Anyone else struggling to upgrade from their D300/D300s?

OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
edited October 2014 in D300/D300s/D500
I'm principally a travel photographer and want a camera that's built like a tank. Part of the reason I bought a D300 in '08 the first place is my old film camera died after being drenched by waterfall mist in Costa Rica. The D300 was a no brainer. I haven't looked at cameras since, but with all this excitement about the D750, I had to check it out. I gotta say, I was a bit disappointed. The D750 seems to use cheap plastic parts for the dials and many of the other material choices don't seem to match up to the D300. On one end of the spectrum, the D800 appears to be a better build, but didn't blow me away (I prefer the D300). At the other, the D7100 seems to have about the same build as the D750 at half the price. Since I don't need/want FX, the D7100 appears to be the best choice of the three. Unfortunately though, when I consider the additional pain to change accessories (different batteries, different memory cards, different ball head mount, etc) and a less robust camera, I'm not so convinced. Sure, I'd love to have more pixels for crops and the improved DR, but it may make sense to hang on a bit longer for something special to come around. After all, I still get some great shots and (if I'm honest with myself) am probably more limited by my creativity/capability than camera pixels. Anyone else in the same boat or have experiences to convince me otherwise?
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  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @OldGrey: Welcome to NRF.

    I think you nailed it on the head with your statement: "if I'm honest with myself... am probably more limited by my creativity/capability than camera pixels."

    Given you satisfaction of image quality with the D300, the need to upgrade is mute. Many individual that seek an update to their current body, have crossed some road due to their needs or passion.

    My recommendation for you would be to push yourself in taking picture that you have not considered in the past. The door is wide-open. Let us know what type of photography rocks your boat and the moment and what you would like to consider, then perhaps we could lead you into a direction that is more acceptable to your palate.

    Lastly, spend some time reading the many topic on our forum and see if it does light a spark.
    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 |
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    Thanks for the thoughts. With the travel though, I'm also concerned about weight. Isn't the only lighter weight FX wide angle the 18-35? That would be the same as my 12-24, so I wouldn't gain anything there and I'd loose it on length. Travel also includes lots of wildlife so I'm not anxious to cut my reach and currently the largest long lens I allow myself is a 70-300VR (a large 2.8 with a tele isn't a practical option for me).
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    Thanks Golf008 sd. As mentioned, I shoot pictures of our travels and my focus is typically to come away with a dozen "wall shots" (we call them "wall shots" as in the ones we put up in our picture wall). Most of our trips revolve around nature and the outdoors -hiking the Himalayas, Patagonia, National Parks, large cities, and cultural excursions Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, etc. So I'm looking at capturing architecture, landscapes, wildlife, portraits, etc.. Quite a varied group of subjects. Primarily in color, but occasionally B&W as the situation dictates.

    My typical kit includes a D300, 70-300VR, 12-24, and a fast prime or two (35/50/85). Add 3L of water/snacks/clothing/hiking poles, occasionally my CF tripod and it gets heavy fast -so weight is a major concern and becoming more of an issue as I get older.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited October 2014
    the D300 was a no brainer. I haven't looked at cameras since,...... don't seem to match up to the D300. On one end of the spectrum, the D800 appears to be a better build, but didn't blow me away (I prefer the D300).
    some stores still have the D300s in stock
    If you are happy with what you have, why not buy another D300

    (will Nikon bring out a pro DX or a D400 ?)
    lots of discussion on other threads about this (one went to 100 pages before it was killed)
    general consensus - exceedingly unlikely, most people gave up waiting and bought a D7100 or a D800

    incidentally, the D800 blew me away. what do you not like about it? what lens did you try it with?




    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    Thanks PitchBlack. Although it's not the news I wanted to hear, at least I'm not missing anything.
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    Just to clarify -my thoughts on the D800 were referring only to it's build quality after handling it for 2 minutes in a store -it had nothing to do with it's image quality, etc. By all accounts it's a phenomenal camera. I just thought the choices of plastics/rubber were better in the D300. Since I rent cars a lot, I'll use the analogy of a Chevy Malibu. Comparing the new to the old -they're both still plastic, Probably the same durability but the material choices of the new one makes it feel more solid, durable, and luxurious. It's not a huge difference, but it's a heavier camera (if anything I want lighter), I'll loose reach, and it costs $2k more. Not terribly compelling for me. That said, if you eliminated one of these three, I'd probably make the jump.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited October 2014
    yes the the big disadvantage of the D800 it is 75g ( 2.5 ozs ) heavier than the D300
    but don't worry about about build quality, I have had mine over 2 years; it has survived some very big knocks
    with the D810s arrival there are some secondhand bargains from the must have the " I don't take many photographs but must have latest xxxxx" brigade
    the reach ( pixel density) of the D800 is greater than the D300
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    Interesting. That's certainly the best option should I decide to jump anytime soon. For most of what I do, the improved DR and increased pixels would certainly offset the loss in fps, but I can't say I'd be excited to add size & weight.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I waned a pro DX (D400) from Nikon, but after waiting, I grabbed a used D800E… Could not be happier….the two shortcomings, hi ISO and FPS are covered by my D4, so all I have to do is shoot.

    As to the need for FX optics, I would start with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art… great to just carry around, and the cropping ability with the D800 image is very good. Nice for landscapes.
    Msmoto, mod
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,777Member
    edited October 2014
    I'm principally a travel photographer and want a camera that's built like a tank. Part of the reason I bought a D300 in '08 the first place is my old film camera died after being drenched by waterfall mist in Costa Rica. The D300 was a no brainer. ....
    I went through this last August when I sold my D300 so let me share my perspectives. IMHO the D300 was a perfect camera for me. After looking around I came to the conclusion that I would have to comprise so I bought the D7100 as a "bridge" DSLR until the D9300 was introduced. See my signature line for my DX lens. There was no D300 replacement and I did not want the larger file size the D800 offered but I loved the pro controls on the D800.

    I have had my D7100 for 13 months. Am I satisfied, no.... I am extremely satisfied with the camera. The higher IQ (image quality), better AF system, better low light pictures, less noise, and a lighter camera. From my perspective, the D7100 was an excellent decision, wish I had made the change sooner. Between Jan 2013 and August when I sold it the prices dropped $100 for the D300 so I only got $600 for mine which was in excellent condition, too. I actually dragged out the decision by one quarter waiting for a D400/D9300. I just don't see a pro body size DX in the future and so I jumped on the D7100.

    I was the first individual in central Wisconsin to touch and shoot the D750. Excellent camera, see the DxO test results on the main blog. Since I shoot lots of scenery photography, family photography (grand kids), and macro I have decided to keep the D7100 and buy the D750 after the first of the year. I only have one DX lens, 17-55 F2.8 so I will sell it and buy the D750 + 24-70 F2.8. My plan is to use the D750 for wide angle to 200 mm and the D7100 for 200 and above. I am moving to FX for the improvements in IQ, improved low light focusing improvement, larger buffer, and further reduction in noise.

    My recommendations:
    ++reconsider the D7100
    ++reconsider the D750 and D810
    PitchBlack beat me to posting the link and price for the refurbished D810. Nikon also has 10% off + free shipping on D610, D7100, and D810 bodies.
    ++Go rent the D7100 for a minimum of 3 days. Read the online manual first before getting the camera.
    If you don't like the D7100 handling and images --Go rent the D810 or D750

    Keep in mind THERE IS NO DIRECT REPLACEMENT for your camera. Make SMART decisions and make comprises that work best for you. I cannot and neither can anyone here make those decisions for you.

    What I can tell you is that the D7100 DX, D750 FX, D810 FX bodies are going to give you excellent pictures. You will look back like I did and kick your self in the butt for not doing this sooner. The secret is to try the bodies out and then make a smart decision what fits your specific requirements.

    One more point...your comment about changing the ball head on your tripod...did you mean buying a new camera bracket or "L" bracket?

    Hope that helps and remember there are lots of us who will be happy to provide guidance during your journey to your new camera. Wow...that was my Marketing side showing. Interesting because I am an engineer by trade. :D
    Post edited by Photobug on
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    I thought I would never "trade down" to a D7100, but I did a year ago. The IQ is really noticeably better. The build quality really isn't that bad, plus it is lighter than the D300. I am primarily a bird photographer and tend to beat the snot out of my gear. The D7100 has taken everything that has been throwing at including a plow truck covering me and the camera in slushy salty wet snow last winter. The controls of course are a little different, but everything is readily accessible. You still get 6 FPS on the D7100 which is the same as the D300 without a grip, but the buffer is smaller for sure.
    Last week I saw a deal on a D800 that I couldn't resist. So far the D800 is pretty awesome. You would loose a FPS in "DX" mode, but there is also a 1.2x crop mode at 5 FPS that I have found very useful for birds. Just my 2 cents..
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    edited October 2014
    Couple of my Travel, Street photographer friends have moved to Olympus OM-D cameras. Check them out .. they sound like they would fit your mode of operation well.! I am also waiting for a D300 replacement. as soon as that arrives I will probably restructure my kit around it. There is a chance it will happen in 2015.( bec. of the Canon 7d2 ) ie within 3 months. If you can wait another few months I would wait. otherwise the Olympus OM-D series of cameras would be a nice upgrade for you. PS : Its not going to be cheap! :-) https://www.olympus.com.au/Products/CompactSystem-Cameras/Lenses/SuperPro.aspx if you are happy to manual focus you can use your old lenses with the camera's incamera stabilisation. but I would check out their low aperture lenses.. :-) Make's you wonder what the heck is Nikon doing with its PRO DX users... sigh ..
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited October 2014
    There is a chance it will happen in 2015
    A few other predictions :)

    Nostradamus predictions for 2015:

    10. Language differences will disappear

    9. The dead will resurrect

    8. The World Economy will Collapse

    7. Major eruption of Mount Vesuvius

    6. People will live to be over 200

    5. Radiation will scorch our world.

    4. Major Earthquake in Western USA.

    3. Humans will learn to talk to animals.

    2 All taxes will be abolished in the Western World.

    1. Would-be parents will need licenses.
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    edited October 2014
    There is a chance it will happen in 2015
    A few other predictions :)

    Nostradamus predictions for 2015:

    10. Language differences will disappear

    9. The dead will resurrect

    8. The World Economy will Collapse

    7. Major eruption of Mount Vesuvius

    6. People will live to be over 200

    5. Radiation will scorch our world.

    4. Major Earthquake in Western USA.

    3. Humans will learn to talk to animals.

    2 All taxes will be abolished in the Western World.

    1. Would-be parents will need licenses.
    DX Nikon pro camera. next to CX pro camera ? Auto translate working well :-) and nano tech break through... cool! not really all that unexpected for 2014.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Oh, the cynical comments….great entertainment…... :-))
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    This is a post from the old nrf over 4 years ago
    So any more news on the rumors of the D300s successor? I hear rumbling that Nikon is about to announce something new.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    This is a post from the old nrf over 4 years ago
    So any more news on the rumors of the D300s successor? I hear rumbling that Nikon is about to announce something new.
    yeah that's why I pointed him (op) to the OM-D E-M5

    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Couple of my Travel, Street photographer friends have moved to Olympus OM-D cameras. Check them out .. they sound like they would fit your mode of operation well.! I am also waiting for a D300 replacement. as soon as that arrives I will probably restructure my kit around it. There is a chance it will happen in 2015.( bec. of the Canon 7d2 ) ie within 3 months. If you can wait another few months I would wait. otherwise the Olympus OM-D series of cameras would be a nice upgrade for you. PS : Its not going to be cheap! :-) https://www.olympus.com.au/Products/CompactSystem-Cameras/Lenses/SuperPro.aspx if you are happy to manual focus you can use your old lenses with the camera's incamera stabilisation. but I would check out their low aperture lenses.. :-) Make's you wonder what the heck is Nikon doing with its PRO DX users... sigh ..
    I can't imagine changing systems over a camera, unless there is an obvious image quality improvement or you are pro where the differences really matter. Oh well, different strokes for different folks.
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    With PitchBlack's suggestion of going with the D800, I stopped by the camera store again to spend a bit more time with the D810. Unfortunately, it's just too large to fit my needs and it looks like the D800 is even a bit larger.

    While I was there I revisited the D750, D7100 and tried out the Df. The D750 really fits my hands like a glove -coupled with an 18-35 (the wide zoom I'd likely couple it with), it was a nice nimble package. The D7100 fits almost as well, but the thinner D750 is about perfect. I think I just need to get over the build quality compared to the D300 and decide between one of the two. It's actually not as bad as my first impression -the only hang up I really have is the selector dial (I worry sand and dust can make it's way between the interfaces of the plastic dials) and the choice of rubber on the door compartments. In the scheme of things, perhaps not too much of a sacrificed to make for significantly improved ISO performance, IQ, DR, etc than my current D300.

    As for the Olympus...perhaps I'm brainwashed because I left the camera store forgetting to check it out. Next time perhaps, but I'm inclined to agree with WestEnd boy. I'm not quite ready to jump ship just yet.

    Thanks to all that posted and I really appreciate all the feedback.
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    FYI -Nikon is now advertising a "refurbished" D7100 for $809. That's a great deal (and new version can't be far behind)!
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,777Member
    @Oldgrey said:
    While I was there I revisited the D750, D7100 and tried out the Df. The D750 really fits my hands like a glove -coupled with an 18-35 (the wide zoom I'd likely couple it with), it was a nice nimble package. The D7100 fits almost as well, but the thinner D750 is about perfect. I think I just need to get over the build quality compared to the D300 and decide between one of the two. It's actually not as bad as my first impression -the only hang up I really have is the selector dial (I worry sand and dust can make it's way between the interfaces of the plastic dials) and the choice of rubber on the door compartments. In the scheme of things, perhaps not too much of a sacrificed to make for significantly improved ISO performance, IQ, DR, etc than my current D300.

    Good for you. You made great progress. Keep us up todate.
    As for the Olympus...perhaps I'm brainwashed because I left the camera store forgetting to check it out. Next time perhaps, but I'm inclined to agree with WestEnd boy. I'm not quite ready to jump ship just yet.
    He loves to recommend the Olympus system. Stay on the straight with NIKON! :)) =D>
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    My D7000 has been exposed to many harsh sandy conditions and has performed flawlessly. I have a strong feeling that you will find the same to be true about the D7100 bodies and up.

    The one thing that you should also consider is the length of time in which you upgrade or purchase new camera bodies. Given that this path for you is longer than most, I would highly recommend seeking one level up (hence the D750), so that additional lenses you might consider getting will be in the FF avenue.
    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 |
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    edited October 2014
    @Oldgrey Somehow I think the D750 may be tougher than we think. From Nikon: The front body and front cover are constructed from carbon-fiber reinforced thermoplastics, while the rear and top covers are magnesium alloy, for a balanced combination of nimbleness and ruggedness. What do you all think?
    Post edited by Parke1953 on
  • OldGreyOldGrey Posts: 19Member
    Glad to hear your D7000 is holding up well, Golf007. That's encouraging.

    As for lenses, I'm not sure my choice of DX or FX body would impact my lens purchase decisions that much. The only DX lens I really shoot is my 12-24 -most of my other lenses are FX anyway.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,176Member
    "perhaps Im brainwashed.." LOL ! looks like you are not the only one :-) check out washing your camera! take a nice wide aperture lense like the 14-35 or 35-100 F2.0.

    PS I use my 12-24 and 18-140 on my D610 which makes for a nice low light DX system.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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