D7100 or D700

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by leigh_mazion, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. I'm looking to upgrade one of my two cameras (D200). Currently I have a D300s and a D200. I mainly shoot mountain bike racing, but
    occasionally will shoot an indoor concert or portraits of the family. My main lenses are a 70-200vr, 17-55 2.8, 50 1.8, and 35 1.8 (mix of
    FX and DX).

    Shooting mountain biking the lighting goes from full sun to heavy shade in the woods. AF performance is important to increase the keeper
    rate. It looks like the cost of the D700 and D7100 would be close ($600 vs $800). Neither are "new" bodies, but the D700 is definitely the
    older of the two. My biggest issue with the D200 is noise at higher ISO.

    Any thoughts on these options or other suggestions?
  2. For what you want (sports, low light) the D700 is the better camera (esp. with a grip) but I think it's starting to get too old now and you don't have a full selection of lenses for it.
    Looking at noise measurements after downsampling, the D7100 is one stop better than the D200 and the D700 is one stop better than the D7100. Maybe the D7100 will be good enough for you? It will be a significant improvement over your D200 in every aspect.
  3. From the standpoint of handling and compatibility, the D300S and D700 make a good pair - same control layout, shared batteries and grip. Both are fairly old technology now though.
    The D7100 outperforms the D300S in about every way - except for what I consider an inferior body and control layout. Enough has also already been said about the slower frame rate and the shallow buffer.
    You say you want to replace the D200 only - I would suggest to get rid of both the D200 and the D300S and acquire two (or possibly only one - depending on need) D7100 or better even D7200.
    For what you shoot, the 70-200 VR would do fine even on an FX camera (the dreaded and somewhat over-hyped weakness in the corner towards the longest focal length).
    Ideally - and budget permitting - a D7100/D7200 and a D750 would do nicely. But once you open the door to FX, there quite likely will be a lens upgrade looming in the future.
  4. Why not a D7200?
  5. D7100. Superb autofocus, newer camera, TWICE THE PIXELS! And, you won't have to spend another thousand bucks for lenses for it. You already have great lenses.
    Kent in SD
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D300/D300S, D3 and D700 are all based on 2007 technology, which is ancient by now. That is precisely why they are cheap.
    If your main subject is mountain bike racing, the concern about the D7100 is the somewhat limited buffer. If you only shoot JPEG, it is a non issue. If you shoot RAW, you need to pay some attention not to waste frames on marginal situations to leave buffer. The D7200 solves that problem, and you get even better high-ISO results. Compared to the D200, the D7200 has at least 2 and perhaps 3 stops better high-ISO results.
    If you can afford it, what Dieter suggests is a good approach: upgrade both the D200 and D300S to the D7100 and D7200. But that maybe far more than what the OP intends to spend.
  7. At this point, I wouldn't get a D700 anymore. Especially if half your lenses are DX lenses, and the wide lenses (exactly where FX would shine more) specifically, and if your main reason is high ISO noise: a D700 isn't much better than a D7100 at that.
    Dieter's suggestion also makes the most sense to me.
  8. I have both cameras but seldom use the D700 nowadays. The D7100 has better AF and high ISO performance. It's also smaller and lighter. However, I would only buy a refurbished D7100 ($600+) now. The difference in cost between a new D7100 and a D7200 isn't enough to give up the improved buffer and other updates of the D7200.
  9. How does the AF on the D7100 compare with the D300? I sold my D300 and bought a D7000, but for sports photography the D7100 was a step backwards. I know the D7100 had a major improvement of AF capabilities, but does it match the D300. The other capabilities of the D7000 were an improvement on the D300, but I do miss the better AF
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon improved the Multi-CAM 3500 around 2012. As a result, the DSLRs introduced since January 2012 using the 3500
    have better AF, including the D4, D800 and D7100.
  11. Thanks for all of the input so far. A little additional information, I gave my daughter my old D90, so she will use any DX lenses I don't. I'm planning to pick up a 24-70 2.8, just waiting to see if the price drops with the rumored vr. I'm not sure what I gain with FX, since I haven't owned one yet. I do like the control layout of the D300s, but I didn't have any issues with the D90 when I was shooting with it
    My budget is a little open. I'm just looking for a set-up that I can work with for the next several years. Any money saved will go to a new computer!
  12. I'm planning to pick up a 24-70 2.8​
    Would you be OK with that lens on a DX body - 24mm isn't exactly wide on DX? If not, then the decision to purchase the 24-70 IMHO strongly suggests to choose a D750 to go along with it (the best Nikon DSLR to shoot sport with - save, of course, the D4/D4S).
    I'm not sure what I gain with FX​
    One thing is better high-ISO performance, another is better subject isolation due to shallower DOF.
    The D750 also uses a 51-point AF module - more sensitive than in the D7200 - but also covering less area in the viewfinder. You're giving up the 1/8000s with the D750 but gain the articulating LCD screen. Typical for Nikon - give with one hand and take away with the other.
    set-up that I can work with for the next several years​
    Which strongly suggests to decide between DX and FX now - the price differential between the D7200 and D750 is $700 - but one needs to include the cost for potential lens upgrades as well (make sure you are OK with the 70-200 VR on an FX body). At this stage, with Nikon pushing FX massively, the future of enthusiast-level DX isn't clear (even though Nikon just updated the 16-85/3.5-5.6 to 16-80/2.8-4).
    For me, a decision to continue with DX now has come down to a few things:
    - budget
    - need for higher pixel density with long lenses (the "more reach" advantage)
    - DX is "good enough"
  13. just waiting to see if the price drops with the rumored vr - Those rumors are ongoing for a few years now. I wouldn't base my decisions too much on the rumors, really. Plus: 24mm on DX... sure about that?
    Frankly, if you're not sure what you gain with FX, why consider spending the extra money to go to FX? I don't mean that negatively, but moving to FX has some cost, and as such it should resolve a problem you have. I agree Nikon's strategy on DX is a bit fuzzy, but for now, it is still a very valid choice for less money. If you cannot for yourself define what benefits FX would bring to you, better keep the money and stick with DX, in my view. It'll be around for quite some time, there are too many users out there for Nikon to drop support on it entirely any time soon.
  14. ...moving to FX has some cost, and as such it should resolve a problem you have...
    If you cannot for yourself define what benefits FX would bring to you, better keep the money and stick with DX​
    Well, defining the benefits of FX over DX requires information as to what those benefits might be and whether or not a certain problem might have a solution in making that switch. Asking in a forum like this one is certainly not the worst way of gaining some insight. And sometimes, the reason might not even have to do anything with an "objective" technical advantage of the larger format. For example, my decision to move to FX was largely driven by lens selection: no (super-)wide zoom with VR and no selection of prime lenses for DX (Nikon) and ownership of the "wrong" focal length manual focus M-mount lenses (Sony NEX-6 to A7); the technical benefits were just icing on the cake. Financially, the main costs were actually the camera upgrades; in many cases available DX lens alternatives didn't cost substantially less to make a difference. Unfortunately, lens selection for DX is much more limited than FX lens selection - and it is for everyone to decide whether or not that is compelling enough to make the move to the larger format.
  15. Several people have seemed to imply that the D700 is a "dead" camera at this point. But I beg to differ--depending on what you're doing with it, it's actually much better than anything in Nikon's current lineup for specific purposes.
    In fact, when my own D300 died a year back I replaced it with--a D700. Why?
    Because as pointed out above, it takes the same grip as a D300. And with that grip, and the proper battery, you can get 8 frames per second. The full-frame sensor, with its fewer but larger photosites, has (as also pointed out above) an advantage, despite the aged technology, in high ISO performance. Not only that, and for me this is the big objection to the current lineup, the D700 is built like a bloody tank--it's a rugged, fully professional body that can take loads of abuse. None of Nikon's current bodies (except the flagship, super expensive pro bodies) offer this standard of construction and performance combined with a reasonable number of pixels that would keep the frame rate up and not fill up cards excessively quickly.
    As I shoot loads of professional boxing, live music and clubs, these things are all considerations, important ones, for me--and right now, Nikon has no other body that offers all that in one package. Particularly at the very attractive price D700s are going for nowadays. (I'd love it if they'd put out a body exactly like the D700, with 20 or so megapixels, an identical--or higher--frame rate, and a stop or two improvement in high ISO performance. Alas, I don't think it's coming.) As Leigh is shooting activities that are similarly demanding, it might actually be a good idea for him to consider a D700, especially if he already has the MB-D10 grip.
    And as far as image quality, I've printed 20 x 30 inches from a D300 (in good light) and they looked quite good. I'm sure prints that size from my D700 would look just as good--or likely even better. How many megapixels do you need for photos that you can't get because the camera won't keep up with what you're shooting?
    One of these days, I would love to have a D810 for studio work, as it *feels* like a proper camera and produces all the quality you could ask for. (I've rented one, and yes it was fun.) However, I'd never take that to a boxing match with me--the D700, for all its age, is simply quite likely a better tool for that sort of thing, and so it will be earning its keep for a while still with me.
  16. I am happy that more people are calling the D700 past its prime. The market for used D700 is persistently high. Yes, I have seen a few listed for $700-$800 but I am waiting for the $500-$600 spot. I have a lot of DX lenses, so I am not looking to abandon DX or anything. But I would like to gain entry to FX. D700 is an odd duck. Used D700 is still nearly as strong as a used D750 or D600. Perhaps those models will actually beat D700 to my price point.
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Unfortunately, lens selection for DX is much more limited than FX lens selection​
    Sorry Dieter. The simple fact of the matter is that practically every Nikon FX lens can be used on a DX body, while DX lenses should only be used on FX bodies via the DX-crop mode or you suffer serious vignetting as well as very poor edge and corner optical quality.
    What Nikon doesn't provide very many selections are DX wide lenses, especially the DX equivalent of the 20mm/f1.8, 24mm/f1.4, etc. However, for those who demand high-end wide-angle performances, FX is clearly the way to go as Nikon DX lenses still need to clear the original registration distance designed for the much larger mirror for 35mm film, hence high-quality DX wide lenses are difficult to make. And for low-light performance, FX is also clearly the way to go.
    For Leigh the OP, if her budget permits, I think she is better off upgrading the D200 to D7200 (or D7100 if the budget is a concern) first. That should help both her mountain bike photography as well as low-light photography. If she wants even better low-light performance, consider upgrading the D300 to a D750-type body, but then, we'll be talking about some lens upgrade as well. The cost is going to be non-trivial.
  18. Sorry Dieter. The simple fact of the matter is that practically every Nikon FX lens can be used on a DX body​
    Sure Shun - I was imprecise in what I wrote - but hoped it was clear from the context. What I meant was that the format-specific DX lens selection is more limited than the FX lens selection. In particular, as you point out in the wide DX lens department. For the time being, if I wanted a fast DX lens with a 35mm-FX-FOV-equivalent prime lens I have the choice between the Sigma 18-351.8 or the Nikon 24/1.4 (though that will change when Nikon releases the anticipated 24/1.8 FX lens).
    DX equivalent of the 20mm/f1.8, 24mm/f1.4, etc.​
    Those were some I did have in mind - there are no Nikon 12mm and 16mm DX primes.
    In some regards, the cost issue has changed with time as well. Nowadays, a new D750 costs not that much more than a D300 cost when it was new. It was pointed out more than once that the mythical D400 never materialized because it would have competed in the same price segment as the D600/D610/D750. In addition, there are now a long list of competent used FX bodies available that don't cost much more than a D7200. And as the just released 16-80/2.8-4 DX zoom shows, Nikon doesn't shy away from pricing it quite high that there the FX equivalent doesn't cost that much more. Fact is that I can now put an FX system together that may not cost much more (if at all) than an enthusiast-level DX system. DX: D7200 with 10-24, 16-80 vs FX: D750 with 18-35 and 24-85 (I omit the identical tele selection) - if I am not mistaken, than those two systems are very close in cost (and performance). Sure, I can easily double the cost of the FX system - not so with DX. But not everyone who moves to FX needs the 14-24 and 24-70 f/2.8 behemoths.
    Moving to FX now gives you options for upgrading later - and if past history is any indication, then it appears that staying with or choosing DX now (at the enthusiast level) might prove quite limiting and could very well lead down a cul-de-sac. I, for one, would very carefully weigh the options before committing to the purchase of any (of the few) high-end DX lenses at this point.
    As Shun points out correctly - DX and FX don't meet on equal terms - DX lenses have the burden of needing to clear the FX register distance (which makes their design more difficult and their size larger than it needs to be) - and neither Nikon nor Canon are making a particular effort to close gaps in the DX lens line-up.
  19. Dieter - I think a fast 35mm is one of the bigger holes in the DX lineup. The new 24mm f/1.8 should help there, although it has not been announced yet so I don't know how big it is. You are of course right about no wide angle primes for DX. I wonder whether anyone has looked at lens sales numbers for Pentax, M43 and Fuji wide angle primes. I know people buy fast wide angles, but I am curious how strongly they sell compared to 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, etc.
    As you and Shun mention - one DX disadvantage will always be: the F mount was designed for 35mm film.
  20. the issue i see for the OP is replacing the 17-55 if he goes for the d700. even if used 24-70 I prices fall below $1000 with the release of the VR model announced today, you've then got the issue of either carrying around two standard zooms, or losing the wide end when used with the DX body (which could necessitate the purchase of a DX wide angle completely useless on FX). that doesnt make sense to me, unless you want to spend money you dont have to. all things considered, a d7100 is probably a more sensible choice, given the OP's current lenses and intended use. it does make sense to upgrade a d200 at this point, but going FX essentially doubles or trebles the buy-in price when you factor in lenses. a 24-70 isnt necessarily better than a 17-55--it does almost exactly the same thing--but you dont want to use a DX lens on an older FX body. if you have more than one DX lens, then you also have a usability issue if you go FX, which could add additional cost. i understand the dilemma, as a d700 is essentially an FX D300, but if it were me, i'd either get a d7100 or go all in with a d750. but then, i dont really see why the OP would even need FX for shooting motocross.
  21. Asking in a forum like this one is certainly not the worst way of gaining some insight.​
    Dieter, no argument there, but the insights will be all over the place. Starting from a more defined question (in this case, the issue being high ISO noise) should yield more applicable insights - and applicable to this aspect only, a D7100 is no worse than a D700.
    Sure, you'll have to use violence to get my D700, and I'm not going to switch to any other camera soon, as it fits me and my needs like a glove. But my move from D300 to D700 was made for entirely different reasons (the viewfinder and depth of field). Since the OP never mentioned those considerations, I won't assume he feels held back by it - I might well be wrong of course, but that too is the way of forums.
    P.S. Oh, for once I speak about the 24-70VR rumors in 4 years I've been reading them, and Nikon promptly decides to release it! Any other lenses on the wishlist I should complain about? ;-)
  22. Shun Cheung [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG], Aug 02, 2015; 12:20 p.m.
    The D300/D300S, D3 and D700 are all based on 2007 technology, which is ancient by now. That is precisely why they are cheap.​
    The D700 may be "ancient" as you put it, but it still quite relevant. The Nikon F or F2 are "ancient" too, but put an AIS Nikkor on it and it will take just as good a photo as an F5 or F6 with the same lens.
  23. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Scott, I am afraid that is a very poor and deceptive analogy.
    If you use a Nikon F or F2 today, you won't be putting a roll of 1960 or 1970's film inside, as those film have expired decades ago. :) You would be using a roll of 2015 (or at least recent) film. And if you also use an AI-S lens that has no AF and electronics, you are mostly reducing the capability of an F5 or F6 back to that for an F or F2, all using a roll of recent film. Now if you switch to an AF lens, in situations where AF makes a huge difference, that will show up in an F vs. F6 comparison.
    Meanwhile, the electronics inside the D700 hasn't improved since 2007/2008. You cannot insert some 2015 sensor and electronics inside the D700, as you could with an F and modern film. In a side-by-side comparison, there can be differences between the D700 and newer DSLRs such as the D750 and D810. In particular, if you are dealing with some challenging situations such as extreme low light, huge dynamic range, etc., the difference can potentially be significant.
    That is why the D700 is no longer in demand and is cheap in the used market. And I still own a D700 and occasionally use it.
  24. Shun,
    The points you bring up I find some of the most frustrating and yet at the same time most amusing things about the digital era, especially the ones who never worked with film. People nowadays get so wrapped around the axle about megapixels and all of the rest of that techie BS and forget that photography is not about technical specs but about ART. And in the grand scheme of thins, a lot of it is BS. I reiterate, A R T. Photography is 90% the person behind the camera and 10% of what is in front of them. Look at what some of the greatest photographers in history worked with compared to today. And their images will remain in history of photography long after all of us are long gone. I would be willing to bet I could take a REALLY "ancient" Nikon D2 and take better artistic images than 75-80% of the people who frequent this site. it is not the equipment, it is what the photographer does with it. Go back and look at some of the excellent images people on this site have made with an "ancient" D2.
    Remember, photography is about ART and SEEING and not about all of the technical specs and the rest of that techie BS. Leave that to the pixel counters. Most of them are mediocre photographers anyway.

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