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ChinaBrad

Upgrade from D70 to D200?

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I own a very early model D70 which I have used for 1.5 years housed very happily in a Subal housing. Just as I was getting ready to leave for Malaysia last week I got the dreaded Blinking Green Light of Death - BGLOD!

 

So my underwater shooting is now dead in the water (and all my shooting for that matter, save a little Sony snapper). It can be fixed of course and I am working on that now. Trouble is, I live in China where even the simplest of things become very complex.

 

Recognizing that it will likely take many weeks for my D70 to be returned, I got carried away and bought a D200 to keep me going on land - where I do most of my shooting (I went to 2 stores here which each had 3 units on the shelf- no backorders here! I paid $1,780 - so a slight premium over US list)

 

So now I have this new toy in my hot little hands and it has given me the upgrade bug.

 

Should I upgrade my underwater rig to accomodate the D200? I'd love the better exposure metering and color rendering I am already getting with the D200. But I'd feel much worse flooding a D200 than a D70 (which hasn't happened yet, thank goodness)

 

If I was starting from scratch, I would go ahead and take the D200 underwater, but what do you think as an upgrade path? Will the underwater performance gains warrant a sizeable new investment in a new Subal housing (I'd keep my ports and strobe housings)?

 

Thanks,

 

Brad

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Second user D70 bodies must be coming on the market as cheap as chips any moment and the resale price of your housing is dropping like a rock as we speak - all due to the D200.

 

Guess a short term fix would be another D70 body to take underwater - as no D200 housings are yet out all speculation on UW performance is opinion and or hope.

 

Paul C

 

( Also sitting on a D70 who's value is dropping as we read this ).

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See following link for topside comparison shots from D70 and D2X taken in January 2006.

 

http://www.peterpeterpeter.com/top-side-4/main/0106/

 

My take is that I am pleased with the results from both cameras. However, in looking at the montage view and the individual pictures, the D2X pictures seem to have richer colors with darker darks and brighter brights.

 

As for shooting the two cameras, I greatly prefer the D2X for it's bigger/clearer viewfinder, faster/better autofocus, vertical grip, and the additional pixels that let me use the high speed crop function for additional reach. However, I do seem to have an easier time getting sharp images when using my 300mm VR lens with a 1.7X teleconverter.

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Peter,

 

Thanks for posting. Great shots! I love the colors and sharpness. No question a $5K camera is better than a $1k camera, and some features on the D2X allow you to do things that you just can't do with a D70. But as for the example here I'd argue that the difference is more in the photographer.

 

I don't know what the sequence of these photos was but I'd wager once you got the D2X you weren't using the D70 much so probably the D2X ones are more recent. And definately, the composition and subject matter is better in the D2X shots. The bacgrounds are darker or against blue sky in most cases, and the compositions are more dramatic and the subjects more colorful. This just shows how both cameras have helped you develop as a photographer.

 

In this low-res comparison I doubt you'd see any difference in the image quality assuming you are using the same glass. Sure faster response, faster AF, less mirror slap, heavier steadier shots, faster reaction time in portrait mode etc will all contribute to better pictures--and many of these features apply to the D200 as well--but I think the skill of the photographer is still the cheif factor here. Pat yourself on the back! :unsure:

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But I'd feel much worse flooding a D200 than a D70 (which hasn't happened yet, thank goodness)

 

 

First things first. Get your camera equipment insured!

 

If your equipment is insured against flooding you don't have to make your equipment decisions based on fear of replacement costs. To my way of thinking that should never be an issue in the decision making progress.

 

It seems like it should be a very simple question of whether or not you want to or can afford to buy a new housing.

 

I'm in the same boat. I have a housed D100 and recently purchased the D200. I love this camera! It blows the D70 and D100 away. There's no question that I'll get better quality from the D200. IMHO

 

However, I just can't justify the cost of a new housing quite yet so I'll probably make do with the D100 for another year. If I could afford it I'd buy a housing immediately. Unfortunately it looks like Light and Motion has abandoned its DSLR customers. When I do buy a housing for my D200 I'll have to buy all new ports and gear rings. :unsure:

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Hello

 

my answer to this is quite simple.

 

If you want to keep on throwing good money at underwater photography then do by all means, but have it firstly !!

 

just getting the best camera into a housing will not give you better pictures.

 

I ALWAYS TELL MY STUDENTS,

 

ALL CAMERAS CAN TAKE SNAPS, EVEN $4000 ONE'S, HOWEVER NOT ALL CAMERAS ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING PROFESSIONAL QUALITY IMAGES.

 

THE FINAL RESULT IS OFTEN NOT THE CAMERA BUT THE USER.

 

I see nothing at all wrong with your D70, i've been extremely happy with my OLD D70, Shooting RAW all the time and then doing the final enhancements when dry i've been very happy with everything.

 

In the days when we used to shoot film, did we see any difference between images shot on a F90x, F5 or even F80, Nope it was the LENS the produced the sharp image and the photographer that pulled the trigger on his/her housing.

 

IF YOU HAVE IT THEN FLAUNT IT, IF YOU HAVE NOT , THEN BE HAPPY.

 

I'd just be happy with your wonderful housing and pop a wonderful camera back into it and allow you creative side to shine.

 

regards

 

craig.

 

unless you have a few spare $$$ burning a hole in your pocket :unsure:

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All very true.

 

However, don't forget about those wonderful shots you miss while waiting for the buffer to clear.

 

Maybe you don't have the same problem with the D70 that I do with the D100. A shark, seal or other gorgeous big fast animal is coming in closer and you figure this your chance so you fire off a few shots from a distance. That's as good as it's going to get right? Wait, no he's now circling in much closer. You compose a perfect shot and hit the shutter release. DOH!!! Nothing. You camera is still busy writing those last shots from buffer to the card. Drives me insane!! This does not happen with the D200. When I can eventually afford upgrading to a D200 housing I'll consider it money well spent.

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All true as well

 

however can you actually fire off a 4 shot buffer with flash at 3FPS ?

 

there wiill come a point surely when the flash cannot fire as all its power has been sucked and it needs to totally recycle.

 

unless of course your shooting without flash then I see your point.

 

don't know if that is worth this user spending another $2100 on a D200 housing

 

I suppose it depends on your shooting style on what you encounter on a regular basis.

 

like i say, If money is no object, then spend it to please.

 

craig

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I'm with Craig - and Brett Gilliam.

Brett wrote a piece for Undercurrent (not sure if its published yet but he sent me the copy) where he said how he was pleased to pick up used D100 bodies at bargain prices because people rushed to upgrade their hardware when they should have been upgrading their photography skills.

I use obsolete S2 Fujis which I have bought for less than US$1000 per item secondhand. I compare the results with files sent in by photographers using much more expensive hardware and often think they must be doing something wrong. I also see bad post processing done by art directors who have photoshop and simply cannot resist tampering.

If only I could get the hang of proper composition and timing! Or even see a good picture when it is shouting out at me!

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HI JOHN !

 

How True are your words.

 

The man driving the Ferrari is not always the sharpest tool in the box, although he has plenty of money, he keeps getting speeding tickets.

 

one day he will lose his driving licence ! :unsure:

 

or just maybe onday he'll learn to drive and stay with the laws, he will then become much wiser and keep his money in his pocket and get himself a city car.

 

still does the same job with a lot let noise and cost...

 

A WISE MAN ONCE SAID

 

craig

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I'm with Craig to...

 

Very importand think is not a new camera but maybe learning to take better photos.. Topside to... I am to tose days shooting in studio and i learn much about light that will help me underwater...

 

ONE MORE THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GET A SECOND BODY!!!!!!!!

 

My Nikon d70s is dead form last days studio shootings.. Nikon will replace it with a new one but I am now without camera. Imaging this happen in some travel where i have payd money or a freediving competition in Egypt...

 

Second body my friend.. I will get one used untill i am sure that the d200 IS a great camera unterwater becauce still new , still not available and the problems going bigger and bigger...

 

I have use the Nikon d70s in the studio last week.. its a kick ass Kamera and i have miss nothing...

 

Lambis

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Craig Nelson wrote: "THE FINAL RESULT IS OFTEN NOT THE CAMERA BUT THE USER."

 

I saw the same thing to my photo students, although I phrase it a little less elegantly. I say:

 

You can buy the best camera in the world but if you don't develop your eye and your photograhic skills, all you'll get is technically perfect crap.

 

:unsure:

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Unfortunately it looks like Light and Motion has abandoned its DSLR customers.

 

You might want to check with L&M. I'm told they will produce D200 housing.

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The thing is that prices have come down dramatically this year. You can practically get a brand new D70 or D50 for the same price as a used (and vastly inferior) D100.

 

Again, it's amazing to me - you can get a D200 today for $300 less than what the D100 sold for when it was first released.

 

Cheers

James

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Hey Craig, Keep my car out of this!!!

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John

 

I've seen it in your garage, Your car !!!.

 

you got rid of your RED BEASTLY thing when you finally stopped blaming your camera. :D

 

And i'm not talking about a NIK 5 here :D

 

Please no comments about red beastly things either :unsure:

 

I think john like most of us, when we turn up on site and get the camera equpiment, it is very often the case that the cost of our equipment exceeds the cost of our cars !!.

 

If I need it, I'll buy it !, "as long as it make economic sense" :D ... wicked.

 

I keep telling sharon that it makes economic sense, but she's having none of it :o

 

hope you and the family are well

 

regards

 

craig

 

Maybe this underwater photography game is for SINGLE people... she says she'll Divorce me if i spend any more money on it.... :(

 

Anyway i thought we should post pictures of our cars here's mine

 

whilst i'm on dive site with a Tinny... You can tell can't you that i spend all my money on camera gear :D:huh:

 

bugbev.jpgpost-4127-1139678182_thumb.jpg

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Blimey! Craig, What happened to the one with the flashing blue lights?

(Sorry, this is getting off topic.)

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You might want to check with L&M.  I'm told they will produce D200 housing.

 

 

I did try to check with L&M at one point. They never replied to my query.

I hope you're right but I'll believe it when I see it. I'm skeptical.

 

At this point most major housing companies have eagerly announced plans for a D200 housing. The L&M website includes no news of plans for any type of DSLR housing whatsoever. Call me crazy but it seems like you would want to let potential customers know if there were infact plans for continued Nikon DSLR support.

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