO and above, which I had to quite a bit on a recent trip to India.

I have been hanging out for a D400 for the past year as I want a camera with better ISO capabilities, but so far nothing seems to be on the horizon.

Do you think a D700 would give me enough benefit in the ISO department to make a change? I could buy a D600 or D800, but do not want the mega pixels of the D800 as I shoot in RAW and I am put off buying a D600. I am also worried about camera shake with the D800 as I am now in my 60's...

So I thought a nicely used D700 might be the ticket, ie not very expensive at the moment...

Please could you give me your thoughts..

Thanks.

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JPJ

Toronto, CA
1327 posts

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#1. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009
Wed 20-Feb-13 02:46 AM

First the 70-300VR is a lens that works fine on both FX and DX cameras.

I never owned the D300, but I did own a D90 which had similar ISO performance (some thought slightly better) and I also wouldn't go over 800 ISO with it. With the D7000 I replaced my D90 with I would shoot up to 1600 ISO comfortably. I found myself, however, needing to shoot indoors more often in poor lighting often needing to go to 3200-6400 ISO and the D7000 just wasn't giving me the performance I needed.

I decided the only way to get better performance was to go full frame. I was faced with the same decision as you and ended up with a used D700 and I don't regret it at all. I detailed my decision here: https://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=226&topic_id=44978&mesg_id=44978&page=

I can tell you that I would comfortably shoot the D700 at 6400 ISO. Above that you can still get very usable smaller images for web pages, etc. I would print anything I shoot at 6400 though.

Basically my view is that you already have the lenses, and you are used to the control layout and ergonomics of the D700 from using the D300 - this combined with the fact that it will meet your goal of better ISO performance AND it being a very cost effective purchase at this stage makes this a smart purchase in my opinion.

Jason

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avm247

Rancho Cordova, US
18758 posts

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#2. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Charter Member
Wed 20-Feb-13 03:02 AM

I was very pleased with the images I shot with my D700 at ISO 3200 and even 6400. Add VR lenses to the camera and I think you'll be plenty happy.

I say go for it! If you are still on the fence, why not see if you can rent one for a week end and try some low light shots. I think you'll be happy with the results.


Anthony

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Partytrooper2

Adelaide, AU
246 posts

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#3. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 2

Partytrooper2 Registered since 17th Oct 2008
Wed 20-Feb-13 04:15 AM

Thank you so much guys, it is making think I may go this route as there are some good deals on 2nd hand D700's out there and if the D400 comes along have a think. This way I can play with full frame, although for the sporting events it is great to have the extra reach of DX, hence waiting for a D400. But the D300 is great in good light...

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leebaylin

Baltimore, US
848 posts

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#4. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

leebaylin Silver Member Charter Member
Wed 20-Feb-13 03:08 PM

If you don't need the higher resolution, the D700 is the perfect choice. I made the jump last fall and now have the D300 and the D700. With FX lenses, all of the accessories are interchangeable--batteries, chargers, vertical grip, etc. Although the body l-plates are slightly different, they will work. The controls and menus are so close that there's almost nothing new to learn, other than testing out the ISO limits. You should be very pleased.
Lee Baylin

KenLPhotos

Stewartstown, US
1934 posts

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#5. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 3

KenLPhotos Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009
Wed 20-Feb-13 04:32 PM | edited Wed 20-Feb-13 04:33 PM by KenLPhotos

>> it is great to have the extra reach of DX
You don't really have extra reach. Using a D700 in DX format or cropping a full frame down to DX size, you have almost the same results. And I said almost - there are many posts here addressing this issue.

KenL

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Asgard

East Frisia, DE
60623 posts

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#6. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

Asgard Administrator He is your Chief Guardian Angel at the Helpdesk and knows a lot about a lot Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004
Wed 20-Feb-13 06:05 PM

Personally, I would stay with the D300.

Gerold - Nikonian in East Frisia
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Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
1766 posts

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#7. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006
Wed 20-Feb-13 07:42 PM

> .... the D300 is great for
>the equestrian events but in poor light struggles sometimes
>and I hate using it at 800 ISO and above, which I had to quite
>a bit on a recent trip to India.

>Do you think a D700 would give me enough benefit in the ISO
>department to make a change?

Yes

I shot with both the D300 and D700 for several years. Sold the D300 recently - kept the D700. The D700 has a full stop better high ISO performance over the D300. So if 800 is your max on the D300, you would be happy with 1600 on a D700.

I think you are being a bit conservative with your ISO settings on the D300. I found 1600 to be good and 3200 acceptable. On the D700 I go to 6400. Viewing at 100% does not give a realistic sense of noise levels if the image is to be printed or posted on the web. A 50% view provides a better approximation. You might find you can go higher with the D300.

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Partytrooper2

Adelaide, AU
246 posts

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#8. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 6

Partytrooper2 Registered since 17th Oct 2008
Wed 20-Feb-13 07:54 PM

Why do you say this??

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SheriB

Southern York Co, US
1973 posts

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#9. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 7

SheriB Gold Member Awarded for sharing her exceptional images and details of rural farm life. Nikonian since 11th Sep 2010
Wed 20-Feb-13 10:36 PM

I have a D300s and I too cringe at going much higher than 1600. Shooting indoor arenas,trying to freeze the action of a horse ..especially with lots of black clothing and black horses.This is a shot (70-200mm f2.8, at ISO 1600 and all I did was convert raw to jpeg,no adjustments, in ViewNX2 800 pixels on the long side. (even left it at highest quality)I have some others shot at 3200 and since this arena had some nice natural light, if they were in the right part of the arena they are not too bad. I will be using my D700 this year, if I can get to the Expo this weekend.


Click on image to view larger version


Attachment#1 (jpg file)

Sheri Becker

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spraay2236

US
152 posts

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#10. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

spraay2236 Registered since 26th Feb 2012
Thu 21-Feb-13 12:34 AM

I would like to say that I had the unique inspiration to buy a used D700 for low light use, but I'm afraid there are several Nikonians who have done so recently. There seem to be a lot of them with relatively little use, available at a reasonable price, since the D800 came out.

I'm very happy with mine, and if you've got mostly FX lenses, I'd say you're on the right track.

SP

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JPJ

Toronto, CA
1327 posts

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#11. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

JPJ Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2009
Thu 21-Feb-13 02:35 AM

Well here is your 'D400', in the form on the D7100.

http://www.nikon.com/news/2013/0221_dslr_01.htm

As has been suggested before the announcement, it appears Nikon intends this to be the top of the line for DX, so those waiting for a Pro-body called the D400 will, in my opinion, be waiting forever.

Interesting specs to say the least. Still, not sure how much better the ISO performance will be over the D7000. Also if it is going to shoot 7 FPS I wonder if they fixed the pesky buffer issue.

Anyway, this may be another option for you to keep an eye on. One thing to remember is that both of Nikon's last releases the D600 (dust) and D800 (left focus point) had 'kinks' upon their release.

Jason

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spraay2236

US
152 posts

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#12. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 11

spraay2236 Registered since 26th Feb 2012
Thu 21-Feb-13 04:07 PM


One thing to remember is that both of Nikon's last releases the D600 (dust) and D800 (left focus point) had 'kinks' upon their release. <<

This might be a topic for a new thread, but I'm not sure where it would go.

Have other Nikon cameras had similar teething pains? I seem to remember a problem with the compression board failing on D70 bodies after many thousands of clicks (I never got there), but otherwise I haven't kept track of developments over the years. I'm just curious if such issues are a common thing that gets worked out in various revisions.

SP

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llevine

El Paso, US
448 posts

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#13. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

llevine Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 09th Jul 2007
Thu 21-Feb-13 05:35 PM

You will never be unhappy making a decision to purchase a used D700. It is a great camera and is very usable up to 6400 ISO, even higher for certain types of shots.

I bought a D4 because I like high ISO and fast frame rates. It has terrific performance up to ISO 12,800.

Your lens collection of FX lenses, gives you lots of flexibility.

Good luck with your choice.

Regards, Lance

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MEMcD

US
31597 posts

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#14. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Thu 21-Feb-13 09:06 PM

Hi Marilyn,

The D700 has about a 1.5 stop advantage over the D300 in high ISO performance.
The control layout is almost exactly the same as the D300 making it very easy to switch back and fourth between bodies.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

Partytrooper2

Adelaide, AU
246 posts

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#15. "RE: Help me please..." | In response to Reply # 14

Partytrooper2 Registered since 17th Oct 2008
Sun 03-Mar-13 10:49 PM

Well I have bit the bullet and my new/second hand D700 should arrive this week. Looking forward to getting it..

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G