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Nikon D3 or D300
You also have to consider the sensor size as well. The D300 has a DX sensor, while the D3 has FX - full frame sensor equivalent to the size of the 35mm film frame. While Nikon makes great cameras, the size of the sensor does matter, especially if you make large enlargements. The difference is only visible then. Also when you place a 14mm lens, you get a really wide angle lens with FX format while with D300 it's going to be equivalent to 21mm. The D3 has also other great features like capability to shoot 9 frames per second - it's really fast.

Personally I would go for the D3, but you have to decide what will you be using your new camera for. Whatever you buy, enjoy it...

Comments (7)

"The D300 has a DX sensor, while the D3 has FX - full frame sensor equivalent to the size of the 35mm film frame. While Nikon makes great cameras, the size of the sensor does matter, especially if you make large enlargements. The difference is only visible then." ...the SNR difference between the D3 and D300 is quite evident at any ISO at which the D300 makes too much noise but the D3 noise is acceptable. It doesn't matter what size image you create, or how you view it, noise is noise. The big issue is how often do you see "too much noise" from either of these two cameras, and what do you need to do so mask it or make it acceptable and what is the IQ hit that results. On noise alone, never having shot the D3 but having owned a d300 for a couple of months before trading it for a Canon 5D, I can only tell you that the D300 is acceptable in terms of noise for anything except shooting at night without streetlight support.

It may not be as fast or as flexible as the D3 but certainly it is a good place to start...if you ever get your hands on a D3 and decide to trade up you can always get your money out of a D300. ""Also when you place a 14mm lens, you get a really wide angle lens with FX format while with D300 it's going to be equivalent to 21mm." well, you'll get precisely 14mm on the D3 but also you'll have more lens blur at a given F# because the wider sensor will expose the weaknesses of the lens more than the subframe sensor will. On the other hand the D3 will be less limited by diffraction than the D300. "The D3 has also other great features like capability to shoot 9 frames per second - it's really fast." ...marginally faster than the D300 at 8fps... " However the D3 has it's price and it's heavy to carry it around." ...actually the two cameras weigh about the same.

The D300 is an ounce lighter than my 5D, is the same size, costs almost the same and has much more noise. Those are 4 of the reasons why I traded it. I would say that the comparison is not between the $1600 D300 and the $4800 D3. It's between the $1600 D300 and either the $1200 40D or the $800 30D or the $2k 5D, and likewise, the lenses available for each. Especially if you can trade out of your current set of lenses and get most if not all of your money back. But with a $3k price difference you can eat all of those cheap Nikon lenses and still come out ahead just by getting a 5D instead.

How could it make sense to pay over twice as much as a 5D for a camera with only 50% more ISO and the same SNR? We're talking about *cameras* here, not cars or houses...

Comment #1

Thanks for the advise. "The D300 is an ounce lighter than my 5D, is the same size, costs almost the same and has much more noise" I must agree with you but I will not be considering Canon as I still have two Digital Nikon lens unless I can sell them before I bought the body. In additions, I am very familiar with the Nikon cameras since those SLR time (I still have my FM2). A lot of my friends who do photography for lesuire or for their jobs use Canon DSLR but some how I am still more incline towards using Nikon. I just like the way it sounds and the way Nikon places her buttons. "Personally I would go for the D3, but you have to decide what will you be using your new camera for.

The most biggest print I would ever go for is A4 size. I wonder if the picture's noise would be obvious if I use up to 6400 for D300 for night shoots? I still have some time to think about before I buy the camera next month. Simon...

Comment #2

Simon,.

Are you getting paid to take pictures, or do you just have lots of disposable income to spend on cameras? Are you making big enlargements (larger than 16x20)? Are you shooting weddings or events in low light? Sports with fast action? If not, you'll be very happy with the D300 and putting extra money into better quality lenses. Start with the new 24-70 f/2.8 ($1600) and then get the 70-200 f/2.8 VR ($1600). The Sigma wide angle is a nice lens, as is the Nikon 50 f/1.8 for low light, so hang onto them.

You can probably find a nice used Nikon 17-55 f/2.8. That's just my opinion of course. You have to buy what works best for you, but don't get caught up in the hype and marketing BS and think that you HAVE to buy the newest gear on the market...

Comment #3

Hi Simon, You know the truth is in the middle. Buy yourself D700 (with full frame sensor) and some lenses (you can sell DX ones you have). Tomhet..

Comment #4

Hi! I have bought the D3 few months ago and am really enjoying it! I would have bought the D700 if I knew the model before I made the D3 puchase since I don't really need the 9 frames per second. Nevertheless, I am enjoying taking nice shots with the 24-70mm f2.8 VR. It is such a good len! It made my 85mm1.4 and 5omm1.8 abit redundant ... I wonder if 14-24mm2.8 VR is as good as 24-70mm.....

Comment #5

When would you use ISO 6400 ? Get realI shoot pro and never have gone higher than 800 for any shots. If I were you and you are getting a D-3 I wouldn't buy the currant version of the 70-200mm 2.8 VR G lens. That lens won't cover the FX format edge to edge so you might not be happy with it.If you are an amateur then you should buy the D700 or a D2xs. The 24-70 2.8 is the state of the art lens and I have one. It's my finest piece of glass. The D300 and 700 are just toys compared to the D2xs and D3,D3x though.

It is just that much better than the rest and still used by pro's everywhere today.Most of the pictures in magazine features are still shot with a D2xs and will be until they wear out...

Comment #6

Roy,.

I would hardly consider the D300 and D700 to be "toys." They're each the best camera available at their respective price points and are used an loved by many professionals (myself included). I owned and used a D1X and once I moved to the smaller, lighter D200, the D1X sat in my bag 90% of the time. Not everyone (especially pros with a bag full of big glass) want to schlep a heavy D3, D2Xs, etc. When I shot film, I used my F100 much more than my F5. I've never had a client complain about the quality of the images taken with either camera. It all boils down to what works best for the individual photographer. And by the way, the D2X was made obsolete by the D200, which is now selling for $600 at Best Buy...

Comment #7

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