Help me! Considering selling my D90 to get a D700. Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cutsman, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. cutsman macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2006
    So... I've been thinking about selling my D90 for a D700 a lot lately. I'm gonna be honest, photography is strictly a hobby of mine and I've never made a dime from my photos (unless you count a free lunch from a friend who wanted a print of one of my shots :D). I am a gear head and I think a lot of my desire for a D700 stems from my just wanting the latest gear.

    With that said, I do feel the improved AF and high ISO noise of the D700 would be great assets that I would appreciate for my photography.

    Am I crazy and irrational for even considering buying a $2700 camera for a "hobby"? Not to mention there's a part of me that thinks one should be able to produce photos of a particular quality to be "deserving" of a camera like that... and I don't know if I'm quite there yet....

    Feel free to talk some sense into me... cause I think I need it. Let's hear your thoughts! ;)
  2. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I am pretty much like you - i do photography for fun. I had a decent Canon Rebel XS but really wanted something that was even better in low light... the result was in the sig :)

    Basically, if you have the cash, don't need it for anything else, and aren't going to go into debit for it... sure, better gear is better gear and your *potential* photos will be better (notice I say potential lol). If it were me though, I would not stretch to make the purchase. On the one hand photos are priceless to me and a good camera will be worth it in the long run. On the other hand getting in over your head $ wise wont put you in too good a mood to take photos anyway :)
  3. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    If you do you'll love it! I know I love mine!

    You already have some great lenses (according to your sig) so that will save you some cost in upgrading! And that 24-70 was built with a FF DSLR in mind, it'll sing on a D700 (I know from personal experience).

    You could probably sell your D90 and two DX lenses for nearly what it'd cost to get a D700, so I say as long as it's not going to hurt you financially, and you really want it, then there's no reason you shouldn't.

    You don't have to take photos of a certain "quality" to "deserve" a D700. I understand the thinking, but that's silly when you think about it.

  4. Acsom macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    Bah. Get the D700 and keep the D90 as a spare body. As long as you recognize the gearheadedness, it is neither good nor bad, it just "is". I just added a 7D to my 40D. I thought about selling it, but the purchase of the 7D didn't cramp my style, so I'm keeping both.

    OTOH, I didn't get a 5D Mk II, because that was too much $$. But if I had the $$, I would still have gotten it and kept the other camera.
  5. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I really like my D700, which replaced a D70 (so quite a step up there). However make sure you know what you're getting yourself into size-wise, weight-wise, and lens-wise. Not everyone is happy with a heavy camera.

    Full frame generally is going to mean larger, heavier lenses than their DX counterparts - even if you're shooting with non-pro glass. Heck, putting that 24-70 of yours on a D700 body means you've got around 5 pounds right there.

    Now having said all that - the high ISO performance is amazing. If I'm just shooting casually, I feel like I can safely put it in auto-ISO for anything up to 4000 and probably not even notice it in the images without pixel-peeping. Also, I think 12MP pretty much hits the sweet spot in terms of full-frame sensor resolution for almost all circumstances (I was very happy that the D700 was 12MP rather than the rumored 17-18MP I'd heard pre-release).
  6. ronjon10 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    What sort of photography do you primarily like to do? If you like shooting birds/wildlife or sports with long lenses, you might consider the slightly cheaper D300s. I picked one up 2 months ago. It's got the wicked auto focus and excellent high ISO performance as well.

    The FX will produce better images with the bigger sensor. However, the DX will give you more range on your longer lenses with the crop factor.

    The D300s may not be worth the upgrade from the D90 though.
  7. georgemann macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2005
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    Switching from DX to FX

    I don't usually recommend this, but since you already have a very good camera in the D90 - I say wait for the D700s (or possibly D800) to come out (probably within two or three months) before you make your next purchase.

    My current main camera is the D300, with a D80 as the second camera, (and a few more 3rd and 4th cameras). I know that it is time for me to switch to FX, but the D300 is a good camera and I can wait a few months for the next generation of the D700.


    Nikon Digital Photographer -
  8. wkw macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2004
    Eugene, OR
    Full frame cameras are really nice. The d700 is amazing but it's over 2 years old I think. Consider waiting for a d700 upgrade from nikon. Your D90 is no slouch.
  9. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    nope, you are not crazy. I know my friend whos dad love photography ended up buying a 5D, 24-105 f/4, 580 EXII. So I see nothing wrong with it as long as you have the money and not having to sell a kidney for it or something.
  10. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    I second waiting for the D800, the D700 is already discontinued in some places...especially if you're a gear head, having the latest wouldn't last long:)
    Oh, and I think the D800 should have an astonishing video mode a lot more brilliant than the D90's
    Nikon Europe is paying, it seems like, for D800's advertising, so I guess it's not that far away.
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Photography is not too expensive a hobby: if you're into boating, fishing, oldtimers or what not, you'll easily spend more than that. So from that perspective, if you accept it's a hobby, I'd say go ahead and spend the money if you have it ;)

    On the other hand, is there a reason to get a D700 now? I'm asking, because I'm eying for a D700, but I'm sure I'll wait two, three years and then get a used one. (It all depends on the kind of job I'll have then.)

    The only question I'd have if I were you: does a D700 give me the extra notch of creative freedom or would it be better to invest my money in, say, a nice lens or a nice flash? What kind of equipment do you currently have?
  12. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    That's pretty inconsistent with Nikon's usual camera timelines- can you provide something substantive, as there have been a raftload of rumors and nothing has really panned out. All accounts have the D700 selling fairly well, and in general, a replacement announcement would be expected between June and August, putting any new announcement between Feb. and August.

    We keep seeing "no longer available" rumors that are easy to quash, for instance, in August, we saw this gem:

    Yet, here we are in December, and BestBuy's Web site has the following:

    Nikon - 12.1-Megapixel Digital SLR Camera - Black
    Model: D700 | SKU: 8928985

    Their site tells me I could have one shipped to me by Christmas.

    The sites that claim 5D mkII sales are ushering in an early replacement really don't get how Nikon thinks and works- Nikon is much more interested in Nikon's sales numbers than Canons, and it would be completely unprecedented to see Nikon cut production early (and take the associated manufacturing cost hit against the corporate bottom line)- not that Nikon isn't capable of doing something new, accelerating timelines or what have you, but I'd want to see some compelling evidence- can you say which markets the D700 has been discontinued in?

  13. cutsman thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2006
    I think you guys make a good point about holding out for a D700s/D800 if it really is just a few months away. Nevertheless, when the next body is released, i'll still be faced with the same dilemma.

    My current list of equipment is in my sig and I know I'll sell my sigma 10-20mm as well as my 18-200VR once I go FF. My FF lenses, as you can see, are the 24-70, 80-200, and 35 f2 (which i'll probably switch for a AF-D 50mm f1.4 if I end up with a D700/D700s/D800).

    As for the issue of $$$... it's still a lot of money even if I can technically afford it (which I can). I'm also hoping that selling the D90 and DX lenses will help to ease the pain, although I think i'll have to eventually pick up an FX walkaround lens (maybe something like the Tamron 28-300VC to replace the 18-200VR for travel).

    For the few of you that asked what I like to shoot, there's a link in my sig that takes you to my zenfolio site that should give you a better idea if a D700 would be suitable for me.
  14. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    I think you have answered your own question, haven't you?

    Is there something the D700 has that you really need for your photography? I took a look at your website - while I didn't look at every single photo, I think you have a creative eye and know how to use your camera pretty well! That said, I don't really see how the improved ISO performance would really make any of your very good photos visually better. If there's a particular photo where you think it could be better, post it here in this thread so we can see. I think that's really the best way to determine whether you have outgrown your equipment (by trying to see the missed opportunities in your current portfolio).

    However, if you are sitting on a pile of cash or just don't care about spending the money, get yourself a D700... and one for me too!
  15. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I think I am with ManhattanPrjct here too. You have some shots on your website, say 1000 pixels wide/tall. That means you are resizing your 12MP files down quite a bit for the web. In this downsampling process, noise gets supressed and its effect is reduced. Now I don't know in what other format(s) you keep photos, but is having more noise-free images going to benefit you any? Do you print large prints from your photos often, and do you have trouble with noise in those shots? In my experience once you fix up the chroma noise, the luminance noise tends to get lost in the texture of the paper on which you print, not to mention that pixel-level noise is hard to see on a 300ppi+ print.

    Therefore, while it is undoubtedly true that a D700 will give cleaner source images, will it make your final images (read: the small pics you have on the internet, and whatever prints you produce) look any better? Will they be $2400 better?

    Manhattan also hits it on the spot as well when he says that a cleaner shot would not really have made any of the best shots any better.

  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    This is exactly what I was going to write. The larger sensor will make those 100% blowups you see better but it will not help at all with screen resolution images which are downsized to fit an electronic screen.

    But if you are making fine art print, yes those 24" wide prints will look better.

    If you have $2,700 to spend you will get the most for the money spent if you buy a new lens.

    If the goal is fine art prints why not try large or medium format film? $2700 will get you a very nice LF setup (a used Sinar) or a Hasselblad system. Use the LF if you shoot still life or landscapes and the Hassy if you work with people shots. Either of these options will allow you to make radically different kinds of images that no DSLR can do at any price.

    Swapping DSLR bodies only gives a very small incremental change in final result but another camera system (which you can afford if you can afford the D700) will enable radical changes in your images
  17. designed macrumors 6502


    Nov 8, 2005
    My short answer: no, you're not crazy. Apparently you already have the appropriate lenses and you can afford the D700 itself.

    I think that the difference in noise goes far beyond just resampling noisy pictures down until they fit the screen. I had some great experience with a D700 with the 50/1.4D last New Year's at ISO 3200, and it's great to be able to view those pictures in full screen without the noise becoming an issue.

    In addition to the obvious noise factor there's the more advanced AF and a larger viewfinder to consider. The viewfinder is what makes my D300 feel like a toy. It might sound like a small thing but it's what you're working with as you shoot and it's the most immediate change. There are other, more minute changes naturally as well.

    I have my doubts about squeezing a versatile larger format system into $2700, let alone staying in digital. True, that would be a more significant change into the way you shoot. Another significant change would be to go the rangefinder way (you could squeeze a Leica M8 with a lens into that sum) but I'm assuming the OP is happy with the way he is shooting right now and wants "more" instead of "different".
  18. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    Talkin' sense

    You're crazy.

    You haven't mentioned any way that your current camera is holding you back, and a D700 replacement will be out before you know it. Save your cash for that; you'll be happy that you did.

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