Considering a Nikon D2X? Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kelly_pierce, Apr 12, 2010.

  1. I desperately need to upgrade to a DSLR and I'm thinking of buying a used Nikon D2x. I do need a pro DSLR as I have worked with the D40x and D90 and they are not really cutting it for me. But my main concern is how "old" the D2x is.
    Most of the work I do is freelance for newspapers, product photography and I am staring up a few weddings this summer.
    Any suggestions? I was thinking a D300 but I'll have to save up more $$ as this is my biggest problem [isn't is always?]
    Thank to all in advance for help!
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Kelly, this topic has already been discussed many times. My rule of thumb is that it is almost always a bad idea to buy some out-of-date DSLR that was a pro model once upon a time. There are good reasons that they are dirt cheap today because technology has improved so much that they are left far far behind. Additionally, many of them have gone thru a lot of professional abuse.
    Today you should be able to find a used D300 for about $1000 and a new D300S for $1500. Those are much better buys.
    Check out these threads: On Dec 27 last year, I posted a detailed comparison about why the D2X is very far behind. Since I bought my D300 in late 2007, I have hardly ever used my D2X any more, although I still own it.
  3. Pros
    superior AF, instant reactiontime/no shutterdelay, built quality, great IQ under 800ISO
    Grain at over 800ISO (although beautiful grain in B/W)
    OK, D3 is superior (I have one as well) but the D2X didn't go obsolete immediately after the D3 hit the market
    Positive : better high IS0 the D2X (although only soso compared to D3), small (without MB-10) compared to D2/D3, pop up flash, AutoISO
    Negative: high ISO compared to D3, IQ compared to D3 and to D2X under 400ISO, sluggish shutterdelay and AF (when coming from a D2/D3)
  4. Kelly, there have been several threads about D2x vs. D300 lately. Thom Hogan has a side by side comparison of the two Most of the people that will will reply to your question here will advise you to save your money and get the D300. Both are fine cameras, and both are capable of capturing great photos.
    What is it about the D90 that is "not cutting" it for you ? If this is the case, then the D300 might not do it either. If you could be more specific about why it isn't doing what you need it to do, then you will get better advice from people here.
    I have used a D2x for since 2005 and it has been a fantastic workhorse for me, and will be for the foreseeable future. It is robust, responsive, and a joy to use. One potential downside for you might be the size of it, it is not a small camera, and I would advise you to hold one in your hands first before deciding if you want one.
    It is often noted that the D300 is better at higher ISO. That is a good reason to buy one over a D2x, which tops out at about ISO 400 for acceptable quality photos. If you don't that, then much of the advantage of buying a D300 over a D2x go away. I didn't need it in 2005, and I don't need it now. Nikon has fed us a bunch of these high-ISO capable cameras lately, but at ISO 100-200 the D2x still rocks, and that's the main reason I haven't replaced it.
  5. Agreed with the aforementioned comments. As one of the few remaining D2X advocates, I would have a hard time recommending it today. I love my D2Xs and still manage to complete professional contracts on a routine basis without incident or issue. I cannot imagine being without the solid full-size body & iron-clad construction, but that is just my personal style.
    The D300 especially used is a great option and one intensely popular camera. I still really like the Fuji S2/S3 and more recent the amazing Fuji S5 Pro series if you are doing wedding photography. The quality of skin tones and in-camera capabilities are astonshing with the Fuji series. See Ken Rockwell's take on the S5 ony google if you want more insight. (Grain of salt with dear ole Chuck Norris of all things Nikon, our buddy Rockwell --- but on S5 I do respect his thoughts....)
    All-in-all, you cannot go wrong with the D300 --- but I if I was going back to the tropic jungles of Costa Rica and volcanic deserts of Cameroon, I would still reach for my D2Xs without question. I guess it is all about personal comfort & a sense of world-class reliability that comes with proven experience. :)
    Have fun,
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I went back to read Thom Hogan's comments. He missed some important factors such as the 3" LCD that is now standard on even the D3000. If you have used the high-quality one on the D90, D300/D300S, D700 and D3 family, it will be hard to go back to the small one on the D2X. There is also live view, which is common nowadays.
    Since the OP needs to work for a newspaper and especially for weddings, the poor high-ISO results from the D2X should immediatley rule it out. Live view becomes very handy when you need to hold the camera overhead and shoot into the crowd. Having a swivel LCD would have been even better, but only the D5000 has that feature.
    Ronald has a good question, though: why doesn't the D90 cut it for the OP?
  7. I know I'm obnoxious as to post this question again, but thanks for bearing with me. I just wanted some fresh take on this as I'm dizzy from all the info I've read prior to my post.
    My D90 and D40x are great, but they are just not built as tough as I'd like. I hate to say that I'm a little heavy on my stuff and no all my lenses work AF wise on these cameras. With so many different cameras, I'm staring to feel lost. But again, I thank everyone for helping me out.
  8. I ,being merely a hobbist, could not begin to advise a Pro on what his equipment should be. But being of advanced age and having been involved intmately with technology (computers) all my working life I CAN make a few comments that may be appropiate. When I started in photography if you wanted a finer print you went to either finer grain film with the attendent low ASA or alternatively a larger negative. In any case you needed good light to take an acceptable picture and somehow we managed to do that, some with seemingly less effort than others. I think it was called skill. You had the choice of using a faster film or a faster lense to acheive good results in low light. I don't really remember using any film faster than ASA 400 on a regular basis. Lenses went down to f1.2,f1.4 regularly with Canon even having an f .095 but these lense were expensive at best and true high quality was not achieved till they were stopped down somewhat. Somehow photography as a field managed to produce some remarkable images during that time and wars and photojournalism flourished. Then came Digital and all changed and somehow skill and knowledge lost out to technology and it became necessary to have the latest camera body to make an acceptable photograph. I am having a tough time making this transition from film to digital. I started with a D1x and would STILL be learning to use it were it not for the poor batteries. Changed to D200's because of the batteries improvement but quickly went back to D2h &D2x for the pro comfort and the fact they will do everything I need. The technogogy changes so rapidly that whatever you buy today I will guarantee there will be something 'better' is less than 6 months. The thing that is curious to me in all this 'progress' is the case for lens developement. We have magnificent zoom lenses of every description and everyone seems to agree that you should buy 'quality' in lenses above all as they are more important to image quality than the electronics but little attention seems to have been paid nor progress made in FASTER quality lenses to complement the electronic magic the bodies produce. So it seems only you can answer your question based on your use as to what is the better body for you. Me, I am very satisfied with the D2h,D2x. I have not missed a single image I wished to capture because of a deficiency of one of these bodies. I've missed a lot because of my lack of skill.
  9. Shun, with all due respect --- professional PJs had no problem for many years with using the D2X without issue with amazing results. It is fine to say that some of today's cameras are better in terms of "live view" which IMHO is nothing but a toy to make point-and-shoot crowd happy. "Don't all digital cameras show me what I am looking at???"And the size of the chimping LCD screen makes or breaks a camera choice?

    The D2 series were incredibly designed, produced and utilized pro cameras.Sure, some cameras are improved, but don't act like you NEED a modern DSLR (pro-sumer grade to produce quality images)
    It is like saying some cars are better today, because they have GPS and OnStar, so go ahead and pass on that ridiculously inept old classic.

    To each his own!

    If you need to chimp on a screen with great quality, go buy an Epson P7000 --- makes any LCD look like video from an Atari 2600. Gadgets and gizmos --- the more the better. Heck with learning photography anymore --- heck let's add video to a SLR. What's next? Ability to play Nintendo DS cartridges?
  10. Kenneth, couldn't say it better. Let's all go trade out our old Calphalon cookware, they just released a new series of pots.... That will certainly make us better cooks!
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Guys, that kind of argument is like saying human beings have been around for thousands of years without cars and airplanes, and they lived fine. Therefore, we also don't need cars and airplanes.
    If you only shoot for your own enjoyment , you can use whatever you want. As long as you are happy, that is all that matters. News photographers used Speed Graphics for years too. However, if you shoot for a newspaper or shoot weddings today, you have customers to deal with. And part of your job is to make them happy so that they give you business. Essentially you are always in competiton against other photographers so that you cannot afford to use a tool that gives you a major handicap.
    I don't see a whole lot of PJ's using the D2X in these days. In fact they have not been since the D3 came out in late 2007.
  12. Major handicap.... LOL
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    you give me someone with experience, passion and knowledge of photography any day with a D2Xs over a guy with no experience and a prosumer body with a few kit lenses.
    But Andy, that is not the argument here. In this case the photographer is the same Kelly, and using a D2X with its very limited high-ISO capability vs. a D300 with 2 stops better high ISO capability will make a significant difference in news and wedding photography. In my case the photographer is also the same, me. I still own my D2X but haven't used it since I bought the D300 in 2007.
    Worse yet, there is no price advantage getting a used D2X, which costs about the same as a used D300. That is why I always feel that this is a no brainer.
  14. Andy: skill and experience don't manufacture photons. The bar has been raised, permanently. People expect images shot in low available light, and no longer riddled with ugly chroma noise. Motion blur that used to be acceptable no longer is. Why? The gear. Doesn't mean that an amateur with that gear is going to produce a better result. But you can't tell me that someone shooting a wedding in a dim church with a camera that can't gracefully exceed ISO 400 isn't handicapped compared to someone who can to shoot cleanly at ISO 3200.

    The results aren't about gear head bragging rights. It's about skin tones, dress details, and all of the rest that you can achieve with those extra several stops of working room.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I see Andy has retracted the paragraph I quoted above. Too bad I have captured that. But if Andy no longer stands by that comment, people can also ignore my last post also.
  16. Speaking as a former reporter and PJ, who also did a lot of field work in documenting safety inspections (1980s-'90s), and current-day camera abuser...
    • "Ruggedness" is overrated. I got perfectly serviceable use from mid-level SLRs and consumer grade P&S cameras. And I was far from easy on my equipment in the field.
    • The only camera I killed on the job I had to drown in a river (a Ricoh SLR with Pentax K-mount lenses).
    • I've dropped many cameras, all of which survived well enough to continue functioning, including an Olympus XA-3 P&S I dropped onto a sidewalk. Still works fine more than 10 years later.
    • Short of pouring rain, most consumer grade cameras will hold up just fine. If you shoot in pouring rain, you need a raincoat for your camera, not a "pro" camera to compensate for abuse and neglect.
    • Don't buy lenses with plastic lens mounts. Those are an abomination.
    • Unless you're photographing combat or involved in some endeavor where equipment abuse is absolutely unavoidable, you don't need high end pro gear for ruggedness. You need to take better care of your equipment. You don't have to baby it. Just stop throwing it down and stomping on it in fits of pique. Stop leaving it in your buddy's seat as a prank when he gets up to buy the next round or go to the can. Stop pouring beer on it (I actually did that this weekend - dumped a nice splash of Killian's Red over my D2H while attempting to drink, walk and shoot simultaneously at a weekend arts festival. Yes, of course, the D2H survived.)
    • If you absolutely must buy a "pro" level dSLR just to satisfy your urge to say you've done it, get a D2H. It's half the price of a D2X, just as rugged, and if you really are doing PJ work for print publications, nobody will notice the difference between 4 mp and 12 mp. Newspaper reproduction on ordinary newsprint is crap. Anyone who claims they can tell the difference between 4 mp and 12 mp resolution in newsprint is lying. You might tell the difference in high quality magazine repro on glossy paper.
    I could go on and on with the usual bombastic assertions but, long story short: If you think you "need" a more durable dSLR and cannot provide any specific justifications supporting why you "need" one, get a D2H. At least you'll only be out half the money when you realize you don't actually "need" a pro level dSLR.
    And if you need better photo quality than the D90 provides, you need a D3X or D3S. Or a Mamiya or Pentax larger format sensor digicam.
  17. not really bad, but not wise. as mentioned above, the price of the d2x hasn't really gone down. the d300 is a much better choice with no question. have you tried the d90 and read the right stuff on it? i use the d90 for weddings and corporate events and i'm happy and get paid right. makes me wonder why the d90 just won't cut it.
    but i must admit that each one has his own preferences and desires. also benchmarks for desires and functionality.
  18. Andy Smothers
    Shun, with all due respect --- professional PJs had no problem for many years with using the D2X without issue with amazing results.​
    By the same logic one could say that the Graphlex and Speed Graphic were used by pros for many years without issue and with amazing results. That was then. This is now. And the now changes very quickly.
    When the D2H and D2X were on the market less than a year, one photo industry publication I queried (back around 2005) specified they would not accept photos taken above ISO 640 with those models, and preferred ISO 400 or below. I remember the "ISO 640" restriction very clearly because it was so oddly specific.
    That's a problem. A very specific problem. They weren't interested in whether noise reduction software was capable of making the photos acceptable for print (it's very easy to reduce blotchy chroma noise without affecting "sharpness" in the slightest). They were only interested in the EXIF data. I've read similar specific restrictions for some stock agencies.
    So for some pros who are hoping to have their work published and purchased, older dSLRs may present very definite and specific disadvantages when the publication or stock agency to which work is submitted wants the EXIF data.
    For better or worse the industry is long past the point at which the only factor is the aesthetics of the photo. If a photographer wishes to be competitive in a market saturated with well heeled dilettantes who can afford flagship dSLRs and the fastest lenses costing thousands of dollars - many of whom are willing to work for free, for the thrill of seeing their photos published - then being competitive includes using up to date equipment.
  19. The D2X is well-built and was popular in its day, but I doubt that its image quality exceeds that of today's D90.
    Why is the D90 "not really cutting it" for you?
  20. It is fine to say that some of today's cameras are better in terms of "live view" which IMHO is nothing but a toy to make point-and-shoot crowd happy. "Don't all digital cameras show me what I am looking at???"And the size of the chimping LCD screen makes or breaks a camera choice?​

    Live View isn't designed to make hobbyists feel comfortable with advanced cameras. Among other applications, Live View increases the precision of manual focusing. It's extremely beneficial when focusing perspective control lenses. How may point-and-shooters have any idea how to use tilts and swings?
    I liken Live View to focusing a view camera with a loupe.
  21. Out of respect for the OP, I provided key recommendations.
    I agreed that today I would not recommend a used D2X in lieu of a D300. You can see that if anyone actually takes the time to peruse before pointing in this forum.
    It is humorous to watch everyone jump out and make assertions when I was agreeing with the support for the transition to a newer model DSLR body. My major comment of contention was that Shun nor anyone cannot tell me that you always need to keep upgrading each year or you will have a major handicap. I recommended the Fuji S5 for the best in skin/natural tones for weddings & even the purchase of the D300.
    Liveview was indeed produced to lure more P&S advocates, those who were used to have instant video LCD feedback and were totally not used to using a viewfinder to orientate their pictures. I cannot recall how many hundreds of people asked, "How do you turn on the video screen so that I can see what I am shooting" --- LOL. That is exactly why it was made initially. Sure, it is great for macro, as an ancillary benefit.
    I earnestly believe that now that I have also been told that skill and experience are not responsible for good photos, that is the best way to end this post.
  22. Oh Dear ! I just sold 15 full-page photographs to a German magazine, taken with the D2x. I'd better call them up and tell them to forget it now, since my camera is so bad.
  23. If you're going to shoot sports, get it. Otherwise buy something newer. The D2X is a fine piece of equipment, and perfect for everything up to 400ISO. Don't get me wrong, it is very good above 400 ISO as well, but not compared to today's dSLR's.
  24. Nobody is asserting (with any credibility) that high quality commercial photos cannot be taken with the D2X. If you already own a D2X it is an excellent camera to continue to use, especially within its optimal ISO range.
    The core issue here is whether the D2X is a good value in the current market for a buyer interested in a 12 mp dSLR. For most people it is not, at least not at the current used market prices. If and when the D2X used prices drop significantly then it may be a better value.
    Among the very few exceptions would be for someone like me. And that's only because I already own a D2H and have several fully compatible accessories, including the EH-6 power adapter, 12-pin remote adapter and other doodads. Those would be expensive to replace. For me, if I needed only a higher resolution dSLR that would be used only at the optimal ISO, the D2X would be a cost effective addition. (And I'd still rather have a D90.)
    But for someone like Kelly, who doesn't already own a dSLR with those types of compatible accessories, the D2X is not a good value. It doesn't offer any advantages over the D90 in terms of image quality, and it's not a good enough value for a "tougher" camera, particularly when no specifics have been given about why a more rugged camera would even be necessary.
  25. To OP . . . I wouldn't be scared of an older camera at all due to "old or outdated technology". To me the only camera that is "outdated" is one that is broken and will no longer take photos. I shoot old Hasselblads, old Nikon film cameras, an old Rollei, an old D1X (I have 2) and a D3. I shoot the D3 the least. I prefer the images of my D1X over the D3 (when shooting digital). For me, the D2X was the beginning of the more clinical looking digital images which is not as appealing for what I do. Of course that look may be exactly what some people are looking for.
  26. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    My major comment of contention was that Shun nor anyone cannot tell me that you always need to keep upgrading each year or you will have a major handicap. I recommended the Fuji S5 for the best in skin/natural tones for weddings & even the purchase of the D300.​
    Andy, that was not at all what I said. My comment only refers to the D2X vs. the D300, which are the OPs choices. Between 2005 and 2007, there was a major major jump in Nikon's technology when the D3 and D300 were introduced. Prior to that, Canon had perhaps 90% of the news and sports photography market. However, by the 2008 Beijing Olympics, we saw roughly half of the sports photographers were using Nikon, which was very obvious seeing all those black Nikon lenses vs. white Canon lenses on the stands.
    The D2X tops at ISO 800, the D300 ISO 3200 and D3 ISO 6400. The difference is very easy to tell just by the numbers. Since the OP wants to shoot news and weddings, that difference is going to be extremely noticeable.
    I myself still use the D300 and D700 today. The D300S and D3S are nice, but they don't represent all that big an improvement. In particular, the D3S just too expensive and I am sure that its technology will soon be superseded. For me, the D700 is good enough until the next quantum leap in technology.
    Oh Dear ! I just sold 15 full-page photographs to a German magazine, taken with the D2x. I'd better call them up and tell them to forget it now, since my camera is so bad.​
    Ronald, could you show us some of those images? Were they captured indoors with available light at ISO 800 and 1600, which would have been Hi 1 on the D2X since it tops at 800. Those are the ISOs news and wedding photographers use frequently. If your images were captured at ISO 100 and 200, which the D2X does very well, I am afraid that your example has no bearing on the OP's question.
    Back in January, I posted this ISO 800 image sample from the D2X: You can easily see how noisy and dull the colors are. I also have another image from the D3S also at ISO 800. Even though the subjects were not the same, anybody should be able to see the difference.
  27. I am on Shun's side. As a working PJ who does weddings as well I am going to recommend the D-300. Cameta and Adorama have them as demo's with a warranty for under $1200.00 delivered. (I doubt you will find a really good D2Xs for less than that without rolling the ebay dice.) The extra couple of high ISO performance is huge for PJ and especially for wedding work. The camera is built very well (I think just as well as the D2 series for all intent and purpose) and is lighter to carry. If you want to look cool or have a vertical button get an aftermarket grip for it;)
    Lex makes a good point about the resolution issue when he points to the D2H. When I shoot assignments for the paper where resolution is going to be about crayon-on-napkin I frequently use my old D2H. It is my favorite camera. One feature it has that I miss on the D300 is the voice memo function. There is nothing easier than taking the picture and putting the names and cut-line information on the frame with the pic. The D2X has this too. The small 4MP sensor makes workflow a breeze. I have shot full page magazine photos with it without any problem. And they are pretty cheap these days. I would only rule it out because as a wedding camera it is not so hot.
    I use the D3 most of all but then it is very expensive and I really do not think I could justify the expense over the D300 if pressed to do so unless the business is easily paying for it. There are much better ways to spend the difference IMO.
    The bottom line for me is that, as nice as the D2X is, it is obsolete compared to the D300/s. I got my D300 before the D3. The D300 really made some assignments much easier. It was a great camera for weddings and being able to bump the ISO a bunch without trashing the picture quality gave me creative options that I did not have before and have come to rely on. The D300 is a marvelous camera and far from obsolete. It is tough as a tank and very fast. I think you will really like it.
  28. The D90 has better image quality at higher ISOs than the D2x. Your D40x probably is better at higher ISOs too. The D2x has a better AF system and will meter with older lenses. The D300 has better high ISO performance than the D2x and has Nikons latest pro AF system. The D2x is still quite expensive used in some places. If you could live with the D2x bodies not so great HI ISO performance then it could be a good buy if it was cheep enough and in good shape if they were cheep enough maybe 2 D2x bodies is more useful than 1 D300 but often they are nearly the same price as a used D300. If you want good performance in low light then the D2x is not that camera and you would be better of with the D300 or even better a D700.
    There is the argument that if you can't take decent photos with the D2x then the D300s/D700/D3s won't make you a better photographer and that is true but if you take decent photos that are full of noise because a camera performs badly at Hi ISOs then those newer bodies maybe just what you need.
  29. Lex, your prob right: I may be just a bit too hard on my equipment. I may just shy away from the D2X and spend my money on a better lens. Things seemed so much easier with film or when I had a D1......thanks again guys!
  30. or, I'm going to look into the D300. :)
  31. or, I'm going to look into the D300. :)
  32. I have used the D70, switched to the D2x, the D2Xs, (as well as the D200 of which I had numerous), then the D300 (of which about 9 have passed through my hands, including 3 or 4 at the present time, and like to shoot lowest light scenes with a D3 or D700 (which because it shoots at 14 bits all the time without slowing frames per second, offers superior Image Quality over the D300 in everyday shooting; but both the D700 and D3 are much, much more expensive) (I have no present use for video, though I do shoot it. I would shoot serious video with a anon-based 'Red' outfit, if I were into video and maybe use Nikon manual focus lenses.)
    I am able now as a very consisent buyer of cameras and lenses to make 'special deals' on Nikon equipment (don't e-mail me because I will not share), and may have a slightly different perspective than some about the D2x - D2Xs.
    I spend a lot of time in Ukraine (alternating with the USA).
    While I don't shoot female models for the Internet skin trade, much of which once was centered in Kyiv, I had an opportunity to meet one or two photographers who did make their living doing that, and also for legitimate magazines, almost always of females showing glamour and/or fashion/make-up subjects all glitzed up, most often the most beautiful agency models - some of the pretties women in the world.
    (Ukraine has an unusual number of fabulously beautiful women, and many become models, which provides fodder for such photographers - one reason such trade has flourished here.)
    There is a new anti-porn law so broad that it seems to even exclude pure art 'nude' photography, and there is much fear about even photographing nudes, in a country where once every thing 'went', but when that was so, the photographers I spoke who shot studio absolutely preferred their D2x and D2Xs cameras over any other (except the then incoming D3).
    The reason they said was that the D2Xa and D2Xs provided some pretty fabulous skin tones, that they could not reproduce with other camers such as the D200 and even the D300, though they acknowledged that the D300 had better specs.
    I remember shooting a D2Xs in Bryce Canyon, Utah, at low ISO at sunrise and getting spectactular gradations of reds - just fabulous colors -- some of the best in my life, and also the same in a boatyad at Moss Landing, CA., and those colors were memorable . . . not like anything I've shot since. (I'm not now much of a nature shooter, but I do nature from time to time, especially birds when I have a plentiful supply of long lenses, and once lived practically 'next door' to the fabulous CA 'Elk Horn Slough' estuary and bird/marine sanctuary with hundreds of species of birds (and marine life).
    The Ukrainian photographers preferred the D2X and D2Xs camera also because of their inherent build quality.
    When you have maybe one camera (and a much cheaper backup) and the main camera must be an absolutely reliable workhourse, and from that camera you must shoot 20,000 frames a month, come hell or high water, to make a living (and not such a good one) and you can hardly afford a quality backup, then having utmost reliability is of supreme importance.
    Both those sister cameras -- the D2X and the D2Xs were practically indestructible.
    The D300 is a great camera, but sometimes it has issues/ if it isn't sometimes a solder issue in the battery chamber (like the D200) or some other small problem, it is a great, reliable camera, but it sometimes on some particular camera may have 'issues', and those 'issues' may be 'intermittent' and therefore once believed 'fixed' may actually crop up again and again.
    Battery read/performance on the D300 is something that leaves something to be desired on some D300s I've had. Some idiosyncratically will not read from a battery; while its twin brother will read 'full' from the same just-charged battery the next minute on fresh insertion. Then, curiously a new insertion into the old camera will resume good reading and good shooting for an indeterminate period . . . . days, weeks or months before a new failure.
    More than one such camera has appeared in my camera bag, and contrary to past times, it has been a couple of years since I've even rough handled a D300. (I had a 70-200 f 2.8 roll onto the pavement, and got charged for a repair by Nikon repair, got a call the next day 'it's fixed' and returned to find a brand new one in the repair box!!!!)
    The last D300 that had such 'intermittent battery issues' I got a message it was was 'fixed' which I disbelieved, and called intercontinentally to Nikon in the Caribbean to say 'it can't be' . . . 'it's intermittent'. . . . and finally after hours of pleading got through to a Nikon West Coast rep. She took it out, shot with it, it finally revealed the same glitch for her sure enough, she had a tech go over it (with a microscope I think) and found broken solder at the battery terminal making sometimes intermittent contact, which then was fixed and apparently has no new problems since.
    Such a camera might have made three to ten more trips to techs before diagnosis and repair . . . they first told me it was the camera/lens, then the battery, then well . . . you get the point.
    I never had such problems with my D2x's or a D2Xs's.
    The shutter and build quality of a D2x or a D2Xs cameras plus the sheer size and capacity of the battery (expecially on the D2Xs) means that carrying a back pocket full of ENEL4e batteries (ordinary power for the D200, the D300 and the D700 series) which can get hot if you're sweaty or it's been raining and they start to short while you're sitting them, just does not happen. Shorting batteries in a sweaty or rainy back pocket can get mighty hot and more than a little uncomfortable especially when one's driving as one's rear starts to smoke.
    I prefer the old batteries from the D2Xs (the ENEL4a) so much that I carrry the MB-D10 battery pack on my D300s not for the vertical button which I almost never use, but for the sheer size of the ENEL4a used as an optional battery with its concomittant mass, which gives heft and stability to shooting telephoto at absurdly low shutter speeds (e.g. 1/10th sec wide open on a 70-200 f 2.8 and get sometimes astonishing clarity when handheld.
    A significant minus of the D2X/D2Xs was the location of the focus selector compared to the new placement near the vertical shutter release on the MB-D10 battery pack/vertical shutter release, for the D300, D700 et al.,. On the D2X or D2Xs the multi selector as a focus point selector was practically unusable for vertical shooting, no matter that one was using a vertical shutter -- a serious and rare Nikon design deficiency.
    The D2X and D2Xs both were almost absurdly heavy, and since I have an operated neck, a lifetime of disability and a significant partial paralysis in my shooting arm and hand, that is a significant minus, but 'getting the shot' means more than almost any amount of pain, so I would rather shoot with a D2X/D2Xs or its equivalent in weight - the D300 with the MB-D10 battery pack with an optional EN-EL4a battery inside or similarly a D700 with the same battery and battery pack in order to 'get the photo (and suffer the severe pain) in search of world class photos rather than settle. (that's just me, though, I guess).
    If I were shooting birds in a daylight marshy area, the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon, or much of the desert Southwest, doing many types of landscapes or such, I might be very happy with a D2X or a D2Xs, or even happier because of what many claim is a somewhat better color palette (or choice of palettes), with better rendered colors with their sensors and signal processing.
    But I shoot much 'steet' often at high ISO, and the D300 has filled my bill for several years after shooting a number of D200s, D2X(s) and D2Xs(s) (as well as other camers), and the D300, D700 and D3 (and progeny) are able to 'make' more shots for me that otherwise I would have to pass by with the D2X and D2Xs.
    I just reviewed Paris Metro shots taken several years ago and later with the D2x and D2xs compared to the D200, then the D300 and the differences are astounding -- the difference was between throwaways and lifetime keepers or between 'just interesting might-have-beens' to 'I'd put this on the cover of a book' (which is where at least one is destined).
    I could be very comfortable doing a great deal of shooting with a D2X or a D2Xs and getting world class shots. With a good lens such as a 70-200 f2.8, a supertele of fast aperture such as a 200-400 f 4 zoom V.R., handheld, and proper subject (marshland birds or flying water birds) one can almost be guaranteed of getting some world class captures.
    However, that being said, I also probably could take such captures with any old 35 mm film camera with a decent lens starting from about 40 years ago with introduction of the Nikon F series and do the same.
    The differences would then be for digital at what point would low light begin eliminating certain shots from being keepers or preventing me from attempting them, and the extent to which the more modern cameras would enable me to have a much, much greater percentage of 'keepers'.
    If I were like some of the pros I met in Kyiv, shooting models in a studio, I would have little trouble shooting a D2X/D2Xs, and the only trade-up that would make best economic sense while shooting 20,000 frames a month might be a D3 and progeny, because of 'build quality' as well as various do-dads or adjustments that come with high-end cameras not of use to most users.
    My perspective, however, is highly personal.
    I happen to believe one can take a $5 lens and make a memorable capture.
    When once I took the wrong camera bag, found when I reached inside only a $5 lens from a dealer's '$5 buys any lens' bargain sale someone had left me, I put it on my camera, and within seconds, had taken a wonderful street photo though the lens was not only manual focus, but also manual stop down (meaning to focus I had to open it up, then stop down for the exposure - a type of lens no longer made for common usage on 35 mm cameras).
    Expensive or high end equipment does not 'make' for great capturs, it only makes for a better opportunity for a skillful photographer to reap a higher percentage of 'keepers' from most situations with less work.
    The most expensive and highest end piece of equipment is still between the ears.
    John (Crosley)
  33. i don't see a problem with using s d2x, and that camera can still produce the same results it did when it was lusted after three years ago. if quality was the absolute be all, then we'd all be shooting film, but we happily use the d3 because it is the 'best' digicam, although silver halide still has the edge in nearly all aspects (save high iso), especially for weddings.
  34. Hi Kelly......Nikon D2X good or bad? Here's why I think it's good. I'm a hobbyist and I can go out for a day with my D2X and a nikon AF 80-200 2.8fD ED lens (major heavy lens) attached and shoot 400-600 shots in RAW. The interesting thing for me, is I don't need any accessories like a battery pack, extra batteries and so on. When i shoot I view the photos, I scale photos to check sharpness, I basically do everything you shouldn't LOL....and after doing all that, I feel assured that my battery indicator will hardly of even moved!! I'm still fascinated with the amount of shooting you can do on one charge. If you want something that's just gonna keep going for the work you describe, then I recommend the D2X and when you can, save up for the D3.
  35. Good to see not everyone believes that the D2X is an old paperweight that is totally incapable of producing quality images. But when you consider that experience and skill are not requirements for good photography, only a modern consumer DSLR, then why even bother? LOL.

    Just kidding....good informed discussion, learned a lot with this open dialogue.
  36. Kelley,
    I'm a former photo journalist from the film days. I usually shot with 2 Nikon bodies; one with Tri-X rated at 800, the other with Tri-X rated at 200 (both developed in Rodinal 1:100). Excessive cropping in editing was common, even expected. Despite that, the quality was always excellent and complaints were only when something was out-of-focus. Today, although I don't to news work anymore, I use D2X and other Nikon bodies in my personal and pro work. I've done many comparisons and my images with the D2X far exceed the quality that I got with film at low ISO and usually exceeds but mostly equals what I got at 800.
    There’s no doubt that digital, in general, is the likely successor to film in most situations. However, the problem I see nowadays is that photographers' expectations have gone through the roof in some respect; in particular; high ISO image quality. Photographers aren't satisfied unless their camera is capable of shooting noise-free images by candle-light. If that's your thing, then fine. But in my opinion, few situations in newspaper photo journalism require ISO shooting beyond 1600, and the D2X is more than capable of producing excellent results for newsprint, even at that range.
    In further defense of the D2X; due to its pixel density, Nikon and other manufactures have done nothing to improve on the acuity of the D2x at low ISO. It's all been slight improvements in dynamic range (indiscernible to 99 percent of people) and lower noise at ridiculously high ISO.
    These days, I personally rarely shoot over 200, with 90 percent at 100. My clients seldom need files bigger than 12" at the longest side. Again, I've done the comparisons, and at ISO 100 (where there's zero noise), nothing exceeds the D2X IQ. That includes the D300. And yes, that also includes the 21 and 25 MP full-frame cameras, which lose their advantage because those files require downsizing and that costs in acuity compared to the native D2X files.
    If anyone doubts this claim, all one has to do is do a few Google searches to find it well supported by archived tests that showed that D2X image quality rivaled the 16MP full-frame Canon EOS 1DS MkII ... and tons of those are still being used today by newspaper photographers.
    Going back to film cameras; for those of us old enough to remember, pro film bodies lasted for years and years. My first F2s bought in 1977 served me well until I replaced them with F3s in 1993 ... that's 16 years of continuous use! How many people keep their pro DSLRs more than 3-4 years? Very few. One has to ask: who is benefiting from that kind of turnover - that converts desirable high tech equipment worth thousands of dollars to near obsolescence in such a short a time? Answer: Not the consumer, that's for sure. It's the manufacturers who have hit the mother lode by preying on photographers' insecurities and convincing us that what we bought just a few years or even months ago is not up to snuff any more. We’re being conned by the camera makers. If it wasn't true, we'd be seeing more cameras with interchangeable or upgradeable sensors. Plain and simple.
    Bottom line? Use the camera that suits your needs and use your own practical judgment in that decision. Don't let the camera makers, or even other photographers who've fallen hook, line and sinker for their consumerist marketing scheme, convince you otherwise.
    And best advice of all: Take advantage of all those photographers who are dumping their perfectly fine D2X bodies. Good ones are going for about $1000, a fifth of what they sold for just 3 years ago.
  37. "...the problem I see nowadays is that photographers' expectations have gone through the roof in some respect; in particular; high ISO image quality."​
    Agreed. But the real problem is that client expectations have also increased. Working photographers who want to remain competitive can't ignore that.
    What you and I considered acceptable for newspaper reproduction years ago with Tri-X at 800 wouldn't be acceptable to many clients or stock agencies today. For better or worse, any photographer wanting to stay competitive needs to consider upgrading equipment more often now. I can't market most of my D2H files because it's not acceptable by some stock agency standards. We may see a time in a few years when 12 mp dSLR files may not be acceptable to some clients.
    And in one respect, that hasn't changed. Years ago we would occasionally change films as the emulsions improved in order to stay competitive. Check the archives of discussion forums here and elsewhere 10-15 years ago. Back then, there were just as many debates and arguments over which film was "better" and which needed to be updated.
  38. The stock agencies will slowly demand larger and larger files and older cameras will fall off the bottom of their acceptance lists. Photographers are going to be in an endless upgrade path just to continue working. Just for fun I downloaded some D2x NEF files at ISO 800 and 1600 and was pleasenly supprised with how they looked. So much had been made of how the D2x was noisy even at ISO800 I was expecting much worse. I have seen far grainier scans from much slower films. I processed the NEF files in Nikon Capture 4. In the past I had looked at many of the online comparisons and the D2x did not fair to well. I do wonder if some of the older Nikons got such a bad rap for noise because many would not use the Nikon software to process the RAW files. I tried lightroom when I bought my first D70 and found it to produce more noise than Nikon Capture 4 at the time.
  39. While I got many good years of service out of my D2X, after picking up a D700 last year I really can't think of any scenarios under which I'd buy another D2X (except maybe dirt cheap for IR conversion). I'm not one to get spun up over 3" displays and other incremental improvements as pivotal selling points, but hands down the image quality and range of the current generation of cameras are superior. Particularly if you will be shooting professionally I think you owe it to yourself and your customers to use the most up to date equipment within budget. D300 construction is more than adequate for what you'll be doing.
  40. It's life Jim, but not as we know it.....
    Loosen up, go out there and shoot someone or something..........
  41. Oh my god what a useless discussion, apart from those who claim that it is the man (or woman) behind the machine that makes the difference.....
    We live in a consumer society nowadays and every manufacturer will try to sell you their latest release. It is not that I do not believe that newer camera's will do better, but what I experienced is that newer camera's WILL demand more skills and will show your flaws more and more.
    I had serious trouble when I started with my D2X. Was it a bad camera or was I not good enough. Even though it hurts me to say: I was not good enough! The mega number of pixels (in those days) showed every move I made by creating a blur. Todays 24 million and more camera's will be a serious attack on your stediness (a good whiskey may help in some occassions...) and with all the options in focusmodes etc an academic degree nearly is a must.
    My point is that you should choose whatever camera you like (as in: what camera ergonomically is best for you) and get to know it, and then MOST IMPORTANT........ MAKE LOTS OF PHOTO's. I'm sure you then will have lots of fun using it.
    And finally: there will allways be pros and cons for each and every camera
  42. I just want to know what professional photographer is shooting all these weddings and pj assignments with available light?

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