Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: D700 versus GH2

  1. #1
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,124
    Post Thanks / Like

    D700 versus GH2

    Help me with my decision making here.

    On the face of it you might think: no contest. But I am thinking very seriously about abandoning my quest to own a D700 and associated lenses and instead settling for a GH2 - or possibly the GF-2 if such a thing exists in the future. My main interest in the D700 is the ability to cover indoor events where I can reasonably use iso1600 to iso3200 and get usable results. Usable in the sense of web display and possibly printing up to A4 or at a pinch 16x12.

    Now, I've tried the D700 - it is a lovely piece of kit. Used one for weekend and compared it to my M8. I stuck with the M8 because the quality of the Leica lenses out resolved those of the equivalent Nikkors on the D700. But ergonomically, the D700 was vastly superior - and of course there was no contest above iso640, in favour of the D700.

    Still, I've shied away from investing in the D700 because I already own two systems, Leica and Panasonic and third may be going too far. I suppose in the back of my mind would be to dump the Panasonic kit if I go for the D700.

    Today, I spent over two hours continuously shooting with my GF-1. Love the autofocus, the ability to see in realtime the impact of EV adjustment, the ability to frame exactly using the EVF, focus confirm and viewfinder info for aperture and speed. Don't get me wrong, I love my M8 and for landscape work I can't fault it. But I also really like working with a mirroless 'DSLR'.

    But here is the rub. If I spent two hours of pretty exhausting shooting with a D700, plus the associated lenses, I suspect not only would my arms fall off but my back would break in two as well. Today, I was shooting with one lens on the camera and my other two lenses in my right and left pockets of my fleece. The three lenses I was using are the 20/1.7, the 45/2.8 and the 7-14. The weight was easily manageable.

    Shooting mirrorless is also pretty discrete. I was hanging around the same building for nearly two hours, shooting it at all sorts of angles and different lenses (for a Photosynth project) and I think if I had done the same thing with a large DSLR someone would have challenged me.

    I suppose what is swaying me towards the GH2 is several things and I just wanted to know if my thinking makes sense:

    1. the 20/1.7 and 45/2.8 are excellent optics. Incredibly sharp. The 7-4 is similar but not quite as good. There are some interesting things on the way, e.g. the 100-300 and the Nokton 25/0.95 - so as far as lenses go the format is not dead.

    2. I've found that when a capture is sharp from my GF-1 it is very sharp. I cannot see how it could be sharper or better from a D700. Even if sharpness or noise intrudes, up to iso 1250 on the GF-1 I can rescue it using LR3 which seems to give me an extra stop as far as noise control goes.

    3. Looking at the samples from the GH2 - iso1600 and iso3200 look very good. Far better than iso1600 on the GF-1. This is where I'd like feedback - are the levels better, or am I fooling myself?

    So, instead of spending a ton of cash on a third camera system, I could just get a GH2 and continue to get the benefit of my investment in 4/3rd optics into the future.

    Has the mirrorless format really reached a stage where it can compete with higher end DSLRs, or is it wishing thinking on my part?

    LouisB

  2. #2
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    3,623
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    I use a M9 and D700 and my wife has a gh1.

    When it comes to d700 vs gh1/2 I see the following main differences:

    - EFV vs optical VF - each has its advantages, however personally I prefer the optical - specially as soon as there is action or sports included.

    - lenses - are you ok with the lenses from m4/3? only you can answer. Do you need something like a 70-200/2.8 -fast and with the ability for shallow DOF? Or a T/S lens, or a 85/1.4?
    Or do you prefer the lower weight and smaller size of m4/3 lenses and dont care much about those shallow DOF or fast lenses ?

    - video - gh2 excells here and I find it a real bonus

    -posibility to use Leica/Zeis and all kinds of lenses in manual mode on the m4/3

    IMO the D700 excells for sports, action, kids, (AF) lens options.

    The gh2 has the advantage of small size, light weight, and video.

    For some reason a good optical viewfinder is more real photo experience for me personally.

  3. #3
    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    North Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    1,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    Louis,

    I think the real decision point is what you need to files to do... IOW, how big do you want to print? I had a full prime/D700 setup as well as a m4/3 system (GH1, GF1, E-PL1), and I just sold all the Nikon gear. The m4/3 were consistently giving me what I was looking for in output (web and printing easily up to 13 x 19").

    You won't get the higher ISO performance (at least with the current gen m4/3, but how often do you really need it). I find that higher ISO shots, processed carefully with Topaz Detail, are astonishingly good.

    I also have a pair of Sony NEX 5 that I'm using with the m4/3 and at this point, I don't miss the d700 at all.

    Cheers,

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Posts
    187
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    The new 14/2.5 pancake for m43 will be interesting, too. There will likely be more of those nice Voigtländer lenses as well. I was a bit disappointed by the choice of introducing a 25mm since it's so close to the excellent 20/1.7.

    You seem to find the D700 heavy, so I guess the GH2 would be a good choice. The weight of the kit is a significant factor. If its too heavy, you won't be as likely to carry the camera with you as often.

    Personally I have D700 and M8. I use af-zooms and f/1.4 lenses with the D700 to exploit its strenghts. I have the smallest possible high performance lenses for the M8 that I can afford, and only one f/1.4 lens (35mm). So there is the D700 low-light, high speed kit, and the Leica M8 low weight "daylight" kit. The latter is great for trips and hiking.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Warsaw, Poland
    Posts
    188
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    I have M8 and M lenses.
    Also GH1, EP1, GF1 and many m43 lenses plus panaleica 25/1.4 and Zuiko 50/2.
    Also D700, 24/1.4, 50/1.4, 105/2.8 VR and 24-120/4 VR.
    My M collection is for sale now (l-camera-forum.com classifieds) and I ordered E5 and 12-60 zuiko.
    D700 is great for me in one combination: with the 24/1.4 glass. This is amazing. When I travel with this combo I usually also take Gf1 and 45/2.8 plus 20/1.7. That fills 90% of my needs. I cannot tell any difference in print quality between D700 and m43 with the primes on.
    D700 has a 2-3 stop sensor advantage over m43 now and supposedly 1-2 stops over GH2. But at the wide end the 24mm/1.4 adds another two stops, this is unbeatable by anything on 43 or m43. I can shoot ISO6400 and at f1.4 still get manageable DOF.
    Apart from that D700 is for me an overkill. Portraits/macro are better with the 50/2 Zuiko. Superwide with the 7-14. Telephoto on D700 is a nightmare. My idea is to steer towards m43 system with a transitory period of E5 and 43 glass.
    My final system is likely to be a like of Fuji x100 plus one universal pro43 body from Oly or Panny when they come out.
    Last edited by nugat; 29th October 2010 at 02:43.

  6. #6
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,601
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post

    Has the mirrorless format really reached a stage where it can compete with higher end DSLRs, or is it wishing thinking on my part?

    LouisB
    Since mirrorless cameras extend beyond the m4/3rds and isn't a single format...

    Sony NEX' are fine sensors for which there are no m4/3rds answers now or in the near future. Not much else there. Can't even attach a flash.

    The m4/3rds make better cameras. A near complete system looks elusive.

    I do not like the Samsung attempt one bit- neither their sensor nor the camera was appealing. Only their flashes are innovative.

    If only we could have the Sony NEX sensor with the G1 swivel LCD + EVF and the Samsung flashes....

    Louis, If you need the D700 now, then that is what you would buy and use.

    PS: If you want to shoot in IR, the Panasonic NMOS sensor rock!
    Last edited by Vivek; 29th October 2010 at 03:06.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    640
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    Quote Originally Posted by biglouis View Post
    ...Has the mirrorless format really reached a stage where it can compete with higher end DSLRs, or is it wishing thinking on my part?

    LouisB
    I'd have to answer, Yes. At least in terms of IQ under normal conditions.

    I've tested my GF1 against my 5DII, and in prints to 12 x 16" I don't see any difference. But where the m4/3 suffers is in the ability to withstand aggressive post-processing. I'm talking about RAW files. They just don't have the latitude of the full frame files.

    Only you know if m4/3 high ISO is good enough for you. But there is no comparison to what the 5DII offers. And I understand the D700 is even better. Then there's the ability to crop. But I shoot mostly square, so I welcome all those pixels.

    I actually like a large camera body. The big DSLRs just feel right in my hands. I carry the 35L and camera over my shoulder and the 135L or 70-200 f4 zoom in a small messenger bag. No weight issue at all.

    John

  8. #8
    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Tysons Corner, Virginia
    Posts
    490
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    18

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    BL, you might also the new Sony A55 SLT?

    It's compact like the G's. It's mirrorless (with an even finer resoultion EVF).

    It has a PELLICLE for continuous AF even in video (and even allows up to 10 FPS which is matched ONLY by the $7K Canon D1).

    It has access to utterly superb optics from Zeiss (16-35mm f2.8, 24mm f2.0 and a luscious 85mm f1.4 that are the equiv of 24-52mm, 35mm (a great 'normal' IMHO and a 127mm) that, from what I hear, all balance well.

    And its sensor takes you to 16 MP which allows you even greater margins for quality enlargements. And from what I've read so far, pretty terrific high ISO performance (read low noise) which we all crave on occasion.

    Personally, as a most content G1 owner (bought for the same reasons that most did--compact size that won't cause hernias, decent optics [the 20mm is my do all walkabout lens], and EVF [which I never minded] and the articulating LCD [which, IMHO, is the bees knees when it comes to portrait work as it turns the camera into an amazing mini-Hasselblad] I'm seriously looking into the D7000. Same as the Sony for the most part sensor-wise, but with only an optical finder in a considerably smaller (compared to the D700) Nikon body with dual SD card slots. And from what I've seen Nikon's nano coated optics are, in a word, nothing short of breathtaking (both in price AND performance!).

    Just a thought.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    259
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    I use the D700 and I see several advantages to the Nikon. One of which is the full frame sensor and also the ability to shoot 1600 ISO with virtually no post processing noise reduction at 16x20. At 3200-6400 post production processing fixes the noise perfectly at 11x14 and at 12.500-25,000 web or 8x10 with post production, the noise is so minimal that it is difficult to be unhappy with it. Nikon Prime lens are as sharp as you could ever want a lens to be and some of the zooms are amazing. The AF aspects of the D700 are just short of magic. The penalty is always weight. It is a kilogram for the camera body alone, but the primes weigh next to nothing up to 200mm. The long lenses and zooms vary depending on personal preference. I prefer sturdy, and pay for it in weight. I prefer reliability and I really like the low light level possibilities. I photographed a music festival in a mausoleum, the light was low and contrasty, the D700 at 3200 with the Active D Lighting, made the room look normal, I could photograph at speeds between 1/60th-1/320. At those speeds virtually everything was amazingly sharp and the scene was well lit. For these kind of conditions I cannot imagine not having the Nikon system. Joe

  10. #10
    Senior Member biglouis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    2,124
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: D700 versus GH2

    Thanks for all the responses. A great help in making a decision, which I shall put off until such time as I can actually play with a GH-2. There are a lot of good words being written about the new Sony A33/55 but I don't know if I want to commit to another camera system.

    Thanks again

    LouisB

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •