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Dr. PhunkyPants 10-15-2012 11:30 AM

NEED versus WANT (a pro-DX comment)
Finally made my choice and bought a D7000 new this weekend. At $996, the DX D7000 offers me the correct compromise between price, weight, image size, and image quality. Given how good the Nikon DX system has been for me, there was just no way I wanted to spend twice as much for the FX D600. In fact, I wanted to snap up one of the last standard run D7000's before the D7700 or whatever is announced in 2-3 months.

I see a lot of rumors flying around that DX is going away. Maybe someday it will, but I don't see that happening any time soon. I think a lot of these people are coming from a position of being ego-attached to shooting it makes you a better photographer.

Frankly, FX may have a one stop advantage in terms of sensitivity, a slightly wider gamut of color, better ISO performance and of course the advantage for going wide...but none of this is worth twice the cost of the body to me. In fact, I also picked up a copy of the pro-build 17-55mm DX 2.8 AND a new 5th generation iPod touch for less than what a D600 body alone would have run. And in three-four years, those D600 bodies will be going for what, used? I always want to be rooting FOR digital rot and not against it!

Here's the bottom line...24mp is way more than any sane person needs. Hardly anyone is printing lately. One reason I've kept my 12mp D90 for so long is I'd rather have a camera that I know intimately and which gets out of my way and lets me shoot...than have the latest and greatest. Cameras are getting more and more complex with the addition of video (WHY??) and ever more MP. I don't want more RAW workflow on my three-year old Mac is already slower than I'd like. Yes, drive space is cheap...but lower transfer and processing speed is NOT!

I chose the D7000 as the successor to my D90 for specific reasons that I could write out and justify to a listener (my patient wife, bless her). I have been regularly running up against the technical limitations of the D90, so I wanted:

1. Better build quality
2. Cleaner high ISO performance
3. Better AF performance
4. Second card slot
5. Matrix metering with manual focus lenses
6. Enhanced dynamic range and IQ (although the D90 does make perfectly nice images in favorable light)
7. Going with the D7000 gives me a fully-capable backup body in the D90, too.

Once you look at the situation from this perspective, there is simply no great reason to spend twice as much. I think a lot of people are sucked into the D600 "just because"...and never demand even a fraction of what that higher end camera is built to deliver.

This has been a sort of rambling post. But I really appreciate what Thom Hogan has been saying about DX this month on his site. It has helped me examine and re-confirm my contentment with the DX format AND system. And here's to its continuation--hopefully with a few new wide angle pancake primes in the not-too-distant future!!

Dr. PhunkyPants 10-15-2012 11:44 AM

I should add that with discounts and credits, the cost was closer to $950 shipped. D7000's will continue to go down in price over the next few months and there will continue to be good deals to be had!

Hobbes 10-15-2012 11:58 AM

I like the convenience of the full frame cameras where 50mm=50mm and so on. But ultimately what I really want is low noise performance so I can still take a good picture in less than ideal circumstances.

For the money the D7000 would be my bet too. On top of the other features you mentioned the shutter button has that nice soft feel to it instead of the hard snap (might be being a little harsh here) of the cheaper cameras.

Broch 10-15-2012 02:49 PM

Great choice!!!!!!!!!!! I have owned a D7000, and they are phenomenal. I ultimately chose, for one reason or another, to move to Canon. I shoot the 60D, which is Canon's equivalent to the D7000. Both are incredibly fine cameras.

Luckless 10-15-2012 04:02 PM

Crop sensors aren't likely to go anywhere anytime soon, as they are simply too cost effective to produce. Due to die layouts for production you can get something like 5 times as many crop sensors as full frame. A flaw that renders a full frame sensor useless can then mean rendering 1/5th as many crops useless. Numbers are possibly even better, depending on design and die layout.

They are also useful. If you're going for telephoto and high speed shots where you are likely going to crop out much of the image anyway, then why not start with a crop sensor? As long as people are shooting wildlife then you are going to have demand for high quality crop sensors.

Kermit 10-15-2012 09:47 PM

Good post.

I shoot with a Canon 7D which is a crop sensor body, around 1.5 or 1.6 I believe.

Personally, I don't see myself switching to Full Frame any time soon. I personally like the tighter crop aspect more often than not.

My dad, on the other hand, doesn't care for it as he has a larger background in film.

Falcon16 10-15-2012 10:16 PM

I really really want to upgrade to a full frame camera as I came from a film background and shot that for years before moving up but the costs of full frame bodies is a little insane for me. With that said I'm hoping once tax time hits a used Canon 1-DS MK II is in the cards.

Luckless 10-16-2012 09:24 AM

As much as I like what can be done with full frame digital imaging, I think I'm as likely to get into large format film, or very large format plate, as I am to get a full frame digital camera. Would love to be able to afford a medium format back and camera, but you know, I want a house first.

Hobbes 10-16-2012 09:42 AM

Check out this deal, not bad at all...

Nikon D7000 plus 35mm 1.8 and 50mm 1.8

chopper duke 10-16-2012 11:08 AM

A friend and class mate shoots a D7000. Very nice camera. I have been really debating th need for a full frame, but for what I've been shooting, I can see the advantage.

However, there's then the money you need to invest in FX lenses as well. It's a really tough call.

I do appreciate your write up!

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