What to buy for shooting action that doesn't cost as much as a D4?

Started Nov 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,364
Re: What to buy for shooting action that doesn't cost as much as a D4?

Kerry Pierce wrote:

I'm partial to the d3s, simply because of the noise performance that allows you to use high ISO's that won't work well on the others.

If you are planning to use the 200-400 naked, willingly giving up the DX crop factor, the d700 w/grip and d3 battery would probably do okay for you. Of course, the d3 has a performance edge over the d700. Whether or not that would be significant for your use, I don't know.

But, if you are planning to retain the DX crop factor by using a 1.4x TC, the d3s is the best option, IMO. Yes, you lose a stop of ISO with the TC, but still have approx .5 stop or more of high ISO performance that is better than the d3/d700.

The TC can introduce focus errors in the lower light, lower contrast scenes, but again the d3s handles that better than the d700/d300 do, IME.

Prior to making a purchase, I'd suggest renting your body of choice for a week, especially the d3s, just to see if it will do what you expect it to do.

I would be using my 200-400 on the FX speed camera as I appreciate the zoom for soccer to help cover more of the field and a wider variety of players from one shooting position.  I generally do not put a TC on it because it really knocks down the AF performance and I can notice some IQ degradation with the TC at 400mm (my 200-400 is tack sharp at 200) and I don't want to give up a stop of light.  I would also like to get more background isolation with f/4 on FX and not give that back by using the TC.

Rental is probably a good idea once I have an idea of which I want to go for and I particularly need to make sure I'm OK with the range of the 200-400 on FX for how I shoot (or discover how I can adapt how I shoot to the different range).

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