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D2Hs to D300 smart?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by jadog2, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. jadog2


    Dec 18, 2007
    I am thinking of selling off my D2Hs and failing D100 for a D300.
    Why should I?
    To consolidate to ONE Camera that I can take on Trips but still
    use for low light photography around the house with my kids. Also will
    be used for some portraits and product photography.

    Has anyone been able to get nice results from the D300 that has/had a D2H(s)?
    I don't care as much about the built quality comparisons... but more about the final IQ and Colors the D300 produces.
    [I am playing with the Picture Control Utility to try and mimic the colors
    of the D2Hs but its difficult.]
    Thanks for any insights,
  2. fks


    Apr 30, 2005
    sf bay area
    hi jason-

    i don't have a D300, but the D2H/S had a certain quality to the images (when the lighting was good) that all the other nikon bodies that i've used can't match.

    there are many advantages to the D300 though that may outweigh your need to match the IQ of the D2Hs.

  3. adrianaitken

    adrianaitken Guest

    Fire a PM to Sandro Bravo - I believe he still has his D2Hs as well as a D300.
  4. weiran


    Jan 2, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The D2h produces a different look to images to the D300, unless you really need this look the D300 gives you quite a few advantages over it (smaller size/weight, better high ISO, etc.)

    If you budget stretches, the D700 would be a good choice too looking at your lenses, and is much better at low-light than the D300.
  5. I went from the D2HS to the D300. I think colors were better on the D2Hs and the noise is about the same, but the D300 smears details more. No durability issues with the D300, but I don't abuse my gear. Overall the D300 was not that big of an upgrade except in the resolution area. I'd skip it and go straight to the D700 and keep the D2Hs as a backup.
  6. jadog2


    Dec 18, 2007
    Thanks for the responses. I'm looking forward to a smaller body to replace my D100 but that would mean selling my D2Hs and paying $450 more for a D300.

    So far I haven't heard any real enthusiasm from those who have both or from those who switched. Thus makes my options difficult.

    A D700 wold be the natural choice but I would rather spend that money on the new 1.4Primes Nikon is supposedly comming out with.
    Maybe I just get a cheap D40 for light travel situations and keep the D2Hs as my main body.

  7. Mustang

    Mustang Guest

    I currently have and use both the D2Hs and the D300 with grip . 90% of my shooting these days is sports , using either a 70-200VR or a 200mm f2VR lens . IMHO , the cameras are quite different and there can be a fit for both . Is the D300 "better" than a D2Hs ? No , not all the time . Out of camera RAW files are much sharper with my D2Hs and white balance ( custom with the prism sensor ) is much more accurate on the D2Hs than the D300 on "auto" . The D300 can be used with an Expodisk for improvements , but it is MUCH quicker and easier with the D2Hs . Resolution is obviously much higher on the D300 , but , this is not always an advantage . I usually sell 8 x 10 sized prints and at this size , the D2Hs files are easily as good or even better as far as image detail goes . You can easily see individual hair strands and rain drops when shooting soccer .
    The small files are a breeze to process too . However , ISO3200 is better on the D300 and the 12mp gives a lot more "room" to crop an image that was not composed as well as it should have been . Highlights are more "forgiving" on the D300 too .
    Build quality and fit ? D2Hs all the way . Color ? D2Hs . I like both cameras and I am glad that I have both to use . I see the D300 as more of a "jack of all trades" type of camera . It has a lot more modern and "fancy" features , but , in the field shooting sports , I simply do not use or need them . Rock solid , reliable , accurate and dependable mean more to me . Just my 2 cents worth :) 
  8. Mustang, can you comment on the focus speed of the D300 VS the D2hs? Is the 51 area 3D focus tracking as good as people say it is compared the D2hs? I have read reviews by people who own both cameras as you do who claim, for them, the D300 simply blows the D2hs away, but I can't remember if they shoot sports as you do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2008
  9. My D2H went in for a repair (my fault) and I needed something for a wedding so I bought a D300. Now I use both. I love my D2h but unless I'm outside in good light, I use the D300. The ISO IS better and the LCD is wonderful. However, in ideal circumstances, I cannot tell the images apart in Lightroom as I process (other than sheer size) .... IQ from both are great.

    You can download and install D2 picture modes which I use.

    I have to say, I like the D300....sure, build is not a patch on the D2H but the cropping power is wonderful.

    I show an award ceremony today in poor indoors light and I used the D300 and D80. I CAN tell the images apart in Lightroom. The D80 is quite average at ISO 800. The D300 is much better. I'll keep my D2H but more and more, I use the D300.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2008
  10. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    Ditto. Exactly.

    As to the focus issue/question, I don't find the D300 to be as "neck snappingly fast" as some have said it to be. But, I also don't shoot 51 pt 3D either. I tend to shoot 9 (sometimes 21) point and move the group around.

    While I'm on the group focus mode, I'll go on record and said that I like the focus group arrangement in the D2H (which illuminates the selected sensors and changes the group shape) MUCH MUCH better than the D300 (which only shows the center of the 9 sensors and only has them in a square block). That having been said, the D300 is not a pro body.

    Bottom line (for me) is that I wish I would have had the luxury of being able to wait and buy the D3 instead of being forced to buy the D300 due to circumstance. I like it well enough, but I'm certainly not in love with it and will be selling it before the end of the year.

    D2H @800

    D300 @ 1600
  11. Mustang

    Mustang Guest

    These are just my opinions , but as far as AF performance goes , I do not find a big difference between the D2Hs and the D300 .
    Speed is fast on both . However , when shooting team sports like soccer , hockey etc , I do not use 51 area AF on the D300 . I MUCH prefer either the 9or 21 area sensor arrangement . It is faster and more accurate . I do find the the D300 will track a moving player just a bit more consistently , and will lock on in very low light perhaps a bit better but the D2Hs seems to "slam" the lens into focus a bit quicker .
    Both AF systems have a "character" of their own , which is not necessarily better but just different .
    I've read a lot of posts by people claiming that the D300 was significantly better , but , out in the field , shooting real games , under real world conditions , I do not really find that to be the case ( for me ) . Both AF systems are good , but different , and I think that it comes down more to what you get used to using .
    D300 blows the D2Hs away ??? Wow , thats a pretty strong statement which hasn't really proved itself to be the case for me .
    Last weekend I was shooting a local soccer tournament . I brought both the D2Hs and the D300 as well as the 200mm f2VR and the 70-200 VR lenses.
    I shot the first game using the D2Hs . I shot the second with the D300 .
    For the third , forth and fifth game , the D300 was in the bag and the D2Hs was used exclusively . Like I said , I like both cameras but if the D300 was so much better , I would have used it in a heartbeat . Bottom line was that under these conditions , it wasn't better at all . After the games when I was home processing images , I had a chance to really compare results .
    I much prefer the results of the D2Hs . The colors were much more accurate and my keeper rate was just as high or even higher . I sold several print images from that tournament and every one came from the D2Hs .
    What else can you say ?
    So , getting back to the OP question , is the D300 an "upgrade" over the D2Hs ? Well , I think you would have to be a bit careful with that .
  12. kiwi


    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    I've just bought a D2HS as a "back up" body to my D300. Lol.
  13. Hello, This has been a great thread. These are the two cameras on my short list. The third is the D2x. Where does it fit in in your opinion? Body of a D2hs with the res of the D300? Any comments would be great!
  14. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    Not sure if you're talking to me, but if you are, I neither said nor believe that (that the D300 blows away the D2H). At all.
  15. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    My D2X is a bigger "noise machine" at high ISO than the D2H is reputed to be. It's my opinion that the people that complain about tons of D2H noise don't understand how to use them. The JFET sensor is absolutely amazing when you realize it isn't a CCD and doesn't act like one.

    My non-empirical, non-authoritative, non-controlled observation has been that CCD imagers pretty much across the board are noisier than most other sensor types (CMOS, JFET, Foveon).

    So my comment would be that if your intention is to shoot at higher ISO's, avoid the D2X. Also remember that if you want speed out of the D2X, it shoots in cropped sensor mode, which negates the advantage of having more resolution. In that respect, the D300 *is* much faster at full res than the D2X. It just boils down to what you're doing.
  16. Mustang

    Mustang Guest

    No it was not directed at you at all fivegrand . It was in response to a comment that ashman made when he was referencing the concensus of others .
  17. Mustang

    Mustang Guest

    I agree COMPLETELY with what fivegrand said regarding the D2x .

  18. That being said, is the higher price for the D2hs over the D2h worth it?
  19. Mustang

    Mustang Guest

    I've never had the opportunity to shoot at any length with the D2H , so , take this for what it's worth . The D2Hs was designed to "address" some of the perceived shortcomings of the regular D2H ( high ISO performance , buffer depth , color accuracy etc. ) . So , if you are shooting in an environment where these issues are of importance , than yes , I would have to say that it is likely worth it . When I bought my D2Hs , I decided to buy it new ( at top dollar ) instead of buying a used D2H at a fraction of the price . I did it to get the "improvements" . I have no regrets at all .
    With used D2Hs prices being as low as they are right now , it would be hard to justify a
    "regular" D2H .
  20. fivegrand

    fivegrand Guest

    You would need to look at the "improvement differences" between the H and Hs and decide the value for yourself.

    For me - the disparity in price (~$1200 D2H vs ~$2200 D2Hs last I saw) is not a good value.

    But - keep in mind that I am looking at it from the standpoint of already having two D2H's - whereas you're looking at it from not having any of either.
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