Upgrading from D200

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tuomas_kaira, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Hi

    I have D200 now and I'm planning on upgrading. What I'm not happy about with the D200 is high ISO performance and also I could use better auto-focus. My choices are pretty much D300, D700 and D7000.
    With D7000 I think I would get the high ISO performance I need (want). But is the af significantly better? Exposure bracketing is only 3 frames (maybe I could live with that). And I would have to get new memory cards and batteries.
    With D300(s) I would have the better af. I could use my extra batteries and CF cards. I would also have all the controls and features that I now have with D200. Also the buffer is way bigger than the one in D7000. But how much better is the high ISO performance?
    With the D700 I would get the better auto-focus, and high ISO performance plus all the controls and features I want and I would be able to use my batteries and CF cards. And thats the camera I want.
    But as always there is a but. I have some good (or at least decent) lenses, but most of theme DX. My zooms are sigma 10-20, 50-150/2.8 and nikkor 17-55/2.8. I also have couple of primes: nikkor 35/1.8, 50/1.4 af(non-D), 85/1.8 and 55/2.8 micro.
    If I went the D700 route, I would sell all three zooms and the D200, witch would hopefully get me enough money to buy the d700. Of course I would be left only with the 50 and 85. In addition I would get something wide, probably some wide prime or cheap zoom (like 18-35) at first and get better one later if needed.
    And then I would need also a tele zoom. Probably nikkor 70-300, 80-200 or sigma 70-200.And for the record photography is just a hobby for me. Here are some examples of what I shoot http://www.flickr.com/photos/tkaira/
    Does this sound stupid? Would I be better of picking up one of the DX options?
    Thank you for any help!
  2. I still have a D200 around, and use it for product shots and other ISO-100-ish activities. I use the D300 for most of what I do, though. The D200's not what I would consider very usable above ISO 400 except for some very specific types of images, but I'll gladly push the D300 to ISO 1600 in those same circumstances. I often use it at ISO 800 without a second thought. It isn't just the better noise performance, though ... there are other qualitative things about the D300's images that are clearly better than the D200. Certainly the AF system is miles better.

    But alas, the D300's getting pretty long in the tooth now. If I were feeling the pressure, in your shoes, I'd either get a lightly used or remanufactured one for a very aggressive price, or just wait - possibly months! - for the D400 or whatever it happens to be. The D700 is also likely to be replaced in the nearer term, so that expense seems high - especially with the glass you'll have to buy - for the gains you'd get.
  3. I'd try a D7000 and see if the AF would work for you. Perhaps you live somewhere with a great camera store? (If so, buy from them if you can, please...) It is more advanced than the D200 for sure.
    The D300 is getting so old it would be a scary purchase for me, but not used.
  4. Either a D300 or D7000 should give you clear improvements over the D200. Personally I would look very closely at the D7000 as it has the newest technology. You will spend a bunch going to FX between body and glass. Batteries and cards are cheap compared to glass.
  5. The D7000 is all around a better performing camera than the D200 or the D300. Arguably it is better than the D700
    as well - if you don't mind the APS-C size "DX" format.
  6. You say you want the D700? Why? What will the D700 do for you that can't be done with the D7000 or D300s? When I upgraded to the D700, (from the D300s), I knew exactly why I wanted to get that particular camera...and it had nothing to do with High ISO performance or AF since I already had the AF in the D300s. Additionally, in the US, the D700 is nearly impossible to find and demand on used ones is so high that the cost has skyrocketed. Currently used bodies are advertised for more money than I paid for a new D700 in January!
    After looking at your portfolio, I see very few sports, action, or wildlife (animal) shots so I'm not sure the AF system in the D300s would suit your style of photography. However, build, exterior controls, and use of current batteries and CF cards may sway your decision.
    As of this very moment, for your style of photography, and the want for higher ISO, I would say that the D7000 would be your best choice. You gain higher usable ISO than the D300s, Better AF than the D200 (not quite as good as the D300s), better Matrix Metering, and keep the ability to use your current lens kit. The only things that change are your batteries and the need for SD Memory Cards. For the cost difference between the D7000 and D300s, you can easily pick up a few extra SD cards and Batteries...possibly even a grip if you wanted one.
    If I went the D700 route, I would sell all three zooms and the D200, witch would hopefully get me enough money to buy the d700.​
    Not likely...the Sigma 10-20 used goes for around $350, the 50-150 f/2.8 for around $450, the 17-55mm for $850, and the D200 for $500 or less. All together this adds up to $2150...at current market price for the D700 you're about $500 shy of your D700 and you'd need to spend another $1600 to get the 24-70mm f/2.8 to match your 17-55mm f/2.8. Again, unless you've got a clear cut vision of what the D700 will do for you that the D7000 will not, I'd not go with the D7000 at this point in time.
  7. You may find this thread helpful:
    When I get around to upgrading my D200, the improvements I would look for are:
    - better high ISO performance
    - a MUCH better viewfinder and LCD for critical manual focus
  8. Looking at your Flickr stream, I also wonder about the need for much better AF than the D200... for sure I can see nothing there which the D7000 can't handle. I see no photos that push high ISO to the level which the D300 cannot handle. So, any of them will deliver on the points you want to improve.
    Except for one thing, possibly. The D7000 is a bit smaller and has a different lay-out than the D200. So, indeed, go to a store and try. If the D7000 does feel small to you, then the D300 would be the next logical choice. However, the stores I use in Europe suffer from the same lack of D300s as they do for the D700... prices are somewhat high for these models at the moment, as a result.
    So in short: the D7000 or wait :)
  9. I upgraded from D200 to D300 about 18 months ago and was very happy with the improvement. I was borderline indoor sports even with 1.8 and 2.8 lenses....so the reduction is noise wa perfect for me on the D300.
    good luck. D300 or D7000 should be a good upgrade either way.
  10. The D7000 will likely do what you want for the photos you take. I have a D300 and my plan is to wait to see what comes out to replace it. Should come this year.
    Kent in SD
  11. It looks like the D7000 would be the better fit, IMHO.
  12. To provide another point of view, I would strongly suggest the D700. By selling your old body and mediocre glass, not only will you get a much better body than the alternatives but you'll be forced to use it with better lenses like your 50mm f/1.4
    Okay, maybe a little strongly worded, because it sounds like your DX zooms aren't bad, and certainly neither the D7000 nor the D300s are bad bodies, but the D700 and fast primes are a step up in image quality all around.
    I have used the D300s and D700 next to each other many times (photographing the same event with both bodies, literally side-by-side) and also have used the D7000 and D700 next to each other in the same way several times. The high ISO performmance of the D700 is worlds better than either of them (at least two stops). The D300s has the same AF module, but AF is noticably worse on the D7000, as is the smaller continuous shooting buffer. (In fact, I slightly prefer AF on the D300s to my D700, as the AF sensors cover more of the frame). I also wish the D700 supported video. Still, I would much rather photograph anyday with the D700 than either the D300s or the D7000. The larger viewfinder alone is such a pleasure.
    Possibly, your style of photography doesn't require high ISO, fast AF, or lots of continuous shooting. Or, perhaps you'd like to try DSLR video. In which case, the D7000 would meet your needs and present a better value. But you specifically mentioned high ISO and fast AF. Other than a D3s, there is no better camera in the world for this than a D700. It doesn't matter whether the D700 may soon be replaced (it might be, but then again, people have thought that for more than a year). If you can get one at a reasonable price, go for it. The D700 is, as my friend (a professional wedding photog) describes it, "like butter".
  13. the D700 and fast primes are a step up in image quality all around​
  14. I made the switch from the D200 to the D7000 recently. And aside from a few issues with button placements, it is a great camera. The only problem I see with your photography and the D7000 is buffer. You will have to be a bit selective with your shots in the action department. But, it is more compact, so that should be better for getting it up the mountain. I don't know yet on how well it will do with gloves on (got mine after ski season in MI).
  15. I just went from D70s to D300s, mainly because I found factory refurbs from Adorama for $1250 US, but also because I wanted the much better auto focus, and higher ISO. I passed on the D7000 mainly because I didn't want to contend with the scene control dial on the upper left of the body, which I constantly moved inadvertently on my D70s. I'm a dedicated Dx user with no plans to move to Fx. I'm very happy with what I get from a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 50-150 f/2.8 (and so are my clients) which together give me the equivalent pro focal length of 24-200 (25.5-225).
  16. Really??
    Yes, they are, if we're talking about the (seriously expensive) 1.4 AF-S triplet, for example.
    To the OP, since you have so many DX lenses, I would just get the D7000 for now. It won't help you all that much with low light photography, because of three reasons: 1) in my use I don't go beyond ISO 400 with the D7000 since that camera starts to have seriously limited dynamic range at 800 and above; at ISO 1600 the noise is wild even with the slightest of exposure errors, whereas I can happily use ISO 3200 on the D700. 2) The autofocus of the D7000 is very nice for subjects that are lit by bright, soft light such as the easiest kind of summer light (cloudy bright) available, but it is erratic in lower light such as theatrical lights and so on, especially if you use wide apertures. I shot an indoor ice show with the D3 and D7000 using the 70-200II and the keeper rate with the D7000 was about 10% in terms of acceptable focus, whereas it was 80% with the D3 (which is almost identical to the D700), and many of the focus keepers from the D7000 were very noisy that I was embarrassed to give to the subject's family. The next show I shot with FX exclusively. However, I've been very happy with the D7000's performance using the 70-200II at f/4 in summer daylight, so it's a great camera for that. 3) Finally, at wide apertures using primes such as your 50mm and 85mm, high-pixel-density DX will show a lot of optical aberrations that are not magnified as much by the more forgiving FX sensor; in practice I don't use mine on DX for that reason, instead preferring the 70-200II which works well on the D7000 sensor (though this lens has so high contrast, shadows are pitch black and this exarberates the DR loss of this camera at higher ISO; but sharpness is excellent so I accept the tradeoff).
    However, the D7000 has the potential for excellent results outside of the field of low-light photography and if you use a tripod, night shots at ISO 100 are excellent. The autofocus is certainly a big improvement over the D200's, with this camera you can safely use all the AF points (43 of them) whereas only the center sensor works well with the D200 (IMHO). And the quality of the D7000 image at ISO 100 is fabulous, and still very nice at ISO 400. But it has a smaller body so the AF-ON function is activated very close to the ocular which causes physical conflicts with my eyeglasses. If you don't wear glasses you're probably ok with it. As long as you don't expect the D7000 to be comparable to FX cameras in terms of low-light action performance you should be fine with it. Certainly its high ISO is an improvement over the D200's but I have to say that I would use neither camera beyond ISO 400 if I had a choice (which I do). At ISO 800 you can get good image quality from the D7000 but it's nothing like the D700 where you can barely spot the difference between ISO 200 and 800. And always remember that to get the most out of the D7000 you need to shoot great glass at or near its optimum aperture whereas the D700 gives pixel level sharp results from f/2.8 to f/11.
    I notice you have some close-up shots - for this the D7000 may be Nikon's best performing camera. I've obtained fantastic quality in tripod-based macro shots. And for landscape details it's also great.
  17. this is a tough one because you are heavily invested in DX. only the d700 will give you AF+ISO, but replacing your glass--which isn't exactly mediocre, btw--would be expensive. (the 50-150 in particular is a great lens for DX, and the price to performance ratio is unbeatable.) the second choice is the d7000, but in some ways (ergonomics, mainly) that's a step down, especially if critical AF performance is desired. complicating the matter even further, the d300s and d700 are on their way out, and d700 prices are somewhat inflated now, and could remain so until the replacement comes out, whenever that is.
    so it really depends on what the OP is willing to live with. if a d700 is out of the question, i actually dont think a d300s for now would be a bad choice. you do get a stop more of high ISO over the d200, plus the big body you're used to and a better AF module than both the d200 and d7000. OTOH, most people--Ilkka being an exception--report better high-ISO performance from the d7000. but if what Ilkka says about the d7k's AF performance in low-light conditions is true, that's a bit scary.
    as for myself, i'm currently using a D3s and a d300s. i also have a d90 which i use for casual shooting. i'm comfortable with the d300s at ISO 1600, maybe 2000, and have used 3200, which is ok as long as you don't have too much shadow area. of course the D3s blows that away, and can be used confidently at ISO 6400-10,000. but most of the time that's higher than i need to go.
    for the OP, i really think it comes back to glass. if you can't afford a d700+24-70+70-200, then moving to FX would be a worse move for you until you can afford to upgrade lenses. nothing wrong with staying with DX and using the lenses you already have. so now we're left with AF performance vs. high-ISO. like i said, the d300s would be an improvement in both areas over your current body. the d7000 is supposed to be even better at high-ISO, but if AF performance is as quirky as Ilkka reports, and this is important to you, then you might be better off getting a lightly used d300s for now, waiting for d700 prices to drop when the replacement arrives, and investing in glass so you can eventually move to FX. it makes no sense to make the format switch unless you have the lenses for it.
  18. I have a d300 which. I love and added a d7000 just recently and I love it. I have had no problems with AF but have
    also heard the rumors. The fps in the 7000 will not touch the d300 but the high ISO performance blows the 300 away.
    If you add the battery pack to the 7000 it improves the stability of the camera a good bit. Good luck with your decision.

  19. Thank you for all the comments! I didn't expect theme so much :)
    I know that I don't have too many pictures in my Flickr stream that would need good AF or ISO. But I have been many times in a situation where I would have to use too high ISO so I don't really want publish those photos. So better ISO performance would open more opportunities for me to take pictures. Also better AF is something I know I'm willing to pay for.
    Why I said I want the D700? I know I would get a body I'm familiar with. I would be able to really use small wide primes. It has bigger viewfinder to use also with MF-lenses. I know I can get clean images out of D700 even at high ISOs. And I know that would be a good enough camera for me for a long time.
    But I'm starting to think FX would be too big of an investment for my hobby at this point at least. So probably I'll start looking for a used D300(s) or new D7000.
    By the way, prices for a new body at my local camera store are 999 € for D7000, 999 € for D300s and 1999 € for D700. I can probably find used D700 for about 1600 € and just found used D300s (~5000 clicks) for 750 €
    And ones again, I really appreciate all the help you have given me. Thanks!
  20. Really??
    Yes, they are, if we're talking about the (seriously expensive) 1.4 AF-S triplet, for example.​
    Agreed...which is why I own a D700, 35mm f/1.4G, 50mm f/1.4G, 85mm f/1.4D, 105mm f/2DC and am currently deciding if I want a 24mm f/1.4G or 14-24mm f/2.8.
    However, I also find that get exceptional quality out of my 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR I with the 70-200 giving the worst IQ of the group.
    Reality is that from f/4 on, I can't see the IQ difference between the 24-70 @ 35mm and 50mm and the two primes, (except in the Bokeh of the 50mm, which is not my favorite) @24mm I'm sure I'd see the difference, but I'm not sure I would with the 14-24mm f/2.8 and the 24mm f/1.4.
    HOWEVER, the beauty of the f/1.4 zooms is that you get great, (not the best, but still great), IQ even at f/1.4
  21. " The D7000 is all around a better performing camera than the D200 or the D300. Arguably it is better than the D700 as well - if you don't mind the APS-C size "DX" format."
    And is allot cheaper too ! This just tells you that there are going to be major upgrades to the D300 & D700 lines, unless Nikon pulled a fast one by undercutting those line of cameras.
  22. Those who cannot afford D700 would agrue that D7000 is even better.
    Perhaps the D5100 that has the same sensor as D7000 and same picture quality, could be economical upgrade, depending on lenses used. Consider the D5100 then.
  23. Sounds like D7000 gets the most votes and if I'm getting a new body that's what I'll probably going to get. And that would be the easiest choice, since I can get it from my local store and they will pay a decent rebate from my D200 (375 € with the grip). So the difference is 624 €.
    If I'll go for a used body, I have to sell the old one on my own, but probably get little more from it. My choices for a used body are D300s for 750 € (5000 actuations), really used D700 for 1550 € (48000 actuations) or like new D700 for 1690 € (500 actuations).
    If I would get 400 € from D200 + grip, 400 € from 50-150, 850 € from 17-55 and 300 € from 10-20. That would add up to 1950 € and not too optimistic (?). If I get the newer D700, I would be left with 260 € plus the 624 € I would have to pay for the D7000. So 884 €. With that I could get a sigma used 70-200/2.8 (or nikkor 80-200) and almost some cheap wide angle like 18-35/3.5-4.5. Of course the 24-70 (or 24-120/4) would cost lot more if I need it, but I wouldn't have to get it now.
    The used D300s would be the cheapest option and not a bad one at all. Hmm..
    Well, probably I'll be happy with whatever I choose.
    Thank you for all the help!

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