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How much must I spend Pt. 2

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In How much must I spend on a camera Part 1 we went out with two professional level digital SLR cameras and took identical photos with them. The only difference is one cost around £1100 and the other £7000.

Both camera's were set to produce Jpegs using the exact same settings through out. Initial viewing of the images in the camera's LCD screens showed not a lot of difference between them apart from a minor difference in exposure. My old Nikon D300 made the images slightly darker than the Nikon D3X I set it against.

And we had a little chat about differences in build quality and camera handling. But you can't really see what's going on with an image until you get it on screen on a calibrated monitor. And that's what we're doing this time.

I was lent the D3X by Professional Photographer magazine for a photoshoot I did for them and I have to confess I'd have been in trouble without it. The location was very dark and without the higher ISO performance and pixel density my images would have been very grainy and probably suffering from noise.

As we zoom into 100% to view the test images I shot at 1600 ISO you can clearly see where some of your money is going. The more expensive file is cleaner, smoother and nices all round. Though the D300 image is still acceptable depending on use. Are you making big prints? Is the image for a photo library? Or are you only likely to look at it on a computer?

Now there's obviously going to be other differences between an image costing just over £1000 and another costing £7000, but how much difference? And how much is that difference worth to you the photographer.

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