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

Started Nov 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
Tony Beach Forum Pro • Posts: 11,823
Re: Stop analyzing. The D3s is your savior.

jfriend00 wrote:.

I would love the extra stop of high ISO performance and extra speed of the D3s over the D700. If I was shooting HS night games where it was this dark under the lights much of the time, I would probably have no choice but a D3s or D4. But, my situation isn't quite that dark and the D3s would cost me more than double what a D700 would (~$3300 vs. $1500) so I'm still evaluating. I'm trying to decide which one to rent first and give it a try.

It seems to me that for your purposes a D700 with a 1.4x teleconverter is mostly a sideways move from your D300. You don't gain fps, and if you use the teleconverter you gain about a third of a stop of ISO (according to DxO Mark) and if don't use the teleconverter you loose reach.

The D3s would be more of an upgrade for you. Looking at DxO Mark the D3s does about a third of a stop better than the D700, and you would actually increase fps, so you would be up two thirds of a stop and have a couple more fps. If you had a fast lens with the same reach as what you currently have, you would be up by about a stop and a half of ISO performance over your D300. I would also note that reports are fairly consistent in these forums that the D3s is a noticeable improvement in AF over the D300.

Just to put this in perspective, if you "settled" for 6 fps from a D7000 you could get that camera really cheap and it would give you more reach and about a third of a stop better ISO performance than your D300 (again, this is according to DxO Mark; I do not profess to know if these numbers are accurate and as always -- YMMV).  Also, if you eventually sell the D3s then the price of having used it will be offset by that, so you are effectively "leasing" it, and that wouldn't be a bad deal if the D3s can deliver you customers.

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