Upgrade from D300 for a poor college student?

Started Apr 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 13,214
Re: Upgrade from D300 for a poor college student?

As owner of both D300 and D700 (each with grip and EL4, so each with 8fps capability), I can say:

1. The D700 gives just a bit more than 1 stop low light advantage than the D300.   For me, that means D300 up to about 800 ISO without much worry, D700 up to 1600.

2. D700 has clearly better 'look' to me, which I assume is a more gentle tonal curve or something.

3. D700 has a lot of dynamic range, and it's easier to miss exposure a bit and post-process.  Seems like a lot more highlight headroom.

4. Depth of field with FX is a two-edged sword.   My rule of thumb is that to get about the same DOF I'm used to with a scene on DX, I need to stop down by about the crop factor.  So F5.6 on D700 tends to be a bit less DOF than F4 on D300.   Takes a while to get used to what's enough stopping down to get adequate DOF.

5. Except when doing wildlife, I prefer shooting the D700.   But you pay for it on the wide end.   There are a lot of choices for wide DX zooms.  Not so many for wide FX zooms, and they are heavier and more expensive.

6. You'll worry about the corners a lot more on FX...

7.  Those focus points are awfully clustered into the center on FX.  It's a shame.

8. I missed the 100% viewfinder from the D300 when I shot with the D700.  Never quite got used to it.  It sometimes gets you when shooting wide as you might have something intruding into the frame that hurts the composition or affects the metering and you don't notice it until post processing.

I really liked my D700.  Once I got it, I pretty much quit using the D300 except for wildlife, and when I wanted to shoot with my 10.5 DX fisheye.   The D700 is just more versatile in the situations it handles.  (Meaning both dim and bright light).

I still have it (plus D200 and D300), but having recently bought a D800e, I'm not shooting it right now.   And trying to figure out where it fits, other than being able to shoot 8fps instead of 4.

I put a few 'high ISO examples' of shots I took at higher-than-usual ISO values for both D300 and D700 here:


After getting a D800e, I'm inclined to think that the D600 would also better a D700 in high ISO capability, and the pixel count seems 'about right' at 24mp.   Too bad it's in a somewhat crippled body.

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