D800 as a D700 replacement

Started May 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Pick of Penang Junior Member • Posts: 27
Me too...

I think much the same as the OP. I'm not pro at all and currently use a D90 with 2.8 24-70 and 70-200 lenses for shooting in descending order: poor / low light catwalk / fashion; studio fashion; poor / low light concerts and events; landscapes (dawn, day, dusk and night) and motor sport. I also have a few fast primes, a Tokina 11-16 SWA and the Nikkor 70-300 VRII.

Problem for me is that while the D90 is good for many of the above its performance at the lighting levels I often shoot is, frankly, terrible. Not slagging off the D90 at all, it's just a limitation of the hardware and when I bought the D90 4-5 years ago it was my first DSLR and I wasn't sure what I wanted to get into, shoot wise.

Now I know, and it keeps me very very busy, so I really need the best solution to my low light problems. I haven't just decided that I need FX for the sake of it (e.g. just going for FX without thinking at through, thinking that by default FX must be better) but I DO need excellent low light / noise performance, first rate DOF, good colour / IQ and a 100% viewfinder would be a bonus. Video I don't need and I don't print massive posters. Thus FX seems to be the best (even only) solution. I also have a fair investment in lenses that I think I need to get the full benefit from.

I've been looking for ages about what to move to and the D700 seems about right. The D800 having come out sure covers my needs but provides other things I don't need (and will never use) and more importantly, potentially a load of other problems for me to have to deal with to get good shots, not to mention massive files which will be a pain to handle in RAW. In all honesty the cost of the D800 isn't really the issue, it's the overkill factor and potential problems that are. In some ways I can see the D800 hampering rather than helping in my case.

I nearly popped for a D700 yesterday as the shop had them in stock and on a good deal BUT, just as I waited to see how the D800 stacked up before deciding D800 or D700, the D600 has come onto the horizon and it SEEMS it might be imminent. Sure if it was going to be another year or two I'd say stuff it and get a D700 (would rather have the 100% VF though) but out here (Malaysia) we got the D800 quite quick and if the D600 gets announced soon I hope that will be quick to arrive also.

I'm sure I'd like a D800 inasmuch as it solves my problems but I think I'd be paying a premium for functions I don't use and for image type I don't need. The D800 seems to cover the needs of a lot of photographers really well, and for some, bang on. But not for me think. Overkill. I do note however that the AF system should be good and that cropped low-light images would be very good. I'm sure I'd also get better wildlife shots sticking my 70-300 VRII on the D800 than on my D90.

So it's back to waiting (but just now I'm in no rush). The D700 would be great I'm sure BUT it is older tech now and I have a gut feeling it IS about to be replaced, with the D600. Sure if I had a D700 already I would stick with it and not bother to upgrade to a D800 or even the D600 most likely and I know many D700 owners are over the moon and would likely say just get a D700. But I think I'll wait to see what the D600 delivers before I drop cash on my next body. It SEEMS common sense given I can afford to wait. If the D600 falls short in any department that the D700 exceeds it at I can always get a D700, or even a D800 if it seems to be the best investment bang for buck wise (although I'd have a steep learning curve with its usage I think and would have to put up with way oversized files.

When it does come out, the critical factors for me will be:

1) Excellent low-light / noise perf.
2) Good AF (hopefuly not the D7000)
3) 100% VF
4) 24 MP or under
5) 4-6 FPS

6) Video (I don't care but will never use it so if it keeps cost down, leave it off)
7) GPS (don't mind, again, leave it off if it makes 1-5 suffer)

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