D7000 vs. D300s vs. waiting for "D400"

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by sycamoe, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. I'd like some opinions on this: I have a D200 and I love it. Obviously I'm a bit behind with the lower noise and video of the D300s. I know the autofocus was upgraded, too. But now comes the D7000. In a sense, it's a downgrade from the D200/D300 class but then again it benefits from newer technology. I have a feeling I might be disappointed in the handling of a D7000 in particular. So what I really want is a D400--who knows if and when that will be forthcoming. Not to mention it will cost probably $400 more than a D7000 or a, by then, closeout D300s. Money's tight too. What to do? All opinions welcome.
  2. What do you photograph, under what circumstances, and with which lens(es)?
  3. I do a lot of nature photographs, macro, some portraits from time to time. A little light event stuff. I like historical sites and events, regional travel. I use a Nikkor 16-85 VR, the 12-24 Tokina and 100 macro Tokina and the Nikkor 50 mm 1.8 D. That's the bulk of my activity.
  4. Currently there are plenty of D7000s on the market and my local shop also has 2 D300S on their shelves, so it seems that their supply is also good.
    If I were in the market TODAY, I'm afraid I'd have to wait until Nikon's press conferences at the end of the month before deciding to purchase anything...just to make sure I know what's coming and to grab possibly grab a "closeout D300S" if the D400 is, in fact, announced.
    If, for some reason there's no D400 announcement, then I would re-visit the D7000 vs. D300S question.
    (BTW, if you've followed some of the recent threads you'd know that I think the D4 & D400 are the forthcoming announcement with the D800 announcement coming in February 2011...but I could be wrong).
  5. I'm in the same boat. I have a D90, and want a higher-end DX camera for my primary body since I'm beginning to get some paid gigs. I don't want to get a D7000 (at least not to be my top camera) because I want the D300s specs (faster frames per second, 51 focus points, etc.). I don't really care about video in a dSLR at this point and 1080 video isn't important. The primary thing for me would be the follow-on product's ISO performance. So I'll get a D300s if something isn't announced this month. Even if a new camera is announced, chances are the D300s body-only price will be very attractive in the same way the D90 body-only price was very attractive to those thinking about a D7000 this past summer. To your point, there may be brand new D300s bodies for around $1300.
    An available D300s for $1300 versus a heavily backordered "D400", "D9000", or whatever it will be called for $1900...I think I'll go with the older camera body.
  6. if you can't wait until aug 25th... consider that a d400 will almost certainly result in a price drop on the d300s, which is a damn good camera up to 1600 ISO. if you like the d200's handling i would at least get the same size body. look at it this way, with a d300s you'd only be .5 generations behind, rather than 2. unless you shoot a lot of stuff which requires high-ISO, or want to print larger/crop more, a d300s is still an extremely capable camera...i know mine still has a lot of frames left in it. personally, i'd rather have a closeout d700, but YMMV.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I have a feeling I might be disappointed in the handling of a D7000 in particular.​
    You certainly might, and there is only one way to find out: handle a D7000 yourself and then decide whether you like it or not. The D7000 is now widely avaiable, even at many Costco stores. It should not be that hard to find one and try out.
    I have said this many times already. I don't have a D300S; nowadays, I prefer to use my D7000 over my D300 mainly due to the better high-ISO capability, and the extra pixels doesn't hurt either. The D7000 is more demanding on good lenses, though.
    I have no idea when this so called "D400" will be announced (or whether it is even called the D400). I would imagine that the product cycle for the D300S should be approaching its end. For whatever it is worth, a year ago
    So if you can wait a bit, it probably makes sense to wait another month or two.
  8. what I really want is a D400​
    How do you know? I doubt that you've seen the specs.
  9. I have a feeling I might be disappointed in the handling of a D7000 in particular.​
    Having tried a friend's D7000 for a short afternoon's shoot I'd very very surprised if you were disappointed in the physical handling of the D7000. It's as intuitive and well balanced with those DX lenses as any Nikon I've used before. Take your lens bag into a store and try a D7000 out for yourself.
    Needless to say the D200 is significantly out gunned in the image performance dept by the D7000 and D300s and most likely by the cheaper entry level DX bodies too. From an IQ viewpoint the D7000 is only an upgrade from the D200 IMHO.
    If you are being limited by the D200 right now then right now is the time to move on. If you are truly perfectly happy with the D200 then by all means wait for Nikon-lotto to unravel itself.
  10. Shun,
    When you state " The D7000 is more demanding on good lenses, though." can you elaborate? I don't know exactly what you mean by this.
    Thank You,
    benton, ky
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Phil, that was something those of us who bought the D7000 early on observed. E.g., see my post on February 2 at 11:12pm: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00Y9Gj
    See also this discussion: http://www.photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00YQgr
    It references two more even older threads on that topic.
    If you want to see outside expert opinions, check out Thom Hogan's D7000 review, where he writes:
    Yep, 16mp is better than 12mp. Mostly. Poor lenses start showing just how poor they are with this level of pixel density​
  12. Shun, Thanks for your reply .... I think that those articles and more talk about "poor" lenses will help this OP and others in their selection. I have a D90 and am not ready for making any moves as I love mine and it only has just turned 50,000 clicks so I have a ways to go hopefully.
    In my case I am unqualified to know if I have decent glass or not for this kind of an upgrade. I may think so but those in the know may feel differently. I have a 10-20 mm Sigma f4-5.6, 30mm Sigma f1.4, 50 Nikon f1.4, 24-70 Sigma F2.8, 100mm Macro Topeka F 2.8, 70-200 Sigma f2.8.
    Are these lenses up to par for an upgrade to something like a D7000?
    The links you supplied on PN as well as the on for Thom Hogan were very informative, TY. This is a very helpful discussion for those of us that are not pros as I think a lot of us just think get a new or more expensive camera and you will take better photos.
    benton, ky
  13. Phil -
    The 50mmf1.4 and the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 certainly are capable on the D7000 - I can't comment on the others since I don't have them / haven't shot with them on the camera.
  14. Unless auto-exposure bracketing or burst frame rate of over 6 fps are important to you, I'd get the D7000 (actually, I did just that, although I'm less than delighted about the AEB, which may not matter to you at all). I also have a D70s, a D200, and a D700, and I can tell you there's nothing wrong with a D7000's handling, particularly with an L-bracket mounted.
    So what I really want is a D400--who knows if and when that will be forthcoming. Not to mention it will cost probably $400 more than a D7000 or a, by then, closeout D300s.​
    Imagining the D300s' replacement will be only $400 more than the D7000 in an interesting assumption. That would put the "D400" body at $1599, which is what a new D300s body currently sells for. I'd be surprised if the "D400" is initially priced under $2k.
    Don't forget that there's a difference between a manufacturer announcing a new model and its becoming regularly available.
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Phil, I have none of the lenses you listed, so I can't comment on how they perform on the D7000. But for example, my 28-300mm/f3.5-5.6 AF-S VR super zoom is quite decent on the D700; being a super zoom, the 28-300 has pretty serious distortion as expected, but sharpness is fine on the D700. On the D7000 (D7k) however, the 300mm long end is very soft at f5.6.
    There is why I think it is pointless to talk about this "D400" without known specifications. I think 16MP is pretty much my ceiling for a DX DSLR. If the successor to the D300S has a lot more than 16MP, I might not be interested. You an go on and on based on hypertheticals, but it is all meaningless discussion.
  16. I'm waiting for D400, but already have D300 and am happy with it all in all. If I needed a camera, now, today, I would buy a D7000. The higher pixel count, increase in ISO, and more compact body size are all selling points for me. For you, I suggest buying D7000 and buying an SB-900/700 for events & portraits. Portraits are all about lighting, not cameras. Or, how about a 17-50mm f2.8 type lens? You could start using that now and instantly be getting faster shutter speeds in lower light.
    Kent in SD
  17. I'd very very surprised if you were disappointed in the physical handling of the D7000​
    Well, I handled the D7000 a few times - and every time I was disappointed in the way it doesn't fit my hands. To me, the body isn't wide enough and the square and narrow grip isn't comfortable. I am holding out for the D300/D300S successor - though since I just acquired a second D300 body, I may not see the need to purchase one as soon as it gets announced. In any case, instead of idle speculation on the specs of that successor, I rather wait and see. Which is what I suggest to the OP as well unless he really NEEDS a new camera right now.
  18. these discussions seems to be bringing up an interesting point: for current D300/D300s users who are (mostly) satisfied with their cameras, will the successor be worth getting, or should they skip a gen? regardless, i think that now is perhaps not the best time to buy a camera, before we know what the new offerings will be. OTOH, there's never a bad time to buy lenses...
  19. I think if the 'D400' has the same or better IQ as the D7000, it will be well worth the upgrade. There are bound to be numerous additional updates/improvements that will make it an exceptional value and a great body to own.
  20. I was looking at making the same choice. After a lot of research I went with the D7000. Newer technology and on almost any objective review the D7000 is a superior platform. I also didn't really like the heft of the D7000 (I haven't liked the heft of my digital cameras since my D1). I solved that by adding the battery grip. Now that I've pushed about 6000 images through the D7000, I'm absolutely delighted with my decision.
  21. The D7000 is a brillant camera ..if you have small hands..but I find it very uncomfortable..even with a grip add-on. The problem seems to be..the shallow depth of the grip..not the length..so add-on grip only makes the camera feel underbalanced to me..very strange how Nikon is making these tiny little camera..that pack a wallup! Must be a case of catering to the masses..which are mostly small people with tiny fingers..PLEASE Nikon if you are listening..make the d400 the same as the d300's..even teh D90 is more comfortable to hold..as well the D80 and D70. If you shoot with light lenses..not so much a problem.olny when you put a 70-200 on the D7000 it overwhelms the camera..and feels unbalanced. Its truly my only knock on this wonderful camera.
  22. I would wait for the D400 to come out if you can. I bought a D7000 and sold my D300, which I greatly regret. In some respects the D7000 is better. With my Sigma 8mm FE the image quality is better than with the D300. The same goes for my Tokina 11-16 ( after fine tuning focus ) Unfortunately, my Nikon 18-200, which focused perfectly on my D80, then D300, is hit or miss at best. After around 3,000 shots, a great number are out of focus, even on scenes which should be a no brainer for AF ( I use S AF & single focus point ) I would be happier if they were all out of focus, but it is the random nature that really bugs me. Test shots with my father's D300 & 18-200 show conclusively that the D300 focus is dead on while the D7000 is not. The camera is back to Nikon to have this issue dealt with, but if it persists I will return it, which is a shame because it has so much going for it.
  23. Tim, I had the same problem with both of my D7000s. Sent them to Nikon Torrance with sample images and they repaired them perfectly. What a difference the repair made. One of them also required replacement of the aperture module (at no cost).
  24. Harry, the bulk of your lenses are pretty slow. IMHO, your best bet is to get some nice fast glass. You will benefit from the better IQ, and you won't have to crank up the ISO on your D200. With low ISO, there is virtually no difference between a D200, D300, and a D400.
  25. "Must be a case of catering to the masses..which are mostly small people with tiny fingers."
    Huh? "The masses" by definition are mostly average people with average fingers. And nothing short of an D3 or F5 feels "balanced" on a 70-200 f/2.8, and who cares?
  26. I initially had the same focussing issue with my D7000, but discovered it was operator error. The D7000 has a terrific bit of focussing technology and displays in the viewfinder what points it is focusing on. I found that sometimes the camera was not focusing where I wanted to focus, but by slightly moving my framing it would focus where I wanted and I'd reframe and all is well. It took a bit of getting used to, but like many changes in technology, once I knew how to use the tool, the problem went away. I now routinely check the focus points before tripping the shutter. The D7000 is not point and shoot. You actually have to drive it. There is so much technology in this package that the learning curve has been steeper than with any other camera I've owned.
  27. Michael:
    Thanks for some encouraging news! Especially since I can ill afford to change cameras again.
    I generally use single focus point and then re-frame if needed. The other focus point modes can be good for some situations, but for static landscapes I prefer single point.
  28. Thanks, all, for the terrific feedback. I'm not chomping at the bit--I can wait. But I know eventually I will have the choice before me. Like most Nikon DX users, I think I'm just anxious to KNOW what it is they're going to offer at that $1800-$2000 price point. They are certainly not going to abandon this line as the D200/300 were homeruns for Nikon as far as I can tell. There's no reason to think they won't hit the ball out of the park again in the next generation. You have people nit-picking everything but as far as I can see Nikon has a healthy lineup and they continue to impress with every new release.

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