I am looking for a 'professional' level DX camera for shooting air shows and R/C Aircraft. That means long tele's and very fast moving subjects. Probably similar to birding, but this old wedding tog wouldn't know about that.
I need fast accurate focus prediction/tracking capability, a large buffer for shooting raw bursts, wide dynamic range, weather sealing, available battery grip, and an AF-ON button.
I have a D200 that has been my main 'go to' camera for air shows, but its dynamic range and ISO performance, and the 2005 focusing system definitely limit me compared to my D3 and D800. The D800 works okay for airshows, except for its slow burst rate. The D3 doesn't put enough pixels on the target.
I have looked at the D7100, but I need weather sealing, an AF-ON button, and a bigger buffer.
I am considering a used D300s with low click count. I know this camera was released in 2009, but I don't see anything in Nikon's offering that can beat it for what I want.
What's the typical maximum ISO for the D300s for high quality noise-free 8x10's when shooting raw and using good NR software?
Is the D300s focus system usable in low ambient conditions when using f/5.6 maximum aperture?
Is there any better DX camera than the D300s for the type of shooting I want to do?
At this point in time I don’t think there is anything that fits your requirements better than the D300s. The buffer of the D7100 is the biggest limiting factor as well as the lack of the AF-ON button.
How far up the ISO ladder you can go on the D300s may depend on how much you routinely crop. Printing at 8x10, without cropping, I would not hesitate to shoot at ISO 1600 would and with a little more work on noise reduction you could probably approach ISO3200. Things get a little sketchy from 3200 and up.
I shoot birds, where feather detail is important, and I am conformable shooting up to ISO800 even when I need to crop.
The D300s AF system is quite good. Pretty close to the D3 but maybe not as snappy. I would expect the AF to perform very well in most air show settings.
I agree on the D300 since you can find one even cheaper and basically it is the same as the D300s. Another factor in the D300/300s over the 7100 is the frame rate. When used with the grip you can get 8-9 frames a second - quite a bit higher than the D7100. I love to shoot birds - both aluminum and feathered and when I'm at an air show, the D300 is my main body. I do love my D800 but it has half the FPS speed.
Sun 13-Oct-13 03:30 PM | edited Sun 13-Oct-13 04:16 PM by Arkayem
>Russ, >Have you considered a D300? The D300s has two card slots, >video and a few other upgrades, but both cameras are basically >the same. I owned the D300 before going FX and was very happy >with it. > >Regards....JL
I thought the D300s had better high ISO performance than the D300. Do they both use the same sensor?
What about a D610? It gives the same 10 mpixel resolution as the D200 in DX mode, 6 fps, weather sealed, has a deep buffer a great AF that will completely cover the frame in DX. Obviously, it lacks AF-on.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof " - Carl Sagan
>If the D800 is not good enough the D600/610 buffer won't get >you there anyway - the buffers are actually very close. > >FPS wise the D800 will give you 6 with the grip in DX mode, so >that is no different either. > >Of course the D800 images are more MPs in DX mode, so it would >be the preferable option of the two considering those things >being equal.
I have used my D800 at airshows, and it does a good job except for the fps. However, I don't have the EN-EL18 battery in my grip, so it won't do the 6 fps. In fact, I don't have the Nikon grip, so I'm not even sure it will take the EN-EL18 batteries.
I hadn't really considered switching to the EN-EL18 batteries, since they cost $136 each, and I would need Two of them (one plus a backup), plus the charger which costs $300. $572 is about what a good D300 body with a Nikon grip costs.
I'll definitely think about it. The D800 makes really great images.
Russ, If you get a D300/300s with the MB-D10 grip + BL-3 battery chamber door, you can use the EN-EL4a battery from your D3. You can shoot at 8 fps and won't need to recharge the battery for many thousands of shots.
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>Russ, >If you get a D300/300s with the MB-D10 grip + BL-3 battery >chamber door, you can use the EN-EL4a battery from your D3. >You can shoot at 8 fps and won't need to recharge the battery >for many thousands of shots. > >Regards...JL
Excellent! I have several spare EN-EL4a batteries from my wedding photographer days.
6 FPS in DX Crop mode. Nikon lists the buffer in DX crop mode based on 14 bit NEFS as 29 for compressed; 25 for uncompressed, but I have read people get even better than that. That being said a better buffer comparison would be to 12 bit NEFS as that is what you would shoot on the D300(s) to get 8 FPS. The D300(s) has a listed buffer of 17 for 12 bit uncompressed NEFS, the D800 is listed at 30 (partly due to the fact it shoots 2 less FPS).
Compared to the D300(s) the D800 shoots slightly slower FPS but appears to have a better buffer that is actually able to handle 14 bit NEFS better than the D300(s) handled 12 bit.
>6 FPS in DX Crop mode. Nikon lists the buffer in DX crop >mode based on 14 bit NEFS as 29 for compressed; 25 for >uncompressed, but I have read people get even better than >that. That being said a better buffer comparison would be to >12 bit NEFS as that is what you would shoot on the D300(s) to >get 8 FPS. The D300(s) has a listed buffer of 17 for 12 bit >uncompressed NEFS, the D800 is listed at 30 (partly due to the >fact it shoots 2 less FPS). > >Compared to the D300(s) the D800 shoots slightly slower FPS >but appears to have a better buffer that is actually able to >handle 14 bit NEFS better than the D300(s) handled 12 bit. > >Jason
Very interesting. Lots of things to consider.
I've never used my D800 in DX crop mode. How easy is it to keep a fast-moving subject inside the cropped area? Is the D800 viewing size of the cropped area as big as the full viewfinder in the D300? (Let me know if this question is not clear, and I will reword it)