Let's say you have a budget of about $2,500 which will get you a used D3 (about 40,000 exposures) or a new D600 with battery grip. Which is the better choice?
Or let's say you have a budget $3,500 which will get you a used D3x or a D800 with battery grip. Which is the better choice?
Here is another interesting comparison: Choose between a new D3x for $8,000 or a new D600 for one forth the price. Or a well used D3x and a new D600 at half the price. Both have 24mp FX sensors. Which is the better choice?
Has anyone moved from a D3 or D3x to a D600 and can compare them?
I have been reading Thom Hogan's review of the D600 as well as his D600 Guide Book in which he points out the many improvements in IQ of the D600 over prior generations. Thom generally takes the position that newer technology trumps robust D3 build since the D7000/D600 less robust build is sufficient for any reasonable use if you are careful. KR, in his usual entertaining overstatements calls the D600 "Nikon's best digital camera ever, at any price" even though he prefers the ergonomics of the new Canons.
Once the D600 dust/oil issues are sorted out will the D600 be the best "bang for the buck" in FX? Better than any used D3 iteration choice? What do you think? I am using my D600 now to form my own opinion. At this point I still am irritated by the smaller coverage of the AF area and the sensor dust but those irritations may pass once I get use to the focus and recompose technique again (we all used it with those split rangefinder focus screens in the past, didn't we?) and frequent sensor cleaning.
if fact the only disadvantage i have found with the D800 is the relatively slow fps
D600 vs S/H D3 s
I would go for the D3s if I knew its history and it was in mint condition
but the choice depends on what other camera(s) you have and are going to keep
All I can offer is MY opinion, and it will obviously differ from the opinions of others; if I was "in the market" for a new camera right now, (and I'm not), I would absolutely buy a pre-owned D 3s, and I think if I really put my mind to it, I would be able to find one for less than 4K. Yes, the D 800 creates HUGE files; (which is one of the main reasons why I wouldn't want one, but not the only) Let's face it; no two people on this forum have the same "interests", "needs", "experience", etc, etc. And all of those things MUST enter into any decision as to, "what camera to buy next".
I say all of this being fully aware of the fact that you are far more knowledgeable, overall, than I am about cameras; obviously, so is Thom Hogan, and so is even Ken Rockwell. I really like KR; I think he's a very bright young fellow; but when he makes such ridiculous statements in public as "I don't NEED no stinking tripod".........he tends to lose much of the credibility he already has. (IMHO) ( but back to your dilemma )
I'm a lot older than you are; I seriously can not envision the need of myself EVER needing a camera, capable of taking pictures that the D 3s is incapable of taking. Yes, a D 800 would have been just GREAT had I had one available when I took a picture of a bridge with a $189 camera, KNOWING that the resulting image was going to end up being an $1,800 commercial printing job, and was going to end up covering four, 4'X8' aluminum panels on a 8' X 16' roadside billboard; ( it may sound crazy, but the people footing the bill are STILL quite happy, and the difference between "costs" and "budget" were in the vicinity of 3K; When it comes to cameras, I'm more inclined to think in terms of, "which camera is "good enough", rather than "which camera is the BEST?" So far, I can't remember any picture I've ever wanted to take, that a D 3s would have been "incapable" of taking. ( I should also point out, even if someone were to GIVE me a new D 3s, I would immediately need to order another GREAT camera guide by David Busch.)
Now....having said that, if I were to win next months power ball lottery, ( which is highly unlikely, seeing as how I have never purchased a lottery ticket in the last 80 years ), I would almost certainly order a new D 4, and our "world-class" moderator (again, IMHO), would no longer be the only one on the forum (to my knowledge), taking pictures of the cardinals in the back yard with the AF S 400mm/f2.8 !
The purchase to a FF body, requires the end user to do his or her "due diligence." Moreover, the purchase of a FF body should be conduct in a fashion where the photographer can get the most bang given his or her current lens ownership as well. Otherwise, the model you have offered us is mute.
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
Gitzo: Yes "I don't need no stinking tripod" is one of KR's more stupid overstatements. You have to take many of his statements as an attempt to make a point by overstating it with humor. That is part of Ken's "stick" and those poor soles who don't realize that can be sadly mislead. But if you look at some of his hand held shots at 100% they do have impressive sharpness. Ken is part fact, part opinion and part entertainment!
Having the battery grip on my D7000 does add a much better feel (highly recommended), however, IMHO it does not compare to the feel of the D3's & the D4 bodies which has it's over all structure built around both vertical and horizontal grips.
I have used battery grips on my D80, D90, D7000, D800 and D600. As long as the grip remains firmly attached I doubt there is much difference between the feel of it and the D3 or D4 body. However, I have noticed when I used third party battery grips they did not stay as tightly attached as the Nikon grips producing a bit of flexing after a while and had to be frequently tightened. The genuine Nikon grips remained firmly and solidly attached. Now I am sure if I were using the camera body to pound nails the one piece D3 and D4 body would remain in one piece while the attachable battery grips would loosen. However, under reasonable uses I have found the attachable grips robust enough if they were genuine Nikon parts.
There are a few reasons to take the D3 over the D800 or D600. Smaller files, better build quality, dual CF card slots, and faster burst rate / larger buffer.
Ebay D3x are not going under $3,500 for something you would want to buy (Battery/charger/manual/ included, <200k, etc.) There have been some that have high shutter counts going right at $3k. Most D3x's are going for $4,000. D3s are going for $3,700 for good ones, down to about $3,100 for very well used ones (that I would pass on.) D3 cameras are going for $1,700-$2,300 depending on accessories/batteries. D700's are the big bargain and what I'm watching now - $1,100 to about $1,700 again depending on use, batteries etc.
I kind of see this thread as "Would you buy a 2006 Mercedes E-class sedan for $15,000 with no warranty, no clue if the previous owner was hard on it OR a new Volkswagen Jetta?" It all depends on use, and vanity.
I think if I was starting from scratch I would be tempted with the D800,plus a new computer