'Cheap" second body for 80-400mm AF-S

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by michael_bisset|1, May 15, 2014.

  1. My present camera is a Nikon D300 and for a safari trip next year to Botswana I now have a new Nikon 80-400mm AF-S lens. Everyone seems to advise that the backup of a second camera body is required.
    I don't want to spend too much money on an expensive body and have come up with two cheaper alternatives. One is to buy a second hand D300 for about £300 or get a new D3300 for about £400. (£1=$1.68) The advantage of the first option is that the battery and CF card will be identical. The latter option will give me a sensor with 24MP but I do not know how well the D3300 will focus the lens.
    I would welcome peoples opinion on these options.
    Thanks
    Mike
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Forget about the D3300. If you can afford it, I would get a D7100 with the latest electronics and AF capability. If not, I would get a second D300 or better yet, D300S with dual memory cards so that your cameras use the same charger.
    Either way, even the cost of a brand new D7100 is small compared to the cost for such a trip. You can always sell whatever you don't need for the long run after the trip.
     
  3. You also have the option to rent a second body for the trip.
     
  4. The D7100 plus 80-400mm VR-G is an awesome combo for wildlife--rocket fast AF and 24mp. You could resell when you're done with your trip.
    Kent in SD
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    You could resell when you're done with your trip.​
    Kent, a somewhat hidden message from my earlier post is that after the trip, perhaps the OP will sell the D300 and keep the D7100.
    One way or another, you definitely want at least two camera bodies for this kind of trips. I typically bring at least three bodies.
     
  6. A second D300 or D300s would be the way to go. Or the D90 uses the same battery, unfortunately it uses SD cards. But the price of memory cards being so low you could pick up a couple and sell them with the camera when you return if you do not want to keep the second body.
     
  7. Totally agree on bringing a back up body. When you're on an "important" trip and your camera goes down/gets stolen/drops off the edge of a waterfall, it will likely be very expensive to replace it if that's even possible. I too bring three cameras, although the third one is usually my Leica IIIc with four small lenses. Once, when I was in Iceland, I lost my 77mm polarizer. There was ONE camera store in Akureyi, the only town of any size on the entire north end of Island (~22,000 people.) Yes, they had a replacement filter, but with taxes etc. it was nearly $200! I ended up using my back up lens a lot because I had a spare (52mm) polarizer for it. As an owner of a D300, I'm betting Micheal sells the D300 and keeps the D7100 when he gets home.
    Kent in SD
     
  8. for a safari trip next year to Botswana​
    I would wait and see what Nikon comes up with this year - and if it is a suitable body (D7200? D9300?), would get that one as the primary and keep the D300 as a backup. There seems to be still enough time - though it is advisable to get some time with a new camera before such a trip.
    option to rent a second body​
    Unless it's a short trip (doubtful), buying and reselling will be a lot cheaper.
     
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    D7200? D9300?​
    Geez, just because one well known rumor site that has posted lots of nonsense talks about this "D9300," people are using that model number as if something were really forthcoming.
    BTW, to the OP, if the D7100 is too expensive, the D7000 is still an option. In the US, sometimes a new D7000 is around $700 or so. Of course, if there are still many months before the trip, you can always wait a little.
     
  10. Geez, just because one well known rumor site that has posted lots of nonsense talks about this "D9300,"​
    Sorry, so let's call it D7100 successor - which "should" be due out this year. But what's certain with Nikon these days?
    if something were really forthcoming​
    Fairly certain that "something" will be forthcoming - eventually. Likely not a D400 though. And maybe nothing even at the level of the D7100 - who knows.
    At this point, the D7100 is definitely the best Nikon has to offer in the DX sector.
     
  11. I also recommend a second DX camera body, owned or rented. A second body offers you a backup and a second body/different lens combination to use with the other body/lens. You will find these shooting situations often on a safari . Changing lenses is not recommended or usually feasible.
    If the second body were to be the D 7100 (a good choice) just be aware that its buffer may bog down or slow down appreciably if you are shooting RAW 14 bit even with the fastest available SDHD cards you can get (which I recommend.) Consider selecting 12 bit RAW and things might improve. If you are shooting JPEG, you ought not to have any problems. Given the harsh lighting conditions and deep shade conditions you might find on any safari I recommend shooting in RAW.
    To see what the buffer issue is with the D 7100, just google “d7100 buffer youtube” and look at the videos . Make sure you read the settings info for each video as these have an impact on the buffer’s operation.
    To rental companies to consider are www.lensrentals.com and www.borrowlens.com.
    Joe Smith
     
  12. +1 for rent a body and get the best one for your needs.
     
  13. pge

    pge

    What about a Nikon 1 with an adaptor for some additional flexibility?
    Joseph, I don't know about the two rental companies you mentioned but I know that many rental companies will not let you take their items out of the country.
     
  14. How do they know if you take on a vacation out of the country ?
     
  15. pge

    pge

    How do they know if you take on a vacation out of the country ?​
    They likely would not, nevertheless it is breaking their rules and would likely void any insurance you had on the item. I am just bringing up the point so someone can make their own informed decisions.
     
  16. Thank you everyone for your helpful responses. The cheapest reasonable option is to buy a second hand D300. With more money a D7100 would be a good buy. A further option that is certainly not cheap but might cover every base is to get a second hand D800 and while on safari there is the option of using it in DX mode for long shots. As the camera will be used for much more than just safari this might be the most versatile option as landscape is my favourite genre.
    The challenge will be to get this past my other half!
    I will perhaps wait a little to see if any new models come along in the next 9 months which might fit the bill.
    Thanks
     

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