#4. "RE: Buying a Camera" In response to Reply # 3
Fort Smith, US
I have used flim SLRs and DSLRs. I would consider myself an advanced amateur. My photography is generally everyday, nature especially birds, overall nature. I rarely shoot in low light. I currently do not have a camera or any lens, I am starting from scratch. Is want to build a small system.
#6. "RE: Buying a Camera" In response to Reply # 0
The kits (body + lens) are usually close to the same price for a body only. Therefore you are getting the 18-55mm VR for free or at a substancial discount compared to buying them separately. That said, getting the kit makes the most sense.
#7. "RE: Buying a Camera" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 29-Aug-13 06:09 PM by grnzbra
You are making a decision between the 3200 and 5100. You might want to check out one of the later additions to the "D5100 or D5200?" thread. In it, the poster mentions a blog where he compares a 5100 with a 5200. Since the 3200 seems to have a "better" sensor than the 5100, there may be other things better as well. He mentions a number of things that I have never seen discussed here. So you might want to make a note of these things and then do a comparison of the 3200 and 5100 based on these things. The 3200 might actually be a better choice than the 5100 even without considering any price difference.
As far as kit lenses go, the 18-55 that I got with my 5100 is a very nice lens. Some kits come with more than one lens.
What kind of birds do you want to shoot? Geese, hawks, eagles etc that are some distance away or small birds that are perched or flying. I use a 5100 with a Sigma 150-500 to shoot small birds flying toward a feeder. For this I zone focus and run the camera on full auto. There have been a number of times in which the bird's head was coming into the frame in one pic and his tail is flying out of the frame in the next pic. I understand the 3200 has a 5 fps rate while the 5100 has only 4 fps. That might make a difference in that situation. Also, with the higher pixel density of the 3200, you might be able to get away with a smaller lens and then crop tighter to get the same picture.
#8. "RE: Buying a Camera" In response to Reply # 0
Everyone will give you several ideas! But it mostly comes down to cost.
I'm enjoying my D3200 with my sigma 18-250mm lens. As a beginner I will say this that I find it a great camera for dslr beginners. For me the D5200 is also a great camera. I might suggest a package as buying everything individually can be pretty pricey.
#10. "RE: Buying a Camera" In response to Reply # 8
I would strongly recommend that you get the D3200.
For purposes of photographing birds, you will often NOT be able to get as close as you want. The larger number of pixels on the D3200 sensor will allow you to crop way down and still get a good image.
Also for birds you need really fast shutter speeds. Under ideal conditions you can get those, but with less than great light you will need to turn up the ISO to keep the shutter speed up. The D3200 has excellent high ISO performance.
As others said, the 18-55 mm kit lens is a great lens for general and landscape photography. The next lens I bought was the 55-300 and it is a good next step. It will allow you to zoom in on more distant landscape features that you can't get otherwise, and is also good for bird photography if you can get close enough. It's also nice for portraits at about 80-100 mm.
If you find that the 55-300 lens is not enough for your purposes, the Sigma 150-500 is a highly regarded birding lens at a moderate cost.
But my advice is to start with the basic lens and see where you are limited by it, then add as you see what will fit your photography style.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS