I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
jimhughes
jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,646
I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle.  I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

So I'd like to dedicate an old used camera to this purpose. Here's SparkOCam's list. Can some guru tell me at a glance which ones are OLD and CHEAP?

Nikon D5500, Nikon D750, Nikon D7100, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5200, Nikon D5100, Nikon D5000, Nikon D90, Nikon D800, Nikon D810, Nikon D800E, Nikon D850, Nikon D600, Nikon D610, Nikon D700, Nikon D4, Nikon Df, Nikon D4s, Nikon D300, Nikon D300s, Nikon D3, Nikon D3s, Nikon D3X, Nikon D7200, Nikon D810A, Nikon 1 V3, Nikon D500, Nikon D5, Nikon D5600, Nikon D7500, Nikon Z6, Nikon Z7, Nikon Z50, Nikon D780, Nikon D6, Nikon Z5

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www.jimhphoto.com

1llusive
1llusive Veteran Member • Posts: 3,530
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

So I'd like to dedicate an old used camera to this purpose. Here's SparkOCam's list. Can some guru tell me at a glance which ones are OLD and CHEAP?

Nikon D5500, Nikon D750, Nikon D7100, Nikon D7000, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5200, Nikon D5100, Nikon D5000, Nikon D90, Nikon D800, Nikon D810, Nikon D800E, Nikon D850, Nikon D600, Nikon D610, Nikon D700, Nikon D4, Nikon Df, Nikon D4s, Nikon D300, Nikon D300s, Nikon D3, Nikon D3s, Nikon D3X, Nikon D7200, Nikon D810A, Nikon 1 V3, Nikon D500, Nikon D5, Nikon D5600, Nikon D7500, Nikon Z6, Nikon Z7, Nikon Z50, Nikon D780, Nikon D6, Nikon Z5

Go with an eBay D750 and add one of these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08LZ8HKDH/

I'm using it with my Z 6II.

Feel free to buy one with a higher number of shutter actuations as that won't matter to you and reduces the price noticeably.

I think the 50mm f/1.8 G should work fine as well.

Is it overkill for Zoom? Definitely. But there are many cameras on that list that are far more overkill. And the D750 will have better compatibility with accessories like the one mentioned above and could be shared with other cameras more easily.

The D7000 would be a good option as well if you're okay with no flippy screen.

 1llusive's gear list:1llusive's gear list
Nikon Z6 II Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 85mm F1.8 +1 more
24Peter
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,714
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom
4

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

Jim - I can't help you with your webcam issue. But... I did have a look at your website tonight. You've got some GREAT photos on there! A nice selection of still life, macro, animals, cityscapes and landscapes. I love the old cars and the insect macros! Great job!

Hope you get the Zoom setup worked out!

 24Peter's gear list:24Peter's gear list
Nikon Z50 Nikon Z6
jimhughes
OP jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,646
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom
1

24Peter wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

Jim - I can't help you with your webcam issue. But... I did have a look at your website tonight. You've got some GREAT photos on there! A nice selection of still life, macro, animals, cityscapes and landscapes. I love the old cars and the insect macros! Great job!

Hope you get the Zoom setup worked out!

My head is exploding due to your praise. 

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www.jimhphoto.com

lokatz
lokatz Senior Member • Posts: 2,460
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom
3

A D5100 or a D90 can be had for almost nothing and will do the job just fine.  By the way, there are cheap power adapters that end in sort of a fake battery that you can plug into the body's battery compartment, so no need to drain your batteries if a regular power adapter doesn't work.

 lokatz's gear list:lokatz's gear list
Panasonic ZS100 Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 II Canon EOS R5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G +31 more
aj_obx Regular Member • Posts: 205
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

Why not use Nikon's USB webcam software? Or a cheap hdmi to usb capture device?

 aj_obx's gear list:aj_obx's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 70-200 F2.8 VR Nikon D600 Nikon D700 +12 more
24Peter
24Peter Veteran Member • Posts: 4,714
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom
3

jimhughes wrote:

24Peter wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

Jim - I can't help you with your webcam issue. But... I did have a look at your website tonight. You've got some GREAT photos on there! A nice selection of still life, macro, animals, cityscapes and landscapes. I love the old cars and the insect macros! Great job!

Hope you get the Zoom setup worked out!

My head is exploding due to your praise.

Hey - you earned it! As a professional photographer for more than 15 years, it takes a lot to impress me. And you did! Great compositions, processing and compelling subjects! Keep it up!

 24Peter's gear list:24Peter's gear list
Nikon Z50 Nikon Z6
BasilG Veteran Member • Posts: 8,907
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

D90 and D300 should be quite cheap these days.

jimhughes
OP jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,646
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom
1

24Peter wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

24Peter wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

Jim - I can't help you with your webcam issue. But... I did have a look at your website tonight. You've got some GREAT photos on there! A nice selection of still life, macro, animals, cityscapes and landscapes. I love the old cars and the insect macros! Great job!

Hope you get the Zoom setup worked out!

My head is exploding due to your praise.

Hey - you earned it! As a professional photographer for more than 15 years, it takes a lot to impress me. And you did! Great compositions, processing and compelling subjects! Keep it up!

Jeez, thanks for all your  [KABOOOM!]

Uh, where was I? I think my head blew up.

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www.jimhphoto.com

ovrebekk
ovrebekk Veteran Member • Posts: 4,770
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

giarc
giarc Senior Member • Posts: 1,110
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

giarc
giarc Senior Member • Posts: 1,110
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

BasilG wrote:

D90 and D300 should be quite cheap these days.

I'd think the 5xxx series would be too.

Entropius Veteran Member • Posts: 4,391
Cheaper to use your Z50 and solve the other problems

I have a Z6 on tripod in front of me, plugged into Zoom.

I've got a dummy battery plugged in for power, and the HDMI output is plugged into an HDMI capture card (which is then connected to USB).

I haven't had to take the card or anything out of the Z6; just pop it into video mode and it's good to go.

 Entropius's gear list:Entropius's gear list
Nikon D500 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
ovrebekk
ovrebekk Veteran Member • Posts: 4,770
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Haha, true, you get the bit depth at least. Correcting white balance issues is still a pain though...

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

What are you using it with?

I don't think the Nikon webcam utility is sufficient for programs like Teams and Zoom.

giarc
giarc Senior Member • Posts: 1,110
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Haha, true, you get the bit depth at least. Correcting white balance issues is still a pain though...

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

What are you using it with?

I don't think the Nikon webcam utility is sufficient for programs like Teams and Zoom.

Which camera? Z7. I use it with Zoom and MS Teams (this one daily). In what way do you think it insufficient? honest question, as I've had zero issues. Granted, most of my meetings/calls are on the shorter side ( thankfully!), like, an hour or so. Also, using a Mac.

Entropius Veteran Member • Posts: 4,391
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom
1

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Haha, true, you get the bit depth at least. Correcting white balance issues is still a pain though...

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

What are you using it with?

I don't think the Nikon webcam utility is sufficient for programs like Teams and Zoom.

Which camera? Z7. I use it with Zoom and MS Teams (this one daily). In what way do you think it insufficient? honest question, as I've had zero issues. Granted, most of my meetings/calls are on the shorter side ( thankfully!), like, an hour or so. Also, using a Mac.

I find using a hdmi capture card works a lot better.

 Entropius's gear list:Entropius's gear list
Nikon D500 Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR
jimhughes
OP jimhughes Senior Member • Posts: 1,646
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

SparkoCam support tells me they do this so it's ready for you to shoot a still via SparkOCam. It's not a bug to them.

It puts my Z50 into JPG mode. The first time this happened I came home with some great bird shots in JPG SMALL.  Yes. Small.

I've already lost 2 photo outings because of this helpful feature. Because of this, I can't recommend SparkOCam to serious photographers.

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www.jimhphoto.com

ovrebekk
ovrebekk Veteran Member • Posts: 4,770
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Haha, true, you get the bit depth at least. Correcting white balance issues is still a pain though...

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

What are you using it with?

I don't think the Nikon webcam utility is sufficient for programs like Teams and Zoom.

Which camera? Z7. I use it with Zoom and MS Teams (this one daily). In what way do you think it insufficient? honest question, as I've had zero issues. Granted, most of my meetings/calls are on the shorter side ( thankfully!), like, an hour or so. Also, using a Mac.

The video doesn't show up at all in these programs, unless I use a program like SparkoCam as an intermediary.

I did some googling when I set this up, and it seemed like this was a known limitation.

I'm on Windows though, could be different on Mac.

Edit: The cameras I used are Z50 and Z6.

giarc
giarc Senior Member • Posts: 1,110
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Haha, true, you get the bit depth at least. Correcting white balance issues is still a pain though...

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

What are you using it with?

I don't think the Nikon webcam utility is sufficient for programs like Teams and Zoom.

Which camera? Z7. I use it with Zoom and MS Teams (this one daily). In what way do you think it insufficient? honest question, as I've had zero issues. Granted, most of my meetings/calls are on the shorter side ( thankfully!), like, an hour or so. Also, using a Mac.

The video doesn't show up at all in these programs, unless I use a program like SparkoCam as an intermediary.

I did some googling when I set this up, and it seemed like this was a known limitation.

I'm on Windows though, could be different on Mac.

Edit: The cameras I used are Z50 and Z6.

Oh! that sucks. I just plug a USB-C cable into the Z, other end to my USB on the Mac, flip the camera to video and it works as is. The video shows up even when the camera is in photo mode, just the AF doesn't work as well as video mode.

ovrebekk
ovrebekk Veteran Member • Posts: 4,770
Re: I need a cheap Nikon for Zoom

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

giarc wrote:

ovrebekk wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I've been using my Z50 for Zoom, via SparkOCam. Works great BUT it's too much of a hassle. I have to mount it on a tripod, plug in USB, remove the memory card (because that gives SparkOCam trouble). And I drain the battery, because there's no AC adaptor for the Z50.

Worst of all, SparkOCam takes it out of Raw mode, and I never remember to switch it back. BIG PROBLEM.

This!! So much this!!

Twice now I have come back after an outing just to realize I shot all my pictures in TIFF mode

Wow, that is an obnoxious behavior of the software! I would totally get annoyed.

Guess it could be worse; could be JPG

Haha, true, you get the bit depth at least. Correcting white balance issues is still a pain though...

Have either of you tried the Nikon webcam utility? I've been using it and it seems to just work ( still have the power issues...)

What are you using it with?

I don't think the Nikon webcam utility is sufficient for programs like Teams and Zoom.

Which camera? Z7. I use it with Zoom and MS Teams (this one daily). In what way do you think it insufficient? honest question, as I've had zero issues. Granted, most of my meetings/calls are on the shorter side ( thankfully!), like, an hour or so. Also, using a Mac.

The video doesn't show up at all in these programs, unless I use a program like SparkoCam as an intermediary.

I did some googling when I set this up, and it seemed like this was a known limitation.

I'm on Windows though, could be different on Mac.

Edit: The cameras I used are Z50 and Z6.

Oh! that sucks. I just plug a USB-C cable into the Z, other end to my USB on the Mac, flip the camera to video and it works as is. The video shows up even when the camera is in photo mode, just the AF doesn't work as well as video mode.

One of the features that Mac premium gets you I guess

How do you configure the camera settings then? All on the camera?
One of the nice things about SparkoCam is that you control a lot of the settings through the application itself, so you don't have to mess around on the back of the camera.

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