Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Camera wars: Nikon D80 vs Nikon D700

Alternate title: Post-Easter Sugar High - I'm loving all the on-sale post-Easter candy! 
Originally published here

Yesterday my  Little Man took a blissfully long early nap and I was able to get some serious photography done. I wanted to compare how my two cameras would behave in identical conditions using the same lens. So I got out some props and some jelly beans (one of my favorite things both to eat and to photograph lately) and had a wonderful time!

Left: Nikon D80 & Right: Nikon D700
cell phone pic

All of the following were taken using my Nikon D80 10 mega pixel camera and my Nikon D700 12 mega pixel camera with my Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5 lens (unless otherwise noted) all images are SOOC.

I also used my macro adapter ring for a few shots
Here is my set-up: I have a white piece of poster paper as my background and another piece of poster board reflecting light back onto my subject. I have to give credit for this technique to the amazing new food blog the kitchen generation which is where I learned this technique.  Below I've demonstrated what a huge difference it makes! I haven't yet used this technique when photographing people but I love to use it whenever I'm photographing food. The sweet tart jelly beans were especially difficult to keep still! I was wishing I had some spray adhesive to keep them in place. 

taken with Samsung Vibrant Gallaxy S cell phone
Sweet Tart Jelly Beans
without the reflector
without reflector board
with the reflector
with reflector board
taken with Samsung Vibrant Galaxy S cell phone
Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans

For my Jolly Rancher jelly beans I used a piece of poster board as my shooting surface and some poster paper to reflect some light:

a happy accident
this was a happy accident! my fingers holding my reflector

Here are my first side-by-side shots with the Nikon D80 vs. Nikon D700:

aperture: f/3.5 exposure (shutter speed): 1/160 focal distance: 18mm ISO: 500
aperture: f/3.5 exposure: 1/160 focal distance: 18mm ISO: 500
I have a difficult time seeing a significant difference between the two shots above since they're not from the identical angle or the two shots below since the shutter speeds are slightly different.

1/250 f/5.6 ISO500
1/160 f/5.6 ISO 500
1/160 f/5.6 ISO500
f/5 1/320 ISO 500
(L - D80) & (R - D700)
I have a few observations about this set: while the D700 has a higher ISO range and larger frame capabilities and also has a faster auto-focus and more auto-focus points - so far I have not seen a huge difference in the quality of the the images between these two cameras (and the price gap between them is significant) one of the things I noticed when I was shooting with the D700 was that I was able to use faster shutter speeds, which generally increase your chances of getting nice sharp focus. So if you're considering venturing into professional photography the D700 is the better choice but the D80 is a really high-performing camera!

Here are some more shots:
f/3.5 1/250
D700 with macro adapter ring
f/3.5 1/200
1/250 f/5.6 ISO500
D700 with macro adapter ring
f/5.6 1/250 ISO500
D700 with macro adapter ring

Both taken with D700

I {heart} jelly beans
aperture:f/3.8 shutter: 1/500 focal length: 24mm ISO:500

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