D300s or D7000

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dallas_b., Nov 2, 2010.

  1. Hey guys I was wondering if I could get some advice. I am looking to upgrade my D80 and up until recently I was planning on getting a D7000. I might have the opportunity to get a D300s for the same price as the D7000 so this could change some things. The D300s is basically brand new, it was only used for one client, and is still in perfect condition.
    The main that pulls me towards the D7000 is the video. I know the D300s has 720p video but the D7000 does 1080p with autofocus. On the other hand, most of the video I would be taking would be for some video podcasts which really wouldn't benefit greatly from the extra pixels. Also, I know the D300s is slightly bigger which wouldn't be a problem at all. The camera would be mostly for pleasure but I do take a paying job every once and awhile. I am a huge fan outdoor photography and landscapes but I have also done engagement shoots in the past. Essentially, I am sure the image quality is wonderful for both cameras and I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between either camera in the pictures I would take but I did want to get some outside opinions on what to do. Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Ignoring the video differences (which, as you say, don't amount to much for a typical podcast!), the main issues would be the D300S's more knock-about build and it's more sophisticated auto-focus system (and the higher frame rate). Unless, of course, you really need that extra stop of high ISO performance the D7000 appears to sport. To me, the bigger body's larger physical size is a real asset, since I like that feel in my hands. Unless your experience with the D80 truly points you to some of those differences as being vital, it's hard to imagine going wrong with either body. Of course, you'll only have Nikon's warranty with the D7000, which could be an issue at some point down the road.
     
  3. The main advantage, imho, of the D300s is the slightly better sports capabilities. Sounds like you're not doing that. I'd do the newer camera unless I shot a lot of sports.
     
  4. i think it would very much come down to how the camera feels in your hands. i had a chance to handle (but not shoot) a D7000 this past weekend. very, very nice looking machine, but it just felt small compared with my D300. you may like that, or not. i thought, in particular, that the multi-function wheel was very downsized (to accomodate the live view/video control), so there a lot of compression of the ergonomics going on. the better high ISO capabilities are alluring, but only you can decide whether that in itself is enough to tip the balance. in my case, i didn't see enough there to make an upgrade compelling, while at the same time, i admit that the D7000 is very nice.
     
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    In some ways I think the D7000 is an even better DSLR than the D300S; clearly the technologies are much newer.
    Do you know why they are selling the D300S? The main issue is that Nikon warranties are not transferrable. So regardless how little the D300S has been used, technically you have no warranty, but if you know the original owner, you may be able to get it repaired under their name. Since warranty repairs are not very common, this is probably a small issue but it can be one should you need it.
    Are you keeping the D80? One advantage for the D300S is that it uses the same battery as the D80. The D7000 uses a newer EN-EL15. All three cameras can shoot SD cards.
     
  6. when faced with a similar choice, i chose the d300s.
    but that was because a) i had previously had the d300 (it was stolen) and was spoiled by the AF module and ergonomics; b) had to have it for a shoot and couldn't wait for the d7000 body-only option to become available; and c) i shoot events, concerts and action. also, i still had the grip :).
    moving from a d80, which i have also owned, just about any of nikon's newer bodies will seem like an upgrade. which is to say, either choice is solid. if you like the d80's button layout and size, i'm sure the d7000 will be great for you. it's newer technology and some say it has better low-light performance than d300s.
    OTOH, as Shun points out, using the same battery is a plus. also the d300s has slightly better build and weather-sealing. it's also physically larger, which isn't necessarily a plus but helps balance long lenses.
    but overall, i would say, if you dont need the slightly faster frame rate and superior AF, then the you would probably be tickled pink by the d7000. i bought my d300s new although i could have gotten it cheaper used because i wanted the warranty. that's perhaps less of an issue with a camera which has been out for a while than with a just-released body, but if that's important to you, i would get the d7000. bottom line is, if you dont have a compelling reason to get a d300s, then don't.
     
  7. bms

    bms

    As a D300s owner and previous D80 owner, I know you'll be happy with it. It is very rugged. That being said, I would compare them head to head if you have a chance. Seems like the D7000 improves quite a few areas over the 300s - if I was buying now I'd probably go with the 7k, as I rarely use fast frame rates or AF.
     
  8. I used to have a D80 and never got on with the metering. I now have the D300 and the metering is outstanding. If the D7000 offers the same level of metering performance, I'd probably go for it. Can't remember if the D300s has dual memory card slots or not - very important IMO for paying jobs.
     
  9. So it basically seems like the only thing the D300s has going for it is the ergonomics, if you prefer a bigger camera. The size and button layout are a factor but, in this case, not a deciding factor at all. Do both cameras do about the same in low light? Also, I usually don't do prints larger than 8x10 but if I did would the extra four extra megapixels of the D7000 really make that much of a difference?
    Another some factor is actually finding a D7000! I have some engagement pictures to shoot Sunday so I am kind of rushed. I talked to Best Buy and they said they might get some bodies in Thursday but who knows.
    To answer Shun's question, the original owner is selling the camera because he really just doesn't use it. He got it because a client wanted some video work done and now he really doesn't have any use for it.
     
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The fact of the matter is that some people prefer larger and heavier cameras while some others prefer smaller and lighter cameras. Therefore, whether larger size is an advantage or not is merely a matter of opinions.
    However, if you need another camera quickly, I am afraid that the D7000 will be hard to find for a little while. That was part of the reason Eric Arnold went for a D300S. I checked with B&H yesterday, and apparently they have so many pre-orders in their pipeline such that they are not even accepting any more pre-orders at this point. My local store gave me the story that part of their first D7000 shipment was stolen during transportation so that their supply is less than expectation.
     
  11. Also, I usually don't do prints larger than 8x10 but if I did would the extra four extra megapixels of the D7000 really make that much of a difference?​
    I'd say no. 4Mp really isn't that much and you need very good glass and technique to capture that 16Mp.
    You can make fine 16x24 prints from 12Mp.
     
  12. The D7000 will address many criticisms of the D300. There are so many settings to become familiar with and the custom settings menus you can create around up to four categories of shooting and picture settings sound great, but in the field it is just too complicated....as complex as a D3 which shares these menus. Even Canon have addressed this issue well with their 7D. I had a D300 which I just sold and my own decision now is whether I will get a D7000 (which really is an updated and more easily set up D300 minus some bomb proof stuff), or wait for a good D700 to come along. But if I do that I am left with the settings complexity the D700 shares with the D300 and D3.
    This is a real issue for me because I have reading glasses and I need them to see settings and the LCD etc but not looking through the viewfinder. Changing settings and reshooting and changing settings is a pain for me. Glasses on and off all the time. It slows me down and its one reason why I still shoot with film for its simplicity and absence of having to review each shot in the LCD.
    Looking at eBay last night, there were no used D700's for sale...That says a lot for customer satisfaction.
    I would think its fair to say that when FX from Nikon becomes affordable....say at $1500 - $2000, then its a wise decision to step up to full frame unless you were a sports photographer where DX gets you some more reach, or if you have invested heavily in DX lenses. I sold my DX lenses with the D300, to have a clean sheet from which to make some decisions.
    Perhaps when the D700 is upgraded in mid 2011, thats the time to look for a good used one. But getting back to your question...I'd get the D7000...it will be much easier to use.
     
  13. Shun, do you comments indicate that you still haven't got your D7000 yet?
    First shipments to Australia have been delayed, so I still haven't seen one in the real yet. It makes me think I could be taking lots of shots with my D300s while I wait around for the D7000 to appear at the end of the month.
     
  14. Hey Karen, could I ask you why you are getting a D7000 when you already have a D300s? Are you getting it as a replacement?
     
  15. Hi Dallas. What I was meaning is that I could be taking a lot of shot with my D300s (that I don't currently have but could get immediately) while I wait for the D7000 to even become available, so I can see if I like the feel of it, let alone buy it. I am trying very hard to retire my old D200. Just waiting to work out what I will replace it with. I have been procrastinating about it since I heard the D7000 was coming out a few months ago and knew it was going to be a close call between the D7000 and the D300s.
     
  16. So it basically seems like the only thing the D300s has going for it is the ergonomics, if you prefer a bigger camera.
    ...er, not exactly. when you put it like that, you make the d300s seem like yesterday's newspaper. in fact, it's a hell of a camera, built for demanding in-field use--it's configured for fast action and responsiveness. and, it's still nikon's top of the line DX body.
    while the D7000 does have what appears to be a half-stop to stop of better ISO performance over the d300, or a stop to half-stop worse than the d700, i dont think it has the four-channel processing in the AF system which the d300 and d300s have. if i'm right, that basically means the d7000 is better in low-light--unless you're talking about low-light action. so you can take a cleaner shot at ISO 2500 or 3200, but if your subject's moving, there's a higher probability it will be out of focus. that's why specs and performance are two different things.
    as i said before, though, that may not matter if you do mainly stills and/or dont shoot sports or things that move. the other thing, too, is that the d7000 is more d80/d90-ish in its button and controls placement. if you've never shot with a d200 or 300, this may not matter, but if you have, the cramped button/control placement may feel like a downgrade.
    one thing the d7000 has that the d300 and d300s don't is a lock for AF mode switch. but it still requires a button press and, i believe, a dial turn, which is a two-step process. this will be slower in the field, but again, may not matter if your subject doesn't move.
    I usually don't do prints larger than 8x10 but if I did would the extra four extra megapixels of the D7000 really make that much of a difference?
    the short answer is no, not unless you need more room for cropping. there will be a slight edge in resolution at base ISO but i'm willing to bet you'll see more smearing--loss of fine detail--at higher ISOs. i think you have to double the MP count to get a 50% increase in resolution, so 25% more MPs (in a DX body) seems more like a keep-up-with-Canon move than one grounded in wise engineering decisions.
    D7000 (which really is an updated and more easily set up D300 minus some bomb proof stuff)
    uh, no. according to nikon, the d7000 is neither a d90 nor d300 replacement. it is more consumer-friendly--for example, it has scene modes--but to call it an updated d300 isn't really accurate.
    Looking at eBay last night, there were no used D700's for sale...That says a lot for customer satisfaction.
    actually, shadforth, it doesn't. i looked on ebay two weeks ago, and there were several used d700s. i think p-netter dave lee, for one, sold the d700 and got a second d300.
    when you think about it, the law of averages says there will always be more used copies of cameras which sell at higher volume, i.e. low-end bodies. people were pretty satisfied with the d70 when it came out, but you still see plenty of used ones now, along with d40s, d50s, d60s, and d80s. it's more likely that d700 users who have already committed to full-frame have little choice but to wait for the d700 replacement--if they can't afford the d3x--and are keeping their bodies in the meantime.
    I would think its fair to say that when FX from Nikon becomes affordable....say at $1500 - $2000, then its a wise decision to step up to full frame unless you were a sports photographer where DX gets you some more reach, or if you have invested heavily in DX lenses.
    it's only a wise decision if you have an actual need to go FX. as has been discussed in other threads on this subject, FX lenses generally cost much more to get the same functionality--and there aren't as many good 3rd-party variants. for example, the tamron 17-50/2.8 is $450. the nikon 24-70/2.8 is $1700.
     
  17. in the field it is just too complicated
    hmm, i dont recall that being a major criticism of the d300, which was widely hailed as the best DX camera ever made when it came out. i will say that, coming from a d80, there was a significant learning curve with the d300, but once you've mastered it, it's just a very fluid and intuitive camera. when i got my new d300s i didnt even have to look at the manual, i just set it up in like 10-15 minutes and went out to shoot my assignment.
    that's actually another reason i didnt wait for a d7000, since i was so familiar with the d300/d300s menu and controls. and, that would actually be a reason for me to get a d700, since it's so similar to the d300 and d300s. on my old d300, after setting one custom setting, i basically left it there--i didn't mess with picture controls too much. if i wanted more vibrant colors, i tweaked saturation in Elements.
    one thing that i do appreciate with the d300s over the d300 is the option to set the Fn button to turn Auto ISO off/on. that was one thing i was constantly having to going to menus with on the d300, when switching between flash and available-light. if you could also set the WB to change from K setting/auto-iso on to flash setting/auto-iso off, then it would be even better. as it is now, it's pretty good. the dual memory slots are an improvement, and high-ISOs seem just a smidgen cleaner.
     
  18. Seeing how good the D7000 looks makes me await the successor to the D300s! I would like a smaller camera, at times, but for me image quality is number one hands down. I am sure the D300s replacement will trump the D7000 in terms of overall image quality, and will hopefully have 1080p video at 30fps... For the moment the D300 is very satisfying to me. In a year or so when I have the funds, I may upgrade, or I may just buy the D7000 as a second, smaller body when I want that. But HD video is intriguing to me, so I think I may wait for better specs. Dual card slots would be great if I were shooting professionally, which I am not. But even an important family event warrants a backup card. Ansel Adams always took two frames of an exposure, the second one as a backup (large format camera film holders have two sheets each, one on each side).
     
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Shun, do you comments indicate that you still haven't got your D7000 yet?​
    I haven't even seen one in person yet. A week and half ago, Nikon School was in town and I went over to take a look, but the Nikon rep there with a bunch of demo DSLRs, lenses and point & shoots did not have one with her. I checked a few local stores and none has it in stock. Hopefully Nikon USA will have a new shipment this week.
     
  20. I am sure the D300s replacement will trump the D7000 in terms of overall image quality
    sure, and the Rangers will beat the Giants in 4 games. (apologize to any Texans who might be reading this, but GO SF! WE"RE WORLD CHAMPS!!!!.)
    anyway, who cares about the IQ of a camera which doesn't yet exist?
    actually, Dave, that's something i'm not sure of at all. most nikon DSLRS have pretty great image quality, even some of the low-end models were awesome in terms of IQ. but obviously, a 6mp camera is going to be more limited in terms of resolution--which is different from IQ--than a 10, 12, 14, or 16 mp camera.
    technically, the d80 has better IQ than the d300, due to the CCD sensor, which is apparently less easy to mass-produce than CMOS and also not as good at high ISOs. i got great pics in terms of IQ from the d80, but the metering was wacky (i think someone once referred to it as spot-matrix) and ISO performance above 800 was poor. but when i've shot the d80 and d300 side-by-side in good light or with flash, i can't say the 300 produced better pics, though it's a better camera, spec- and feature-wise.
    my current bodies are d90 and d300s. i could swear the d90 has better IQ than the d300 i used to own, but that could just be stronger NR (which nikon tends to put in its consumer cameras). or maybe it's the anti-aliasing or low-pass filter. whatever. theoretically, the image quality should be identical. it's not, but close enough. now, shooting with the 90 and the 300s side-by-side, i can't tell offhand what camera i've shot with just from IQ. i usually put a w/a on the 90 and a long tele on the 300s, so that's a bit of a giveaway, but in terms of IQ? dead heat.
    in many respects, the d7000 seems like the best of both worlds: mag-alloy body (ok, casing) in a d80/d90 size. i can see why the d7000 would appeal to a lot of folks--basically anyone currently using anything under a d300. and,sure, i might scoop a d7000 when the prices drop to d90 levels, but then again, consistency between bodies-- in terms of near-identical IQ, not to mention file sizes, is a huge plus.
    i love the d300 and d300s build quality and how solid they feel in your hand, but i also like the lighter weight of the d90 for times when i dont want to lug the 300s, plus the fact i can swap batteries with the 300s. from a pure shooter's standpoint, it might make more sense for me to keep the d90/300s combo and get a d700 next for max versatility as far as configuration for different assignments and less confusion as far as button placement, etc. that way, i could go DX, FX, DX/DX or DX/FX depending on the situation. (or i could just say eff it and get a GF1 with the 20/1.7....)
    if you dont need a new body right now, it might be worthwhile waiting until next year's announcements and then picking from what should be a plentiful harvest.
    but as far as the d300 replacement? you don't award the World Series trophy in the first inning of game one. (oops, sorry again, Texans. hey, how 'bout that Cliff Lee?)
    the x factor in all this is, we don't know what sensor nikon will use in the d300 replacement. will it be the 16mp d7000 sensor, or something with more MP? personally, i'm ok with 12mp on a DX body. i haven't printed larger than 16x20, i bet i could go up a size or two higher. i'm a little leery of the possibilities of an 18 or 20mp DX sensor--at that point, i'd probably want to go full-frame--but apparently nikon's wizards put some strong juju into the d7k which makes it less noisy than a lower-mp camera. hmph. go figure.
    and, speaking of strong juju, i kind of miss les' snarky comments (in case you couldn't tell). come back, mr. jenkins! we have perpendicular objects which need consulting!
     
  21. Check out Thom Hogan's comparison images between D7000 and D90. The comments and images are first impressions.
    Note, some testing has suggested that the D90's image quality has some small advantage over the D300, though essentially the same sensor.
    If image quality and low light sensitivity matter, you decide. I believe D7000 also meters with manual lenses, something that previously required DXXX level or higher Nikon DSLR to obtain. For me, weather sealing is a big deal that favored the D300. However, D7000 has weather sealing too.
    http://www.bythom.com/2010%20Nikon%20News.htm
     
  22. If I had the choice to make I'd get the D7000. Smaller, better video and (in general) newer technology.
     
  23. The Nikon D7000 offers at least a one stop high ISO performance advantage over the D300(s). To me, that's more important than the slightly better AF, stronger build etc of the D300. Also the D7000 captures more detailed images then the D300. The grain of the D7000 is very fine and can be removed easilly. It all depends on your personal preferences.
     
  24. I say get what your pocket book will afford and get what your skills will handle and base your decision on what you want to do with your camera. I lot of people will help you spend your money that's for sure. I say look at ebay today as there are a lot of used D700's on there, buy one of those.
     

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