Nikon D5200 or 7100 which is better for me?

Started Jun 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
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WblR New Member • Posts: 7
Nikon D5200 or 7100 which is better for me?

Hey everyone,

I'm new and just starting out with photography and could really use some help in choosing my first DSLR camera.

I've been researching like crazy and i think i'm down to 2 choices: The Nikon D5200 and D7100.

My budget is pretty tight at the 7100 end of the scale (didn't want to spend more than about $1,500 AUD on the body + 2ish lenses)

I will be using the camera for Night sky shots, sunsets, sunrises, nature shots and the occasional portrait. The majority will be nature shots and low light ones. So i need something that is suitably capable.

Most if not all of my photos will be viewed online and if i do print them out, i doubt they will ever go any bigger than standard photo size.

Although this is my first camera, i am after something that is an all-rounder as i will not be upgrading unless something goes terribly wrong and it's totally out of the range of what I want (Which is why i'm doing as much research as i can now lol). So, whatever i buy has to be long term suitable and able to grow with me and my skill level. I also wanted to get something newer that's not really at the end of it's life span like the d7000.

Here are the pros and cons that i can think of that are the biggest deciding factors so far:

I plan to be using manual controls most of the time and the fact that the manual controls are in the screen on the 5200 is kind of off putting .. Does anyone find that it's not that much of a hassle to go into the menu to find and change it each time?

And i also like the idea of the weather sealing on the 7100 and the fact that it has a sturdier frame too. I wonder if the camera body itself says it can be used in mist/light rain, what about the lens? And if i want to take photo's in misty mountain tops or fog for e.g. should I spend the money and invest in the 7100 for those times? Or is it not really that big of a deal and the 5200 will do just the same thing without getting wet and falling apart/rusting etc.

Also i worry about the size and weight of the 7100. This is something I'm going to be looking at when i go to a shop next week. (i have pretty average/small ladies hands- i wear a size small to occasional medium in gloves if that's any indication) I need a camera that's not a huge ordeal to lug around with me while i go bush walking on holidays or camping etc.

I do like that the d7100 is compatible with older lenses as i wouldn't necessarily like to buy a camera that only takes specific lenses. Or is this really not a huge factor to think about?

I am wary of the buying a camera for its features over it's practicality, so the size of the lcd screen or the manoeuvrability of the d5200's really doesn't phase me. I mean, it will probably come in handy when doing ground work but at the same time, its really not something that i'm rushing out to buy just because of marketing.

In my research, i've also found people talking about full frame v's crop's, and how the future is all heading towards full frame. Is this something i should be worrying about?

Will the lack of image stabilisation on the d7100 be something to worry about? I do tend to have a shaky hand but will be using a tripod, beanbag etc as well.

Sorry there are so many questions in there, i could really use any and all help i can get. 
Thanks so much!

Nikon D5200 Nikon D7000 Nikon D7100
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