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Old Dec 30, 2010, 5:10 AM   #1
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Default Worth updating from D90 to D300s, maybe D400 or D700?

I've found a great deal on the D300s with a Meike batterygripp. Everything is brand new from a well known store i sweden. I want to upgrade my D90 to a more semi-pro camera. But I always thought that a d300s isn't worth spending any money on because the difference isn't that big.

But now for this good price, I'm really considering it. I love the big body, more buttons, nice 51 point AF etc etc. But the other hand, if we face the truth. The pic quallity wont be any better then my D90.

So I'm thinking about waiting for the D400. Cause I would also love some more MPX for printings an etc. But I know that the D400 will cost like 800dollars more when it arrives then the D300s costs now. So what is your thoughts?

I would love to go up to the D700, but I just bought some nice lenses, and maybe just 2 of the 4 will work on the FF D700. And I still feel, that if I go FF, I want something better then 12mpx to work with. All other brands in the same class are over 20mpx now...

Give me your thought guys!
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 6:42 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Istvan84 View Post
I've found a great deal on the D300s with a Meike batterygripp. Everything is brand new from a well known store i sweden. I want to upgrade my D90 to a more semi-pro camera. But I always thought that a d300s isn't worth spending any money on because the difference isn't that big.
But now for this good price, I'm really considering it. I love the big body, more buttons, nice 51 point AF etc etc. But the other hand, if we face the truth. The pic quallity wont be any better then my D90.
IQ won't be much different. The real difference lies in build quality, speed, AF and control and customization. If you need any of these qualities, then its worth the upgrade


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So I'm thinking about waiting for the D400. Cause I would also love some more MPX for printings an etc. But I know that the D400 will cost like 800dollars more when it arrives then the D300s costs now. So what is your thoughts?
I've printed 30x40 with my D300, and 24x36 with a 10mp D80. The jump to 16mp from 12 isn't all that much, and doesn't really increase your ability to print large all that much, and really has little affect on normal sized prints (up to about 11x14). You also get a little more room for cropping, but you should be trying to get the composition right in camera, rather than shooting and looking to crop...if you crop your new high megapixel cameras images, you're just throwing away the extra mp you just bought.

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I would love to go up to the D700, but I just bought some nice lenses, and maybe just 2 of the 4 will work on the FF D700. And I still feel, that if I go FF, I want something better then 12mpx to work with. All other brands in the same class are over 20mpx now...
Why do you think you need full frame?? You get some benefits, mostly in DOF control and high iso capability, but at a steep cost...much higher price, more expensive lenses, much bigger body and lenses. As for MP, unless you're doing big enlargements, 12-16 mp is more than enough. Even at 16, as I said before, you're not making big huge strides in capability, but you will be forced to spend more on lenses as higher mp counts really start to show lens flaws.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 10:21 AM   #3
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Thank you rjseeney for that very informative answer! Made me think a couple of times =)
When you say you printed 30x40. Is that in inch or cm? If it's inch, than that sounds good, if its cm. Not as good anymore. My goal is to print some nice bigger pics to hang on the wall, both for myself, and maybe sell some. And for that a camera with more mpx would be nice. How was the quality with the 30x40 print?

I do crop, but not that much. I usually just crop the height to get a much wider image. A FF camera would benefit me in landscape photography wich I love the most. And even portrait photography. But I don't feel like I need to take that step yet. In that case I want to feel that I'm also making some money out of it, otherwise it will be to expensive. And as I said, I just bought 4 new lenses in the past 2 months, all brand new. So don't really want to waste that either.

If I buy a D300s and I want to start working with photography, do you think I should keep my d90 as a backup camera? Is it really necessary? I mean I've been using DSLR cameras for almost 6 years, and never had a camera breaking down.
(thought this way I could sell my d90 to have some money for flashes, new computer and etc.) And maybe down the road if everything is going well, I could buy a spare camera. Or if i upgrade from the d300s I could keep that as a spare camera?

What are your thoughts on that? Do I need a backup camera?

Kind regards, István
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 1:47 PM   #4
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I'm referring to inches. It was a large family portrait printed on canvas and looked very good (as long as you were at normal viewing distance, several feet away). I regularly print 16x20 canvas shots that look good even upon close inspection.

If you can swing it, i'd keep the D90 as a backup. If you are going to be doing paid jobs, you need to have a backup of everything (lenses, flashes, bodies etc). Sure you've never had a failure, but if it becomes a job, eventually it will happen. All it takes is one failure to cause big problems. I'd rather be prepared should it happen. The D90 and D300s are from the same generation and have similar functions allowing you to shoot them both without thinking.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 2:51 PM   #5
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My 2 cents: get the D7000, the 300s focuses a little faster but is no discernable difference in photo quality over the D90, from to what I have seen. Ken Rockwell would agree also (www.kenrockwell.com).

The D7000, or hold your money a bit longer to see what is next on the line from Nikon in Full Frame for landscape wide angle shots.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 5:57 PM   #6
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My 2 cents: get the D7000, the 300s focuses a little faster but is no discernable difference in photo quality over the D90, from to what I have seen. Ken Rockwell would agree also (www.kenrockwell.com).

The D7000, or hold your money a bit longer to see what is next on the line from Nikon in Full Frame for landscape wide angle shots.
Yes there is very little difference in image quality. However, the AF system is a pretty big step forward even over the D7k..not just in speed, but also in ability to lock on and track a moving subject. It's also faster in FPS(which is important for sports or other action photos), and better build quality (also important if you need it). For the casual user, the D7k might be the right answer. However, for a semi pro, or pro, the D300 is the obvious choice. When comparing the two, it's not about IQ is equal, so get the cheaper. It's more about feature set at this level. And the D300 is more feature rich...if you need something the D7k doesn't have, it's not the right choice.

Also, take Rockwell for what its worth...entertainment wrapped around occasional good advice.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 6:24 PM   #7
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I think the only real improvements are higher usable ISO (1 stop - arguably 2?), higher AF points (not really a selling point for me since I use single point 99% of the time), dual memory card slots (something I would love since the CHA error is annoying) and also it supposedly has micro adjustment feature (but can anyone verify this?)

If it does, that feature alone makes it worth getting but personally for $600 (which is what it will roughly cost me if I manage to sell my D90 at a nice price), I can think of a few lenses I would like to get ahead of a D7000.

Your perspective may vary of course.
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Old Dec 30, 2010, 8:41 PM   #8
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Thanks again rjseeney for the info. But canvas paintings allows poorer qualtiy in printing due to its surface if you compare to a print on a high quality photo paper. Which I loved to use. As i mentioned in a nother topic, my "idol" is Ken Duncan, he has some lovely art. And he does prints on photopaper, with a frame around and etc.

Not that I even think of printing as big photos as he is, though I loved to. But have to be realistic

The D7000 doesn't really interest me, if i wanna go more pro/semi-pro that camera still feels more like a enthusiast camera, like my d90, even if its a improvment over my d90.

If I didn't "know" that the d400 will be like 800 dollars more expensive when it arrives then the d300s is now, I would wait. But 800 dollars is quite alot of money. Hmmm...
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Old Dec 31, 2010, 8:04 AM   #9
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You can print larger in canvas and most of the people I do prints for prefer canvas over regular prints in the larger sizes. That being said, I've printed 16x20 fairly easily, with no upsizing with a 10mp D80. With good upsizing software (like genuine fractals), you can print even bigger.

How large are you planning on printing?? Again, the jump you get from 12-16 isn't that much, and even to 24 is not as significant as one would think. The problem at higher megapixels, is even you get the ability to print slightly larger (or crop more), you must be more critical in your lens choices. The higher resolutions will magnify, (or even uncover) any flaws your lenses may have, which then become more noticeable at larger print sizes. If your going to go full frame, or a high mp APS-c camera, you will need to invest in better lenses.
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Old Jan 1, 2011, 9:54 PM   #10
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Ken Rockwell does do some image tests, with examples on the difference in image quality between the 300 (same sensor as the 300s) and the D90 up to high ISOs. He also expresses the opinion that the d7000 has better image quality than anything else Nikon sells under $7000 - that's pretty good 'enthusiast' quality - and that the 7000 focuses very fast and accurately. He backs up what he believes fairly well. For the price, he believes it's a fantastic camera. D7000worththeprice

If one is not shooting sports, I just don't see the D300s as much enough different than the D90 to warrant 'upgrading' to it, especially if shooting mostly landscapes.

I'd still think Istvan84 is better off waiting to see if a D400 is on the horizon, because of the jump of image quality each generation. Then some good fast lenses. They will outlast the value of the camera.
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