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General photography questions and answers: Discuss D80-D300-stepping up?...Having had a D80 for a year and recently aquiring more different types of photographic work I am seeing a ...
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:18   #1 (permalink)
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D80-D300-stepping up?

Having had a D80 for a year and recently aquiring more different types of photographic work I am seeing a few things that the (fab) D80 cannot match for features for the higher priced DSLRs.

I know its the "you get what you pay for" scernario but I need some experienced photographers on this forum to show guidence please for a bit of direction . I am seriously considering buying a D300 and I know that image quality is almost the same as the D80 but its certain things like the Matrix 51 point metering and nine shot bracketing for HDR which I am interested in.

I shoot all sorts of photography, I am trying to get a business off the ground so I am taking what I can get at the moment, Commercial and weddings for instance also sports when I can . The glass I have is pretty good but its the Body I am after. The D300 is supposed to be outstanding with live-view ( good for my studio close up previews) and Active lighting ( which the D80 already has).
So my question is really: Is it worth the "leap" from a D80 to a D300 ( I must admit the battery grip is a lot of dosh for the D300 but I suppose its magnesium alloy like the D300 body?)

The D80 is a great camera and I might keep it in reserve but it just seems to start to miss the mark now in some areas. Also the emergency "Green Auto" is missing on the D300 but I hardly ever use it. normally aperture priority for me.

So any thoughts and suggestions would be a great help
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Old 12-04-2009, 18:55   #2 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

I went from a D70s to a D300 and it was a good move. The controls are much easier to change settings and the LCD is great. I don't think you would regret changing, but if you are going to be doing a lot of weddings I wonder if the D700 is a better choice. It would mean an investment in some lenses if you dont have anything suitable at the moment, but in the long term it could be a better bet.
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Old 12-04-2009, 21:02   #3 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Cheers Dabhand, I cant run to a D700 at the moment but I will in the future hopefully as I am building camera and studio equipment up gradually at the moment.

Its possible to pick up a second hand D300 roughly in the 800-900 area , body only , with not too many actuations, so the 1500 + for a D700 plus lens change to FX is out of my reach at the moment. But I am certainly heading gradually towards that. The Worldwide price-hike hasnt helped my or anyone elses cause either

thank you very much for your advice
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Old 13-04-2009, 07:48   #4 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

The D300 is a nice step up. It's a great camera and will certainly help you reach your goal. And the auto function is something I don't use either. I didn't miss that when I went from D80 to D300.

I like the 51 point metering better then the 9 point. And all the other extra's on this camera are definitely worth it.

Last edited by Dutchie; 13-04-2009 at 08:00.
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Old 13-04-2009, 10:49   #5 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

I went from a D70 to a D300 and never looked back..... from the D300 I was going to go for a D3 but when the price went up over night there was no chance.... so now just maybe a D700........ but there's no hurry the D300 is a super camera!
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Old 13-04-2009, 18:37   #6 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Thanks , Im going hunting for a secondhand one now hopefully with Capture-NX Software included and unregistered

Just a bit gutted as I missed one which went for 860 with a grip included ( although Im not sure it was a Nikon One)
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Old 13-04-2009, 22:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Okay here is the deal. I look at the D300 as a replacement for the D200, which was a GREAT camera!
The D80 WAS as top of the line as you can get awhile back in terms of a prosumer camera. The D200 and the D2Xs was the workhorses for most photographers (wedding, events, studio) for the longest time. The D300 does a wonderful job of taking the D200 further and retained its basic body and controls. The D300 is a great camera and I think it is NOW THE workhorse for most Nikon photographers and I would highly recommend it as I use one myself. However, I really don't see too many pros jumping up and down about the liveview feature. It is a gimmick at best and in my humble opinion a total waste of time. I have NEVER wanted to shoot any of my studio shots in liveview - it is a pain in the butt. If you were interested in SEEING your shots as you go in Studio I would shoot with a program like Nikon's Camera Control Pro or some other programs that can let you see it on a bigger computer screen. (I honestly don't see the point of this unless you are shooting portraitures as very few subjects will allow you that much time to take a shot look at it on screen and then pose for another shot - portraitures you can do but I have to say it is not normal practice..or not that I have seen with private photographers. Big box stores do that alot but personal studio photographers usually don't)
The D700 - I don't see as being the workhorse that the D300 is. The D700 is a baby version of the D3 and unless you have a set of lenses already that can make use of the FX format it is not worth the switch. If you are however, a landscape or wildlife photographer then by all mean go for it. If you are a wedding, event and product photographer I would not invest the money for an in between camera like the D700. The D700 is really perfect for wildlife and scenic photographers who can't afford a D3 or a D3X.
Nikon has priced the D3X in such a way that it is out of the market for most event photographers, a fashion photographer maybe but I don't see your accountant being too pleased with that one.
So save your money and get a D300 with a grip - a copy of your image editing software that you like and know how to use well and write everything off when tax time comes. The D80 is a great back up body on a shoot.
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Old 14-04-2009, 00:29   #8 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Blimey cheers Dookie a great post, I have decided to go definately for the D300 .The Live view issue isnt the deciding factor for me on this camera , its mainly the Matrix 51 point meter really along with the Shutter speed which enables all types of photography. Also its versatility and build quality on all fronts which have impressed myself as a devoted Nikonian ( Soz Canon users it just my personal opinion , and the way I feel when I pick a Nikon camera up). Plus all the glowing reports from other D300 users.
Dookie you are right also when mentioning the D80 as a backup, I am considering that - as second hand the D80 isnt worth a huge amount to try and "reclaim" some money back , So I think the wife is keen to use it as its a great learner camera.

thanks again Dookie you have reinforced my case lol to change up
PS I notice you have the 18-200 mm VR , which I have also, so I expect this lens is a great hook-up on the D300?
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Old 14-04-2009, 09:21   #9 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dookie View Post
It is a gimmick at best and in my humble opinion a total waste of time. I have NEVER wanted to shoot any of my studio shots in liveview - it is a pain in the butt. If you were interested in SEEING your shots as you go in Studio I would shoot with a program like Nikon's Camera Control Pro or some other programs that can let you see it on a bigger computer screen.
For portraits sure it's very limiting and it's only really useful with a tripod, but liveview is a real bonus for product or macro work. You can select any area of the frame and zoom to 100% to focus manually it's a big step up for critical focusing. It's good for landscapes as well as it saves your back and you can use the eyepiece blind (Iknow the D300 is a bit of a cludge like this). On teh other hand for PJ or event work it's also very useful for overhead "Hail Mary" type stuff. Use the Auto area detect (Which is face detect by another name) and the handheld liveview mode and it does a pretty good job.
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Old 22-04-2009, 18:41   #10 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Well I took the plunge on E-Bay and got a bargain I think a Mint ,( Unregistered D300), with spare battery , CF card and a mint condition 18-70 Nikon lens. All for (gulp) 960 .

The seller was a top bloke too. First impressions are that I am stunned how good this camera is and how right it feels when you hold it. Now plowing through the large manual to gen up asap.

Still keeping my D80 in reserve, about to sell the 18-70 lens to fund the D300 battery grip

Thanks guys for giving me food for thought, I know I have now made completely the right choice , it feels such a Pro camera
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Old 23-04-2009, 00:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Simply the D300 is a much better camera.

I bought the D80 regretted it straight away.

D300 excels in so many areas.
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Old 23-04-2009, 00:51   #12 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Well done - seems you got a good deal

Sounds like you have had the same experience as me.
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Old 24-04-2009, 23:50   #13 (permalink)
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Re: D80-D300-stepping up?

Photography just a hobby for me, but I had the D80 and moved up to the D300
and love it.
I think you will find the dust reduction thingymajig A blessing on the D300 .
I had to de dust all thee time with the D80,but touch wood
Haven't with the D300 and still use the same regime for changing lenses.
Good choice.
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