D700, D3 still relevant as a new purchase?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dennisbarnett, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. First, the background... I use an F5 for my film photography, a D7100 for my everyday digital, and a Fujifilm XT-1 for my travel work. I typically shoot landscape, travel, abstract, macro, color compositions; very rarely will I photography anything moving. Not interested in sports, weddings, etc. If you see my gallery, you'll see the kind of work that I do.
    I'd like a full-frame camera, but I don't want to break the bank. I have enough good Nikon glass to justify the move. If I'm not looking for the newest, most bells-and-whistles, Nikon camera, I see that D700s and D3s can be had for very good prices. I see they're both "only" 12MP, and they've always seemed like great cameras. Are these two still considered worthwhile purchases or are they so dated that I might be wasting my time with one?
    Your comments are appreciated.
  2. I bought the D3s second hand two years ago. I use it primarily for moving (but not fast-moving) objects in low light. Or, I should say, those are the kinds of situations where it has few peers. I actually shoot it during the day as well and on non-moving subjects. It is made for speed, however, and so there are other cameras that can do better at slow speed and with plenty of light. It is, however, one tough camera in terms of build and overall quality.
    On the other hand, I have been using the D800E more and more, especially when there is plenty of light. I simply love the high resolution, which the D3s certainly does not have. This shot was made one-handed while driving about fifty-five miles an hour down a country road. The shutter speed was 1/8000 sec. (I turned the ISO up some to bump the shutter speed up.)
  3. Just saw the D700 for $800. No idea whether that's a good price (58K actuations), as I'm not looking to purchase. Anyway, it's a lighter of the two models (why I did chose one). Both cameras are quite solid and very capable....and stats on them are all over the net. This was my first serious camera after F2....and I have many images to reflect upon how great of a performer this camera was. That doesn't change anything, even though several new models arrived since then.
  4. Are these two still considered worthwhile purchases or are they so dated that I might be wasting my time with one?
    It very much depends who you ask, and what exact advantages you hope for. It can be argued that they are dated; the D7100 has nearly the same high ISO performance, same AF (basically), and more megapixels, for less money; plus it's lighter and smaller. The D800 outclasses the D700 in pretty much any respect; the D3 is F5-large and heavy: not for everyone, its main problem is the D3s which is quite a bit better again.
    Yet, I cannot bring myself to replace my D700 for another DSLR. It is still a terrific sturdy body, ergonomically fitting me like a glove, I love the quality files I can get from it and the larger viewfinder alone makes it better than any APS-C DSLR to me. Since I exceed ISO1600 once a year only, the D700 suffices there, and 12MP is also enough for perfectly fine A3+ prints, and my printer doesn't do larger. I like that it has top notch AF (still), even if I shoot manual focus 90% of the time - I like having it there. So, for my needs, it is still a perfect match, and while the D810 is attractive, it isn't good enough more to make me spend the extra cash on it.
    So, there isn't one answer, I think. I would, however, in your case take a good look at the D610 too; given you shoot statcic subjects, its inferior AF is less of an issue, it handles much like your D7100 and it is a bit less dated, and not too expensive. Could be a nice option.
  5. For most images, 12mp is all you need if you are shooting with the right focal length so you don't need to crop. Features and build quality wise, both the D700 and D3 are still excellent even by today's standards. IQ wise, the D3/D700s will render IQ almost as good as many of Nikon's current bodies, especially if you are using the right glass. When it comes to high iso performance, The D3/D700 still offer an advantage over Nikon's latest DX bodies (by about a stop) and are at only a slight disadvantage over Nikon's latest FX bodies. Even the D810 has only modest improvements over the D810 in high ISO performance.
    To clarify, I am not saying the D3/D700 are as good as the newest bodies like the D810, just that under most shooting situations except for the most extreme, it would be difficult to see differences if you are shooting RAW and processing with advanced software (like DXO, for example). But if you are making a 6' poster or pixel peeping, yes you will find differences. But for most 'typical' prints, you will not be able to see the differences
    Software advances, especially in NR such as DXO prime, are really a game changer. While I rarely need to shoot at high ISO because I have fast glass, I get excellent results because I shoot RAW and process with DXO.
    you can view the various comparisons from DXO here:
    And while there are differences in the numbers, it would be difficult to see these difference in typically sized prints.
    FWIW, I had the D800 for about a year and although I was satisfied with it, I found it just wasn't that much better IQ wise and preferred the ergonomics and features of the D3. I sold it and kept and still have my D3.
  6. Attachment here
  7. Keep in mind that the improvement in Color Depth and Dynamic range are most apparent at base ISO and diminish as the ISO increases and pretty much even out as you go above ISO 400. Even at base ISO, it would be difficult to see any differences in typically sized prints.
  8. I recently purchased a second-hand D700 to replace my old D300, which finally died. The D700 perfectly fits *my* needs:
    It's built to a rugged professional standard. It has a built-in flash, which I frequently use in Commander mode when shooting clubs and things. 12 megapixels is quite sufficient for my purposes--I've printed 20x30 inches from the D300, and those looked very good indeed; at more moderate sizes, 12MP is more than enough--and because the files are not *too* large, I can shoot rapidly--eight frames per second with the MB-D10, which also fit my D300--and not fill up memory cards too quickly. I also shoot a lot of pro boxing ringside for publication, and I need something that's fast, good in low light, and will stand up to abuse. The D700 has an AF motor in the body, meaning I can use it with all my AF lenses, including the pre-AFS lenses, and it will drive either kind rapidly. The D700 has a viewfinder that can be used to focus MF lenses with reasonable facility--and unlike the newer full-frame cameras, you can put a KatzEye screen in it, if you do a lot of that.
    So yeah, one day I wouldn't mind a D810 for studio stuff, when I want to print *really* large or if I decide I want to shoot video (and I have rented a D800/D810 for both those reasons on occasion). But that would be as a *supplement* to my D700--for 95% of what I do, the D700 works really, really well. And I've had no desire whatsoever for a newer, "better" camera. At current prices, the D700 is really a heck of a bargain.
  9. IMHO if you are happy with your D7100 and you do not need this new camera for action, the best option for you is a used copy of D600 / D610. While I loved my D700, when I changed to D600 I found it's IQ definitely much better. More pixels, better dynamic range, better low ISO abilities, dual cards... One extra particular feature you will enjoy is sharing batteries and charger with your D7100.
  10. The D700 and D3 are well built. But I don't think you will find a second hand D3 cheaper than a brand new D610, for example, which is an excellent camera (with probably more pixels than we need). According to some photographers, the D700 are still pricey since some people like them a lot, especially people who are used to old Nikon slr. I bought a D610 three months ago and it's really good.
  11. Thanks for your input, guys. It's a great help. I'm probably going to forgot about a D3, since I use my XT-1 for its lightness (besides other great qualities); why would I want such a heavy camera again? I might think seriously about a 610; it seems right for my needs. It's reviews seem very favorable, except for its very center-weighted AF. I'm just trying not to get so caught up in the newest and the most pixels. Thinking...
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you would rather not spend a lot of money and also don't shoot sports, a used D3 makes absolutely no sense. While it was initially well built, most of the used D3 (as well as D3S and D4/D4S) have gone through a lot of professional abuse. Unless you manage to find one in great condition, I wouldn't count on the reliability of abused cameras. The D3 is also very heavy and uses expensive EN-EL4/EN-EL4a batteries.
    A D600/D610 should indeed be your best choice. You need to be a bit careful about D600 with the oil problem although they should have been fixed and Nikon will continue to fix them free of charge. The D600/D610 have very similar controls as your D7100, and most importantly, the EN-EL15 battery and the dual SD memory cards are all common with the D7100. That simply makes a lot more sense.
    The only slight down side for the D600/D610 is that they use Nikon's 2nd-best Multi-CAM 4800 AF module. As long as you don't shoot sports/action, it is not a concern.
    The D700 uses CF memory cards and the obsolete EN-EL3e battery. It also has a non-100% viewfinder, no dual memory cards, and no video at all. While it is still a capable camera, there are far better choices nowadays.
  13. The biggest advantage of a D700 is that, with a grip and some AAs, it's the cheapest way to get 8fps out of a Nikon DSLR. I'm kind of astonished that Elliot didn't see an image quality difference, because my experience of a D700 alongside a D800 is that - over the whole image - the D800 (and similar cameras like the D6x0) have about a stop of performance advantage in low light, and 2-3 stops at minimum ISO. The D700 does have a very slight per-pixel advantage at high ISO, because the resolution is so much lower. I've never used a D7100, but DxO's dynamic range graph shows it always besting the D700/D3 sensors. The D3s is another matter, and is special at higher ISOs.

    As Shun suggests, the D6x0 AF sensor is a step down from the D7100; otherwise, it's going to be fairly similar in handling and capabilities. A more exact FX match would be a D750, but they obviously cost more.

    The D700 is still a viable upgrade from a D300(s) if you absolutely don't want to lose anything, and want similar handling. If you're coming from a camera of the D7x00 range, I would suggest that the handling differences will annoy you (even though I prefer some of the choices made on the D700 to the D8x0's versions). A D3 might feel a bit more like an F5 - although in my experience, not much (but while I own an F5, I've only used the D3 and D4 ranges in stores); it certainly won't feel like a bigger D7100. And if you do very large prints (viewed closely) or like to pan around an image digitally, 12MP is pretty constrictive. Oh, and even the D700 is quite heavy.

    That said, I didn't upgrade to the D800 for the resolution, although it didn't hurt; I did it for the dynamic range. I kept my D700 as a back-up, but got rid of it, with my D800, when I moved to a D810 earlier this year - the D700 was completely unused because, since I don't use the grip, the D700 offered almost nothing that the D800 didn't (and the minor differences made switching between them annoying).

    My advice: go with a D800 if you can afford one; a D750 isn't a bad option if you want a replacement for your D7100 that won't be a step back, and a D6x0 as a budget option with concerns about the AF system. The D700 and D3 are decent cameras, but I doubt they're for you. Good luck.
  14. go with a D800 if you can afford one; a D750 isn't a bad option if you want a replacement for your D7100 that won't be a step back, and a D6x0 as a budget option with concerns about the AF system.​
    a d800 would not be a particularly good choice for a travel camera, if you're shooting handheld, due to shutter vibration issues, large files, size. however it would make an excellent studio camera for portraits or tripod-mounted for landscapes. an XT1 would be a much more enjoyable choice in most situations. i'm with Mihai; a d610 would offer the OP FF benefits in the smallest such body Nikon makes, and if you're not shooting action, D700/d3 benefits become mostly moot. the d750 benefit is mainly better AF and video options, at a much higher cost.
  15. Eric: Storage is a lot cheaper than it used to be, and cloud storage can be an option. "Cheaper" doesn't mean "free", of course. I sympathise that the raw files from a D800 are quite big, although obviously there are configurable size options when it comes to JPEG. The 1.2x crop mode offered by the D800 is very similar in size to the output of a D6x0 or D750, albeit with smaller pixels, offering (arguably) the best of both worlds. The shutter vibration is an issue over a small range of shutter speeds - I'm not aware of the D800 being especially prone to this (unlike the A7r), although any 36MP sensor is likely to be more-than-averagely sensitive. I didn't really see it as an issue in most of the images I shot.

    The D800 is a heavy (900g) camera - although not quite as heavy as the D700 (995g). That doesn't bother me (I'm heavy too, and so are many of my lenses), but it's a concern for travel if you have it around your neck all day, and both the D6x0 (850g) and D750 (750g) are lighter. Both, by the way, only offer a 1/4000s shutter (and a slower flash sync), if that affects how much you like shooting wide open in daylight. The D700, D3 and D800 can get to 1/8000s - although the former two also have a native ISO 200 minimum, which somewhat nullifies this.

    An X-T1 - while a capable camera especially for action - is a crop sensor (which Dennis wants to move away from) and only 16MP (which is apparently plenty for Dennis, but arguably against convention for landscape shots). It's interesting, but certainly try-before-you-buy; I actually couldn't see the edges of its finder comfortably, so I'm a little biased against it. I'm not sure that it's any better than the D7100 for the type of shot that Dennis seems keen on. It's also X-Trans, which is quite good at maintaining some detail in low light but can often mush high frequency colours, especially with most camera pipelines. Nice enough camera, but I'm not sure its strengths spring to mind for this discussion.

    To me, the D600 (or D610) is the obvious budget option. The D750 mostly gains you better autofocus and lighter weight (plus the flip screen, if you like that, and some more minor changes). The D800 is a substantial step up in some areas, and it doesn't sound to me as though the speed or video disadvantages compared with the D750 will bother you, but it'll be more expensive (at least than the D600), somewhat heavier, and have bigger files. Oh, and it has a mix of SD and CF cards, which may annoy you if you want to use both slots.
  16. Andrew, the d800 shutter vibration and AF accuracy issues are Known Issues at this point, and likely much of the impetus for Nikon (quietly) improving them in the 810 by adding an electronic front curtain. the dreaded shutter slap wont induce vibration at fast enough shutter speeds, but that's of little consolation if you're shooting in the 1/8-1/250 range where that's most-often reported. also, while the storage issue does offer workarounds like cloud, cloud requires an electronic connection which may not be possible in remote areas with no wi-fi reception. that's an issue if your idea of travel is off the beaten path. it's just reality that a 36mp sensor will fill up cards faster than a 12, 16, or 24mp sensor, especially for RAW shooters.
    My reference to the XT1 was as a travel camera, which is where weight/size savings from mirrorless come into play, especially with large-aperture lenses. i'm just saying i'd prefer that to a d800 out in the wild for most things, especially most handheld things. i'm not necessarily suggesting the OP consider that over a 610, just that i'd prefer that over an 800 -- which the OP wasn't even considering. you are correct that there's not very discernible advantage in that over a d7100 from a capabilities standpoint, other than a bit of size/weight, which may be mitigated by what lens you stick on it -- unless you want to compare Nikon DX/Fuji X lens options, in which Fuji clearly wins in the fast primes and 2.8 zooms category.
    anyhoo, back to the 610. i would be loathe to take a chance on even a refurb 600 at this point, and normally the 610's subpar AF would keep me from recommending it, but if the camera is specifically not going to be used to shoot Things Which Move, than AF is obviously not an issue. though there are higher-rez cameras out there, 24mp is still enough to print fairly big or crop and still have usable pixels. so it seems like a good choice for the OP's purposes.
  17. I would certainly want a D3 but I share the concern that finding a good one is difficult. Most of these were used hard and then I don't want to pay more than $1000 for it. If I bought it when it was new (it's the first DSLR I considered buying) then I would still use it today and not upgrade.
  18. D700 if in good condition is still a very viable camera. I still use mine when I need a DSLR. If its in good shape. Its solid, great controls, reasonable low light capable to 3200 ISO and fast and accurate focus with good glass. Shun, maybe has a good point that the 610 might be a better choice of a capable camera that is a little lighter, maybe not as solid a build but better specs. The D3S, if in decent shape will be a tank, if that's what you want. Me, I'm using a M-4/3 camera now and enjoying it, but my next camera may well be the X-T1.
  19. Dennis, I see in your gallery you use an M9. If you still have that, why would you want any of these other cameras?
  20. As an ex F5 owner the switch to the lighter F610 has been good, but once you attach add some pro-glass a L arca tripod mount and potentially a flash it's still a weighty kit. My kit today weighed in at 2.3KG :)

    In OZ the price of a well used ex pro wedding camera ( but not abused) D800 with 36K shutters is around $1750 (US$1350) and used D700 around half of that $850 ( US$630), low shutter use amatuer cameras can command a 10% premium At those prices a lot of camera for the money. For more landscape style photography the D800(E) would be probably suit a F5 type buyer particularly the older glass you will have. Mind you as mentioned when the new Sony 42MP sensors make there way into the next crop of top end nikons ( eg a D850 and the D5) prices of these older bodies will drop by 1/2 again, but such is life for real time image computers.

    As for all this nonsense about the AF on a D610 being so-so, teamed with the new lenses rather than the mechanical AF (screwdriver), I think it is fantastic in comparison to 20 years ago. Yes maybe the D750 is a bit better and yes a Canon D is better still, but stepping back a moment; a D610 with new electronic AF lens , relative the F5 with a screwdriver AF the D610 AF is noticeably better. What is average however is a D610 ( and no doubt a D750, D7xxx etc ) driving the old "legacy" screwdriver AF lenses. So from my point of view AF of a D610 is excellent, just there is a new crop that may be marginally better if I tried them.
  21. Well... thanks again for this discussion. It's always interesting how a question can lead to so much conversation in great detail. These are my thoughts on this July 4, partially as a result of this discussion: First of all, although I'm an extremely active 60-something, I still have to rely on excellent auto-focus so that probably leaves out those cameras with the heavily center-weighted focus points. Weight is also a big concern. I can no longer carry around heavier cameras with lenses to match without complaining like a child.
    Thus, my enjoyment of the XT-1. I love the camera, its mirrorless format, its lenses and color fidelity. I much prefer it to the Leica M9 which simply did not agree with me while I had it. My recent trip to Chile and Patagonia yielded many of the cleanest, color-accurate images I've ever taken. So, my next (FX) camera is mostly for my everyday shooting where I can carry the (heavier) system in my car. I happened to look at a D750 yesterday at my local dealer and admittedly, I think this would be the perfect answer for me in terms of weight, handling, feel, familiarity, AF system, etc. While I can afford a D750, other concerns in my life take precedence in terms of spending, so I think I'm just going to wait a bit for prices to come down and probably focus, so to speak, on the D750. At that point, I'm sure that Nikon will have already introduced its D760, 850, 900, and whatever else is currently sitting on their shelves.
  22. a d3 used in good shape should be about as much as a new d610.
    there is a lot of ppl out there wanting you to pay 2k euros for a d3 witth 170k shutter count...do not buy.
    unless there is no explicit reason why you would need a d3, i would suggest the d610.
    regarding this dynamic range.

    i recently got invited to test a phaseone.
    i ofc chose the xf and a
    how come dxo d7200 has a bigger dynamic range as a phase one sensor.
    seriously...somone hack and take down this dxo mark site..it is a pain in the ass
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Dennis, first of all, I am not going to give you financial advice here, especially since I don't know your situation at all.
    I am somewhat younger than you are, and I feel that life is short such that I might well enjoy photography to the full extend I can. The D750 is an excellent camera, although definitely not as well built as a D3 or D4, but most of us do not use a D750 to hammer nails. If a new D750 is indeed too expensive, check out refurbished or used. Otherwise, a D610 is quite affordable now.
    My wife and I moved from New Jersey back to California in year 2000. An old colleague whom we hadn't seen in 15 years just visited a few day ago. She mentioned that she had gone to the funeral of another former colleague a couple of months ago. The person who passed away also loved photography and used to discussed with me about that, and he was born in 1960 .... Sadly, life is short.
  24. Shun, thank you. Our thinking is very much in line. Yes, life is short, and I live to not have any regrets. I've also lost friends and closer than that. We can get into philosophy here very easily, and I'd enjoy that. I lived in NYC for over 40 years, moved to the north of Chicago a few years ago (not for the weather!), bought a house recently and poured substantial funds into it. Hence, my thinking about how "reasonable" I'm being with myself. Am I chasing technology that I just don't need (back to my initial post) or should I buy what suits my present and future needs? Of course, I know the obvious answer. I'm sure I will end up with a D750, refurbished, used or otherwise, because, in the end, I always make the decision that I like the most.
  25. I will say one last thing. Even though you might not need the speed of one of the heavy duty Nikons from the D3 era, you might still enjoy the benefits of high ISO for low-light shooting--at any speed. The very fact that these cameras (as well as the D3s) have only 12 megapixels is one of the primary reason that they are so good at low light. People talk about how far we have come with low-light cameras since the D3 era (D3, D700, and D3s), but I personally do not know any Nikon that beats the D3s at high ISO and low light. Yes, there are some great low-light cameras these days, but the higher pixel density on some of them works against their really performing all that well at high ISO.
    That is one reason that Sony's newest super low-light camera is so good--Sony went back to a 12-mp full-frame sensor. If low-light shooting is primarily what you are after, then adding those nice megapixels to most modern DSLRs is simply working at odds with the goal of shooting low-light, high ISO pictures. More pixel density means more electronic interference and a lower S/N ratio. There is no way around that fact. (I still prefer Nikon to Sony for reasons that I will not get into here, even though the Sony is light-weight and less expensive.)
    So, are the D3, D700, and D3s "still relevant as a new purchase"? Yes, they are, if low-light shooting is your goal, combined with durability. Otherwise, what is the point? They are good cameras, but in all respects but high ISO and durability they have been superseded by subsequent models. I have been eyeing the D750 for some time myself--but I don't plan to get rid of the d3s until it simply stops working. Shooting it reminds me of driving a luxury car. It is just a joy to shoot, and the weight never even occurs to me--I just don't think about it, and I am seventy years of age. That arm strength will come to an end some day, but, until it does, I will keep the D3s and never look back to the day I got a used one on eBay.
  26. there you go..seventy years old and not complaining about weight.
    the next time someone complains about the higher weight of the bigger bodies i am going to
    qoute you :)
  27. My D700 is still my only DSLR. I am used to heavier cameras and my go-to 35mm camera is an F4E, which is about the same size and weight as the D700 with the battery pack on it. And commercial images I have taken with it have wound up on billboards. For most work, 12MP with high quality glass is all you really need.
  28. Andrew, the d800 shutter vibration and AF accuracy issues are Known Issues at this point, and likely much of the impetus for Nikon (quietly) improving them in the 810 by adding an electronic front curtain. the dreaded shutter slap wont induce vibration at fast enough shutter speeds, but that's of little consolation if you're shooting in the 1/8-1/250 range where that's most-often reported. also, while the storage issue does offer workarounds like cloud, cloud requires an electronic connection which may not be possible in remote areas with no wi-fi reception. that's an issue if your idea of travel is off the beaten path.​
    I'm sure the D810 shutter improvements are worthwhile, but it's not as if the D800 can't achieve excellent results, even handheld, with a sensible choice of shutter speeds: http://www.luminescentphoto.com/blog/2012/07/16/nikon-d800-maximizing-sharpness/
    As for storage, a 64GB card holds about 800 14-bit lossless NEFs. These cards as now very affordable (especially if you only need slower SD cards), probably more so than the smaller cards needed to hold the same number of D700 images that people were buying when the older camera was launched. 2TB USB hard drives are also ridiculously cheap, if you travel with a laptop for image transfer. For me, the most significant limitations are the limited spread of focus points (which the D810 does not improve on) and the slow framerate (better on the 810, but still nowhere near the 8fps of the D700 and grip). I would whinge about the weight, but I don't feel I can after Norbert's comment :)
  29. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Andrew, the d800 shutter vibration and AF accuracy issues are Known Issues at this point, and likely much of the impetus for Nikon (quietly) improving them in the 810 by adding an electronic front curtain.​
    I have been using the D800 and D800E for over three years, and I have never experienced such "known issues." Some early D800 had the left AF point issue but should all have been fixed by now. Fortunately for me, the D800 and D800E I used never had that problem. If I am serious about taking full advantage of 36MP, I use a heavy tripod, lock up the mirror and use live view to fine tune the focus. Mirror slap and AF are not even in the picture.
    The D810 indeed has quite a few small improvements over the D800, but those "known issues" are, in my opinion, mostly excuses for those who need justifications to spend a lot of money for a fairly minor upgrade to the D810.
    In other year or two, those same people will no doubt come up with another set of "known D810 issues" to justify the next round of upgrade to whatever the successor for the D810 will be. Nikon can hardly find better customers (than those who are willing to upgrade with every generation).
    The fact of the matter is that since the D3 and D700 from 2007/2008, Nikon FX bodies are all quite good. There are some more gradual improvements from one generation to another, especially in terms of video capture. High-ISO results and dynamic range has improved by a stop or two over a span of 7, 8 years. Otherwise, the one thing that Nikon really needs an update is the Multi-CAM 3500 AF module, whose fundamental design hasn't changed after 8 years.
  30. I have been using the D800 and D800E for over three years, and I have never experienced such "known issues."​
    Nor have I, for the record. My D800E has turned into my real workhorse for serious work. Going on three years out, I recently noticed that it has three dust spots. Guess I really ought to clean them off, all three of them. I can see them on some sky shots.
    It is a darned fine camera.
  31. Again, I agree. I believe the D800 may be slightly more likely than "lesser" cameras to show vibration in a particular shutter speed range, but I've always believe that's only a function of the resolution (and I wouldn't be surprised if the "issues" seen on the A7R were mostly resolution-based as well); I might be a bit nervous around 1/30s (although if I'm using a shutter speed of 1/30s I'm usually in such dark conditions that I expect to lose resolution to noise anyway) but I'm really not feeling the need to top 1/250s just to avoid camera vibration. Does the D810's EFCS help slightly at some shutter speeds? I'm sure it does (although, incidentally, I've never understood how the shutter closing isn't just as much of a problem). But just as you don't need to use mirror lock-up on every shot to get a sharp image out of a D800, the shutter doesn't somehow ruin every shot. As for the autofocus, I had some more trouble with a few lenses (notably the 35mm Sigma, although that has proven "weird" on the D810 as well) than with the D810, but absolutely no trouble with others. I do think the D810's autofocus is improved, but I have no reason to believe the D800's is any worse than the D700's, beyond the additional ability to see when the focus point is missed. I trust the D810 slightly more than I trusted my D800, but it's not like most of my D800 shots were out of focus - misbehaviour was rare. Of course, my D800 didn't have the left focus point issue. For what it's worth, I do believe I was right to upgrade from a D800 to D810 - not just for NAS - the difference has been detectable and appreciable. But nothing like as huge as the D700 to D800 upgrade.

    I went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the London Natural History Museum yesterday, as I do every year. A remarkable number of the shots on show were taken with a D800 (including one by an 8-year old with a 200-400, allegedly). Thom Hogan referred to it as the best camera available (price no object) for some time. It's not perfect, but there's really not much wrong with it.

    Unless you need motor power, the D6x0's autofocus is going to be a huge improvement over the F5's. Frankly, the D3000's autofocus is better than the F5's - the F5 was very early in the autofocus game, and doesn't have anything like the calculation ability of a DSLR (or barely of a calculator...) It doesn't sound as though speed or autofocus is a huge issue for Dennis, otherwise a D3 or D700 would make more sense. But the D6x0's autofocus is definitely a step back from the D7100's.

    Dennis sounds like he's settled on a D750, which is a fine camera, the closest in behaviour to the D7100 he already knows, and I'm sure will meet his needs perfectly well. I just felt the need to "clear the name" of the D800!
  32. I have been using the D800 and D800E for over three years, and I have never experienced such "known issues."​
    Thanks for sharing this, Shun. When somebody mentions "known issues," I tend to take the statement with a grain of salt. Especially when that person is not speaking from first hand knowledge. True, there is sometimes substance behind the "known" issue. But the amount of substance is usually not well known.
  33. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Chip, if you read that "known issues" link, it is merely a forum post on Fred Miranda: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1309559/0
    Essentially just about anybody can make any claim on a forum post, on photo.net or elsewhere. There are a lot of fairly outrageous posts on various forums. If it were an official review on DPReview, I may give it more creditability.
    I didn't bother to read that post on Fred Miranda very carefully, but they are talking about hand holding a 70-200mm/f2.8 VR @ 200mm, f2.8, and they claim that on the D810, they can hand hold at 1/4 sec and get really sharp images. If you can't do that on a D800, apparently that is the big "known issue." And sure enough, that is their justification to spend $800 to upgrade from a D800 to D810.
    It makes it wonder whether people actually read the stuff they link into this forum first.
  34. We all know that until 2 or 3 years ago, no proper images were made. You can only make good photo's with the latest kit...
    But seriously: it all comes down to the price. If the difference between a D700/D3s and the newer equivalents is not that big, go for the new ones. But if there's a substantial saving, I would buy the older camera's. You probably only notice the improvements when comparing old and new side-by-side.
  35. BTW, I know this is a slightly late response to my own thread, but to answer Barry Fisher and perhaps other respondents on my use of an M9, and as long as I had that, why look at the others?... I only used that camera for a short time. I can no longer trust my eyesight and, of course, the Leica is manual focus, and I often do like the flexibility of a good zoom lens. I then rented a Fuji XT-1 and loved its combination of weight for travel, image sharpness and color, and AF, so I purchased that system second-hand and don't regret it. I still would like to get into an FX format with the Nikon.
  36. Dennis...I am a working photographer who owns and uses the D700, D3s and D50. All three are fine cameras. If you are looking to get an FX camera now for your needs as described the D610 would be a good choice, factory refurbs are available for around $1000 at this time. That's a great value for the performance of the 610. The 750 gives you a little more low light capability and a better focus module, costing around $900 more.
    I would not recommend buying a D700 at this time. I love my D700, have almost 200K shots on it, still use it often for interior work, but the 610 and 750 are better at higher ISOs, have video capability etc. The D3s is as good in low light/at high ISOs as the 750 but its truly a camera for news, sports and event shooting for working professionals. The 750 is a better choice for most other purposes at that price point.
  37. Thanks, Stephen. I appreciate your input.

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