D7100 a better beginner camera?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
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Phil Tower
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D7100 a better beginner camera?
4 months ago

After several years away from DSLR amateur photography (last camera a D90) I’m returning. I ordered a D5300 with an 18-140 kit lens. I returned it for one primary reason – I’m 69 years old, my eyesight is not what it used to be, and I just didn’t like the smaller viewfinder.

So I’m getting ready to order a D7100 with the 18-140 lens. I’ve forgotten a lot so in many ways I’m starting over. But it occurs to me the D7100 might actually be a better camera for a DSLR beginner – at least for someone like me who wants to “grow” with the camera. With the D7100 I figure I can use Darrell Young’s Mastering the Nikon D7100 as a basic user manual as well as an amazing teaching tool. I don’t think there is a comparable book for the D5300.

What also occurs to me is that the D7100 removes one obstacle to learning not available in the D5300. With the improved ease of use afforded by the additional dial and buttons on the D7100, I don’t have to cloud my mind (at my age a wonderful advantage) with digging through all the menus as I also try to remember the difference between things like Autofocus, AF-Area and Release Modes.

My guess is that for me the temptation with a D5300 would be to mainly leave it in automatic mode and treat it like an expensive p&s camera. That might leave me freer to concentrate on things like composition, but I wouldn’t be learning how to really take full advantage of the technical aspects of the camera.

Right now the additional cost of the D7100 is about $200 more than the D5300 (both with the 18-140 lens). And, if I want a prime lens to go along with the kit lens, I can get the Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.8D, save over a $100 in comparison to the Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G, and still have auto focus.

Well, just my idle thoughts. Not sure any of this makes sense. Maybe I’m missing something.

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Phil Tower

Nikon D5300 Nikon D7100 Nikon D90
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