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Fri May 3, 2019, 01:17 PM

Need advice on high-end DSLR purchase

Before we start: NO I am not giving up film! I'm shooting film on my summer vacation, I'll shoot film next year, I'll shoot film until there's no more film left to shoot and no more me left to shoot it - and considering that Kodak is on the verge of re-introducing 120 Ektachrome film is here to stay.

Given that, I work for a newspaper and I'm starting to get a lot of pictures published. The first couple pictures I took were on my iPad. The second two were on my iPhone. (Strangely enough, I was coming back from shooting film when I found those pictures.)

Not really liking what I was getting from i-stuff, I bought a Nikon D2X. So far I've done three parades and one high-school Renewable Energy project with it. It's working pretty well, but I really need better low-light sensitivity; the D2X only goes to ISO 800.

I own pro glass - 28-70/2.8D and 80-200/2.8D Nikon ED lenses, and it gets used for film work - so I'm only interested in Nikon SLR bodies. I don't shoot video. (If I did, I would want to be able to sync audio with video using time code, which you can't do on a DSLR.)

I see three cameras that would do great: the Nikon D3S, D4S and D5. (The first two I would buy used, naturally.) The D4S has a stop more low-light sensitivity than the D3S does, and the D5 gives two stops over the D4S.

Now for the important question: Which camera will give me the best-looking photographs?

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Need advice on high-end DSLR purchase (Original post)
jmowreader May 3 OP
Cattledog May 3 #1
fierywoman May 3 #2
jmowreader May 4 #9
UpInArms May 3 #3
jmowreader May 3 #5
UpInArms May 3 #6
we can do it May 3 #4
flamin lib May 3 #7
jmowreader May 4 #8
ManiacJoe May 5 #10
jmowreader May 5 #11
ManiacJoe May 6 #12

Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 01:50 PM

1. Depends on $$$$

You can get a used D3s for around $800-900. A used D4s $1,8000 and a used D5 is gonna set you back $4,000.

The D3s is a 10 yr old camera. The D4s is 5 yrs old.

I'd go for the D4s. It's the best bang for the buck.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 01:50 PM

2. Any camera will give you the best-looking photographs: read Cartier-Bresson's The

Decisive Moment. If you're using film and doing your own darkroom work, you can manipulate the sensitivity of the film during the development of the film. (Don't ask me how, I did it as a teenager, which is about 50 years ago!)

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Response to fierywoman (Reply #2)

Sat May 4, 2019, 12:50 AM

9. You do it by adjusting development times

You can do it pretty easily with black & white film. On those three bricks of Fujichrome that are sitting in the fridge right now slumbering in anticipation of their trip to San Francisco in 47 days, I don't bother.

But back to my current problem: If I gotta go to Wallace next Friday night and shoot 43-Man Squamish* with no flash for publication in Saturday's paper, which body is going to give me the best results?

* Wallace High School can't field a Squamish team. They don't have 43 boys in the entire student body. They play 8-man football, and two-platoon football is a luxury they can't afford. I know the football coach up there. He owns twelve football helmets.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 01:52 PM

3. Have you thought about a 4/3 camera?

You can get lens adapters to fit your Nikon lens to them ..

My son uses his, almost exclusively... and he has all of both his grandfathers’ 35 mm lenses ... they were both great photographers...

https://improvephotography.com/12465/dslr-vs-micro-four-thirds-cameras/

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Response to UpInArms (Reply #3)

Fri May 3, 2019, 03:33 PM

5. No.

From the article:

Because of the small sensor size these cameras have, they don’t support low light situations quite as well as most DSLRs. That isn't to say they are terrible in low light, but that in general they aren't as good.


This is going to be a press camera. I'm going to shoot high school football on it. Low light situations are THE reason I'm spending the money.

I also will not accept a camera that doesn't have an optical viewfinder, and if a 4/3 camera has one at all it's electronic.

I think Micro Four-Thirds is great in some applications. I just don't happen to be doing that work.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #5)

Fri May 3, 2019, 07:43 PM

6. I used a T2I for the newspaper

Could shoot most in a very dark situation... but you said you wanted to stay with your Nikon lenses

....

So am no help ... hope you find your solution

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 02:50 PM

4. My wife has a Nikon D-40 she would like to sell.

She just got a D5300.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Fri May 3, 2019, 08:04 PM

7. Screw DSLR. Come into the 20th century.

I see you've bought into the full frame mantra fiction but even so all the big guys are going mirrorless. No flip flop noise, no mirror lag and no upgrading in the next two years.

Keep in mind that the pixel counters in the editing department usually print to 150 DPI.

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Response to flamin lib (Reply #7)

Sat May 4, 2019, 12:32 AM

8. No can do, but thanks for the suggestion

It comes down to economics...by the time I replaced my glass with equivalent mirrorless-compatible glass, mirrorless would cost me about $1500 more than buying a new D5 SLR. And at the end of the day, the D5 will give me at least as good of results. So...buy a completely new camera system, or buy a different body and go to Hawaii next July? Decisions, decisions...

My main job at the paper is being one of those "pixel counters in the editing department." We standardized on 300 dpi. It works better for us than 150. We could PROBABLY run 200 dpi, but we run a quarterly magazine on enamel and use pictures from the paper in it. On enamel you've got to run 300 dpi.

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Response to jmowreader (Original post)

Sun May 5, 2019, 06:11 PM

10. For low-light sports,

you are looking at the correct product line for Nikon.

If you can swing the price, you are looking for the D5. (I am waiting on the D6.)
If you need something cheaper, definitely the D4S over the D3S.

The other evil part you many need is longer lenses since 200mm is probably not going to be enough for football.

Of course, this all makes assumptions about how badly YOUR high school fields are lighted at night.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #10)

Sun May 5, 2019, 06:50 PM

11. Most of them are lit pretty well

I wonder when the D6 is coming out...

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #11)

Mon May 6, 2019, 05:41 PM

12. Rumor has it

that the D6 is coming next spring. This would be the normal pre-Olympics schedule Nikon has that product line.

I was hoping for this year since the D5S never happened....

If you have good lighting on your local high school sports fields, lucky you!

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