does it make sense to buy D700 now?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by bikealps, Jun 1, 2011.

  1. Everybody says wait... but can a case be made that buying a D700 now makes sense because?
    • price: buy D700, sell it later, lose $1-1.5k, but buy D4 later when price has dropped $500, and meanwhile get $1k value from D700 -- how much would I really lose?
    • need a 2nd body anyway
    • I am primarily a sports shooter. I specialize in bicycle racing.
    • I have D90 + SB-600 + main lenses (12-24 f4 AF-S, 24-70 f2.8 AF-S, 70-200 f2.8 VR2 AF-S) + backup lenses (28 f2.8 AF + 105 f2.8 micro AF + 300 f4 micro)
    • I want a second body for backup. I'm tired of waiting.
    • I want to own 1 FX body + 1 DX body. FX gives me less d-o-f and allows me to crop action shots better. DX gives me longer lenses. Combination gives me more flexibility in lens length.
    • I plan to buy a hypothetical D4 + D400 eventually. I'm ok with the whallop to my wallet.
    So how much will a D700+grip depreciate between now and D4 announcement + 6-12 months?
    and how much will I save on a D4 by waiting 6-12 months?
    I thought about just renting a D700 for a few races, but a weekend costs maybe $250. I expect I'd get addicted and end up renting it 4-6 times, at which point I might as well just buy one.
  2. There is never a right time to buy a camera.....
    If you need it just buy it.
    I bought my D700 in Feb. 2010. When I asked about it I was told that I should wait. I didn't wanna wait so I just bought it. I have been using it for almost a year and a half now instead of waiting a year and a half.
  3. I agree with Rene'. You can make arguments for and against buying during any part of the product life cycle. If you need it, get and go shoot with it. The D700 is a fine camera.
    Having said that, and looking at it from a purely economic perspective, the bst time to buy a DSLR is about 6-12 months after it becomes a regular stock item, and then buy it use, like-new, from a well healed amateur. Then sell it between the time the next generation is announced and when it becomes a stocked item.
    My 2¢
  4. i'm with dan and rene. the camera you use in the field is the important thing. you can't shoot a camera assignment and post on the Internet about what camera you're waiting for at the same time.
  5. good luck finding one.
  6. The D700 is still going to be a great performer when it's replacement comes out (it's taken Nikon a long time to come up with a suitable replacement I might add.........) and who knows just how long a D700 replacement might take to materialize......?
    If you feel you are missing out on opportunities or you are limited with what you already then get a D700 right away and keep it for the longer term. I purchased my D700 when it was first on sale and will not be replacing it anying soon despite me also being in the position of not caring so much about the cost of an upgraded model if and when it becomes avail. For bicycle racing both track/indoor and road I'd be surprised if a D700 lacked anything given your current longer length lens line up.
    If you can find a D700 now then I'd say grab it with both hands and shoot away.......
  7. I guess no-one can accurately answer the OP's original question about the actual wallet damage after the D4 & D400 announcement + 6 months.
    However, your lenses are way better than your camera (apart from your 300mm f4 micro???)
    The D90 for action sports has a pretty slow AF Module, it will get you shots but no-where-near as many keepers as a D700+grip. That won't change with the D4.
    Renting is wallet suicide in a case like this, as you say. You must be able to borrow one for a race or 2?? Even if you can't, you know in your NAS heart how much better it will be!!
    Many, many people are 'waiting' and have been on hold for a mighty long time for this release. Prices will be high, and remain high for the new product, availability will be an unknown issue.
    The longer the wait, the more I feel Nikon may have had to leap-frog a few tech advances to make the final camera 'desirable'. A new FX chip with the same density of the D7000 with the much wanted low noise, high ISO combo, takes years to develope but could get out-of-date before it's even released.
    If you can find one, go get it. Use it. Take the wallet hit in 2013. Your pictures will be great NOW!
  8. "good luck finding one."
    There are still LOTS of them available, with gently used bodies often available in the low $2000 range.
    As you are a sports shooter, I suggest you consider a used D3 - same great IQ as the D700 but geared in many ways to shooting sports. If you plan on getting the grip and battery, the cost differential is minimal between the two.
    Also consider that you will likely rarely use your D90 after you get an FX body and the D700 would be an excellent backup body to your D4.
  9. I just got a gently used D700 low shutter count, body armor, battery pack, CF card and extra batteries for $2300. Love it..... No regrets.
  10. Well... I wouldn't, unless I had work to do that earned me money that required it.
  11. D700s are selling for 'tween £1200- £1600 over here (UK). Body only. D3 start about £1700...... If your going to get Nikon MB-D10 + ENEL4 + BL3 + Charger etc for the D700, its a complete no-brainer.
    Do what Elliot suggests and get a D3.
  12. I also shoot sports (surf) and after swithcing from a D2X to the D3 for the higher ISO four years ago was pleasantly surprised by the overall better IQ and quality of the pictures
    So I also considered getting a(nother) FX body and for long time considered a D700
    But the more rugged D3 (really something to consider when shooting outdoor sports in the rain, cold and in my case on the beach with a lot of sand etc flying around) better AF, dual CF and higher FPS (although I'm not a spray and shoot kind of guy) IMHO is the better choice for sports
    I wouldn't consider the D3s though unless you often shoot under extreme lowlight situations, again IMHO
  13. Until the D700's successor is actually announced and available, then the D700 will make as much sense today as it did 2 and a half years ago. The recent price hike has been a body-blow, but then the price of nearly everything else is going up too.
    You've just got to work out what you need from a camera and how much you're willing to pay to fill that need. Personally, I wouldn't part with my D700 if someone offered me the full new price right now, since I'd just have to buy another one immediately.
    If you do decide to go for a D3 or D700, what I would also budget for is a wideangle to cover the full-frame, since your 12-24 will be useless on FF. I'd suggest you go for the AF-G 14-24 f/2.8 Zoom Nikkor. Again the price makes you wince, but it is undoubtedly the absolute best superwide zoom out there. I've put mine up against a range of prime wideangles and lesser wideangle zooms, and within its focal range it trounces everything else for corner definition and usability wide open. Think of it as buying the top performing wideangle lenses at 14, 18, 21, 24mm and everything in between, then the price makes a bit more sense.
  14. In your situation i'd say "Go for it"....... ( you cannot fight NAS if it hurts to bad.. :) )
    And keep in mind that there are currently in the USA running rebates for 50% if you buy an additional lens to go with it, so that could make up for the current "higher" prices, especialy if you'd choose a more xpensive lens ...
  15. If you need a camera now, just buy what you need. It is likely that a new FX camera will be available within a year but it'll be more expensive.
    I've tried shooting approaching bikers with the D7000 (16 MP DX camera) and I had great difficulties getting in focus shots. A multi-CAM 3500 camera (i.e. D3,D3s,D700, D300(s)) tracks moving subjects much better in this kind of a situation (especially with the first three columns). The D300s should also be in your list of candidates, also the D3s which has a sensor which is unlikely to be challenged by next year's models in what it does best (since the pressure is on Nikon to put in more pixels).
  16. ouch! you guys are gonna make me spend money. bummer that I didn't get a D700 or D3 last fall when I bought the 24-70 and 70-200 and could have gotten a $700 discount. that hurts!
    OK, more questions...
    Using KEH pricing as a reference, D3 = D700 + $1.1k, but I gotta buy a MB-D10 so the difference is maybe $800. for that $800, what do I get?
    1. 9 vs. 8 fps no big deal
    2. lose the pop-up flash, so I have to go buy something that has commander mode to drive my SB-600
    3. 4200 shots per battery vs. 1000 but MB-D10 with battery probably gives me 4200 anyway
    4. 5:4 crop not so important, when you use 5:4 does it keep the whole 3:2 file? for studio it would be nice but for sports it's handy to overshoot stuff anyway, when you shoot DX and it blanks out screen, can it give you the rest of the pixels?
    5. dual CF maybe... not sure I need this
    6. better AF? same AF module, but better battery might make my 300 f4 AF (screwdrive) usable because higher battery voltage might make it slew faster, except MB-D10 probably does that, too
    7. audio recording for notes and interviews? -- I don't see this in Nikon literature, but I think I heard the D3 has it. How do you get this when you download into LR? This could be helpful when sorting images. How does this work?
    8. looks more pro, makes clients believe I am serious (amazing how this works!)
    Joe -- agreed I'll have to swap out my 12-24 for a FX wide-angle lens eventually. I can live with it for now because I rarely use it for sports. I probably use the 70-200 70% of the time and 24-70 25%.
    Matthew -- good shot! You got both world champ Cadel Evans and my hero Fabian Cancellara in the same shot!
    sorry for the typo... my 300 f4 is AF and not micro. It doesn't AF fast enough on my D90 to be usable. On a D3 or D700+MB-D10 it might AF faster because of the higher battery voltage. In DX I use 200mm focal length all the time, so I really hope the 300 f4 will become usable because I don't want to lose this focal length.
    KEH has D3 BGN $3k and EX+ $3800. Is it worth the risk of getting BGN to save $800? How can you know about longevity? Will they tell you shutter clicks before you buy?
    I have never bought a used camera body before. Certainly the seller will be more knowledgable than me. How can I be sure of the quality of the camera I receive? Is it safer to buy from KEH than take the risk on the open market?
    If I get a used D3, do I need to buy a second battery as insurance against battery dying because it is too old? D90 is supposed to get 850 shots per charge but I regularly get 2.5k. A 4.2k shot battery sounds awesome and should certainly last me a day.
  17. Focussing speed (for non AF-S) of lenses relies on torque from the focus motor in the camera body. Although voltage may make a motor go faster, I don't think Nikon use that method, they just put in a bigger motor on their pro bodies to turn the screwdriver peg with more power, that does translate to focus speed.
    I don't think my D300 focusses faster with its MB-D10 attached, although the available voltage is higher.
    The D90 has a small motor. I've never seen a league table of AF Motor 'power' as to whether the 700 series is similar to the 3 series. The 300mm f4 AF should be usable on the D700/D3 series, but I gather the AF-S is so much better....but it's the 2.8 for sports though!
    The battery meter on your D3 (!!) should give you a good indication of future life of that battery. That's about the only great advantage of the Genuine Batteries!
    If you're happy buying used, the money you'll 'save' will get you a 300mm 2.8 (non AF-S!) As you've found it's an ideal length for compressing perspective for tight peleton shots.
  18. If I get a D3, I'll shoot raw because I'll have enough buffer... then I'll chew through cards.

    With the D90, an 8G card is generally enough for a race, but I often need 16G+ per day. That means I need at least 64G of CF cards assuming I am saving to an individual card. For the equivalent of 4 x 8G cards on the D90, I need 8 x 16G on the D3.

    Price vs. size seems to go exponential above 16G. I can get 2 packs of SanDisk 16G for $75 or $120 depending on if I need 30 Mbps or 60 Mbps. Which do I need? 60 Mbps one says it is UDMA. Nikon mentions UDMA. Do I need UDMA or am I wasting $$$?
    8 cards is either 4 * $75 = $300 or 4 * $120 = $480.
  19. the faster UDMA cards only make sense on pro-spec bodies. yes they do make a difference on a d300s/d700/d3/d3s. on a d90, not so much, though you will see a faster upload rate.
    hard to say whether a d700 or d3 suits you best. undoubtedly, a d3 is a better sports camera, but the d700 is no slouch. for the price differential, you could just about get a used d300 as well as a d700. using a two-body DX/FX combo gives you a lot of versatility as far as focal length, plus you can swap out batteries, cards, and chargers between a d300 and d700, which is a plus if you're traveling or lugging way too much gear.
    i have a D3s and it's wicked for tracking fast-moving action, definitely better than my D300s although way the AF works took time to get used to. you have to pay attention to the viewfinder, the focus point lights up when target is acquired. the d300s doesnt do that. i've missed the AF-assist light at times, but that only comes into play in low light situations.
    also, you only get the max battery life on a d300/d700 with the En-El 4a and the adapter in the grip. i generally use ni-mh batteries in my mb-d10 grip, they're good for 2000 or so shots.
  20. "Is it safer to buy from KEH" Yes because you can examine the camera and return it for a full refund if you are not happy with it. Their rating system is generally quite conservative. While I have never bought a camera from them, I have bought several lenses rated BGN and they looked like new. Others have reported the same experience. Their lenses come with a 60 day warranty (which I actually had to use on a recent lens purchase where the aperture failed) - I assume their cameras come with the same warranty period... check with them.
    As far as a 2nd battery, it is always a good idea to have 2. When I shoot long events, I consistently get close to 4,000 images with my 3 year old batteries, both which register 1/2 life remaining.
  21. Personally I wouldn't buy a D700 now. Not for fear of it being replaced in the near future, but because of the ridiculous price. I bought my D700 in January of this year for $2299. Right now they're going for $2699 and no one has them in stock. Used they are going for over $2500 due to lack of supply of them new.
    Buy now and spend an extra $400 over what they were only a few months ago? Not me.
    BTW, I wouldn't expect a D700 replacement or D4 until at least next March. (Disclaimer: this is my prediction based solely on the current situation in Japan. There's no proof, but it makes logical sense)

  22. The camera is at the end of it's cycle and has inflated prices. Buying high and selling low is not a good place to work from.
  23. Go get a secondhand D3 now, no extra batteries, maybe a couple of 30MB/s 16GB CF Cards.
    Go shoot some great pix with the 70-200mm AF-S combo........and sell some shots!
    Re-evaluate next Spring after a winter of getting used to the pro layout/ is pretty different from the D90.
    The D3 becomes a perfect back-up camera to your new D800/D4. Sell the D90 + DX lenses or give it to a deserving friend.
    I hate buying NEW, same applies to cars. Depreciation is a v.big waste of money. And as many have said, a new D700 is silly money now and will bomb soonish. Good time to buy then...;-)
  24. Thank you all, especially Mike Halliwell.
    I just pulled the trigger on a used D3. I also got 4x 16G 30 Mbps cards, a spare battery, and a battery cap, plus the Thom Hogan guide. I should have it late next week.
    Thanks for all the excellent information and advice.
  25. Eeeeek..... the Responsibility!!
    I hope for both our sakes, that this works!!
    What kinda warrantee did you get from them?
  26. The camera is at the end of it's cycle and has inflated prices. Buying high and selling low is not a good place to work from.
    Ah, again the opportunistic US camera stores at work. In Finland the price of the D700 is at an all time low, < 1800 EUR, not that that helps you, but at least it gives a hint into who is responsible for the price hike (the price includes 23% VAT).
    I just pulled the trigger on a used D3
    I think you made an excellent choice.

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