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 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    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

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    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

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    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.

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