D700 - Where to go next?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Dave George
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D700 - Where to go next?
4 months ago

Hi all

Facing a slight dilemma in choosing my next camera body, (like many I am sure) coming from a D700 and wondering which Nikon would suit their needs best.

I have had the D700 for two years now, after buying it brand new, I shoot a mixture of subjects both as an amateur and semi professionally, subjects include landscapes, weddings and motorsports.

I can see there is a benefit from the increased DR and low light performance of the latest cameras in the Nikon line up, but am having real trouble establishing which might be the right one for me. I am looking for a body to partner the D700 not totally replace it.

My thoughts thus far:

D600/610 - benefits of increased DR and low light but don't like the size of the D7000 body (I sold my D7000 because it felt too small for me compared to the 700) and have concerns of the AF system not being as good as the D700.

D800 - As above but the penalty here is the shot discipline required, does it really suit handheld wedding work?

DF - This really appeals because of the tremendous low light performance and less intimidating looks, (for weddings) it may also be an ideal travel camera with a prime allowing me to leave the D700 + grip at home!

Finally there is the D4 which I am sure would tick every box, I simply cannot justify the cost at this stage.

My head is telling me that the D610 might be the best all things considered, price, size, performance etc, how good/bad is the AF in low light - I'm talking indoor wedding venues here which truly test an AF system - the D700 does remarkably well in this respect.

My heart is saying the DF appeals as the files seem to have that special "something" from what I am seeing on here, but it is a lot of money over a 610.

The D800 sits somewhere in the middle but i'm really unsure after all the AF problems reported.

New body will be used with 24-70, 14-24 and 80-200 Nikkor zooms, and a 50 1.4D and 85 1.8 AIS.

Appreciate any input on this

cheers!

David

 Dave George's gear list:Dave George's gear list
Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-T1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +3 more
Nikon D4 Nikon D610 Nikon D700 Nikon D7000 Nikon D800 Nikon Df
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T O Shooter
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

D4 - Find a way to buy the D4, especially coming from a D700. What everyone else is going to tell you about the D610 / Df / D800 is a lie!

And don't believe anyone that tells you to buy a D3S!   With the D4S coming, pricing between a used D3S and D4 will be closer.

Disclaimer: I might have seen Larry's post and edited mine afterwards.

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larrywilson
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

A used d3s would be an excellent low light camera with an excellent af system.  It"s also a very quick setting change camera with the extra exterior buttons.

Larry

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bowman
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Re: D700 - David I have exactly the same problem
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

David,

I have exactly the same problem, owned my D700 for five years and still think it is a very good camera but I would not want even more weight and bulk so a D4 at any price is just too heavy for me.

DF looks nice but no video and for me too expensive for what it is.

So D800, D610 or possibly D7100 as a companion to D700 which I am concerned about letting go.

I am off to Focus Tuesday so will try and come to reach a solution.

Good hunting

John Bow. North Wales

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RikD800
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Re: D700 - David I have exactly the same problem
In reply to bowman, 4 months ago

D610 & df's focusing is not as good as the D700, especially in low light. Makes moving to one of these cameras difficult, despite the increase in high iso and dynamic range.

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Mr Gadget
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So where exactly ...
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

is the D700 not performing to your expectations? What images have you not been able to produce because of a limitation in it's design or construction?

Personally, I would love to have your D700 and lens setup...

Just sayin...

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HRonen
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

I am in the same spot (D700), not interested at all in going anywhere next.

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Chuck Yadmark
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

Only the 3S, 4, and 4S will improve on some or all aspects and be worse in none (except compactness)

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yray
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Chuck Yadmark, 4 months ago

Chuck Yadmark wrote:

Only the 3S, 4, and 4S will improve on some or all aspects and be worse in none (except compactness)

For me, this is not unimportant. I use my D700 a whole lot more for general photography than the D3s, because it is so much handier. IMO, all these D3s/4/4s, etc oversized bodies are great when you shoot an event of any kind and stay put for the most part. Carrying a large body around, traveling with it, etc, is not worth it IMO if you have a D700. At the end of the day, unless you're a sports shooter, and low light sports shooter for that, or do theater work or similar low light, all these other pro bodies improve on D700 in what for most practical use are rare corner cases.

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diverroy
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to yray, 4 months ago

If you find the D610 feels a little small to you why not buy the grip for it

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coronawithlime
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In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

The D700 is a particularly well thought of camera.  Unless you just want a new body there may be no real reason to upgrade at all

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bgbs
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

Nikon decided that a D700 upgrade is going to be logical.  Nikon wanted to surprise us all, and they did with the release of D610, Df, and D800.  Now, when Nikon releases a D800s, then I think it will become the most legitimate D700 replacement.  Apart from still being a high resolution camera, it should catch up D700 in other key areas.

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AustinTed
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

I'll just take at face value that the D700 isn't good enough and you need better DR and better low light capability.

I don't think the D800 is a bad option.  It will give you the focus system and handling you're used to while improving on both DR and low light.  The downside is the slower fps which might be a problem for your motorsports work.  The other issue is the large file sizes that might slow you down a bit if processing large numbers of images from a wedding.  But faster computers and cheaper storage can help solve that.

I probably wouldn't even consider either the D600/D610 or the Df due to handling differences and the focus system.  While you can probably get used to anything, the handling differences may be a frustration compared to what you're used to although having tried both the D600 and the Df it probably isn't as bad some people think.  The focus system would make me a little nervous for both motorsports and low light wedding work.  I'm not saying it's terrible and won't work, but it is not as good as the D700 and you should give it a test run before committing.

The D4 is probably the perfect choice for your needs.  It can handle all of your uses while improving both DR and low light.  The smaller file sizes will give you a smoother workflow.  The D3S might not have the DR you want. The D800 carries a lot of pixels that aren't at their best in low light other than for down sampling.

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LD_50
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

Since you can't go D4 (maybe you will be able to with the prices dropping now that the D4s is available?) I would recommend D800.

You should see better DR and resolution even with the same shot discipline for a given output size. Perhaps at pixel level view you'll see more blurring with poor shot discipline or lesser quality lenses but if you output at the same size as your D700 shots you'll still have better results.

I went from D700 to D4 but also considered D800.

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Dave George
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Re: So where exactly ...
In reply to Mr Gadget, 4 months ago

Mr Gadget wrote:

is the D700 not performing to your expectations? What images have you not been able to produce because of a limitation in it's design or construction?

Personally, I would love to have your D700 and lens setup...

Just sayin...

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Conrad

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Mr Gadget wrote:

is the D700 not performing to your expectations? What images have you not been able to produce because of a limitation in it's design or construction?

Personally, I would love to have your D700 and lens setup...

Just sayin...

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Conrad
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The D700 is performing just fine, it is a fantasic piece of engineering, I wish to have a second body to run alongside it - not to replace it - there have been times where I wished its output at high ISO was as clean as the latest gen cameras, and on occasion I have wished I had a little more DR for higher contrast scenes.

I don't see these as flaws of the D700, I just work around it's abilities in low light and DR, as in every other aspect its ability is higher than my own

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Dave George
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to diverroy, 4 months ago

diverroy wrote:

If you find the D610 feels a little small to you why not buy the grip for it

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Diverroy

I had the grip for the D7000 but just couldn't adjust to using it comfortably, whereas the D700+grip feels much more natural (if heavier

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Dave George
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to AustinTed, 4 months ago

AustinTed wrote:

I'll just take at face value that the D700 isn't good enough and you need better DR and better low light capability.

I don't think the D800 is a bad option. It will give you the focus system and handling you're used to while improving on both DR and low light. The downside is the slower fps which might be a problem for your motorsports work. The other issue is the large file sizes that might slow you down a bit if processing large numbers of images from a wedding. But faster computers and cheaper storage can help solve that.

I probably wouldn't even consider either the D600/D610 or the Df due to handling differences and the focus system. While you can probably get used to anything, the handling differences may be a frustration compared to what you're used to although having tried both the D600 and the Df it probably isn't as bad some people think. The focus system would make me a little nervous for both motorsports and low light wedding work. I'm not saying it's terrible and won't work, but it is not as good as the D700 and you should give it a test run before committing.

The D4 is probably the perfect choice for your needs. It can handle all of your uses while improving both DR and low light. The smaller file sizes will give you a smoother workflow. The D3S might not have the DR you want. The D800 carries a lot of pixels that aren't at their best in low light other than for down sampling.

Cheers, the D700 is fine, I just wish to add a second body and make sure that where the D700 is slightly lagging behind more modern designs I fill that void with the newer body.

I have this nagging feeling that the D4 is the answer here, but the cost is a big factor. Nikon have given us a real lovely spread of machines but crucially not something that a D700 user can instantly associate with. My thoughts are the D800 body with the 24mp sensor and more processing power might have given us a true D700 replacement, but I'm not going to criticise Nikon for their current line up which is superb in my opinion!

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Dave George
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Re: D700 - David I have exactly the same problem
In reply to bowman, 4 months ago

bowman wrote:

David,

I have exactly the same problem, owned my D700 for five years and still think it is a very good camera but I would not want even more weight and bulk so a D4 at any price is just too heavy for me.

DF looks nice but no video and for me too expensive for what it is.

So D800, D610 or possibly D7100 as a companion to D700 which I am concerned about letting go.

I am off to Focus Tuesday so will try and come to reach a solution.

Good hunting

John Bow. North Wales

Would be interested to know how you get on John

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Sunnyjim
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Re: D700 - Where to go next?
In reply to LD_50, 4 months ago

Hi Dave, if you don't want the size and expense of a D4, it seems like a D800 would be your first choice for a backup camera.

For me there is nothing worse than a camera that will not focus fast and accurate. A new D800 should be ok now and the detail found in large file sizes would be nice for wedding images.

Bob

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gear1box
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Re: D700 - David I have exactly the same problem
In reply to Dave George, 4 months ago

Dave --

I assume that the revenue application here is weddings; nobody makes money in the other fields you cite (but you might, so discount my comments thusly).  It has been a long time since i shot for cash -- heck, almost certainly more years than thou have age -- but the ergonomics are critical it seems to me for a professional tool. And there are several critical design issues, ergos aside, to consider:

  • you need spot on focusing, but "bif" dynamics aren't required: good news; all current Nikon FX bodies are great (even for the motorsport application with the d6x0);
  • DR probably trumps megapixels for your wedding application . . . let me say that it certainly does. When you shoot landscape you can stitch for higher res.  Back in the day, we would pick wedding films with long tonal scales specifically to get the DR for subtle gradations in luminance; these would not be high res films (which tended to have higher contrast); same today, actually.
  • Buffer depth and fps matter a little . . . but they do matter. Gawd, what i would have given for current camera's abilities to capture the Daddy-Daughter dance moment . . .

And cost matters (well, as an economist i would say it always does . . .). Given the above, the D4 looks to me to be your best choice. But it is pricey. It has the DR edge, focussing and speed, with a step up in megapixels from the d700. The d800 is really restricted on speed, actually. Sorry; it just is. i think of it as a medium format replacement. The Df is a Gawd-awful ergonomic kluge, but it is the cheapest way to get the D4 sensor; can you live with it? No video either . . .

And you can't live with the d6x0 ergos. I understand that -- i have one, but my background is different -- but i would point out that the most cost-effective answer is a refurb d600.  it more-or-less ticks all yer boxes and you get a new shutter!

Dave, there is no perfect answer for you. If it were me, i'd get a d6x0 and upgrade my lighting. Check that: i hated weddings. I would never do another one. And i haven't since 1974.

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gary ray
Semi-professional in early 1970s; just a putzer since then. interests: historical sites, virginia, motorcycle racing. A nikon user more by habit than choice; still, nikon seems to work well for me.

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