Nikon D200 vs. Nikon D3

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Chipotles088, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Chipotles088

    Chipotles088 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I'm going to open a photography business, and I thought buying a D3 would be a good investment. I already own the D200, and love it. If I make the jump between the two cameras, will I be able to tell a big difference, in color, contrast, focusing capabilities, ISO, etc.?

    Is the D3 worth the price tag, especially to someone that already owns the excellent D200?

    What do you Nikon guys think?
     
  2. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    what kind of photo business?
     
  3. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    Have you considered the D300? I mean, it's no D3, but it's a vast improvement over the D200. D300 is 95% of the D3 for a lot less the cost. It really depends, what do you have for glass? And what else are you gonna need for this business?
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you are shooting weddings, get a D3.

    In fact, get 2.

    The biggest two advantages the D3 has over the D300 is it has superior low light high ISO performance... better than anything else on the market by any manufacturer, by a long shot... and also, it has better performance wide angle than a cropped sensor D300.

    If you are going to do studio work, then you won't notice nearly as much difference in a D3 and a D300.
     
  5. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Agreed, but for studio work, the ISO 100 floor of the D200 would be more beneficial for controlling ambient light contamination. That's the biggest issue I have with my D70's ISO 200 floor when I'm shooting in the studio with film or a 5D.
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    The D300 has a Lo-1 setting of EI 100, as has the D3, but I would have thought that ambient light was not a problem in most studios.

    I agree with the general consensus that the D3 (which I have) is the best for available-light photography and for using with fast wide angle primes. It's an amazing camera for documentary work - probably the best I've ever used in many ways (but not all) and I've used a few.

    In the studio the advantages of the D3 over the D300 are less. If you were going to do product or food photography, the new PC-E lenses will be good to use with both the D300 and the D3 (ie the D3 has little or no advantage). The D3 is more practical than the D300 with something like the Cambo X2 Pro, because of the the larger sensor size.

    Both the D300 and the D3 have live view which is an enormous advantage* over the D200 with product or food photography in terms of focus and movements, and for discussing composition with the client or art director. You only have to use it once...

    Best,
    Helen

    *Later - I should have mentioned that I'm referring to live view used with an external monitor via Camera Control software.
     
  7. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The Lo -1 is ISO 200 that's been pulled down to ISO 100. It has less of a range and isn't a true ISO 100, just like how 5D's have "ISO 50"


    Ambient contamination is easier controlled by shooting at ISO 100 if you're shooting at wide apertures with low strobe power for DOF, eg. shooting at f/1.4.
     
  8. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    I heard the D3 is amazing, but the D300 will probably work fine, and it's a lot cheaper. If you have the money it would sure be fun to have a D3 though.
     
  9. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    I'm an D300 user, and the camera has not once held me back, at all. Now, if I were a professional sports shooter, then I could see how the D300 might be holding me back a tiny, tiny bit, but the camera is still damn fast and its ISO performance is still damn good. Now, there is something to consider though, full-frame isn't ALWAYS better. What about when you want more reach, like, say, the reach you could get with a 1.5x crop camera? Whether or not a D3 is worth it for you depends on what exactly you are doing. Portraiture? Perhaps. Sports? Probably, even though you'll have less reach. Low-light shooting? Hell yes. Now, I'm very happy with my D300, but when I upgrade in 1.5-2 years, it'll be to Nikon's flagship camera (will most certainly still be full-frame), but that's not to say the D300 is bad, at all. You can get professional results with the D200, and you can get them a bit easier with the D300, and a tiny bit easier than the D300 with the D3, but the question is: Is the extra $3300 smart to spend on the D3? You could buy some great glass with $3300. You could buy some great studio necessities with that much. A great photo editing set-up. There's a lot to consider, hope this helps a bit. Good luck.
     
  10. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I called Lo-1 'EI 100' rather than 'ISO 100' because it isn't true ISO. No argument there.

    We are comparing the D200 to the D3, therefore the comparison is not between the range of the D3 at ISO 200 and at Lo-1, but between the range of the D200 at ISO 100 and that of the D3 at Lo-1. The D3 starts out with at least an extra stop of dynamic range, and the dynamic range of the D3 at Lo-1 is perfectly adequate for studio work.

    I'm not disputing that lower ISOs are useful for decreasing the effect of ambient light either. If you are using a large aperture for shallow depth of field, the larger sensor of the D3 will help - if you take the same picture at the same aperture, the larger sensor of the D3 will give you less depth of field than the D200. Alternatively, you could have a larger f-number for the same DoF. If f/1.4 gave you the low DoF you required with a D200, you could get the same with the D3 at f/2, or thereabouts. Those of us who use larger formats are well aware that the larger the sensor/film the more flash output we need to get the same depth of field.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  11. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    Exactly.
     
  12. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Er, so why did you write "the ISO 100 floor of the D200 would be more beneficial for controlling ambient light contamination." The sensor size comparison only affects the D3, but the range comparison applies to both the D3 and the D300 vs the D200.


    Best,
    Helen
     

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