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D7000 or D800?

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Last few days ive been thinking about this dilemma. Get the D7000 or the D800. It's come up because I can get the D7000 right now for a really good price, and I need 3 of them (me, my wife, and 1 spare). Compared to 3 D800s it will probably be 1/3rd the price. Playing with the D7000 on land it seems like it's got everything id need underwater. It's fast, can jack up the iso quite a bit, 16mp, crisp images. Sure it's DX, not FX, but is that really a bad thing. I sure like the 10-17. And for macro it's only a positive thing in my book. The viewfinder will be smaller, but with a magnified finder it may not be so bad. (anyone with a D7000 housing care to comment?). It looks like Nikon made the D7000 to be a miniature pro body, because I can find little fault with it. Id have preferred a CF slot instead of SD, but it's not too bad.

 

Maybe for land I could add a grip. Dont know if that would feel nicer.

 

Choices choices. Anyone got any opinions?

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It is impossible to know what the future holds for cameras - but as I concluded in my review of the D7000 last year - it is the best DX Nikon released to date.

I have been shooting the D7000 a lot underwater in the last two weeks - and the more I shoot it, the more I like it.

 

Do you really want full frame? I have so many Canon shooting friends who traded in full frame cameras for the 7D underwater.

 

Alex

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I know, ive been diving with a few of them :island: And ive pretty much come to the same conclusion. I like DX, but so many people are raving about FX, it makes you wonder. I just dont quite see it unless you're looking through the camera the whole day and are getting eye fatigue from the viewfinder. What did you think of the 180 magnified finder of the nauticam? Was it enough?

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Yes I like it. I prefer a 45 degree though - and it has been a bit annoying swapping between the two angles - especially for all the super-macro tests with the straight viewfinder. Anyway, if it was my housing, I could always get a 45 degree and I heard that Nauticam were planning their own 45 degree too.

 

Eleonora (finally) got to shoot her D7000 underwater today and really likes the viewfinder. She wasn't sure first thing this morning - but I just asked her and she said "Yeah, you were right, I like it!" :island:

 

Alex

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I'm very tempted to pull the trigger on housing a D7000 as well; I really want to get back to using my 10-17 with DX underwater, and the only thing holding me off is that unlike Alex, I think there will be a D400 this year, and I need a camera with a 5-pin plug. D300s is starting to go out of stock, so it may be soon. If Nikon do come out with a D400 and D800 this year, I can see two new cameras in my future.

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I thought you bought one already?

It's all about the different look I think. More fast WA (eg 24 1.4) allow better shallow DOF/bokeh shots, with high resolution/ISO performance. AF works better with faster lenses in general.

I think no one can champion FX over DX for uw, other than vf size, resolution and ISO performance. So bottom line, waiting for vaporware is silly if you need the camera now. So enjoy the D7000 and get a grip for the topside cameras. Makes holding and portrait shooting much easier, not to mention battery life.

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Drew, I bought a D7000, but at the time I bought it didnt think about using it as my underwater camera. Ive sorta been waiting for the D800, and was planning to buy 3 D800 cameras (and sell the D7000 again). But playing with the D7000 i think waiting for the D800 (which I do think will arrive within 2 months) and not to mention paying 2-3 times as much per camera might be useless.

 

So you think a grip is mandatory? Been wondering that. Have been using a D2x for 5 years so not used to not have a grip. Figured id get used to the difference.

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I need a camera with a 5-pin plug.
I

I meant the 10-pin on the camera, sorry. Needed for remote releases etc.

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For your safari trip, a grip is essential from a shooting perspective. Going from landscape to portrait is easier, especially when freeholding the camera (especially if you have a 70-200 which you can use without tripod or bean bag.

I don't know how well the grip works on the D7000, but I'm so accustomed to pro bodies that I don't like the feel without the bottom bit personally.

Simple test. Hold your D2x and D7000(wo grip) with a 70-200 and feel the difference. I'd go and test it out with a grip as well as attachment grips aren't all great. But shootingwise, I think they are essential topside, especially nowadays with 64GB cards where I can shoot 2000+ pics and the battery will last only 1200.

The D800 may be announced in 2 mths but won't be shipping till maybe June? Nikon always announces higher end cameras way in advance, sorta like a hurry up and wait thing! Then the housing won't be till much later this year. D7000 is shipping with housings. It's cheaper, smaller and lighter. So you don't have lightning AF with a big VF or ISO51200 pics... I think you'll live! :island:

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Maybe a minor detail for you Cor, but I find the topside focus speed with the D7000 using the 70-200 to be definitely slower than my D700. Not my choice for birds.

That's one of the reasons why I remain convinced this is not Nikon's pro DX camera; it's a great camera, but not a 7D equivalent in my mind.

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Ive got a 70-200mm VR II and I dont really see a different in focus speed between the D7000 and the D2x. Would be kind of strange, as the lens is an AFS lens with its own focus motor. But i guess you mean 3D focus tracking? Could be that the D7000 CAM-4800 isnt as good as the older CAM-3500 the D700 has. I cant really test that as my D2x will surely be worse :island:

 

I'll be bringing a D3s to africa as well, so that will surely tell me in practice if the D7000 is able to perform in that scenario.

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If you have a D3s, then you've got your high ISO full frame land camera. I can't see a reason for not going with the D7000 for underwater.

 

Oddly, I've been toying with idea of getting a D3s for other shooting, despite having switched to the 7D for underwater.

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I dont have a 3Ds, im borrowing it from a friend. Im not buying anymore pro Nikon bodies as I dont see the added value in such a high expense compared to semi-pro bodies like the D700, D300s.

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I think the next DSLR camera to be announced by Nikon will tell the tale for a lot of us who still shoot with the D2x. Either way, we should know in a couple of months about which way we want to go.

 

There was an interesting rumor on NikonRumors.com about the next pro DX camera body being placed in a resurrected D2x pro body. I only mention this as I believe Cor is still using the D2x underwater like myself. I don't think it's going to happen, but who knows? That could be a very inexpensive upgrade for us old D2x users even when considering refits to the housing to make it work.

 

I think the D7000 is a great camera but with the costs involved in camera and housing upgrades, it might be worthwhile to wait just a little bit longer.

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Im leaning towards just buying the D7000 bodies (because of a really cheap price I can get them now), and waiting with a housing until my next dive trip is getting closer. Got a few land trips coming up instead. If and when the D400/D800 come out, i can always sell the D7000 bodies and buy those instead. Problem is, when will there be housings. Even the D7000 doesnt have all housings yet. Still waiting for Subal.

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Im leaning towards just buying the D7000 bodies (because of a really cheap price I can get them now), and waiting with a housing until my next dive trip is getting closer. Got a few land trips coming up instead. If and when the D400/D800 come out, i can always sell the D7000 bodies and buy those instead. Problem is, when will there be housings. Even the D7000 doesnt have all housings yet. Still waiting for Subal.

I think we are in a great position these days; any digital camera in the $1000 and up range is going to really do just about anything you need in almost any shooting situation. High res, great high ISO, increasing DR, pro features in many respects. For years the goal was to be at the point where we were with film, now digital has gone way beyond in every respect.

As much as I love my Subal housing, it's getting harder and harder to justify the cost and their lethargic pace of bringing out new housings and new features like optical strobe connections, when one has options like Nauticam.

Edited by loftus

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I think a hard link to optical would be best. I want to be able to shoot high fps and optical firing using the strobe built-in flash just won't cut it. However the Zillion option if working properly, will work.

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I think we are in a great position these days; any digital camera in the $1000 and up range is going to really do just about anything you need in almost any shooting situation. High res, great high ISO, increasing DR, pro features in many respects. For years the goal was to be at the point where we were with film, now digital has gone way beyond in every respect.

As much as I love my Subal housing, it's getting harder and harder to justify the cost and their lethargic pace of bringing out new housings and new features like optical strobe connections, when one has options like Nauticam.

 

The underwater housing industry has always been a cottage industry with the likes of Subal, Aquatica, Seacam etc satisfying demand by number. It is such a small industry and with so many new digital models coming out, it must be hard for these manufacturers to keep up. Even Sea & Sea abandoned casting its housings and went back to machining. Machined items are not considered to be in production (as anyone ever involved in military procurement will know) and are really working prototypes. But that is because the market is so small. Then along comes Nauticam, moving from sub-contracting to mobile phone producers to making (very nice) housings for underwater photographers.

I wonder what their business model is. I am amazed that they think we represent a viable customer base, even if they managed to put all their competitors out of business, when there are so few of us. For example. one year of Suunto computer manufacture by unit is, I am told, equal to TEN minutes of Nokia's production and that is comparing divers with phone-users, not underwater photographers.

 

As for D7000 or D800, shouldn't that be DX or FX?

Edited by John Bantin

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I personally am starting to plateau in my need to upgrade as cameras really begin to go beyond my osn abilities. I began to see this with software... For example I have not upgraded MS word since 2004. Now the speed of my desktop is such that I have no need to upgrade as it still works faster then I ever will. My machine now waits for me, not I for it. Cameras are getting there for me as well. Sure a feature or two would be nice, but from a quality perspective, absolutely no reason to upfrade beyond my D700. Yes, I will continue to upgrade because I love cameras and gadgets, but the urgency is definitely not the same as it was with earlier digital cameras

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If I had a D700, i probably wouldnt upgrade either, but im still at the D2x, and that camera is definitely holding me back. For macro it's fine, i could use it for 5 more years for macro, but for wide angle, this camera has cost me many shots. For instance, during our Sperm Whale trip last year, I was continuously working with a shutter speed below my safety margin because I did not want to go above ISO 400. That really sucked. I hadn't upgraded before because I thought the D800 would arrive a year earlier than it did. I regret not upgrading to the D700 3 years ago. I started this thread because I think more Nikon shooters are currently thinking along the same lines.

 

As for DX/FX, to me that discussion isnt so important. Sure, there are things to consider, but to me those aren't as important. I will consider any camera, regardless on if they're DX or FX. Im just naming the D7000 and the D800 because the D800 seems imminent (D700 is out of stock in many places, not to be restocked). I did not name the D400 because there seem to be a few uncertainties about it. I might switch out my D7000 for a D400 if and when it arrives. I will not consider a D4. Ive concluded for myself that even though I love the form factor of the pro bodies, their capabilities are not such that I see much added value above a D400/D800 style camera. Especially for underwater use. Actually, I see more negatives than positives.

 

Been shooting a bit more with the D7000, and haven't really noticed much that would annoy me. The only thing that could theoretically annoy me at some point is the low buffer. At my current settings im at a 9 RAW image buffer (my D2x sits at 18). Im not sure id reach that limit. The SD card is also a bit slower than my latest CF cards. I havent been able to do some serious 3D tracking yet, so cant say if that's really a problem with this camera. Probably not an issue underwater in any case.

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D800 seems imminent (D700 is out of stock in many places, not to be restocked).

Nikon has a worldwide press conference on Feb 9th, some Coolpix cameras are definitely being announced, who knows what else

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Then along comes Nauticam, moving from sub-contracting to mobile phone producers to making (very nice) housings for underwater photographers.

I wonder what their business model is. I am amazed that they think we represent a viable customer base, even if they managed to put all their competitors out of business, when there are so few of us..........

 

I think I can easily sum up our business model as follows:

 

 

Haha!

 

Cheers,

Cp

 

P.S. I'm quite sure that will get me in trouble, somehow... :-)

 

P.P.S. Narf!

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I am sitting in the Canon camp but facing a similar dilemma. I have a 5DMkII with housing which I absolutely love but having a second system would really help in a lot of shooting situations that I find my self (having to swap from rectilinear to fisheye on a small boat is not ideal) so do I wait for the 5DMkIII or do I go for a 7D now.

 

Pluses for 7D

1) DX sensor so can take Tok 10-17 ( I really miss shooting this lens),

2) Greater depth of field for video work,

3) Better focusing than 5DMkII

4) Available now.

 

Pluses for 5DMkIII

1) New video technology (if canon makes any improvements to this feature)

2) Items mentioned earlier in the post about FX dslr.

3) Image quality. (The image quality on the 5DMkII is fantastic)

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I would go 7D now in your situation. I know several pros that use the 7D and are getting very good material, both video and still. I guess the 5DMkIII is rumored to be released this year, but is that actually certain?

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Just to clarify, one can consider the D800 as a 'superset' of the D7000. Put a recognized DX lens on a D800 and like the D700, it will autodetect its DX format. Unlike the D700, the resulting files will have essentially the same resolution as if they were taken with a D7000. A neat trick in my book. (I have two D7000's and plan to trade up to a D800 and a D800e when the Ikelite housing becomes available.) ... Marc

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