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Thread: Advice on upgrade from D80 to D300s or D700

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    Photoholic Goatch's Avatar
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    Advice on upgrade from D80 to D300s or D700

    What is the general consensus , I currently have a D80 , couple of years old with an 18-200 DX Nikon , a 10-24 DX Nikon , a 105 Nikon VR , 70-300 VR , being just an enthusiast with a penchant for lightning photos , landscape and fishing(gamefishing photos eg, jumping marlin) what is everyones opinion on the merits of upgrading to a D300s or going full frame with a D700 , I guess the main thing I am after is the faster FPS and better ISO performance , not too concerned about the 51 poiint AF as I spot focus for all but the Fishing action shots , I was also thinking of selling the 70-300VR and getting a 70-200 2.8.

    All advice welcome .
    Cheers
    Goatch
    Does a one legged duck swim in an eliptic circle


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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    All your lenses will work on an D700 body albeit in crop mode for the DX variants.

    The 70-200 /f2.8 is an FX lens.

    If you want to keep those DX lenses, then the D700 may not really give you great value, as you won't be using the full resolution it is capable of. The D300s has a faster frame rate for burst, video and decent hi-ISO performance, while allowing full resolution with those DX lenses (The 70-200 is also great at 105-300mm on the crop bodies).

    Whilst I have both a D3 and D700 and love the Hi-ISO abilities they provide, I would say that unless you want to fork out alot more $$ for new FX glass in addition to the cost of the D700 body, the D300s is the logical choice and it ticks all of your boxes.

    The cost to fully go to FX over just getting the DX body will be several thousand$$ more, and you will only get better Hi-ISO performance for that money.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I agree with Wayne. I have the D700 and the lenses in my signature, but when you need to go long, the expense and size of the lenses go up exponentially!! I am thinking of getting a D300s to assist with my long reach requirements.

    Other than that, the D700 is a stunning camera. High ISO, DR, build quality and features are amazing.

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    Would I notice much of an improvement in the ISO performance between the 300 and the 80 I currently have .

    Thanks for the advice

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    I`m really interested in this info too Goatch man. I am facing the exact same question/answers. One question I do have and it may be a really stupid one....is it better results to have the 700 and use dx lenses in the cropped mode or just get the 300s?
    Graeme
    "May the good Lord look down and smile upon your face"......Norman Gunston___________________________________________________
    Nikon: D7000, D80, 12-24 f4, 17-55 f2.8, 18-135, 70-300VR, 35f2, SB 400, SB 600, TC-201 2x converter. Tamron: 90 macro 2.8 Kenko ext. tubes. Photoshop CS2.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Goatch View Post
    Would I notice much of an improvement in the ISO performance between the 300 and the 80 I currently have .

    Thanks for the advice
    Yes
    Cheers, Lani.
    Bodies: Nikon D700, D300 Primes: Nikon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4G, 105mm VR 2.8, 300mm f4. Zooms: Nikon 14-24 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200VR II 2.8, Sigma 10-20mm Processing: Photoshop CS5 extended, LR 3.2.


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    I was in your position last year, decided to get D300, but now I have D700...

    if you are looking for good IQ in ISO 1600 and 3200, I recommend you to go with D700, D300 ISO 3200 was quite dissapointing (at least for me)

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    Lani are you saying go for the 700 as the difference in price seems to be around 700-1000 difference which I can live with for a long term investment

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    The D300s will provide a pretty good step up from the D80 in terms of Hi-ISO quality, and the D700 is just superb in the dark.

    The D700 is no question a better body than the D300s in all respects except that the D300s has faster burst rate than the D700 unless you fit the D700 with the MD-D10 or aftermarket grip.
    The additional cost for a grip, appropriate tray, batteries and a charger (you really want re-chargeable or you go broke shooting them)for the 8AA's it takes or en-el4 and BL-3 door and the MH21/2 charger could be as much as $250-450 for genuine articles.

    Then, the glass as already mentioned. If you shoot the DX lenses on the D700, you are capturing images at max 5.1MP and not the true 12MP the sensor is capable of. If you have $$ to burn, and want the D700, then sell your current body and DX lenses and get all new FX gear, but remember it will cost alot more than just the $2K the D700 body will cost.

    As an example;
    D700 - used $2K if you are lucky here in Aus, from the US they can be had for that if you are quick.
    18-200 replacement = new 28-300VR @ US$1050 (It will be probably $3-400 more here)
    10-24 replacement = either 16-35/4VR or 17-35/2.8 @ US$1K used and somewhat more for the 17-35 new.

    Add MB-D10 grip and associated batteries, chargers etc US$300+ used

    So for a used FX setup, you will be looking at the very least US$4350 @0.893 exchange rate and you are you are at AUD$4871 +shipping. It would cost at a guess a minimum AUD$1K+ more to get the same used gear here, but you may save some shipping costs, albeit you won't save anywhere near that on shipping.

    Now if you decided to buy it all brand new here in Aus, I would say add a further AUD$2000+ minimum to the used US$ value.
    That is alot of money to pay for not much more than better Hi-ISO performance, when you think that a brand new D300s can be had from the US for $1500, but... If you have beans to burn the it would make a great upgrade to the D80

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    ....and video on the d300s too

    I wouldn't discount the d90 either
    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goatch View Post
    Lani are you saying go for the 700 as the difference in price seems to be around 700-1000 difference which I can live with for a long term investment
    No... not at all, given your lenses, the D300s is a very good option, I would recommend a grip with either body tho.

    Wayne has summed it up well I reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goatch View Post
    Would I notice much of an improvement in the ISO performance between the 300 and the 80 I currently have .
    Yes, you will.

    I have a D80 and two D300 bodies (ie. not D300s) and i noticed a big difference, both in terms of noise and speed. I actually took my D80 out the other day and found the noise at iso 400 quite annoying! So annoying that I'm thinking I'm just going to sell it along with the 18-135 lens it came with.

    There's also talk of a d90 replacement in the next couple of weeks, whilst i'm not an advocate of rumours (ie. i bought my second d300 when there's was rumours of d300s), given the prediction for an announcement will be at photokina is under a month, it's probably not a bad idea to hold off if you're not in a hurry.

    My guess is the d90 replacement will outperform the d300s in terms of ISO noise and it'll be interesting to see where they take speed (eg. fps)

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    the number of advancements you get going to a D80 to D300s are quite good value for money. your glass arsenal is quite good and you can still use everything as is.

    as you start to look at the differences between D300s and D700, the rule of diminishing returns starts to have a bigger effect. you have to pay a lot more for smaller incremental improvements.

    being an enthusiast like you, i made the decision to stay with DX after having an extended trial with a D700 and 24-70. the weight was a bit of a pain, but the cost of changing glass system was more prohibitive.

    as for your question about 70-300 vs 70-200, they are made for different purposes. i have both and use them interchangeably depending on what i am shooting. the 70-200 is wonderful for sports and people shooting. but the 70-300 is no slouch. it is heaps lighter and quite a good performer, it just misses out on speed, but makes up for it in the added reach. for now, i would stick with the 70-300, as it will be quite good even if you decide to get the D700.
    Thanks,
    Nam

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    I'm sorry everyone has been ignoring your purpose. For sports /fish shooting, you should go D300s.

    Not because of your DX lenses, the reach, or higher fps.

    FX exchanges ISO noise for lower DOF. If you're shooting fish at f2.8 on your D80, to get the same DOF you need to be at f4.2 on a D700. I assume jumping fish don't hang in the air for you to slowly AF.

    FX doesn't magically give you cleaner high ISO. FX and DX are different. FX isn't automatically the way to progress. Otherwise, why not go on to MF, which is only 1.5x bigger than FX? It's like comparing a bike and motorbike by only looking at max speed.


    Setting equivalents

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    I'm sorry everyone has been ignoring your purpose. For sports /fish shooting, you should go D300s.

    Not because of your DX lenses, the reach, or higher fps.

    FX exchanges ISO noise for lower DOF. If you're shooting fish at f2.8 on your D80, to get the same DOF you need to be at f4.2 on a D700. I assume jumping fish don't hang in the air for you to slowly AF.

    FX doesn't magically give you cleaner high ISO. FX and DX are different. FX isn't automatically the way to progress. Otherwise, why not go on to MF, which is only 1.5x bigger than FX? It's like comparing a bike and motorbike by only looking at max speed.


    Setting equivalents
    Are you saying that;
    A DX body will have a shorter DOF Vs an FX body given focal length is equal?

    I would argue that when comparing the D80/D300/s to a D700, FX does magically give you cleaner Hi-ISO.

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    Using the same settings. eg

    100mm f2.8 1/100s same framing, DX will have more DOF. If you want the same perspective, your FX will need to go to f4.2. Then to keep the same 1/100s your FX will need to increase ISO. Then your output will be identical, including noise.

    All the maths is laid out in that article. You can’t take 2 different pictures and argue one has less noise. Otherwise I can take a D700 ISO3200 1/100s and compare to a D90 ISO200 1/6s and say the D90 is better.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reaction View Post
    Using the same settings. eg

    100mm f2.8 1/100s same framing, DX will have more DOF. If you want the same perspective, your FX will need to go to f4.2. Then to keep the same 1/100s your FX will need to increase ISO. Then your output will be identical, including noise.

    All the maths is laid out in that article. You can’t take 2 different pictures and argue one has less noise. Otherwise I can take a D700 ISO3200 1/100s and compare to a D90 ISO200 1/6s and say the D90 is better.
    No, the D90 will be blurred due to camera shake!

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    going back to the "game fishing" comment. Whilst I initially said the D300s would be the way to go, the D700 does have better weather proofing then the d300. But that said, not sure about the OP's lenses and how weather sealed they are considering the better weather sealing is generally reserved for the FX glass. That said, even if I had a d700/d3s on a boat with all the weather sealing in the world, I'd still carry a raincoat for the camera

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    My thoughts,

    keep the lenses you have except the 18-200, sell that to fund the upcoming purchase/s.
    If your primary interest is in the fishing shots then the D300s will do the job for you best I reckon.
    A few reasons behind my thoughts are that using AF on the marlin jumping will result in more keepers due to the focus sensors on the D300 reaching a lot further in the field of view than the D700.

    Frame rate is almost neck and neck unless you shoot 14 bit NEF files in which case the D700 runs away by six horse lengths across the finish line.

    The field of view of the DX sensor is more suitable to wildlife and sport (big live fishes, birds, cricketers, footballers and stuff in general) at a distance when using a tele lens. For all other shots the D700 is a better proposition.

    The D300s will cost less to buy and less to replace when it has been dumped inadvertently in the ocean or berley bucket.

    That way you get rid of one DX lens, keep the 10-24 DX and 105 and 70-300 FX lenses and put the savings towards other gear.

    An AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II combined with a AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III makes for a very formidable combination of focal lengths for a lot of work.
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    Goatch, your lenses are pretty slow. Invest in some nice fast primes rather than a camera, and you will negate the need to crank up the ISO.

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