D7000 or D300s (from D90)

Started Dec 8, 2010 | Discussions thread
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D7000 or D300s (from D90)
Dec 8, 2010

Greetings, all! I am contemplating my next body upgrade, and am not sure which path would make the most sense for me... I will duplicate in both the D90-D40/D7000-D3000 and the D300-D100 forum. If this is inappropriate, I apologize in advance.

Background:

For the purposes of this discussion, please limit the options to only what is available, NOW. While I'm sure there will eventually be a D400 (or other named D300s successor) I don't think that it will a) happen within my desired timeframe nor b) be as affordable as the D7000/D300s, when it does come around. Size is not an issue (if anything, the D90 may be a little small for me). I will not be discarding the D90 that I currently have, use and love a D90.

My existing lenses are 18-105VR, 70-300VR, Sigma 17-50f/2.8 OS, 35f/1.8, 50f/1.8, 85f/1.8, 300f/4 AFS and TC17EII. I also plan to add the 70-200VRII and TC14EII, in the very near future. My typical uses are Wildlife (including mammals and small birds), capturing my 19-month old and events with friends and family.

The improvements over the D90 that I am most looking forward / would benefit the most from are:

Auto Focus:

I've borrowed a D300 before, and the torquier motor definitely spins the AFD lenses faster, and autofocus with all lenses is far more accurate. I know the D300s would serve me well in this regard, particularly for the always difficult bird in flight shots. I want the best possible ability to grab focus, and keep it locked, even if the subject is in motion.

Speed:

For the same reasons autofocus speed is important, higher fps would be greatly welcomed. I can't pose wildlife and I can't get my daughter to stay put, either! The faster the burst, the more likely I will get the shot I'm looking for. I'm also looking forward to an extra stop in shutter speed (to 1/8000) that both bodies offer.

Weather sealing:

I've had the D90 out in misty / wet / drizzly conditions, without issue (so far). I have emergency covers for the camera, but would feel more comfortable with a better sealed body.

Low Light:

I realize the D300s won't offer an improvement over the D90. From the samples I've seen, I don't think that there is a huge difference up to 1600, but the D7000 sample do clearly look better above, and I think would provide me with an extra stop of usable ISO (I've used 3200 in a pinch, but don't find it to be ideal).

So... Which is the best compromise? Both bodies are essentially the same price (where I am). I'll be keeping the D90 as a backup. I think my decision hinges on the autofocus capabilities of the D7000. I'd really like to hear from anyone who has had seat time with both bodies, but would greatly appreciate everyone's input.

Thanks in advance.
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