I am shooting with a D3s as my main body, and I have a D300. I would like to replace the D300 for a better camera body for travel and to use as a second body. I am looking for some suggestions as to what to purchase. I read that the D400 may come out this year replacing the D300. Is it worth waiting for, or would a D600 work as a lighter body for travel and a 2nd camera. I think the D800 would be over kill as a second body.
I think the D600 is a great bet - as the elusive D400 is not certain by any means (they've been talking about it coming out for years).
And compared to your D300, you'll be seeing a huge improvement in dynamic range, image quality and size, color rendering, and high ISO IQ. It's also lighter.
On the downside, you'll lose a few focus points and the max shutter speed is 1/4000s, which is really not that big of a deal in most shooting situations.
You can always sell the D600 if and when the D400 comes out, although I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.
I think the D800 is highly capable too, although the file sizes can be unwieldy for some - and although I wouldn't go so far as saying it's a tripod camera, I think the D600 would be more forgiving for travel photography. Others may argue this point, but having experienced the D800 myself, it does require strict technique (and good glass) to bring out the best in your jumbo-sized 36MP images.
I would go with, amongst the many good choices actually, the D600.
I do a ton of low-light when we travel, and many of my rewarding photographs are night and or dusk shots. So I think any of the FX cameras are preferred as a travel camera and they all have very good low light performance. The D600 combines low light and smaller form factor, both good things in a travel camera.
The D5200 also intrigues me and really there are a lot of great choices aren't there. I guess DX has the possibility of some smaller DX lenses as compared to FX.
Having said all this, since I have a D800E in my kit that is going to be my travel cam, and I won't purchase a D600. I also have used my D4 as a travel cam with my 24-70 on a Black Rapid strap and it works But before our next major trip, I think I will get a 24-120 f/4.
Heh, I just got back from a 2-wk trip to Hong Kong, with a D4 as my only camera (alternative was a D90). Yeah, I was tired at the end of most days (not helped by my kids still wanting me to carry them, regularly). Would have been nice to have something lighter.
What's wrong with the D300 you already have? (That's the body I most often travel with.) I'd think if you want something lighter, you would want a DX body, not so much because the body is lighter but because the lenses you'd carry with you are lighter, making the combination lighter.
I'm very pleased with the results I get when traveling with my D300, but if you want something lighter and better the new D7100 might be a good option.