Second body for wildlife photography

Started Dec 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
AC1 Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Second body for wildlife photography

avishekaiyar wrote:

AC1 wrote:


I have the D300s, D7000, and D800E. I am also an avid wildlife photographer and birds are my passion.

From personal experience i can rate the cameras i own as follows;

- The D300s is an excellent camera, and for a while the only DSLR i owned. Still have and enjoy using it.

- D7000, is a good camera and is under rated by most on this forum. It has better IQ, and better ISO (1stop) than the D300s. It is an excellent wildlife camera if used properly.

- The D800E easily outperforms the other two. It has better IQ, better DR, better ISO, way better focusing (despite what you read on this forum), fps not ideal but workable.

I also had the use of a D4 for a week and was very impressed (superb camera). But as you have mentioned the loss of 1.5 crop factor is a serious loss for a birder. I returned the D4 and was very happy to have the D800E for my main activity, ie bird photography.

For bird photography reach is everything. I have a 500VR with a 1.4tele and more often than not wish it was 800 with a 1.4. Its all about pixels on subject. There is no substitute for reach and inevitably good glass and expensive long lens are required. Of course as you have pointed out lesser equipment can also get great results, its all about compromises.

I have been on two safaris in the past year and regularly photograph wildlife in my home town. In the Nikon line up i think the 800E is the best all round wildlife lens. Not perfect but the camera i would prefer above all others. When the results are not up to par it is almost always the photographers fault. So i still have a lot to learn.

If budget is #1 get the D7000, if not get the D800E.

hope the above was of help



With the D800/D800E, how much are you able to crop before you start seeing unacceptable results? At base ISO and high ISO.

I have never thought of this much and so not in a position to quantify. However i can say the ability to crop with the D800e is considerable. Beyond anything i have experienced on other cameras.

My preference is still to remain with a crop sensor body for reasons Jim outlined earlier. I already have the 300 2.8 and the TC14E...I plan to add the TC17 and maybe the TC20EIII (if I can acceptable results), so I feel I am somewhat covered glass wise. Not ideal, but adequate.

However, I will give the D800/D7000 a thought. I am too used to the AF on the D300, so I am not sure if I can adjust to that of the D7000, but the 1 stop ISO performance is attractive. I am quite happy with the IQ from the D300.

Do not underestimate the the ability to focus accurately and quickly. This can be the difference between being satisfied and being disappointed. As stated previously the focusing ability of the D800e is one of the best and is noticeably better than the D300s or the D7000. Possibly only the D4 is better although i am really not qualified to make such a statement.

I have also heard really good things about the low light AF capabilities of the D800...that would be a handy feature to have when using the 300 with TCs.

The low light ability of the D800e is way beyond that of the D300s, and noticably better than that of the D7000.



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