Where to go from a D3100...?

Started Apr 23, 2013 | Questions thread
whyamihere Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Where to go from a D3100...?

SNphotos wrote:

I currently own a Nikon d31000 with the 18-55mm kit lens and a 35mm 1.8 lens.

I have been doing some amateur photography and the camera has worked great for the past two years, however now I am getting some business and would like to upgrade from the beginner model.

I am definitely on a budget but also don't wish to have to do this again in two years, I would like the camera I pick to be one I can work with for awhile as my work progresses.

However, I don't know what nikon body would be the best deal and work the best for my needs and also hopefully work with at least the 35mm lens so I don't have to buy another portrait lens at the moment.

Hopefully someone can give me some opinions on what I should do and also what lenses you'd recommend to buy along with any camera body I may purchase.

Side note: I mostly use my camera for portrait or model photography right now.

Also I find I don't really use the video capabilities on my camera so that isn't necessary.


First, figure out how much cash you can get for your D3100 and the 35mm f/1.8G. Add that amount to however much you have in available funds for an upgrade. That should give you an idea of what kind of camera you can afford. You may want to hold onto the kit lens for now, considering a better zoom will set you back more than a few hundred US dollars (and the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR usually doesn't sell for much cash to be worthwhile).

Secondly, you probably don't want another body that only has one dial and requires menu diving for important settings. You may also want to consider something that will handle more complex studio setups as your business and needs grow. I'm thinking maybe a used D7000 or D300s if your budget supports it.

Thirdly, I see no reason to shoot with a 24MP APS-C camera such as a D7100, D5200, or D3200. To take any advantage of their higher resolution, you'll need lenses that cost more than your entire current setup, which is likely money you don't have at the moment.

Lastly, you may want to consider a 50mm f/1.8G over your current 35mm f/1.8G. I personally don't do a lot of model work, but I've noticed a lot of the pros do full body and head shots mostly with the 85mm (or it's calculated 35mm equivalent) focal length. A 50mm on a 1.5x crop sensor works out to be 75mm (nearly there), and the 50mm f/1.8G costs about as much as your current 35mm f/1.8G. DigitalRev has a useful (albeit cheeky) video illustrating the usefulness of an 85mm for model work.

Hope this helps.

 whyamihere's gear list:whyamihere's gear list
Nikon D500 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art
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