Second body - Options, opinions?

 DavidJaan DavidJaan Posts: 284Member
edited June 2013 in Nikon DSLR cameras
The point has come to add a a reliable second weapon to the arsenal. The problem is I'm at a loss which one to choose so I'm seeking some opinions.

I currently use a D700 with a D40 as a back up. I borrow a D90 for important gigs like weddings. The borrowing isn't working out to be a convenient option and the D40 won't cut it.

In terms of budget I can go up to a D800. My biggest concern with the D800 is the megapixels. In reality I don't NEED them (although it's not a major turn off to have them) and have a concern with editing on the computer. File storage isn't my biggest concern it's just the muscle in my iMac 7.1 to handle the editing in Lightroom. So I'd love to hear opinions of people's experience with how their computer has performed. Also I'd love to hear how people like this in a "people" environment (ie: Weddings, engagement shoots, model shoots - both studio and on location).

My other options I'm throwing around is to buy a used D700 or D3(s). My huge concern there is investing another amount into "old" technology and then wanting to upgrade it in a year or two. Also I've never bought used before so not sure where to start.

D600 is out as I've gotten used to a semi-pro body and can't turn away from it. Even using the D90 feels very weird.

Now in the grand vision I would to go for the D4, but unfortunately funds don't allow for it currently.

Thoughts, opinions, advice? Many thanks!
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Comments

  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    A second D700, because you're used to and it's reliable
    A D800, because the buttons and settings are pretty much the same, so you don't need to learn new handling. Also, if you need resolution, you will have it at hand.
    A D600, because 24MP are enough - but you will have to get used to a different operation/handling scheme
    If DX, get a D7000 and wait until D400 gets availbale. Better than D90, reliable but other handling concept as well.

    Are you using the setting banks a lot? In terms of operating the body in time pressure, I'd go for a known system.
  •  DavidJaan DavidJaan Posts: 284Member
    edited June 2013
    I'm definitely leaning most towards a second D700 or going the D800 route. My biggest concern about the D800 is all the other capacities to work with it.

    I don't want to go back into DX and want to stay full frame. I love it for what I do.

    I'm rarely going into the settings menus or saving custom settings so that's not a huge deal.
    Post edited by DavidJaan on
  • DJBee49DJBee49 Posts: 133Member
    greybagel. I was in a similar position a year or so ago. I sold my D700 and bought a D800. The D800 is neither as scary nor as computer crippling as I thought it might be and I greatly enjoy the stunning quality of which it is capable. Once you have tasted the image quality and the possibility of blowing sections of images up, I very much doubt if you will want to go back- even if you think that you don't need it now! The solution I use to cope with the large files (I only shoot NEF files) is to do a rough edit and then dump them onto separate hard drives for work later on. I then bring them in and out for processing so as not to clog up my computer. Lightroom copes with everything very well and the transition from D700 to D800 was very easy for me, even though I am not brilliant with complex cameras and multiple button options!

    The only mistake I made was selling the D700! I wish I had kept it as a second, 'snapshot' camera. I found it to be an outstanding camera and my main reason for buying the D800 was the f8 AF capability this has. This has been worthwhile but the amazing resolution, subtle luminance range improvement and (minor) improvement in low light performance has been a big bonus as well.

    My advice would be to definitely get the D800 and if you can afford to, keep the D700 as well. I have also found that once you have accepted that camera upgrades are an inevitable part of photography these days, the pain is less! You can then accept that your lenses are a long term and enduring investment but camera bodies are transient posessions!
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    If possible, and if a store would let you, see if you can take your own CF or secure digital card to a camera store and fire off a few frames onto your card with a D800. Take the files home and test edit on your iMac to see what you'd be dealing with. Personally, I've been using a 2010 version of a Mac Mini with a dual core processor and 2 GB of RAM, LR4 and CS5. Processing is slow at times, fast at others. Nevertheless, it does get done. Not as shabby as one would think. If I did paid work or high photo volume weddings I'd definitely have a stronger system.

    Recently my Dell monitor went on the blink and I'm not real sure if it's the video card in the Mac mini that's gone bad. The reason I havn't posted anything on the PAD recently.

    The D800 is just an awesome camera, even moreso with good glass on it. I'd recommend that one and don't be afraid of the file sizes.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • SquamishPhotoSquamishPhoto Posts: 608Member
    Don't think twice and just buy a D800. :]
    Mike
    D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
  • Rx4PhotoRx4Photo Posts: 1,200Member
    Oh, one more thing. In terms of "needing" the megapixels of a D800....the ability to take a full body photo of a person, then produce high quiality headshot from that photo - where you could still count the eyelashes - is priceless.
    D800 | D7000 | Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 | 24-70mm f/2.8 | 70-200mm f/2.8 | 35mm f/1.8G | 85mm f/1.4G | Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art | Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM | Zeiss 100mm Makro-Planar ZF.2 | Flash controllers: Phottix Odin TTL

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    My first camera is a D800 my second a D700

    I have no computer problems with ether

    BUT

    once you experienced a D800 you will be reluctant to use the D700 ever again
    the D800 is in a completely different league
    ( if you do decide on a second D700 I would be happy to sell you mine :) )
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 613Member
    If you are hesitant to get a d800 because of the MP, try renting one.

    My experience is that when I don't use the D800, I miss the megapixels. But I print large and crop often.
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    In terms of budget I can go up to a D800. My biggest concern with the D800 is the megapixels. In reality I don't NEED them (although it's not a major turn off to have them) and have a concern with editing on the computer.
    I never needed the megapixels when I upgraded in the past, but once you have them, you start counting on them. As @Rx4Photo and @sevencrossing already mentioned, you just get used to high resolution. If you do a lot of events like weddings etc., one of the classics is that in a group-situation shot you sometimes find priceless portraits, and you can just go ahead an crop like crazy.

    Adding these scene shots to the final selection will make your clients love you (and can sometimes save your butt). :-)

    Concerning the usablity, I don't remember anymore exactly, but I did have the impression that the D700 did have a more "analog" feel to it, to be honest. But the overall concept is pretty much the same, so using the D700 and 800 at the same time should not be very confusing.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2013
    @greybagel: Having played with my friends D800 or the past few weeks, I, much like the others would highly recommend going with the D800.

    AS Symphotic suggested you could rent one and see for yourself. Just make sure you don't rent a D4 at the same time, because if you do then you will find yourself in another pickle. :P
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited July 2013
    Remove plz.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  •  DavidJaan DavidJaan Posts: 284Member
    Well now...all of these pro-D800 replies just made the decision a heck of a lot easier. And I admire many images several of you make using the D800 so I know it has amazing capabilities. I was mostly concerned with finding out my editing rig couldn't handle it and I'd end up in a money pit of upgrades.

    With external storage being so cheap I'm not concerned with that it was just the processing during editing. Which I did test by downloading a few NEFs from the D800 and while it did take a bit longer as compared to the D700 files it wasn't excruciating. And now with the prospect of storing externally and not needing it connected to work in Lightroom 5 it could be even less of a worry.

    In regards to memory cards, where have you D800 users found to be a good amount for GBs?
  •  DavidJaan DavidJaan Posts: 284Member
    @Golf007sd - Well I already made the mistake of even looking at the D4 haha It will be a dream camera. One day it will be mine. Or by that time probably it's predecessor lol
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    edited June 2013
    Memory cards: I have two 16 GB in my D800. Last weekend I nearly filled them - never happened before. But instead of using bigger ones, I will have one or two more of fast Sandisk Extreme Pro for D800 and eventually also D7100. I'm a bit of paranoic about losing one card and I still would have another one.

    But for weddings, I don't know: Maybe I would go for two 32 GB and use one as backup. As hobbyist, I'd be sad to loose pictures. As wedding photographer, a lot of people would not only be sad but also go ballistic, if pictures get lost.

    Question before deciding for D800: It is not exactly rapid-fire and a battery grip doesn't speed her up. Is that an issue for you?
    Post edited by JJ_SO on
  •  DavidJaan DavidJaan Posts: 284Member
    @JJ_SO - I typically like to use more lower GB cards versus one higher GB card for the same fear. If I lose one card, I didn't lose the entire shoot. The whole eggs in one basket analogy.

    In terms of FPS that is not really a concern. I think I put my D700 into continuous mode twice. One of them simply to test the difference in FPS with the grip attached. I don't shoot sports or any other radical action so this isn't a concern. And if needed I have the D700 with grip.
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 369Member
    Keep in mind, you can always shoot at a lower resolution too.
    D7100, D60, 35mm f/1.8 DX, 50mm f/1.4, 18-105mm DX, 18-55mm VR II, Sony RX-100 ii
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,965Member
    Another long term D700 user, who also has a d800 chipping in. Both are great cameras, so you cannot go wrong either way. At this point in time I think you may be better off getting a D800, since spending over $1000 for a camera with no warranty is kind of dicy.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • birdmanbirdman Posts: 115Member
    The D800 is a tremendous camera, in my opinions its a no-brainer vs. the D700. If you consider the price difference for a used D700 vs. Refurbished D800 (sometimes with less than 1,000 shots) -- there is no reason to NOT spend LESS than a grand ($1,000) to upgrade to much higher resolution. I had the D700 for a few weeks before buying the 5dmarkII back in 2009. The higher resolution DSLR paired with a good, cheap prime is astonishing. I recently saw someone shooting with a D700 and we chatted briefly. He wanted to "check out" my camera -- you know, hold it and see how the grip and weight felt. To my surprise, his comment was that the D700 felt cheaply/inferior in build quality. Kinda shocking considering how much bashing the D800 takes on trolling comments
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    I had the D700 for a few weeks before buying the 5dmarkII back in 2009.
    Haha, it's so funny how many people apparently took that D700 - 5D Mark II - D800 road. I'm one of those, too, and at least three more photographers here from my neighborhood come to my mind instantly.
  • PierrePierre Posts: 360Member
    Definitely a D800 but... things to watch... especially for weddings: if you want the ability to crop the 36mp image, it means absolutely no shakes, which translate to higher speed, which may mean cranking the ISO, which leads to lots of noise. Even at ISO 100, I often end up applying fairly aggressive noise reduction (nr) when I intend to zoomin. The nr means lost of details so the 100% crop is not really useable, at least in my eye. I often put a nr copy in a layer and mask back in critical area where I want to preserve the details and leave the nr for background.

    Remember that the D800 is USB3 so if your machine can use it, file size will not be a problem. Where the size bites is when viewing lots of photo, especially NEF, with regular windows photo viewer, It won't work. Dunno about Mac. I had to get used to Nikon ViewNX even when dragging-dropping in Photoshop because of that. If you have less than an I7 and 8 gig of ram, you may need to update.

    If I was in your position, I would seriously think about the D4 or even a D3s which are so much better with noise.

    That being said, the D800 out perform the D700 by a large margin at similar cropping and ISO. I have both and never use the D700 anymore.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    In addition to the other positive D800 properties mentioned by other posters, I am using it at ISO 6400 and down sampling to 12mp for stage lit theater work.. At 12mp it has much better noise characteristics than my D700.

    The D800 wins easily on versatility.
    - High res 36mp FX
    - 15 mp DX
    - Low noise 12mp FX

    In addition to the D800 I have a D700 and D3x (and D300). I always use the D800e as primary, and If I were buying another Nikon body it would be a D800 without question.

    Regards ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited June 2013
    ......., which translate to higher speed, which may mean cranking the ISO, . .
    I agree, you must not be scared of cranking up the ISO . I use AUTO ISO + 2 clicks, the D800s auto ISO takes focal length into account
    ">......., . Even at ISO 100, I often end up applying fairly aggressive noise reduction (nr) when I intend to zoomin. .
    ?????????
    I think you are doing something wrong here . I only need noise reduction above ISO 1600

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Depends of the percentage of the "Zoomin" but I was surprised about the low noise above ISO 3200 if there's enough light and no only dark and darker shades.
  •  DavidJaan DavidJaan Posts: 284Member
    Thanks to everyone for the advice and information. If the Nikon rebates carry over to next month I'll be picking up the D800 in the next few weeks.
  • FlowtographyBerlinFlowtographyBerlin Posts: 477Member
    Even at ISO 100, I often end up applying fairly aggressive noise reduction (nr) when I intend to zoomin.
    ?????????
    I think you are doing something wrong here . I only need noise reduction above ISO 1600
    +1

    Noise at ISO 100 that even needs aggressive NR? That sounds *very* strange.
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