d90 vs d700

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by raihan_malik|1, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Hello Experts,
    Got a question for you. I have been using D90 since 2010 and starting at the same time i'm shooting weddings, birthdays and portraits eventhough i consider myself a beginner.
    Just to give you a clear idea i own 2 D90 bodies, 2 SB- Nikon speedlights (600&900), Nikon 50mm prime, 17-50mm Tamron, 18-200mm nikor, 80-200mm nikor and a Tokina 100mm, i also own 2 400W storbes.
    I'm very satisfied with my gears and i think with my level of skill what i posses at this point is good enough for me BUT as i read reviews about other Nikon bodies and ofcourse D700 is a Full Frame camera (yes D700 not D3) which is someway superior than D90 so i was wondering do i really need to get a D700 just to improve my picture quality???!
    Whatever i earn from my photo work i spent for gears and i love D90 as its ligher (just got Tendonitis) and compact but there's lots of competition out there and i'm always up to improve my skill so just asking for your expert opinion.
    My website is www.raihanphotography.com So if you just check the wedding and fashion/portrait part you'll know exactly what type of photos i'm getting using these gears. Thanks in advance. Truly, Raihan.
  2. The D700 will not improve your picture quality. Sure, you get another stop of usable ISO but it is not a magic bullet which makes everything suddenly more professional. If you don't have a specific need for a full frame sensor then I'd say save your money.
  3. Removed the image put underneath my first Post and trying to repost the image with cropped size but not allowing me for some reason.
  4. i'm always up to improve my skill​
    Then do that and stop worrying about gear. The first time a potential client asks if you have crop sensor or FF sensor bodies, then worry about it.
  5. Two of your lenses are Dx - so buying a full frame and mounting them on it will not buy you anything - in fact it will reduce your D700 to a 6mp crop sensor.
    As pointed out above - unless you feel that you are missing something with the crop sensor - then save your money.
    If you are set on buying a new body - the D700 is almost at the end of it's cycle (D4 just announced) or at least a lot of feel that it is, but the used D700's are still holding value at 2,000 + per.
  6. If you have to ask, then the D700 isn't for you. Stick with your D90.
  7. I might say the D700 has two stops higher, usable ISO. However, I am not sure that would necessarily "improve" your image quality. I suppose the two things that come to mind about a D700 would be 1) more professional body. More controls on the body itself, less fumbling with menus. You also get a larger brighter viewfinder. Now those features can help you capture your images, but I don't know about improving your image quality. And 2) creamier bokeh. A full frame sensor will have a larger circle of confusion and thus will throw your background more out of focus. This is generally desirable in portrait photography. So in that regard, it might improve your image quality.
  8. There is such a huge different between shooting a D90 & a D700. There is the AF system, the viewfinder, the sensor size (two different formats that make a big difference in how you shoot), the low light sensitivity, the body size, weight & weather sealing, etc, etc. To suggest that obtaining a D700 will improve your image quality is wrong, however I know that every time I use a new piece of gear it opens up my horizons and often time causes creativity to blossom. This is not something that is limited to more expensive gear, sometimes purchasing simple, less expensive gear and forcing myself to use it rather than more expensive gear sparks my creativity and forces me to grow. Never be satisfied with yourself, your creative vision, with those you work with, and yes, your gear and you will never stop growing :).
    All this being said no one on this form could know what gear will strike what kind of creative reaction within you. That's something you have to discover for yourself. I suggest renting or borrowing. Also Nikon is supposed to announce a D800 in the first part of February. Save your money and wait and see what comes down the pipe next, if the D800 is indeed announced soon, you will have the option of upgrading to it, or pick up a used D700 for less.
  9. John, you have it backwards. The circle of confusion leads to SMALLER sensors having LESS depth of field given the same settings. The reason that a D700 has a smaller depth of field is because for the same angle of view, you are using a longer lens. For example, to capture a particular photo with a D90, you may use a 60mm lens. To capture the same photo on the D700, you will use a 90mm lens. If both cameras are focused 10 feet away and set to expose at f/4, the D90 will have a depth of field of 1.3 feet, while the D700 has a depth of field of only 0.9 feet.
    Now, to address circle of confusion, let's take a 50mm lens and place both a D90 and a D700 behind it, even though this will produce noticeably different photographs, with the D700 capturing more of the scene around the borders. Let's set the aperture of the lens to f/4 and focus the lens to 10 feet away. The D90 will have a depth of field 2 feet deep when using this lens, while the D700 has a depth of field 3 feet deep. Also, to nitpick a bit more, the D700 does not give creamier bokeh. Bokeh is not the amount that the background is thrown out of focus, but the quality of the out of focus rendition. Besides, as shown above, even if bokeh did refer to the amount of blur, which it doesn't, as shown the D700 actually has a greater depth of field given the same lens and settings.
    Raihan, to make it short and simple: Up until mid-2007, Nikon's best professional camera was the D2Xs. The D300 makes the D2X and all other lower models of the time absolutely obsolete by improving image quality over them. The D90, which came out later on, uses a slightly upgraded version of the D300's sensor, further improving image quality. This means that your camera is capable of better image quality than professionals had access to just a few years ago, as long as you get the framing, focus, and exposure correct. So, is the D90 the absolute best image quality camera you can buy today? Not at all, you could buy yourself a D700, D7000, D3, or D4 and get better. But, does the D90 have image quality that holds you back, with regards to the professionalism of your images? Again, not at all. The D90 provides professional images, given that you use the camera correctly, and within its boundaries. Now, if you had any aspect of the D90 that wasn't meeting your needs (such as those on-body controls, weatherproofing, buffer capacity, autofocus system, etc) then you might consider upgrading. Since you don't seem to have any worries about the way that your D90 is working, don't worry about it.
  10. If you have problems holding a D90 and speedlight for a long period of time, lugging a D700, flash bracket, and speedlight won't make your day if you have to shoot a long wedding.
  11. Raihan--
    Note that in addition to a camera, you would also need to buy new lenses for a D700, at least for the wider angle. If you think you are missing shots because of a D90, a D7000 might make more sense for you. I honestly doubt you'll see much if any difference in image quality between D90 and D300 at ISO 800 and under.
    Kent in SD
  13. Raihan - Your cropped image did not appear inline because although narrow enough, photo.net still won't display the image unless the file size is less than about 100k. Your image is about 200k.
  14. Raihan:
    We just went from D90s to D7000s, and I couldn't be happier. We wanted better high ISO performance, better low-light focusing, higher pixel count so we can crop with less noise, dual card slots, HD video and form factor-controls just about the same as D90 for low weight and familiarity. The D7000 delivers on all counts.
    For the kind of work we do, it was a good move. If you're not feeling the need to change, stay with what you have until you feel you're missing something.
  15. "John, you have it backwards. The circle of confusion leads to SMALLER sensors having LESS depth of field"
    John is correct, and Ariel's statement is wrong.
    Wikipedia explains this better.:
    e.g. saying.
    "When the “same picture” is taken in two different format sizes from the same distance at the same f-number with lenses that give the same angle of view, and the final images (e.g., in prints, or on a projection screen or electronic display) are the same size, the smaller format has greater DOF."
  16. Just to clarify. Assume the same field of view as given by a 33mm setting on a D90 and a 50mm setting on a D700. The DoF will be greater on the D90 by about 2/3 stop's worth despite the smaller circle of confusion and due to the shorter focal length. However, DoF will not be as great as 33mm on the D700, but 33mm on the D700 will have a greater field of view. Just plug the numbers into dofmaster to see.
    Therefore, the D700 would give you a bit more DoF control and more low light capability at the expense of more weight, telephoto reach and the fact that you will need more lenses.
  17. you need to compare DOF of the same lens, when mounted on small sensor camera, and the same lens when mounted on a large sensor camera.
    Comparing DOF for 2 different lenses will provide different DOF, and such a comparison makes no sense, as it relates to different lenses, or two different zoom setting on the same lens.
  18. " So, is the D90 the absolute best image quality camera you can buy today? Not at all" This is true under specific (typically harsh) shooting conditions. Chances are for what you are shooting, you would likely not see any difference or improvement (you are likely shooting at lower ISOs and/or with flash).
    Save your money. Sounds like you have NAS!
    If you need to buy something, consider the affordable 35mm f1.8 lens which is small, light, will help keep the ISO low and give you great results.
  19. No Frank, I am sorry, but I don't believe that I have made any incorrect statements; you are misunderstanding the discussion. You will notice that the *ahem*Wikipedia "source" that you have used has a whole mess of words before the part that you bolded. The factor that makes your bolded statement true comes from the preceding statement. When you bound the cameras to give "the same angle of view," it gives the smaller DOF advantage to the larger-sensored camera. With this I wholly agree, and you will notice that I explicitly show with data, how when taking the same photo with the two different cameras, the advantage goes to the D700 having a creamier background, because you have to use a longer lens to capture the same photo. However, John clearly states that the decreased depth of field comes from: "A full frame sensor will have a larger circle of confusion and thus will throw your background more out of focus." This is absolutely not true. A larger circle of confusion will throw your background more into focus.
    As yet ANOTHER example, let's say I take my old trusty Nikon 50mm lens from my F2 (which is film, so it has the same size "sensor" as a D700). This is a lens that is over 30 years old, and therefore it has distance scale markings, and no ED glass to throw the distance scale off, due to temperature fluctuations. I set up a tripod and take a nature photograph. I focus the lens to 20 feet away, stopped down to f/8. The distance scale will show me that I have a depth of field of about 35 feet to work with for composition. But wait, I just realized my F2 doesn't have any film! Luckily, my D90 body is in the car, so I run and grab it, attaching the 50mm lens. Not only is the image changed, but the SAME LENS, focused to the SAME DISTANCE, and set to the SAME APERTURE will give me a depth of field of only 18 feet! I have therefore proved John's statement to be false. The D700's thinner depth of field CAN NOT come from the circle of confusion, as John states. The D700's thinner depth of field is due to the crop factor, and in fact the thin depth of field gained by the longer lens is offset by an INCREASED depth of field due to the D700's larger circle of confusion. Look it up on Wikipedia if you don't believe me. In addition, you are free to do these calculations yourself.
    Here are the equations:
    Here is a table of circles of confusion:
    And here is the calculator that will do it for you so that you don't have to pull out your TI-86:
    Simon, you are spot on. I don't think we can explain it in anymore detail. At some point, you just have to "let the horse drink" to the water you led him to!
  20. I agree with Kent. Get a D7k. I have a D70s, D200, D700, and D7000. Guess which one gets the most use? The D7000. Guess which one weighs the most with one of 'the trinity' or a PC-E lens on it? The D700. I like 'em all, but unless I'll be working strictly from the tripod or need the best UWA I can muster, the D7000 gets the call. I still wish they'd grow up that AEB though. It's still the same as the old D70s, only six years newer tech otherwise.
  21. On the circle of confusion issue, the D90 has a CoC of 0.024mm (as defined by 1/1440th of the sensor diagonal). The D700 CoC is 0.03mm. This means that for any given focal length, DOF will be greater with the larger sensor. BUT the Field of View (FOV) will be greater with the same lens on a larger sensor.
    D90, 50mm lens, f8, 3 meter focusing distance, FoV = 26 degrees horizontal, DoF = 1.2m;
    D700, 50mm lens, f8, 3 meter focusing distance, FoV = 39 degrees horizontal, DoF = 1.8m;
    D700, 76mm lens, f8, 3 meter focusing distance, FoV = 26 degrees horizontal, DoF = 0.7m.
    In other words, for the same field of view, the D90 will have more DoF than the D700. For the same lens or focal length, the D700 will have more DoF than the D90, but with a wider field of view.
  22. Correction - CoC for D90 is 0.02mm.
  23. Smaller format = greater depth of field for the same aperture, field-of-view and subject distance. Full stop. End of story. No argument. If you don't believe it, hush up until you've tried it for yourself and found out the truth. Why else do you think it's almost impossible to get a shallow depth of field with a compact digital camera?
    Raihan, I think that shot you've posted would have been improved by a slightly shallower depth-of-field. For me the background just isn't blurred enough, especially since the woman's clothes and the background are similar in colour. However you don't need a larger format camera to achieve this, just a wider aperture on your lens or to use a longer focal length. I'd look at getting better glassware before upgrading my camera body.
    BTW, I also think your White Balance could be improved, but that's really a matter of personal taste.
  24. It looks like the circle of confusion is getting bigger and bigger here. The circle of confused photographers arguing about two different things.
  25. Rodeo Joe, we agree with that precisely. Here, let me state it clearly for the third time, in my third consecutive post in this thread, to make it clear: If you stand in a specific spot, and take the same photo with a D90 and a D700, the D90 will have a greater depth of field. You will end up using a lens on your D700 that has a focal length 1.5 times longer than that on the D90. So, a 20mm lens on your D90 takes the same photo as a 30mm lens on the D700. A 60mm lens on the D90 takes the same photo as a 90mm lens on the D700. In all of these cases, the D700 will have less depth of field. I hold that truth to be self-evident, and all that jazz.
    The absolute point of contention is the claim that the reduced depth of field is caused by a larger circle of confusion. That is an absolutely FALSE statement. This is my last post here, because I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall. Go learn math.
  26. Ariel and Rodeo Joe are right. Depth of field is primarily a function of focal length plus aperture. The CoC relating to the D700 and the D90 gives a blur factor of around 3.5 pixels in both cases.
  27. Frank's quote from Wikipedia is very helpful.
    "When the “same picture” is taken in two different format sizes from the same distance at the same f-number with lenses that give the same angle of view, and the final images (e.g., in prints, or on a projection screen or electronic display) are the same size, the smaller format has greater DOF."
    An additional way to think about it - If the conditions above are met, for example, 50mm lens at f/5.6 on a DX sensor and a 75mm lens at f/5.6 on an FX sensor, then the PHYSICAL aperture on the smaller sensor is going to be SMALLER and therefore will be closer to behaving like a pinhole camera which has "infinite" depth of field.
  28. I'm not sure why this d-o-f versus format thing is so difficult for some people to accept or grasp. Anyone who's ever used a zoom lens must surely have noticed that for a given aperture, the depth of field gets shallower as you increase the focal length of the lens. And to get the same picture at the same distance using different formats, the lens focal length needs to scale with the format. With a larger format the lens needs to be longer, and that's why depth of field gets smaller as the format size increases.
    It has very little to do with circles of confusion, which are an abstract construct invented to enable us to calculate depth of field. There aren't really little fixed diameter circles floating around on the image plane!
    Here's the same setup, shot at the same aperture from the same camera position, with the same point of focus and covering the same area, but taken with two different sized formats. Anyone want to argue with what their eyes tell them?
  29. I'd kinda ignore the CoC arguments for now... :)
    The D300 series is going to be replaced pretty soon. At the moment there's a conflict in the Nikon DX line-up between the top-end D300s and the Hi-Res D7000.
    Predicting the properties of the new model(s?) is pointless, but I'd guess the 2nd hand prices of BOTH will drop. Both the D300s and the D7000 will be upgrades in IQ terms.
    But to go to FX 'cos of a FALSE INFERIORITY OF IMAGE COMPLEX is just plain wrong!
  30. Raihan, I've taken the liberty of doing a bit of post-pro adjustment on your picture. Hope you don't mind. I've blurred out the background to what you might have got by shooting at f/2.8 instead of f/5.6, and adjusted the colour balance and tone curve a bit too.
    Opening up to f/2.8 would mean you could've easily dropped the ISO from 1000 to 400. Not sure what happened with the white balance, but it looked very pink to me. I took a grey-point sample from the white of the lady's eye to get close to this colour balance. Personally I think the picture now "sings" a bit more. What do you think?
  31. Not bad Joe, i'll try that next time, thanks. Once again i really appreciate everyone's time n effort. you guys are awesome.
  32. creamier bokeh. A full frame sensor will have a larger circle of confusion and thus will throw your background more out of focus​
    I quoted my own statement as I felt I should comment as it has incited quite the responses. For what it is worth, I stand behind my statement 100%. I never once mentioned DoF. There is a difference between DoF and bokeh. Period. And while math might be able to explain it- I don't care! The larger the sensor, the more out of focus your, or creamier, your bokeh will be. Period. This is because of the larger CoC. As it has been mentioned, it is very hard to throw your background out of focus with a smaller sensor camera. You gain more ability with DX, even more with FX and even more going to medium format. You may all continue to argue DoF all you want. But to be clear, I never brought it up.
  33. Raihan, I own 2 D700's, a D300, D200 and D7000. The image quality is better, and you can go as high as ISO3200 for usable images. However, only YOU can improve you photography. Cameras are a tool and you need to learn how to use them. Hands down on FX.
  34. My first DSLR'S was d90. Not a bad camera. But the image quality simply was not there, my wife uses it now. I now shoot with the
    d700, heaps better. It won't make you shoot better but your results may be better.
  35. "The image quality is better" "But the image quality simply was not there" While this is true some of the time, it is not true all of the time. It would be difficult if not impossible to see any difference in IQ from identical images taken with a D90 and a D700 at very low ISOs (all things being equal).

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