Adding an FX camera

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 15,701
Re: Adding an FX camera

I can't speak to the merits of those particular camera models as I've not used them.  But I can tell you my experience of adding FX to DX.

I've long shot with two camera bodies, back to film days when I put different film speeds in each body.   For a while I shot a D200/D300 combo, but then 'added' a D700.

The D700 and D300 were as similar as you will likely ever find between a DX and an FX camera.  Almost identical bodies, both sensors 12mp, and both from similar technology.

I put grips on both so had 8fps with either.    These cameras were similar enough that I would mistakenly pick one up for the other.

The D700 immediately showed better image quality.

The D300 was much better at wildlife.  With 12mp, there's not a lot of pixels to crop from so you want as many on subject as possible.

I ended up with two cameras that did different tasks, and that is what I would expect your experience to be.   The D300 was my wildlife camera, and the D700 was for everything else.   The D700 had better dynamic range, which on the one hand means (I think) better high ISO performance - at least a stop.  But it also means smoother transitions to dark areas and the ability to lift shadows a lot in dark areas.

The D700 had shallower depth of field (than the equivalent on my D300).  That was a double-edged sword as for every case of liking a blurred background in a portrait I had a case where I needed to stop down more on landscapes.    And corners suddenly became an issue on the D700.

It wasn't my intention when I added the D700 to have a specialty camera and a do-all camera.  I've always liked using two bodies at the same time interchangeably, especially with primes.   You don't really do this with a DX/FX combo - the lens transitions are a problem.  (Consider 24-70 and 70-200 for instance.)

Wide angle may also be an issue for you by adding a FX camera.   You waste an FX lens on a DX camera, so you normally don't have one.  But you also waste an FX camera with a DX lens, so do you go out and duplicate the focal range with an FX lens?

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Phoenix Arizona Craig

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