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  • #1280
    Flavivirus
    Participant

    Hey all!

    I had a question for those who are all better than me (like 99% of you hah!) at the technical side of photography.

    I moved into DSLR range 2 years ago, with a D50, and i love my camera. I’ve made some excellent “i’m keeping them forever” lens purchases, specifically the 10-20mm Sigma, and 50mm 1.8 prime.

    So here’s the scoop… I’ve recently graduated after thirteen… sigh… years of university (yay) and can now afford some very nice equipment. I’ve done a ton of reading on the new models, and the D3 vs D300 debate is raging in my head.

    The big thing i need is better sensitivity. The d50 is great but anything >ISO 800 is unusable, and i’m a fan of a) natural light and b) dark environment pictures (night, etc).

    D3 is obviously full frame, so the potential for amazing quality is huge… but not to mention the $5k investment, there is $$$$ in the FX lenses to actually use that full frame sensor.

    would i see a HUGE improvement with D300? would it be enough to sustain me for the next few years in my gradual improvement as a photographer (i never want to be a pro, just take pro shots~~)?

    thanks for your input, farktographers!
    -fv

    #16037
    SilverStag
    Participant

    Everything I’ve read says the D300 is the cat’s meow. Get one- you deserve it. I don’t think the extra 3.2 grand is worth it for a D3.

    13 years? What did you major in? 😯

    #16038
    swampa
    Participant

    I don’t know about better than you on the technical side, but reading intently on the new Nikons.

    Reading the latest reviews on both I would be going for the D3. But when you say natural light and dark environment photos, are you still using a tripod or are you talking concerts/free hand shooting? If you are talking free hand/concerts then the D3 is the one to go for. They seemed to have solved the high noise levels with high ISOs (I have the D200 and even at ISO1600 some images are more noise than picture!). I have seen one picture shot at ISO25600 with the D3 that looks great for something shot in the dark!

    The 50mm should work perfectly with the D3 as it will become a true 50mm lens (instead of a 75mm as it is now due to the sensor crop). Not sure whether the 10-20mm will work in FX mode but the D3 will automatically revert back to DX (1.5x sensor crop) mode for lenses that doesn’t support FX mode.

    You will see a big increase with the D300 over the D50 (The sensor is better, the CPU is better, there are lots more fuctions on the D300 – better bracketing/more flash modes/multiple exposure, better ISO – 6400 max, blah, blah, blah)

    It is then whether you can justify the extra expediture for the D3 (The bestest sensor Nikon has ever made, a CPU so fast Skynet can’t be far off*, 9+fps and and ISO so high that you will be able to prove you had sex with Paris Hilton in the dark!#)

    Now I’m off to go and hug the magazine with the D3 review while I dream of being able to get one!

    *Might be a slight exaggeration.
    #Those photos where so of her, I even have the VDs to prove it! 😛

    #16039
    SilverStag
    Participant

    LOL swampa!

    I wish my budget allowed me a new body at present. I’m just going to have to console myself with my 70-300VR I received in the mail yesterday.

    #16040
    swampa
    Participant

    I wish I had the budget too 😥

    Ohh that lens is a lot of fun 😀 (just don’t use the VR if taking sports photos, you will find it isn’t that clever in that situation!)

    #16041
    SilverStag
    Participant

    Nah, I just need it for when I have the shakes. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    #16042
    Elsinore
    Keymaster

    I’m a Canon girl, but the D3/D300 are sexy sexy beasts. Swampa makes a good point that you can actually use your FX lenses on the D3, so don’t worry about that. The ISO options on that bad boy are ridiculous, and the handling of ISO noise is giving Canon a run for their money now. But it’s also a shitload more money, and the D300 is an excellent camera too. Don’t forget that while the camera is a nice tool, you need the photographer’s eye behind it. Yours is a good one, so you could shoot with a digicam or a disposable and still get great photos. If you have a bunch of money burning a hole in your pocket, go for the D3. But there’d be no shame in getting the D300 (maybe use the extra cash you would have spent on the D3 for another lens or two?), because the D300 would still be an insanely awesome camera.

    Pardon me while I go caress my 30D and promise her the D3/D300 and Nikon in general mean nothing to me, honest.

    #16043
    Flavivirus
    Participant

    Hah yeah.. I just finished my child psychiatry fellowship (Bsc + MD + residency + fellowship) so i’m off to be a real person instead of an academic parasite 😛

    Thank you for the comments all… SilverStag sorta has where I’m thinking, that the D300 is fantastic and the D3 is expensive and more fantastic, so why not go for a fantastic camera? However, Elsinore and Swampa>, thats my dilemma! Apparently (from what i’ve been able to read), the D300’s sensitivity is amazing but the D3’s is outstanding. I guess for me, I see that I could buy a d300 + a few great lenses for the same price as a d3 with just a body (and no FX lenses!). I’ve heard the D3 can “turn off” its crop and so you get a circular image that fades off the censor rather than a cropped 5.1mpx picture (it gives you an extra mpx apparently!).

    I’ve been looking around dpreview forums but does anyone have a head to head comparison of d300 at low light handheld situations? I’d love to see what the difference is.

    I’ll let you know what I decide… i’m going to be making the purchase at the end of april (and may – september I will be in Beijing). Hopefully i’ll be able to take some great shots of the Olypmics too! 🙂

    -fv

    #16044
    Flavivirus
    Participant

    And you don’t have to go to university for 13 years to know that sex with Paris Hilton isn’t a good idea!! 😛

    #16045
    schnee
    Participant

    D3 is obviously full frame

    You had me at “full frame”. I weighted that so heavily that I got a 2-year-old body (Canon 5D) instead of one of the newer, cropped-sensor models with their fancy Digic processors and high frame rates and integrated GPS / WiFi / cappuccino dispensers.

    #16046
    Analogy
    Participant

    I weighted that so heavily that I got a 2-year-old body (Canon 5D) instead of one of the newer, cropped-sensor models

    Why?

    #16047
    schnee
    Participant

    I weighted that so heavily that I got a 2-year-old body (Canon 5D) instead of one of the newer, cropped-sensor models

    Why?

    I ‘grew up’ shooting film so I’m used to ’24mm’ meaning ’24mm as projected onto a 24mmx36mm piece of film’. I tend to shoot more wide than long, so I didn’t want to give up the field of view. I can (and do) print the images at 2 feet by 3 feet without any apparent degradation. And some likely false feeling that 12.7 mega pixels spread out over a full frame will have less crosstalk than 12.7 mega pixels spread out over a cropped sensor.

    What I consider ‘bells and whistles’ (e.g. high frame rates, low noise at high ISO) are likely other people’s necessities. What’s a negative for me (crop factor) is a high positive for others (crop factor equates to telephoto multiplier).

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