Opinions please. Those who have used a NIKON D3, is this a good purchase at $2200 if in 9 - 9+ condition? What will one be sacrificing in the newer bodies if one purchases a D3 like this? I will value all the opinions of those familiar with the D3 as I have never used one. Thank you for your help.
NIKON D3, vs D4/D800(13 posts) (8 voices)
This is a great question and one I've been pondering. My thoughts are that it depends on what you plan to use the camera for and how much the D600 cost. I'm assuming that the D600 is going to have a high IQ but will be missing many features in the D3. So if your a journalist and need a camera to use and beat around the D3 is probably the camera but if you just want the highest quality FX camera you can get and can't afford the D800, then you need to wait for the D600. D3 is still going to be a great camera no matter what and I keep looking for a used one.
@andrewz Thanks, I appreciate your input. I currently have a D4 and D90. I like the idea of a second "sports" camera, one with high FPS. This would be an addition to the D4, then when the D400 gets here, it will replace the D90. I am wondering if folks who may have a D3 and have compared it to the D3s can share or those who can tell me the difference in the D3 with the D4... sort a list of handicaps, other than ISO. The D600 is not even a consideration. A D800 may be, but the FPS stinks. So, I will just see how it goes and maybe if no one else will share an opinion I will grab the D3 as a spare.
I know the D3s has video but does the D3. If it does it nothing like the new camera offer. If video is not your thing than the D3 will kick butt. If you need fast D3, if you need night time shots D3, flowers, bugs and landscapes please just about everything new works, 2 x 3 foot photos D3 work great. I still prefer my D3s over the D4 but I don't do videos. Really, D3 if the shutter counters under 50K for $2200 buy it.
It's similar to a decision I was thinking about the other day - would I buy another D700?
The conclusion I came to was that a camera body is like any other piece of electronics.
The D700 is a great camera (as is the D3, from all accounts), no doubt.
But it's old, and when it comes to electronics a good rule of thumb is old is not as good as new.
I'd spend the $2k on something newer, unless, with the usual disclaimer, you need a second FX body NOW.
A D3 is the same as a D700 for IQ - just beefy. If you needed or wanted the pro body, still a good camera.
I'm leaning towards getting a D3s after doing some event shooting this week. High iso is the name of the game for me in those settings, and that is where my money comes from.
Where is the D400! I wan't to see the High ISO before I pull the trigger! (I rather like my 105-300mm VR or by other names 70-200vr.) I think I shot 70% of the entire event at 200mm-300mm equiv. Not preferable, but what for what you can't control, at least DX gives me that.
I agree with Tao. The only "old" last generation camera "still in the game" for me would be a D3s once the price fell to 2k or below. But I suspect advancements in image technology will have so significantly improved by the time the D400 arrives that I would not be surprised to see DxOMark rate the D400 Image Quality ahead of the D3s! Look how much the D800 and D4 have jumped over a D3 and D700. I think the D400 will be a very "key" camera for Nikon. I would like to run a D800 for studio, wildlife, nature, etc when I want the highest detail, can take my time, can shoot from a tripod etc. I would like to pair that D800 with a D400 when I want fast fps, fast AF, large buffer, and am not going to be printing larger than an occasional poster size. It may be possible that a D7200 or a D8000 comes along with enough features to serve me instead of a D400.
As a side note on getting an "old" DSLR with a high shutter count. I was at a camera repair shop the other day talking to the master technician about whether he has worked on many D3s bodies and he said he has seen a lot of them. He said the internal electronics don't "wear out" but the shutter usually goes somewhere around 400,000 shutter actuations and he has replaced many for $400. Then the camera is good for another 400,000+ shots. I was only inquiring about his experience with the D3s body but I would expect it would be the same for a D3 body.
Considering that the D3s has slightly better ISO performance than the D4, I find it highly unlikely the D400 will out perform the D3s.
All depends on what the D400 has as a sensor. Fuji Xpro1 equals the D3s in high ISO with a 16mp sensor in almost all settings.
If Nikon goes with something with a smaller MP for better high ISO, and let the rumored D600 be the resolution rig in that price range, that would mirror the D4/D800 line-up and make for one hell of a line up. I would be racing to buy the D400 and look at a D600 as a back up and art body if they did that.
This is just wild speculation BUT . . . . Why that long wait for the D400? It is overdue. I had been thinking it was overdue because Nikon was running late developing some fantastic new DX sensor (wishful thinking maybe?). But just maybe it has to do more with the body than with the sensor? Remember the D300, D300s and D700 shared the same body and could use the same battery grip. Likely the D400 will share the same body and battery grip with the bottom line FX body. Perhaps that bottom line FX body is the D600 not the D800 and there will be some body differences between the D800 and D600 body such that the D800 battery grip won't fit the D600? If so, the D400 may have had to be delayed until the D600 body was finalized to insure compatibility. Perhaps the D400 and D600 will be produced on the same assembly line in Thailand and that had to be finalized also. If the D600 body and battery grip are shared with the D400 we may see both appear this summer. Hope so.
I'm doubting the thought of the D600 and D400 utilizing the same size etc. D7100 maybe - similar specs. I'm guessing after the Thialand floods, Nikon had to update it's plans on the sensor. That is not done overnight. On the blog they did post that Nikon was working with a different company (non-sony made) for a DX sensor. The company made the J1/v1 sensor. We saw how good that was for something smaller than m4/3rds but competed right with it. Grow that to a DX size and it could be really good.
I also get that some hate large cameras. I on the other hand love them and most people that I'm around who will shoot for hours at a time do as well. If I had to use a smaller body for consecutive 15hr days, my hands would be cramped into balls. For that reason alone, I would never buy a D7000 - it is just too dang small for me.
Some seem to think that putting cameras together can happen in a few months when actually it takes years. Considering the D400 line usually got the first "new" DX sensor and then we always saw the following DX consumer bodies get that sensor and their files would be increasingly better. But the Dx00 series came first, and had robust features so no one cared. This time around the D3200 came first. Wouldn't make much since if the D3200 files were better than the D400.
I never shooted with a D3 but I looked once through the view finder and found it very tiny and vintage looking and that I would never trade my D700 for a D3. If it is true that the D700 is the smaller version of the D3, then in my eye, it is a much improved version of it. At that price, I would get a D700.
The D700 viewfinder has slightly more magnification (0.72x vs 0.7x with a 50mm lens) than the D3, but offers less coverage (95% vs 100%). I'd take slightly less magnification if it meant I could have a 100% viewfinder. The D3 also has longer lasting batteries, fast burst rate and dual card slots (the latter of which is the biggest advantage).
You must log in to post.