Which Nikon DSLR?

Started Nov 30, 2012 | Questions thread
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madasafish
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Which Nikon DSLR?
Nov 30, 2012

Hope this is in the right forum. I've no recent experience with a DSLR, my current camera is a Fuji S3200 which did what it was supposed to do....take a reasonable picture with minimal fuss. I'd like to expand my horizons, broaden my knowledge and delve into the DSLR world. I have limited previous experience with a manual SLR but that was many years ago in my youth. Cut to the chase, I'm an inexperienced photographer 

Looking at the DSLR arena, the only two manufacturers I would consider are Nikon or Canon and my instinct is saying Nikon. What camera would be recommended with consideration of the following:-

a)    I'm not the type of person who feels the need to upgrade to the 'latest and greatest' every couple of years. I buy quality once and then happy to use it until either it is expensive to maintain or technology renders it redundant.

b) While cost is always important, it is not the main driver; selecting the right camera is. For the moment I can budget up to the price of a D7000 with kit lens. I wouldn't want to go more than this until I see how my skills develop.

c) Having had a very brief play in the shops, neither of the D3200, D5100 or D7000 models felt unusable when holding them and I felt I had a good grip of the body at all times irrespective of the model.

d) It should be as rugged as possible....its a false economy to buy something which is relatively fragile and not able to withstand regular day to day handling.

While I dont have any specific genre of interest in mind, photographing animals/wildlife and fish do spark an excitement - I've never been very consistent at getting decent results but that would be down to my own inability as much as any perceived equipment limitation.

Any pointers to help me choose a model would be appreciated.

ANSWER:
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FujiFilm FinePix S3200 (FinePix S3250) Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100 Nikon D7000
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