$1500 budget - have a D300 - need another camera!

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jeff_becker, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. OK. I just need advice. I have a D300 and a D40 - both fairly new. I want something better than the D40 as my 2nd camera. I have a decent collection of lenses already (85 1.4, 50 1.4, 28-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8, 35 1.8, etc). I don't care about video capabilities at all.
    I am not a pro, just an amateur. I seem to shoot a lot of low light situations without flash (gigs, churches, etc). Very good ISO and low-light performance are key. Pixel quality is vital - I love taking sharp photos.
    I have about $1500 to spend. What should I buy? A slightly used D7000 or a used D700 or D2 or another D300 - or just pay the big extra and get a used D3? I'm open to getting something better than my D300 if my price range is open to that.
    I've never shot with FX so I have no preference if I'm DX or FX right now.
    What should I buy?
    Here below is recent photo I took at church using my D300 and a new Sigma 85 1.4. This is typical of the type of photos I've been taking & would like another camera to improve or complement this.
  2. Hey Jeff, prob'ly another D300 and a small loan. Is that Melissa Estheridge (sp?)?
  3. Personally, my D300S just became a back up to my D7000. I paid $1500.00 for the D7000 new with the 18-105 kit lens that I gave to my wife for her D40. But no way should you pay $1500.00 for a used D7000.
  4. D700 - I think you will really appreciate it over any current DX body for improved high ISO performance and larger viewfinder. Except for your 35mm lens, your lenses are all perfect for FX.
  5. My choices would be:
    1. Used D700, but I don't think you'll get a decent one for $1500. If you do, you did well. Mine does great in low light. It would definitely turn your D300 into the backup camera. It's the better choice if you have glass to go with it, remembering you'd lose the 'crop factor' you're used to.
    2. New D7000 - I ordered the $1499 kit from Amazon yesterday (body-only is OOS everywhere) - got some great rebates for doing it, though...$450 mail-in from Epson on an R2880 and a $200 instant rebate on a 10-24 DX lens.
    "Is that Melissa Estheridge (sp?)?"
    "Here below is recent photo I took at church..."​
    So I'm guessing it's not her. :)
  6. LOL - the young singer above would be absolutely flattered, but no, that is not Melissa Etheridge. Perhaps someday she will be.... :)
    Thanks for the advice. Love reading it. Leaning towards a used D700 so far.
  7. My take:
    1. d700: compatible as well as different (FF)
    2. d300 (more compatible but exactly the same) or d7000 (better sensor, smaller, video but less compatible w/d300)
  8. hmm, d700 would be the obvious, logical choice: you already have a good complement of solid FX lenses (this is the biggest logistical hurdle to going FX), it can share batteries, CF cards, and grip with your d300, and it gives you better high-ISO capabilities. it also has a pop-up flash which D3 series doesn't have, which can be useful. also, it gives you flexible DX/FX hybrid options in terms of focal length--you can switch bodies with specific lenses as needed to give you better high-ISO or more (or less) effective focal length. i'm not sure you can get a used one within your $1500 budget, however, so you may need to outlay a bit more. there's little to no advantage of getting a D3 over a d700, other than two memory card slots and a body that's too big for most bags, btw. i'd skip the d7000 as it makes less sense for what you shoot than a d700 and will not be as ergonomically-fluid as a 300/700 combo, which have very similar button layouts so they will be more intuitive when used together.
  9. Yeah, Eric's right...sell your d40 and you'll still be ~$100 short. D700 range is $1800-2000 used...
  10. a new or demo D7000, no question.
  11. Well...if you don't care for FX then I would recommend selling both the d300 and a d40...then buy two d7000's. That makes more sense than d300 and a d7000 as they use different, batteries, grips, memory cards etc not to mention, they have slightly different ergonomics as well.
  12. i dont follow that logic, leslie. the d700 is still superior to the d7000 at high-ISO (which the OP said was important) and it may be an ergonomic downgrade as well to go from a big body camera to 2 small-body cams in terms of actual shooting experience (not so much when transporting gear, though). i know i missed the d300's size and feel when i got a d90, so i had to get a d300s. i agree a d7000/d300 combo doesn't make a whole lotta sense, but i think a d300/d700 combo does.
    if you look at the numbers, figure you can sell a d40+d300 for $1200. 2xD7000 is $2400, assuming you can find body-only options. 2xMB-D11 is $500, if you go that route (with lenses like 70-200 and 28-70, you may have to), though it doesnt affect FPS like d300 grip. you also have to buy all new cards--SDs are less solid and slower than CF--and new batteries (instead of swapping a spare you may already have). in the end, you may save a few hundred over a used d700 ($2000 current mkt rate)or you may not, depending on whether you get 1, 2 , or no MB-D11s or not. you would still have the problem of the 28-70 being 42mm on DX (ok for concerts, too wide for walkarounds), and slightly-worse high ISO than had you gone d700. plus that's a lot of effort in terms of swapping out gear for 1/2 stop improvement in high-ISO. IMO the biggest factor in all this isn't bodies, but lenses. if you only have one DX lens, and a bunch of pro FX glass, there's no real reason not to upgrade to FX.
  13. I would like to add....that I want to keep the D40 and not sell it. I'm cool with 3 cameras. The D40 has some sentimental value because it was a gift and it's a great, light, walkaround camera for outdoors with my 18-250 lens.
    It sounds like I need to find a used D700 from what I'm reading and just pay a few extra hundred for it.
  14. Eric---
    My first option would be a d700/d300 combo as I mentioned in my first post. However, if the OP for whatever reason can't go for the d700 (maybe too out of budget, somehow decided he does want the video option etc...) then I rather go two d7000's then a d300/d7000 combo due to their differences (sd vs. cf, different batteries, Mb d10 vs.Mb d11, ergo etc...As far as noise is concern, it wasn't in my equation at all. I'm fine with my d200 at 1600 fwiw.
    I agree with you regarding the FX lenses. However, I have meet quite a few (mostly younger) photographers that don't care about "proper" focal lengths at all because they weren't used to, say, a 17-35mm lens. On the other hand, I'm so used to it that I would have a fit without it or a 12-24mm DX fov. I use that range in 90% of my shooting...That's my normal lens.
  15. right, i gotcha leslie. my basic stance on DX/FX is that FX makes no sense if you don't have the glass. the OP has the glass, now he just needs the cash.
    there are some interesting new DX lenses appearing, like the sigma 8-16 and the tamron 60/2 macro. but then you could say the same thing about the 16-28/2.8 tokina and sigma 85/1.4 for FX (which the OP already has). i could see the 85 being particularly versatile in a hybrid system; as a portrait lens on FX and as a medium tele on DX; ditto the 28-70, which always seemed not wide enough for DX as a walkaround.
    i also don't doubt that the d7000 is a fantastic camera but two things: the d300 is no worse than it was before its release and the d700 is no worse than it was before its release. new tech is great, and there's no question that the d7000 is a better camera than the d90 or the d80 at essentially the same price point.
    but i also think one has to look at intangibles when using a two-body system. in the case of the d300/d700, that's a pretty fluid x-over between FX and DX since they share so many features and even accessories. again, if you have the right glass to spread your system across two formats, its less of a tough call. if size matters, or video, d7k is the way to go. but if you're used to the d300, the d7k could feel puny and cramped. also, high ISO will be better with d700, which is important for low-light/ no-flash concert shooting as OP is doing.
    i wouldnt worry too much about bodies aging if that's what you need to shoot right now. the d300 has already reached probably its max depreciation for the forseeable future, so selling that for $800-$1000 depending on actuations, seems like a shame. likewise, you could get a lightly used d700 now for $2k, then turn around and flip it in six months for $1500 or more, with most of the depreciation costs already absorbed by the previous owner.
    and the OP makes a good point about holding onto the d40, which i wish i had picked up when you could still get them new. that was a damn good camera in its time, and sometimes 6mp is all you need for casual shooting. that's why i'm holding on to my d90--because of the size--although i may flip it for a d7000 when the price goes down in a year. have to say, though, sharing a battery between d90 and d300s is a plus, it's one less thing to think about. i may eventually succumb to the d7000's siren call, but my NAS has been satiated for at least a couple months, as far as bodies go :)
  16. Eric and Leslie -
    What awesome feedback, explanations and replies. Thank you very much. Your feedback is quite valuable to me. I appreciate you each taking the time to contribute to this thread. I truly enjoy reading and absorbing your posts.
  17. Jeff, no problem...just bored...winter weather sucks here. Glad that I can help...
    Eric, I use a d200/700 combo. I haven't had NAS in a long time if I ever had it...I find the recent sony and the soon to be fuji X100 much more exciting. There are/were many various, almost there cams for me (GF1, EPL1, EX1, LX5, S90, Nx10, T2i, d5000) but I bought only the sony...
  18. D7000 for sure. A used D700 at $1500 would be near the end of its useful life, and in my opinion, not worth it. A brand new D7000 would suit you very well indeed.
  19. Well, I will use this oppertunity to post a picture of Mia, my two week old grand daughter :)
    This image was shot using settings that I would normally not use, but was testing a new to me Sigma 30F/1.4 that I picked up on craigs list today. These are straight Jpegs. I resized this one in CS5. Below is a link of the full size image. I tried to focus on the eye. I am sure with some noise reduction software and sharpening, it would be a very nice image. Still, I am happy for it being out of the box.
    Here is the full size image. You can download it and look at the exif.
    D7000, Sigma 30F/1.4 wide open, 1/800, ISO 6400, EV +1
  20. So Javier, if you were shooting wide open anyways, why shoot is @ ISO 6400 w/ 1/800? Wouldn't it make more sense to shoot at 1600 ISO w/ 1/200th?
    BTW Happy grandpa, Javier:)
  21. Leslie, Yes, for sure. That is why I said ''This image was shot using settings that I would normally not use'' But so long as I was testing the sigma wide open, I am trying to see how fast a shutter speed I can get away with since I plan on doing some evening street shooting at the rose parade this weekend. I did take some images of her at ISO 1600 and they are very, very clean. But APS-C ISO 6400 is plain cool :)...For my own sake, I am taking out my D700 this weekend as well. I look forward to comparing the two.
  22. Best to ya! You got maybe one or two too many cameras. LX5, d7000, d700...And your pentaxes;)
  23. that's still pretty clean for 6400, tho...must admit. but i would also question shooting wide open at a much faster shutter and ISO than necessary. i mean, who shoots 6400 @ 1/800? sheesh, you could have shot 1/100, 1600 iso, @2.8 and gotten something really sharp. in that picture you're seeing not only some visible noise, but the sigma's overexposure tendancies, which are more pronounced at 1.4. so i would have gone -0.3 to -0.7 on the EV, not +1, which aggregates the problem and makes it harder to accurately judge that 6400, since any NR smudging is being further smudged by the sigma's lil' quirk.
    but just for kicks, here's a shot from a situation which actually needed high iso. prolly should have used my 1.4, though...
  24. The D7000 would be great. The high ISO thing should be real good. Or the D700 if you can swing the extra cash. I don't really know what you would like actually. I guess I would buy a F6 myself as I probably could find a nice one in that price range. Our church just has some over 70 singers that can not hold a tune so they beat on a tamborine a lot. I try to wear earplugs and I find the earplugs help out with the sermon also.
  25. Eric, I agree with you. Check my answer to Leslie.
    I would love to see a full size image of the one you posted. What ISO is that?
  26. Some suddenly arrived thoughts:
    • Are you sure you don`t need video? This is the first filter. Don`t you have childrens?
    • If you`re sure you don`t need video, I`d narrow the choice to 1). D7000, 2). D300/D300s or 3). D700.
    • I`d choose the D7000 for its smaller size and latest technology. If you don`t mind about size, extreme resolution and all this stuff, I`d go for choice #2.
    • I`d choose a D300s over the plain D300 for the dual card slot and video capability. If you don`t mind about it, just have a D300 twin camera system.
    • If you like to try FX, you already have a bunch of good FF lenses; just buy a D700. I don`t know if there is a D700 in perfect condition at such price... I`d not place a kidney in pawn for a used D700. Anyway, if you opt for a D700 it will perfectly match the D300 you are used to; The D300 will be great for macro and longer shots while the D700 for high ISO and everyday stuff.
  27. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have about $1500 to spend. What should I buy? A slightly used D7000 or a used D700 or D2 or another D300 - or just pay the big extra and get a used D3?​
    As far as I can tell, the OP is in the US and we are talking about US$ and US prices, and his comment puzzles me.
    In the US, a brand new D7000 is $1200 (that was how much I paid for mine). $1500 should be more than enough to get a new one. If he wants to go FX, there is the usual FX penalty and $1500 is probably not sufficient to get a used D700 in good shape. My experience is that the D700 can give you about 2/3-stop advantage over the D7000 @ ISO 6400; you do pay quite a bit for a relatively small gain.
    The D300-D7000 is not particularly a great pair to own, since they use different memory cards and batteries. However, you can use the D7000 as a stepping stone to gradually migrate to newer technology; e.g. I have little doubt that the D7000's EN-EL15 is replacing the EN-EL3e as Nikon's standard mid-range battery. The EN-EL15 has hidden electronic contacts and is less prone to short circuits.
    As far as sizes go, the D700 is larger than the D300 and the D7000 is smaller. I have all three. It is totally an individual prefernece whether larger or smaller is "better."
  28. With the lenses you already have the D700 would be perfect. The D700 has almost exactly the same menus and setup as the D300. It is slightly bigger, but feels the same to me. As said, you may have to add a little more cash. I have this combo and very similar lenses. I think you would be very happy as I am.
  29. A) D7000
    B) F100, F4, and a F5 AND $1000 worth of film (somewhere between 4000' [bulk B&W] and 3600 shots [36 exposure Velvia rolls])
  30. Like some said I too would go for D300 or even D200 I got the second as my "backup body" got it for very little money and it only had few K on it. But I believe with 1.5K budget I would go for D300.
  31. Yeah, since you are asking, I would chime in with the used, demo or what I got, a re-furbished D700 Fx. It will make complement your lenses quite nicely. Sell the 40 and look around. BTW it's an excellent low light camera as well.
  32. I use a D3 and D300 combo. Different batteries, but similar-enough ergonomics (I use a grip with the D300) that I don't mind the differences. The D700/D300 combo, which offers functionally the same benefits for your purposes as a D3/D300 combo, is an even tighter pair in ergonomic terms.
    The D300 high-ISO performance is adequate; the D700 is sufficiently better that you will find yourself not wanting to use the D300 much in low-light situations.
    I agree with other posters that a D7000 doesn't make a lot of sense to pair with a D300: The D7000 offers no ISO advantage over the D700, and you lose the strength of the FX/DX pairing in terms of mixing up focal lengths.
    Paying the "big extra," as you put it (if you meant "bit extra," I think your typo is more accurate), to get the D3 probably doesn't make a lot of sense for you if you're not a pro shooting long days. A D3s would add another roughly two stops of ISO performance over the D700/D3, but $4900 is more than a wee stretch from $1500. :)
    You mentioned a "D2," by which I'm not sure whether you meant the pro-size body or the D200, but in either case the D300 is superior and I predict you would regret the purchase of either of the "2"-series bodies.
    Count me as another vote for D700. It's compatible with your D300 (equipment and ergonomics), it is a lens-multiplier when paired with a D300 (FX/DX combo), and it still beats the D7000 in high ISO.
  33. I would love to see a full size image of the one you posted. What ISO is that?
    that was ISO 12,800. there's some grain, but it holds together well, not blotchy at all. the scene was actually darker to the naked eye in real life then what the camera saw. we're talking extreme low-light. had i applied NR in post, it would be even cleaner, that's straight out the camera. i probably could have gotten away with the 50/1.4 there instead of the 24-70, which would have given me a bit more latitude. personally i prefer a wider aperture over a high ISO if i can help it. the main thing was, i was able to maintain a decently-fast shutter and freeze motion, and also shoot without flash, which would have been distracting to the paying customers.
  34. Hey Everyone....what about the idea of me purchasing a used D90 to complement my D300? The image quality and ISO performance of the D90 should be on par with my D300 and the used market for the D90 is huge - you can buy one with only a couple thousand actuations for $600. Doesn't it make more sense to buy a 'nearly' brand new D90 for $600 rather than $1200 for a D7000 or $2000 for a used D700?
  35. Try the D2Xs...within your range...is a Pro body and 12MP...

Share This Page