To people who own the Nikon D300.....

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by franklin_t, May 2, 2009.

  1. If you don't mind saying, what's your income?
    I've had my D40 for about 1.5 year now, and I am really, really, really, strongly considering to upgrade to the D300 (plus get the 18-200mm, 50mm 1.8, and 35mm 1.8).
    My salary is only about $50K/year, and I'm trying to justify the purchase. For the past 2 months, I've been saying to myself "to get or not to get the D300, to get or not to get the D300, to get or not to get the D300" =P.
    Thanks for reading! =)
     
  2. I have over 100k on the D300 and to be honest my brothers D40 produces images that are just as amazing. The reason I need the D300 is it has the features I need for the work I do. I do real estate photography and the low light ability is a must along with the 320 flash sync. I'm sure by the end of the year when the replacement come out for the D300 the prices will drop a great deal. If there's no real reason to upgrade other than the lust for a new body... I'd wait. My income from photography is more than 50k and it's just a part time job... if the D40 had the same easy access conrtols as the D300, it would be my camera of choice.
    But that's my opinion... and the D300 has been the first camera that hasn't really left me wanting more.
    Ryan
     
  3. Wow, quite the question for a photography forum. Sorry, I'm not going there, but I will offer you a suggestion from someone who owned a D40x for one year and then upgraded to a D90 a month ago. Either buy a D300 used or refurbished, or buy a D90. That is without knowing anything about you which is much more important than income. What do you shoot? Do you need more resolution? Do you need better AF? Do you need durability? Is weight an issue for you? Do you have a good tripod and other items that should come before upgrading your body?
    I can throw recommendations and opinions out there, but only knowing what you said I wouldn't put much stock in it...
     
  4. My salary is only about $50K/year, and I'm trying to justify the purchase.​
    Your question is one of a value judgement, not justification.
    How you arrive at a purchasing decision will not be the same as others.
    1) Can you afford it?
    2) Will it stress you financially?
    Thise two questions have nothing to do with photography, moreso financial responsibility,
    Pete
     
  5. I am not going to post my earnings here of course but I think that would not help you anyway.
    A very smart person once told me to remember that I am my own most important creditor. Pay yourself first. That means put money in savings for the future and use your money to be happy.
    I would rather ask myself; What will the D300 do that your D40 is not doing for you?
    The D300 is a super camera. I use it often in favor over the D3. It will give you a bunch of new capabilities but only if you are going to challenge it by using these capabilities.
    You are talking about $2000.00 give or take. for a Nikon Demo with the 18-200 from Cameta and a 50mm 1.8. Start there. You will probably find that you don'it use the 35 mm 1.8 that much anyway. The camera comes with a one year warranty.
    Question. What do you want the 50 and 35 mm lenses for? I know the 50 is one of the sharpest lenses that Nikon makes but how will you use it. If the anser is low light then you are there with the VR lens anyway. You would need some ther use for it and the 35.
    This isn't about your annual income. If you want the smart answer then I would quote Suze Orman. "Frist people, then money, then things." If you and yours are all taken care of, if you have a comfortable nest egg (6 months emergency cash and a retirement plan) then buy whatever you want. If you are planning on loading up the visa and paying over time.....you can't afford it. But here is some comfort. If you made a quarter of a million a year and did not have the above you wouldn't be able to afford it either.
     
  6. What's your reason for the upgrade?
    The D300 is capable of producing excellent results (so is the D40) and can take a lot of abuse (compare to the D40). But if you can't really justify the purchase, there's nothing wrong with holding off the purchase and continue to use your D40.
     
  7. Why the D300? What sorts of photos do you want to take with it?
    Honestly, if you don't make money with it, and it's questionable whether you can afford it, the answer is probably no. Camera bodies are expensive and aren't really long term investments (it's better to spend money on lenses than bodies, lenses last for several generations of bodies) and the difference between the D40 and D300 is in specific areas that may or may not be important to you. A lot of the time you won't see the difference between photos taken with a D300 and a D40 assuming both are being used by people who know what they're doing.
    I don't own a D300, it's too expensive to be worthwhile to me. I do own a D90, but even that expense didn't make a heck of a lot of sense so to make it work in my mind I made some Ebay deals and sold some other items I wasn't using, and my D60, to pay for it. I have the 50/1.8 and the 35/1.8 and both are excellent value lenses. Those go along with a couple of consumer zooms and I'm not equipped to do professional shooting but it's more than enough for my realistically assessed needs. If there weren't a recession going on maybe I'd have a more liberal interpretation of "need".
    I'm just an avid hobbyist, but I take a lot of photos and I do like collecting so I look for value. E.g., if I want to use full-frame I'm shooting manual focus Minolta film cameras and lenses I've accumulated by watching Ebay and picking up deals, so I've got 2 good bodies (and 2 serviceable but flawed ones), 3 excellent primes and 2 "pro" zooms and that represents about $160 in total - which is a lot easier to stomach than whatever the same setup with a D700 would cost.
     
  8. My income? It's "enough." I have no loan payments of any kind (car, house, student, credit card) and live within my means. I do own a D300 but really my income isn't so much the biggest factor. I think you are going in the wrong direction here for your decision making. If you have credit card balances etc., pay those off now. Loans will make you poor and keep you poor. I only pay cash. If I can't pay cash, I don't buy it. Now on to my photo advice for you. I look at camera gear as a SYSTEM. The camera is the least important item in the system, generally speaking. You didn't say what you like to photo, and that makes a HUGE difference in what you need. Judging from the lenses you mention, I take it you don't really need the few advantages the D300 offers over the D90. I would recommend you go cheaper on the camera (get the D90) and spend more on lenses, flash, and tripod. I can't be more specific since you weren't. What do you plan on photo'ing?
    Kent in SD
     
  9. I have both a D40 and a D300. I'm retired and make a lot less than $50K
     
  10. There's two reasons I felt I could afford a D300. I quit smoking after 45 years and those savings alone paid for the camera in less than a year. In addition, we paid off our house and all our vehicles last year. Boy does that feel good!
     
  11. Income - - I have no income I'm a housewife of 22 years. Granted my husband normally has income - but he's seasonal worker due to his business. Last year he worked about 20 days - - it's all relative. What are your priorities & what other responsibilities do you have.
     
  12. My turn...
    I currently own a D300.
    Previously owned a D200
    Previously owned a Coolpix 5000.
    Sold the D200 to get the D300...
    Major improvement.
    Still use the Coolpix as an electrical inspector for documentation and presentations.
    The photos from all 3 have been very satisfying.
    A good photo is a good photo.
    Yes, the creative and technical boundaries are nearly limitless with the D300, but I have shots from all 3 that are memorable, sharp, and above all keepers.
     
  13. Franklin,
    Your income has nothing to do with justification of a D300 purchase or anyother purchase for that matter. Your income will facilitate the purchase but it's level or amount has nothing to do with the price of fish........I earn about one third of your salary and own a D700 plus far too many lenses all debt free - I certainly don't use my income to justify that.
    The only way you can justify the purchase of a new camera and many lenses is to stop worrying about your salary and go out and take photos which give you pleasure.
     
  14. Best Buy - 18 months no interest. Also, D90 has the the same image quality as the D300. So does the D5000.
     
  15. Over the past 35 years, I have frequently delayed buying new cars and opted for a new camera or lens instead. Priorities.
     
  16. It may make more sense, if you can afford/justify, it to start with the lenses and wait on the camera body.
     
  17. I make less than 20k a year.
    But, I live in Taiwan, as a student.
    I can't afford anything I buy, but I buy it anyway.
    Hoarding cash doesn't help anyone.
    lol
     
  18. One difference between an amateur and a professional is that an amateur can buy equipment without justifying it. A pro with good business sense will only buy equipment if it seems likely that the investment will increase his earning power more than the cost. Or to put it another way, when he weighs the financial impact of purchasing the gear vs. putting the same money in a bank account, (or not taking out the loan he would need to take out to buy the gear), if it doesn't look like the purchase will return more money than the alternative, then the gear doesn't get bought.
    Amateurs don't need to justify things that way. You weigh the costs against the other expenses in your life, and the pleasure you'll get from buying the gear vs. the pleasure you'd get from putting the money somewhere else. I wouldn't want to go into debt to fund a hobby, nor would I want to risk homelessness or fail to save for retirement. But on the other hand, money is for spending. You're the only one who can decide your priorities. There are plenty of people who will spend $2000 on a vacation, and a vacation will depreciate a lot faster than a digital camera (though the camera will depreciate pretty darn fast).
     
  19. Franklin,
    I think I understand were your coming from. I make a bit less than you do, so ..economically, we are similar. I think people find ways to afford what they REALLY need. I don't need a new camera. My F4 is clicking away just fine. I'm learning about slides and other film while using it. However, in my mind, I do not shoot enough, or well enough to be able to say that a D300 would solve any issues with film or development costs, or make my pictures better. THAT is why I have not justified it. If I really could look at a gallery of my shots and honestly say, " If I had a D300, those shots would be better. ", I would find a way to save up for it. Brown bag my lunch a few times a week. Maybe ride my bike to work at times. Not eat out as much. Tell people to just give me money on birthdays, Father's Day, and Christmas. If the price of the D300 was what I spent a month , eating in fine restaurants, and I drove a new Mercedes Benz every other year, it would be a different story. ( Which was the point Franklin was hinting at. )
    Of course, that little devil on my shoulder keeps saying that if I HAD a nice digital camera, I WOULD take more picures, I would learn faster, and it WOULD improve things ! My "problem" is I have a nice little collection of MF lenses and I need a D200 or better to use them properly. That means the D90 and below would require more lenses and that pushes the price up to D300 land.
    What has almost made me pull the trigger is that BestBuy D200 deal. For about $600 , that camera would easily fit my needs, but ... it's 4 year old stuff and some of the D300 features keep holding me back. If the D300 drops into the same range, in a year or 18 months, I may not stop myself. But for something like $1600, it's not money well spent , for the amount of shooting I do. That's why I can't justify the purchase.
    Maybe deep down, you know you also have better things to spend you money on ?
     
  20. Asking about income from strangers is a taboo in my country, so we won't go there ;-)
    For a pro, it's a matter of justifying it based on the current income and the business need for it. For an amateur, it's about priorities and how much you can and want to spend on hobbies. I've used my D300 for over a year, can't remember making a dime with it, but still feel it was a good purchase and I can afford it.
     
  21. Depends on what your needs are. Income is not important, disposable income is. Want vs need is important. The D300 is a camera where if you buy, you'll never look back and have regrets. Buy a refurb from Cameta Auctions at around $1100 - $1200 range. The D40x id a fine camera, but in low light? Not so good vs D300.
     
  22. Photography is not a question of justification. It is a passion for you and me. How much you spend on what you like personally is much more than the offordability. This is little amount you are going to spend for , say 3-4 years before you ask the same question again. But the satisfation that you are going to get is much more than $1200/- So it is not logical to ask such questions your self. Go and buy and enjoy the the shoooting with with your BRAND NEW D300 !!
     
  23. I am not a pro but an avid photographer, I dont make whole lot of money, and I own a d300 you just have to ask yourself why I need to upgrade did I grow out of my current camera and it doesn't do what I want it to do. so it's not a matter of how much money you make it's just if you really need the product, you dont want to but $2000 and then let it sit in it's bag because you don't use it that often or you find out that it takes simillar photographs to your current camera.
    just my .02
     
  24. I am kind of surprised that no one else has mentioned it already. I also own the D40 and my advise to you as you have already made mention that you are investing in glass as well, would be buy the glass.
    If there is one thing I am the most gald I did was buy better optics for my D40, huge improvemnt over kit and the cheap 55-200 that I got for $100.
    BUY THE GLASS, besides if it is still not what you want you havent made a bad desision as is all moves right on up anyways.
     
  25. My 2 cents.
    I think that you should skip the idea of picking up the D300 and think more on lens.Pick up the 18-200 (a versatile lens but not the best for low light image quality) the 50 1.8 is pretty cheap but it will not autofocus on the 40. Nikon makes a 50mm AF lens but it is a bit more pricey. But it's a lot cheaper than a 300. Then again a lot of people manually focus their lens to make sure that they are focused where they want them to be.. What type of pictures do you take? If you like macro the 105 2.8 is supposed to be really nice. Plus there are a lot of primes that have special uses that will ALL carry over when and if you decide to upgrade. Don't just buy a lens to have it in your kit buy one that fits your interests: landscape, portraits, macro, wide angle, super telephoto the list is seemingly endless. If you take portraits maybe some sort of lighting set-up would be nice.
    How long have you owned your D40? How many pictures have you taken with it? I don't see any pictures posted in your profile. Is the D40 holding you back or do you just want to buy a new camera? Do you think that you know what every button, mode and feature does in the D40?
    Are you still using the auto mode? If so try to switch to one of the more advanced modes. Doing that you will have a NEW camera that will eventually take a lot better pictures when you get the hang of it. Practice in those features will help when and IF you decide to step up to the next level. You might take better pictures with the 40 in a more advanced mode that the D300 in auto. I wouldn't even think of upgrading until I was fairly efficient in the advanced modes.Take a class, join a club learn more about the camera that you all ready own.
    I am in the same dilemma I have owned the D40 for a couple of years I picked up the 18-200 and the 50 1.8 I also picked up some lights and am going to try some portraiture. Sticking with the D40.
    I like the tilt screen that they finally came out with on the D5000 but I also like the internal motor that it doesn't have. I imagine that the next generation of all Nikons will have the tilt screen.The extra megapixels would be nice for cropping.
    Right now I'm going to do just what I recommended to you. Once that I can operate the D40 blindfolded and know exactly how everything on the D40 works then MAYBE I'll step up. Of course maybe by then the 40 will breakdown or the D300 will be an antique and much more affordable.
    Chasing the latest and greatest is a rich mans game there will always be a better camera out there.
     
  26. Hi Franklin. I'm a 70 year young man and I photographing in the last 45 years seriously, before that occasionally, Started 12-13 with a pinhole camera, developed my film and occasional enlargements. O.k. In the main-time I am an artist as well, mostly painting, but used to make my living as an electrical engineer. . . . So! . . . I'm a Nikon fan regardless the occasionally bad and irritating Canadian, "Mississauga Nikon Service". I own many cameras, and digital as well. Just a list of the latest digital; a D700, D300, and D40. I have all the reason, why I own a D40. And why not a D40X. I'm very well versed with technical details and known, the D40 is a fantastic camera able to do uniting what a 4 time the cost, or a 10 time the cost camera can do, for an amateur, or, even for an advanced amateur. The D40 basic kit lens, non VR is better then the VR version, because has an ED element in the lens. The only drawback with the D40 is, you loosing auto focus with older lens, non AF-S, because has no internal motor build into the camera. Not a big deal, I even using lenses with this camera witch is 30-45 years old and No AF, no AIS and producing beautiful images. I had with the camera an after-market battery holder, from eBay, very god, holding two set of batteries, and complementing the D40 perfectly specially for my bigger hand. I don't using the pop-up flash, "it is a useless garbage for me" even on a D300 or D700. I have a small SB-400 and with this little flashlight the camera is a beauty, enough for any room, or fill light. The camera has a higher ISO sensitivity as a D40x, and higher flash syncron-speed, 1/500, then any of the above cameras, witch is wonderful, when you using in outdoor, daylight as a fill in flash. I caring most of the time this little camera, for family, street photography and anything coming up. Even using when I'm out in the field for landscape and several of my images on the PN is made with this camera. I visited my friend last afternoon, they had a new baby, and the guy didn't believed the quality I produced for them, from them, and the baby. In your case, I would not buy an expensive new camera, and if you really wanted to upgrade ( this word is irrelevant) the D60 would be just perfect. You probably has all ready the 18-55 zoom. Witch is better then the 18-200, in this range. If you really want to upgrade with lenses, I would recommend the 50/1.8 for portrait, or a 35/1.8 for general available light photography, then for a longer range, a 55-200VR. And never get read of your D40. You always need a second camera, for many reason.
    00TF7Q-130949684.jpg
     
  27. Hi guys,
    Thanks for your insights and positive critics! Much appreciated. Well I guess I should've added more details:
    * This month (May), the camera shop from which I plan to get the D300 is running a promotion for Nikon cameras and lenses, and is selling the D300 (brand new of course) for about US$ 1320, and I thought that's a pretty good deal for such an awesome camera!!
    * I'm interested in the D300 due to its faster focus, faster frame rate, better highlight, and more saturated colours.
    * My main use for the camera will mainly be for foreign travels, landscapes, and once in a while, portraits and some fast actions as well. But hey, we never know what suddenly could show up in front of us right? ;)
    * I just turned 17 in January, so I still live with my parents, and my "salary" (more like income) comes from the Internet, so I don't need to spend money to travel to work since I work from home, and my monthly expense is about $1000; $500 of which goes to an investment account (for my old days in the far far future, when I retire).
    * If I were to get the D300 + lenses, I'd pay the full amount, by cash, since I don't like having debts.
    * I don't have a car, and, believe it or not, no cellphone either.
    Hmm, that's about it for now....
    Thanks once again!
     
  28. Are u willing to pay for it?
    Willing does not mean irresponsible.
    Not willing also does not mean you can't afford it.
    The balance to make that decision depends on your situation.
    I think I can fully afford to buy a BMW M3 in this market but I am not willing to pay for it ... for various reasons.
     
  29. Get the D90, bottomline.
    It gives you the same image quality, has more features and you can get it for 899 with a very decent lens.
     
  30. Im not sure i understand. Do you make the 50 grand with a D40? Are you a photographer? If so, you probably should have gotten the D300 when it came out.
    or do you make 50k and just are wondering how much you should spend on gear? if thats the case, I certainly think that you are the only one who can decide that. Personally I would run the D40 into the ground, if you not making money, and photography is just for fun, then the D40 is just as good a toy as the D300. You probably just havea bad case of Nikon Aquisition Syndrome.
     
  31. I've had a D70 for 5 years now. It still works. I have been tempted also, but money is tight these days so I would use D40.
     
  32. If you want the D300 and feel you shoot enough photography then go for it. I don't think that most people who buy D300 make a lot of money, they just really enjoy photography and want a quality camera. If you have the disposable income regardless of the salary then get it. If your deciding between making your mortgage payment or buying the camera then I would definitely pass. There are significant differences between the D40 and the D300. Depending on your lens collection you might get just as much benefit from buying a high quality lens instead. I was considering upgrading my D200 to the D700 but have decided to wait for the D300 replacement that will likely be out in the fall. I decided to buy a few lenses to satisfy my urge for new equipment. Another camera worth looking at simply for the price would be the D200 which is on sale at Best Buy for 599.99. At that price you could add a high end lens and have a great camera lens combo. Glass has a larger impact overall to image quality than the body does. I would take a D200 with high end glass over a D300 with budget glass.
     
  33. to the original poster...
    Income levels are irrelevant really, all that should matter is how much $ you have left over after your expenses...i.e. "can I afford this?"
    Now with that said, I bought a D40 kit to get me started and underway in Feb of this year and then a month ago a used D300 popped up for less than $800 (including a lense and verticle battery grip too) so I jumped all over it and picked it up. I love the D300 and rarely pick up the D40 now.
    My suggestion to you is: if you really want it, and can justify it, get it. There are some good deals to be had right now if you just watch any used classifieds - you just have to patient but ready to pounce on them quick when they pop up.
    my 2 cents...
     
  34. D200 with a Nikkor 17-55 2.8 gets my vote.
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/300490-USA/Nikon_2147_17_55mm_f_2_8G_ED_IF_AF_S.html
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7633313&st=D200&type=product&id=1130987191339
    D300 body only 1799.99
    D200-- 599.99 with 17-55 2.8-- 1,229.95 = 1829.94
    For $30 more you can have a very close performing D200 with a very high end glass 17-55, which will be far superior to a D300 kit lens.
     
  35. Why not wait until the D400 is launched? You could then get a nice deal on a used D300. I don't know when it will happen, but there's always a new model at some point.
    I think the income question is irrelevent. We all have different demands placed on our $$$. I, for example, have two children who will start college in 7- 9 years. And I live in an expensive part of the country. I also carry no credit card debt - I'd rather save and buy when I can afford my toys.
     
  36. OK, now I have some info to work with. Your basic need is for a camera that is light, compact, versatile. You are making the classic beginner's mistake of putting primary importance on a camera, and less importance on lenses etc. Really, it's the lens that will determine what you can photo, when, and the image quality. You need to stop seeing photography as just a camera, and instead start seeing it as a SYSTEM where all the pieces work together to do what you want. Dumping most of your cash on a camera body and then buying lenses etc. with what's leftover will almost guarantee you won't be happy. Trust me on this one.
    Here's what I think you need, given the info you provided. Will start with $2,000 as your spending limit. The $1,320 for D300 isn't that great of a deal. I bought a new one for $1040. At any rate, it's the wrong camera for you. I'll start with lenses, since they're more important. First, a Nikon 16-85mm VR. It's sharp & versatile, and compact. Price: $600. Next is a longer zoom. The Nikon 70-300mm VR will give you 50% more reach than a 200mm. Together with the 16-85mm you will have tremendous versatility. Note that both lenses take the 67mm filter, which is very nice. Price: $500. I've now spent about half your money on lenses. Next, I would want a flash if I did portraits. Lighting is CRITICAL. The Nikon SB-600 can be used off camera wireless and is great for travel portraits! Price: $200. I've now spent $1300 of your money and have $700 left. There's one more thing before I get to the camera though. A polarizer. Gotta have one for landscapes & travel. Essential. Price $30+. Now comes my camera recommendation. I've saved it for last since it's not as important as the other things I've listed. The Nikon D90 has the same sensor as the D300, and 90% of the same capability. Do you need D300 1/320 flash sync? No, you don't. The D90 is the BEST match for you. It's compact, rugged, and versatile. But, it's about $760 (Cameta Camera auctions on E Bay) which puts us about $100 over your $2,000 budget. You could sell the camera/lenses you have now and get that plus have enough for, TA DA, a Sigma 30mm f1.4, a better lens than the 35mm f1.8 or 50mm f1.8. Price: ~$260 (used, on E Bay.)
    So there you go, a real camera SYSTEM that is very versatile and will do what you want. It's a much better allocation of money than what you put together, I think. This system will give noticeably better photos, for sure. If you want to cut some cost, go for the Nikon 18-55mm VR lens ($115 on E Bay Cameta Camera auctions.) It's a great lens and better than the 18-200mm for image quality. Downside is it takes 52mm filters though. I put a LOT of time & thought into this one, and I'm positive it's a better system than what you came up with. You will NOT see any difference at all between a photo made with D90 v. D300. You will see a difference in QUALITY of portraits made with an SB-600 off-camera flash though. Definitely. You're 17 and don't yet realize the importance of off camera flash for portraits, I'm thinking.
    Kent in SD
     
  37. Let me get this straight, You are 17. You live with your parents. You make $50,000.00 a year from the internet. Your total expenses are $500.00 per month and you save $500.00 per month. You have no car and no cell phone. So. Assuming that you are paying taxes on this money, here is your budget:
    After tax income: $3750 per month. More if you are flying under the radar on taxes.
    Investment: $1500.00 per month. (You would have to be very smart to make this decision but if you are making $50K per year from the bedroom of your parent's house you have something on the ball.)
    Your "Expenses". $500.00 per month.
    Get whatever camera you want. Get a D3 if you feel like it.
    Get wonderful glass.
    Eat Filet Mignon twice a week.
    Buy a cell phone and call me to tell me how I can make $50,000.00 per year, part time, from my bedroom at someone else's house.
     
  38. I feel very irresonsible having bought a D300, which I did not really need, and which, in many ways, was above my budget. However, I also feel very happy with it, because it is a great camera. For casual walks, when I do not really intend to take any pictures, I often take my much lighter D40X, but ever so often, I realise that I should have taken the D300 instead for this or that shot that could not be taken with the D40X. One of the most obvious differences is 6 frames per second, which is great, when you take photos of birds, insects and other fast animals and for sport events and so on.
     
  39. On a second thought, By the D3X, 14-24, 24-70, 70-200/2.8 s, and you going to be happy ever after. 17 and making such an amount of money, and clear profit, you can afford it. And what a heck.
     
  40. Hi Kent,
    Thanks VERY much for the detailed analysis!
    Well, I guess I didn't mention, that the lenses that I currently have are the 18-55mm (non VR), and the 55-200mm VR. I know that the 18-200mm certainly isn't the best when it comes to sharpness, and the reason why I said about it is just because it has such a very nice focal range, which means I wouldn't have to switch lenses too many times, which keeps my camera sensor clean. I'll definitely take the 16-85 and 70-300 into consideration, but I was wondering if you could suggest any other reasonable lens with such a broad focal length range like the 18-200?
    I definitely realise the importance of off-flash camera for portraits, and in fact I own an SB-800, which is quite amazing I think. One of the drawbacks of the D40 is that it can't function in the commander mode, which means that although I can trigger the SB-800 remotely, the TTL won't work, as I'm sure you know too. Now that Nikon no longer manufactures the SB-800, I guess I would have to get either the SU-800 or SB-900, or a camera that has the commander mode (and as I understand it, the D90 does, right?)
    Having seen many amazing pictures out there, I realised that having only 1 external flash is probably not sufficient, and I would need at least 2, in order to create reasonably stunning pictures no?
    If you go here:
    http://www.scottkelby.com/portfolio/
    and then click on "PEOPLE", you'll see that many of the lady photos there have very nice highlight, and I'm so eager to learn how to take pictures like that....I know Scott most likely used more than 1 off-camera flashes, and perhaps some beauty dishes and Alien Bees, and I just wonder where he positioned them =).
    Oops I digressed!
     
  41. Rick,
    Actually I pay a lot more in taxes; and that's because I'm in Canada, where the tax brackets are higher than those in the US (I assume you're American?) But hey, I can't complain....we do get free health care here afterall! =) And I wouldn't fly under the radar....I'm honest!
    My income comes mainly from affiliate marketing....I create content-rich sites and promote other people's products and get commissioned....that's it! It's not part time though....far from it....sometimes I work up to 14 to 18 hours a day! But having no boss means I can do anything I want and vacation anytime I want...that's the beauty =).
    Lol @ the cellphone....hehe....there's a reason why I don't have one, and it's because I'm kind of paranoid, because I heard the wave that it generates can cause brain cancer..... =P
     
  42. There aren't really any wide ratio zooms other than the 18-105mm VR, and the image quality isn't as good as the other options. And that's the problem with most of the wide ratio zooms--convenience at the expense of image quality. I still stick with the recommedation of 16-85mm VR + 70-300mm VR as those are quality lenses, compact, and give a 50% great focal range than the 18-200mm alone. You did not mention you had an SB-800 flash. I still recommend the SB-600 if you actually do already have the SB-800. You don't need two flash with commander mode. Something like a pair of Bogen Nano stands with a small umbrella and clamp would be useful, though. The D90 does have commander mode too. An SB-900 would be a waste of money.
    As for Canadian health care being "free," you are joking. You are paying out the wazoo for it. You are actually paying for other people's health care in addition to your own. Last time I was in Canada and needed to see a doctor for an infection emergency, I was told it would be a 6-9 hour wait. Instead, I went to a vet supply store and found antibiotics that would work and bought those. I sure don't want to have Canadian "health care" here, LOL!
    Kent in SD
     
  43. Thanks Kent. So, sharp lenses (i.e: sharper than 18-55) that would meet my budget are probably only the 50mm, 35mm, and 16-85 then?
    By the way, where did you get the D300 for $1040 anyway?

    Yes, the SB-900 is indeed overpriced and I don't think I would get it either. But if I get the SB-600, won't I be limited since it can't be triggered remotely?
    (As for taxes, yes that's what I meant....we pay high amount here, which goes to the so called "free" health care, which isn't really free...hehehe. On behalf of Canada, I apologise that you were told to wait 6 to 9 hours though! That is ridiculous! It's not usually that long though. What city were you in?!)
     
  44. I am impressed, geat discussion. About nothing. As mentioned before, body qualities is secondary to your specific needs. First line matter are lenses. Second line matter are lenses. Third line matter are lenses. When you are totally happy with your lenses start thinking about body. Have fun, regards...
     
  45. Looks like you have 1,000 answers now. I switched from many years of Canon to the Nikon D300 to get some of the features Canon lacks. If you read "David D. Busch's Nikon D300" book it will suggest the 16-85mm as one of the options for a starter lens. That's what I got. He also points out some inexpensive lenses from Nikon that are also sharp. His top three choices, though, cost $1,600, $1,700, and $1,900 respectively. Looks like you WILL be getting the 70-200 f/2.8 at some point in your life because of how remarkable it is. Adorama really tried to push the 18-200mm over the phone, but the Ritz guy said in person that while he bought it for his son, he would suggest it for people who are "picky." And "picky" means anyone who is really struggling towards professional results, not just a proud parent wanting baby pictures who believes somehow that clicking a D300 will produce magical results. Busch can warn you about lenses that may fall short of quality results. It's in the back third of his book.
     
  46. I bought the D40X, but I like to D300 pics better. The viewfinder is significantly higher quality on the D300. Of course, it is a lot heavier.
     
  47. Not such a strange question. On an RF forum a similar question was posed to owners of the Leica M8. It was someting about being a Dentist. You know that old joke?
    Funny reading about the Canadian health care system we all seem to want here in the US. My daughter had an accident in the Canadian Rockies while we were on vacation and I figured we'll try out the "free" health care (hehe). Well the balance on my credit card freely ran up with charges! Service was good though so no complaints.
    Anyway Franklin, I have a friend who shoots weddings with a D200 and keeps a D40 around his neck. He uses the cameras like a cowboy using two six shooters. I can't tell which images are from which camera.
    Franklin DON"T DISCOUNT the 50 1.8D. I bought one for myself after my other daughter took my old one for her film photography class. Take a look at some wide open shots I made with it recently. Bear in mind these shots are with grainy ISO 1600 film, and hand held.
    Piano Interior
    Piano Wire
     
  48. In february I had my D50 upgraded to a D90. I had have a very long thinking if buying a D300 or D80 instead. The differences are not so big between the camera's. Th D300 is more study and more AF points( both I didn't really need), the D80 is cheaper with about the same performance. The improvement of the D90 against the D50 is worth the money for me, but I am still in doubt if the D80 would have made me as much satisfied. The main advantage of all these camera's is that you can use almost any (older) lenses, I got some good ones secondhand and much cheaper then new ones.
     
  49. SB-600. You need to read up on NIkon CLS. Yes, the SB-600 can indeed be fired remotely. Why would I suggest you buy it for off-camera flash if you couldn't? I know flash. I have 10 SB flash and 4 White Lightnings. Nights shots with flash on a BIG scale is what I do. I own the Nikon 50mm f1.8, and am just not that impressed. For a hundred bucks it's OK. For a small light lens, it's OK. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 is much better. I tried the Nikon 35mm f1.8G and was unimpressed--too much CA. Why do you think you need BOTH a 35mm and a 50mm? Sounds like wasted money and overlap to me. I got the D300 for $1040 from Cameta Camera E Bay auctions last fall. I am very patient and picked off a deal. I need the 1/320 flash sync. As for what city I was in when I tried to see a doctor, I was east of Revelstoke BC somewhere. Only one of the towns there even had a doctor, and the wait was going to be most of a day. So, I diagnosed myself (I have a degree in medical science) and my wife (hospital pharmacist) dosed the antibiotics I found at a vet supply store. Problem solved, no time lost.
    @Wojtek
    Normally I agree that lenses are what it's all about, but when you start getting into portraits, lights & modifiers will trump lenses. It's lighting that makes a portrait look "pro" or not.
    Kent in SD
     
  50. My income not important, I'm a victim of NAS!
    It's not if you can afford the camera, can you afford the accessories!
    I have: 30mm f1.4, 50 1.4, 85 f1.4, 17-55 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8 ed-if vr, sb600, sb800. All this fits inside a Think Tank Airport Antidote
    00TFTY-131127584.jpg
     
  51. If I was just an amateur photographer I wouldn't buy the D300. It is too pricey. I'd probably pick up a used Dslr which you can get at pretty reasonable prices, often with lenses!
     
  52. Franklin, if you need to ask that question, then you're about to overextend yourself. I'm going to be flamed for this, but for nearly all normal applications, upgrading to a D300 would not make a dent in your photography: 6-8 years ago, professionals migrating to DSLRs were bringing home a lot of earnings with the venerable D100 and Canon 30/60D, both inferior to your D40.. ask yourself WHY you really need this, and if you can improve your technique rather than come up with dangerous financial acrobatics to own something that might not provide any better results. Save your money, and invest in yourself, not in your next toy.
     
  53. I agree with the mentality of saving for a rainy day first. People are into photography just like home theater systems for several reasons as a hobby. Some are into creating images, others are more interested in the gear. My old college professor quoted something he read once which has stuck with me ever since. He said "we start by loving the toy, we end by loving the art". Everyone starts with the fascination with the camera as a toy (well maybe not everyone, but I did). It's a symbol....a badge of honor, and many play the time honored game of mine is better than yours. But for some, its the images that captivate. It's higher ground and infinitely more rewarding. I'm not sure which ground you are on. If your ultimate fascination is with the toy, and since you are still young, and if you have a savings rate far exceeding the national avg. and you can afford the D300 by all means go for it. But if it's the images that grab you, then you have to ask yourself, for my type of photography, have I mastered the art of to the point that you have gotten all you can from the camera? If it's image quality you seek, I agree, use your money and buy the best optics you can afford. This will make the most difference in your images. I owned and used the Nikon FM2 for 22 years. I do everything manually, from exposure to focus. Every image I have ever taken was done manually, so when it came time to buy my first digital camera I went with the D40x. I spoke to a knowledgable rep. at the specialty camera store. They were use to custom printing my images, and when the salesman suggested the D200 (the hot camera at that time), the owner said to me, based on your type of photography the D40x will do just fine (and it was due to come out in a few months). It didn't have the bells and whistle's of the higher end Nikon line, but it fit what I needed it for. I wanted a small lightweight camera that felt good in my hands, light enough not to add too much poundage in my camera knapsack, and capable of good performance. I shoot manual mode exclusively, so the other features ranging from AF to Matrix metering did not matter. I continue to meter and focus myself. The camera had the ISO setting I use most (100). I'm not the best photographer out there, not even close. I admit there areas I can improve upon and the camera can continue to handle those situations as they come up just fine. How am I so sure of that? Because just a few years ago, the top of the line pro digital camera did not have all of the features and functions of todays beginers model, and the pros did just fine back then. If they were still able to shoot impressive pictures back then, then if I'm worth anything, I should be able to make excellent images now with the D40x. Just ask yourself honestly, why do I really need the new body? What group do I fall into, and make your decision based on that. I have known too many people who upgraded simply for love of the toy, for me not to ask you which group are you in?
     
  54. bmm

    bmm

    This is a very bizarre discussion to me. Perhaps as an Aussie because of the taboo around so blatantly talking about income, but I think there is more.
    The question surely is a simple one... how much will photography bring to your life? Then there is a subsidiary question which is what is the price point where you get the 'value equation' right - that is, you have good/flexible/etc enough tools to get what you want out of the hobby but you don't overstress yourself financially to the point where your net enjoyment is negative. Nina Myers own response above is a direct representation of this.
    So its totally subjective. Some people might earn 10K a year but get so much out of this passtime that they can spend 5K of that on kit. Others might earn 200K a year but only want more limited things out of photography and may not see value in spending more than 2-3K. that is unless you're a pro with a business model, ROI equation etc which I'm assuming you aren't.
    Bottom line is no-one can justify this decision but yourself. There's no magic equation which will make any of us approve or disapprove of your choice... Just do what the combination of your gut and your brain tells you and jump in. Its the best any of us can do in this life.
     
  55. Hi there, I have suffered from Nikon Acquisition Syndrome for 45 years. I am now a pensioner. Forgetting countless film bodies, I have owned a D70, D2h, D2x, D100, D200, D300, D3 and D700. Through trading around I now have the D100 which is converted to IR, the D3 and D700. My Nikkors go from 10.5 mm up to 1000 mm f11, and include exotics like 24 PCE, 70-180 micro, 105 DC etc. Lesson - Concentrate on the glass, Bodies come and go. Get what you need for the job, and you may claim it for a business expense?? I have no intention of upgrading bodies in the foreseeable future - for the first time, what I have does what I want.
     
  56. In a way, the old saying "If you have to ask, you can't afford it" applies here too. If the price of a camera is causing you to worry about the adequacy of your personal finances, it's safe to conclude that you cannot truly afford it. By "truly", I mean you cannot buy the camera without worrying whether spending that much money will cause problems in your life.
    Even if you can technically "afford" the camera, you will not enjoy your purchase if you are constantly worried about being able to pay your bills as a result. Heck, there's a lot of things I can technically "afford" but I don't buy because I'm not comfortable blowing that much cash on them.
    My advice is to enjoy the gear you have for now. If you really, really want a new camera, then put aside a reasonable amount of cash out of each paycheck -- little enough that it doesn't affect the rest of your personal finances -- and save up for it. When you reach your goal, you'll truly be able to afford the camera you want.
     
  57. If you are 17 and are making ~$50K/yr, and investing half of your monthly expenses, I'd say you're doing pretty good and probably ahead of your peers. That said, $50K/yr works out to about $4200/month. So where is the other $3200? Surely your fixed costs are not nearly that high doing internet business.
    At the end of the day, if you want the camera, and have means to pay for it, go get it. Soon, you will move out of your parents home and maybe go to college. Whole lot more expenses coming your way (car, insurance, rent, food, social life...). There will be other temptations as well along the way also. Personally, like someone already mentioned, believe this is a value judgement that only you can make... though sounds like your are looking for support to justify your urge.
    So go help the local economy and get it done and don't think about it too much or look back! Its just a camera and in the big scheme of things, you won't even notice the cost in 6 moths (or much less). I realize this sounds terribly bad advise but it really is not. And even if it is in the end, there is a lesson learned for the next time. If it doesn't work out, you'll definitely remember it the next time something tempts you....
    Cheers
     
  58. If money is not an issue then I would get a D700 or D3, depending on what kind of shooting you mainly do. Of course you can do pretty much anything with the D3, except fit it in your pocket.
     
  59. The D200 at Best Buy for $599 is still an amazing deal. Depending on what you need, it might be a better option if you are on a budget.

    The biggest advantages the D300 has over the D200 IMO are lower noise at higher isos, frame rate, live view, and faster card write speeds. Aside from these advantages, the D200 is a very capable camera, and at about $1100 less than a D300, I would say the D200 is a bargain.

    I'll second Dan, if money isn't an issue...and you don't need the extra 1.5x crop factor, the D700 is just amazing. Bright view-finder, super low noise, great for wide angle, etc. After getting to use a D700 for a couple of days, I want one..bad..but not bad enough to justify the price tag.
     
  60. I too decline the income question. But I was torn between the D80 & the D200 a couple of years back.
    The reason I bought the D200 instead of the D80 was the F-mount lens compatibility. When I started getting serious about photography, I saved a lot of money by purchasing good-quality, older F mount, mostly manual-focus lenses. They work with my F100 (used) film camera. I only have one lens that I bought brand new. As a result of working with those inexpensive but wonderful lenses, I have come to love them. This includes one Zeiss 50mm 1.4 prime lens that is fantastic. If you have older Nikon lenses, or don't mind buying used, you might factor it into your decision. It is not hard to select the "non CPU data lens" in the menu, because the camera has a database of possible lenses. It takes about 5 seconds to tell it about an old lens when you attach it.
    If I bought the D80, it would have meant buying all new or at least different lenses. That would have cost me a lot of money in the long run. Instead, I bought the more expensive D200 and I can use it with all my existing lenses. In the end, that saved me money.
     
  61. bmm

    bmm

    Just one point of correction (or perhaps enquiry if I've missed something)... I have the D80 and can mount all lenses no problems going way back.
    So both D80 and D200 (and D90 and D300 and above) take all F-mount lenses. Of the current models, its only D40/D60/D5000 that don't.
    And to be clear even that doesn't mean they don't accept F-mount lenses. To my knowledge all it means is that they don't auto-focus with them, as they don't have the focus motor and screw in the body.
    Please corect me if I'm wrong someone but I don't think I am as this to me is one of the most critical functional differentiators in the Nikon line-up and was the reason for my own DSLR entry point being D80 and not below.
     
  62. I'm skeptical of the prices people say they are paying for the D300....just over $1000? Where the heck can you find a D300 USA model - BRAND NEW for around $1000? B&H, Adorama, and all the other big internet stores can't touch those prices. Expect to pay around $1500-1700 for a new D300.
    As for the 18-200mm lens. I would never put that lens on a D300. A 16-85 is a nice lens. I'd also seriously consider faster lenses.....like the 17-50mm 2.8 Tamron and the 80-200mm 2.8 Nikon. Prime lenses are nice to have if you appreciate them. The 50mm 1.4 and the Sigma 30mmm 1.4 are great lenses.
    Frankly if I had that kind of disposable income I'd be getting a D700 which blows away the D300 in terms of low light performance and wide angle use.
     
  63. What a great thread! I don't even know what I earn anymore; My tax return is at least two inches thick, three businesses, one wife, six cats, two birds, one dog and two parents!
    I was able to afford a d300 with little adieu, but ah, no credit cards and no mortgage payments and both Harley's are paid off :^)
    I justified the price of the d300 as follows: I wanted a Nikon F5 and a digital camera. My brother has a dozen Nikon bodies, lots of glass, and, well, I bought the D300. Almost bought a Canon Rebel XSi for much less, but alas, I would have to buy all my own glass!
    The d300 fits well into my amateur shooting and is distinctly different from my Mamiya 7 and 645. But do heavily consider the price for glass and consider the body secondary.
     
  64. Just one point of correction (or perhaps enquiry if I've missed something)... I have the D80 and can mount all lenses no problems going way back.
    ...

    Please corect me if I'm wrong someone but I don't think I am as this to me is one of the most critical functional differentiators in the Nikon line-up and was the reason for my own DSLR entry point being D80 and not below.
    There's another difference that's important if you've got manual focus AI lenses (available very cheap these days). The D200/D300 and above have an AI meter coupling, allowing manual focus lenses to meter, display aperture in the viewfinder, record aperture in EXIF data, and support autoexposure (aperture priority).
    The D80 and below don't have this ability, and won't meter at all with lenses that lack CPU contacts.
    This may not be a huge issue, depending on your stable of lenses. For occasional use, chimping and viewing the histogram may be a reasonable substitute for a meter. But full support of AI lenses is what drove me to the D200.
     
  65. Chad--
    I paid $1040 for a D300 in the box from Cameta Auctions on E Bay last October. USA model. You want a photo of the receipt or something, LOL? As for the D700 "blowing away" the D300, I don't see the difference as that dramatic in the photos I've examined first hand. I'd give D700 a one stop advantage on ISO. The problem with buying a D700 is that to really justify it, you also need to spend at least twice as much more than it cost to get the quality lenses to support it. I'm not at all willing to buy older, cheaper lenses for lower lens performance just to have the current fancy camera. One thing is certain, the price of the D700 will come down. I can then buy a refurb from Cameta Auctions or somewhere AND have first class state of art lenses. I will not compromise my selection of lenses.
    Kent in SD
     

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