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Thread: D300 vs D700 high-ISO performance?

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    D300 vs D700 high-ISO performance?

    Hi... I'm interested in hearing the opinions of people who have switched from the D300 to the D700, in particular pertaining to high-ISO performance.

    I was under the impression that the D700 was clearly superior to the D300; however, today I came across this article, and now I'm not so sure. In spite of what the reviewer says, when you look at the samples the difference in noise is barely noticeable.

    High-ISO performance is very important to me, and I'm pondering upgrading from the D300 to the D700.

    Thoughts?
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    At 1600 ISO the D300 is visibly suffering compared to the full-frame models. Noise artefacts are visible on all three cameras, but the full-framers are still retaining a high degree of detail whereas the D300 has become quite patchy in comparison. Again the amount of noise is similar on both the D700 and 5D, but the former’s result has less chroma noise and is preferred.

    Increase to 3200 ISO and you’re at the top limit of the EOS 5D, at which point noise levels have become quite high. The D700 is also exhibiting quite apparent noise, but it’s cleaner than the 5D with fewer chroma artefacts. So the D700 is again preferred here, but the 5D has put in very good innings and proves it’s still a great camera for high sensitivity work. The D300 however is really suffering now with undesirable artefacts muddying the image and greatly reducing the detail. You can really see the difference between full frame and cropped frame bodies here.

    At 6400 ISO, the story becomes even more apparent. The D700 sample is undoubtedly noisy, but at least there’s still plenty of detail and few coloured artefacts. In contrast the D300 at 6400 ISO really is a step too far.
    If thats not enough to sell to u, I dont know what is! I can say there will be a greater difference when u are using it in a day to day environment rather than looking at sterile tests on the net.

    Was strange how they started off the 5D at ISO50, since its not the base/native ISO of the sensor, weird comparison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    I can say there will be a greater difference when u are using it in a day to day environment rather than looking at sterile tests on the net.
    Exactly the reason of my posting of this thread I'd like to hear it from people who have used both cameras.

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    Ive got a d300 and d3 if that helps

    There is a two stop difference easy

    I'll stop shooting the d300 at iso2000 or so, and happy to go to 6400 in the same conditions with the D3
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    Quote Originally Posted by invisible View Post
    Exactly the reason of my posting of this thread I'd like to hear it from people who have used both cameras.
    well that was my experience of using both cameras, but D700 was used for work whereas D300 was just for fun from a friend

    I have not yet used a cropped sensor camera that I am happy with regarding high ISO at 1600 and above. But with full frame cameras, I just find it really hard to go back after enjoying lower noise at high ISO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Ive got a d300 and d3 if that helps

    There is a two stop difference easy

    I'll stop shooting the d300 at iso2000 or so, and happy to go to 6400 in the same conditions with the D3
    Thanks for the feedback! The D3 has the same sensor as the D700, correct?

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    yes it does

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    well that was my experience of using both cameras, but D700 was used for work whereas D300 was just for fun from a friend

    I have not yet used a cropped sensor camera that I am happy with regarding high ISO at 1600 and above. But with full frame cameras, I just find it really hard to go back after enjoying lower noise at high ISO.
    Aaah, you're making it very hard for me now (or very easy, depending on how I look at it )

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    yes it does
    Thanks again, kiwi.

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    imo if high iso is important, the d3s trumps them all by a country mile
    yeah it may cost near on twice as much as a d700, but its (iso performance) is twice as good too
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    The only way the D300 statistically beats the D700, and D3 in noise is ISO800 Jpeg. It for some reason has less noise there then a 5DmkII...

    Other then that the D700 aces the D300... if you check the noise graphs here you will find the D300(i know its the D300s btu the noise is exactly the same) The D300 is roughly = to 7D, its achilles is its rather noisy at ISO400, and has more black noise in the shot.

    other then that it matches very well against the 7D.

    D700 still better then D300, and D300s.

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    Thank you guys for the feedback, I took the plunge yesterday and got me a D700. Did some quick tests and I'm in awe. The camera is marginally heavier than the D300 and even if it's a tad bigger it feels equally as comfortable in my hands. It's winter where I live, plus I'm under the weather, so I won't be able to play with it in the field for a while... but I'm happy as a tot with a new toy

    Happy holidays to everyone!

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    I'm a little surprised to read one of the above comments about the D3 trumping the D700 for noise because both cameras have the same sensor and basic internals.

    I have both the D700 and D300 (after having moved over from Olympus E3, E1, E420, E520) and can say quite categorically that the D700 runs rings around the D300 in low light work. I think nothing of shooting at ISO 4000 on the D700 if I need to and the camera produces beautifully clean results - provided you nail the exposure. I very rarely need to use noise reduction software now.

    The D300 will give you a sharper result and is excellent for daytime sports work because you gain extra reach, but I only use it up to about 1000 ISO (not because it won't go higher, but because the D700 does so much better in low light).

    I've shot indoor basketball with the D700 at ISO 9000 and although the results were starting to suffer from the extreme setting, the pictures were still quite acceptable and better than my Oly would have produced at ISO 1600.

    Hope that helps.

    Basically, the D700 (and obviously the D3) have beautifully balanced signal:noise ratio and pixels:sensor size ratio, so you are working with the cream of the crop for low light work. Mine still often surprises me as to just how good the photos look when the light is low.
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    Quote Originally Posted by IngridM View Post
    I'm a little surprised to read one of the above comments about the D3 trumping the D700 for noise because both cameras have the same sensor and basic internals.
    Both D3 and D700 have 12Mpx and are full frame cameras, but it doesn't mean they have exactly the same sensor. There is more electronic in the D3 too...

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    Everything I've read, heard and been told about the D3 is that it has the same sensor as the D700. If you could point me in the direction of an official site which states otherwise, I'd be interested to read it. The other internals between the two cameras may have differences but I've yet to read anything official which states that Nikon use a different sensor in the D3 to the D700.

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    funny, look who sponsor that linked website. this kind of test is useless, as no actual photographs were made. make some actual prints and i'm sure you'll see that your money is better off in your bank account. it's very easy for people to recommend upgrades, especially when they aren't the ones who has to buy it. there may be other reasons you want to upgrade, but if you do so based purely on high iso shots, then you may very well be disappointed. as a wedding photography, i have taken alot of high ISO shots, and even when compared at normal print sizes 10x15cm, the difference between the D200 and the D3 (often used in the same situations with different lenses) were neglegable. If larger prints were to made, the difference would start to show, but in my experience, the bride very rarely gets those types of shots enlarged.

    high iso is just a pissing contest now between manufacturers. very little has been done to improve image quality at normal to moderate ISO's for normal to moderate prints, over the last three or four years. so the one area that they have improved is iso noise, so the marketing guru's now tell us that we should all be looking for cameras that can utilise it. but photography is all about light, not the lack of it, and it is a very small minority that can actually benefit from it. improvements in the dynamic range of Digital Cameras would be a far more welcome advance than iso.

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    gone from D300 to D700 with at least a 2-3 stop advantage, depening on the light, using the d700.......

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    I agree with tom the D3s seems very pointless. All I need is 50 - 1600 for 99% of the time. they should focus on working on those ISO's then look at getting a bigger range.

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    With respect Greg its not all about what you need but many others. The D3s not only goes VERY high in ISO( probably almost useless) but it does deliver a much more usable result at lower values such as 6500-12400IsO values that I use quite a bit
    Cheers jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by IngridM View Post
    I'm a little surprised to read one of the above comments about the D3 trumping the D700 for noise because both cameras have the same sensor and basic internals.

    I have both the D700 and D300 (after having moved over from Olympus E3, E1, E420, E520) and can say quite categorically that the D700 runs rings around the D300 in low light work. I think nothing of shooting at ISO 4000 on the D700 if I need to and the camera produces beautifully clean results - provided you nail the exposure. I very rarely need to use noise reduction software now.

    The D300 will give you a sharper result and is excellent for daytime sports work because you gain extra reach, but I only use it up to about 1000 ISO (not because it won't go higher, but because the D700 does so much better in low light).

    I've shot indoor basketball with the D700 at ISO 9000 and although the results were starting to suffer from the extreme setting, the pictures were still quite acceptable and better than my Oly would have produced at ISO 1600.

    Hope that helps.

    Basically, the D700 (and obviously the D3) have beautifully balanced signal:noise ratio and pixels:sensor size ratio, so you are working with the cream of the crop for low light work. Mine still often surprises me as to just how good the photos look when the light is low.
    Hi. My quote was actually about the d3s, not the d3.

    to me high iso is one of the most important things. Anyone who has tried to shoot motorsport at night (for example) will know that there is no substitute. and inmotion is spot on. when manufacturers push the sensors to be able to shoot at 50000+ iso, more 'normal' iso settings such as 3200-6400 benefit.

    "I will now use ISO12800 regularly" - Bill Frakes - Sports Illustrated
    I dont think a d700 will quite do that

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