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D300s or D7000 for low light weddings and outdoor portraits?

Jamie Smith , Aug 25, 2011; 04:29 p.m.

Currently I am working with a D700 with 50mm 1.4G lens. PERFECT for portraits. Unfortunately, it's not my camera. (My husband's father lets me use it frequently. He's quite wealthy and bought the camera for point and shoot purposes!! lol so he doesn't use it often.) I have the D60 (used it for learning purposes for about 2 years) and would like to upgrade now that I've been practicing with the D700 for quite some time now.
The only restraint is that I don't have the budget for the body of a d700 (which is ultimately what I really want.) So I am thinking of "settling" for a less expensive model in the $1200-$1800 range (for just the body) until I work my way up in affording possibly the d700's updated model--whenever that may come out; probably around the time I will be able to afford one! I still plan to get the 50mm 1.4G lens.
I am an avid Nikon user. I am considering either the D300s or the D7000. I was hoping someone could give me some insight to the pros/cons of each of these models for outdoor portraits and low light wedding photography. (using the 50mm 1.4g lens.)
**Just some info: I AM working into becoming a professional photographer and will use this camera to start my professional portfolio and most likely for the first couple years of my business. I am knowledgeable enough about ISO/aperture/shutter speed to be able to work with a camera in manual mode. So please don't scold me for being a "newbie" and wanting to jump in the business of photography. I wish people on here were more encouraging. Also, once I get this camera I do plan on looking for second shooter gigs at weddings and hopefully interning at professional studios**

Thanks so much for reading!!! :)


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Eric Arnold , Aug 25, 2011; 04:39 p.m.

the d7000 has better high-iso performance than d300s and is newer. but if you can wait a few months, d700 prices may fall if a replacement is announced. if they drop to $2000-$2200, it might make sense to get that,if that's what you really want. OTOH, getting a FF camera means you need FX-compatible lenses. for the price differential--about $1000-- you could get some nice glass if you stick w/d7000. i wouldn't get a d300s now unless you specifically need something it has which D7000 doesn't, like 8fps.

Jerry Litynski , Aug 25, 2011; 04:51 p.m.

If you want to earn money with a camera, spending for a Nikon D700 body will take care of your "low-light" needs. Going to a DX-sensor body and expecting it to act *just like* a FX-sensor body is - maybe - asking too much....

Outdoor portraits: anything from a D90 to a D3100 will work.

Jerry Litynski , Aug 25, 2011; 04:51 p.m.

If you want to earn money with a camera, spending for a Nikon D700 body will take care of your "low-light" needs. Going to a DX-sensor body and expecting it to act *just like* a FX-sensor body is - maybe - asking too much....

Outdoor portraits: anything from a D90 to a D3100 will work.

Benjamin Schaefer , Aug 25, 2011; 04:53 p.m.

I have worked with both D300s and D7000 at weddings but never side by side. I currently use a D700 and a D7000. The 300s feels definitely more solid and durable. I image quality wise the D7000 I think has a bit of an edge, but feels a bit "flimsier" - not that it bothers me much.

The D7000 is a great camera and - one day - will make a good backup oneday.

Richard Snow , Aug 25, 2011; 05:05 p.m.

Before I recommend anything, please tell me what your D60 doesn't do for you that the D700 does.


David Haas , Aug 25, 2011; 05:05 p.m.

Jamie -
I just shot a complete wedding using a D7000 - outdoor formals, indoor ceremony and then a reception.

No problems or issues - the D7000 was a trooper and at the end of the night still showed a full battery (no bars gone).

I had my D700 in the bag as a back-up if needed. It never came out.


Jamie Smith , Aug 25, 2011; 05:18 p.m.

David-WOW! That's pretty amazing. I'm assuming you used a battery pack?
Richard-Are you serious? The D60 is totally incompetent when comparing it to the D700. Although the lens I have on the D60 is just a mediocre kit lens, where the prime lens on the 700 superb! But to answer your question, the ISO has much lower capabilities than the D700. I shoot a lot of indoor portraits because it rains a lot where I live. And I only use a reflector so lights is just natural windows and mounted flash. I like that there are more fps on the D700. It also has incredibly more focal points than the D60. All around the quality of the pictures is just exponentially better. More DOF, better bokeh, and sharper images. I can see a difference with the naked eye. Can't you?

Jamie Smith , Aug 25, 2011; 05:40 p.m.

Sorry, I don't mean to sound rude (and I apologize if I came off that way.) I was just surprised by the question. I can see how a D60 would be just fine for amateurs, but I wish to sell my portraits. And I want to give my clients the best quality I can afford. Artistic composition is another story and I'm not saying the by getting a better camera I will be giving better portraits--just better images (technically speaking.)

D.B. Cooper , Aug 25, 2011; 05:51 p.m.

Between the D300s and the D7000, get the D7000. The low-light and high-ISO image quality are better. The D300s has better auto-exposure bracketing and a higher frame rate, neither of which would affect your stated purpose.

If you've been shooting a D700 with a 50mm lens, you might want to consider getting a 35mm f/1.8, which is a 'normal' lens on a DX camera (gives very nearly the same field of view as a 50mm lens on an FX body). Nikon's 35/1.8 is a nice lens, and inexpensive.

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