D3 vs. D700 which is best for only natural lighting only situations?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by stacie_spradlin, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. I like to do weddings and portraiture both in and out of studios.. However, I have always been a single light source shooter. I usually like to use the existing lighting for my pictures.. I am not a pro by no means and have tried to make money and have shooting weddings and portraits and love it, however, I have been using a D80 with simple lens set up and two nicer lenses. nikon 50mm F1.8 and a 10-17mm F3.5 I believe, not sure as I am not up with the techs on stuff. I am a little "old school" and only recently used digital starting in 2007. But I have used film large formats in studio using only single light portraits and loved them.. I would like to know this... I am able to upgrade to a nicer nikon D. So, with saying this.. I need to know which is better for no light or low, dim lighting situations which will be able to do what I need it to and still come out with some awesome night wedding photos or portraits that have little or no noise with extreme ISO's? & saying this with the so-so lenses I have, what do I need to buy to help accomplish this with the cameras before me? I have a friend that has done some awesome night long exposure shots with a canon, so I am not really wanting a canon. What in the nikon world would accomplish this for me? Most of the places I shoot are limited, no lighting or bad lighting and reflections.. thanks... I would like to do more photography jobs and so I really need to get my nikon set-up accomplished. Can you help..? Here are a few of my photos on my website---
    www.dwoodstudio.com
     
  2. Oh and what I mean by "old school" is this. I have a couple of dials and I turn them check lighting and click the pic.. Not used to all the high tech stuff and lens ranges. Most of the time the film format cameras of old had only a couple of lenses and the range was what you made it by focusing and moving yourself and the camera.. LOL.. so sorry I may be messed up when it comes to specifics.. thanks..
     
  3. D3 vs. D700 which is best for only natural lighting only situations?

    I need to know which is better for no light or low, dim lighting situations​
    You are asking two different questions.
    Regardless, the D3 and D700 share the same sensor...so no difference in that regard.
     
  4. either camera will be a major step up from your D80 for low- and limited-lighting situations. indeed, they both share the same "insides," so image quality is practically identical. what the D3 offers over the D700 is a more "pro" build, but what you get out of it would be no better than with a D700.
    this is speaking about the D3, however, NOT the new D3s, which blows the socks off other nikons that came before it. now, there is a camera that we could only dream about before...
    read the info in the link provided by stan schurman -- it's what you want to know, and will help you make an informed choice.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

  6. Not used to all the high tech stuff and lens ranges​
    Well; if you prefer not to have hi-tech, don't get either camera as both are high tech with a lot of features.
     
  7. Hi Stacie,
    The best performer in low light is the new D3s... But if you are not in the budget for it, you can do very well with D700. I shoot events mostly in available light (sometime very poor) and I do quite well with D700. What I'd recommend you very strong, in order to maximize the potential of your new D whatever will be is to plan add a few primes that are at least equal in importance with a new pro camera.
    Nikon 50mm/f1.2 AIs - if you don't like MF lenses (I cann't believe that an "old school person" doesn't like those gems...) you can pick Sigma 50mm/f1.4 without to go wrong...
    Nikon 85mm/f1.4 AF-D
    Nikon 135mm/f2 DC
    For wide angle I use for now a Sigma 24mm/f1.8 and I dream for a Zeiss 21mm/f2.8 sometime in future. But Sigma is very decent for events... I have no complaints.
    Sometimes, when I need a longer reach I put in my bag Nikon 180mm/f2.8 and that's it!
    I don't say to purchase all of these lenses... you may not need all... but definitely you have to upgrade a little bit your stuff to balance well with your new camera.
     
  8. For that matter, the D5000 & D90 have the same sensor as the D700 and D3.
     
  9. For that matter, the D5000 & D90 have the same sensor as the D700 and D3.​
    Uh, no. The D5000 and D90 are DX sensors and the other two are FX sensors.
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D3 and D700 use a Nikon-designed sensor that is used on no other camera, Nikon or otherwise. Even the D3S has a different, and improved, sensor.
    The D90 and D5000 use the same Sony sensor.
     
  11. the d700 has the same low-light performance as a d3.
    for a FX camera, the most useful focal range would be a 24-70.
    and almost any lens will work for long exposure, the key is a good tripod and cable release.
     
  12. I was referring to the megapixels, but point taken.
     
  13. What is the real difference between the D3 and D3s? The only thing I noticed was one had video and the other doesn't which doesn't concern me.. Thanks for the inputs and I will probably end up going for the D3, but not sure.. would rather spend the money on sweet lenses than the body but need something that I won't want to change out for several years or so..
     
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D3S has these additional capabilities over the D3:
    • Improved sensor with about an extra 1 to 1.5 stops of high-ISO results. Rated ISO goes from 200 to 12800 (vs. 6400 for the D3/D700)
    • Video mode with still JPEG capture from video. Also comes with that a dedicated button for live view, but that Lv button is in a very awkward position.
    • Larger memory buffer, about twice as big as the original D3 and D700
    • Auto sensor cleaning
    • Quiet shutter mode
    • New 1.2x crop mode in addition to DX crop and 5:4 crop
    • Dedicated Info button
    • Display of custom settings as a summary across the bottom of the back LCD (I believe the D3 doesn't have those)
     
  15. Auto sensor cleaning
    Didn't the D700 come with that but the D3 did not?
     
  16. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D300, D300S, and D700 have auto sensor cleaning, but the D3 and D3X do not. Now the D3S has it also.
     
  17. The battery for the D3 is a "tank." The battery for the D700 is the same size as you have been using for your D80.
    If you can live with ISO 6400 (i.e., low noise) -- the D700 will do you well on a low-light wedding event. The lens you use would have to include how steady your hands are, or if you use a monopod or tripod.
    If you really enjoy a heavy camera, the D3 is that.
     
  18. You'll love the FF for your weddings, for sure. If it was me, I'd start by renting either a D3 or D3s and shoot with it for a long day around the city or something (emulating a long day wedding shoot). If at the end of the day (or a couple days later) you're hating the weight or size then go with the D700 and at least three batteries, you'll be very happy you did.

    If you love the D3/D3s then start weighing the pros/cons of the extra features vs the much costlier bodies and their costly accessories. I shoot a D3 and love the features (like 5:4, speed, dual card) and especially battery life, but I also like the large frame and don't mind the weight. I find I can work much faster with the D3, but that mostly comes into play with sports and wildlife. People are a bit slower and more predictable.

    If I were you and I really wanted the D3/D3s but really can't justify the cost over the D700, then think about a low click used D3 vs a new D700 and put the extra $$$ into some nice primes. There's still some D3's out there that are in like new shape and you might get one for the same cost as a new D700, or a few hundred more. Those f1.4 and f2.0 lenses will do more for you in the long run than a costly body. Think total wedding solution, not just body.

    If you have money to burn, get the D3s and some nice primes. You'll be very happy.
     
  19. Stacie, once you jump on the Digital Gravy Train, you'll find that it is an expensive ride. I wish I had the opportunity to buy the D700 over the D3, but there was no such thing at the time. The D700 is lighter and smaller, and the current D cameras aren't worth the premiuim they once were. The premium is a lot more than it used to be, however the D cameras are no where near as well made as they were at their peak - F3, F4, and F5...probably the F6 but I can't vouch for that. Just be aware Stacie that you aren't buying a camera like your large format rigs. These digicams are essentially disposable cameras, so the more you spend, the more you'll lose end the end.
     
  20. The D3 is very well made and I prefer it over my D700 (just). The weight issue is not an issue IMHO. If we're that weak we can't carry around a D3 that weighs only marginally more than the D700 (and less when the D700 has a battery grip attached) then we need to look seriously at our physical condition. If you do weddings then the dual card slot of the D3 is a good sales pitch to prospective clients, although in reality a CF card failure from a Sandisk is highly unlikely. Go for a used mint condition, low shutter count D3.
     
  21. I have both cameras (the D3 and D700) and I tend to use the D3 mostly for people photography because of its integral vertical grip (obviously the D700 also can take an accessory vertical grip). Also the D3 is good in wintertime because the battery lasts (almost) forever; with the D700 in -10 C temperatures I frequently have to take off my L-bracket and replace the battery because of its lower capacity (probably not relevant to you). However, for the most part they are very close in functionality.
    If you can afford the D3, you probably can afford the D3s also. It offers improvements (e.g. sensor shaker, video, better SNR, improved sensor optics which allegedly results in slightly sharper images) which may be worthwhile for your applications. Although the big body might seem like a deterrance I have found it to be very ergonomic for vertical shooting and actually think it helps keep my back healthy when photographing long events mostly without flash. When using a hot shoe flash on the camera, the extra weight does tend to become a burden. The D700 allows the option of no vertical grip but it has some annoyances such as a 95% viewfinder and somewhat clumsy use of the 24 PC-E (which is not strictly necessary for weddings but useful for getting perspective corrected images of e.g. the church, adding a nice touch).
    In summary I think either camera would work and give a huge advantage in low light over the D80. If you want to save money and/or the option of shooting with a lighter body, get the D700. If you want the best IQ money can buy, integrated vertical grip, 100% viewfinder and video, get the D3s. At this point I would not buy a new D3.
     
  22. Just be aware Stacie that you aren't buying a camera like your large format rigs. These digicams are essentially disposable cameras, so the more you spend, the more you'll lose end the end.
    I have to agree, yet, where I live here in Austin Texas. Everyone is an artist and so it is really challenging to try to get your foot in the door so to speak in making money without having the best equipment and here, most people have the cash to flow for the expensive stuff.. I on the other hand want to get the most for my money and that is why I have been really reluctant to go digital.. until I found it cost more to do film and most people don't want to see there proofs in person, they would rather go online, pick them, buy them and never see your face again... We have lost our professional personal attention we once had as photographers.. which kind of sucks.. but hey, I will go with the flow and so that is why I have been in such debate on these bodies for the reason stated above... I will however, take the advice of renting them.. They have precision camera here and they rent out bodies and lenses at a decent cost per day.. I will do that first and then decide.
    I don't mind the weight as I am used to holding medium formats (old) that are heavy and very still.. so I have a pretty steady hand.. but the pros of the D3s are attractive for the use of extra memory and such... but I just think I hate to spend $5K on it.. I have not ever had to spend soo much for a camera and I guess I am a penny pincher that way LOL...
    I will keep everyone informed as to what I decide on and I will then post some photos from the camera I decide on so that way I can show why I chose the camera.. I really do need one for night photography and poor lighting situations.. or dim candlelight styles..
    Thanks again for all your support.. :)
     
  23. BTW: does anyone recommend a place to buy my camera once I decide on it.? I am looking at that as well.. Who offers pretty good customer service, warranty guarantees that are easy to deal with (just in case I drop it in the water or spill champagne on it LOL). Let me know, I would love to hear the feedback. Thank You :)
     
  24. Stacie, if you want to buy retail, in person, then Precision is certainly OK. They're nice to deal with if you have problems, and they know enough to answer questions about your camera after you've bought it. You'll pay sales tax, of course, but at least they try to match the price (before tax) you'll get from reputable online stores (Adorama, B&H). And you can carry it home right away.
     
  25. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Stacie, on a related note, if you are going to buy a D3S or D700, which lenses do you have to use with that camera? Do you need to buy additional lenses?
     
  26. Stacie I would look at my camera selection with care for the price of a new D3s you could buy 5 new D90's it's not all about the money either size the way it feels in your hands all play a part in your selection,just because it is the most exp. Nikon dosen't make it the best for your needs IMHO...
     
  27. Ty Mickan [​IMG], Jan 14, 2010; 03:27 a.m.
    ............The premium is a lot more than it used to be, however the D cameras are no where near as well made as they were at their peak - F3, F4, and F5...probably the F6 but I can't vouch for that...............​
    I'm curious as to why you left out the F2 or even the F for that matter. Their mechanical quality and reliablilty are the stuff of legends. My F2's were made in 1973 and 1975 and they are just as reliable today as they were 30 plus years ago. And I only get them CLA'd every 3 or 4 years. And I could use them to smash nearly every single digital camera made toda into little tiny pieces, regardless of price. And the F2, unlike all the cameras you did mention, does not become a pretty paperweight when the batteries die. 10 years from now, my F2's will still be going strong and my D700 would have been in the trash for several years I am sure.
     
  28. Stacie I would look at my camera selection with care for the price of a new D3s you could buy 5 new D90's it's not all about the money either size the way it feels in your hands all play a part in your selection,just because it is the most exp. Nikon dosen't make it the best for your needs IMHO...
    I understand that totally. I am definitely looking for something that fits what I need, and so that is why my D80 is no longer a good fit for me. I don't like the back focus problem and that it does not do well in low light situations, as I have found out even when using my nikon 50mm F1.8. I get a lot of noise and pictures that only end up looking good in black and white.. So I figure a step up to a professional level so that I don't have to go switching cards and making sure I have enough batteries that are charged all the way to last me through a 10 hour day of shooting.. cause it takes like 2 hours to charge one of the battery packs.. also the memory and back up cards are nice.. this saves me time too..


    Stacie, on a related note, if you are going to buy a D3S or D700, which lenses do you have to use with that camera? Do you need to buy additional lenses?
    Shun, on the above statement, I am not sure, but I am certain I will have to buy new lenses for these cameras because of my D80 and the D3s or D700 have different fittings.. Am I correct? I figure I will invest in two good portrait/wedding lenses so that will cover for what I need right now and later look into a wide angle like a 10mm for the fun pics I want to take at weddings and such.. What is recommend for either camera for portrait or wedding photographs.. ???
    Thanks and I value everyone's feedback and knowledge, it helps greatly. :)
     
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Folks, please remember that Stacie is asking about D3 vs. D700 for natural lighting (or more like available, low light) situations. If you would like to discuss the reliability among F series film SLRs, please start your own thread for that separate topic.
    Thanks for your cooperation.
     
  30. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Stacie, I just wanted to make sure you are aware that after dropping $5K on a D3S, you'll also need lenses. There are different ways to play this but one way is to get the common 24-70mm/f2.8 and 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR, preferably version 2. Therefore, potentially you could be talking about another $4K on lenses. OTOH, some people may suggest getting some manual-focus lenses for a lot less.
    Which lenses to get with a D700 is another topic that has been discussed and debated, and it probably should be another thread. I just want to make sure that we understand the $5K for some D3S is not the end of the story here.
     
  31. Stacie, I just wanted to make sure you are aware that after dropping $5K on a D3S, you'll also need lenses. There are different ways to play this but one way is to get the common 24-70mm/f2.8 and 70-200mm/f2.8 AF-S VR, preferably version 2. Therefore, potentially you could be talking about another $4K on lenses. OTOH, some people may suggest getting some manual-focus lenses for a lot less.
    Which lenses to get with a D700 is another topic that has been discussed and debated, and it probably should be another thread. I just want to make sure that we understand the $5K for some D3S is not the end of the story here.
    Ok, I understand that I will have to buy lenses..
    This is what I currently have in lenses.. (I understand I have some crap lenses, so don't give me too hard of time about them.. At the time it was all I could afford LOL)
    Nikon 18-55mm DX F3.5/AF
    Tameron 19-35mm F3.5/AF
    Sigma Macro 50mm/ F2.8 AF
    Nikon 55-200mm DX AF
    Nikon 50mm F1.8 AF
    I have seen recommendations of : 24-70mm nikon, 70-200mm f2.8, 24mm f1.8, 85mm f1.4 AF-D, 135mm f2 DC, 21mm f2.8 Ziess, and 180mm f2.8 long reach lens...
    I would like to narrow this down to 2 or 3 good lenses so that I can cover what I need it for (low light, night, no lighting, natural, bad lighting and for all the other fun daytime shots, bridal outdoors in bright sun, etc, etc.)
    Any ideas would be great and is there a difference of what the D3 series takes vs. what the D700 takes.. Are there different fittings for these..? I really wish Nikon would make there lenses more universal between models.. as I am totally confused at this point LOL.. :)
    I think from my opinion that the 24mm and the 85mm would be good and 70-200mm but not sure.. what do you all think?? & will these work on a D3series? Thanks
     
  32. The D3 and D700 work with the same lenses, and any given lens will work the same way on either of those cameras. The two 50mm lenses in your list will also work just fine on a D3 or D700. The Tamron 19-35 will, too, if it's a full-frame (not DX) lens.
    The two Nikon zooms you mention will work on a D3 or D700, but they are really meant for the smaller sensor of a DX camera, so they don't make an image on the whole frame -- the corners will be dark at most settings. The D700 can switch to a cropped sensor mode with the DX lenses, but that only gives you 5 Mpixel images and doesn't take full advantage of the camera's capabilities.
     
  33. I started reading this thread and then realized how LONG it has become! LOL!
    I don't know if this has been mentioned or not, but one advantage that the D3 has over the D700 is the dual memory card slots. Is that worth the extra $2k? Answer that question after card has failed while shooting a wedding. When shooting for $$, I don't believe there's any substitute for being able to back up my images in camera while I'm working.
     
  34. Thank you John for letting me know about my lenses. I will probably use a couple of them and just keep the rest for use with my D80 as a back-up lenses and camera digital unit. Yes, Wes I think that the extra card slot is weighing heavy on my mind. Although someone earlier stated that the death rate for a sandisk card is very slim. However, I would love to have the extra cards ready just in case, so I don't have to stop and reload so to speak. :) I will be going to Precision Camera this next week when our weather is a tad bit nicer. It is really nasty here and wet. I would love to go to the park with my 4yr old and my new 1.5 month old baby and take some pictures of them, to test out the capabilites of the D3s. If it seems like too much I will probably be heading in the D700 area. My husband thinks that since I have the money to "blow" so to speak on a camera, that I ought to get the one that I love the most.. so he really is no help. LOL.
    But my question still remains if the lenses I have will work then what other lenses should I add to my mix to help utilize the benefits of the cameras themselves for what I am shooting OR should I splurge on wide angle I have been wanting. A 10mm...Any opinions are greatly taken into consideration.
    Oh, and by the way, I love that this thread is long; as it really opens the doors for many people who might be like me and not totally understand all this stuff but is not a newbie to photography and digital cameras but just cant make out all of the hub about what is good for what and so on...
    I hope it keeps someone else from thinking they know what they need and end up blowing money on what they may not need and regret it.. :)
     
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Stacie, I am currently using a D3S and I like it a lot. However, I am not paying for it since it is only a loaner from Nikon to photo.net for evaluation. Other than the few improvements I listed above, it is very similar to the D3 and also the D700. I would suggest you take a look at photo.net's D3 review: http://www.photo.net/equipment/nikon/D3/D3-review as well as other reviews. While I am not a regular wedding photographer, I shot a wedding to gain some experience with the D3 for such applications.
    One issue to keep in mind is that while the D3S is a $5000+ DSLR now, just like any other electronics and computers, its value will drop rapidly in 2, 3 years when something better comes along. You'll likely lose 50% of your "investment" in a couple of years. That is why I think we are better off spending more money on lenses than DSLR bodies, unless money is completely a non-issue to you.

    About a year and half ago, I came very close to getting a D3 but eventually bought a D700 since it is smaller and cheaper. My opinion is that the memory card failure issue is greatly exaggerated in forums such as this one. In 7+ years of shooting digital, I have yet to lose one image due to card failure. During the film era I lost a few rolls either in the mail or due to lab errors. The problem with the D700 now is that it is late in its production cycle; I would imagine that sometime new will replace it within 2010.
     
  36. In 7+ years of shooting digital, I have yet to lose one image due to card failure. During the film era I lost a few rolls either in the mail or due to lab errors. The problem with the D700 now is that it is late in its production cycle; I would imagine that sometime new will replace it within 2010.
    I agree with the card loss.. I haven't had any problems with mine yet. I think I have heard rumors that Nikon will be bringing out a new D700(s,x) or something in the future but I am not sure and I am not waiting. They will probably overprice it as they have done with the D3x. I really like the extra card slots for the D3s.. Does it just do back-up pics on the extra slots or can you like use all the cards and have no back-up pics saved? How does that work exactly? Should I start a thread on what kind of lenses to get with the D series?
     
  37. But when you have a card problem during an wedding..., believe me : it's a DISASTER. It happened to me in aug 2008 .
     
  38. Does it just do back-up pics on the extra slots or can you like use all the cards and have no back-up pics saved? How does that work exactly?
    You can configure the D3 to work with the dual card slots in one of 3 different ways: 1) In-camera backup. The camera writes the same image to both cards at the same time; 2) Overflow. As soon as you fill one card the camera will automatically start writing to the second card; and 3) Write JPEG to one card and RAW to the other at the same time.
    As for whether or not "card failure is greatly exaggerated in forums such as this...." I never said that card failure is likely - only that it's a possibility. When I'm shooting for $$ I like the peace of mind knowing that I have that safety net that the dual card slots provide. I can just imagine shooting a wedding, having a card fail ½ way through, lose the images, and get sued. Likely? Not really. Possible? Yes. When irreplaceable images are on the line, nothing beats having that automatic backup. YMMV.
     
  39. Steve Huff tested the D3s.
    http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2010/01/12/the-nikon-d3s-review/
    Strangely enough, this Leica photographer feels the D3s is a bit heavy ... ;-)
     
  40. I'm new to this forum (no time, usually) but since I have owned a D700 for the past year and a half, I thought I'd chime in. First off, I do cave photography, meaning that I haul the camera and all my flash gear, slaves, tripods, flashbulbs and various and sundry other items on my back up and down pits, through crawlways, etc. Not exactly a great place to take a camera. As such, I didn't want to take a heavier and way more expensive camera into a cave for fear of damage. Caves are very humid and as such can ultimately affect the camera if left in that environment unprotected for too long. I use ziplock freezer baggies to protect it and place a desiccant canister in it to suck up the moisture. This also brings up one other issue that I don't think anybody mentioned (I just skimmed the responses) which is that the D3 does not have a built-in flash like the D700 does. There's a hotshoe on it for attaching an external flash, but no built-in one. As such, you talk about shooting in low light or single light conditions. Since there's no built-in flash, you would have to carry even more stuff to have a fill flash for your camera.
    One other issue which was mentioned briefly is that is that of all your lenses, only a few of them would have practical applications on either choice of camera. Several of your lenses are DX lenses, meaning that the image circle that falls on the larger full frame sensor will only give you a much smaller image, equivalent to about 5 or 6 megapixels, no better than your D 80 camera gives you already. You can still use them, but beware that they won't do what you might think they will. I nearly made the mistake of buying a lens that seemed highly recommended and had a lower price until I realized that it was a DX lens. Glad I caught that before making a useless investment.
    Conversely, you can use a lot of old manual lenses on your D700 or D3 if you have them. As a former film shooter, I had collected a whole bunch of lenses over the years that worked on my Nikon film camera. These days, those prime lenses are coming in really handy. They're mostly Nikon lenses, but I recently bought a used Sigma 50mm macro lens for taking a photo of one formation in a New Mexico cave in particular that begged for a super closeup. I was VERY glad to have it as it took about 8 hours to reach it, many of those hours spent on rope in a five hundred foot deep pit. The things I do...... BTW, I bought the 24 - 70 mm f 2.8 lens for an additional $1800 and use it nearly all the time. Excellent lens.
    But I digress. For me, the D 700 is a perfect camera for my needs. I shoot a lot in full manual mode so I don't really need some of the bells and whistles that come with bigger, more expensive cameras. I've never had a Sandisk memory card fail on me yet. I carry a bunch of them as I'd much rather have a bunch of smaller ones (2 - 4 gig) than one huge (32 gig) card to work with. I should add that there are some exceptional things in the D 700 that I can now never do without. For example, virtual horizon, auto sensor cleaning, exposure delay, auto bracketing, remote operation, etc. Those thing alone made it worth the expense, never mind that it's the best camera I've ever owned in 41 years of shooting in caves.
    I agree with those who say buy the D 700 and put the money saved into some good glass. Sell your DX lenses on eBay and maybe even buy some used FX lenses in return. I've bought several used lenses from a place in Lake Worth, Florida when i go down there every year for a month or so. They've been great and have worked really well for my needs. No matter which camera you buy, it will only be as good as the glass you put on it.
    Hope that helps and good luck with whatever decision you make.
    Peter Jones
    Shot in the Dark Cave Photography
    pjcaver.com
    00VY8u-211867684.jpg
     
  41. Hi there, I have both the D3 and D700 which I use with the MB-D10 battery grip so I use the same batteries for both. My most useful lenses are the 24-70 and 14-24 f2.8 AF-s Nikkors. I sold almost all my DX stuff to go fully FX and I do not regret it one bit. I kept a D100 which I had converted to an Infrared camera. For low light photography I find the D3 and D700 to be the same. If I was in the market again I would choose the D3 simply because I love the ergonomics of it. I use the 5x4 image setting in the D3 most of the time and I would appreciate the sensor cleaning being built in that the D700 has. As for the 12800 ISO of the D3s - I think it is a noisy as stink and a gimmick that has not really been perfected yet - 6400 ISO on the D3 and D700 are very good. Your DX lenses will work on the D3 or D700 but turn them into DX cameras which is a waste of the FX format so you will need new lenses IMHO. I agree that for low light work you will need a good tripod but I assume you have one from you larger format work.
     
  42. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    As for the 12800 ISO of the D3s - I think it is a noisy as stink and a gimmick that has not really been perfected yet - 6400 ISO on the D3 and D700 are very good.​
    Andrew, that is a very strong statement on the D3S. I wonder how much experience you have with that particular camera?
     
  43. The D3s is a full stop cleaner than the D3/D700. Back OT...
    The D3 has better AWB, faster AF, and a tad nicer files than the D700.
    It was their top of the line and does things the D700 doesn't do quite as well.
    Nitpicking here but there IS a difference. Having run 100K images thru
    each, I grab the D3 for the more difficult captures...gotta love choices. ;)
     
  44. The D3 and D700 are the low-light champions because of the size (pitch) of their CCD pixels, providing undetectable noise at ISO3200 and nearly undetectable at ISO6400, with capacity to go beyond that in the most extreme conditions. Both bodies have exactly the same CCD sensor and processor, so your consideration between them will be mostly a consideration of:
    speed (D3 is faster, but only so much so that sports action would make a difference),
    cost (D3 nearly $1500 more),
    memory storage (D3 allows two CF cards to the D700's one, but with 8 and 16GB and 32GB CF cards, this is not much of a factor),
    size (D3 considerably larger and heavier, unless you add the MD10 battery pack to the D700),
    flash (D3 has none, as the D700 has a built-in, which combined with it's low-light capability, can be used with -1 to -2 compensation to provide just fill light. Built-in flash can be set for commander in Nikon's CLS lighting system,
    view (D3 gives 100%, compared to the D700 96% viewfinder coverage)
    and CCD cleaning (the D3 has none, as the D700 does, which is why its viewfinder is not 100% coverage, and the cleaning can be set to automatically actuate when the camera is turned on, off, or both on and off, as well as manually actuated with no auto activation.)
    The factors weight for the D700, unless you will be involved with fast-moving subjects.
    To take advantage of the excellent low-light capability of either body, you will want lenses with maximum apertures of at least f/2.8. Faster lenses will allow you to isolate on subjects, due to the very limited depth of field they have wide open, requiring careful consideration of the alignment of the focal plane. Preferable lenses for this are the f/2.0 - f/1.2, which are much more expensive.
    Older, but more durable manual-focus, fast lenses (AI or AIS to be sure you have Nikon NIC coatings) will give the same optical performance as AF lenses and cost half of the equivalent AF lens, and can be entered into either body's menu system to allow Aperture-Priority, in-camera metering and matrix metering. These include the 35mm f/1.4, 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.2, 55mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.4, and 105mm f/1.8 (the 2.5 is very good and less expensive than the 1.8).
    In AF, the 85 f/1.8 is a very affordable fast lens, while the 105 and 135 f/2 are much more expensive. All are excellent.
    For weddings, the D700 with a 50mm f/1.4 would be the choice if only one fast lens. You should be taking two camera bodies to a paid wedding though, in which case the ideal would be two D700 bodies, one with the AF17-35 f/2.8 zoom, and the other with the 85mm f/1.8 mounted. The zoom is expensive, but is, IMHO, indispensable, in most any venue, aside from weddings.
    If you can't afford two D700 bodies, then use the 85 f/1.8 (or 1.4) on the D700 (105 and 135 are too much tele for many wedding situations) and put a wide-angle zoom on the DX body, at least f2.8 fixed aperture, or a 35mm fixed (f/2 are pretty fast and affordable) if you can't afford the DX zoom. You can also, if you have one, use a medium format as the second body, in which case, you should use a wide on the D700 and a portrait tele on the MF (clients usually want large blow-ups of portraits, which are better from MF film than digital, but OK with the D700 if you can go with two to use a port-tele lens on one of them).
    You really don't want to be having to change lenses at paid wedding shoots, so don't even think about one camera and two or three lenses.
    Good luck.
     

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