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Fewer/Larger pixels = less "camera shake"? Best tradeoff?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Bill Roberts, May 27, 2007.

  1. When my D2x is on a tripod, and I use MLU and a cable release, it gives me wonderfully sharp images -- much nicer than anything I get from my D70s.

    However, I find that when I hand-hold the two cameras, I find that I usually get noticeably sharper images from the D70s, except at very fast shutter speeds.

    I know I need to work on my hand-holding technique. But until my technique improves, I wonder -- if I want to pick up another camera body that will give me the sharpest images and best high ISO performance, am I better off choosing:

    D2Hs -- fewest and largest sensor pixels, so presumably the least affected by camera shake. The LBCAST sensor is widely praised for its color rendition. But I hear varying reports about its high ISO performance; it's certainly ahead of the D2x from the reports I have read, but some D40 owners seem to think their camera outperforms the D2Hs in low-light environments. Are they right? Also, is it just the JPEG engine in the D2Hs that delivers the great high-ISO results, such that its RAW files won't be any less noisy than what other cameras can deliver?

    D40 -- an inexpensive (if constrained by AF-S lens bias) way to upgrade from what my D70s can do, if its noise characteristics are really better than the D2Hs.

    D80 -- At 10 megapixels, I doubt this camera would be that much less prone to camera shake than my D2x. But if I'm mistaken, please correct me!

    I would be especially interested in hearing from anyone who has actually used both the D2Hs and the D40. Those two cameras couldn't be more different as potential solutions to my "spaz hands" problem, but each has a special appeal. The D40 would not only (in theory) cut down on my camera shake problems; it would give me an ultra-portable DSLR that I could carry places where my D2x seems awkwardly bulky. By contrast, the D2Hs would be a near-twin to the D2x controls I'm so comfortable with, and unlike the D40 it could use all my lenses, and would be worth the extra $$$ if indeed it would shield me that much more from camera shake while also giving me better high-ISO performance than the D40 (if indeed that's the case).

    Advice? I'll look forward to any comments you may have. Thanks in advance!
  2. CAJames


    Sep 6, 2006
    Lompoc, CA
    I have a D2Hs and I can vouch for both its relative immunity from camera shake and its excellent high ISO performance, shooting RAW. I'm not an expert on the D40, but my understanding is you only get great high ISO shooting JPG. I can't say if the D2Hs is better than the D40at high ISO, but it is very very good.
  3. D2Hs = Fantastic at high ISO...

    If you really need high ISO speed, which you seem to indicate I would actually look at a D50, a used D50, can't be beat at high ISO. I would get a D50 before a D40, but that's just me. And the reason I'd get a D50 over a D40 is the proven high ISO capture. This said I have seen excellent pictures taken with both... But the D2Hs is a great camera body.
  4. D80, a little improvement; D50, a LOT of improvement, and is the King of low-light.....ironic, it was replaced by such a lesser camera....
  5. Tosh


    May 6, 2005
    The D2HS and the D40 were my two bodies until very recently. Both are excellent at high ISO's. I never ran head-to-head tests, but my purely subjective feeling is that the D40 might have the tiniest of edges in low noise at high ISO. The two cameras vary greatly in AF ability, so your intended subject would be extremely important in your decison.

    I also have owned the D50, and I believe the D40 is slightly better noisewise. I seem to recall that the noise tests in the DPR reviews of the D40 and D50 confirm that the D40 is a bit cleaner. Still, the D50 is excellent noisewise and it does have full AF.

    DPReview's recent testing of the D40X showed it to be just slightly better than the D40, so you might want to consider the D40X as well.
  6. Thank you!

    For subjects requiring fast AF, I tend to use fast enough shutter speeds that I don't get unwanted camera shake on the D2x.

    Eventually, I hope my hand-holding technique will be good enough that I can handle the successor to the D2Hs, which should combine even better high ISO performance with fast AF and at least 8fps.

    Until then, if the D2Hs is no longer the high-ISO champ, it sounds as though the lowly D40 might fill in an odd niche in my kit. I suspect the D40x would not be much different from the D2x in terms of susceptibility to camera shake.
  7. Explain to me where "fewer/larger pixels = less camera shake".

    Are you saying that if you shoot film that you will have camera shake, how many MP would that compare to? I can see it mainly in the shutter speed a person is shooting.

    I do not see the relationship between the two.

    Most of the answers you have received here are in regard to the ISO quality.

    Looks like to me the answer to this would be a VR lens or shoot at faster shutter speeds.

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