Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nikon D700: Why I’m Not Buying One… Yet.

Now that the D700 has been out for a while and I’ve had a chance to think about it. I’ve decided to keep my D300 and not get a D700.

There was a time when all I wanted was a full frame DSLR. Certainly, a Full-Frame sensor has advantages that cannot be ignored, such as a high signal to noise ratio, resulting in extremely low noise at high ISOs. Having said that, in terms of noise (or grain) my D300 already surpasses whatever camera I’ve had in the past, film and digital included.

Nikon has a very strong line-up of DX lenses, particularly for a travel and adventure photographer. The 10.5mm fisheye is excellent and the 18-200mm is very good for the range of focal lengths that it covers. And my 80-400mm lens, with the 1.5 FOV crop factor, effectively makes it a very useful 600mm f/5.6 lens.

With the D700, I’d have to replace the 10.5mm DX fisheye with a 16mm FX fisheye. Fair enough. Other that the (unwanted) expense, both lenses are comparable. But it isn’t so easy to replace the other 2 lenses. There isn’t an FX or Full-Frame replacement for the 18-200 VR lens. And while the 80-400mm is an FX lens that doesn’t require replacement, I’d lose out on having the 600mm equivalent on the long end.

All things change, and I may well be buying a D700, but for now, my kit (and my wallet) remain intact.