Help with Nikon purchase....please

Started May 22, 2012 | Discussions
BeardedBurbler
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Help with Nikon purchase....please
May 22, 2012

Hi. I'm just a newbie but I am going to buy a new Nikon DSLR. I have had one before (Nikon) and loved it but did not learn to use its full potential. I need a new hobbie. I was going to get the new D3200 with two lenses, then I noticed the 5100 was only a little more expensive, then wondered what was so good about the 7000..... Then I notice these funny model numbers like 80 or 800 and 300.... God help me. I was hoping one of you esteemed guru's could give me some advice. I think I will love this new hobby and in my "older years" I don't mind spending the coin if I need to. I can't believe Nikon do not have a chart listing all possible features for a camera with a tick in the box if a particular model does or does have that feature. Oh how easy that would be. I am from Australia and we are a bit slow down here so not to many big or fast words would be appreciated . I know I am asking a lot so even a link to a web site would do. Sorry for the big ask but this site was recommended by a retailer who sells Nikon and said this is where you will get the facts "free from sellers bull dust" his words. Thanks all. I hope to be a useful,contributor to the site when I know what to get ....and believe me, photos of
Tasteful bikini clad ladies are a plenty where I live
Cheer
Darren

Nikon D3200
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RobertLaw
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 22, 2012

Make sure you really want to have photography as a hobby before you spend a lot of money. It appears that you have little experience in the hobby so I recommend that you do not spend a lot of money on an advanced camera.

The D40, D50, D70, D80, and D90 are two or more years old. A rough progression was:

D40 -> D3000 -> D3100 -> D3200
D50 -> D5000 -> D5100 -> D5200
D90 -> D7000

The more professional ones were the D200 and the D300.

This list is not exactly correct but it is close.

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Barry Fitzgerald
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 22, 2012

Try this it's not updated for the D3200 though but the features are close to the D3100 bar a few bits 24mp etc etc

http://www.nikonusa.com/en_INC/IMG/Assets/Common-Assets/PDF/DSLR_Compare.pdf

I would consider your needs with care on this one esp in regards to flash use and other functionality. Whilst there isn't much point buying a higher end body to start off, you might outgrow the 2 lower ones pretty quickly (or not depends on your needs)

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Brev00
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 22, 2012

Your retailer's suggestion seems a bit odd to me. While it is nice to see the specs for all the different cameras Nikon offers, it might be better for you to actually see and feel the different cameras. The D3200 and D5100 lines are significantly smaller and lighter than the D90 and D7000 models. That in and of itself might make a huge difference for you. Which camera feels better in your hands? You cannot get that information from the web, but, hopefully, your retailer can help here.

Since I used a Nikon film camera before digital, I found the D90 had a similar feel. In fact, the N80 and D90 are very similar in design and look. I was even able to use my old N80 lenses on my D90. I am not crazy about the lighter weight models, but one might suit your needs perfectly. All are capable of taking pictures that will blow your mind. So, like a car, give 'em a spin.
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williamj1
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to Brev00, May 22, 2012

Hi Darren, first off don't worry about asking for help. It's what we are here for, welcome to the community

Secondly, don't worry about all the different model numbers and so on. Nikon are a large company, who make a huge number of cameras, and that's not to say you have to buy the current 2012 lineup.

First of all, you need to give us some indication of budget. Because there is a huge difference in prices. For example, the lowest entry level Nikon DSLR (3100) costs around £350 for the body and kit lens here in the UK. By contrast, the top professional models cost £4000 and up for just the body.

I'm guessing that since you are relatively new to photography, the consumer lineup would be more suited to you. Even in that range, the prices go from £350 > well over £1000. So giving yourself a strict budget would really help narrow down your choice.

Secondly, and perhaps most important of all, you need to consider what you need. All Nikon DSLR's provide excellent image quality, but some are better than others. The entry level cameras for example, (such as the D3100, D3200, D5100) offer much more help to the user, e.g. they talk the user through how to use the camera. They offer less control to the user, in return for more automated processes. This is no bad thing. When I started with photography for example, I didn't have a clue what I was doing so I shot in auto mode all the time, and I got some wonderful photos.

The new Nikon cameras also have HD video capabilities. But you might not need this.

The more expensive models also have a built in AF motor. If you are just starting out with photography, you don't need to worry about this.

So there is lots to consider, so it would be great if you could narrow it down a bit by giving us a budget and telling us what you want / need in / from a camera
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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 22, 2012

Might as well get the D7000 with the kit lens. You're a long time dead. If you are willing to study it a bit. If not, get the best Canon point and shoot you can, they take a great pic with no fussing needed.

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BeardedBurbler
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to RobertLaw, May 22, 2012

Thank you heaps for your response. So would a 5100 or 7000 be a good option? I only worry that i will grow out of the new d3200 too quickly. Would you mind giving me your thoughts
Kind regards
Darren

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j_photo
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 23, 2012

BeardedBurbler wrote:

Thank you heaps for your response. So would a 5100 or 7000 be a good option? I only worry that i will grow out of the new d3200 too quickly. Would you mind giving me your thoughts
Kind regards
Darren

The D7000 gives more control to the photographer. But it also takes more time to master. There have been many posts in this forum by disappointed inexperienced new D7000 users--it seems to take more time to learn how to get good results with this camera.

IMO, either the D3200 or D5100 are better cameras for the beginner, even one with serious intentions. If the hobby sticks and you want to upgrade in a year or two, or three, there will be newer, better options for upgrade by then.

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brucet
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to Reilly Diefenbach, May 23, 2012

Be careful about putting the cart before the horse!

What I mean is that rather than picking a certain camera try to figure out what you want to do in the way of photography first.

Do you just want high quality photos or do you think you would like to 'grow' with the hobby and expand future possibilities?

If you are 'just' after a simply camera that will take high quality photos go for the D3100. If you think you would like to 'grow' into photography take the plunge now and buy a D7000. Be aware though that the D7000 is a 'nerds' camera. It will do a great job and is very flexible but it can also tie you in knots at the same time.

I have no connection but I would try the Digital Camera Warehouse in either Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne. They have a huge range of cameras and I have found their help and advice unbiased and very helpful. Got good price as well which is a help!

Good luck.

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Bocker89
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 25, 2012

I was in the very same dilemma about a year ago. I echo the post that indicated you should see what model feels best in your hands. In addition I was trying to decide Canon or Nikon. I opted for the D90, although older, I wanted tried and true, knew others that have the same model so could help me hands-on since I don't have time for classes. It feels great when I hold it-the placement of controls fit my hands. I bought a kit with a 18-105 mm VR ED lens. I still can't take a clear photo with it. I'm beginning to think my kit lens may have focus issues. I also purchased a 70-300 mm VR ED lens and I love love love it - get totally awesome shots (as a beginner for the amount of time I have to spend - I did have to adjust my initial expectations as the learning curve for me is steep; but believe me my best are nothing like some of the beautiful shots I see on this site). I then added a 35 mm f1.8 prime, which is great when I want a small lens to carry, but I'm addicted to my 70-300 zoom for when I can't get close (like the squirrel on the tree that would run away). I really want to learn macro photography. Posted on here a while back, got good advice and purchased the Tamron 90, not out of the box yet, but I am so excited as we have a long weekend here in the US so I can spend some time learning a bit. Most of the technical discussions on this site are over my head as I'm still learning how to control aperature and shutter speed (so trial and error helps me learn the most; eg, take a shot, change only one setting, take another). I have to learn slowly stepwise and am delighted with my selection of the D90. I ordered Tom Hogan's guide for the D90 and instead of just studying it, referred to it when my too much trial and error and websites had me all confused. I changed settings according to his recommendations and I'm happy again.

good luck!

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anthony mazzeri
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 25, 2012

BeardedBurbler wrote:

Hi. I'm just a newbie but I am going to buy a new Nikon DSLR. I have had one before (Nikon) and loved it but did not learn to use its full potential. I need a new hobbie. I was going to get the new D3200 with two lenses, then I noticed the 5100 was only a little more expensive, then wondered what was so good about the 7000..... Then I notice these funny model numbers like 80 or 800 and 300....

Go with your original plan - the D3200 with two lenses. It's the smallest and lightest and simplest, and currently the newest as well, so is as good as any to start with to learn. All the camera models will give you all the basics you need like autofocus and top-notch sensors etc to take nice pictures so you can't really go wrong, but it's the lenses which determine what the camera will actually be picturing and how you can use it.

So research the two lenses (the best ones, not just 'kit zooms') you should get more so than the camera itself, depending on what you want to photograph eg, landscapes, weekend soccer games, fast running pets, naked women, candid street scenes, candlelit dinner parties, tiny insects inside flowers, flying birds 500 yards away... all this will determine if you should get a wide angle zoom, a fast prime, a telephoto, a macro lens etc etc...

If you ever get to the point as you're learning a year or two from now where it starts frustrating you because it's missing a particular feature then it's time to step up to another model with that specific feature you need such as a second control dial, ability to use legacy lenses, act as a flash commander, can take more continuous shots, larger sensor for shallower depth of field etc.

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miles green
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 26, 2012

Pricier cameras have better build quality, they are more precise, more responsive, have better viewfinders, better IQ, better focusing systems, focus micro-adjustment, better compatibility with older lens, etc... A cheap camera will quickly become frustrating and unsatisfying in use... IMHO, I don't think a D7000 would be overkill for anyone looking into a DSLR. On the contrary, it would make the learning experience faster and more pleasant.

Is it too expensive? Possibly, but that's another question!

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blue_cheese
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Re: Help with Nikon purchase....please
In reply to BeardedBurbler, May 26, 2012

If you plan to be enthusiastic and learn and experiment a lot then i would strongly suggest the D7000

If you just want an easy to use no bells and no whistles then get the D3200/D5200

I was a newbie and got a D3100 a year and a half ago. I take tons of pictures and really enjoy it. I largely regret not getting the D7000 but it may end up being a mixed blessing as I wait for the next set of refreshes and now I know what I want.

The D7000 is an excellent camera with a great sensor and a lot of body features to expand your photographic horizons. The D3200 is an extremely limited body with a lot of megapixels since people who don't know about photography are most easily impressed about megapixel counts. (I am all for megapixels but not at the expense of other things that I know about now). The D5100 is the same body as the D3100/D3200, but with the sensor from the D7000. While it is an exceptional sensor in terms of dynamic range and low light capability, a number of body features are missing and IMO they are totally worth.

Hope that helps, I know it is difficult paying extra for something you are not sure you will need. The problem is you don't know what your needs are until you understand what you want to do.

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