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Quote: I'm wanting to upgrade to FX very soon and prices of D700 are very tempting
You have not said what you expect an "upgrade" to do for you.
D300s and D700 will both do more in the sense of build quality, AF performance improved colour - and better but more or less equal DR, noise and resolution to about 1600 in an A3 print.
This comparison is based on my using a D3 alongside a D300s, and is confirmed by Gray's of Westminster's DX/FX format comparison when 12 MP was the Nikon standard.
D7000 will give you more resolution and better video and D3200 yet more resolution.
With Photokina less than a month away new models are likely to be announced very soon.
Right now I might buy a D300/s/7000/700 (depending on the reason for upgrading) second hand from somewhere like Ffordes if I was desperate to upgrade in days.
The D800 is down £100 this week, and by the end of the year is likely to be down by around £400, which has an influence on value for money with current D700 prices.
If you want to print - how big - and how close do you want to view the print?
Provided you view at at least the diagonal of the print size 12 MP is comfortably enough for any size print.
If you want to view at 12-15 inches regardless of print size the limit of 12 MP is about 20 inches wide, and for a D800 about 30 inches wide.
Beyond this it is not easy to give good advice until you tell what you want from an "upgrade".
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I'm wanting it for a college course (A-Level), so nothing specific at the minute as in the type of shooting needed for as its all sorts - I do know at the end of the year you display your work in large prints, and it has to be spot on. Not really mad on sports photography so that side of fast shutter repeats not an issue - Also not needed madly quickly, like tomorrow or anything. Other than saying this, I like the extra level of detail/quality I've seen from D700, the higher ISO levels with no/low noise, as I'd like to try some pub/club/concerts shooting.Also landscape's around Cornwall day and night, so the wide-angle side would be useful. In short just to give myself the best chance at doing well. Whatever I do, like you say Photokina is very soon, and will be waiting to see what news comes out of there before I spend a dime. The weather proofing, if thats what its called, is also important.
Most colleges have some camera equipment available to enable college students to broadei the prints n their photographic expertise.
Have you enqired about this.
Quote: I like the extra level of detail/quality I've seen from D700, the higher ISO levels with no/low noise, as I'd like to try some pub/club/concerts shooting.
My advice is to learn the difference between internet hype - and reality.
I assume you have Nikon lenses and this is why you are ignoring Canon - which also makes good cameras.
The D700 has no extra detail compared to other 12 MP cameras in the print sizes you are likely to make to 1600 ISO, and has less to much less detail than cheaper Nikon bodies such as the D7000 and D3200.
By the time you come to the end of your college course a D700 will produce significantly lower resolution than anything available new in 1-18 months time.
It is true the D700 is better than the D7000 at very high ISO levels - but not by a huge amount - in my usage D3 to D7000 less than 1 stop at comparable high ISO's.
If your college gets a D800 for students to use you will have access to a far better noise/resolution combination than a D700.
My advice, as time is on your side, is wait until after Photokina next month and until you are settled on your course.
In it's era the D700 was a very good camera, but by the end of this year the era of this 4 year old technology will have ended.
Quote: and has less to much less detail than cheaper Nikon bodies such as the D7000 and D3200.
Are these FX bodies? I thought the OP wanted FX.
The D700 is a great camera and will see you through your course and beyond.
Quote: and has less to much less detail than cheaper Nikon bodies such as the D7000 and D3200.
Are these FX bodies? I thought the OP wanted FX.
If you re read the thread the OP was wanting to "upgrade" to FX.
There are many untrue myths about an "upgrade" to FX - mainly surrounding the myth they have better resolution, colour and dynamic range at the most commonly used ISO's.
I made the point if the OP wants to upgrade for resolution or best 14 bit colour the almost 5 years old technology in a D700 would not be a wise choice.
If the OP can wait the D700 is unlikely to be on sale by the end of the year - and the much rumoured D600 with more resolution and 99.9% certain better high ISO noise is likely to be available - probably with a generally similar AF system and resolution to the D7000 but at a higher price point.
Quote: If you re read the thread the OP was wanting to "upgrade" to FX.
I did read the OPs question and thread, that's why I questioned the advice to look at the 7000 and 3200 both being DX. But I take your point about why they might want to upgrade to FX and that is a good question to ask them. I suspect it might be more to do with the larger framing than the resolution and all that techi stuff, but I might have missed something. But I agree if the upgrade is about gaining better technology then maybe the 700 isn't right. I think often too much is made of better technology. If the 700 helped to take great photos a year ago it will still help to take great photos in 10 years.
2 days ago my brother bought a I year old boxed D700 with a 15k shutter count for £1000. No one knows how much the D600 will be , nor when you'd be able to obtain one. I bet it would be considerably more than this sort of money though. Assuming you want a full frame camera a used D700/5d2 would be perfect body, and would leave you plenty of spare cash for something else. .
We've already heard above that 12mp is easily enough to print to any size you're likely to require.
D700 used. The D800 is out of your price range, and the D600 might as well be etherware for now. If it comes out, then you can always take a small hit and sell your D700 to get it, though it will surely be at least $1,000 extra. You may find the D700 fits your needs. It certainly is an amazing machine, and if you don't need video capability, then just stick with that body. I will indeed serve you well for years to come.
I have printed many prints at 20x30 inches from 10 megapixel JPG images that I shot with a Sony R1. The detail is more than acceptable. 12 megapixels is sufficient for that large size for sure, and the D700 would make acceptable images for prints at that size all the way up to ISO 800 at least. I imagine maybe even ISO 1600, and 8x12 prints all the way up to ISO 6400.
The D800 is probably not a good buy for someone on a budget. This is why I have decided to upgrade my Sony A55 to an A65, and eventually get a Sigma SD1 Merrill and some Sigma lenses. One day (hopefully in a year or so), I will be able to get some Nikon lenses and a D800. I am waiting to see the D5200 first though, just in case it is competitive with the A65. If so, I will probably switch back to Nikon and start building a Nikon system right away.
Quote: D700 used. The D800 is out of your price range, and the D600 might as well be etherware for now. If it comes out, then you can always take a small hit and sell your D700 to get it, though it will surely be at least $1,000 extra.
The OP is not in any hurry to buy.
The D7000 has an obviously lower RRP than the D300s.
The rumoured D600 uses similar to D7000 technology so it should have a lower RRP than the D700 - though discounts off RRP may take 3-6 months to get to the market place.
Good though late 2007 technology was (what is what is in the D700) - in 2007 - my guess is the D600 will have more MP, better low light performance, good video, better colour, greater dynamic range, maybe a 100% viewfinder - and a lower RRP.
I expect the D600 will have slightly less efficient AF and slightly lower build quality than a D700 - but if the OP goes the D600 route it should enable the OP to produce higher quality work for his/her final exhibition.
Any student aiming to go into professional photography will eat less well locking himself/herself out of the expanding video market.
For a student going to photographic college my advice remains unchanged - try college equipment, try other students equipment, get a better idea of where you want to go in photography, see what is around next year - and then decide.
The OP hasn't told us of a convincing reason for the proposed upgrade.
When She-who-must-be-obeyed did wedding photography, she used Nikon D2Xs, then the premier offering from Nikon, and they did their job well. Now that she works in the studio and shoots at base ISO, the now ancient D2Xs bodies still deliver the goods and there's no business case for an upgrade. Good high ISO performance is irrelevent if the ISO control is always on 100!
FX cameras are larger and heavier than DX and so are the lenses. Is the OP happy to pay this price?
The D700 has advantages over the D800. Primarily the price. The speed of shooting and smaller size of raw files are both big advantages for a beginner. I still suggest that as an upgrade to whatever the OP is shooting with, since most likely the D700 will be the first professional level camera the OP will own. They are cheap now. They will not get a lot cheaper any time soon. The D600 is not likely to be available any time soon. If the OP can afford to get a D700 now, I suggest that is a good move. That camera with a cheap, 50mm f1.8 AIS lens will be a wonderful tool for a student. Then, eventually, the OP can get a Nikon AF-S VR 70-300 or maybe a 28mm f2 AIS or 35mm f2 AIS. The f2.5 and f3.5 AIS lenses are good too (and much more budget-minded). They're all very sharp at f5.6 or f8. Even the new Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 G VR would be a good all-around option. It's very sharp, covers 4 of the most common focal lengths (making it an overall lighter and similar cost option to 4 or 5 inexpensive AIS lenses), and has auto-focus AND the VR capability.
If I did not have a camera right now, and I was on a very limited budget, I might still buy a Sony A55, like I have now, but if I didn't want a Sony for some reason, and I didn't want a Sigma SD14 for some other reason, I would seriously consider the Nikon D5100, with the idea that I would also get a D700 or D800 at some point. Being that the D700 is much cheaper, I would probably get that first, after buying some lenses.
Yes, the D800 had a huge dynamic range advantage over the D700, and the D600 (if it ever comes) should have a similar dynamic range to the D800 and D7000. That is an advantage. Still, we have to wait and see, and until then, the OP can be shooting with a D700. Don't be afraid to buy and sell. It is a good way to get a lot of experience with equipment!
LenShepherd - The limit for a print from the D800 is NOT 30 inches wide. In fact, the Sony R1 that I used to use was just 10 megapixels, and a shot at 200 ISO from that 1.7 crop camera could be printed at 20x30 with excellent results. (Made a few.) I have seen a 21 megapixel photos from Canon 5 D Mk II printed at 40x60, and I was impressed with the detail. I was shot with a Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 and printed in B&W on glossy paper of some sort. The photo was of a large tree with a nude woman at the base. The leaves on the tree had such detail in them that I would say they contained as much detail as one of Clyde Butcher's 5 foot prints from 4x5. I would surmise that the Nikon D800 would provide an even better print quality than the old Canon, wouldn't you? NO, I have never seen a 40x60 print from a Nikon D800, but I have seen 45" wide prints from a Sigma SD1, and the detail is phenomenal. The Nikon is superior, from the pixel peeping I have done. Therefore, I would say the D800 prints at 60" wide should probably be phenomenal. Still, I do realize that I am making assumptions, because I have not actually seen such a large print from the D800.
I could technically afford a D800 but have decided to boost up current lens collection with a Nikon 24-70 as advised by most people I've asked. Also a very good point made about video and The D700 - I'm not buying for video use, but it might be a bit silly to rule myself out of that market. If I went with D800 now, I would only have 50mm f1.8 and 80-200afs as full frame options. So I'm thinking get the 24-70 and wait a few months to see if D600 (or D800) is going to be for me, while saving like crazy!
Quote: LenShepherd - The limit for a print from the D800 is NOT 30 inches wide.
I did not say it was
Part of what I said was "If you want to view at 12-15 inches regardless of print size the limit of 12 MP is about 20 inches wide, and for a D800 about 30 inches wide".
My aim is a print with good fine detail and acutance in whatever the viewing conditions are intended to be.
This aim is rarely possible greater than 20 inches wide viewed at 12-15 inches from 12 MP.
It is possible 30 inches wide with with medium format film, lower priced medium format digital, a D800, or wider still with 45 MP and more medium format digital.
In the D800 brochure Nikon mention 33 inches wide at 200 dpi.
200 dpi is good for some purposes, but a little limited for some others.
I confirmed what I think is your point is that if you keep viewing distance equal to the print diagonal 10-12 MP does the job.
Digressing slightly one of the advantages of more MP is being able to view big prints closer than the print diagonal, perhaps with some cropping, and to still see as much fine detail as the eye can resolve at around 12 inches distance.
Even 150ppi (not dpi !) is acceptable for very large prints. If you think of billboard-size, the ppi is even less than that.
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