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second body for wildlife D7100? D800? D600?

mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2013 11:20PM

Quote:However is the frame rate on the D800 fast enough for wildlife !!!!!!Wink

1 frame a second is fast enough for wildlife if you know what you are doing. All a fast frame rate does is increase your hit rate.
I bet wildlife photography did not exist before autofocus and autowind.

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photofrenzy 13 424 2 United Kingdom
21 Jun 2013 12:22AM
Well why lower your success rate if you know what your doing ???. Your comment doesn't make sense. If a wildlife photographer is shooting that subject then his equipment is surely capable of shooting multiple frames per second, So why not use it and increase your success rate.

Yes years ago they didn't have AF or motordrives , they also didn't have the quality images that are being produced nowadays with faster more advanced cameras that make taking those pictures a lot more easier.Wink
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
21 Jun 2013 4:28AM

Quote: still haven't worked out how to get some buttons on my 200-400 to work, in spite of having read through it 3 times

This is off the original topic, but if you cannot get the lens focus recall beeps to work on the original version, I had a similar issue. Nikon explained the beeps are not very loud after I sent mine in under warranty.
Unless you have good hearing and are in a quiet location the beeps can be difficult to hear.
annettep38 9 219 42 Germany
16 Jul 2013 11:46PM
Have had it for 3 weeks now and am very happy with it.
Just 3 hints for those who are used to the bigger pro models:
-the AF selection button is a pain. Forget shifting quickly between different AF mode, where you are used to find the button is now a totally superfluous LV button. Tell yourself every time to look twice and never try to change the mode while shooting, it is too awkward.
-If you are used to find the iso button on the back and to see what you have set, forget it! Like AF modes, press info first and look at the display.
-order an MD12 or a chinese copy asap. Makes life a lot easier, otherwise a right drag to hold vertically with a 200-400 or 600 mm on.
Gundog 7 629 Scotland
17 Jul 2013 9:52AM

-order an MD12 or a chinese copy asap. Makes life a lot easier, otherwise a right drag to hold vertically with a 200-400 or 600 mm on.

Getting rid of the excessive bulk and weight was one of the (several) reasons I "downgraded" from the D3s to the D800. But, seriously, why is the camera orientation a problem when using long, heavy lenses? Surely you are taking the weight in your left hand (if righthanded) supporting the lens, rather than in your right hand controlling the camera controls. (Although I have to say that I wouldn't dream of using my 600mm f/4 hand-held. I use a monopod if shooting fast-moving stuff; otherwise a tripod.)

Agree that the AF selection button is a bit awkward at first, but you will get used to it.
fotobee Plus
6 4 3 South Africa
1 Sep 2015 11:17AM
Hi Annette

This little piece of advice no doubt comes a little late for you, but, just possibly, not. I would recommend borrowing the equipment, to try it yourself, as I found the D7100 rather like a Ferrari to drive, and, handled normally, will give you average to bad shots, while all the other Nikons will give you average to good shots. But handled correctly, and with the correct lens, it will give you superb shots indeed!

A little known fact, which I have only discovered in February of 2005, would make me choose the D7100 every time, even over the D810. If you read the NPHOTO magazine of January 2015, and go to the D7100 test page, and study the graphs properly, a very interesting point comes out. You will see that the Noise vs ISO graph and the Resolution vs ISO graph fall normally to about ISO 800. THEN an interesting thing happens, at ISO 1600, they BOTH RECOVER to about ISO 400,and thereafter fall normally again. No other Nikon camera does this. I have checked this numerous times, and in varying light conditions, and have found the old Sigma 150 - 500 lens to have the best perfomance for sharpness at f7, with the DX sensor. This is just enough to give a decent depth of field, allowing pinsharp photo`s to be taken at the maximum extension of 500 mm, This is just at the sweet spot of this old Sigma, which can be bought brand new for about R10 000, making this combo the bargain of a lifetime. The only thing is, to set the Auto ISO on Auto from 100 to 320 on U1, and on Manual ISO of 1600 on U2. On U2 set the aperture control on A, to maintain f7, and let the camera find it`s own speed, which is seldom lower than 3000 sec, and usually about 4000 sec. Set the circle to 6 mm dia for pinsharp photo`s of birds surrounded by branches, as the old Sigma can read focus accurately at this, provided you use 11 cross points instead of the usual 51.

This allows absolutely pinsharp photo`s to be taken handheld, as at these shutter speeds, you do not need the Vibration Control on, as this takes a precious few milliseconds to stabilise, and the shot is usually gone. I do not use the "Burst" method of taking photo`s, as this usually misses the action I want. With practice, I have found the single shot to give me many more successful shots, (and many more failures as well !)

On editing, go to the Google NIK EFEX DEFINE 2 programme, and define the photo one or maybe twice, to get rid of the sllght noise.

You will not even consider the D800 series again, from a performance point of view.

Do not be seduced by the Tamron 150 - 600 mm, as I found the performance to be only average , judged by the old 150 - 500 Sigma. . The Focus point does not work accurately at the 6 mm circle, and, although it hunts less, it comes to a stop and indicates a good focus, either a little forward or back, each time, giving a large proportion of slightly fuzzy photo`s. I also have to stop it down to f8 or f9 to get the equivalent sharpness that the old Sigma gives at f7.

This means that the speed is a full 2 stops slower than the Sigma, and I have to use Vibration control on the lens, thus slowing the actual photo time by those all important few milliseconds.

I am still trying to develope a method of using it successfully, but so far have not come near the old Sigma. I must say that the Bokeh it gives is far better than the old Sigma, so I am continuing to try and get more suitable settings for it.

Hope this does not come too late for you ! Remember, these are only my inexpert conclusions, as they seem to go against what Nikon recommends, as it is far easier to sell Toyota`s than Ferrari`s !!!

Kruger01 12 18 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2015 2:59PM
Depending on the type of wildlife you shoot should determine the camera you need. I have a D800 and D7000, use both extensively and all thats been said about the D800 is true. Hand held, your technique needs to be spot on using long lenses but the results can be fantastic. I never worry about using up to 3200 ISO for the speed if necessary. It has a drawback, it's only 4fps at full res and for moving action that can mean a few missed opportunities but overall I still love it. Both my computers are 8Gb and process no problem. The D800 will take a 2x ext on a Long F4 and still AF very well in good light so I would still go with a D800 over a D4/D4s unless you need that 9/10 fps

LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
1 Sep 2015 6:56PM
OK, I shoot wildlife with a D7100 when I need reach and, until I got the D810 at a good price the D800.
You have not said what you mean by wildlife - it ranges through birds, mammals, insects and flowers.
You can only get the very best out of a D800 if you lock everything down etc - which may or may not be practical with your wildlife.
As well as the DX crop/reach/working distance you get a 1 stop brighter viewfinder and 1 stop more depth of field or 1 shutter speed faster.
The FX crop ability needs caution - a D800 cropped to DX is 15.5 MP, not 24.
If you take the view most quality wildlife needs low ISO's there is negligible difference at lower ISO's between 24 MP DX and FX.
I have not directly answered your question as it is not as straightforward as DX or FX.
As you already have a good FX body I suggest the DX route. A word of caution - you are likely to find at low ISO's a D7100 has more resolution, dynamic range and similar low ISO compared to your D3x.
annettep38 9 219 42 Germany
1 Sep 2015 8:18PM
More than two years since my original post Smile
I am still thankful for your advice and my d800 needs yet another repair.
Fotobee's very profound advice will be taken on board

After that , i will sell it! That is certain. I still don't like the handling and I use the d3x and the d4 all the time.
Yes, I will consider the d7100 for some extra reach. I have got a 600 5.6 MF which is very easy to handhold and my 200-400. Also easy to handhold, it just needs god camera controls because there is no aperture ring on it and focus is awkward. But it is very fast in AF Smile

I am sometimes thinking of the latest Sigma but I am waiting for your reports.

MGJ 11 372 6
2 Sep 2015 9:17AM
Annette - the crop sensor thing for wildlife is by and large a complete myth. The image size to be recorded is set by the lens. That is, independently of the size of the sensor, what is projected by the lens onto the sensor. So having a smaller sensor simply crops the image. There is no inherent magnification or gain.

So now it comes down to whatever you feel is the better recording system - full frame and bigger pixels, versus crop sensor and smaller pixels, more noise etc. (I cannot say anything about Nikons, but I prefer the full frame result to the crop sensor one, Canon 70d v 5D3. Thats a personal choice, but a lot of people agree. The degree of final magnification is the same of course because the lens doesn't alter, and the noise on the crop sensor is more often observable)

You takes your pick, but there is simply no free lunch. If you need to get "close" you need a long lens, and the crop sensor records that same image size, no more and no less than full frame.

The smaller file may be a benefit?
keithh 16 25.6k 33 Wallis And Futuna
2 Sep 2015 9:45AM
The sensor uses a smaller portion of the lens area. It is not the same as cropping. Similar but very much not the same.

A full frame sensor of say 24mp will not be the same when cropped as a smaller sensor with 24mp uncropped

MGJ 11 372 6
2 Sep 2015 8:08PM
In terms of area, its exactly the same as cropping. Or it was when I was working on sensors. (Unlike a crop in PS, one is using the optimal area of the lens, but all one is doing with the APSC format is not recording the outer part of the pic. Nothing more complex than that. ) I'm not saying that the QUALITY of recording is identical. It may be a fairly fine judgement, but because the final enlargement is the same for any image (APSC sensor using a full frame lens - because the recorded image size is lens dependent), there is a body of opinion which reckons you are better off recording on a full frame camera, and cropping, than you are using the theoretical "magnification" (in truth simply a cropped image) from a crop sensor and using more pixels. (Thats why its called a crop sensor BTW)

The interesting one is the better pixels versus more pixels. I think that is going to become a redundant argument soon. Clearly Canon with the new 5Dxx has not improved his FFT, so probably the ADC for something like the 70D (DIGIC 5+?IRRC)is no worse than the later DIGIC6. They have on the latest 5Dxx to reduce the ISO compared with the 5D3 (which uses the 5+), which is probably a consequence of the smaller pixels on the newer cameras. Everyone will be trying to go to more pixels, and unless they come up with a significantly improved FFT, noise control will get worse. (Or more stable sensor materials). FFTs are not my thing mathematically, being a user more than a number cruncher, but it looks as if a plateau has been reached at present.

FFT - Fast Fourier Transform. The arithmetic that converts an analogue wave into a digital histogram or spectral signal and also allows for the identification and hence elimination of noise. the two bits are not technically the same, but they tend to lump the 2 processes together into one chip.

keithh 16 25.6k 33 Wallis And Futuna
2 Sep 2015 8:24PM

Quote:because the recorded image size is lens dependent

Really? Dependent on what? Focal Length because I swear the image from a 35mm lens is exactly the same as an image from a 50mm...because it is.
Nick_w Plus
13 4.3k 99 England
2 Sep 2015 9:32PM

Quote:because the recorded image size is lens dependent

Really? Dependent on what? Focal Length because I swear the image from a 35mm lens is exactly the same as an image from a 50mm...because it is.

Perspective Tongue Wink
Nick_w Plus
13 4.3k 99 England
2 Sep 2015 9:52PM
[quote ]unless they come up with a significantly improved FFT, noise control will get worse

The same argument was used in ca 2007 when Sensor sizes were ca 10Mp !!! All I can say is my camera now is infinitely better at ISO 1600 than the one I had back then at ISO 200 (it wouldn't go to 100) and it has nearly 4x as many pixels.

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