Upgrading from a D80

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by austen_pearson, May 18, 2010.

  1. Ok, first off I know this topic has probably been posted a thousand times, but I'm new here! Second, this is more of a discussion than a question. I just want some input from other users.
    About 3 years ago I bought my D80, I use it all the time and just love it! Though I think I've come to the point where I should upgrade my body. (Should probably meaning more along the lines of want to really bad.) I want a faster body that has a better HIGH ISO/Low light performance than my D80. Yes I am looking to upgrade to the D700.
    I shoot a lot of skateboarding and snowboarding, portraits for catalogs, and CFL Football (I get paid a little bit to shoot for the Edmonton Eskimos.) The high iso and better low light performance will help alot with my snowboarding photography, as I shoot the majority of those photos at night, or late in the day. I love shooting wide angle photos, and you can't beat a wide angle photo shot on an FX body. The large viewfinder is also very nice to look through.
    All of the lenses I shoot with now are FX, except for my 10.5mm fisheye.
    So as far as I am concerned, those are all good reasons to upgrade bodies. But I still would like to know what you guys think, your experience with upgrading bodies and if it was a good or bad decision. Also, over the larger viewfinder and better looking wide angle shots are there any reasons I shold buy the D700 over the D300?
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    All of the lenses I shoot with now are FX, except for my 10.5mm fisheye.
    So as far as I am concerned, those are all good reasons to upgrade bodies.​
    That is not good enough yet. Even though all but one of your lenses can cover the FX frame, each one of those lenses will have a very different angle of view once you put them on something like a D700, compared to on your D80. (Unless you always use DX crop on the D700, but that hardly makes any sense.)
    Therefore, it still remains as a question whether those lenses will be sufficient once you upgrade the camera. In fact, you may even prefer the way some of those lenses work on FX than on DX. That is something only you can decide.
  3. Austen,
    Here is a useful thread to read. Lot's of opinions, but I am in the very same boat you are in witht he same camera. If I had to buy now, I'd go for the D700; I rarely hear a bad word about it. But I think it's life cycle is almost at an end and therefore have personaly elected to wait it out.
    Good luck,
  4. What are your lenses now? They will be quite different on a FX...
  5. Austen, you really need to evaluate your shooting style to make a better decision. And since you are also considering the D300, what you REALLY need to evaluate is weather or not having a FF sensor works with your style.
    I could be that you are entirely happy with your photography using a DX sensor. And if so, it then just becomes an issue of having some higher ISO performance, in which case a D300 should suit you just fine.
    But, if you find that a DX sensor is inhibiting your shooting style and you think an FX will solve this, then you have that option.
    I came from film days and always liked the looks of 35mm on print. I liked how I could compose shots, etc...so therefore, when I upgraded I did so with the D700. But this may not be for you.
    Do yourself a favor and rent each of these bodies and try them out. This is a HUGELY subjective issue. And no one size fits all.
  6. Even with the D300 you will get one or two more stops of ISO over your D80. If you don't KNOW you need FX, you may very well be better served (especially for sports that require telephoto lenses) with DX.
  7. You have few advices that are trying to stop you from your obviuous decision to get D700, and make you think again.
    You could debate forever, between FX / DX, but seems that you already made up your decision.
    "They will be quite different on a FX..." - of course your lenses will be different, and this is your major reason to get D700. Chances are that they will be even better on FX, except the one DX lens that you could sell.
    Why do you think about upgrading ? - perhaps you need a better? and a different camera ? and you need a substantial change ?
  8. "I love shooting wide angle photos, and you can't beat a wide angle photo shot on an FX body. The large viewfinder is also very nice to look through." -- Well maybe with the Nikkor 14-24mm and lesser extent the older 17-35 and new 16-35mm. I upgraded from a D200 to a D700 a couple of months after the D700 came out. I did not really need it and the D300 might really have been a better choice since I use tele's but I plan to keep this body for a while. I had mostly film lenses, lots of primes and still had to rearrange the line up. I don't see much difference in the garden variety Nikkor film lenses vs the newer DX wide glass except the highend pro lenses. A Tokina 11-16mm on a D300 can give great results. So can many other DX lenses. The AF may be better in the D300 as it covers more of the viewfinder. Try renting a D700 and shoot an even to see how it handles. If you do any tele work you lose a bit with the D700. I still would like to put a D300 on my 500mm f4.
  9. Austen -- Only you can decide.
    My thoughts:
    D300s - IMHO, better for sports due to 1.5x crop factor. Makes my 70-200 f/2.8 into a 300mm equivalent. I sometimes would really like to add a 300mm f/2.8 to my arsenal of lenses, but I can't justify it since I don't get paid to shoot the sports that require it.
    D700 - Better for wide angle and when you start creeping up and over ISO 1600. If you really like wide angle shots there's no reason to not go to the D700. I'm not sure how wide you want to go...if you're happy with your D80, there's no reason to go up to the D700.
    I shoot lots of sports...I shoot football under the lights...I upgraded my D90 to the D300s for low light AF speed and focus tracking. I will be adding a D700 or it's equivalent to my bag in the near future. Before I do it though, I will be finishing up my lens lineup... a fast wide zoom and a fast long tele...more reason to stick to the D300s.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Frank, I am not trying to stop the OP from buying a D700. The problem is that he has not specified which FX lenses he has and how he uses them.
    For example, if he likes to use the 70-200mm/f2.8 @ 200mm on his D80, now he suddenly he loses the "crop factor" and what he needs is a 300mm to regain that same angle of view. That may mean he also needs to buy lenses and the budget could be beyond merely a D700 body. If one needs a 300mm/f2.8 AF-S, even and older used one, it is not exactly cheap.
    Since no details are provided, I can only suggest the OP to think this through.
  11. Maybe this help, maybe not. I have a D80, lots of FX lenses, plus a 16-85 DX. In my case I need a more weather resistant body, so considering D300s and D700. If I had $5,200 laying around I'd get the D700 plus the 16-35 and 24-70 to take advantage of the wide angle and FX sensor. Trouble is, I don't. The D300s is about $1,500 and works with the existing lenses. I don't know what your budget is, but I'll go with the D300s.
  12. ...of course your lenses will be different, and this is your major reason to get D700. Chances are that they will be even better on FX...​
    Or they might be worse per Shun's example. No one is trying to stop the OP from buying a d700 but just trying to get more relevant info to provide more useful suggestions.
  13. I'd consider the D300s. I don't see any reason to go FX unless you really have a compelling reason to do so, which it sounds like you don't.
  14. For me, there are two main reasons to go FX over DX.
    1. Shallow DOF control
    2. High ISO noise control
    Bigger VF is nice but not essential for me.
  15. depends on how much you need the 1.5x crop factor vs. another stop of high ISO performance.
  16. If you need better low light performance the D700 is a good way to go. It has less noise at high ISO's than your D80 or the D300 and it should focus faster than your D80. On the other hand the D300 will also do better under low light than your D80 and it's a lot less expensive than the D700. If you can afford the D700 get it. If money is an issue, get a D300 or even a D90.
  17. Shun has a point there. When I was considering for my D700, at that point of time, all that I wanted was a wider angle of view since most of my lens are for FX except for my 12-24 DX & better noise control. And when I actually bought the D700, I end up getting the 17-35 as well. So it's not just the body to consider.
  18. I am making an upgrade with in 2-3 weeks, Austen, from a D80 to a D700. I am going to get 3 new Nikon lenses, as well. The only lens that would be compatible with the D700 that I currently own is my 105mm...I have had my D80 for about 2 1/2- 3 years now, and I am definitely ready for the upgrade. But, before I considered investing in a new rig, I had to be able to afford the new lenses to go with it~ good luck in your decision making. Work it all out, figure out the costs and see what works for you and interests.
  19. The FX Lenses I have now are the Nikon 70-200 vr, 50mm 1.4d, 16-35 vr and the 10.5mm fisheye. (Which I will sell, and buy back a 16mm fisheye). I also use a 1.4x teleconverter to get a little bit closer at the football games.
  20. All I shoot right now is sports, but I do not believe shooting DX is inhibiting my style. I just believe that by switching to FX I will get more use out of my 16-35. That lens is used a lot more than the 70-200. I am also rather close to the action at the football games so loosing that crop ratio is no concern to me.

    Also, low light performance is very important to me. Lot's of my action photo's are taken during the darker hours of the day and at night. Both the d300s and d700 are within my budget for a new body.
  21. I upgraded from my D80 to a D700, and i had to get new lenses, but boy it was worth it. I would still be perfectly happy to stick a 70-300mm on my D80 to use that crop factor, but the D700 is simply ten times the camera for me. Having said that, I would not buy a D700 now, as its cycle is almost over, and it therefore does not represent great value for money. When the replacement is available, you will be able to pick a d700 up for much less.
  22. Austen,
    If I had that list of lenses, I'd get a D700. No question about it.
  23. You will gain at the wide end and lose at the long end. That is the same issue I have. I concider trading my 1.4 TC for a D300 often. You will definately gain on the wide end though and I do enjoy using the D700 except for the weight. You will lose AF area vs the D300 if that makes a difference. Another compromise to deal with, pick the one that meets you greatest needs.
  24. OPK


    D300 would be sufficient I think.... the one issue you guys didn't speak is D700 weight. it feels much heavier than D3 body - if it works for you, just get it. if not, take a lighter body
  25. Austen -- With the list of lenses you have, I will suggest renting a D700 and shooting with it for a day. Shoot under the conditions you will normally be shooting under. I don't think the extra stop from High ISO will be the difference maker. I believe the crop factor will. If you are primarily shooting sports and like what you are getting from your D80, you will have to get used to the fact that you need to stand much much closer to the action to get the length you are getting from your 70-200. If you want wide, sweeping shots with a tiny little snowboarder in it, go for the D700 and shoot your 16-35 all day long.
    BTW, I think you would benefit from this scenario much more:
    Buy the D300s.
    If you need an extra stop and wider angle, get the 14-24mm f/2.8 and sell your 16-35mm f/4
    Once you have this kit, figure out if you still need higher ISO performance and wider angle. If you do, get the D700 or D3s. If there happens to be a replacement for either when you're ready to upgrade, perhaps that will be the way to go.
    When you do upgrade, you should keep your D300s and keep your 70-200mm attached to it all the time...this will give you the benefit of the 1.5x crop (300mm equivalent). You can then keep your wide zoom on the FX body and shoot away with that.
    Remember, 2 bodies are always better than one, and when you have similar performance with the option of 2 sensor sizes in your kit, it's even better.
    Just my 2 cents
  26. It does seam like the d700 is due for a replacement actually! Maybe I'd be better off waiting until that body is released as I know I will have it for many years!
    That scenario, Richard does seam beneficial for me, especially long term. As you said, 2 bodies are better than one! You couldn't have a better setup than what you explained there. Shooting wide with FX and tele on DX would be great for my shooting style, and I know 2 bodies will be in my bag eventually!

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