Dilemma....D700 or D300

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by miklos_altorjay, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I'm about to buy a Nikon DSLR and I ask you for advice. I'm somewhat new to digital photography so as to photo.net forums, I've been a film shooter so far which enjoy very very much. I shoot with an F100 and F4 on transparencies. I usually project my photos, sometimes enlarge to ~A4 size.

    Can't decide... D300 or D700. I'm tempted by the D700 but it's more expensive than the D300 ans with my current lens lineup it needs some support due to DX sensor crop. My lenses are: 24/2.8 AF, 35-70/2.8 AF-D, 80-200/2.8 AF-D two ring, 50/1.8 AF-D, 105/2.8 AI-S micro. As you can see my wide end is covered with the 24mm 2.8. I'm not a wide angle shooter, I prefer the tele end (I plan to add the 300/4 AF soon).

    My 35-70 is my normal walkaround lens which I'm completely satisfied with. I cant descide between the two digital bodies. Which one you'd get, and how'd you cover the wide end (35mm coverage on FX suites my needs)? I'm on a tight budget but can squeeze the money for the D700. I shoot mostly nature which includes wildlife, macro and a little landscape/street and low light photography, no action or sports.

    As I said I'm on a budget, so I'd avoid expensive lens trade-ins or buying new expensive lens.
    Merry Xmas
  2. Since you are accustomed to shooting full frame and have a nice group of lens I would recommend the D700. I made the film to digital move a couple of years ago with a D200. I could never quite get accustomed to the 1.5 multiplier effect of the DX format. I recently moved to a D700 and I am a happy camper again. Most of my problem revolved around the lack of wide angle capabilities with the DX format. You said wide angle is not that big a deal, but your 24mm on a DX is 36mm, quite a difference. Both your alternatives are great cameras and good luck to you.
  3. D700...simple.
  4. On the whole, Bruce is right: go with the D700.
    How do you print?
  5. Everyone above is correct, get the D700. I have one and I love it.
  6. If you can afford twice the money then I'd be pretty happy entering the digital world with a D700. If you go with the D300 you already are covered with the 24/2.8 giving you a 36mm lens. If it is the 35-70 you want to replace for DX then there are many options. If you end up with one of the expensive lens options then you may just as well go to the D700 and skip the extra lens. On the other hand with a D300 you could avoid the 300/4 since your 200/2.8 zoom will give you the same coverage. Sorry, no amazing solution!
  7. Or get the D300, a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6, an SB-800 flash, and an MB-D10 vertical grip. Then you'll have the FF equivalent range of 15 through 450mm covered (assuming you'll still get the 300/4), a top quality flash, a top quality vertical grip, be able to shoot at 8 frames/second, and still have more than $200 left over. (B&H prices after rebates used for reference.)
  8. Thanks for all the input. The 300/4 is a no-brainer choice for me, I think I'll go with the D700 altho it hurts my wallet bad.
    Just out of curiosity, how would you cover the semi wide to short tele range (ie around 24-80mm on FX) on DX? Not speaking of super wides. I know there is the Nikon 17-55 and maybe the 16-85 VR, is there another good alternative?
    To Ellis: I do my enlargements wit a local lab run by a good friend of mine, so I get the enlargements I need in the quality I need.
  9. Hi Miklos,
    First, I do not have either of those cameras; I still shoot with an F100. But like you, I have been tempted by either the D300 or D700.
    You write, "I'm not a wide angle shooter, I prefer the tele end (I plan to add the 300/4 AF soon)." That would suggest the D300 with its 1.5x crop factor would suit you. Your 80-200 f/2.8D becomes a 120-300 f/2.8D equivalent.
    The main advantage the D700 would offer is the higher ISO. However, if you are shooting film, the increase from ISO 800 (color film) to the D300 ISO 6400 should be dramatic enough.
  10. In this situation I believe the answer is very simple - you'll remember everything correctly with the D700 & your lenses will be what they're used to being.
    Now, if you want to do bird photography - get the D300.
    Lil :)
  11. I cannot imagine you will be satisfied forever with A4, but for that DX is perfectly adequate in every way. For nature, closeups, wildlife, etc. , DX is far more useful. In your place I would buy the D700 now and get something like a D80 or D200 later for a lot less money than the D300 which I could then use well with these lenses.
  12. Miklos, I waited for years for a Nikon full-frame digital because I didn't want to sacrifice my range of lenses to the crop factor. When I saw the D700 come up, I decided to buy one. After all, it's not a purchase you make every day. It is worth every penny. If you later want to use DX glass for one reason or another, you can always use it as DX in the D700. You just cannot use your film glass on a DX camera and get the exact field of view. Hence, the D700 is twice a camera compared to the D300. Easy.
    Take care and have fun shopping!
  13. I bought a D700 for myself. But I figured that its value hold up better than my stock portfolio has.
  14. I have both of the camera. And both are amazing. It just depend on what you need. D300 might be better for longer range, D700 better for wider angle, and less noise in higher ISO.
    But that you prefer tele rather than wide angle, the D300 should be enough. Except if you turn to be a night photographer, or working a lot in low light, it'll be D700. Both are excellent with their own specification.
  15. No contest: D700.
  16. Go with the D700 -- it will be what you know as far as lenses, and it will out perform the D300 on ISO levels. When you do get that 300 f/4, maybe by then you'll have the money to hang a D90 or D40 on the end of it for an even better reach . . . Either way, I'd pass on the D300. If money is an issue, get a D90 - 95% the same camera, and get a Tokina 11-16 for wides, if you want to. If you can afford it though, get a D700 and don't look back.
    Good Luck.
  17. No question...D700. its a whole generation better sensor. Even the D90 is now better than the D300. And all your lenses will work too.
  18. I shot Canon, film and digital I have a 30D and a 5d full format. I just like the DOF and the 70-200 lens and the 17-40 on the 5d full format. I am sure you will only really be satified with the D700 if you are used to full format. forget the D300 the perspective and DOF are visable. The D300 is a fantastic camera but I would stay with Full format.
  19. " I shoot mostly nature which includes wildlife"

    Honestly, you would probably be happier with the D300. Its like having a 1.4x tele-converter (1.5 if you want to be technical) built into the camera. Not to mention, the price difference between the D300 and D700 would pick you up your 300 f4, plus some other goodies.

    To all the "Simple - D700" posters. Did you even read the original post? Or just the title?

    I am personally debating on the D90 vs the D300.... Yes, the D700 is an amazing camera, but that doesn't mean that everyone needs it, nor does everyone need FX (especially those who shoot on the tele end).

    One other thing. Cameras depreciate in value very quickly, and new models are released often. If you are looking to add any lenses, purchase your lenses first; they will hold their value. Whereas, if you wait to buy a camera it is going to have dropped in price.
  20. "To all the "Simple - D700" posters. Did you even read the original post? Or just the title?"

    Gee, Keith, maybe you're not the only one here who can read.

    I *still* believe that the D700 is the better choice. A lot of widlife shots occur at dusk when you need fast lenses and higher ISO's. That's why the D700 makes perfect sense for wildlife. Who cares about the crop? Just buy suitable lenses!
  21. "I've been a film shooter so far which enjoy very very much. I shoot with an F100 and F4 on transparencies."
    D700 if you must, you'll not get on with the D300 as it won't make sense visually ... I've been slowly moving back to film.
    Keith Aldrich: Yes, read it through. D300 would give more range, but there's a mental leap from film to the D300 and with the range of lenses already purchased, the D700 is clearly the better choice in my experience. I could not get on with the D300.
  22. no need to argue, boys. both schools of thought are essentially correct here, which explains why FX and Dx are really complimentary formats.
    to the OP, i'd go with the d700 because you already have the lenses for it. if you were heavily invested in DX glass or needed to buy additional FX glass to go with the d700 it would be different. that one extra stop of ISO is worth its weight in gold, and i say this as a d300 owner.
    yes the 1.5x crop is better for wildlife but overall D700 is a better camera IF you have the lenses for it. since this happens to be your situation, i'd get one now and maybe add a d300 or even d90 down the line (cheaper than getting a 300/4).
  23. I recently faced the same dilemma. I had decided to purchase the D300 when the D700 came out and I went back and forth for a couple months and eventually purchased the D300 (primarily because of the cost difference). I regretted it immediately. It's a great camera, but I really wanted the wider angle and depth of field control that full frame gives and - this was huge - I really wanted the low noise high ISO possibilty it offers. Because I travel so much and work in the day when I do, a lot of my shooting is walking around at night without only a beanbag for a tripod (I already carry a 75lb tool kit for work so a tripod is just too much). So, for what it's worth, I would recommend going with the full frame if you can swing it.
    If you want to hear the really sad part, I then forgot the D300 in the Atlanta airport during a rushed 20 minute turn over last week. I have a faint hope for the lost and found.... but it looks gone. I guess I will get the D 700 after all (or more likely its sucessor when I can afford another camera is a couple years).
  24. I had faced a similar dilemma recently. I have been a film shooter, with only two manual Nikkor lenses (28mm/f2, 105mm/f2.5). I rarely use the tele range but I always found 28mm to be a bit too wide for me...I tended to use either 35mm or a 50mm Summicron on a Leica M6 more often than the 28mm nikkor on my F3HP. Ultimately I decided to go for a d300 and I think it has turned out to be ideal for me because it gives me a very nice focal length (~42mm) with the dof of a 28mm. Now I don't have to focus (even at f/2) because I can estimate close distance quite well. I don't even have to look through the view finder quite often because from practice I know both 35mm and 50mm view areas instinctively, so 42mm is just half-way between the two. ISO1600 on d300 is way more than my standard ISO 400 on tri-X, giving me the ability to handhold the 28mm at 1/30s at f/2, which from previous experience I found I can use even in the dimmest light to get the effect that I want in 99% of occasions. Moreover, I can now even shoot some occasional birds with the 105mm at effective 150mm cropped area. Finally, I am $1000 fatter in the bank.
  25. Miklos, I had that exact choice to make a week ago, after selling my D200 body – even down to a very similar lens collection (35-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 50 f 1.4 and 105 VR micro).
    I'm a wildlife and landscape shooter, so both the DX crop factor and the FX wide-angle abilities would have benefits for my photography. Unfortunately they aren't both available in the same body... So after spending 45 minutes in the store handling both bodies and running off some test shots, tempting as it was I just couldn't justify the additional cost of the D700.
    I'm now a happy D300 owner, and have $1300 earmarked for a 17-55 f2.8. No regrets. Perhaps in another couple of years, the premium for a full frame body will have disappeared and I can re-evaluate my priorities at that time.
  26. Althought I hear it is a great camera, I did not own the D300. I did just trade up from my trusty D80 to a new D700. I had to sell all my DX stuff to get the price down to something reasonable, but I can honestly say that it is the best money I've ever spent on a camera. The D80 was great place for me to continue learning on, but from what I've seen, the D700 will give me lots, and lots, and lots of room to grow.
    The package is fantastic as well. Even my average pics (most) shot in 14bit capture so much more than my D80 ever did. Finally, everything I read about the stunning ISO capability seems to be true. After some experimenting, I have set up my Auto ISO program to run up to 1600 without letting me know. Once I get home from traveling and download my latest shots, I may bump it up to 2000 if the noise levels are as low as what I see on the monitor.
    I'm sure some of my facination with the D700 comes from the fact that I'm a pilot and I really enjoy working with a perfectly put together machine. The D700 seems to be just that -- really, really well thought out and satisfying.
  27. The idea of full frame vs. dx has kept me using nice digicams and not DSLRs until now. The D700 is what I have been waiting for, and is to me worth the extra money. Your 35-70 walk around lens will feel very familiar with the D700. YMMV

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