I understand that the viewfinder in the D300 will be similar to the D200. I far prefer the viewfinder in my D2X. The more compelling thought for me is a combination of the D3 and D2X, which will increase the flexibilty of my whole system. Simple example: late afternoon shooting of night herons with my 70-200. The high ISO capabilities, better effective viewfinder magnification and shorter effective focal length with the D3 would all be useful in these circumstances.
Jim - I have added a DK 17 M eyepiece to improve my D2X. The D3/300 both have large new and apparently excellent video screens possibly making low light photography composition easier than using the viewfinder?
If the D300 really is superior to the D2X, having a better camera in a smaller, lighter, package is tempting. I find I always grab the D200 when I go out for a walk and only use the D2X on a tripod with my 200-400 or for portraits. I wonder if the D300 will drive the long lens as efficiently?
>I wonder if the D300 will drive the long lens as efficiently?
This is actually a good point/question. Which battery does the D300 use with the vertical grip -- thus increasing the price to about $2100-2200?
Many people have speculated on the number of D2X owners that would switch. I just don't see it. MP/resolution is the same... AF can't be that much better in the D300 - I say this because I don't ever see needing more than the MultiCAM 2000 which focuses in the dark and tracks erratically moving subjects (my daughter) for me very well... Noise performance -- I rarely shoot over ISO 1000, and my D2X does quite well there also, combined with the ISO 100 setting. Any technical specs are marginal at best and wouldn't tempt me in the slightest to buy a D300. Of course, the D3 is a different story.
>>> >Many people have speculated on the number of D2X owners that >would switch. I just don't see it. MP/resolution is the >same... AF can't be that much better in the D300 - I say >this because I don't ever see needing more than the MultiCAM >2000 which focuses in the dark and tracks erratically moving >subjects (my daughter) for me very well... Noise performance >-- I rarely shoot over ISO 1000, and my D2X does quite well >there also, combined with the ISO 100 setting. >
I'd agree that I don't think many of us D2X drivers will swap for the D300, with the possible exception of folks who persistently shoot at 1600+. I'll be adding a D3 and D300 to my D2X and D200, not replacing.
The cross-points in the AF on the D3/D300 may make a difference for some folks - I shoot a lot of surfers, and I'm hoping the cross-points may prove even a little more accurate than the MultiCam 2000. With all the moving water around my main subject, every once in a while I'll miss the surfer and get focus on the wave. It's not the system, it's me not being precise with positioning the focus point on the moving surfer, but maybe the cross points will give me a little more margin for error.
11-area AF system with 9 cross-type AF sensors: Updated to perform even faster and with greater precision in the D2Xs, the 11-area AF system employs Nikon's advanced Multi-CAM 2000 AF Sensor Module. Of these 11 widely spread AF sensors, 9 are cross-type sensors positioned in the logical rule-of-thirds array.
Jess's point was that the D2 series has 9 cross sensors, which is correct.
The D3 and D300 have the option of using all 51 AF sensors, or (the diagram you posted) 11 AF sensors in a D2-type pattern. In 11 sensor mode, you're correct that only the three in the middle vertical row are cross-type. If 51-sensor mode, there are 15 cross-type, in three vertical rows of five each.
When I use the 9 "central" focus points on my D2X, they are all cross sensors. I'm very confident of being able to acquire and hold focus without recomposing. The 15 cross sensors on the D300 are all grouped in the center three columns, as you clearly realize. I would likely use the 11 point pattern on the D300, but I'm skeptical of the performance of the non-cross sensors.
Thanks for explaining what you were trying to say.
Any modern AF system takes time and experimentation to understand and get the best from. Only the D2 series (and the F6) have 9 cross-type sensors in that wide pattern. Using an AF technique developed for one particular AF sensor layout on a camera with a different layout is perhaps going to lead to disappointment.
I'm confident that after each of us has developed an appropriate technique for the larger number of more closely-grouped cross-type sensors on the D3/D300, we'll be able to get just as good if not better results
>Using my 500 f4 with a teleconverter the D3/D300 will leave >no alternative to a finicky re-composition.
There are at least three alternatives. First, you could use one of the outer, linear, AF sensors; second, you could use manual focus; third, you could focus using the nearest cross-type sensor and crop in post-processing.
My real point here is that you seem to be criticising the D3/D300 without having used it, based only on the fact that it is different from what you have been using. How did you manage before the D2 with its 9 cross-type sensors?
In any event, why not wait until we see how its AF system works in practice...?
Before the D2 I had the F100 and F5 Brian. Still do. Anyway, I don't mean to criticize. I thought we were discussing ways in which the D2X may be superior to the D300. Mostly I'm thinking in terms of continuing to use the D2X for super-telephoto in good light, and I'm leaning to the D3 for early and late light and possibly flight shots. If you check out the concurrent thread on the D3 you'll see that I'm not the only person who will miss the 9 cross sensors.
Yes, because my longest lens is a 500mm f4. Thom Hogan says the DX will continue to be the standard for nature photography due to pixel density. I'm skeptical - with the DX sensor I often wish I had a shorter lens like a 70-200 that doesn't behave like a 105-300 - and I often wish the viewfinder was comparable to my F100's, especially in low light. I see the D2X/D3 combo as a very exciting prospect.
>I see the D2X/D3 combo as a very exciting prospect.
I agree Jim. I see the D2X/D3 combo as an exciting prospect as well. If you should throw in the D300, could there be a better trio for any kinds of shooting situations until perhaps the D3X comes out? I just am not sure what I will buy initially. I have been wanting a D200 for a smaller formed camera. I still want this smaller formed camera. There are just too many options .
In the end, does it really matter how many existing D2Xs owners will dump their cameras and switch? It really only matters how many people who will consider the purchase of a camera at the performance point(s) of the D300 level will end up buying a D300, or a used D2Xs instead. My guess is almost 90% of the people considering a 12 Mpixel camera, DX format, with occasional iso 1600 excursion, will opt for the D300, especially for the similar amount of money. The 1 year warranty will be icing on the cake.
>I understand that the viewfinder in the D300 will be similar >to the D200. I far prefer the viewfinder in my D2X.
I have a D200, but have never looked through a D2X. What difference do you see in the viewfinders? The specs would suggest that the D200 provides a slightly bigger image, although it's only 95%. (The D300 viewfinder provides a larger, 100% image.)
I do prefer the round eyepiece for accessories, though, as well as the viewfinder shutter.
The biggest issue for me on the D200 is an eyeglass wearer can't see everything at once. Of course, I also prefer the round eyepiece and the cross sensor array on the D2X. I haven't used my brother's D200 enough to compare the focusing screens.
>The biggest issue for me on the D200 is an eyeglass wearer >can't see everything at once. Of course, I also prefer the >round eyepiece and the cross sensor array on the D2X. I >haven't used my brother's D200 enough to compare the >focusing screens.
My primary camera these days is a D200 and I can see everything at once with my glasses. The eyepoint is rated at 19.5mm, which is probably imperceptibly close to the D2x's 19.9mm. On the other hand, my F3HP viewfinder at 25mm is noticeably easier to see, but of course there's much less information outside of the frame to look at.
Is it possible the D200 you've used had an eyecup or other attachment that ate into the available space? I guess I need to go look through a D2x myself to satisfy my curiosity...
Did anyone mention the battery??? Reckon I could start my car with my D2x battery. Best battery ever. My D200 on the other hand..... Please don't anyone suggest carrying a spare. If I could remember to do that then I could remember to charge the thing in the first place.
For D2X - ISO 100 - 1.5 mag plus 2.0 high speed crop - larger body, better balance for larger lenses? - viewfinder - battery life and power to drive 200-400 with ease - super tele brilliance in good light - sensor preferences - personal? - pro body strength
For D300 - Nikon says its better all round - smaller body, go anywhere with a bad back! - Higher ISO - rear video LCD
I agree about live view - that is what I meant about the LCD video. It's one of the main attractions to me for low light shooting. I don't think it will be much use in sunlight if my toy Leica D lux 3 is anything to go by.
If I want flash for anything other than a snap I don't rely on my D200's built in unit but it does add to the lightweight go anywhere attraction.
If the self cleaning sensor works then whoopee! A great idea.
Despite the imbalance in my list I am still thinking of going D300/D3 but I will wait to see the experts views after they have got their hands on them. Until I am persuaded, I have two perfectly brilliant cameras so I suppose I am looking for reasons - justifications, to rush to the newest and latest.
Jim sees pretty keen on the D2X D3 route! I like the idea of a lightweight D2X (but is that really the D300 as Nikon claim?) And just to eat the cake too, I want to be able to return to my 85 and 28 1.4s with the D3....X?
I found using HSC mode somewhat cumbersome with the D2X. With the D300, I can get 8fps with a 12MP body. Awesome!
IMO the D30O offers a few other "advantages", depending on your point of view:
-Adjustable form factor
-Grip includes a vertical D-pad and allows use of EN-EL4 battery
-SMALLER AF points-- this is potentially a VERY GOOD THING for achieving critical focus. 99% of the D2X focus "issues" stemmed from the oversize sensor size of the Multi-CAM 2000 module.
-Clean shots at ISO 1600, very reasonable performance at ISO 3200, and useable (in a pinch) ISO 6400. The D2X really is hard to use above ISO 800. Sure, the D3 will be the king here, but how many D2X owners wish they had at least one more stop of sensitivity?
-Live view (we'll have to see how this feature plays out)
The D2X is probably better sealed and certainly has a better battery, but these differences may prove negligible in real-world use, depending on the configuration you choose with the D300.
Jason P. Odell Colorado Nikonian Author, The Photographer's Guide to Capture NX Now includes Supplement One
#36. "14-bit can be the key" | In response to Reply # 35
Fri 12-Oct-07 09:09 PM
To me the 14- vs. 12- bit processing can be the deal breaker. It does reduce the frame rate to 2.5fps though.
And possibly the 100% or even 200% magnified live view together with manual focus for my landscape shots. Have to play to see does this really work.
On the other hand, one D2x advantage not yet mentioned is that it can record audio annotations. Longer shutter life too.
I brought a 5D and a D2x to Burning Man this year. After two fierce sandstorms I sit down to clean the both. Fine dust everywhere inside the 5D and after some hours much are still there, but a few brushes and wet wipes the D2x was clean!
Notice Nikon did say the weather seal of D300 is improved compared to the D200's.
My biggest reason for looking at the D300 is the DX sensor and the reach it affords with my 200-400 I use for motorsports.
I have a D2X and a D200 and prefer the D2X although the feel is very similar. I have the battery grip on my D200 100% of the time. I notice very little difference in the view finders when switching back and forth when the action is hot and heavy. The AF on the D200 is not sufficient for motorsports photography in my humble opinion. the AF in the D300 would need to perform much better for me which it seems as though it should as it's the same as on the D3. They do however list them as AF for FX or DX format.
As far as sensor use I have alwaus just used the center focus area and tracked with that.
I still am not sure what direction I will go. My local dealer is going to hold one of each for me and let me choose when they come in.
I have seen sample images at high ISO on sportsshooter,com and I prefer the D3 images over those of the D300.
The real issue here, for me at least, it the ability to use the 8FPS ONLY in the 2x HSC mode. This drive me nuts, because it kills quality shooting football at ISO 1600. It also makes a 400 2.8 too much lens, if you can beleive that. I then have to use the 5fps and lose crop in order to compensate for the quality loss. The D300 natively shoots 8fps at 1.5x, rather than in some dumb crop mode. I could use a D2h, which I did for a quarter then sold it the next day, - the noise at 1600 wasnt too bad, but there was almost no ability to crop without significant quality loss.
I just shoot for a newspaper so even cover shots arent larger than a few inches, but it appears to me that alot of people are missing that the D2x will only shoot 8fps in the 2x mode.