Jump from D80 to D600/700/800???

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
mhammon
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Re: Jump from D80 to D600/700/800???
In reply to yihlee, Oct 14, 2012

Yihlee,

I followed exactly the same upgrade path you describe. I loved my D80, but for various reasons wanted to go to a more versatile body.  I bought a D300s and immediately loved it, but took it back because I wanted to go to FX.  I bought a recently returned D700 at my local shop and loved it.  I used it with the Holy Trinity and the superb 105 f2.8 macro and got great results.  Recently I upgraded to the D800 (lucky to get an example without focus problems).

My experience is that you'd be very happy with a gently used D300s or D700.  I don't have a D600, so I can't comment there.

Unless you're really convinced you need to move to FX, you might want to add the D7000 to your short list.  Read the last paragraph in Thom Hogan's article about DX to FX upgrade considerations at http://bythom.com/upgradepath.htm, then read the article.

I've had my D800 for a few months now and I wouldn't recommend it for your upgrade.  It's a complex and heavy piece of kit.  Also, it demands good shot discipline, because any movement hand-held will show up in those 36MP, whereas, you can get away with some of those lapses with the D700 and I'm sure the D600.  I have buckets of them with my D700, so I speak from experience.  In fact, if you don't care about video that much, get a nice D700 and spend the savings on a great lens.

Things to think about:

Weight.  These bodies with good glass will be heavier (D600) to much heavier (D700 and D800) than what you're used to.  Spend some time at your favorite store handling each with the same lens, so you can see how they feel in your hands.  That doesn't mean you should buy low end/lighter lenses, in order to make your choice more usable.  If you buy a good body, get the best glass you can afford--you'll use on future bodies, too.

Lenses.  Your Sigma will work on all of those bodies with various degrees of satisfaction, so don't feel compelled to discard it right away.  You'll want to move up to better glass, as soon as you can afford it, however.

Learning curve.  All of the bodies you've asked about will have controls and capabilities you're unaccustomed to.  You will have a steep learning curve, but be patient, ask questions in these forums, and take your time--the results will be great.  I have guides by David Busch and Thom Hogan.  Busch's guide books are good, but for learning the capabilities of your camera and why you may or may not want to use them in your particular type of photograph, I unconditionally recommend Thom's ebooks.  He'll probably have one on the D600 soon.

Customizable functions (more learning curve stuff).  You won't believe the amount of custom programming Nikon builds into modern FX bodies and you may well be blown away by all of the menu options, as well.  Plan on reading those guide books and probably using the recommended settings to cut down on confusion, at least in the beginning.

Finally, look at Thom's D800 review.  http://bythom.com/nikond800review.htm.  At the end in the "Should you get a D800?" section he talks about upgrading and what may be best for users like you and at the bodies you are considering.

Hope this helps, and post some of your images, when you decide.

Cheers,

Mike

 mhammon's gear list:mhammon's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D810 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
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