Nikon DSLR or bust....

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
abc123brian Forum Member • Posts: 93
Re: Nikon DSLR or bust....

Emmanuel Diver wrote:

danmitch wrote:

newb2019 wrote:

Long time lurker, first time poster. Inherited a D300 and a couple of lenses (16-85 VR and a 18-70? non VR that seems to have some issues). I went and picked up a 35mm prime and really expensive flash (SB700) at the advice of the local camera shop. Had I have spent more time reading, I would have figured out how to use the free manual flash I also inherited - but the iTTL sure is nice for a quick shot.

I'm not a professional, just a dad that likes to camp, hike, take pictures of the family/friend and kids sports - looking to spend more time in the hobby. The D300 is a bit old, but it does work - the real challenge is that it really seems to struggle, even with the prime lens, in low light. The camera seems to work well with flash and without a flash (as long as there adequate light), but bumping the ISO results in grainy results when you push 800+.

Upon reading for hours and watching countless video reviews, it seems the newer gear is way better in low light (might have something to do with a 13 year old sensor, lol). I don't have a lot invested in the current setup, so dumping and starting new is an option...but I was thinking of picking up a newer body, another prime (50mm for portraits) and leverage the few items that I already own. I had been leveraging the commander mode, but it appears that the SB-700 does not work with the 5xxxx bodies without buying triggers - not sure I need the horsepower of the 7xxxx, but the weather sealing and controls might be missed. Not sure the weight would be, however.

Open to suggestions - new body, wait for a Nikon APS-C Mirrorless, jump brands...

Thanks in advance-

I think I would spend a bit of time with what you have first and see how you get on with it, which will lead you to what you want better in a new camera or camera system. Whilst things have certainly moved on since the D300, in its time it was a well respected professional body capable of excellent results - I had its predecessor the D200 for a while. They were popular for heavy use, particularly for sport, perhaps wildlife and in my opinion have some of the best ergonomics available in any camera system or model, despite being heavy of course.

They are not going to have the low light ability of a more modern sensor but I honestly think in print, where noise is much less visible, even up to ISO 1600 you will get very respectable results.

For camping and hiking, weatherproofing is critical, don’t underestimate how good it is on the D300, but be careful as the lens needs this too!

Don’t want to sound patronising, but once you really get used to the camera it will become clear what the priorities are moving forward, whether that’s ergonomics, size, weight etc. Or whether it is the image quality that is most important - that will dictate what’s next (if in fact you decide you do need to make the change). Nikon is as good a system as any now, and has a massive archive of usable lenses and accessories on the 2nd hand market that will work well on the new (and future) bodies.

For now my best advice would be to take lots of pictures, get some prints done of two or three that you like, including in low light and see what you feel is missing - also make sure you have a look at some of the D300 photographs on Flickr to see what it is capable of!

Plus 1 for this. Really can't advocate better.

Plus 2. You really need to get out and try out the gear. You will learn what things you want and what is less important over time. Some of the new tech gets blown out of proportion with the needs. If you were shooting landscapes for example, high ISO performance and eye AF would mean very little to you as you would want the camera at the lowest possible ISO and on a tripod. It is really easy to get caught up in the equipment. I’m very guilty of that myself. The D300 should be a very capable of most things. It is when you get into something very demanding, like wildlife photography, where lowlight performance and fast, lowlight AF begin to become a requirement.

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