Which Camera? D300 or D700 or what?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by mark_thomas|17, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. For the record, I'm an inspiring photographer that wants good AF and sharp images.
    After being so mad at my Canon 7D and wanting to throw it at a brick wall, I'm switching to Nikon for MANY reasons. Low noise being just one of them. But this post is not about my switch.
    "Almost" settled on the D7000 because of the great video options. But after seeing 1000+ horror stories regarding the back focas issue it has totally scared me away.
    Originally I wanted the D700 because of the full frame sensor. But now I thinking I should SAVE the extra money and buy some good lenses.
    Do you think I should buy the D700 or buy the D300 and spend the extra on some good glass? I have about $4000 to spend at the moment and still need a flash too.
  2. If video AND low light are important to you, get the D7000. Back- or frontfocussing an be an issue on any camera, but both are easily corrected by Nikon service. I have owned 2 D300 and one D300s in the past years, one of the D300 had a backfocussing issue, Nikon repair service corrected it under warranty in no time.
    If low light is important and video not, get the D700. In my eyes, DX or FX are two very different choices regarding lenses. Either build the perfect DX setup, or create a perfect FX world. Switching is not as easy as it seems, since all of your lenses change, even if you start with FX lenses only on a DX body.
    Compared to the D7000, D300s is one generation older. BUT: handling to me is much better (that's why I stick to my D300 and D300s), and differences in IQ, even if they seem worlds appart in dpreview- and DxO-comparisons, depend much more on personal knowledge and technique than on Dxxx used.
    BTW, what is wrong with your 7D? I am non Canon fan, but the 7D seems to be a very capable camera to me, maybe it's more about lenses than cameras?
  3. I haven't used a 7d myself, and am in fact a Nikon shooter (D300), but a friend of mine has one and gets superb photographs with it. Noise is not an issue "native" to that body, at least if you meter correctly. In fact, I have very seriously considered ditching my D300 for a 7d. :)
    It might be that you need to master the DSLR you have rather than switch to a different one.
  4. Thanks for the response. The 7D has all kinds of noise issues. Any higher then ISO 200 and your IQ went to the cleaners. The 7D is a class act for unstable AF, you can google all that stuff. After reading many stories of users switching from a 7D to a D700 I realized it wasn't just me. Then I bought a $2200 70-200 L lens and had the same results. It was time to go.
    But back to Nikon
    Ok, so FX is Nikons high-end? And a DX lens will not fit on a FX camera and I will need to buy all FX if I get the D700 correct?
  5. Noreen, I wish that was the case but it's simply not true for me. The noise issues are burned in regardless of which lens was used. Everyone has different tolerations when it comes to IQ. The 7D is a great camera don't get me wrong. But it's simply not right for me. It's great for video and built like a tank, but I mainly shoot photos.
    Arrgg, now this is a 7D discussion!
  6. I can't comment on your 7d, and I don't own a D7000, but remember that Both D300 and D700 are "old" (in these days) cameras. D300 has been replaced by the D300s, and D700 is rumored to be replaced by another camera during the spring. On the other hand, you can get these cameras cheap 2nd hand. I love my D300.
  7. Yes you CAN use Nikon FX lenses on DX bodies. Even you can used DX lenses on FX bodies
    too, the camera will know when you use a DX lens and it will automatically change to DX crop.

    I use both, D300 and D700. Each camera has its own use. DX for tele and macro work and FX for
    the rest...... Both cameras are old but there is nothing wrong with them. The are more than I need
    and so far I don't see a reason to upgrade to a new model.
    All you have to do is decide what is it that you want, DX or FX. But I am sure that if you don't like
    your Canon camera you won't be happy with a D300 either.
  8. I use an old D300 myself. My studio partner and a few friends use the 7D. Nikon cameras *may* be better than Canon in terms of high-ISO noise, but I'd be surprised (if you're that demanding about noise) if you'd be 100% satisfied with Nikon, either. They're not a magic bullet against noise, although I'm pretty happy with the D300's performance in that area.
    Still, if you're wanting the best possible performance at high ISOs (and video isn't a priority), I'd go with the D700. It has approximately the same number of megapixels as a D300, but as those are spread over a larger sensor, the imaging sites are larger, enabling them to gather more light and reducing the influence of sensor noise. As I do a lot of low-light shooting, I really want to get a D700...when I can afford it. In the interim, I've invested my cash in better lenses and my time/effort in mastering my camera. As Holger and Noreen said, knowing your camera and having good glass will make up for many deficits in the quality of the sensor and image processor in the camera.
    I constantly tell young photographers that your camera is like a guitar--you may have the nicest axe in the world, but unless you know how to play it, someone with a crappy $20 pawn-shop instrument will sound a hell of a lot better than you if they really know what they're doing. Whatever camera you go with, become the master of your instrument!
  9. I find the Canons and Nikons in general quite equal. What matters, and what will contribute heavily to your joy or pain, is ergonomics. Go to the samera store, and try them all. Choose then the one that fits your hand best.
  10. Regarding lenses, they are all f-mount, so don't get me wrong, no need to buy everything new when switching from DX to FX. BUT: pure DX lenses have a smaller image circle and do not cover the FX sensor completely. FX Nikon bodies crop automatically. FX lenses work perfectly on DX bodies, they just happen to be "longer" due to the smaller sensor. I was tempted to get the 24-70 mm f/2.8 for my D300 so I could keep using it when switching to D700 or similar one day. I ended up buying the 17-55 mm f/2.8 DX lense, since 24 mm just is not wide enough on the wide end. That's what I mean by different perfect setups for DX and FX.
    Regarding high ISO: one more thing is to shoot RAW and use a valid software. I am happy with the results I get from Lightroom. So workflow and software may be another point to check.
  11. " 1000+ horror stories" Sorry to disappoint you but they are simply NOT TRUE.
    Most camera issues are related to operational problems, not the hardware (unless the hardware is truly defective). The 7D is an excellent and capable body (even in the noise department IF you shoot RAW and have good post processing software and technique).
    Perhaps you should seek help from the Canon forum and try to resolve your issues with your 7D before giving up on it. The 7D has great AF and produces very sharp images.
  12. Holger: I was tempted to get the 24-70 mm f/2.8 for my D300 so I could keep using it when switching to D700 or similar one day​
    That's exactly why I bought the 24-70: To be prepared IF I bought a FX body later. That's more than a year ago, and I still have not bought FX. Do I need FX for my photos? Hmmmmmm. Nice to have? Yes.
  13. Be prepared for similar problems with Nikon. And then in a few years a switch to Sony? Solve your 7D problems first and
    then see whether you still wat/need to switch. You should be able to make great pictures with the equipment you have.
  14. I have had a d7000 since they first came out and have had no focus problems with it. I shoot in all lighting conditions with
    excellent results. I have also shot with a d300 for several years and love it except for it's age.

    The main problem with the d7000 for me is it's size? It is a bit small. This was an issue with heavy lenses at first butmI am
    getting over it. In general the camera is superb. I do not shoot sports so the buffer problem reported by others is not a
    problem for me.

  15. Mark, don't let the back focus issues scare you. That is not an inherent problem with the camera. In fact, the camera may have the most precise tools for dealing with such issues. I have a D7000 and just calibrated it for all of my lenses. I found one lens with a back focus issue -- it was the lens not the camera. The D7000 has memory to fine tune the autofocus for 12 lenses. You can also adjust the default set point for the camera. It was a bit of an effort to calibrate the camera for all of the lenses, but the fact that I could do it and account for the vagaries of each lens is wonderful. Being able to fine tune the focus for each lens separately is a real plus for the camera. None of my previous cameras focused as precisely as the D7000, nor did they give me the wide range of options to fine tune the system.
    The back focus complaints that I read I would attribute to the mismatch between the camera default focus point and the lens focus point. It is easy to imagine that with different users all of their lenses might back focus. In my case I had one lens that was in perfect agreement with the camera default, one that front focused slightly and one that back focused significantly. With my small sample I would think that there is a wide range of variability in lenses. That I can get them all to focus precisely with the D7000 is pretty neat.
  16. If you don't need really fast AF, the D7000 would likely do what you want. I've often thought that small problems get way blown up on internet forums. As for cameras, you have to look at them as a complete system. Here's where I'm at right now. I have a D300 and have tried a D700. I just didn't see enough difference to justify the thousands of dollars it would take to buy new lenses plus the cost of the camera itself. At IsO 800 and under I saw no difference in image quality at all. My thinking is I'm simply going to wait a bit longer. Nikon is due to update the D300. I think if there weren't the disasters to the manufacturing plants we would have seen it by now. The D200/D300 line is Nikon's best value for cost/performance. No doubt the video on the D300s will be updated to at least that of the D7000. The odds are a "D400" will be a D7000 with better AF. So, I sight tight. If I absolutely HAD to buy a new camera right now, it would be a D7000. It pretty much matches the D700 (and it has MORE resolution!), is a nice compact size, and the video is quite usuable. You didn't say what you want to photo and that's really the whole thing---you match the photo gear to what you are using it for. If you are looking for a camera system for family vacations etc., even the D5100 would do a great job of that and you'd have enough money left over to take the family to Disneyland.
    Kent in SD
  17. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Mark, as far as I know the Canon 7D is an excellent APS-C DSLR. There is a small chance that it is defective, but to put it bluntly, in most situations the problem is the operator. Unfortunately, it is human nature to blame it on someone/something else.
    Here on the Nikon Forum, just about every popular Nikon DSLR model has lots of "horror stories." My rough estimate is that popular DSLR such as the D300 must have sold over 1.5M units (not counting the subsequent D300S). If only 1% of the 1.5M is defective, there are 15000 defective units, and if only 1% of those owners post complaints, you'll get 150 complaints. In reality, actual defective rate is more like 3, 4, 5% for DSLRs, and you can do the math yourself.
    I have been shooting Nikon SLRs for 34 years and DSLRs for 10. So far I have bought 6 different Nikon DSLRs plus testing various test samples from Nikon. All 6 I bought are random samples from store shelfs, including a D300, D700, and D7000. All of mine work fine from day 1 although all models have lots of "horror stories."
    But I am sure that the 7D is a fine camera. My suggestion is to figure out what the problem is a fix it. Switching to Nikon will not correct the most likely problem.
  18. I would go with the D700 hands down. Pick up the 50mm f/1.4 and the 85mm f/1.4....that should keep you in the ball park of 4,000.00........you will not be sorry.
  19. I use the D700 and the D300 both are good cameras. I love my D700 it is a tank and does everything but it's not a video
    camera. I can't wait for Nikon to release its new cameras especially if the price on a D3 or D3s drops these 12mp full
    frame cameras will always be good no matter what new models will be released.
  20. Only because I took too many English courses....I think you meant to say you were an Aspiring photographer and not an Inspiring one; of course, you may be both.
  21. A 7D should be able to get good results at those mid ISOs. Maybe you're having metering problems? Exposure that's off can contribute a lot to noise.
    That aside, assuming you do decide on Nikon, unless you need the D300s features (the better AF and faster frame rate being the major ones)get a D7000. It's the newest tech. Don't worry about back focus. You know how these things go on the internet. The millions with a camera that doesn't back focus don't post threads with titles like "My D7000 focuses correctly!" Maybe a few people do have a problem like that. Maybe it's a lens that's off or maybe the camera, or maybe they're doing something wrong, but they post a thread on, say, DPReview, and then any time somebody has a hard time focusing for whatever reason and does a Google search they see a discussion of D7000 back focus problems, assume they have the same problem, post something about it, cycle continues, soon you have 1000 reports of the same problem but no idea how many have a faulty camera or what they did about it.
  22. Thanks for the feedback. A quite overwelling response and deeply appreciate the advice.
    Could someone explain to me the difference between DX and FX. Also what is Nikons top of the line series lenses? Canon has their "L" lenses, how does Nikon refer to this for their better glass?
  23. FX = Full frame sensor, sensor size 24 x 36 mm as in good old film days.
    DX = cropped sensor, roughly half the size of FX, crop factor 1.5 (so a 50 mm lens on FX becomes a 75 mm lens on DX)
    Your 7D would be a DX-body in Nikon terms.
    Top of the line lenses: no named difference between crap and L-lenses, Nikon only sells top of the line lenses :)
    The professional ones are the f/2.8 zooms and f/1.4 primes, plus lots of specialties in between (macro, called micro with Nikon, shift + tilt and such things). The one thing to take care of is the DX/FX difference: Nikon produces a range of lenses that just cover the smaller DX sensor and don't get you a full frame picture on FX.
    The allround pro zoom in DX terms is the 17-55 mm f/2.8, while it's FX brother would be the 24-70 mm f/2.8. Both built like a tank, optically better than many primes of the past, great lenses.
    This is just for information, I would first follow Shuns advice and learn. My brother in law uses a D7, and he does get perfect results in low light, equal to what I squeeze out of my D300.He shoots RAW and knows his tools. I just prefer Nikon handling, lenses and colour, otherwise a 7D would well be on my shopping list.
  24. The primary difference in the top of line znikon lenses and the kit or less expensive lenses is in the aperture and build quality, not the
    glass. At f8 the less expensive lenses are hard to distinguish from the expensive ones. My son and I both have D7000s. He travels the
    world and has bought the top of the line lenses and with one exception I have the less expensive. When together we will swap them back
    and forth. Vivenzio on a 27 inch monitor I cannot see a difference between them. On the other hand I have broken the cheaper mount on
    one of the kit lenses. Nikon repaired it quickly and at a modest price.
    Unless you really need tht fast lens or really durable build, I'd give the cheaper lenses and other brands strong consideration.
  25. I think you should buy a d7000 body and some top quality lenses. Its got low noise and brilliant AF, good tracking and very fast. If it can focus for high school night games and indoor sports, it can focus anywhere. and i don't have very fast tele lenses. I use a 70-300G AFS VR 4.5-5.6 and never felt slow or unreliable in focusing. I can have football guys come flying over the sidelines, and all but the last frame when he was about to land on me were in focus (i barely got away).
    you can customize it to put often used settings at your fingertips or separate shutter and AF-on into two buttons.
    With an f/2.8 zoom, you won't even have to use the ISO 6400. You can be at 1600 in simply terrible light and the noise will be nearly impossible to find. It has sort of conservative NR so detail is still there at 6400. I could consistently make very nice 5x7 prints at 6400, and on a good day maybe an 8x10 would still look nice. On newsprint (my most commonly used but least favorite of all printing materials bar toilet paper and cardboard), noise is a non-issue, composition contrast and color are all that matter and this camera is great for that. It gets out of your way when you shoot and you can trust it to work in all kinds of conditions.
    50mm f/1.8D is my top recc for lenses. fast and light and a good focal length. and its absurdly inexpensive for what you get. probably my favorite lens. Good MF if you have an old nikon is a neat bonus.
    35-70 2.8 is the last gen pro zoom and is a great lens. i borrow one every now and then and they cost half as much as a 24-70 for a mint one. If you have a separate wide angle you will almost never miss the extra zoom of the 24-70. this is a very nice lens, all metal and very sharp.
    70-300 is nice, i got mine essentially open box for way less than a new one. very sharp and never vignettes b/c its a FX lens. But with your budget, a 70-200 would be better in low light but much heavier and bigger. or an 80-200 f/2.8, the recent one is very good i have heard and it is much less expensive than the 70-200 for almost the same lens.
    18-55VR is surprisingly good. don't laugh. when used well it is very sharp and very inconspicuous. I did a few street portraits with this lens and i am still stunned by the detail in the face. it focuses quite close. Im sure the more expensive wide angles are excellent as well.
    As for video, the image quality is excellent, but be prepared for sticker shock when it comes to buying your own set up. occasional renting is easy but its terrifyingly expensive to buy if you want to do digital cinema. Family vids are kinda tricky b/c of the shallow DOF that makes it so good for cinema, you need a tripod and either lots of light or high ISO. When i went into the video department, the salesperson replied to my wide-eyed sticker shock with "the rental department is your friend." truer words were never said. Rent a decent sound, focus, and support system depending on your needs and base it off the D7000, you'll love it. Its a wonderfully versatile camera.
    one caveat is the small buffer and lack of a PC socket. Nikon probably wants people to wait for the D400 for those. Tightwads :p . But reduce to normal compression (quality priority) Large JPEG, and you get 80 shots no slowing, and up to 100 total. An inhibitor kicks in after 100 frames.
    I use this camera a lot. 20,000 shutter actuations, 16,000 of which are no doubt from sports games, and still no issues. rain, shine, heat, cold, this thing shoots and i can rely on it to take what i tell it to. I use my D7000 for all kinds of shooting: portraits, sports, travel and much more. If you can't decide, rent one and see how you like it. They were sold out for months for a good reason.
  26. Thanks guys, for all the feedback. After carful consideration and sleeping over it for 2 nights, I've decided to go with a D7000 body and then buy some good glass I can transfer to a full frame body later. I've decided not to get the D700 now because rumor has it the D800 is around the corner with HD video.
    To my surprise, Costco had the D7000 and I got to try it out hands on. I love how the buttons work and how quickly it is to change the ISO. I totally fell in love with it and was ready to buy. But it was bundled with a flemsy 18-200 lens which increased the price by $800.
    It didn't look like the small LCD was backlit, other then that I like it.
    P.S. Harry, thanks for your great post.
  27. I disagree about the statement on changing all of your lenses if you get a DX camera initially and then go FX. The two main lenses you would get on DX if one is a serious pro glass shooter (and the OP stated he bought a Canon 70-200mm L, so that's pretty serious), are a 17-55mm f/2.8 and the small 35mm f/1.8 prime, both of which are very easy to sell, and both are plentiful on the used market, just to avoid buying new and cushion the resale blow. If he is into it, he may want an ultra wide-angle, which is also easy to sell, albeit a little more difficult than the first two. Again, plenty are on the used market to get at a lower price. Every other lens he purchases can be an "FX" lens. Moving from DX to FX is not that difficult as long as you're not sitting around with a bunch of consumer-level, mid-range zooms.
  28. Hi Kenneth, I totally agree with you. The first lens I will be getting for my 7000 will actually be the 17-55. You took the words out of my mouth. Very resellable lens.

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