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From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000?
Let me first explain a bit about my current background, issues and motivations regarding the switch.

I've been a Pentax user for several years now. I currently own a Pentax K5 which I think is a truly great camera. The most impressive though is probably its Sony sensor.

To tell the truth, I would probably not even consider switching to another brand if Pentax AF was much more reliable. The thing is, I just bought a Pentax DA* 50-135 and it just doesn't focus consistently. In LV however, it's razor sharp at all focal lengths even wide open. I sent it back to Pentax Switzerland (which is actually a 3rd party company as Pentax is not present in Switzerland anymore) as its focus shift was too great for the in-camera micro adjustments. I also sent the body back. Now it focuses properly at 50mm, but at 135mm it's off. I can change the micro adjustment so it's fine at 135mm, but then it will be off at 50mm. This lens is supposed to be pro-grade, so to me, thinks like this should only happen to consumer lenses. Furthermore at times it just doesn't even AF in bright light (a thing that happens a lot with the Pentax DA* 16-50 as well). The lens is still under warranty and the repair place told me everything is fine with my body and lens. As it stands, this lens is unusable on my body. I have the same issue with a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 (even worse). I can't get my Pentax FA 35 f/2 to focus accurately either. It all gets worse as the focus shift changes between day light and tungsten! With my Pentax DA 55-300 I just can't get it to focus as well as LV, regardless of the micro-adjustments. The only 2 lenses I have that focus really consistently are my DFA 100 f/2.8 macro and Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 (rather surprisingly).

With all this rant, I don't know if the grass will be much greener in Nikon land, but I just can't see it being as bad as what I have to currently deal with.

At first I had obviously considered getting a D700. However, after having thought more about what FF lenses I'd get and their prices , it just seems like the offering is more interesting in DX land. Also, the D700 sensor is getting a bit outdated, especially in terms of DR compared to the K7/D7000. I think I'd miss the DR of the K5/D7000. Going FF I'd loose reach, but gain DOF (nice). The high ISO performance of my K5 is good enough for my use, so better high ISO it's not a major consideration. I value base ISO IQ much more than the possible gain I'd have at ISO > 1600. I shoot mostly landscapes, macro, wildlife and portrait (a bit of everything really).

In a nutshell, here is why I'm more keen on the D7000 vs D700:

+ 100% VF vs 95%: I don't think I can go back to < 100% after having used the K5; you get exactly what you see

+ Higher DR at lower ISO

+ Higher IQ at base ISO: I shoot at base ISO a lot

+ More reach for wildlife and sports (thanks to the 1.5x crop factor)

+ 16MP vs 12MP

+ Dual card slots: I once had a card read error while on an assignment; luckily I only lost a dozen shots

+ SD card instead of CF (I have a large collection of SD cards)

+ Silent shutter: this is something I really appreciate about the K5, especially when shooting in quiet environments

+ Size and weight

+ Obviously: price

The real advantages of the D700, in my case, are the shallower DOF and better AF system.

Of course, the best of both worlds would be to have both bodies!

Regarding which lenses to buy, I haven't fully decided what I want, but I think I'd start with the following (APS-C):

- Nikkor 12-24 f/4 or Tokina 12-24 f/4: I have the Pentax 12-24 f/4 which shares the same optical design as the Tokina: it's one of the sharpest lenses I've ever used (perhaps I have an exceptional copy); truly impressive

- Nikkor 16-85 as a (slow) walk-around lens or a Sigma 17-70 2.8-4: I have the 17-70 2.8-4.5 on my Pentax and it's sharp even wide-open at 70mm (I know I have a good sample as I tried 2 others before which were clearly not as good)

- Nikkor 70-300 or Tamron 70-300

- Nikkor 35 f/1.8G

- Nikkor 50 f/1.8G (or the 1.4G, not sure yet)

- Tamron 90 macro or Tokina 100 macro

In the future, I'll probably also get a fast standard zoom (one of the 17-50 f/2.8 incarnations) and a medium portrait zoom (Tokina 50-135, Sigma 50-150 or Nikkor 70-200 although the latter is qite a bit more expensive).

If you look at the list of lenses above and you want to get fullframe equivalents, the task is not that easy. In the UWA department, I think the DX selection is definitely better optically overall and also cheaper, smaller and lighter. When you consider long lenses, the story is the same. To me, FF makes a lot of sense for portraiture (DOF control) and high ISO such as concerts, but for the rest... I think DX is just better overall for me.

Right now I still have my K5 and quite a few lenses (Sigma 17-70, Pentax DA 12-24, DA 15 limited, DA 55-300, FA 50 f/1.4, DFA 100 macro). I don't think the D7000 is as nicely built and as feature-complete as the K5 (especially in terms of ergonomics). I'm waiting for Nikon to release a high-end APS-C camera to replace the D300S, but it seems it won't happen any time soon. The same is true regarding the D800. If the D800 doesn't feature too many pixels, a DR at least equal to the K5's, a 100% VF, dual card slot, and is not too big, then I may be tempted by going FF...

However, the one thing I'm still not sure about is AF reliability. It's the major point that makes me want to switch to Nikon. From what I've read in the Nikon forums, it seems like the D7000 AF is not as reliable as the one in the D300 and D700. Is it true? I'm planning on buying a 35 f/1.8G and a 50mm f/1.4G which I'll use wide-open quite often. Am I more likely to have focus issues with the D7000 than the D700? I've read the D7000 can be unreliable when the light frequency changes (daylight versus tungsten), is it true?

I just don't want to experience the same problems I already have with my K5...

Also, if I'm missing something in my comparison between the D7000 vs D700 please let know!

Finally, do you guys have an idea when the hypothetical D400 will be released?

I'd really appreciate the feedback from some advanced photographers having hand on experience with both cameras, especially regarding AF reliability and accuracy.

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Messages In This Thread
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by thxbb12 - 10-28-2011, 07:51 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by Steinar1 - 10-28-2011, 08:58 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by netrex - 10-29-2011, 01:25 AM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by Guest - 10-29-2011, 07:02 AM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by boren - 10-29-2011, 11:22 AM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by thxbb12 - 10-30-2011, 01:32 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by thxbb12 - 10-30-2011, 01:41 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by thxbb12 - 10-30-2011, 01:42 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by jamesm007 - 10-30-2011, 04:59 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by thxbb12 - 10-31-2011, 09:59 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by thxbb12 - 11-02-2011, 02:04 PM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by mst - 11-07-2011, 07:46 AM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by Walter K - 01-24-2012, 09:08 AM
From Pentax to Nikon: D700 or D7000? - by johnwhit - 01-24-2012, 04:02 PM

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