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03-05-2010, 08:34 AM   #1
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Best option for fast action sports? 7D or D300

I'm considering finally accepting what seems to be the inevitable.

When I first got a dSLR I was taking a variety of types of shots, and it was just as a hobby. Pentax was the best choice for that, and I have enjoyed playing with different types of old glass. However lately I have almost entirely been shooting motorsports and making a little extra money on that.

When you're trying to sell photos from the track you need at least a decent number of keepers of each rider in each race, and it can sometimes be a struggle, especially if it not bright sunlight. The AF-C just can't keep up with the fast moving bikes/cars.

With the keeper rate being on the low side - particularly in low light - I have found that I am going much more for the safe shots as opposed to the slow shutter panning shots etc.

So basically I am seriously considering selling all my Pentax gear and going for either a 7D or D300, and I am looking for some input on what is the best option.

The 7D is at the upper range of my current price, but I have read good things about its dual processors and fast frame rate. AF is also supposed to be good from what I understand. While the high MP is not particularly important, it is nice in the case where you need to crop a lot later. Eventually I'd also be able to buy better glass that can better take advantage of the higher resolution.

The D300 has been around for a while, and I don't care about video or dual card slots, so I should be able to pick up a used one in good shape for about $1000-1100. My concern however is also that it has been around for a while, and I am not sure how well the AF stacks up against the newer 7D.

I'd like to hear any input on which is the best option, both with regards to AF but also any other pros/cons you can think of.

03-05-2010, 08:49 AM   #2
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As 7D got very close in AF performnce to D300, you can't really go wrong with either... The diciding factor for you should be the lenses you're planning to use... D300 (not s) is a better desicison budget-wise... but again, it all comes down to lenses as pro-grade Nikon glass tends to be a bit more expensive than comparable Canon's models... Personally I don't dig Canon ergonomics... and after Pentax, Nikon D300s felt like "coming home"....
03-05-2010, 09:01 AM   #3
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I don't think you can go wrong with either. I wouldn't worry about which one is better, both are significantly better at tracking moving objects than Pentax so you'll be very happy.

But if you're budget constrained, the D300 might be cheaper up front...but Canon would be more economical in the long run as their glass is lower priced. You're also compaing new to used - so if you're willing to go that route, the 1D mkII is worth a look.
03-05-2010, 09:13 AM   #4
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My vote is for the 7D. The AF as well as the tracking is faster than anything I have ever tried (including the D300 which is also a great camera). The fact that you can maintain full 8 fps at 18MP of RAW, and 14 bit files means you have a lot of headroom for crops and mods of your sports pics after you take them. (The D300 drops to 2.5 fps at 14 bit, and it is only 12 MP of course.)

03-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by alexeyga Quote
The diciding factor for you should be the lenses you're planning to use... D300 (not s) is a better desicison budget-wise... but again, it all comes down to lenses as pro-grade Nikon glass tends to be a bit more expensive than comparable Canon's models...
Initially I was planning on getting a Bigma (which I already have for Pentax), but price of higher end glass is a very good point. I'll have to see if I can find somewhere around here where I can hold both options to get a better feel for the ergonomics.

QuoteOriginally posted by edl Quote
But if you're budget constrained, the D300 might be cheaper up front...but Canon would be more economical in the long run as their glass is lower priced. You're also compaing new to used - so if you're willing to go that route, the 1D mkII is worth a look.
I guess main reason I was comparing new to used was that the 7D is so new that there aren't that many used ones for sale and the price difference is a lot smaller.

How's the 1D mkII going to stack up? Don't know about its AF capabilities. From what I read the 5D is not as good a choice as the 7D when it comes to fast action. Having a lot of reach can be important at the track, so I like the 1.5x of APS-C cameras - how's a FF camera going to hold up there?

I'm going to a race next weekend and might be able to borrow a 1D mkIV with some high end glass, so hopefully that will give me some more perspective (even though I'd never be able to afford that camera).
03-05-2010, 11:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
My vote is for the 7D. The AF as well as the tracking is faster than anything I have ever tried (including the D300 which is also a great camera). The fact that you can maintain full 8 fps at 18MP of RAW, and 14 bit files means you have a lot of headroom for crops and mods of your sports pics after you take them. (The D300 drops to 2.5 fps at 14 bit, and it is only 12 MP of course.)
That's kind of the direction I am leaning. Biggest task will be to juggle selling the Pentax gear and getting the new camera between races so I avoid down time. Wish I had the cash to buy new camera first

Anyone want to buy K7, k20d, *istD, Bigma, Sigma 10-20mm, F 50/1.7, A 50/1.7, M 50/1.4, SMC Tak 50/4 plus some miscellaneous lenses as a package
03-05-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by emilf Quote
That's kind of the direction I am leaning. Biggest task will be to juggle selling the Pentax gear and getting the new camera between races so I avoid down time. Wish I had the cash to buy new camera first

Anyone want to buy K7, k20d, *istD, Bigma, Sigma 10-20mm, F 50/1.7, A 50/1.7, M 50/1.4, SMC Tak 50/4 plus some miscellaneous lenses as a package
I'm afraid there are too many Canon users here and you're getting biased advices... Don't limit your-self based only on other people's opinion, go to a camera-shop and try both cameras, see which feels better. If for the price of 7D with a little stretch you can get D300+70-200VR, in my land that's a hell of a nice sports shooting package to begin with... which, b.t.w. 7D will have hard time competing AF-speed wise... Hang around FM's classifieds section, there are some really good deals these days... I've seen D300-s with under 20K for 850-900$...

As far as selling your stuff... sorry, wish I could help you, but you're in for some time-wasting in "for sale"-section...

B.t.w. If you're on a budget, just like with Pentax, there are some affordable MF AIS-mount jewels for Nikon... can't say the same thing about EOS....

Last edited by alexeyga; 03-05-2010 at 12:46 PM.
03-05-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by alexeyga Quote
I'm afraid there are too many Canon users here and you're getting biased advices... Don't limit your-self based only on other people's opinion, go to a camera-shop and try both cameras, see which feels better. If for the price of 7D with a little stretch you can get D300+70-200VR, in my land that's a hell of a nice sports shooting package to begin with... which, b.t.w. 7D will have hard time competing AF-speed wise... Hang around FM's classifieds section, there are some really good deals these days... I've seen D300-s with under 20K for 850-900$...

As far as selling your stuff... sorry, wish I could help you, but you're in for some time-wasting in "for sale"-section...

B.t.w. If you're on a budget, just like with Pentax, there are some affordable MF AIS-mount jewels for Nikon... can't say the same thing about EOS....
Thank you for that input - I have a tendency to get carried away with the idea of getting the latest and shiniest gadgets even if I might not really need them

I'll probably need more reach than 200mm (more likely 400mm minimum), but I don't need VR with what I am shooting. Any suggestion for lenses to look out for?

I'll have to check out FM and see what prices are there. I also have KEH locally here. Their quality and grading is great, but probably also a little on the expensive side too.

03-05-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
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I went 7D because it is faster (processing files) vs 300(s) just slightly but from my research, you get more keepers on the 7D
03-05-2010, 06:05 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by emilf Quote
(snip)

How's the 1D mkII going to stack up? Don't know about its AF capabilities. From what I read the 5D is not as good a choice as the 7D when it comes to fast action. Having a lot of reach can be important at the track, so I like the 1.5x of APS-C cameras - how's a FF camera going to hold up there?
I've only used a 1DsmkIII, which is probably the best camera I've ever used - I like the ergos on my D700 more. I think pingflood has a 1DsmkII, I bet he can give you some good insight on overall body performance. For sure, the 5D will not offer the AF performance you're looking for.

I think the 1DmkII sensor is APS-H, which works out to 1.3x reach.

Most likely the 7D will have better IQ than the 1DmkII, but the 1D will have better build quality, withstand harsher conditions, go longer between charges, etc. Just a guess. Overall the 7D is a pretty awesome body, but some people prefer the pro-body sometimes for the reasons listed above. Similarily, I know there's a few "D2X vs. D300" threads at FM.

QuoteOriginally posted by emilf Quote
(snip)

I'll probably need more reach than 200mm (more likely 400mm minimum), but I don't need VR with what I am shooting. Any suggestion for lenses to look out for?

I'll have to check out FM and see what prices are there. I also have KEH locally here. Their quality and grading is great, but probably also a little on the expensive side too.
On the cheap side, people like the 70-300 VR, although the 200-300mm range is not great.

You could look for a Nikon 300/4 AF-D, might be around $500-600 used.

But if you're on a budget AND you need 400mm+, you should look at the Canon 400/5.6 for $1139 new, or the Canon 100-400 IS for $1399 new. You could go with the Bigma, but in general the Canon/Nikon bodies AF better with their own lenses compared to third party ones. And that's what you're switching for, right
03-05-2010, 08:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clicker Quote
I went 7D because it is faster (processing files) vs 300(s) just slightly but from my research, you get more keepers on the 7D
More keepers because of the higher fps or because of better AF?

QuoteOriginally posted by edl Quote
On the cheap side, people like the 70-300 VR, although the 200-300mm range is not great.

You could look for a Nikon 300/4 AF-D, might be around $500-600 used.

But if you're on a budget AND you need 400mm+, you should look at the Canon 400/5.6 for $1139 new, or the Canon 100-400 IS for $1399 new. You could go with the Bigma, but in general the Canon/Nikon bodies AF better with their own lenses compared to third party ones. And that's what you're switching for, right

I'd prefer a decent range zoom since changing lenses at the track is not ideal - that's a big plus with the Bigma. However I think 100-400mm would still work. Are there older non-IS versions of the Canon? And how about a Nikon equivalent?

Anyway - so far I think I'm just as undecided as I was before
03-05-2010, 11:54 PM   #12
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You can probably find the Canon 100-400 IS lens used for $950-$1,000, if you look around. It's a good lens and, no, there is no non-IS version for less money.
03-06-2010, 02:13 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by emilf Quote
I'd prefer a decent range zoom since changing lenses at the track is not ideal - that's a big plus with the Bigma. However I think 100-400mm would still work. Are there older non-IS versions of the Canon? And how about a Nikon equivalent?

Anyway - so far I think I'm just as undecided as I was before
I forgot about this one - Nikon 80-400/4.5-5.6 AF-D VR, about $1500 new. There's also a 200-400/4 that's about $6K.
03-06-2010, 08:36 AM   #14
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As far as recommending Canon over Nikon or visa~versa...

I like both brands so I won't recommend one over the other.

You should study the glass options and go with what makes most sense for you.




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....edit edit

Last edited by Samsungian; 03-06-2010 at 08:52 AM.
03-06-2010, 09:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by edl Quote
I've only used a 1DsmkIII, which is probably the best camera I've ever used - I like the ergos on my D700 more. I think pingflood has a 1DsmkII, I bet he can give you some good insight on overall body performance. For sure, the 5D will not offer the AF performance you're looking for.

I think the 1DmkII sensor is APS-H, which works out to 1.3x reach.

Most likely the 7D will have better IQ than the 1DmkII, but the 1D will have better build quality, withstand harsher conditions, go longer between charges, etc. Just a guess. Overall the 7D is a pretty awesome body, but some people prefer the pro-body sometimes for the reasons listed above. Similarily, I know there's a few "D2X vs. D300" threads at FM.
The 1D II is indeed 1.3x crop. And yes, I have the 1Ds II which is basically the same camera (except FF and slower fps). The AF performance on it is still astounding, and I can't imagine anyone being disappointed with it.

1D II vs 7D is a tough call. The 7D is a very impressive performer with a lot of niceties like a great LCD, video, microadjust etc, and the AF system appears quite capable. On the other hand, you can get a used 1D II for around $800 or less these days, which makes it a tempting proposition.

Honestly, I'd say that unless you need to crop heavily you really can't go wrong with either. But if you're doing birding and such where you often need to crop the 8MP of the 1D II can be a real constraint if you want decent size prints. I've debated switching my 50D out for a 1D II or 1D IIn but I often have to crop up to 50% and having the 15MP files really helps out...
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