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FX v Pixels

JohnM6 10 5 1 England
3 Sep 2012 3:40PM
Can anybody help me out here. I am considering changing my camera, a D80, for either a D7000 or D700. I am sure I will not be changing cameras again so would like to feel I have got the choice right. Would a DX at 16mp give me a better image than a FX 12mp assuming the lenses (and all other related issues) used are the same for both cameras? By the way I use both digital and printed media.

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thewilliam 9 6.1k
3 Sep 2012 5:08PM
One important difference between FX and DX is the size and weight of cameras and lenses. If you see this as a last purchase, may I assume that you're mature, like me?

She-who-must-be-obeyed uses DX and has just 3 lenses:- 10.5 fisheye, 17-55 and 70-200. I use FX and would need to carry 16mm fisheye, 17-35, 24-70 and 80-200 to cover a lesser range at the telephoto end.

In practical use, the image-quality of the two cameras would be much the same but the high ISO capability might differ.
miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2012 5:27PM
Unfortunately its not just MP or crop factor that makes a difference.

D700 v D7000
JohnM6 10 5 1 England
3 Sep 2012 6:25PM
Thanks both of you. Yes William you're right as you gently put it I am a mature photographer. My trouble is I have taken the time to study and develop the user side of taking a photo and vertually zilch on the mechanics. Ah well, there's always something Tongue
User_Removed 8 299 4 France
3 Sep 2012 6:32PM
Just bought a s/h d700 to replace a d90, same lenses as I only had one cheap dx zoom...the images look a lot sharper on my screen but im sure a flurry of posts will say they arent...I changed cos I missed my 20mm wide and my 17 to35 ed zoom, cropped they didnt hack it and a 10.5 dx fisheye was a non starter for me...ps im 67 next month and the d700 is heavey but I love it...very similar to my f5
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
3 Sep 2012 8:04PM

Quote:Would a DX at 16mp give me a better image than a FX 12mp assuming the lenses (and all other related issues) used are the same for both cameras?


The answer to that question depends upon a number of factors.

Possibly the most important one is what you indeed to do with your images. If you only view them on a PC monitor or print them to A3 size or below, you are likely to notice very little difference most of the time.

The least important difference is, in a sense, the megapixelage of the sensors of the two cameras you mention. Bear in mind that even a high quality monitor is only displaying an image of around 4 megapixels and professional photographers were supplying photographs for the covers of glossy magazines when 5Mp was a high resolution digital sensor.

Where the two sensors do differ markedly is in the size and density of the pixels on the sensor. The D700 has fewer pixels spread over a larger area than the D7000. In conventional wisdom terms, that should lead to better image quality, especially at higher ISO settings. However, the D7000 is a generation newer than the D700 and benefits from some advances in sensor design and firmware.

So where am I heading?

Basically, unless you see yourself working at the "extremes" of amateur photography, in one way or another (such as very large prints, working in very poor light, looking for the longest possible "reach" from your lenses, etc.) then both of the cameras you mention will produce excellent results. If I was making that choice, and had no other options open to me, I would opt for the D700 but for no more rational reason that I like the idea of working with a sensor that roughly equates in surface area to a frame of 35mm film. You may have an equally irrational reason for choosing the other. Go with it.
JohnM6 10 5 1 England
4 Sep 2012 11:35AM
Thanks for this Stuart and Scotland. Having grown up with 35mm cameras you are probably right in that the idea of working with an equivalent sensor size to film my brain sees this as the right choice. My D80 is very dated and I do not do well with it in low light situations, which I often find myself in. This could have as much to do with me as it does the camera (a poor workman always blames his tools, as they say). The digital images are often displayed with a projector and some images need to be not less than 27mb. Thanks again both of you, your comments have made me lean in the direction of the D700, now where's she who must be obeyed hidden my plastic!!!
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
5 Sep 2012 9:58AM
Short answer - normally the D7000 can give better image quality.
As an owner of a D7000 and an ex owner of D3, the D7000 can comfortably deliver more resolution, has better colour, greater dynamic range, and closes the medium level higher ISO gap between D3 and D300.
The D700 has better AF (though the D7000 is good) and better build quality.
The D7000 has sensor cleaning, video, and is nearly half the price new.
All this aside in a 12x10 inch print (if that is as big as you go) differences are close to impossible to detect, with a small advantage to D7000 with a 20x16 print viewed close.
A forecast - Nikon will sell off the last of the D700 stocks at Focus on Imaging at less than 1,200 new.
JohnM6 10 5 1 England
5 Sep 2012 11:32AM
Thanks Len, I think I will hang fire until the NEC show. If the price is right it could be a good buy. You also mention build quality, after a day stood on a cliff top in the rain with my D80, camera body seals were an issue. Keeping the body dry whilst photographing ganetts did hamper my shooting.
LenShepherd 10 3.6k United Kingdom
5 Sep 2012 11:49AM

Quote:Thanks Len, I think I will hang fire until the NEC show. If the price is right it could be a good buy. You also mention build quality, after a day stood on a cliff top in the rain with my D80, camera body seals were an issue.

I cannot guarantee stock left by NEC, but Nikon have sold off stock of discontinued models at very low prices in the past.
Information like a need for good weatherproofing can help us give you better advice.
I would put the 700 ahead of the 7000, and a second hand D3 above either. Failing that plastic body/lens covers are not expensive for occasional use.
Photokina starts in 2 weeks - the as yet mythical D400 and D600 might be announced.
6 months after launch they could be on sale at discounts - expanding the range of options.
Railcam 11 669 1 Scotland
5 Sep 2012 11:56AM

Quote:The D7000 has sensor cleaning

For the sake of accuracy, the D700 also has sensor cleaning
Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
7 Sep 2012 4:20PM
If I were you, I would hold out just a few weeks before making your decision. There is a mooted D600 that may be unveiled at photokina later in the month, and whilst I'm not 100% on its spec., it's supposedly FX and set to come in at a lower price point than previous FX models (a bit more of a budget FX camera, if you will). However, it's not set in stone but it might be worth holding out that little extra time just to see what happens.

If it does indeed come out it remains to be seen whether or not the UK market will see a lower price, or just get screwed over as per usual.

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