Is upgrading worth it?

Started Dec 12, 2013 | Discussions
tahoe22
Regular MemberPosts: 124
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Is upgrading worth it?
Dec 12, 2013

I am retired now and have a couple hobbies other then taking photos, but they are more warm weather enjoyments. We purchased a Nikon d60 maybe 4 – 5 years ago, when grandchildren came along, and have used it often. It has the 2 kit lenses and I also have the 35mm 1.8 which I enjoy using more then the others. I have considered getting a newer camera, lets say the d7100 or a leftover d7000, but recently have read more then once that the early dx series ( d40’s, d60’s, etc) can take just as good a photo…Is this true? I know the resolution on the 7000 and 7100 is greater but how much difference am I going to notice?

On the other hand I have considered just keeping the d60 and maybe spending the money on another lens or two.

Any input appreciated

Thanks

Nikon D40 Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100
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riman
Contributing MemberPosts: 521Gear list
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Re: Is upgrading worth it?
In reply to tahoe22, Dec 12, 2013

I went through the same thing as you but in the end its a case of what you want and what you are willing to pay..

I had a D 40..they later released the D 40x  and the D 60 is a slightly upgraded version of that, if my memory is correct.

I also had a D 90..Now I have a D 7100

My impressions:

One thing that I never liked about the D 40-60 series is they had only three focus points..and the 90 had only 11.  I like the 51 of the D 7100..

I also found the 40-60 to be slow to focus ..the D 90 is better and the 7100 is best...Much better for focusing on running grand kids..I know!

I also VERY  like that I can use Continuous mode with Focus priority rather than Shutter priority...Tired of getting so many shots out of focus in C mode ...Now it's much better..and the funny thing is that while this is so important to me, I never read about this feature in any review..Discovered it when I tried the camera.

I like the picture quality of both the 90 and 7100  better than the 40-60..there is a lot of time between the two so better quality is to be expected especially at higher ISO. I remember seeing a shot from the D 90 at 1600 ISO for the first time and being really amazed.. and I think the 7100 has an edge over the 90 in certain situations...not a tremendous amount that will jump out at you, as the 90 is very good,,,but I think the 7100 may be just a bit better..

It's is really a combination of things that determines what is "best" and whether you should upgrade and that depends on what you are shooting and what you consider worthwhile in a camera.

I read article after article like you..trying to decide and in the end just went to a store with a money back guarantee to find out myself.. My best advice to you..same as I tell my grand kids when they turn their noses up at dinner...Just try it!

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starman1969
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Re: Is upgrading worth it?
In reply to riman, Dec 12, 2013

I understand where you are coming from there. The only thing which would put me off an early body, like a D80 is the lo-res LCD screen on the back.

I'd definitely consider a D90 though because it was a big improvement + it has video & Live View.

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kithg
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Re: Is upgrading worth it?
In reply to tahoe22, Dec 12, 2013

What can't you shoot now that you would like to? If the answer is nothing, then you're fine with what you have.

If what you want to shoot and can't is lens based - like you need a longer lens to shoot birds, or you need a faster lens to shoot portraits with out of focus backgrounds better than you can now - then investigate a new lens.

If what you want to shoot and can't is camera based, that is the capability of your D40 isn't adequate to shoot in very low light or because it has no motor, you can't use older lenses and you're interested in doing that, then investigate a new camera.

It's just one way of thinking about the question.

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unknown member
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Re: Is upgrading worth it?
In reply to tahoe22, Dec 12, 2013

Have you tried looking through Thom Hogans upgrade guide ?  I find he sums things up nicely and I respect his judgement.

http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/camera-articles/

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blue_cheese
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In reply to kithg, Dec 12, 2013

kithg wrote:

What can't you shoot now that you would like to? If the answer is nothing, then you're fine with what you have.

If what you want to shoot and can't is lens based - like you need a longer lens to shoot birds, or you need a faster lens to shoot portraits with out of focus backgrounds better than you can now - then investigate a new lens.

If what you want to shoot and can't is camera based, that is the capability of your D40 isn't adequate to shoot in very low light or because it has no motor, you can't use older lenses and you're interested in doing that, then investigate a new camera.

It's just one way of thinking about the question.

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+1

If you don't know why you need to upgrade then you don't.... and your results will not upgrade. If you have identified and need to surpass a deficiency in your equipment then yes and upgrade.

Any unquantifiable "improvement" perceived is most likely psychological happiness for spending money (yes some people feel good about that)

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Mr Gadget
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Re: Is upgrading worth it?
In reply to kithg, Dec 12, 2013

kithg wrote:

What can't you shoot now that you would like to? If the answer is nothing, then you're fine with what you have.

If what you want to shoot and can't is lens based - like you need a longer lens to shoot birds, or you need a faster lens to shoot portraits with out of focus backgrounds better than you can now - then investigate a new lens.

If what you want to shoot and can't is camera based, that is the capability of your D40 isn't adequate to shoot in very low light or because it has no motor, you can't use older lenses and you're interested in doing that, then investigate a new camera.

It's just one way of thinking about the question.

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Very well stated! Since 2006 I have been shooting my D2x and for the most part have been quite pleased with all aspects of its operation and output. Until, I bought a Fujifilm X100 which really opened my eyes to how much the low light capability of todays sensors have improved. Based upon that one improvement, I set out to find a good low light body that could use my existing DX lenses. Long story short, when the D7100 showed up on Amazon at below $900 I bought one.

After using it for three days now, all I can say is that it far exceeds my expectations. The OOC JPEGs are usable up to ISO 6400, Auto ISO is a dream come true. The 51 pt AF is super! I use it on AFC - 9 pt release mode and I have only one image out of the 1st several hundred that was out of focus, and I think I might have moved the focus ring on my 17-55 to cause that!

If you are looking to improve your available light (non-flash)/candid images then I would strongly suggest you take a close look at the D7100. It is a hell of lot camera for around $1000.

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Catallaxy
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Re: Is upgrading worth it?
In reply to tahoe22, Dec 12, 2013

The older Nikon cameras create photos with a certain color and tonality that the newer cameras lack. I use my D60 to get that look when shooting portraits in great light and for macros (flowers mainly).

If you regularly shoot at lower ISOs (say under 400) and do not print larger than 11x14, then the newer cameras with larger sensors do not give you much over the D60. However if you often shoot at ISO 1000 and above, and/or print large, then the newer cameras have a lot to offer.

Similarly if you do not shoot a lot of action where you need fast autofocus or multiple focus points, then the D60 is fine and the newer cameras with 11, 39 and 51 autofocus points do add much to your photography.

If the D60's size is fine in your hand (not cramped) then you do not need the larger bodies of the D7000/D7100 series cameras.

The newer cameras have mirror up, which can help with macro. So if you are a very frequent macro shooter it can help to get a newer camera with that feature. However I take plenty of macro with my D60 and do not feel hampered.

I have the D60, D7100 and D700 as well as a little Nikon V1. Each has their place. Of these I like the D700 and the D60 the best and only keep the D7100 around for birding and wildlife.

Note that if you need to stretch the capability of the D60 a bit, try shooting RAW and using the Free Nikon View NX2 (download from Nikonusa.com) and you can get a bit better looking photos using some very easy tweaks.

Good luck!

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Catallaxy

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