Un-Scientific D700 vs D300 ISO Tests

Discussion in 'Nikon FX DSLR' started by Dave, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Since I had to send the D700 back to the rental place on Wednesday, I went out Tuesday evening on my way home from work and did some completely un-scientific tests to check the ISO settings between the 2 cameras. After looking at the files, I realize that I think I have noise reduction for high ISO's on the D300 turned up one notch past normal, so these probably aren't the best samples, but will at least give you an idea (I said they were un-scientific!). Here is the setup I had:

    D300 w/ 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D lens set to f/5.6 aperture set to 200mm (35mm Focal Length of 300mm)
    D700 w 300mm f/4 AF-S lens set to f/5.6 aperture at 300mm (35mm Focal Length of 300mm, obviously)

    All shots were hand held unfortunately as I don't have a tripod and I was in a hurry as the light was diminishing rather quickly.

    ISO values were changed manually. The rest of the settings on the camera were almost identical as I setup the D700 basically the same way I setup my D300. Here are the shots with the D300 first and then the D700, then a 100% crop of the middle of each shot. The ISO values are in the bottom right hand corner and also which shot is from which camera (all exif should also be attached):

    1) ISO 200
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    2) ISO 1600
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    3) ISO 3200
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    4) ISO Hi 1 (on D300) and 6400 (on D700)
    [​IMG]

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  2. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Here are a few more shots.

    1) ISO 200
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    2) ISO 1600
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    3) ISO 3200
    [​IMG]

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    4) ISO Hi 1 (on D300) and 6400 (on D700)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  3. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    And one more.

    1) ISO 200
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    2) ISO 1600
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    3) ISO 3200
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    4) ISO Hi 1 (on D300) and 6400 (on D700)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin
    Wow, Dave! Thanks for taking the time to do this! Looks like the D700 is clearly a better performer :smile:
     
  5. Vienna Pics

    Vienna Pics

    Nov 14, 2005
    Virgnia
    Thanks Dave - I realize this takes a lot of time setting up, PPing and presenting the info and these are real life examples that everyone asks for. I would agree the D700 is better.

    What lens did you use?
     
  6. Phillip Ino

    Phillip Ino

    Nov 26, 2007
    Austin
    "D300 w/ 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D lens set to f/5.6 aperture set to 200mm (35mm Focal Length of 300mm)
    D700 w 300mm f/4 AF-S lens set to f/5.6 aperture at 300mm (35mm Focal Length of 300mm, obviously)
     
  7. jshurak

    jshurak

    39
    Aug 14, 2008
    Philadelphia
    very nice. Clearly the D700 is better noise wise, but it looks like the colors were better captured by the D300. I wonder if this could be because of the different lenses...
     
  8. Yep, as expected. It also shows the D300 is no slouch at high ISO either. I'm pretty impressed with it's results as well.
     
  9. Panopeeper

    Panopeeper Guest

    I am sorry to spoil the game, but these shots were not only "un-scientific", but they don't prove anything at all relating to the ISO characteristics of these cameras.

    The differences appear only in really dark areas. I don't need any high ISO to have a noise-free image of a bright, well-lit scenery.

    The only spot suitable for some comparison would have been the inside of the barge; some machinery is visible through the door. The brightness should have been increased until the inside is good visible; instead, it has been cut off, particularly in the D300 shots by black level.

    In order to see the natural response of the cameras, noise reduction *must* be turned off and the black level reset. "Blacking out" everything critical is a crude substitute for noise reduction.

    My measurements show, that the D3 has somewhat less than two stops advantage over the D300.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    NP Phillip, I just wish I had more time to do some more ideal testing between the two cameras. I expected the D700 to be better and it was.

    It really didn't take that long, but it was a pain doing it hand held...I need 2 tripod!

    D700 had the 300mm f/4 AF-S
    D300 had the 80-200 f/2.8 AF-D set at 200mm.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Jeff, yes the D700 is better noise wise, I just wish I wouldn't have had noise reduction turned on at a higher setting on the D300. The color different really could have been from the lenses, as the 80-200 is an older lens.

    Yes, I've been happy with the D300's noise levels at higher ISO. 1600 is not a problem, but 3200 it starts to get sketchy if your subject is not that close.

    Gabor,

    Well I said that they were un-scientific. Yes it was brighter than normal when I took those shots, but the sun was going in and out of the clouds and it was 6 PM EST, so it was far from ideal situations. It was the best I could do with the time I had...sorry to disappoint. I only did this mostly for myself to compare and thought otherse might find it interesting. I am not a pro photographer and thus don't have much time to put into tests like this, although I wish I did.

    Also to note, these are straight out of the camera...all I did was re-size them and crop the crop shots.
     
  12. jafo

    jafo

    238
    Jun 11, 2008
    Chatsworth, CA
    My sentiments EXACTLY. The D300 results are VERY impressive. Thanks for posting these shots.
     
  13. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    No problem...I am glad people are finding them useful.
     
  14. cleoent

    cleoent

    Dec 21, 2007
    San Jose, Ca
    i think they are very impressive and helpful as well, thanks for taking the time to post!
     
  15. lmorgan

    lmorgan

    300
    Jun 27, 2008
    NCentral IL
    Ditto! Thanks for taking the time to do this. It is nice to see that the D300 holds its own pretty well! :biggrin:
     
  16. Thanks from me too, Dave! Although there's probably a D700 in my near future, you helped me feel good about the D300 I'm using now. Geez, ain't it great that we have such high-performing Nikons to choose from now? :) 
     
  17. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Yes Scott you are right. I am happy with my D300 and will only pick up a D700 somewhere down the line for extremely low light work where I can't use a flash (I have a wedding to shoot in November that is like this and will probably rent the D700 again for this). Glad I could help.
     
  18. You know I'm a fan of real life unscientific tests, LOL! These are very similar to the shots I got. No doubt the D700 performs better, but I'm still loving the D300 too. Both of them wipe the floor with my D80. :) 
     
  19. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Well I'm glad someone is. :biggrin: I took some high ISO shots of a couple of hawks today sitting in trees under heavy cover with my D300 and I am pretty surprised at how well it holds up when the ISO gets higher and higher. I think I will eventually do the same thing as you, have them both.

    Thanks for looking Sonya.
     
  20. Peet,

    Thank you for this post. Now I think I can live with my D300 until the D701 comes out :biggrin:

    I am really happy with ISO 400 with the D300 and do not hesitate to go to 1600 or even the dreaded almost grainy 3200! And oh yes, I would very much like to have a D700 too. I just can't afford it right now. It would probably never be set below 1600.

    D300 18-70 iso 400 (click to see the larger version)

    282226215_C9A6q-X3-3.

    Warm Regards,
     
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