Feel the "need" to upgrade

Joined
Apr 7, 2008
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Michigan
I've had my D300 for quite some time now and have been very happy with it. However, I just feel like I'm missing out on something not having an FX body. When I went from my D80 to my D300, it was a big jump in IQ. Now, after 3 or so years with the D300, I feel like I am wanting that next extra little bit - that FX something that no one can quite describe. I've pretty much resigned myself that now is not the time to make that jump since prices have actually increased due to the limited supply of D700s. So, I'm looking to upgrade when the D800 comes out. I don't know, maybe I'm hoping for too much. I know it is the photographer that makes the image. The camera is just a tool. And while I love photography, my skills are pretty average. So, am I really going to notice that elusive FX difference?
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
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Hi Wendy... I'm just a hobbyist, and not that great of a photographer, but I upgraded from a D70 to a D700 late last year. Big difference. (Not that I couldn't get decent images out of my D70 - as long as I did my part.) Much better dynamic range, AF, high ISO capability, etc... those differences might be smaller for you than they were for me, depending on what actually arrives as the D800.

Since I started out on film many years ago, going to FX was nice because lenses felt "right" again, to me. The viewfinder was a lot better (closer to my old F3HP) - again, to me. The camera will meter with my old Ai-S lenses, and I've found I enjoy going back and using those lenses. I love the feel of the camera, and find it a joy to use. I'm now experimenting and learning more about different types of photography than I ever attempted with the D70.

My guess is that, yes you will notice the difference. Whether or not the difference in image quality and camera capability, or "that FX something that no one can quite describe" is worth the upgrade - only you can answer that. My D700 is way above my capabilities, and I found it to be "worth it". :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
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Tulsa, OK
And while I love photography, my skills are pretty average. So, am I really going to notice that elusive FX difference?

In all honesty, I think you will only notice a difference in your head. If you were to take a picture of the exact same thing with both camera's and laid the pictures out in front of you, I'd almost bet even you couldn't tell the difference. It is the allure of FX - trust me.

If you are just a hobbyist I don't think it is worth the cost to upgrade. If you find yourself doing paid gigs where that extra ISO helps, then maybe then would be the best time to switch.

I made the switch only because I started doing weddings where I needed the higher ISO capabilities. Good luck,
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
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Phoenix, Arizona
I also had a D300 for three years, and then bought a D700 last October. In my case I wanted high ISO, and I had built up a decent collection of FX lenses, including the 14-24 and 24-70 zooms.

And ... I got what I wanted. The D700 is very good at high ISO work. It also makes the 14-24 REALLY WIDE. Depth of field is definitely shallower, and I've had to relearn my lenses to predict what F-stop to shoot at for adequate depth of field.

My lenses changed. The 80-200 I never really liked on DX (not wide enough) is great again, like in my film days. My 14-24 is amazing, whereas before it was a heavy, flare-prone, filterless version of my 12-24. My 24-70 is both 'perfect focal length' now - and kind of boring. The 24-70 is also now 'too short' for portraits, and my 85F1.8 is almost too short. The 105vr works well on either DX or FX.

In short, there really is a lens realignment you have to do, and I see what Thom Hogan means about it being difficult to mix DX and FX cameras at the same time.

I now shoot the D300 almost exclusively for wildlife with my longest lenses, and try to use the D700 for everything else. Travel is suddenly more of an issue because the lenses I want to use on the D700 don't fit in the waist bag I use. (The 14-24 doesn't fit where the 12-24 did. My 80-200 can almost fit where a 80-400 did, but then I need to somehow carry a 300F4 and TC. It's just not as easy to do travel now with FX.)

IQ is mostly the same, though the D700 images have more headroom for pulling down highlights, and the look of the images is subtly better. A bit more like my D200, and less harsh than the D300.
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
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976
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chicago
I love my D3; but I also love my D300.

Now that I've gotten over the allure of Full Frame, I've come to realize that the D3, at least for me, has only 2 real advantages:first is the viewfinder, which is wonderful for my old eyes; second is that it's built like a tank.

Using the same lens on both at the same aperture, I like the bokeh on the D3 better. But for my telephoto needs, you can't beat the crop factor of the D300.

While I know that it's easy to say, but hard to do, try to base your decision on your needs, not just your wants.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
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2,116
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Canada
+1

Well said Craig.

Not sure I would say there is any Full frame elusive difference. If you like the shallower depth of field opportunities of FX and want to explore lenses with F2.8 or faster, then it probably is worth getting a D700. The other thing I really like is the improved high ISO abilities. Larger viewfinder too is nice but make or break.

Warning size does matter! I hate the extra weight and size of the FX body and lenses.

Perhaps get a used D700 since it is at the end of its production lifespan. The D800 will probably be over $3000.

I also had a D300 for three years, and then bought a D700 last October. In my case I wanted high ISO, and I had built up a decent collection of FX lenses, including the 14-24 and 24-70 zooms.

And ... I got what I wanted. The D700 is very good at high ISO work. It also makes the 14-24 REALLY WIDE. Depth of field is definitely shallower, and I've had to relearn my lenses to predict what F-stop to shoot at for adequate depth of field.

My lenses changed. The 80-200 I never really liked on DX (not wide enough) is great again, like in my film days. My 14-24 is amazing, whereas before it was a heavy, flare-prone, filterless version of my 12-24. My 24-70 is both 'perfect focal length' now - and kind of boring. The 24-70 is also now 'too short' for portraits, and my 85F1.8 is almost too short. The 105vr works well on either DX or FX.

In short, there really is a lens realignment you have to do, and I see what Thom Hogan means about it being difficult to mix DX and FX cameras at the same time.

I now shoot the D300 almost exclusively for wildlife with my longest lenses, and try to use the D700 for everything else. Travel is suddenly more of an issue because the lenses I want to use on the D700 don't fit in the waist bag I use. (The 14-24 doesn't fit where the 12-24 did. My 80-200 can almost fit where a 80-400 did, but then I need to somehow carry a 300F4 and TC. It's just not as easy to do travel now with FX.)

IQ is mostly the same, though the D700 images have more headroom for pulling down highlights, and the look of the images is subtly better. A bit more like my D200, and less harsh than the D300.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
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Michigan
+1


Warning size does matter! I hate the extra weight and size of the FX body and lenses.

My two primary lenses are the 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8. I carry those two lenses with me almost everywhere. So, I really don't think the extra weight and size will be an issue. Just not sure if FX is the way I want to go yet. The cost is an issue, but not an absolute deciding factor. If I upgrade, I do want to feel like I am getting something in return for the extra cost. Decisions...decisions....
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Messages
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Go to a site http://www.fotoblur.com and check the Gallery and the Favorites. You'll find a surprisingly high percentage of the finest pictures taken with Nikon D40, D3000, Canon Rebel and the like. It isn't about the gear, and it's even less about the sensor size.
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
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With those lenses you are virtually there. I would do the move. You are cropping out a big portion of your lens capability. If you mired in dx lenses then the move has high expense.

My two primary lenses are the 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8. I carry those two lenses with me almost everywhere. So, I really don't think the extra weight and size will be an issue. Just not sure if FX is the way I want to go yet. The cost is an issue, but not an absolute deciding factor. If I upgrade, I do want to feel like I am getting something in return for the extra cost. Decisions...decisions....
 
Joined
May 1, 2007
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1,405
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Halftime in Central Florida, halftime RV'ing.
Wendy,
I upgraded from the D300, a camera I loved, to the D700. I couldn't go back. For my style of shooting the biggest factor is the low light capability of the 700. It is liberating to know that I can shoot at much higher ISO's at will, and still expect good results,and I do think there is a "certain something" in the way the full frame images look. Whatever bodies I own in the future, I'll keep my D700 too. Your lenses will be great on the 700. I had to do a whole lens realignment from DX to FX, but you've got the basics covered already. I say go for it. You'll never regret the D700.
 
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Joined
Feb 24, 2010
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300
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New York
I'd chalk it up to using the same camera for 3 years and it is feeling stale. That's not a bad thing.

You go out and buy a chef's knife...you aren't going to cook any better, but it's still nice to have and all. Three years later, meh...it's just a knife.

That's just how i view it.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Messages
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Michigan
Wendy,
I upgraded from the D300, a camera I loved, to the D700. I couldn't go back. For my style of shooting the biggest factor is the low light capability of the 700. It is liberating to know that I can shoot at much higher ISO's at will, and still expect good results,and I do think there is a "certain something" in the way the full frame images look. Whatever bodies I own in the future, I'll keep my D700 too. Your lenses will be great on the 700. I had to do a whole lens realignment from DX to FX, but you've got the basics covered already. I say go for it. You'll never regreat the D700.

This is a very big factor for me. I don't shoot anything over ISO 1600 on my D300. I shoot a lot of concerts and recitals for my kids as well as the yearbook for their school and ISO 1600 is pretty limiting in an auditorium. My wide angle lens is the Tokina 12-24 and I've never been happy with that lens. So, the only lens I would need to change is a wide angle.

I know that upgrading my camera will not make me a better photographer. The camera is simply a tool. But, sometimes it can open up new possibilities.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
1,814
Location
City of Angels
Go to a site http://www.fotoblur.com and check the Gallery and the Favorites. You'll find a surprisingly high percentage of the finest pictures taken with Nikon D40, D3000, Canon Rebel and the like. It isn't about the gear, and it's even less about the sensor size.

haha, says the man with incredible FX bodies and wonderful glass!:tongue:

but all joking aside, i agree with you. some of the best photos i've seen are from the canon rebel cameras. and junk can be produced by these expensive FX cameras. reviewing my D700 photos after uploading them to my computer gives proof of that!!:biggrin:
 
Joined
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My two primary lenses are the 24-70 2.8 and the 70-200 2.8.

you should be very careful as to how these lenses will change dramatically on FX. i rarely used my 70-200 on the D300, since it was much too long. but it is PERFECT on FX. however, if you like the 70-200 on DX, you may find it not as useful on FX. and casual shooting at a camera store with an FX body for a few minutes might not really give you a good insight as to the FOV changes with these lenses. its gonna be day-in and day-out shooting that will reveal to you whether these two lenses will shine for you on FX as they did on DX...
 
Joined
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Streamwood, IL
I moved onto d700 from d300s..
Best. Change. Ever.
I am absolutely in love with the 700, and do regret spending $$ on the d300s.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
1,370
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Canada
I can't wait for the D800 to come. I'm desperate to move on from my D70s. Especially now that I have to shoot some sports, the D70s is too slow in AF. The dynamic range and ISO limitations are also bugging me. I love Bokeh; all my lenses are 2.8 or faster - and they're wasted on a DX camera.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
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Vienna
How is a fast lens wasted on a DX camera? Especially when shooting sports crop makes sense. A 300 2.8 is a lot more expensive and way less versatile than a 70-200 2.8.

Spread of focus points are an advantage of the D300, crop can be an advantage. Less vignetting on some lenses (like the 70-200 2.8 VRI). Banding at high ISO can be a $%§ on the D700. Shallow dof can be nice, or it can mean you have to stop down so much you have to bring up ISO.

I love my D700 but really, there is nothing mysterious about FX. I had a D300 before and switched only because I was shooting lots of ballet at that time where I had to go 3200+ ISO often.

I really wouldn't "upgrade" from a D300 just "because". I wouldn't even consider it an upgrade, more of an alternative. I still use a D300 for outdoor sports and wildlife. Now, upgrading from a D70, thats a totally different story...
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
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Wasted as in there's all that high quality dense silica structure ready to transmit light as accurately as engineering allows to the sensor, only to have it slam on a piece of dead plastic surface.

For my purposes, the D700 represents a bump in AF accuracy, speed, burst rate, low light abilities and viewfinder quality. All of which I desperately need at the moment. I'll gladly slap on a 1.4x TC as trade-off. You are right, my 70-200 is serving very nicely on the D70s for sports - I'm going to miss its 120-300 abilities when I go to FX.
 

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