From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? (part 1/2)

Started Oct 28, 2011 | Discussions thread
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thxbb12
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From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? (part 1/2)
Oct 28, 2011

Let me first explain a bit about my current background, issues and motivations regarding the switch.

I've been a Pentax user for several years now. I currently own a Pentax K5 which I think is a truly great camera. The most impressive though is probably its Sony sensor.

To tell the truth, I would probably not even consider switching to another brand if Pentax AF was much more reliable. The thing is, I just bought a Pentax DA* 50-135 and it just doesn't focus consistently. In LV however, it's razor sharp at all focal lengths even wide open. I sent it back to Pentax Switzerland (which is actually a 3rd party company as Pentax is not present in Switzerland anymore) as its focus shift was too great for the in-camera micro adjustments. I also sent the body back. Now it focuses properly at 50mm, but at 135mm it's off. I can change the micro adjustment so it's fine at 135mm, but then it will be off at 50mm. This lens is supposed to be pro-grade, so to me, thinks like this should only happen to consumer lenses. Furthermore at times it just doesn't even AF in bright light (a thing that happens a lot with the Pentax DA* 16-50 as well). The lens is still under warranty and the repair place told me everything is fine with my body and lens. As it stands, this lens is unusable on my body. I have the same issue with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (even worse). I can't get my Pentax FA 35 f/2 to focus accurately either. It all gets worse as the focus shift changes between day light and tungsten! With my Pentax DA 55-300 I just can't get it to focus as well as LV, regardless of the micro-adjustments. The only 2 lenses I have that focus really consistently are my DFA 100 f/2.8 macro and Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 (rather surprisingly).

With all this rant, I don't know if the grass will be much greener in Nikon land, but I just can't see it being as bad as what I have to currently deal with.

At first I had obviously considered getting a D700. However, after having thought more about what FF lenses I'd get and their prices , it just seems like the offering is more interesting in DX land. Also, the D700 sensor is getting a bit outdated, especially in terms of DR compared to the K7/D7000. I think I'd miss the DR of the K5/D7000. Going FF I'd loose reach, but gain DOF (nice). The high ISO performance of my K5 is good enough for my use, so better high ISO it's not a major consideration. I value base ISO IQ much more than the possible gain I'd have at ISO > 1600. I shoot mostly landscapes, macro, wildlife and portrait (a bit of everything really).

In a nutshell, here is why I'm more keen on the D7000 vs D700:
+ 100% VF vs 95%: I don't think I can go back to
+ Higher DR at lower ISO
+ Higher IQ at base ISO: I shoot at base ISO a lot
+ More reach for wildlife and sports (thanks to the 1.5x crop factor)
+ 16MP vs 12MP

+ Dual card slots: I once had a card read error while on an assignment; luckily I only lost a dozen shots
+ SD card instead of CF (I have a large collection of SD cards)

+ Silent shutter: this is something I really appreciate about the K5, especially when shooting in quiet environments
+ Size and weight
+ Obviously: price

The real advantages of the D700, in my case, are the shallower DOF and better AF system.
Of course, the best of both worlds would be to have both bodies!

(message continued in part 2)

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