Is D300 MUCH better than D40?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by philaphotog, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. philaphotog

    philaphotog TPF Noob!

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    Hi all -

    I shoot mostly indoor, natural light portrait photography of babies and their families. My main issue is getting sharp images in potentially low light situations.

    I have a Nikon D40. I am considering upgrading to a D300. Would the picture quality improvement be worth the extra expense of buying a D300. Or should I consider going even further and getting an even more pro grade Nikon?

    Your thoughts appreciated!
    Amanda
     
  2. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I suggest better lenses first.

    Cheaper and more likely to get good results. Heck, you could get an entire low light outfit for less than the cost of the D300!

    Depending on how low of light, a Nikon 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 might work for fixed length, or a Sigma 18-50 2.8 lens for a decent kit zoom without the kit quality. And for a telephoto, the Sigma 70-200 2.8 is pretty darn good and only about $800.
     
  3. D40

    D40 TPF Noob!

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    I went from the D40 to th D200 because the price came down when the D300 came out and it is a large step up for me. As far as photo quality, the glass is what makes the difference, so you wont really see a difference there but the D200 is leaps and bounds above the D40 in: the build quality, all the controlls are on the body, AF motor in camera, MP, ISO range, being able to trigger off camera flashes with the D200 on camera flash...and a lot I don't even know!
     
  4. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    A D300 will give you extra ISO latitude for you indoor shots... overall the d300 is a much better camera than the D40... but they really shouldn't be compared....

    It depends on how far you want to go and how much you want to spend...

    If you are unsure.... you might want too buy fast glass... it retains it's value and if you become uninterested later on you can get a good amount of money back.... if you become more serious later on then you already have nice fast glass for your new body....

    try out a f2.8 24-70mm and if you don't already have a hot shoe flash grab an SB600... it can change the quality of your images....

    a d300 will be worth $800 in a years time.... so expect this if you buy one...
     
  5. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The D300 is much better for portraits because of the 51 point focusing system, which lets you dial in your focus spots.

    If high ISO performance is all you crave, look at a D90.

    I agree with the others, fast glass is always the best photography purchase when building your kit.
     
  6. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nikon just came out with a brand new 50mm f/1.4 AF-S (will autofocus on the D40 and do it quickly!) for about $400. This is probably the best low-light lens that you can get for any Nikon, period.

    I would look into fast lenses for low-light performance before a new body. I've got some great shots using ISO 800 with an f/1.8 lens on my D40 in concert lighting, which is probably the worst lighting you could ask for.
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Amanda

    Yes- repeat as necessary.

    The D700 is where you should be pointing your capital just now. IMO.

    From your description I take it that you are doing mostly location shoots. The extra width from the Fx sensor and the ability to go very high ISO will make a lot of good glass very good. (plenty good enough for portraits that you can post process in batches- assuming that your overall photoshop skills are adequate ;))

    If you were shooting sports or someone moving very fast-or in the dark- then you would need the fastest glass you could get. The days of the ISO 200 ceiling -grain/noise wise- have gone away. The only real need for wider apertures with the newer sensors is for narrow DOF unless you want to shoot hand held under the moonlight.
     
  8. johan.sie

    johan.sie TPF Noob!

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    i just moved from d60 to d300 ... personally just for the focus points, features, and also awesome controlability in the d300 that I find it at times hard to dial on d60. Definitely a more efficient 'machine' if you will ...
     
  9. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    Color me crazy, but if you're doing portraits then all you need is one focus point - the center. You can reframe as needed. I mean, yeah it would be nice I guess, but a little pricey for someone new to photography for a pretty trivial feature. If they want to spend that money, that's their prerogative, I just believe the money could be better spent.
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I disagree, you'd be framing on one axis and shooting on another. Only using the center AF point will work ok if you're at f/5.6 and shooting at distance, but if you're at f/1.4 close in, no way. The eyes will be out of focus every time, it's poor shooting technique. The red line indicates what would be in focus had the photographer focused, then recomposed like what you're saying, the green line is what the photographer intended and would achieve, had he composed how he likes, and just selected the nearest AF point to whatever he wanted in focus. make sense?

    [​IMG]
     
  11. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    Should your vertical lines be curves?
     
  12. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    I just don't see how either half-pressing the shutter and reframing or using Fn button for continuous AF start, letting go then reframing is worth $1500 difference.

    YMMV.
     

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