Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

Thread: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

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  1. #1
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    Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    Hi all,

    I am using a D60 since a year or so, and although quite happy with it, the D300s seems to be a bit more professional, bigger/better grip for me and shoots a bit faster. I also understand it has more focus points and a bracketing function.

    However, most important thing for me is that it is more sensitive when taking pictures with little light.. as I am shooting watches most of the time, and especially in Basel or other fairs the light is always poor. Will the D300s will be helpful and - in other words - worth the upgrade?

    The D60 will be handed over to my wife, as she likes to shoot pictures as well.

    What do you think / what is your take on this?

    RJ

  2. #2
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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    Hey Robert

    I own the D300s and love it - big, heavy, rugged, modestly weatherproof, grippy rubber coating and robust magnesium shell rather than lightweight plastic on the D40 and aluminium frame on the D90. The 51 point AF system is excellent. Video a bonus for some. Dual card slot a real pro feature. Its a serious piece of kit.

    It handles low light/high ISO very well up to 1600 and can offer half decent pics above this - although nowhere near as well as the mega D700 for image quality in low light, i'm sure it'll be a real improvement over your entry level D40.

    My only comment would be that its sensor, picture quality and technology is the very same as you get on a D90which costs about $1000 less!

    THE big factor for me when deciding on the D300s over the D90 was weatherproofing and build quality.

    Seems like you are a Nikon man, but the Canon 7D is the same price now and really deserves a comparison with the 300 and on several fronts supercedes it!

    si
    Last edited by Simon; April 17th, 2010 at 18:01.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" Jim Elliot - Missionary, Martyr

  3. #3
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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon View Post
    Hey Robert

    I own the D300s and love it - big, heavy, rugged, modestly weatherproof, grippy rubber coating and robust magnesium shell rather than lightweight plastic on the D40 and aluminium frame on the D90. The 51 point AF system is excellent. Video a bonus for some. Dual card slot a real pro feature. Its a serious piece of kit.

    It handles low light/high ISO very well up to 1600 and can offer half decent pics above this - although nowhere near as well as the mega D700 for image quality in low light, i'm sure it'll be a real improvement over your entry level D40.

    My only comment would be that its sensor, picture quality and technology is the very same as you get on a D90which costs about $1000 less!

    THE big factor for me when deciding on the D300s over the D90 was weatherproofing and build quality.

    Seems like you are a Nikon man, but the Canon 7D is the same price now and really deserves a comparison with the 300 and on several fronts supercedes it!

    si
    Hi Simon,

    Thanks for your explanation. My D60 (not D40, but I guess there is only little difference) is a nice camera but the D90 would feel as not making a serious (enough) upgrade :) The D90 body is half price of the D300s currently, but I am willing to spend it because I noticed I am very critical on quality of stuff I am buying.

    I have to stay with Nikon since I have a bunch of lenses for it already, including a Macro lens for shooting watch pictures :) I also like the 'feel' better with a Nikon, fits more properly in my hands. Just a matter of personal preference of course.

    I don't care about video that much, but I thought the D90 was capable of doing so as well.

    The D700 is a bit too expensive for me, and I think you can't use your DX lenses properly with this one, right?

    RJ

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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    Ah - sorry, misread. Even so both the D90/D300s are a good step up from your D60.

    D90/D300s are pretty similar in image quality/ability (I traded my D90 in for 300s), but the D90 is smaller, lighter, plasticky and is aimed at amateur with that selector which gets the camera to do all the work for you, choosing mode then point n shoot. I think the D90 is the best value camera for money on the market - but I wanted to improve my skills and have a year round, more robust camera.

    The D300s is a more serious amateur/semi-pro camera and assumes you have more camera savvy and can take pictures using shutter speed or aperture priority. It has made me think a bit more about my picture taking..

    The D300s is awesome - and for wildlife the DX is preferable as the crop factor increases the range of your lenses. You can use DX lenses on a D700 but crops down to use about 5mp of the sensor so not ideal.

    I was tempted by D700 but didn't need full-frame and thought the xtra $1000 was not worth it and preferred to put the money toward decent lenses: the definitive 1.4 50mm and 24-70 pro zoom. I suspect in a couple of years I'll graduate up to the then D800 :)

    I have read the odd expert who thinks the D90 is SO good that you either stay with it or jump to full frame, making the D300s unnecessary. I disagree - having owned both, the 300s is all business - I can't recommend it highly enough. Its the Rolex sub of cameras

    si
    Last edited by Simon; April 17th, 2010 at 20:14.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" Jim Elliot - Missionary, Martyr

  6. #5
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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    If I were you I would skip the D300s (or any other DX camera) and move to the FX camp with a used D700 or D3. These cameras are able to handle high ISO photos a lot better than any other DX camera.

    The D5000/D90/D300 (all have the same sensor) and the D300s are decent up to ISO 1600 in good lighting, but in poor artificial light (the kind of setup you will want to use your camera in) they will give you serious problems; not to mention the fact that high ISO shots get "damaged" very easy in post processing because the dynamic range shortens at iso values greater than 800 so any small tweaks in exposure compensation will have a great impact on noise.

    I upgraded in October '09 to a D300 from a D80 and I was blown away by the qualities of this camera. After a couple of months a few of my friends upgraded to full frame cameras (the canon guys went with the 5d, the nikonians with the D700) and the full frame bug started to creep on my. I ended up after 7 months in selling the D300 and getting a D700.

    Looking back, I can't say that I wasted my time with the D300 since I took some great photos with that camera, but an upgrade from the D80 to the D700 would have been better.

    I would like to add one more thing: what do you do with the photos? Do you pixel peep at 100% on your LCD? Do you print them and if you do, how large do you print?
    Depending on how large you print an FX camera might be an overkill for you.

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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    You won't notice much difference in low light performance between a D60 and a D300. Also, the D60 is plenty tough, and the "more professional" thing is meaningless. You would not believe the abuse my old D50 has endured without problems. Your money would be much better spent on good glass if you're dying to buy equipment.

    Also, higher frame rates, bracketing and more focus points are pretty much useless. The only significant functional advantage of the D300 in most situations is its ability to use non-AF-S lenses.

    No, not worth it if your aim is better image quality. Just get a fast lens.

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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    I've been shooting with a D70s since 2005 and I'm debating the same upgrade to a D300s. I'd go with the D700 but all my lenses are DX, and I have invested allot in my glass over the last 5 years, so I feel like I know whats going on in your mind with regards to your own glass.

    In fact, I feel a bit betrayed by digital photography, Its as if crop sensors are slowly becoming obsolete in favor of full frame, but dammit, it's too expensive to start over! If only I had known back then...

    In your situation, I say go for the D300s. More pixels more bit-depth less noise = more tools in your bag, plus you can stick with the lenses you've grown to love.

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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    I upgraded from a d70 to d300 about 9 months ago (didn't see any need for the dual slot capicity of the d300s and the video)...

    First, simply from an autofocus standpoint, the d300 is a major upgrade over the d60.

    Second, from a high iso standpoint, the d300 is also an upgrade (it was major from my d70, but I don't know how major it is over the d60.)

    Compared to a d300, your d60 will feel like a plastic toy. That isn't to say that the d60 is a bad camera...it isn't, its a very good camera, but you can do many more things with the d300 than you could with the d60.

    Of course, there is only one way to find out....go pick one up and see for yourself.

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    Re: Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    Great thoughts in this thread, as I'm in sort of a similar boat.

    I'm deciding between the Nikon D90 and the D300s currently. If I really don't need the faster continuous shots, is there really any other reason I should choose the 300s over the 90?

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    Thinking of upgrading my D60 to a D300s...

    Quote Originally Posted by BenL View Post
    Great thoughts in this thread, as I'm in sort of a similar boat.

    I'm deciding between the Nikon D90 and the D300s currently. If I really don't need the faster continuous shots, is there really any other reason I should choose the 300s over the 90?
    There isn't really any need - Ken Rockwell on his Nikon kit site thinks there's no point as its essentially identical in picture quality.

    But its a step up as a camera - and is a semi-pro type camera versus good prosumer:
    Build quality - the 300 is a full magnesium shell covered in rubber rather than an aluminium frame covered in plastic. It is also better sealed against rain (though not like the D3)
    Autofocus - 51 point versus 9 - this is the same as on D700 & D3 and is awesome
    Iterations - built for 150,000 shutter iterations versus D90 100,000
    Balance I have a heavy metal pro lens, 24-70, the perfect choice for the type of street/docu photography I do. It needs a strong weighty camera body for stability. It would be imbalanced and weird feeling on the D90 - this is even more the case if you used a longer pro tele-lens like 70-200 or a fixed 300+ used by twitchers. The lens needs counter balancing I think by a weighty body
    Operation - the D300 assumes you know how to photograph via regulating shutter speed or Aperture/depth of field. It doesn't have that auto-knob which pre-selects settings. This forces you to think more about the shot yourself, not leaving it to the lazy auto setting. That is a real plus in my books, I am becoming a better photographer by making mistakes with DOF and needing to think about distances etc

    The down-side is, its a beast - the very size and strength and robustness means its indiscreet and not practical in certain contexts. But then, the D90 probably wouldn't be also and its a compact needed for those occasions

    In comparison terms - the D90 to the D300 is like comparing a standard no date sub to a Sea Dweller. Both do the job and do it brilliantly, both have essentially the same guts, but one is just a little more gggrrrrrr than the other. The D3 would be a DSSD :)

    si
    Last edited by Simon; May 8th, 2010 at 10:44.
    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose" Jim Elliot - Missionary, Martyr

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