Recently I have been looking into the plethora of digital camera systems on the market and thinking where do you start in terms of an upgrade or sidegrade*?
I have for the past few years been using a Nikon D300 & 18-200mm VR, which has been a wonderful kit that produced great results. My thought process was to eventually upgrade to a full-frame sensor kit, either down the route of a Nikon D700 or a Canon 5D MKII, now there are all manner of newer models all with their targeted labels; Pro, Semi-Pro, Enthusiast… In the professional market you are governed by consumerism and your clients expectations into having the biggest, latest, shiniest and not forgetting the most expensive kit on the market to be deemed worthy.
Frankly most photographers hardly use their kit to its fullest potential in terms of its mega pixel quality and its destined final resolution; which nowadays the end product ends up on the web or in a magazine which rarely necessitates a 28MP image.
This got me thinking of an ISO comparison test I did in 2005 and the quality of the image produced at ISO 200 would probably be suitable for some of todays applications. The camera in question was a Nikon D70 with an old Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 AI-s. Both sets of images do exhibit some chromatic aberration and the focus fall off is quite sharp. Yet they still look good:
100% Crop ISO 200
100% Crop ISO 1600