What a great challenge. Warehouse Express asked me to check out the differences between the Nikon rivals and report back. Well I already own a Nikon D700 with the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens so Nikon lent me the D300 and the 17-55mm lens combo to do the evaluating. There were less surprises than I thought but here are some of my findings.
The D300 has more pixels than the D700, and the D700 has bigger pixels than the D300. So does size matter? or is pixel count king?
Well, my findings revealed that although both cameras were capable of delivering extremely good results up to ISO 800 it is the lenses that make the biggest difference to picture quality. I found that the FX 24mm-70mm f/2.8 lens has a higher resolution, contrast and clarity than the DX equivalent 17mm-55mm f/2.8 optic. At ISO 800 and above the D700 streaks ahead in all respects as can be seen in the comparison shots below:
There are two points to note in the pictures above. The ISO and exposure settings are the same for both shots but for the D700 image I chose to use my 70-200mm f/2.8 image stabilised lens. It’s not until you get the D300 & 17-55mm f/2.8 image side by side with Nikon’s best does it start to look a bit ropey both in terms of clarity and noise. I know it is not a true side by side comparison, I’ll leave those shots and results for my Warehouse Express review as they are copyrighted to them, but you can begin to see why it could be worth shelling out the extra money for the D700.
In a one make challenge there are no winners or losers. Perhaps the consolation for Nikon is that the most expensive system is the best one by far.
I’ve been out shooting on location and in the studio with my D700 & 24-70mm today alongside another pro shooting identical frames with a D300 & 17-55mm system and I have to say the D700 is definitely the better of the two. My Warehouse Express test findings were certainly corroborated today. I’ll post today’s pictures as soon as they are processed.
My full comparison report will be on the Warehouse Express website soon, once it’s passed scrutineering :-)