New Photographer, which Nikon camera to go with?

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harvophoto New Member • Posts: 3
New Photographer, which Nikon camera to go with?

Hey guys,

Just getting into making money from photography, although I am super new. I've only had a camera for 2 months, but I love it. Figured I might as well try to make money doing something I just learned is awesome. Why wouldn't I? I am majoring in neuroscience and basically already have the degree, but I don't know anymore. I feel so much more free doing photography. I can actually do it and make a living or at least good side money without relying on multi-million dollar labs and without navigating the bs of lab-life. Anyway, sorry for the tangent. I have a gig as a lacrosse photographer but am looking to expand into real estate, portraits, landscapes and really everything.

I have a Nikon D3s with a 80-200mm f2.8, Sigma 35mm f1.4 and Tamron 10-24mm f3.5-4.5. I bought them all used and will only ever buy used gear based on my experience. And it was the only time I haven't regretted spending a lot of money on stuff.

After putting the Tamron on the D3s, I learned about crop lenses haha. Apprently the DX crop formula for megapixels is megapixels of sensor over crop factor squared. Which means my D3s gets about 5 megapixels when I do that. That to me is unacceptable. 12 is fine (barely), 5 is not, so using the Tamron for real estate is iffy, but I need to. The vignetting is pretty bad if I don't use auto-DX crop, even at higher focal lengths.  I've also missed being able to apply to certain gigs which require a certain minimum megapixel count.

So I am selling a bunch of my old random stuff to get another camera. The D3s is great for low light (and I love it all around), but has limited cropability. I only have a max focal length of 200mm for sports, which is hurting my ability to get into the action either while shooting or in post.

I'm primarily considering the D810. I don't see the D850 being worth the extra almost 1,500 at all. It seems like I would be better off buying the D810 and getting a Sigma 150-600mm f5-6.3 (and a 24-70 to complete my focal range, eventually). The dynamic range on the D3s is so good I feel like I could use that lens even for night games. But really I have no idea.

So basically getting the D810 and 150-600mm would give me a camera for things that require high resolution/crop lenses/cropping while also allowing me to get into the action with the D3s so I can keep the dynamic range and autofocus capabilities I'm getting with that camera. Haven't heard great things about the D810 for low-light/AF.

I was also thinking that let's say I shoot a wedding down the line, I could have the D3s for catching fleeting and important moments while having the D810 for more planned out shots, landscapes, portraits, etc.

Does that sound like a good idea? Should I consider the D750 or D500? Would you use the D810 over the D3s for sports (guessing not)? I feel like the D3s + D810 would give me the versatility I am looking for in terms of bodies. Does the D810 give me more credibility in terms of other's perceptions (which I found out is INSANELY important)? Would only a D850 do that? Maybe you have a totally different idea?

Side question: would the D3s or D810 be better for street photography in your opinion? The weight of the D3s is sort of killing me haha.

Nikon D3S Nikon D500 Nikon D750 Nikon D810 Nikon D850
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