My D300s can't compete, what do I do?

Started Jul 28, 2012 | Discussions
Andy Evans
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My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
Jul 28, 2012

Hi guys,

I'm seriously in need of a new camera and there is no sign of the D400! My D300s is great but it doesn't produce an image big enough to enter some major competitions with my photos!

To top it off I have two major trips to the states in the next 6 months and would ideally like to replace her by then.

I contacted Nikon and got this response....

I am afraid that Nikon cannot make any specific comment about future products or their updates, including any plans for official announcements or their specifications. When the D300s replacement camera will be available, appropriate information will be published on our European websites home page. Also, it will be sent to all Nikon Newsletter subscribers.

I am wondering whether a D800 or D4 would suit me but I am concerned over my lenses and wasting money on pixels I can't use.... aviation photography, especially at airshows can happen in the 600mm+ region and the 1.5x crop is very very handy for these situations. Buying an FX camera, I would just be cropping all the time!

My lens lineup is as follows, if push come to shove, would they be compatible with FX?
Nikkor 70-300mm VR AF-S
Nikkor 18-70mm DX
Sigma 50-500mm OS DG

Ta

Andy

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bgD300
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Most competitions have a maximum image size expressed in pixels but, I don't recall ever seeing it as requirement for a minimum size.
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lock
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do you realise what you will get with a D800?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Your reference is a Dx with 12 mp. The D800 offers a bit lover 15 Mp in Dx crop mode. So, unless you do not invest in 1.5 times longer lenses, your are not going to gain much in terms of print size. And that's what you are looking for, aren't you ?

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RedFox88
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Andy Evans wrote:

Hi guys,

I'm seriously in need of a new camera and there is no sign of the D400! My D300s is great but it doesn't produce an image big enough to enter some major competitions with my photos!

Just what photo competitions are these and what are their submital requirements?

They a printed competition? If so you should be able to print 12 MP very large. And I can't see a reason a photo competition would need more than a 2 MP image because an HD projector is at most 2 MP.

You probably are confusing something with your competitions.

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Andy Evans
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to RedFox88, Jul 28, 2012

The main one I can highlight is the official Eurofighter photographic competition.

Minimum image size is 30x40cm at 300dpi.... thats 4724x3543px... 16.7mp

When it was announced I did query it, and was told that they consider it a fair image size and upscaled images would have sufficient quality for printing....

A view I don't agree with, assuming a full frame shot on the D300s, that is still quite a significant upscaling. To meet the 3543px dimension, a 35% upscale is required.

Andy

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Rockwallaby
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D3200?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Why not look at the D3200, plenty of Mp and low cost.

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bgD300
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The only way it won't compete with 35% upsizing
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Is if you are looking at it with a loupe or like it was a 4x6 photo, less than two feet from your eyes.

In any case, nobody is going to toss out a great image for a little grain. It might make a difference between two average images.
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n057
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Andy Evans wrote:
Hi guys,

I'm seriously in need of a new camera and there is no sign of the D400! My D300s is great but it doesn't produce an image big enough to enter some major competitions with my photos!

( ... snip ... )

My lens lineup is as follows, if push come to shove, would they be compatible with FX?
Nikkor 70-300mm VR AF-S
Nikkor 18-70mm DX
Sigma 50-500mm OS DG

Except for the 18-70, which is DX, your lenses are compatible with FX.

So yes, you can get an FX body. Given your requirements, which require a high frame rate, the obvious choice would be a D400.

And then, you will have to solve the long lens issue, since you lose the multiplier effect which you enjoy now on DX. That means either spending additional money on lenses, or getting a TC.

Ugh, what an expensive predicament ...

JC
Some cameras, some lenses, some computers

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jfriend00
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 28, 2012

Andy Evans wrote:

The main one I can highlight is the official Eurofighter photographic competition.

Minimum image size is 30x40cm at 300dpi.... thats 4724x3543px... 16.7mp

When it was announced I did query it, and was told that they consider it a fair image size and upscaled images would have sufficient quality for printing....

A view I don't agree with, assuming a full frame shot on the D300s, that is still quite a significant upscaling. To meet the 3543px dimension, a 35% upscale is required.

Invest in learning how to do the best upscaling/resharpening and do that on the few images that you enter in the competition. If it's a quality image, the 35% upscale should not be a problem.

Meanwhile, you can wait until the more optimized camera is released by Nikon. Anything else and you'd be buying a camera that doesn't really match your needs and then when the D400 does come out, you'd be wanting to upgrade again (an expensive proposition to upgrade twice in a year).

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Kerry Pierce
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d7000
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 29, 2012

Andy Evans wrote:

I am wondering whether a D800 or D4 would suit me but I am concerned over my lenses and wasting money on pixels I can't use.... aviation photography, especially at airshows can happen in the 600mm+ region and the 1.5x crop is very very handy for these situations. Buying an FX camera, I would just be cropping all the time!

My lens lineup is as follows, if push come to shove, would they be compatible with FX?
Nikkor 70-300mm VR AF-S
Nikkor 18-70mm DX
Sigma 50-500mm OS DG

Well, Andy, you're in a pickle. If I were you, I'd invest in one of the professional uprezzing programs for use in those contests that require more than 12mp. Up rezzing the small amount that you stated earlier, wouldn't be a problem and would give you good quality images for printing.

Otherwise, the d7000 would be about as good as anything Nikon has now, but it has poor frame rate and buffer. The d4 lacks the pixels for cropping, so you'd end up with less than you get with the d300. The d800 would work pixel wise, but it also has slow FPS and small buffer, plus a lousy viewfinder for DX mode and/or intended deep cropping, plus in DX mode it only has 15.3mps.

Hate to say it, but the competition has better DX cameras for you, ATM. The Canon 7d or 60d would work fine, for example, assuming that the AF tracking works well. Browsing the various Canon fora should answer that question for you.

IMO, the best bets are the uprez programs used on the d300 and/or a d7000. I've shot airshows with the d70 and d200. You can get by with the slow frame rates and shallow buffers, but you'll miss some shots. You have to practice to time your bursts better with the d7k. AFAIK, most of the good uprez programs have trial periods. Download some trials and see if one will work for you. Personally, I'd add the d7k to the d300 and use both.

good luck
Kerry
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Kerry Pierce
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I agree with John
In reply to jfriend00, Jul 29, 2012

jfriend00 wrote:

Andy Evans wrote:

Invest in learning how to do the best upscaling/resharpening and do that on the few images that you enter in the competition. If it's a quality image, the 35% upscale should not be a problem.

Meanwhile, you can wait until the more optimized camera is released by Nikon. Anything else and you'd be buying a camera that doesn't really match your needs and then when the D400 does come out, you'd be wanting to upgrade again (an expensive proposition to upgrade twice in a year).

+1 I think John has the best idea. Upsizing 12mp isn't like upsizing a 2mp image. Those programs work much better with the higher MP bodies like the d300.

Kerry
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AikenMooney
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 29, 2012

Your D 300s should be fine. CS4 thru CS could upsize with no problem. Are you sure you just do not want a new camera? My D7000 and even my D300 could do what you want.

Yes, yes I would like to replace my D300 with a D400 yesterday but Nikon did not ask my opinion. I think we might see a D7100 before the replacement for the D300s. I love my D3s but as soon as I have enough light I put my D300 on my Nikon 500mm.
I then have a 750 mm f4. If I use a TC with the D3s then I have a f5.6 700mm.
There are many of us waiting for the replacement for the D300 and D300s.
I do consider these two cameras to be the best of the DX format.

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mlewan
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 29, 2012

If money is an issue, I second the d3200 option. A skilled photographer should be able to make wonders with that low end DSLR.

I have not used it myself, but I often used my "cheap" d5100 instead of the d300 because of the sensor quality. As far as I understand the d3200 is even better.

If money is not an issue, invest in some FX lenses and go for the d800. It brings a whole new dimension to dynamic range and tha ability to crop useful chunks out of big photos.

You could probably take one single photo of two planes and crop them out as two separate photos with acceptable size.

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bobn2
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to n057, Jul 29, 2012

n057 wrote:

So yes, you can get an FX body. Given your requirements, which require a high frame rate, the obvious choice would be a D400.

Where would he buy one?
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jfriend00
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to mlewan, Jul 29, 2012

mlewan wrote:

If money is an issue, I second the d3200 option. A skilled photographer should be able to make wonders with that low end DSLR.

A D3200 is probably fine for things that do not move (very good sensor), but when it comes to action, it's fairly crippled in fps, buffer and AF and many of the focus adjustments.

This is an airshow we're talking about. I assume this is things that move and some of them move quite fast (it depends upon your orientation to the motion). I'm sure some shots could be had with a D3200, but I'd personally much rather shoot with the D300 and uprez to meet the competition requirements until Nikon ships a D400.

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jerfy
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to jfriend00, Jul 29, 2012

Pick up any magazine. It will have roughly the same requirements as the numbers you are stating. For many years those magazines printed images from cameras that have less pixels than your camera. Upscaling digital files to match printing resolution has been the industry standard for years and can be done very well.

Given the lenses you have I doubt you would see any extra detail even if you had more pixels.

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n057
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to bobn2, Jul 29, 2012

bobn2 wrote:

n057 wrote:

So yes, you can get an FX body. Given your requirements, which require a high frame rate, the obvious choice would be a D400.

Where would he buy one?

Ooops!

Sorry, that was a lapsus linguae. Given that I was saying "yes, you can get an FX body", I meant D4. Recommending FX is so traumatic and atypical for me that my fingers kept going and I added two zeroes

JC
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caspianm
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to mlewan, Jul 29, 2012

mlewan wrote:

I have not used it myself, but I often used my "cheap" d5100 instead of the d300 because of the sensor quality. As far as I understand the d3200 is even better.

Based on what D3200 has a better sensor than even D5100 other than denser pixels?
Iso, dr and sharpness are all better out of D5100 AFAIK.

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hflavo
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to Andy Evans, Jul 29, 2012

The D300 is the best tracker, but the D7000 has the pixels you want and very good quality pixels at that. And the D7000 is no slouch at tracking in its own right.

I used the D300 for 2-1/2 years and then bought the D7000 to replace it. I wish I had both....and suggest that's an option for you.

HARRY LAVO
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mlewan
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Re: My D300s can't compete, what do I do?
In reply to jfriend00, Jul 29, 2012

jfriend00 wrote:

mlewan wrote:

If money is an issue, I second the d3200 option. A skilled photographer should be able to make wonders with that low end DSLR.

A D3200 is probably fine for things that do not move (very good sensor), but when it comes to action, it's fairly crippled in fps, buffer and AF and many of the focus adjustments.

This is an airshow we're talking about. I assume this is things that move and some of them move quite fast (it depends upon your orientation to the motion).

You may be right, but it does not match my personal experience. At the few air shows I have attended, the planes' trajectories have been very predictable. There are not many sudden turns one has to take into account - partially because it does not make much sense for a photographer. An airplane in the middle of an impressive looping looks the same on a photo as one flying straight.

Fast fps and good AF is probably much more important when taking pictures of children running around in your back garden.

People with more experience of airshows are of course free to disagree.

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