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Thinking of adding a D700 - shots comparing D300

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR Forum' started by mikefitz6, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. I went to Best Buy to borrow a D700 on display. I took my D300 and 70-200 lens. All shots were at 200mm with VR on. Auto White balance. F4 for D300 and F5.6 for D700 (no idea how I switched the f stop). No NR in camera on D300. Did not check D700. All RAW converted to jpeg. I used the same battery in both cameras - Best Buy did not have one available. I took shots of 3 different scenes at ISO 1600, 3200, and 6400. Here are the 3200 shots.
    The color was different so I did use the white balance tool for both cameras shots to even up the colors a bit.

    Curious if you think this is a normal difference between the cameras.

    D300 full shot no NR followed by D700 shot no NR

    D300 shot cropped like I would a soccer player no NR followed by D700 cropped the same with no NR.

    Last are D300 shot cropped with NR and D700 shot cropped with NR.

    The other shots are similar.

    Does this look like expected differences? I am especially interested in #4 and #5.


  2. keko


    Jul 20, 2007
    Thanks for posting, I'm very much intereseted myself in seeing comparisons, especially in terms of color rendition, AWB performance and dynamic range.

    However, these shots don't tell me much. Different composition, and probably different metering and picture control...

    Could you elaborate on what the differences where in terms of AWB?
  3. Dave


    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I have a D700 that just came in yesterday (rental) and I will take it out and put the 300 f/4 AF-S on it and the 80-200 f/2.8 on my D300 and set them both to f/5.6 and do some tests at higher ISO's...I just have to find the time, and a non-rainy day.
  4. Dave,

    I am looking forward to your pictures.


    I had the salesman breathing down my neck saying that he could not leave the camera department because he had the D700 out. He said this 3 different times on the in house phone. I was a little nervous trying to get all the settings the same, but I did not have the time to do it.

    I do know both shots were from the same location at 200mm, matrix metering, ISO 3200, auto WB.

    D300 high ISO ON (low), f4, 1/320s, AF area mode - dynamic 9 points, exposure mode - A priority

    D700 high ISO ON (normal), f5.6, 1/125s, AF area mode - single, exposure mode - Programed. The programmed mode caused my f stop to bounce all over with the D700. I don't know if I will go back and try it again in A priority.

    We are looking for different things. From my standpoint, I got my questions answered. I wanted to know how the D700 compared to the D300 at high ISO when the pictures were cropped to the same size. I was able to compare the two cameras in each of three different shots around the store at three different ISO's for a total of 9 shots.

    Here is the ISO 6400 (or whatever the D300 is really at). I assume most folks will take this with a grain of salt because I DID NOT have the settings the same. Also taking pictures of a static sign in a store versus a kid bouncing all over a soccer field at top speed is hardly a good test.

    D300 cropped with NR


    D700 cropped without NR


    D700 cropped with NR


    The D700 Auto WB seemed to be better in all 9 shots. These two shots at ISO 3200 were just changed to jpegs - no PP. All other settings as above for each camera.

    D300, ISO 3200, Auto WB


    D700, ISO 3200, Auto WB


    Take these for what they are worth - not much :smile:.
  5. Your Best Buy actually had a D700 in stock? And on display?!? Wow. The "best" camera my local BB has is the D80 and Canon 40D. Those shots prove one thing for me... The D300 ISO 3200 shots can easily be used in a pinch. Nice examples.
  6. adol290


    Apr 15, 2007
    Manitoba, Canada
    The D300 pictures seem a bit sharper.

    Was the same amount of sharpening used in each camera,
    or post processing.
  7. keko


    Jul 20, 2007

    thanks again! The AWB of the D700 looks much better,..., i never liked the AWB on my D300 I spend way too much time fixing it in PP...

    Other than that I don't see much difference...
  8. Adol,

    I just checked and the sharpening was set to 3 on both cameras.

    Could this be the difference of a bigger crop resulting in less pixels in the D700 pictures? I am pretty sure I am way off base on that one, but it was my first thought.


    I don't see a great difference, but I have to use NR on the D300 to make it look better. You notice that I did not post any D300 high ISO pictures without NR. It would be interesting to take the same shots but move up on the D700 shot so that the subject was at the same size as in the D300. Again, I wonder if the bigger crop in the D700 decrease the IQ to the point the D700 shots look almost the equal of the D300.

    What the test showed to me is that the D700 is not what I need. My take (again I may be way off) is that I have to crop the D700 pictures enough that the IQ is not a lot better than the D300. Since most of my shots are outside with a 300mm lens or 420mm (300 + 1.4XTC) and not any indoor sports, I would not see the advantage of the D700 unless I got the 400 f2.8 (that will happen when pigs fly). The other advantage of the D700 might be if I shot indoor games. When I used my 70-200 at 100mm on the D300 and 150mm on the D700, then the increased IQ of D700 may show up. I just don't foresee me taking any indoor sports shots other than for fun.

    Maybe someone else can check out my 100mm vs 150mm hypothesis?

  9. Why do the D300 photos look sharper?
  10. scooptdoo

    scooptdoo Guest

    because this comparison is not a comparison.its pictures taken or sorta the same thing at around the same time with 2 different camera .set up differntly.in otherwords.its as scientific as the following recipe.1 eye of newt.i broken rats tooth a pinch of sasafras and still to a boiling broth.then cast you spells and drink till you puke!
  11. Dez,

    I don't think what you are seeing is a real difference. In my last post I wondered if it was the difference in cropping. The numbers I am about to use are not the actual numbers(close though), but I hope it explains what I am thinking.

    On the D300 it is a 50% crop, but I had to crop 75% on the D700 to get the image the same size. That would mean that there are more pixels in the D300 crop, so it would look better. If I understand this, if I had moved closer to the sign so that the D700 crop only had to be 50% also or if I had used a 300mm on the D700 (I used 200mm on both cameras), then it would again only have to be cropped 50%. I suspect that the sharpness would be similar and the lack of noise may be superior to the D300.

    Can any one tell me if this is off base?


    I was a little surprised at your comments. I understand that the forums are a place to learn, but I may need you to be a little more specific for me to learn. As much as I appreciate your recipe, I would appreciate your suggestions as to what should be done differently to make this better. I did not (could not in this case) set up a tripod and fire both cameras at the same second, but if I were on the sidelines alternating both cameras, I think the results would have been similar. I don't shoot in a controlled environment, so I thought this would be a fair test for my kind of shooting.

    "because this comparison is not a comparison.its pictures taken or sorta the same thing at around the same time with 2 different camera "

    The shots were taken of exactly the same things in the store with a time difference within a few seconds between each. I know it was two different cameras, but that was my point. I did not want to compare two different D300's. I know not all the settings were the same, but it was the same metering with the same lense, the same ISO's and the same handholding techniques.

    I would really like to know what affects the differences in the settings I had would have in real life? How would you test two different cameras against one another and make this a more valid test? What do you mean by "sorta the same thing at around the same time"? How does a 30-90 second time lag make a difference in the outcome of the pictures? What would one have to do to make the shots of the same thing and not "sorta the same thing"

    Could you please share your knowledge with me. Again, I may be a bit slow, but it seems that "newt eyes, broken rats tooth, and drink till you puke" is harder for me to draw a meaningful conclusion from than the comparisons I did.

    Scooptdoo, thanks in advance for your explainations.
  12. There's 1.5 times less magnification on the D300 shot (because of the Dx format). Sharpness and magnification go hand in hand so I'm not surprised. Personally I think the D700 shot holds up quite well. Given the subject size and the amount of cropping there are a lot fewer pixels in D700 image.

    I think the images show that if you want to take pictures of subjects that only occupy a small portion of the frame and then blow them up the DX format has advantages. That's exactly why the birders on this forum use the D300.....
  13. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    u make too much sense:wink:
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