Choosing between a D300 and a D700 (or between a 40D and a 5D)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Westside guy, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #1
    This first post is actually in response to a question from a different thread - but I thought it might be a valuable discussion for those people that are debating this question themselves.

    Unless a person has unlimited funds, he/she has to make trade-offs - so you have to look at what you like to shoot, and go from there. I like to go wide, I shoot mostly handheld, and I really want to do more with low light. You certainly can do a lot with a D300, but the D3/D700 sensor is in a league of its own in terms of low-light performance - plus the bigger photosites are going to be more forgiving when I'm taking what amounts to a quick snapshot.

    I figured Nikon had to come out with this camera (D700) sooner or later, so I've been mulling over this decision pretty much ever since the D300 launch - but I thought I was going to be waiting another year, to be honest about it. Fortunately for me Nikon decided to be aggressive.

    I do think the D300 has some advantages over the D700 (not just cost), and a different person could very well decide the D300 is a better fit for him/herself.
     
  2. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #2
    Significantly reduced image noise and a wider dynamic range are the main (short-term) attractions for me. Fortunately I have only 2 DX lenses, but 6 full-frame lenses, so the ability to use those lenses at their intended focal lengths is another advantage. To be sure, those six lenses are kinda old and I plan to replace half of them with current-generation models that feature improved optics, quick-focus mechanisms, and silent motors. But over the past 18 months as a D200 owner, I have had this nagging feeling about the longevity of the DX format. While DX has its merits, I always felt that a larger sensor (i.e. full frame) would live at the leading edge of image quality. It provides more potential for technological advancement over time, so as a lens collection remains stable and camera bodies are upgraded over time, I would be able to use the best technology.

    If I were to invest in a set of lenses today, and I want to use the most exciting sensor technology at a still-rational price, my bet would be on full-frame lenses and full-frame sensors. DX will continue to improve, but I think FX will remain technologically superior. And I can always use FX lenses on DX bodies.
     
  3. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #3
    Here's a little essay Thom Hogan wrote about the D3 vs D300. Image comments re: FX vs DX will still apply, I'm guessing. Form factor comments won't, since the D700 is going to be very similar to the D300 in size and weight.

    http://bythom.com/d3ord300.htm
     

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