> Will either of these cameras provide the resolution needed for the largest prints the 3880 printer can make? 17 inches is the maximum width.
I've made 24x36" prints from my D2x, using an Epson 7900 - same resolution, but more inks. I am fairly sure I've made similar sized prints (possibly even from the same files) on my previous Epson 7600. To date nobody has asked for an improvement, and I haven't had anyone reject a print or even comment on resolution. So yes, a D2x or D2xs (basically same camera except for a couple of user interface details) can do as you have asked.
> I shoot mainly street so I need a fast handling camera with outstanding auto focus and a genius auto exposure system.
I have a D2h and a D2x, and for some time I shot them together, as in interchangeably with different lenses at the same event. The D2x is essentially identical handling to the D2h, with the primary exceptions things that are readily apparent in the spec sheet: 5 fps rather than 8 fps, and 12mp rather than 4mp. The LCD on a D2xs is better - clearly and obviously so - but that and the HSC cropping mask in the finder are the two main differences other than the obvious. Back when I got my D2x for around $1300, there was a $1000+ premium for those, and obviously I opted not to bother. I would not classify the auto exposure as "genius" but it is identical to the D2h.
> Sports and nature also form a large percentage of my photography.
You may find that the 5fps and relatively less capable high ISO capability are a disadvantage compared to the D2h, but I do a lot of sports and I did some nature at that time too. As I posted in your other thread on high ISO, it really isn't the end of the world:
And while the AF system is definitely NOT the equal of the D3, it can still do stuff like this:
D2x, Bigma @ 370mm, ISO 560.
> I'm also moving into macro work where resolution is super important.
D2h, 200/f4 AFD Micro-Nikkor, 1/60th, f/16, ISO 400.
There's no question that higher resolution is a suitable thing to have, but it's also not entirely clear that higher resolution is even necessary. I have made a fair number of 16x20's from D2h files, and while I wouldn't want to go much past there, 17x22 isn't. Clearly there is a lot more tolerance for capture error with 3x as many pixels, but on a limited budget, is it really a necessity? Attachment#1 (jpg file) Attachment#2 (jpg file)
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!