upgrading from D70

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rascal64, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. I have been shooting semipro with my trusty steed...my D70 for several years. I feel I am ready for a real pro camera
    and I am looking at the D300. Because of expense ..I might have to go with the D200. I shoot mostly portraiture so
    the D70 has been fine for awhile. I have read enough to know that the change in cameras could be very jarring. What
    specifically am I going to find challenging in the new camera? Any advice?
  2. Having had a D300 for a year, I would highly recommend it. It is a big jump from the D200, well worth the few hundred more. Coming from a D70 you'll first instantly notice the bigger viewfinder, the bigger LCD screen, and a much smaller shutter release delay. The D300 is heavier and beefier than the D70, and can shoot at ISO 1600 with very clean results vs. the D70. I think you'll find it a natural upgrade and love it!
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Clearly the D300 is the "better" camera, but for portraits (i.e. people sitting or standing still), the D200 should be just fine. You should immediately notice the much better viewfinder and build quality from either the D200 and D300.
  4. With a D200 you will also be able to meter older manual focus lenses. That was a big reason I choose it. Its bigger and heavier but not hard to move to after a D70 which was my first DSLR. Just study the manual and become familar with the menu
  5. Remember, the D200 is more than two years old now, which for digital tech is pretty old. The D300 isn't just 2mp higher resolution, but the in-camera processing is much better too. The large LCD can be used to check focus very reliably. This can be huge for portraiture if you want to make sure you nailed your focus.

    I wouldn't buy a D200 in your case. If you're a working pro you can justify spending a little more for the D300. It's a tool you will reap benefits from again and again, and it's good enough that buying one now will mean you won't need to upgrade for years to come.
  6. Tiffany, as a semipro, you should be able to deduct the cost of equipment (at least partly), so it would serve you better to
    go for the more advanced camera instead. In the long run, it pays to spend a bit more. Take care and have fun shopping
    and later getting used to the new camera!
  7. I do also some semipro work and changed from a D70 to a Fuji S5 pro. A perfect camera for portraiture, see the
    reviews. Inside, the sensor technology is Fuji, outside it's a Nikon D200. Dynamik range and high ISO
    performance of the Fuji super CCD are great.You can get the S5 for half of the price of a D300 these days.
  8. The D300 has far higher resolution than the Fuji S5 Pro, which for portraiture and large reproductions (say a family portrait printed at 30x30 inches for a wall hanging), is a very significant drawback. We're talking about a 6mp camera with a 12mp in-camera resizing, that doesn't come close to the D300 in terms of overall quality. Continuous shooting is also very slow compared to the D300, which can be an issue for needing a real pro camera, as the OP has stated. Not to mention that Fuji may be getting out of the DSLR business as they haven't released a new camera in years.

    I'm not saying the S5 Pro isn't an excellent camera, because it is. But the OP stated specific needs and I don't think the S5 would satisfy those particular needs.

    I'd go with the D300 for all those reasons. You'll have no regrets at all.
  9. Wow...I can't wait! I had read that because of the higher megapixels...it wasn't always a good thing. It might be a less forgiving camera. I had also read someone's complaint about bad color or trouble with the white balance or something like that. I don't have to dial in too much to the D70 and I am hoping that the 200/300 doesn't leave me scratching my head saying...."what the....???" too much
  10. "The D300 has far higher resolution than the Fuji S5 Pro" - ? - really ?

    Fuji S5 PRO has 12.34 million pixels. Half of the pixels are large, and half are small, and that reportedly improves
    camera dynamic range, especially useful for professional work. You get RAW and JPG max picture sizes at 4256 x
    2848 pixels.


    D300 has picture size max at 4288 x 2848, so it is only few pixels more in horizontal direction.


    Putting aside pixel sizes since they are nearly identical, there are other features that would possible make one
    camera superior to the other for a particular application... do your own homework...to see what matters to you and
    how you indent to use the camera.
  11. Tiffany, I took a look at your portraits and have to say that you are a fine example of "it's not the camera, it's the shooter." You have an exceptional eye for your subjects and the finished images.

    I upgraded from the D70 to a D200 a few years ago, and never looked back. If I was doing the upgrade today, I would probably move up to the D300, just because of the change in technology and improvements overall.

    I don't think you'll be challenged by any of the cameras if you choose to upgrade. In fact, I think the newer technology and improvements of features will open up even more avenues for your shooting style, and your imagination.

    Good luck.
  12. Frank, yes, the D300 does have higher resolution. Read the review of both cameras on dpreview and you'll get it. The S5 does offer higher dynamic range, which has its advantages. But the negatives on the S5 far outweigh any positives. Namely that Fuji has a very poor RAW converter, and they are getting out of the semi-pro SLR business altogether. Sorry, but the S5 isn't worth investing in as a professional tool, in my opinion.
  13. if i couldnt afford a d300, i'd get a d90 over a d200. d90 has better high ISO, almost equivalent frame rate, auto-CA correction, and 920k LCD with same AF module.
  14. Tiffany, may I ask why you feel the D70 is inadequate, and what missing features you believe will make your work flow or results better or easier? <br><br>
    Camera is but a relatively small fraction of the total investment for a working pro making indoor portraits. While important, it's often not the wisest place to spend resources if what you already have does the job. Have a look at Marc G's work - he shoots with a 6 year old Kodak DCS Pro 14n which by anyone's definition is a horrifying camera nobody would buy, let alone shoot with. On the other hand, if he never goes over ISO-200, doesn't need speed and always shoots under controlled lighting, then anything more than a 14n would be a waste of money. I also doubt that a "better" camera will make his pictures any better. <br><br>
    Just my humble point of view. :)
  15. "Frank, yes, the D300 does have higher resolution. Read the review of both cameras on dpreview and you'll get it. " - yes, I get it.

    To be precise, D300 has 91,136 pixels more than Fuji. Both cameras are in the class of 12 MP cameras. The Fuji is not a 6 MP camera like some would like to unfairly discredit it.
  16. I knew you would come around here Michael....oh gallant defender of D70's! Basically...I want a pro camera. I have heard so many good things about the 300...I am already sold. Higher resolution...less noise ...improved sensor technology....faster. The Fuji sounds good but I know my Nikon. I have my lenses and I don't really want to change brands. I have used Nikons for the length of my shooting career and I am pretty happy with them. I do appreciate all the information though. Maybe one day...if I ever make any money at this..I can buy a few additional cameras. Thank you BW for stopping by my work. I appreciate it. Eric...I am considering the D90 too. Frank and Dave...thank you for the reviews. Dave... the camera store that I have been doing business with for along time echoes some of your info (and a lot of the employees shoot with D300's). Thank you for the affirmations.
  17. Over two years ago when I decided to get back into photography after a 20 year absence, I had to decide on trading in my two F2 bodies
    for DSLR. I decided against one D200 for two D70s bodies for about the same price to fit my needs. I've been very happy with them, but I
    am ready to move up now and the D300 is the way I'm going, and I'm so glad I did not go the D200 at the time. I see factory refurbs for
    $1299 around now (one of my D70s bodies is a refurb and I've had no problems what-so-ever).
  18. Meaning the D300 refurb, $1299.
  19. Hi tiffany,

    Looked through your pictures here on PN and they are wonderful!

    I have a D70 as well and still enjoy using it from time to time. I also have the Fuji s5pro. Its a
    wonder! especially for people photos. The colours are amazing the DR is amazing and I can use all my Nikkor lenses on it. From your last post you seem to think that you will need new lenses for the Fuji s5pro. No you dont, the S5pro has a D200 body and works fine with all the Nikkor lenses and Nikon Flash system. I think you can get it cheaper than a D90 at the moment.

    The Big thing about the s5pro is the DR and that is a real advantage. No more blown highlights(well a lot less). I can take high contrast scenes and not loose the details. serioulsy You can take photos of things that no other camera can. eg photo of a stage with the spot light on the main characters on stage and still be able bring back details in the shadows from people off stage or in the crowds.

    For portrait work I would seriously consider the S5pro but the D90 is also good value. and the D300 is a nice beast. Knowing what I know now, if I had a D70 only, and wanted to upgrade I would get both the s5pro and a D90. Or a D700.
  20. Tiffany, Bust loose with the cash and get a D300. Want to zero in on an eyeball, the AF system on the D300 is as good as it gets, about ten times better than the D70. Want to catch a fleeting expression from some little brat, put the D300 in machine gun mode and blast away. I can see where the live view feature on the D300 might come in handy for you also. I am guessing that because of the weak economy, the price of the D300 should drop a bit after Christmas. Buy from a reputable dealer and let us know what you end up doing.
  21. I doubt you'll find anything too challenging in a switch.

    As far as a switch, I think it's simple: If money is any issue at all, get a D90. If money is not an issue, get a D300/D700.
  22. Also: What's a D200? :eek:)
  23. I upgraded from D70 to D300 and I am glad I did - love that low noise at higher ISO which came in handy at a wedding when I was not allowed to use flash during the ceremony. And then came the D700 a few months after I bought the D300 and wondered if I should have gone to this one. That is the dilemma of digital photography these days.
  24. Hello Tiffany, the "problem" with using a higher resolution camera is that it will show more easily your technical errors, if there are any. If you open an image on your monitor and view it at 100% you are actually looking at a higher resolution so any camera shake, misfocus, lens fault will be more visible. It's like looking at your slides with a more powerful loupe. But don't worry: the same shot with the same lens and the same technique will not print worse at the same dimension with the D200/300 vs D70. I also went from D70 to D200 a couple of years ago, and plan on keeping the D200 some more time. I had no particular problem in the transition, I enjoy the better viewfinder, monitor with higher zoom ratio, faster response, metering with my manual focus lenses, somewhat better AF. The D70 had a lesser body but produced wonderful images, not far behind my D200. Good luck with your activity. Marco
  25. I upgraded from a D70 to a D300. Now 7000 shots later I have no regrets. The large screen is useful for quickly checking expressions. Standard cable releases fit, which would be nice for tripod based portraiture. The AF is very nice. The higher resolution permits better reproduction, even in 8x12" prints. High-ISO performance is better than with the D70. The D200 is definitely an upgrade, but doesn't offer all these nice features and the price of the D300 has come down a lot during the year.
  26. I'd stick with the D70 and buy nice stuff like lenses, flashes, studio equipment or a nice holiday.

    I upgraded from a D70 to a D200. Of course the D200 is better. D300 will be better still.

    But ask yourself the question: Will your photographs actually be better? Mine aren't. Not even slightly. Not even once.

    Sure, you can print even bigger, but how often will you do that? Stick to the D70 and invest in photography, not a new camera.
  27. For portraits, I would prefer the S5 over the D200. You can get the S5 now for half of the price of a D90 in
    Europe, and the S5 can meter with old manual Nikkors (the D90 cannot). The only drawback is burst rate, but on
    the positive side we have dynamic range and a high (per-pixel) resolution 6MP camera. Bigger image sizes do not
    reveal more detail (12MP do not make much sense - R and S pixel are under the same microlens). There are
    reasonable fast and free raw converters like s7pro, and this delivers on par results with Fuji's one if you save
    the result as 12MP, and then downsample to 6MP with Photoshop etc. Otherwise (6MP directly from s7raw) you loose
    some per-pixel-resolution. Of course D300 is superior in noise, resolution, and burst rate, but not in dynamic
    range and price. Fuji perhaps does not produce any other DSLR camera, but who cares? After a few years you will
    anyway get a new one, and I think spare parts will still be available. Eventually Fuji keeps on manufacturing
    smaller consumer cameras.
  28. Love my D300! It's a great camera. If you do mostly portraits you will be very happy with it. I shoot both portraits and weddings and the D300 can really do it all. But I went a bit farther and just added a D700 to the mix. With DX & FX formats I have everything I need. My backup system is Canon (5D) so I am covered on all fronts.
    Nikon is cooking up great stuff these days and I am sure there will be some future products that will be appealing. There's always a temptation to buy new stuff, but you can't go wrong with the D300. The images I am getting are making me...and my clients very happy. That's what counts.

  29. Unless you just have money to burn or flush down the toilet, get the D90. It's basically the same sensor as the D300, and the control layout will be very similar to the D70. Of course your camera store will try and sell you a D300, lots more commission for the salesperson! If you're comfortable with that, go for the D300 and associated bragging rights.
  30. Well I dunno, I went from the D70s to the D80, and it wasn't an easy transition. First I had to buy new memory cards, and second, the D80 wasn't nearly as good at metering difficult lighting conditions as the D70 was. That is because the D80 is really an upgrade from the D50. Even though the image quality was good, the D80 was a pain to use mostly because of its metering idiosyncrasies. Shooting semi-pro deserves a semi-pro camera like the D300.
  31. I also upgraded from a D70 to a D300 and am strictly an amateur (although I have been shooting photos for 40 years) and do not
    regret the move up for a minute. As many have noted about the only down side is the size and weight everything else is a giant leap

    Don't get me wrong. I loved my D70, in fact I still have it. Recently, I went on a fall bike ride and didn't want the weight and risk of
    bashing my D300 so I dumped my D70 into my backpack and went riding. I stopped and wanted to take some pictures through my D70
    for the very first time since getting my D300 and I thought as I looked through the viewfinder that I was looking through a tunnel.
    Furthermore, it felt like a toy and when I tried to take a photo sequence I thought it was broken when I heard how slow the shutter was
    between frames but realized that I was just used to the D300 responsiveness. As many have noted in the 5 years between the D70
    and the D300 there has been a world of improvements that you can take advantage of.

    If you have the $$$ and can use and appreciate the differences run do not walk to make the upgrade. As many have said, skip the
    D200 if you can.
  32. Keep the D70 and spend the money on lenses. What do you hope to acheive with a new camera? Your images will not improve. The D300 has a slight advantage in high ISO, but this is only really 'needed' by wedding photographers and the like. You say you shoot portraits, so I'm guessing you are at base ISO with your studio lights.
    I am not sure what lenses you have, but on the crop sensor of the consumer bodies, a 1.4/85mm would improve your portraits more than anything else (assuming you have studio lights).
  33. My my my...what would I do without PN? I really appreciate the feedback. I am a little surprised that this is a top thread. On the other hand...everyone is very passionate about what they shoot with...it makes sense. Michael...I did what you did. Instead of buying a D200 a few years back...I just bought a second D70. I think it is a great camera. There are areas now that I would like to push myself in that I think I need a better camera for. Tze...thank you for looking at the work. I appreciate it. I also appreciate the information on the Fuji. I will definitely check it out. One of the areas that I find bothersome on the D70 showed up when I made a print of an outdoor/wildlife shot. The background was very flat and a bit noisy...very dissapointing. I wonder how the Fuji would work for that kind of work. And yes...Tim...the D70 has let me down on more than one occasion with fidgety kids. Particularly if I am shooting on a black background..it sometimes takes a few embarassing moments for the camera to find it's subject. And thank you Marco for pointing out the "problems". It was a concern of mine. Ronald and Tom...you make good points. There are several things that I NEED. I am trying to prioritize. In addition to the logical benefits of a new camera...it also speaks to the reptilian part of my brain. Guilty!
  34. I don't agree with the advice of saving the money for lenses. These days, the camera has a huge impact on overall picture quality. Also, you might have perfectly adequate lenses, I don't know. For portraits, one doesn't need super expensive lenses; an AF 85/1.8 or AIS 105/2.5 can take care of things, add 50/1.8 for wider shots and you get quite far with a quite reasonable budget.
  35. so Oskar, then there is no need to upgrade at all then, from your advice. I am inclined to agree, there is nothing to be gained.
  36. so Oskar, then there is no need to upgrade at all then, from your advice.
    Maybe you could read my first answer and the second sentence of my second answer. Also, speculating about upgrading lenses is a bit premature since Tiffany didn't seem to actually mention what lenses she has and if there is any need to upgrade them.
    For the record, I just put a $50 lens on my D300 and had quality that's not possible with a D70 or D200. It just shows that the choice of equipment is often dependant on many things and there's no simple answer.
  37. My favorite portrait lens is a Tamron SP AF Aspherical LD (IF) 28-105mm 1:2.8. I don't take it outside though for fear of scratching it. I have an old manual 24mm sigma (that I must admit is really fun...though I would like to get a bit wider) a nikkor 28-105mm (for rougher environments) and a nikkor 70-300mm which is painfully slow....so much for wildlife shots on a budget. So...maybe dumb question...but the D300 would improve the performance of the 70-300?
  38. Oskar, we are talking about studio/portrait shots which are more than likely at base ISO. Do you really beleive that there is a huge difference at base ISO between the D70/D200 and the D300? There simply isn't, but I guess companies like Nikon love to hear of people with that mindset. I have no issues using my D200 when situation calls for, leaving my D3's in the case.At base ISO, image quality difference is neglegable and the lens will most certainly make the biggest difference. Of course, as you say, equipment choice rely's on more than camera and lens in some cases. Lighting is going to have even a more profound effect than the difference between a 1.4/85 and a 1.8/85.
    The D300 Tiffany will get you a couple of stops extra on the 70-300 which may make the lens more practical for you to use. The D700 will be an even bigger improvement is the speed at which you can use the lens. The minus is that you will go from an effective focal length of 450mm at the long end, to 300mm. There is always a compromise, and as you correctly stated, wildlife photography is not cheap.
    From your last post, with more info provided, my opinion is that you may see a benifit in upgrading cameras, but does the wildlife stuff make you money? With the lenses listed, for you portrait work, I maintain that your biggest benefit will come from upgrading your Tamron to the Nikon 1.4/85. This is an awesome lens, please check some expamples. The bokeh is as good as it gets, and that will set your portraiture apart.
  39. Thank you Tom. I will check out the lens that you mentioned. Wildlife photography for money? Oh...heck no. I am interested in pushing myself as a photographer for the sake of the art and the joy. Some of my jobs are rewarding ...others mundane and uninspired. If I only do one type of photography...I know that I will end up quitting photography all together. I have respect for photographers who work to perfect one thing...but I have a profound admiration for those who push themselves to excel at several types of work ...doing that without being spread thin is an art in itself. I think that I need a more versatile camera at this point. The future is very uncertain right now and I want to make sure that I have options.
  40. Tiffany,
    Don't think too much, get a D300. it's a great all around camera and the best deal for the money.
  41. Tom, I do not believe, I know! I own a D70 and a D300, I have done plenty of photography with those. Even in a well-made 8x12" print the D300 has a slight edge and in larger prints the edge grows more obvious. There is a 40% increase in resolution and better dynamics and that simply shows.

    Tiffany, the D300 should improve quality of the 70-300 at the shorter focal lengths, but at the longer focal lengths the lens doesn't match the D300 so well. My advice, if you're ok with primes and want AF, are the 85/1.8 and/or 50/1.8 -- cheap and excellent. The 85/1.4 sure is nice, offering worse resolution but better bokeh than the 85/1.8, but it's much more expensive. If you want a zoom, some 3rd party company made some 50-150/2.8 or similar, might be worth checking out. The Nikon 70-200/2.8 sure is excellent but expensive and on DX it would be nice that the wide end would be a bit wider for portraits. But these are just some ideas, there are many other options too.
  42. The difference between the D70 and D200 is indeed easy to see in an A4 print, and the D300 should be superior to the D200 in fine detail. But the quality of the D300/D200 viewfinder is far better than the D70's and that makes a big difference in evaluating focus and the subject's expression. To me using the D70 was always a frustrating experience since I use shallow DOF a lot and focusing the D70 was erratic using autofocus and very difficult manually. I imagine going from the D70 to the D300 would be an extremely positive experience. Or, if you can get the D700 you'll get a still better viewfinder and the opportunity to use specialized "portrait" lenses with their intended angles of view.
    The D90 is a bit less expensive than the D300 but it lacks the D300's excellent autofocus. If your studio is not all that well lit you might find this difference worth the difference in the cost. Plus, the D300 has better ergonomics.
  43. If you are not a machine-gunner type of photographer, Fuji S5 Pro like someone mentioned, is really really good value for money. Also don't get confused with it's slowness as in slow in focusing, shutter lag, etc. The slowness of S5 is in burst rate (can't do anymore than 2/3 fps max), and also the time it takes to write to CF card (but then again, the file size from S5 is larger than 10MP camera).
    Also if you are utilising it's full dynamic range option, the picture preview of the shot you just take will appear roughly around 1.8 seconds after you press the shutter. However if you don't use the max full dynamic range, it will take a bit less than a second for the picture to appear at the back of your LCD.
    Apart from that, it is just as fast as D200 in terms of AF and shutter lag.
    I upgraded from D80 to S5 Pro. I chose this over D90 and never regretted it a bit. Like you I also don't have that much money to splurge, but although I know if I really want to I can get a D300, but I am really happy that I chose S5. I got it for US$1,000 that includes a brand new Fuji S5 Pro and a brand new Tamron 17-50mm 2.8
    But if burst rate is important for you, steer clear from S5. If not, it's really a no brainer bargain at it's current price point now. I also love the metering, it's so accurate.
    One thing you will notice coming from D70 though, the colours will look very different, especially if you are using the 'film mode' that S5 offers. It's so different, at first I thought there was something wrong with my S5, but now after adjusting it and finding the best one, I love the jpgs it produces straight from camera.
    But looking at your pictures, I don't think this matters so much because you will tweak them anyway.
    ISO wise, the S5 is much better at high ISO than D200, it actually beats D80 in noise performance. Also the difference is, the S5 has more monochromatic noise (therefore more film-like?) and doesn't smear the image with ugly chroma colours.

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