The announcement of Nikon’s two new camera’s has really been forcing me to crystallize my thinking around buying a full frame digital camera.
For nearly 15 years I shot with a Nikon F801s (an 8008s for my American friends), it was a solid workhorse of a camera with a good reliable spot meter. About three years ago now I gave up film, sold the 801s and bought a D70. I haven’t looked back the D70 has been a great camera – but when I bought it I had my fingers crossed behind my back. I was secretly hoping that Nikon would produce a full frame DSLR for the pro-sumer market. I had such a strong belief in this that I kept my 20-40mm (a useless nearly useless lens on 1.5 crop sensor).
But now that D3 is arriving I forced to question my original desire for a full frame DSLR. I’ve come to really appreciate the extra reach that my 80-200mm has.
The quandry: If I will eventually buy a full frame DSLR then I shouldn’t invest in any DX lenses – but I will need a good midrange zoom (don’t have for historical reasons). If I’m going to stick with DX then its time to start thinking about a wide angle and the 18-200 DX/VR.
|D3 (FX or Full Frame sensor)||D300 (DX or 2/3′s sensor)|
|Telephoto lenses||work at their original length. But to get the greater reach I have to spend real $$$.||My 70-300, is an adequate 450mm. My 80-200 (with 2x teleconverter) makes a poor mans 600mm lens.|
|Wide Angle lenses||I will have my wide angles back||Hmm will have to part with some cash to get wider than 27mm.|
|Depth of Field (for equivalent Field of view)||Shallower depth of field in any given situation||Shallow depth of field harder.|
|High ISO||Bigger sensor, less noise. Definitely great out ISO 1600 Apparently even 6400 is good.||The few samples anyone has seen look pretty damn good.|
|Weight||heavy – especially when you weigh all those full size lens.|
Unless Nikon has a stunning announcement of a pro-sumer full frame camera in the next 18 mths I will probably just bite the bullet and admit that I’m shooting DX cameras for a long time to come.
Caveat Emptor – There are a lot of previews out there that look reviews of these camera’s. Beware these are just reviews of the specs. Only Cliff Mautner (wedding photographer) has been allowed to play with a pre-production D3. Even his notes are based on JPEGS (nothing handles D3 RAW files yet).