D300 or D7000?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Buried, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. Buried macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
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    Bangkok, Thailand
    #1
    I've been to the camera store, and this camera store just so happens to have a D300 left over, selling for roughly the same price as a D90 with its kit lens.

    Or should I save up and invest in the D7000 + 18-105mm?

    Now I know the image quality of the D300 is at most the EXACTLY the same as the D300s and worse than the D7000.

    But I prefer the D300 for the size, hefty - but nice weight, rubber grips and huge top LCD.

    What would you recommend?
     
  2. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #2
    D7000 every time. It's got the better image quality and lots of new interesting features, including the video mode.

    I've never understood the appeal of big-ass cameras, vertical grips etc. Having less weight to carry 'round when you're shooting is all good.
     
  3. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

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    May 28, 2004
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    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    #3
    I would save for the D7000 and see if a local shop would pair a 16-85 with it instead of the 18-105 since I really like my 16-85. I have a D90 and if I were upgrading and staying with a DX unit, it would be the D7000 as it has the extras that make it very appealing. Size wise, I'd have to see it in my hands but I've never worried about the size of a camera per se past a P&S. If it's built like a tank and will hold up to whatever then it's all good…
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Oct 5, 2006
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    Northern/Central VA
    #4
    Get the camera you prefer unless you plan on heavy cropping or prints larger than 20" on a side, or if the battery life of the D7000 is significantly better. When I had a D200, my major issue with the camera was battery life, the smaller batteries only lasted me about a day- battery life seems to improve every generation or two depending on features, so that's something I'd look at if you shoot in the field a lot or simply don't always charge up your batteries.

    Larger bodies offer more stablility and better balance with longer lenses. Vertical grips make a huge ergonomic difference if you often shoot in portrait mode. Personally, I much prefer the Dnx bodies to the Dnnn bodies, and I've owned and shot with both. I often carry a 400mm f/2.8 and appropriate support- a couple of pounds here and there are not going to make any difference except on extreme hikes, and then I'll just go slower.

    Paul
     
  5. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #5
    It depends what you shoot. I don't shoot birds and (currently) don't own a lens longer than 85mm. I like to travel light - with a small Domke or Billingham bag, and often with just one prime lens. Lightness and compactness are very attractive features.

    Portraiture is fine without a vertical grip - it's all a matter of technique and practice. Bresson/Capa and all the Leica users got by fine without them.

    It really is personal preference. I've 'been there, done that' with the heavy camera gear (I toured South East Asia with a Mamiya RZ67, Fuji GW670III, Metz hammerhead flash and 60+ rolls of film) - it's lightness all the way for me now.
     
  6. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #6
    There's a difference between portrait mode and portraiture, which is why I said it was an ergonomic thing- the extra shutter button is significantly more comfortable to shoot with when you're sitting waiting for something to happen- completly different than shooting the usual 5 or so shots for a portrait (though if you're doing an hour session, I'd still say it's preferable to have the vertical grip.) Even with the camera on a Wimberly head I prefer having the extra release button.

    Anyway- you said you didn't understand it- I was just explaining. I prefer the ergonomics and also feel that the heavier bodies tame mirror slap more. I've hauled 4x5 non field and 5x7 view cameras and a Pentax 67 around too- both my D2x and D3x have L brackets on them- even if the same battery life was available in the smaller-sized cameras, I'm not sure I'd downscale- even relatively small lenses like the 300/4 or 80-200 are easier to hold and aim for hours without a tripod when the balance point is to the rear if you're shooting up a lot (though I'd rather haul the 17+lbs of support and shoot from that.)

    Paul
     
  7. firestarter, Dec 1, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010

    firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    Dec 31, 2002
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    #7
    Aha. I think you've taken my words WAY too literally and missed the point I was making. Of course I understand what a portrait grip is for - what I don't understand is their popularity amongst amateurs.

    I guess my hypothesis is that big camera + big grip is too often a status symbol type of a thing, and a smaller and lighter setup will be perfectly effective and produce equivalent results. I'd like to see people overcome the status anxiety they seem to have when choosing a camera.

    I'm not having a dig at you Paul. I know you're very full-on with your photography, and you get maximum usage out of the equipment you've selected. You're not the average user though.
     
  8. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #8
    That's a slippery slope- if you go down that path, you may as well relegate them all to point and shoots or cell phone cameras. A lot of people are shooting 10+MP DSLRs to take snapshots for Web resolution images.

    Paul
     
  9. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    Jan 10, 2006
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    Arizona
    #9
    I'm still just an amateur, but I use a vertical grip with my D700 because my bad hands make it difficult to consistently or frequently rotate the camera into a vertical mode. That and the extra battery.
     
  10. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
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    #10
    Hmm. I usually agree with most everything you say, firestarter, but this time I'm on a different page than you are. Seems to me that most 'amateurs' are all about portability. They're trying to get something as close to their pocket PnS as possible. The decision to append an expensive and bulky grip onto a camera is usually borne out of a need for better ergonomics (or better battery life, though that's less of an issue these days).

    For example, I have one handholding camera and one for tripod use. The former is outfitted with a battery grip and the latter with an L-bracket. Occasionally, though, I will use the 'tripod' camera in my hands, and then I simply loathe taking photos in portrait orientation. Jacking one elbow up in the air is unstable, uncomfortable, and, well...unbecoming of a lady. ;) I may not be the best example of an 'amateur', since photography generates at least a third of my income, but nonetheless, I have far better reasons than "status" to opt for a grip. If looking 'big' were that important, I'd have grips on both cameras, but I have not done that--and I won't unless I start handholding the 5D2 more often.

    BTW, to the OP: DPreview.com has just published their review of the D7000 and includes some comparisons with the D300s. Perhaps worth considering.
     
  11. mark459 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #11
    D7000

    I would choose a D7000 over the D300 if you are choosing a camera for the first time. If you have a D90 or D700 I would pick with the D300 because batteries and controls, D700, will be the same. I went from the D90 to the D700 when I upgraded and have loved it. The D7000 can go to higher ISO and has more resolution, if you need it, than the D300. You rarely need more than 12 MP for shooting. I have done several 20x30's with my D90 and then D700 over the last couple of years. The D300 does have the win in the speed department. It shoots at 8 fps, with vertical grip, and the autofocus will be faster. When I went from my D90 to my D700 the autofocus speed was noticeably faster.

    I currently freelance for various newspapers in my area and shoot weddings, portraits, etc. on my own. When I learned how to use a camera I started with a screw mount Pentax from the 60's and then went to the D90's cropped sensor and I didn't like it, so I went to full frame and haven't looked back.
     
  12. OreoCookie, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010

    OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #12
    I prefer the balance of a dslr with grip, especially with very big and very small lenses. Among the amateur photographers I know, I can't think of someone who has bought a battery grip to `look more professional,' most don't like battery grips. (What is annoying, however, is that many people will think you're a professional and start treating you differently -- especially when I'm doing street photography.)

    Regarding weight, depending on the lens, it may not really make a difference. Once I mount my 80-200 mm, it doesn't really matter in terms of weight and size whether I have the battery grip mounted or not. If you want a small, capable camera, I'd go for an EVIL camera anyway instead of an slr. I think I'll supplement my gear with a Fuji X100 for street photography.
    I agree. But to me that's rather an argument in favor of a rangefinder/rangefinder-like camera instead of an slr for certain types of photography.
     
  13. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #13
    I wouldn't say that's universally true. I have a D200 (same size as D300) and a D7000, and I find the D200 much more natural and comfortable to use. With the D7000, the grip seems too small & my right hand feels starts to cramped after a while.

    If the rumored D400 shows up later in 2011, I will likely sell my D7000 and get that instead.

    Also, if you shoot continuous mode (as I do panning race cars), the D300 -- and even the older D200 -- has a bigger buffer and can sequence twice as many shots before lagging (20+ vs. 10 for the D7000), and recovers sooner.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #14
    I think mark459 is right. If this is your first DSLR, get the D7000.

    If you've had a DSLR before and consider yourself knowledgeable enough to use most/all the features, get the D300. I don't know/remember exactly what the button configuration was like on the D7000, but I love my D300 and how the shutter button, the auto-focus button, and exposure-lock button can be configured to work independently from each other, rather than the shutter button acting as the focus lock, exposure lock, and "picture taking" button.

    That's just one difference between the D7000 and D300 for me, but it's a very big difference.
     

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