>Thanks for the feedback. I guess I am used to my d300 in >7fps. Am I right in thinking I can crop a better picture with >more megapixels? I would like to buy a longer lens, but right >now I am having to get by with the newest version of the 300mm >and teleconverters. I also have thought about the D4. I don't >know if I qualify for the D4. my photography skills are >intermediate at best. I really like shooting the small birds, >but reach is a problem. Any opinions or suggestions?
I had a D300. I have a D800, and a D4. I haven't shot a lot of birds lately but living in Florida that's just kind of required. So my 2 cents (worth at most 3 cents less than that):
I shot the D300 in 14 bit so it had a very slow frame rate. If you are shooting at 7FPS if my memory is correct you are shooting JPG. If that's true, I'd reconsider that first before worrying about the rest. With JPG you are losing at least a stop if not two of quality at high ISO and/or low light. At 12 vs. 14 bit you are losing a tiny amount of detail in shadows as well.
Neither of these problems occur on the D800, the 14 vs. 12 bit is the same frame rate. And yes, it's a tiny bit slower than the D300 in JPG.
The D4 is a large step up in frame rate, but is double the price, and a completely different camera. I'd use the D4 only if I were shooting birds in flight in a serious way (not just the occasional "oh look, the spoonbills are landing"). I vastly prefer the detail on the D800 with birds, especially as you never have a long enough lens, and you can crop significantly more with the D800. The slightly better low light performance of the D4 is going to very rarely be an benefit for birds (though not never).
Either one makes a great birding camera, but I would personally go with the D800, not just for cost reasons but all those pixels. And be $3000 to the good toward that next lens.