D2X...would you reccomend it?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gabesouza, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. I do lots of sports shooting (currently with a D80) and am looking for another body, something that has higher frames
    per second and a more rugged construction that the D80.
    Was looking at the D300 but then stumbled across the D2X and fell in love with the high speed 8 fps in 7 MP mode
    and the 2.0 field of view option for sports and you can still have 12 MP when you want.
    I know the D2X is heavy but not worried about that, the only apprehension I may have would be the ISO range.
    This would be used for night sports and a SB-800 could be used along with an 80-200 f/2.8 so the ISO wouldn't have
    to be excessively high, but it would need to be up there.
    How bad is the noise on this at high ISO?
    Oh, and in addition, I have been able to handle both and liked the feel of both so it's not a matter of comfort.
    D2X currently about $1100 used on KEH wheras the D300 about $1600 new.


  2. You might be able to find a low mileage D300 for $1200. I would go for newer technolgy.
  3. ok, but a used D300 is only $1200 or so. for that $100 the extra 2 stops of ISO will be worth it, plus the AF system in the d300 is the same as the D3. plus with the grip you get 8fps at 12mp, and you have the option to remove it for a lighter walkaround camera and still get 6fps.

    nostalgic sentiment and wanting a really heavy camera to lug around are about the only reasons to get a D2X right now over a D300. basically if you shoot at anything over ISO 400, you want a newer body.
  4. Most reviews suggest that the D300 is a "D2X killer". With the MB-D10, you can shoot 8fps at 12mp and with the D300's native 1.5 crop factor. The D2X can only achieve 8pfs at 2.0 crop factor. With the D300, you can always crop your images afterward. The D300 is a more modern camera and excels in many small subtle ways, in addition to ma y of its revolutionary capabilities and feature.
  5. "How bad is the noise on this at high ISO?"

    I don't think it is a matter of how bad the noise is at high ISO on the D2X, but rather how much better the noise is on the D300. It is noticeably better. Go for the D300 if you can afford it.
  6. I'm currently using a D700 with battery pack and a D2x as a backup now.

    The D2x was my mainstay for years till just this past July when I got the D700. It's still a robust camera for
    certain situations - mainly daytime or great lighting conditions (and I mean a lot of light). I love the feel of
    the body, even compared to the bulked up D700. The ergonomics are fabulous IMHO.

    As great a camera as the D2x was back in it's day - it's severely handicapped in low light situations. I only
    use it for daylight or studio use at ISO 400 or lower.

    I shoot sports with it and it's been a great performer - especially with the crop mode - giving extra reach and
    additional FPS. Throw the superb 70-200 on there and you're getting some great action shots. But I only use
    this IN GREAT LIGHT conditions. Night - forget about it. And remember you're not getting that much distance on
    the SB-800, the light falls of quickly. If you're shooting soccer and the action is not right in front of you -
    well you're likely to be disappointed.

    Finally, now that I have the 700 with MB-D10, I get 8 FPS at full-frame FX; and it makes the D2x near obsolete
    for low light sports use. While I miss the additional 'reach' of a DX lens + the add on of the High-Speed Crop;
    the ability to shoot at 3200+ with little noise to worry about...well, it's a whole new world out there.

    In sum - I think you'd be throwing money away if you pick up the D2x for low-light sports; the newer D300/D700/D3
    are just light years ahead in terms of high-ISO performance.

  7. don't know about the D300 with grip being a D2X killer,

    I have a D300 with grip and a D2H, and sometimes I like to shot with the D2H more than the D300..

    IMO unless you depend on extreme High ISO the D2X is a highly recommended camera.
    Battery life is unreal, and the camera feels just right in your hands... I love the D2 series..( till I can afford a D3 series.. ;))
  8. "Michael Seto wrote: As great a camera as the D2x was back in it's day"

    I couldn't help smiling there! My-oh-my "its days" were only THREE YEARS ago! I do think I will bring my trusted F3T along on my next travels...

    "it's severely handicapped in low light situations. I only use it for daylight or studio use at ISO 400 or lower. "

    And yes, that is a completely valid point. I use the D200 myself, happily, but with those reservations - though I'd stretch 'daylight' a bit.
  9. Gabe, the issue at this stage is really speed of the shutter. Will I freeze & get that action shot.

    The D2X is excellent and so is the D2H is you want to got cheaper. Do bear in mind that the final print for the media is not poster size - but usually 8x11 max, and give yourself some cropping room.

    Of course if you plan to make posters, you gain by starting out with an FX (more area to crop), else just interpolate the DX. Hey, look, Dave Black did all right with the D2H (see his site) before the newer bodies came out . . . . .

    Weight? No problem, remember, the more mass in the body, the less shake you will get from the mirror actuation. Wish I could said that about my bodily shake <vbg>.

    Now, the other issue is = if you get an FX, you will be shocked by the crop. If you used a 70-200, you'll yearn for the 200-400 <vbg>. So, for the local press, a DX is fine, and the 70-200 f/2.8 great. I do shoot with a D3 indoors and a 200mm f/2. No one can touch me (I do equine sports)... So can you go that route <vbg>

    Send me a private message, and we can talk if you wish. I'm also on Skype.

    Cheers .... -= Chris =-
  10. Gabe -

    For sports, I'd recommend the D300 or D700 especially if you're shooting in low light situations. The D2x is great for daylight / flash work where ISO above 1600 isn't required.

    Both are now about the same money - so I'd go for D300 over D2x.

    By the way - The D300 is excellent for battery life too. I've shoot 2000 plus photos (indoors, no flash) on a D300 without swapping batteries.

  11. "D2X...would you reccomend it? "


    If the D300 is out of budget, how about the D90?
  12. I know technology moves fast, but I find it odd that the camera that was finally good enough to cause top landscape photographers to switch to digital is now considered almost useless.

    Honestly, though - one GOOD reason to get a D2x is that it would be a lateral move with similar sensor technology. If you got a D300 you'd probably never use your D80 again.
  13. The D2X remains an excellent dSLR. It's just not an excellent *value* on the used market.

    And that's the kicker. Rapid changes in technology and the introduction of better models at lower prices have placed many older dSLRs in an odd position. They're worth using if you already own them. It's just debatable whether they're worth *buying* if you don't already own one.

    Another factor is the budget. For me, even $100 ain't chump change. If I can get nearly as much camera for $100 cheaper, heck, yeh, it's a good value. And the $500 difference between a used D2X and a new D300 is a huge factor for many folks. With that $500 you can buy a lens, flash or other needed accessories such as spare batteries, charger, media cards, etc.

    So the value is relative. Depends on your needs, your budget and goals for the foreseeable future. Since you specified the need for low noise, high ISO performance, the D2X is not the best option.
  14. The key difference between the D2X and the D300 is the AF subsystem. The D300 is significantly more sophisticated and faster than then D2X. All else is more or less about the same.
    That was the reason why I sold my D2X and got the D300 because of the AF.
  15. Most of my images are at ISO 100 and I never go over ISO 200. Six months ago I chose the D2X over a new D300 and I am extremely happy with my decision. I prefer the feel of it in my huge hands and though many do not notice it, the viewfinder of the D2X is superior for those of us who wear eyeglasses. I compared both head to head in the same retail store before buying. Yes, battery life is unbelievable. The cost savings allowed me to make other important photographic purchases.
  16. I now have a D3 but, I still use my D2x as a secondary and backup camera. For me it made perfect sense to maintain and
    keep the D2x. Just because something new came out it does not mean the D2x stopped functioning. I am still getting value
    out of the camera and a big pluses for me was that camera weighs very little, takes the same batteries as the D3 and has
    the same control layout. So, I am going to shoot until it dies.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    At least for me, the D300 is indeed the "D2X killer." I still own both cameras, but I have pretty much stopped using the D2X ever since I bougth the D300.

    The two main drawbacks for the D2X are its rather poor high-ISO results and relatively slow frame rate for sports. Those are the two areas where the D3 and D300 excel. And since the OP is talking about shooting night sports, that is precisely where the problem is.

    I am strongly against using the high-speed crop mode on the D2X. For one thing you are down to 6MP, and when you are in the crop mode, 10 of the 11 AF points are either outside or around the edge of the cropped frame. As a result, AF is far less effective. You are essentially down to the center AF point.
    Additionally, the "outside" area of the cropped frame is not grayed out as it is on the D2Xs. It is rather easy to forget that you are in the crop mode and compose based on the entire frame. I have had some surprises that way -- some critical part of the composition is cropped.

    There were very good reasons that as soon as the D300 came out, used value for the D2X and D2Xs just fell like a rock.
  18. One of the things I love about the D300 is that it can be a fun camera. When I just want to mess around I will spend the day/night with only the 50mm f/1.8. The combination is still fairly light so it doesn't become a pain carrying it around as well two kiddies aged 3 and 1. Of course it's great at high ISOs, although it's not noise-free as some would have it.
  19. I have one and I'd buy a second one. They are durable, sturdy and now very responsibly priced. I'd recommend renting both or borrowing both and putting them to work for you in your situations, holding a camera is different then using it. As for ISO, I think the D2X gets noisy above 800, so I try to stay at 800 or below. If your shooting a lot of outdoor sports, I think the D2X(s) would be a good purchase. However if you're shooting a lot of indoor sports, maybe the ISO advances on the D300 would be better.

    If you can afford it the D3 would be the best of both worlds, unfortunately there is not a big 2nd hand market for this camera yet.
  20. I agree with most people here than the D2X is not suitable for low light / night time sports photography unless you are using it for B/W or newspaper printing purposes. Noise above ISO 800 tends to be pretty rough when shooting at night with the D2X. If you shoot at high ISO in the daytime it's not as bad but when there are lots of shadows the noise can get obvious.

    That being said I don't think I would recommend the D300 either. For me the noise of the D300 is not that much better than the D2X to justify buying it.

    The D3 or D700 however are a different matter. I would recommend buying a D700 if your funds allow it, or a D3 if you want the pro style body.

    In regard to the autofocus system, while the D300's AF is more complex, I absolutely disagree that it's faster. I also find that due to having so many autofocus points it can sometimes take longer to do the thing you want to do I.E. select an af point in the bottom left corner of the frame. With the d2x it takes 2 key presses to do. With the D300 you end up holding the arrow key for X number of seconds, readjust if you go too far, etc. While the D300's automated modes are convenient at times I do prefer the interface of the D2X's AF in most scenarios.

    I'm keeping my D2X until I can justify a D3, or maybe I'll just wait for a D3X or D4 to come out and buy one of those instead.
  21. Cory, are you basing your comments on hands-on experience (do you actually own and use a d300)?

    My experience with my D300 was the exact opposite of yours. Many of my ISO 1600 images, after PP, look like ISO 320 or better with exceptional detail just as if they were shot at low ISO.

    I found selecting the focus points easy and fast, giving you the ability to focus exactly where you wanted to. In addition, I believe you have the option of using all 51 points or 11 points (I don't have my D300 anymore but I think this option was available - perhaps someone can confirm this).

    There is no doubt that the D2X is a good camera. There is also no doubt the D300 is a vast improvement over the D2X.
  22. I've handled a D300 fairly extensively, I don't own one though. I never noticed an 11 point AF option, maybe it's buried in the menus somewhere, I didn't see a selector switch position for it though. I'll check it out next time I'm at a Yodobashi Camera store here in Tokyo. I guess it's each to their own. For me the D300's iso performance was not good enough to justify the upgrade. The d3's iso performance is definitely better, but I can wait for the price to come down a bit more personally. For what the original poster is looking for I can't suggest anything less than a D700. In my opinion while the D300's iso performance IS better, it's not good enough for the kind of things many people expect these days. The D3 or D700 will fit the bill perfectly.
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Cory, the D300's high-ISO performance is at least two stop better than the D2X's.

    The Multi-CAM 3500 is complex and therefore takes time to learn. I was and still am happy with AF on the D2X, but
    for shooting sports, the D300 is even a bit better. For AF point selection, there are a few tricks to remember. First of
    all set the warp around option (Custom Setting a7 on the D300) so that you can go from one edge to the opposite
    edge with one press. Remember that pressing the center of the multi-selection pad will put you to the center AF
    point immediately; at least that is an option you can select. On the D700, there is actually an additional button in the
    center of the pad. Finally, you have the option to select all 51 or just 11 (a8). I presonally prefer to have all 51
    available, but if you need to move fast from one end to another, you can.

    The D3 and D700 use the same AF system, but it is actually worst on FX. The 51 AF points cover a very good
    portion of the D300's DX frame. On FX, all 51 points are crowded in the center. In particular, if you shoot a vertical
    portrait, the top part of the frame where the subject's head and eyes tend to be in is not well covered.
  24. I just got my d2x repaired for $400 instead of putting the money into a D300.


    Iso 100 on the d2x is to die for. ISO 100/200 on the D300 is NOT.

    Autofocus points are in sensible places on the D2x for still subjects. The D300 has them positioned for tracking moving subjects.

    If you handle the d2x carefully...best lenses, tripods, mirror-lockup, cable, image sharpness with NO sharpening is significantly better
    than d300.

    That said, I still use my d2x to track flying birds. It's not at all unusable, but in that sort of situation, the d300 will edge it out.

    I use my d2x up to iso 800, occasionally higher. Above 640 or so, the d300 will edge it out.

    Just remember that processing, whether in-camera processing or external processing, is everything. My friend gets noisier pictures from
    his d300 than I get from my d2x at equivalent iso. Why? He sharpens in-camera. I do it later where I can make sure that the noise
    doesn't get sharpened. He adjusts contrast in-camera. I do it later where I can make sure that the noise doesn't get adjusted.
  25. Get the D2x - I use it as my 2nd body at weddings and the results are as ggod as my wife's D300 under similar conditions - you can save a few $$ and not really sacrifice much. I use a D3 as my primary body but mainly for low-light performance in church situations. I have shot shot some daytime US football with the D2x and some indoor basketball with the 135 DC and an SB800 with spectacular results. And I like the feel of the bigger camera. So it really all boils down to a personal choice - financial and ergonomics. --Rich
  26. Wow, that is the first time I've heard the low ISO of the D2X beats the D300. When I looked at both I should have suspected that since I new that Canon went through the same problem a few years ago in trying to attain better high ISO performance. Thank goodness I went with the D2X.

    I suspect that people using cameras are over estimating their requirements for high ISO, and in options like IS and VR. The types of images that require 1/30 sec (handheld) and/or higher than ISO 800 are likely about 2% of situations that 2% of people run into. People spending $1500 on a body usually, and should, have good fast lenses. I have been able to capture night soccer under stadium lighting at f2 ISO 800, which is the high ISO that the D2X seems to match the D300. Granted most people only have f2.8 in this situation so ISO 1600 would have been an advantage but for me that was one soccer game out of 7 years of soccer with 2 kids, about 0.5% of matches. In an indoor swimming pool with f2.8 and ISO 800 I would be able to capture any image I would like since I have not gone beyond ISO 400 yet and usually actually use ISO 100 or 200. I do use fill flash from a powerful flash to provide better colour at swimming events.

    Still, I shoot 99% of my images at ISO 100 including sports.

    To put it more simply, if in fact you have to give up low ISO performance for superior high ISO (beyond 800), then I would evaluate your specific needs very closely! With your f2.8 and flash for fill, I suspect ISO 800 would be plenty. What observations have you made about using your current setup for your night sports? With respect to the D2X crop mode, you are not likely going to shoot in crop mode without knowing it, since the border points are clearly lit. The high frame rate 2x crop factor may actually enable you to use a shorter, faster, sharper lens to frame the image on 6 MP at a lower ISO compared to the D300. The increased resolution from 6 MP to 12 MP is certainly noticeable but not as significant as I anticipated. Your particular shorter zoom may in fact benefit from a 2x crop since you may be cropping down after the fact anyway with a 1.6x crop. Again, what have you found with your current setup? By the way I have been very pleased with keh, having bought a couple of lenses from them in their "ugly" and "bargain" condition. Good luck with your tough decision and let us know how you make out.
  27. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    May I remind everybody this part of Gabe's original post?
    "This would be used for night sports and a SB-800 could be used along with an 80-200 f/2.8 so the ISO wouldn't have to be excessively high, but it would need to be up there."
    Please follow up within the context of the OP instead of providing justification for why you prefer the D2X for totally unreated reasons.
    Otherwise I think Mary has some valid points on the D2X although I am not aware that ISO 100 on the D2X being superior to 200 on the D300. As I said, I have both cameras and it would be trivial for me to test them.
  28. Thank you to everyone and I look forward to any other responses people have. Thank you Shun for clarifying the
    original post, and I have taken great lengths to research both of these and I have a heck of a decision in front of me.

    Mary, as Shun did point out, it was interesting to learn of other good capabilities of the D2X as well as others who
    responded with praise/criticism of it.

    For those interested, with the D80 without a flash I must shoot at no lower than 1600. With a flash around 1000 ISO
    is adequate.
    Aperture: 2.8. Shutter: 250-320 depending on available light. HS stadiums are tombs.

    Please, if anyone else has anything to say, I'm looking for as many opinions as possible and so far you guys have
    been great.

    Thanks much,

  29. Proper exposure along with post processing noise reduction (like Neat Image or Noise Ninja) I have
    averaged acceptable high ISO results with the D2x, but the majority of the images I shoot...and care
    about the most are taken at low ISO. If you want the best high ISO results straight out of the camera, it
    would seem to me the D300 would be the best choice...IMO an extra stop is significant enough
    justification. I actually prefer the heft of the D2x for balance, but there have been many occasions where
    it would have been great to break down the grip for transporting in a smaller bag.
  30. You bet, I have made 8x10 foot trade show display images from my D2x. You have to know how to work the RAW files. Garybart
  31. I have both (D2Xs and D300), D300 is much sharper than D2Xs, please check the link for the detail

  32. Chuanxiao, thanks for that link. What ISO? As you know the base ISOs are not the same.

    I was surprised that even at f8 there is such a difference, and even more so at f11.
  33. All are in best-quality-ISO
    D300 ISO200
    D2Xs ISO100
    S5 ISO100

    I compared my last 5-year photos (Birding), the D2Xs/120-300mm @F2.8 is much worse than Canon Digital Rebel/50-500mm


    Then look at the Popular Photography Magazine Lens Test,


    The 120-300mm F2.8 is useless (F2.8 and F4 is worse than 150-50mm).
  34. Don't confuse oversaturation and excess contrast with sharper. Those d300 bricks are 1) hideously oversharpened and very oversaturated. I don't use the in-camera parameters at all. I set sharpness to 0, contrast to low and saturation to normal. Then I do everything in post processing.

    You've at least got to equalize everything. The in-camera parameters are different on the 2 cameras. The d300 has a lot more processing options if you like to use them. I don't care much for the d2x in-camera processing options. I just work from the raw file, which I neutralize as much as possible.
  35. Mary is right. For average work and to keep work flow faster on average image usage, the in camera settings can do wonders. But if
    you are going to push the pixels, start off with unaltered RAW files. Then in the final steps fix contrast, sharpness, etc. etc.


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