DX to FX

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
Tazio 722
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DX to FX
7 months ago

Hello there

I am hoping for some advice , i am an architectural designer mainly photographing my own projects however in the future i would like to start doing some more work on a professional basis , but currently i am still learning lighting techniques to develop my own look !.

Anyway over the years i have built up quite a good kit of DX gear . D300+grip ,D90+grip , nikkor 10-24, nikkor 16-85, 50mm 1.8D, tamron 60mm macro F2, Sigma 50-150 APO F2.8. So a reasonable DX kit.

However i am now thinking of going FX but on a limited budget .... So am considering a D700 , 24mm PCE , and maybe a 14-24 if funds permit .

I suppose the question is will i see a large increase in image quality by going this route .. or is it better for me to wait for a time when i can afford to purchase a D800 , the reason i do not want to go D800 is purely budget simple because my D300 grip plus really right stuff bracket fits the D700 whereas on top of buying the D800 i would have to purchase those items!.

Any advice most welcome ?.

Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D800
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Jogger
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Re: DX to FX
In reply to Tazio 722, 7 months ago

The D5300 actually has a higher rated sensor than even the D700.. and its not far off from the D4/D4s/Df .. at lower ISOs, it could be argued that its the better choice. You wont get as much of that "3d pop" that you may for portraits or people from an FF size sensor. But, if you are shooting mostly architecture on a tripod at low ISOs, it may not matter.

If youre used to the D300 semi-pro body, you may be disspointed with the feel of the D5300 though.

Tazio 722 wrote:

Hello there

I am hoping for some advice , i am an architectural designer mainly photographing my own projects however in the future i would like to start doing some more work on a professional basis , but currently i am still learning lighting techniques to develop my own look !.

Anyway over the years i have built up quite a good kit of DX gear . D300+grip ,D90+grip , nikkor 10-24, nikkor 16-85, 50mm 1.8D, tamron 60mm macro F2, Sigma 50-150 APO F2.8. So a reasonable DX kit.

However i am now thinking of going FX but on a limited budget .... So am considering a D700 , 24mm PCE , and maybe a 14-24 if funds permit .

I suppose the question is will i see a large increase in image quality by going this route .. or is it better for me to wait for a time when i can afford to purchase a D800 , the reason i do not want to go D800 is purely budget simple because my D300 grip plus really right stuff bracket fits the D700 whereas on top of buying the D800 i would have to purchase those items!.

Any advice most welcome ?.

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mactac
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Re: DX to FX
In reply to Jogger, 7 months ago

Here's my take on it:

I went from a D300 to a D800.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but the low-light quality of the newer camera is huge over the d300.  In fact, I would say tha almost any newer prosumer or higher camera will have much better low-light capabilities than the d300.

Low ISO & daylight pictures, I'm not sure if there is a huge visible difference at regular print sizes.

What I think you will notice though, is that you effectively get much wider with an FX camera than with the d300.  The lenses are more expensive, but I can see how for architectural shots, this could be quite useful.

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PHXAZCRAIG
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Re: DX to FX
In reply to Tazio 722, 7 months ago

My path was D70s to D200 to D300 to D700 to D800e.   Enjoyed them all.  Still have the last four.

Big increase in IQ?  No, unless you are a) shooing in low light, handheld, and/or b) printing really big or cropping a lot and need a lot more pixels and go for a 24-36mp camera.

When I added the D700 to my mix, it quickly became my go-to/everything camera, or everything-but-wildlife.   The D700 can do everything the D300 can do, and more, except put more pixesl on a too-distant subject.

Here's where I saw visible improvements in IQ:  high iso, 14-bit shooting speed, and dynamic range.   The cameras are pretty much equal everywhere else.   And of course the FX camera has a width advantage (when coupled with my 14-24), while the D300 has the crop reach advantage.

I always felt like I could shoot the D300 up to ISO 800 or so without worrying much about things.   Once past ISO 1000, I did have to expose carefully and expect noise in the images and/or reduction in sharpness.   I tended to be very worried about shooting over ISO 2000, though I've got some excellent results at ISO 2000 where the dynamic range of the scene wasn't very extensive.

Basically the D300 topped out at ISO 1600 for me while the D700 topped out at about 3200.   Both can go higher, with post processing really needed.

14-bit.  Can't say for sure i can see a difference, but the D300 can't shoot fast in 14-bit mode.   It's limited to 2.5fps, plus the shutter lag is almost doubled.   I leave it at 12-bit so I can shoot at 8fps with the grip.   The D700 stays are 14-bit.

The D700 has more dynamic range.  At least that is my assumption.  It clearly has more headroom for pulling down highlights, and more shadow room for pulling up those.   Skies look 'smoother'.   The whole output just looks 'smoother'.

Where would a D700 help you?   Probably in those rooms where you haven't got the time or ability to light up every shadow, and/or where you have to handhold at ISO values over 1000.   Plus, if you get a 14-24, it will be really, really wide.    You probably won't like the keystoning effect though - it won't be generally flattering to the architecture.   A PCE sounds more suitable, and 24mm is often wide enough.

As others have said though, the newer DX sensors are clearly better than the D700, plus have more pixels.   It doesn't sound like you need the features of the semipro bodies (D300/D700/D800) either, especially with a PCE lens where you're going to be working slow and probably from a tripod.  Simpler to get a D3300 or D5200 or D7100 - your DX lenses still work, and there will be a noticeable IQ impact.

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Craig
www.cjcphoto.net

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JWReagan
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Re: DX to FX
In reply to Tazio 722, 7 months ago

One thing to keep in mind if your shooting architectural and landscapes is the increased depth of field at a given aperture that you get with DX. You will have to stop down more on a full frame camera to get the same depth of field you are used to. For portrait work the advantage is goes to FX but if a deep depth of field is what you are looking for the DX has the advantage. When I got a D600 one of the biggest draw backs for me was the less forgiving depth of field when shooting wide open in low light, but the ISO increase made up for it.

Since you shoot stationary objects the shutter speed doesn't really matter, you are after sharpness, stopping down too much may start to negatively impact your sharpness though.

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Vladi Stoimenov
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Re: DX to FX
In reply to Tazio 722, 7 months ago

.... I already have 14-24/2.8 and 24-120/f4 and use them with D7000.  Almost one year I am hesitating to by or not to by D6x0. D800 delivers to big files, for an amateur may be not the best choice.
Expect any advise.

Vladi

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seahawk
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Re: DX to FX
In reply to Tazio 722, 7 months ago

I would say the investment is not worth the money. FX is great for portraits or shooting action and anything hand held in low light. Your field of work allows you to use a tripod and long exposure times, which allows you to keep ISO down which reduces the IQ difference between FX and DX to a very big effect. I can imagine that a D5300 (regardless of the cheaper body) would make more sense to give you lower noise at higher ISO settings (when needed) and also more resolution when needed.

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mnodonnell
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You will not see much of a change
In reply to Tazio 722, 7 months ago

Unless you really need the extra width I would stay right where you are.

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Doss
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Re: You will not see much of a change
In reply to mnodonnell, 7 months ago

mnodonnell wrote:

Unless you really need the extra width I would stay right where you are.

Some good advice, and some I disagree with, already given. but the sentence above sums it up best.

For what my experience is worth - though I don't shoot architecture - I tried a D300 (coming from a D700) for the extra reach/wildlife. I found the D700 quality to be so much better (even when cropped in at x1.5) that I quickly sold on the D300.

That said, the D300 can easily attain 'professional' quality photos if used correctly.

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