Old 12-12-2008, 08:19 AM   #1
jdirelan87
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Default Full frame worth another $1,000?

Hi all,

Title explains it all. Trying to decide between the D300 and D700. For my purposes, pretty much the only difference between these two particular models is the D700 is full frame and about $1,000 more.

Right now I'm leaning towards the D300. In addition to the body I'm also upgrading glass as well. To get the D700 I would have to give up one of the new lens. They way I figure; lens are gonna last longer than the body, buy the highest level, full frame compatible glass and have the body catch up later.

Any suggestions?
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:02 AM   #2
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Well, I am still technically a noob here, but I will offer my opinion. I'm a D80 user, I would go for the glass which is what I am trying to accomplish now, The D300 is a great camera, and I hope by the time I can acquire the glass I want that it will drop in price. Although with the D700 you are getting the D3 sensor in a smaller package, and if you get the grip you will pretty much have a D3. I have heard though that when you use a DX lens on an FX sensor it will be soft in the corners, but it might not matter that much. Nikon makes a lot more DX lenses then FX lenses though. If high ISO is your concern the D700 will be the best body for that.

You can get the D200 on B&H now for 800 bucks, something else to consider as well. It's something I am looking into as well having 2 bodies so I wont have to change lenses so often.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...al_Camera.html

Hope I was of some help.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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'FX' lens as they are calling it now far outnumber 'DX' lens... any lens made before the 'digital revolution' is an 'FX' lens. Also, if you put a 'DX' lens on a full frame camera, you'll get alot more than soft images, you'll get blacked out corners at certain focal lengths.

... D700 might have better resolution at higher ISO, but like I said for my purposes the only major difference is the full frame. The D200 is a good camera, but most Nikon users would agree that the D300 is in another league... including in several key areas for me (most notable megapixels and focusing).

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Old 12-12-2008, 10:47 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by jdirelan87
Title explains it all.
Does it? What defines 24mm x 36mm as "full frame?" It's certainly not "full frame" to someone who was shooting a Pentax 6x7, or a 4x5 in film times, or with Hasselblad's 36mm x 48mm sensor today.

The photographers that put away their Speed Graphics in favor of the Leica M Series and the Nikon F were criticized for picking such a substandard negative size. And yet, the "35mm" format became the most common by far. One of the reasons was that, despite the theoretical superiority of the larger 4x5 negative, in actual practice the difference wasn't enough to offset the 35mm's advantages in use and flexibility.

Now, granted, we're guys. We like to talk about, brag about, and obsess about the size of our . . . toys. (It's in our jea-- err, genes.) But digital isn't film, and basing your choice of sensor size on a design decision made in occupied Japan for film cameras over 50 years ago makes as much sense as buying a car, or a stereo, based on design decisions made in Detroit when Eisenhower was President. (Edsel, anyone? Fins?)

An FX sensor may be theoretically superior to a DX, but if I printed side-by-side pictures from a D300 and a D700, you probably couldn't tell me which one was "full frame" and which wasn't. (You certainly can't tell at 72ppi or 96ppi on the web.)

If bragging rights and theory is important, get the D700. If results, and images, are more important, go with the D300, and if you want to future-proof your decision, stick to FX lenses.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Craft
If results, and images, are more important, go with the D300, and if you want to future-proof your decision, stick to FX lenses.
Sorry John, but that statement right there betrays your ignorance in regards to digital cameras. First off, the results and images made by the D700 are FAR FAR better than the D300. The D700 is basically a D3 crammed into a D300 body with a D3 sensor. The color saturation, contrast, and noise of the D700 are miles ahead of the D300. There's almost no comparison. Try shooting at ISO's 1600, 2000, 3200, or 5000 with the D300, and none of your pictures will have a chance here on RP.net. Clean images at high ISO, megapixel count, resolution, image quality, ALL better on the D700. Larger view through the viewfinder as well.

Second, if you're shooting with a 35mm lens on a 1.6x cropped sensor (D300) your focal length is magnified to around 56mm. If you want the dof and compression of a 35mm focal length, you need to use that lens on full frame camera. Either that or use a 20mm on a cropped sensor to get close to 35mm.
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WKUrailfan
Second, if you're shooting with a 35mm lens on a 1.6x cropped sensor (D300) your focal length is magnified to around 56mm. If you want the dof and compression of a 35mm focal length, you need to use that lens on full frame camera. Either that or use a 20mm on a cropped sensor to get close to 35mm.
Math/accuracy nut here. First of all, John's references to "35mm" are to full frame format, not to a lens of a particular focal length. As in "35mm film".

Second, Nikons are 1.5x (Canons are 1.6X) so the 20mm is a 30mm (try a 24mm to get close to 35mm) and the 35mm is a 52.5mm.
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Old 12-12-2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
'FX' lens as they are calling it now far outnumber 'DX' lens... any lens made before the 'digital revolution' is an 'FX' lens. Also, if you put a 'DX' lens on a full frame camera, you'll get alot more than soft images, you'll get blacked out corners at certain focal lengths.

... D700 might have better resolution at higher ISO, but like I said for my purposes the only major difference is the full frame. The D200 is a good camera, but most Nikon users would agree that the D300 is in another league... including in several key areas for me (most notable megapixels and focusing).
I believe some of the newer Nikon full-frames will detect DX glass, and crop the sensor to accomodate it, therefore to black edges. You might check into that if you do have any DX glass.

Regarding FF versus Crop, I personally never see myself moving away from crop-sensors unless a) the price of FF matches crop or b) Canon does away with crop sensors altogether. I don't see either of these happening. For me, the advantages of a crop sensor far outweigh the advantages of FF, and as technology increases, crop sensors will narrow the advantage gap FFs have regarding better ISO performance and image quality. Absolutely no way I'd go FF if I were you, just buy a nice lens with the $1000 you saved.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
'FX' lens as they are calling it now far outnumber 'DX' lens... any lens made before the 'digital revolution' is an 'FX' lens. Also, if you put a 'DX' lens on a full frame camera, you'll get alot more than soft images, you'll get blacked out corners at certain focal lengths.

... D700 might have better resolution at higher ISO, but like I said for my purposes the only major difference is the full frame. The D200 is a good camera, but most Nikon users would agree that the D300 is in another league... including in several key areas for me (most notable megapixels and focusing).
Yeah blacked out corners vignetting or whatever was what I meant. I was speaking in reference of the new lenses, and the VR lenses.


The D300 is a better camera than the D200, one thing the 51 point AF in the D300 I have tried out, and instead of the standard focus points like I have in my D80 It will focus on a broader area when you switch it to dynamic area. Sometimes my D80 will focus where I don't want it to. I believe the D200 has the same standard focus points as the D80. The D300 doesn't have any in the view finder, but they will show when you press the shutter half way. The D700 has the same 51 point AF as well. The frame rate on both the D300 and 700 stand out to me 6fps for the D300 and 5fps for the D700, when you use the battery grip it will jump to 8fps. My D80 is only a measly 2.5fps.
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:19 PM   #9
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Gentleman,
If you cats want an unbias look at these models surf to, www.bythom.com and nav thru his site. BTW, just to clear the air, the D700's sensor is clearly a stop and a half better than the D300's sensor. I own a D200 but have borrowed both of the above models and I would like to buy the D700, but, only when it is time for me to upgrade. My advice, only upgrade if your equipment is nearing dead, or, you need excellent high ISO performance, or, the new body gets you over a barrier that you cannot get over now. Either model will do you justice tho. The "blacked out" area mentioned above, does not show up in the image! Keep in mind that when a DX lens is mounted on a D700, or, D3 for that matter, you see the crop marks in the viewfinder and only get shy of 6 mp file sizes and pictures.

-- Kevin

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Old 12-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #10
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If I were in your position, I'd govern it by your current camera. Will it last a while longer, or is it about ready to die? If it'll last a while, invest all your money in glass and worry about a body later. If it's about to die, get a D700 and spend the remainder on glass. I don't see how a D300 would benefit you - if your ultimate goal is a D700, it's just another stepping stone (and in effect more money "wasted") getting to that point.

That being said, the D300 is a pretty damn good camera...though I know you can vouch for that already
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Old 12-12-2008, 09:57 PM   #11
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Just out of curiosity, with the economy in the crapper and people getting laid off left and right (see this thread) how can anyone afford new camera equipment at this time? Where do you work? I want to work there.
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Old 12-12-2008, 10:29 PM   #12
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pfft
.....

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Old 12-12-2008, 10:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
Just out of curiosity, with the economy in the crapper and people getting laid off left and right (see this thread) how can anyone afford new camera equipment at this time? Where do you work? I want to work there.
And there's the doom and gloom Chuck we've grown to love! I knew it was a matter of time before we saw something like this!
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:02 PM   #14
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Deleted... sorry.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by WKUrailfan
Sorry John, but that statement right there betrays your ignorance in regards to digital cameras.

The title of this thread is "Full frame worth another $1000?" The original poster made the comment that "For my purposes, pretty much the only difference between these two particular models is the D700 is full frame . . . "

So, my comments relate to sensor size, i.e. what the poster is concerned about.

The D3/D700 sensor may in fact be a higher quality sensor, but sensor size is not the sole reason for that difference in quality. Manufacturing specs, silicon purity, allied circuitry, on-board software . . . all play a role in that difference. Perhaps in your view the original poster should consider these factors, but he is interested in only one - sensor size.

By that token, I fail to see how "Larger view through the viewfinder" relates at all to sensor size and finished image quality.

And as Janusz said, "35mm" is a reference to the image size, not lens focal length.

In closing, let me request that, before you choose to again bestow your insights on my presumed "ignorance of digital cameras," please do some remedial reading comprehension work and understand what's actually being discussed.

Thank you, and Happy Holidays.
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Old 12-12-2008, 11:20 PM   #16
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pffft pt 2

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Old 12-12-2008, 11:37 PM   #17
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I'm eagerly awaiting pt 3.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:26 AM   #18
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Hi all,

I guess I need to make myself a little clearer here, as this thread is going in all direction!

I started shooting SLRs in the film days, when the body was basically a light proof box and the lens was the difference maker. I still abide to this philosophy. Like I said, I would rather have great glass and get a better body later (since they come out with a new one every year anyways). However, there is an 'X' factor this time - and that is full frame. Its relatively new on digital cameras and as such I don't know much about it.

Now, like I said early, FOR MY PURPOSES THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO MODELS IS THE FULL FRAME! I understand the D700 is a much better camera above 800 ISO, but 90% of the stuff I shoot are trains in sunny weather! In fact, if it makes it easier for you, you can remove the names 'D300' and 'D700' and replace them with 'digital camera without full frame' and 'digital camera with full frame.'

Full frame is a relatively new technology in the digital market and as such I don't know much about it. I want to know full frame is worth the extra money?
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaranna
Just out of curiosity, with the economy in the crapper and people getting laid off left and right (see this thread) how can anyone afford new camera equipment at this time? Where do you work? I want to work there.
Well if you must know, there is a convenance store right next to the local camera shop. Its pretty low traffic around midnight and they keep just about the right amount for my camera is the register, so I figure I would knock the place over. I know its a little extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

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Old 12-13-2008, 12:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ween
And there's the doom and gloom Chuck we've grown to love! I knew it was a matter of time before we saw something like this!
I apologize for hijacking this thread (though it is a common occurence here anyway...) but I'm not all gloom and doom--- I'm smiling in my avatar! You guys have me all wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
Well if you must know, there is a convenance store right next to the local camera shop. Its pretty low traffic around midnight and they keep just about the right amount for my camera is the register, so I figure I would knock the place over. I know its a little extreme, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
That's cool, though you may need to hit something bigger like an armored car or a bank. Convenience stores aren't going to cut it for RP.net quality picture camera gear.
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Old 12-13-2008, 01:08 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdirelan87
Now, like I said early, FOR MY PURPOSES THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO MODELS IS THE FULL FRAME! I understand the D700 is a much better camera above 800 ISO, but 90% of the stuff I shoot are trains in sunny weather! In fact, if it makes it easier for you, you can remove the names 'D300' and 'D700' and replace them with 'digital camera without full frame' and 'digital camera with full frame.'
Well, the difference for you may be ... not much! A full frame sensor makes it easier to get more pixels per captured image, or bigger pixels (less noise), or some combination of both. You may not care about the latter, it seems.

There are lens selection issues - if you love wide and fixed focal lengths, you want to go FF. If you love looong tele (birds/wildlife), you may want to go crop - from what I vaguely recall from a few years ago when for a few months I cared , the additional pixel quantity and ability to crop is not the same as having the longer "effective" focal length.

Should you be a shallow DoF maven, don't forget when thinking about different focal lengths to adjust your calculations for the change in the circle of confusion. Yes, an 85 f/2 on a FF is about the same as a 50 f/2 on a crop, but the 85 doesn't necessarily have shallower depth of field once you make the adjustment. Again, the memory of all this is somewhat fading as to which does what; but the issue of circle of confusion is certainly important.
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:11 PM   #22
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Large files from the full frame might be a problem, too..if your computer is a few years old, you may have to load up some more ram or do a new machine.
Me? Poor old retired me goes to Amazon every day and looks at a new D200 for $800, sighs and comes back to RP and looks at photos.

Heck, why not just rob a bank, get a D3x, and a new computer! Seriously, though, it looks as if from the above posts that the D700 must have a great advantage at high ISO.

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Old 12-13-2008, 09:34 PM   #23
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Removed . . .
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Old 12-13-2008, 10:22 PM   #24
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You are kidding I hope? Just making sure.

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Old 12-13-2008, 10:41 PM   #25
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I would only deal with Amazon (their sales) or B&H..both have the D200 for
$800.
I'd rather have the D300, but that's just beyond my budget.

I think, getting back to the point of this thread, though, since the intro of the D3x that the price of the D700 will come down, and that sweet high ISO would be fun to play with.

But for me, the DX format does all I need it to do.

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