Which Nikon DSLR?

Started Nov 30, 2012 | Questions thread
JCB123
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Re: Which Nikon DSLR?
In reply to madasafish, Dec 3, 2012

madasafish wrote:

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.

So you want a rugged all-rounder that is capable for wildlife & will last for years. You probably need the pro DX forum because the D300s is the current ideal safari camera. The problem is that its sensor is no longer at the cutting edge. The D7000 would probably suit you, although the AF system in the D300s would definitely be beneficial for wildlife and it is also the more rugged of the two. So what are your options.

1) Go for the D7000. Fairly rugged and capable all rounder. Quite capable for wildlife. Better sensor than the D300s - more dynamic range and better high ISO which is important when you need higher shutter speeds and the light is not bright.

2) Go for the D300s. More rugged build and was a good safari camera in its day. Better AF system - useful for action & wildlife. The D7000 has a better sensor (see item 1)

3) Wait for the D400. Hopefully this will be pretty much a D300s with a state of the art sensor. Whens it coming ? - sometime next year. What to do in the mean time though. Well if it was me and I decided this was the best option, I would buy a D90 now (Same sensor as the D300s) and start the learning curve and upgrade to D400 when it has been out long enough for the feeding frenzy to subside. You could get a D7000 instead of the D90 - bigger initial outlay vs better AF & IQ. I know you said no frequent upgrading but...

4) Go full frame. Expensive option. Better dynamic range and IQ (especially at higher ISO). The D800 includes a DX crop mode that equates to an improved D7000. The downside is that the focus sensors are all clustered in the centre of the frame (not so good for focus tracking fast moving subjects). D600 is less expensive but still not all that affordable. Both DX & FX have advantages. The extra 'reach' of DX appeals to wildlife shooters. Take some time to understand the pros & cons of each. This decision will affect you future lens selections.

Regards

John

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Sony RX100 Nikon D90 Nikon D7000 Olympus PEN E-PL5 Nikon D7100
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