Is there a better dx format to replace the D300 right now?

Started Apr 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
Senior MemberPosts: 2,174
Re: Makes sense though Mike...
In reply to jfriend00, May 2, 2012

jfriend00 wrote:

For someone who shoots a D300/D300s because they want a fast pro-style camera with DX reach, you have yet to offer an explanation for why a 1.2 crop sensor is good for them. Why is it better than a D400 that has an upgraded 1.5 crop DX sensor?

It may not be better for you, and I certainly don't expect to change anyone's mind. But since I still believe that DX is going away at this level (I'm a little frightened about writing pro-sumer here) I'll give it a continued try. While it may not be better I think it could average out to be just as good for the shooting that you do.

When you put suggestions out there IN THE D300 FORUM and don't explain how they meet the needs of the D300 users, duh you're going to find resistance to your ideas. When you post about them repeatedly and still don't address why they would be better for D300 users, you're going to find even more resistance.

I've put down quite a few reasons why D300 user's needs might be met with larger sensor technology. I've addressed several concerns put forth by the DX community. Rather than acknowledging that these ideas are valid concepts and countering that they are inadequate for your needs because of reasons A, B and C they have been dismissed. The debate becomes one sided...hence my comparison to politics or religion earlier.

Here are some specific shooting examples that matter to me. I'd like you to explain how a D400 with a 1.2x crop sensor would be good for me.

Since things appear to be civil here and I think I'll enjoy the exercise of putting more of my thoughts down, I'm willing to continue.

Most of the needs that you put below are largely sensor independent. There's no way that I can convince you that a 1.2x camera would be any better than a 1.5x camera for AF or frames per second when that has little to do with the sensor. If the hypothetical camera has good AF then it has good AF. I can't assume that any hypothetical Nikon design has top fight AF, build and shooting rate any more than others can jump to the conclusion that it has entry level versions of these features.

Other than that I'll address your points as best I can below.

The things I shoot that most challenge myself and my equipment are soccer, rowing and birds in flight. ..... For birds in flight, I use the 600 f/4 on the wimberley.

I do not generally shoot in low light - I'm usually shooting in sunlight.

Great AF is probably the most important feature for me.... AF fails to keep tracking the desired subject.

Larger sensor cameras use the same AF array over a larger area. This results in a denser packing of the AF points over your subject. This configuration is more likely to hold focus on subjects near the center of the frame which is advantageous for birds in flight and sports.

I appreciate and make use of the 8fps I have in my D300+grip. shots from a sequence.

This has little to do with sensor size, obviously. A well designed camera for sports will give you an option to have a higher frame rate regardless of sensor size.

I need the reach and range that the D300 + the two lenses I use most give me. .... for the situations I shoot in and the types of shots I'm trying to get.

Reach is the big one, I think. However, since Nikon's implementation of DX on larger sensor bodies seems better (but not yet perfect) than what Canon did there's hope here too. The biggest complaint I see here, is that too little of the optical viewfinder is used during DX mode shooting on a full frame camera. On a 1.2x sensor this is largely ameliorated...with only about 3mm trimmed from the outside of the image. That's only 1.5mm or 2mm per side.

Another poster in another thread suggested something that I found interesting. A larger viewfinder might actually make tracking birds in flight easier with a little visible viewfinder area around the DX cropped area. As most seem to think that FX to DX crop loses too much of the viewfinder perhaps then a 1.2x crop would be a nice compromise. I know when I shoot baseball, a 105% or 110% viewfinder would be helpful as it would give an extra fraction of a second reaction time as a subject moves into the frame.

I have many shots that would benefit from DR improvements in the sensor (particularly when it' reach advantage on the D300 to get this improvement. I'd like a DR improvement without sacrificing the reach improvement.

Some argue otherwise, but there seems to be a clear correlation between sensor size and dynamic range. The larger and deeper pixel wells of a larger sensor allow engineers to massage just that little extra dynamic range from a sensor. 4/3 sensors are better than point and shoot, DX is better than 4/3s, FX is better than DX. It stands to reason that a hypothetical 1.2x sensor will have more DR than DX. You get your DR improvement with the larger sensor...what you give up when you shoot DX is some resolution. Keep in mind, that is only when you are shooting fully racked out in DX mode, I still maintain that some percentage of the time you will be benefiting from the full 1.2x sensor (shooting people....signs even).

My mental model... generation (more DR, better high ISO),

This is the first that you mention high ISO but like dynamic range high ISO performance seems to improve with size...Nikon's larger sensor cameras out perform smaller sensor cameras of a similar era. A 1.2x sensor would undoubtedly enable an improvement of high ISO over a DX sensor using similar technology.

Now how would your proposal with a 1.2x crop sensor meet all my needs better than the D400 that I've described?

Hopefully I've addressed how my idea of a 1.2x crop sensor would meet some of your needs better. I don't really expect anything but further dismissal here but one can hope. There are other advantages but I fear that I'm about to run out of my 6000 character limit. Another time then.

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