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jcoleman

US
1 posts

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jcoleman Registered since 29th Apr 2009
Fri 10-Feb-12 11:05 AM

I am hoping to upgrade from my D700 to either a D800 or a D3S. I shoot a LOT of dance (low light action) and really need the higher (e.g. 3200) ISO range. The D700 is good to 1600. I would love to save $$ and get the D800 (also video capabilities), but don't know if it will be any better at higher ISO than the D700. Any thoughts?

thanks, Jim

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Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
1768 posts

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#1. "RE: D800 vs D3S ISO" | In response to Reply # 0

Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006
Fri 10-Feb-12 10:52 AM

I read a short write up by a professional photog who had the opportunity to shoot with both the D4 and D800. In his opinion D800 high ISO performance was very much like that of the D3 & D700, but not as good as the D3s nor the D4.

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ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10633 posts

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#2. "RE: D800 vs D3S ISO" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Fri 10-Feb-12 12:09 PM

You're making some tradeoffs and need to decide which is more important.

The D3s is probably going to be a half stop better than the D800 in terms of high ISO performance. The D800 will be around the same as the D700 - possibly a little better. And at high ISO levels you loose some of the color and dynamic range advantages. Both D3s and D800 are fine to ISO 1600. At web sized prints or 8x10 and smaller the noise will be very hard to see even at ISO 3200. I have published images with the D7000 at ISO 1600 and the D800 has the same sensor but the added benefit of downsizing a larger image. Downsizing is worth about 1.5 stops, so for the web and 8x10 prints you should have usable ISO 4800 or more.

The color rendition of the D800 is going to be better than the D3s. With both there is a dropoff with increased ISO.

Dynamic range is significantly better with the D800 than the D3s. Again - there is a dropoff with higher ISO levels on both cameras.

AF is better on the D800 than the D3s.

Shooting style will drive the importance of frame rate - the D3s is faster but the D800 is still pretty good.

Neither is a bad choice. If high ISO is your ultimate goal, the D4 is the best option but again there are tradeoffs.


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RRRoger

Monterey Bay, US
3373 posts

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#3. "RE: D800 vs D3S ISO" | In response to Reply # 2

RRRoger Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his long history of demonstrated excellence and helping other members with equipment, technique and DSLR video in the true Nikonians spirit. Charter Member
Sat 11-Feb-12 02:41 PM

I think the D800 High ISO samples are better than the D700.
Part of that is Sensor technology advances and part due to
Expeed 3 processor, better AF, better white balance, better 3D tracking, and face recognition.

If I get the D800 and it does not meet my ISO needs,
I will have $3000 to go toward a used D3s.
It would be very nice to use as the Primary Sports Event Camera.


However, the D4 should go to more than twice the high ISO of the D800 and if I can come up with the money I will get one instead.

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icslowmo

Surprise, US
613 posts

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#4. "RE: D800 vs D3S ISO" | In response to Reply # 0

icslowmo Registered since 01st Jan 2012
Sat 11-Feb-12 04:16 PM | edited Sat 11-Feb-12 04:17 PM by icslowmo

From everything I've read the D800 should be very close to the ISO performance of the D700. The D3s from reviews show that it is about 1 stop better then the D700/D3 sensor. The D4 is said to be about 1 stop better then the D3s. So if ISO 3200-12800 is what you want (for your expectations of higher ISO's), then I would say save and get a used D3s (if you can find one) or get a D4.

Just my 2 cents though

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KnightPhoto

Alberta, CA
4962 posts

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#5. "RE: D800 vs D3S ISO" | In response to Reply # 4

KnightPhoto Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2006
Sat 11-Feb-12 05:30 PM | edited Sat 11-Feb-12 05:32 PM by KnightPhoto

>From everything I've read the D800 should be very close to
>the ISO performance of the D700. The D3s from reviews show
>that it is about 1 stop better then the D700/D3 sensor. The D4
>is said to be about 1 stop better then the D3s. So if ISO
>3200-12800 is what you want (for your expectations of higher
>ISO's), then I would say save and get a used D3s (if you can
>find one) or get a D4.
>

I agree with Christopher - the real low light killers in the line up are D3S and hopefully D4.

Visually I have always felt the D3S (which I don't own) was a full stop and a half better than my D700 for the money shots at the high end (e.g. 6400 and 12,800). A stop and a half is a night and day difference when you need it. Even at ISO 3200 Marianne Oelund rated the D3S at 1.3 stops better than the D3.

Best regards, SteveK

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gfinlayson

Maidenhead, UK
244 posts

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#6. "RE: D800 vs D3S ISO" | In response to Reply # 0

gfinlayson Registered since 24th Jan 2011
Sat 11-Feb-12 06:17 PM

>I am hoping to upgrade from my D700 to either a D800 or a
>D3S. I shoot a LOT of dance (low light action) and really need
>the higher (e.g. 3200) ISO range. The D700 is good to 1600. I
>would love to save $$ and get the D800 (also video
>capabilities), but don't know if it will be any better at
>higher ISO than the D700. Any thoughts?
>
>thanks, Jim

Why only good to ISO 1600? In my experience with some light post processing ISO 6400 looks good. I have a hand held ISO4000 shot printed at 36" x 24" hanging on my wall - no noise in sight

G