So finally I have upgraded to a new camera. After using my D70s for several years I had a careful look-around at what was out there and I decided on the D300. I have met many photographers, both beginners and professionals who have used the D300 in the last year and all of them seemed very happy with their investment, although some said they’d waited for the D700 FX sensor camera instead if they had known it was about to be released.
I decided against the D700 for several reasons and the most important one was the lenses. DX lenses won’t be able to work very well on the FX sensor in the D700 and I like the DX lenses for two reasons, they are sometimes half the price of the comparable FX lenses and they are lighter to carry. The last point is important because I love to hike and bring the camera gear with me.
The D300 is also a fair bit lower priced than the D700 which meant I got a nice kit including three lenses and an SB-800 for just a little more than what the D700 house would have cost me so I am really happy with it.
The main reasons for my upgrade was the following
- The small display on the D70s makes macro work difficult
- There is no mirror lock-up function meaning mirror slap shakes when using long exposures and tripod.
- The noise at higher ISO on the D70s is shameful compared to the modern cameras, in reality anything above ISO 600 is unuseable.
- D-Lighting exposure control in the D300 and newer cameras is fantastic in some difficult light conditions.
- 14 bit RAW format (12 in the old cameras) meaning 12 dB better image dynamics per colour!
- No vertical grip for the D70s (that is seriously useful), the MB-10 battery grip for the D300 is awesome!
- Faster serial shots, lovely when shooting animals like birds. 8 frames per second on the D300 is a vast improvement from the D70s.
- Larger buffer memory also helps with serial shots.
- Easier controls on the camera – even if the D70s had nice controls the D300 is not only nice, they are seriously well laid out and though through.
- Faster in every aspect.
- Has PC sync connector on camera
Here are some test shots, these are taken handheld in the middle of the night just using existing light. Yes there is noise, but not much and the pictures are actually quite nice. The D70s would come nowhere near this and would not even reach ISO 3200.