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second body for wildlife D7100? D800? D600?


11 Jun 2013 9:17PM
Any decision taken will involve some tradeoffs:
-D800 is a fantastic camera, and will make D3x redundant. Together these two cameras with lens will weight quite a enough to hive a backache to anyone who will dare to lug them around for half a day. Not to mention the cost;
-Any APS camera will not be as good image quality wise as FF one, no matter what sort of camera it is;
These should be weighted against benefits:
- with correct camera choice APS camera will offer minimal quality loss with considerably greater zoom. In many situations it will be making a picture like a FF with 1.5X teleconverter, but with much lighter lens and body. I find it hard to believe that 1.5X digital crop of FF may produce better image quality than 1.5X physical crop sensor ( and did not find a printed word on it, ever). With the camera used for wildlife photography 1.5X zoom advantage would be priceless.
-D800 will give complete compatibility to current specs, but on better technical level. Otherwise ( including IQ) under most circumstances real world differences to the existing camera would be negligible.
This, roughly, what should be taken into account when making a decision of second camera that must be always at hand and specialized mostly in wildlife (as per OP).
Choose wisely Smile
P.S. Where are the 4/3s cheer squad?

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LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
11 Jun 2013 10:15PM
Part disagreeing with comments so far for many wildlife purposes a D7100 can be better than a D800, which is likely part why many Canon shooters take superb wildlife shots with crop sensor bodies Smile
If you step back from web hype a D800 cropped to DX has 15.4 MP - about 66% of D7100 MP. A D7100 with the 1.3x crop puts AF points across the full width of the image area and still delivers close to D800 DX crop MP. For the same viewfinder magnification the D7100 has either 1 stop more depth of field or 1 shutter speed faster than the D800 - often very useful for wildlife.
There is little practical difference in noise or dynamic range to about 1600 ISO.
For those on a budget a 70-200 f2.8 can give a 400 f2.8 D800 equivalent angle of view, with more MP than your D3s.
It follows a D800 is not always best for everything wildlife.
I think the best wildlife option from Nikon's current line up is a D800 for when you do not have depth of field or crop issues, plus a D7100 when you do.
Whichever you choose be aware autofocus control operates in a very different way to your D3s.
Ade_Osman 16 4.5k 36 England
12 Jun 2013 5:04AM
Keep the camera, invest in better or different glass.....Simplezzz Tongue

Point being even the D800 will be superseded by something better in time, probably by the end of the year if Nikon are anything to go by, whereas glass has a longer shelf-life than camera bodies! If the body you have is good why bother changing it?....Oh and invest in glass that can be used on either APS or full frame camera sensors! It's the way I've just gone, though you'll have to wait a few more days before you get to see the results of my latest edition to my glass armoury as I'm still experimenting in order to get the best results, hence my lack of activity in the galleries Wink
annettep38 Plus
8 219 42 Costa Rica
12 Jun 2013 7:53AM
Thank you very much for your comments so far!
I'm quite impressed with some d800 action shots I have seen... But just please let me ask again? There must be a very good reason Ade here and Brian and Mr Tomcat use a crop sensor?
Has any one here actually tried the d7100? 6000x4000 sounds good, the resolution looks good,too? At least I was very impressed with the results on dpreview, a guy on Nikon gear showed impressive bird picks... Others were less impressed. I'm asking here and don't just want to go by lab results as I take photos mainly outdoors or in churches Wink with my gear, of moving subjects.
Stevefz 9 50 England
12 Jun 2013 8:09AM
Have you thought about hireing a D800 body for a couple of days, not sure how much it would cost but it might be a good way to judge for yourself and you may save yourself a few quid in the long run.
mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2013 10:10AM

Quote: I find it hard to believe that 1.5X digital crop of FF may produce better image quality than 1.5X physical crop sensor ( and did not find a printed word on it, ever). With the camera used for wildlife photography 1.5X zoom advantage would be priceless.
[\quote]

If you are looking for 'better' then no wonder you did not find it. They key thing to ask is 'is FF any worse' and then you can play those off.

This site shows the cropped 5D3 and the native 7D are pretty much the same in all but pixel-peeping territory
http://iwishicouldfly.com/iwishicouldfly/journal/html/111812.html

This experienced birder is happy with 5D3 and 7D
http://leeabrownphotography.com/2013/03/canon-5d-vs-7d-for-birds-in-flight/

Note that I am not saying the FF is better than the APS-C, just that advances in pixel densities and noise levels has closed the gap significantly, and if you want to use the camera outside wildlife then maybe the FF gives advantages in other areas while giving nothing away for wildlife. As always, choose your compromises

12 Jun 2013 10:44AM
They are interesting links, thanks. Not convince me on better image quality with digital crop - as the autor says that the results were close enough - which actually was my point to start with. It is my long standing belief that FF camera can do what any other camera does. As for my opinion on convenience of cropped format vs versatility of FF - please read my comments above. Should the OP author asked my opinion on getting their one and only camera - that would be D800 all the way.
Ade_Osman 16 4.5k 36 England
12 Jun 2013 11:22AM
The only real reason I use a crop sensor against a full frame is cost! As a strict amateur I just can't justify the cost of a full frame sensor.

If money was no object then I'm sure I'd have the latest all singing and dancing Canon 1DX *** or whatever, but alas having to live on benefits due to disability I have to make my choices carefully. I have hired FFS cameras in the past and for what it was worth, I found the quality improvement negligible and very difficult to distinguish, but then again I've generally never found the need to print any of my images above A3+ size, which I sure is where the quality improvement in using a FFS would really show. I suppose if I were to crop my final images to any real degree I might find some benefit in having a FFS, but I don't as I have the right glass for my needs so generally get the frame filling shots right in camera in the first place if you get my gist.

I've a pair of 50D's a 30D and a Olympus Pen at my disposal plus a whole load of different glass options that I've collected over the years, plus all the wife's kit if I wanted to use it. I suppose one could argue with all the money myself and the wife have spent on gear over the years I could have gone full frame by now and they might be right? But my quality needs as (and I say this very tongue in cheek) as an advanced amateur may be completely different to the next tog, but I do squeeze what I can out of the kit I have. I certainly won't go wasting my money on kit just to keep up with the neighbours, but then again I've never suffered with camera envy Wink You're just as likely to see me out and about with the 30d or the Pen as you are with the 50d's and I have quite a laugh sometimes when I'm stood next to someone with the latest all singing and dancing camera only for them to ask me what settings they should be using!!!.....Yes it happens and on quite a lot of occasions I might add.......That's not to say that this is the case with Annette BTW....Phew!Blush

Rant over Blush So in conclusion, if you want a camera that will print at A2 and above or you need it so you can crop images down to nothing because you haven't invested in the right glass, then yep you go out and buy whatever you feel you need, hell it's your money I can't stop you. But if you think first about what you really need from the camera in question and you might find yourself saving a few spondulias and having that money to invest in better glass. Of course I'm talking as an amateur, if I was a full time pro where money was no object and I just had to have the latest kit......Then of course I'd probably have a sack load of 1DX's, no scrap that, I have a sackful of Medium Format kit with digital backs, but I digress Tongue
annettep38 Plus
8 219 42 Costa Rica
12 Jun 2013 5:42PM
Hi all, just found this here!
http://lightbending411.com/index.php/first-nikon-d7100-real-world-impressions/ it says a lot! really a great real world review.
and Mike, your links really helped a lot!! thank you so much
12 Jun 2013 11:39PM

Quote:
.....FF gives advantages in other areas while giving nothing away for wildlife.


Thanks, Mike!Grin
LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
13 Jun 2013 8:56AM

Quote:Keep the camera, invest in better or different glass.....Simplezzz Tongue


Is this attitude obsolescent in the context of the question - i.e. buying a higher MP camera?
A D800 with good technique gets between 25 - 30% more image resolution with any lens at any aperture (including diffraction limited) than 12 MP
Whether the extra resolution is needed for the particular subject is another topic.
It is highly unlikely upgrading any half reasonable lens can produce 30% more resolution at any aperture, and at f8-11 increases are generally less than 10%
LenShepherd 11 4.0k United Kingdom
13 Jun 2013 9:20AM

Quote:The only real reason I use a crop sensor against a full frame is cost!


As you say later in your reply this is a rant and you do not own Nikon.
As a former owner of D3, D300, D3s and D300s I agree with Grays of Westminster who so there is no practical difference in a 20x16 inch print to 1600 ISO (800 for noise with the D3s).
The OP owns and wishes to keep the D3s, most likely for the high ISO performance.
The D7000, which remains in my camera bag until the D7100 is in stock (as distinct from advertised) at below 900, does bigger prints which look good viewed close than the OP's current cameras, though the D800 which I also own can be even better.
If the OP restricts a purchase to second hand the D7100 is not available, and I would put a second hand D800 as a better buy wthan a new D600, even with the current 150 Nikon cash-back.
In the context of not using a crop sensor body for wildlife and the D7100/600/800 question I disagree 200%. The D7100 has the 24 MP depth of field advantage and the 1.3x with AF points right across the frame option. Nikon give us choices - which to choose if only 1 from the 3 is a tough question, but saying DX has no advantage other than price for many wildlife needs is a long way from right.
Gundog 6 629 Scotland
13 Jun 2013 9:30AM

Quote:
The OP owns and wishes to keep the D3s, most likely for the high ISO performance.
.



D3x actually. Quite a different beast. (The camera Nikon admit may have been a mistake in their rush to get out an FX camera with the Sony 24Mp sensor),
mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
13 Jun 2013 9:30AM
I agree regards resolution, Len, though I have always looked a better quality lenses being more about superior edge-to-edge performance, especially at wider apertures.
annettep38 Plus
8 219 42 Costa Rica
13 Jun 2013 11:26AM

Quote:The OP owns and wishes to keep the D3s, most likely for the high ISO performance.
.

D3x actually. Quite a different beast. (The camera Nikon admit may have been a mistake in their rush to get out an FX camera with the Sony 24Mp sensor),


Doesn't feel like a mistake to me mine does the job nicely. if you got doubts regarding 6400 asa look in my PF. The resolution and colour is stunning, the handling and reliability are fantastic. I still love it to bits. Richard and I shot some birds last Saturday, he with my 500mm and the d3s, me with the 200-400 and the D3x. Well how can I put it, I got more pixels per bird and the D3x was a lot better under the conditions (rain and c...p light) but never mind, his is better in a church by far.

Well guess I have to wait till someone shows up who has actually tried the D7100! Wex and Futek got the D7100 in stock, Wex wants more for a second hand or nearly new d800 than Futek for a new one. I have never bought a new camera in my life apart from my F3 ages ago.
I have seen d7100 shots on the web to put me off :
http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/nikon-d7100-mini-review
and other posts to make me want it now
http://nikongear.com/live/index.php/topic/49878-a-couple-of-bald-eagle-portraits-d7100-30028vrii/?hl=d7100
haven't seen any d800 shots to put me off yet, only the price label Smile

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