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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #5421
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Subject: "Choosing the Right Camera..." Previous topic | Next topic
TiffTheMetalhead Registered since 22nd Feb 2012Wed 22-Feb-12 11:27 PM
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"Choosing the Right Camera..."


US
          

Hello everyone

I'm hoping to get some experienced advice in a certain matter. I will be attending the Illinois Institute of Art for a B.F.A. in Digital Photography soon. I've been researching my camera options - both in stores and online. I have obtained opinions from instructors, employees at camera stores and many online reviews, rants, raves, etc. And yet, I still can't narrow down which camera to purchase. I am stuck between the D5100 and the D3100.

I was just in a camera store, and the employee explained to me I am better off buying the D3100 because the body is cheaper, and he would suggest putting money toward lenses instead of a more expensive body. He also said the differences between the D5100 and the D3100 are minimal and, in my case, won't make a real difference.

While trying to balance cost and quality - I'm finding it very difficult to find a middle ground. I don't plan on using video, so there's that. Just as I think I know which one or the other that I'm going to buy, I read something that puts me off for another few days. I don't claim to be an expert photographer yet, but I am quite skilled with a point and shoot. I know the basic differences of the D5100 and the D3100 (fps, etc) but I cannot tell if one or the other is impractical to last me 2 years of photography classes? Could anyone offer me solid evidence to make my choice?

Thank you so much in advance!!

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
jpFoto
23rd Feb 2012
1
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
TiffTheMetalhead
23rd Feb 2012
5
     Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas
24th Feb 2012
9
     Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
jpFoto
26th Feb 2012
10
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
robbo2012
23rd Feb 2012
2
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
TiffTheMetalhead
23rd Feb 2012
6
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas
23rd Feb 2012
3
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
TiffTheMetalhead
23rd Feb 2012
7
     Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
i weston i
03rd Mar 2012
11
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
pjonesCET Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014
23rd Feb 2012
4
Reply message RE: Choosing the Right Camera...
TiffTheMetalhead
23rd Feb 2012
8

jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010Thu 23-Feb-12 12:09 AM
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#1. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Tiffany

Since my father was a photo instructor at a few of the photography schools in Chicago, I just felt a need to at least reply to your post.

First, I think that the employee who gave you his advice was earnest and correct. You can do almost everything with the D3100 that you can do with the D5100, and since it will be your first DSLR, there is no reason to spend the extra more money for a D5100. I have a D3s and a D3100 for my travel camera, and I can tell you that the D3100 is a very good camera.

Second, after you have gained some experience and learned the "ropes" you may want to get a different and more advanced camera, so why spend the extra money on your first camera.

I'm sure that Marty will weigh-in on this one too, because we have both dealt with Central Camera in Chicago on Wabash at Jackson.

If you want any additional information, please fee free to send me an email.

jP

  

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TiffTheMetalhead Registered since 22nd Feb 2012Thu 23-Feb-12 08:31 PM
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#5. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

Thank you for the response

Does your father teach anymore? I'll be going to the Ai in Schaumburg but I'm a short way from downtown. I'll be sure to check out the camera shop you mentioned. I was referred to Helix Camera but have yet to visit there.

Thanks again, I'll keep in touch!

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Fri 24-Feb-12 08:23 AM
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#9. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 5


US
          

Hi Tiffany,

Central Camera has been in business since 1899. Great people and Great service. You might want to check Calumet Photo on Cherry Street on Goose Island too.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010Sun 26-Feb-12 05:33 AM
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#10. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 5
Sun 26-Feb-12 11:41 PM by jpFoto

US
          

Hi Tiffany

No, my father does not teach anymore.

As for camera stores, and although Marty and I have great memories of the "old" Central, I just stopped in there, and it didn't appear to me to be the same pro shop that it used to be, although I have no doubt that the personnel and service is just as good as it always was. Helix and Calumet may be better bets these days, so don't make a special trip.

Keep us posted on your experiences with your photography classes.

Regards,

jP


  

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robbo2012 Registered since 18th Feb 2012Thu 23-Feb-12 12:50 PM
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#2. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 0


UK
          

Hi Tiff...
Theres a comparison I posted here, includes D3100 and D5100.
It might be enough to help you decide one way or the other:
http://min.us/mVvEpnFFB

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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TiffTheMetalhead Registered since 22nd Feb 2012Thu 23-Feb-12 08:36 PM
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#6. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Hey! Thanks for the link! I just read through the article. It seems the D3100 is the right camera for my needs.

Thank you!

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 23-Feb-12 04:21 PM
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#3. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Tiffany,

Welcome to Nikonians!
Both bodies are extremely capable. In fact more capable in many regards than even the Pro film bodies of 20 years ago.
You have been given excellent advise.
The main advantage the D5100 has over the D 3100 is about a 2/3rd stop of high ISO performance. That said, for shooting indoor sports in most situations, 2/3rds of a stop won't be enough to make a meaningful difference.
Camera bodies come and go ( which is much more true of DSLR's with about a two year production cycle than it was for film bodies with about an 8 year production cycle), Glass is a lifetime investment.
The D3100 should serve you very well for the next two years and beyond.
Remember that its not the camera that makes the image, it is the one standing behind the camera.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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TiffTheMetalhead Registered since 22nd Feb 2012Thu 23-Feb-12 08:43 PM
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#7. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

Hey Marty,

Truly well said and clear cut. This has made my decision remarkably evident - I'll be ordering my D3100 tonight!

Thanks a lot for your advice and insight. I'm looking forward to my time on Nikonians.

  

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i weston i Registered since 03rd Mar 2012Sat 03-Mar-12 10:01 PM
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#11. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

Good choice on the D3100! I also have one and I've found it to be actually better image quality than my D300! It will be great for learning and also save some money for lenses.

  

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pjonesCET Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Jul 2011Thu 23-Feb-12 06:45 PM
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#4. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 0


Martinsville, US
          

I use 3000 (predecessor of 3100) and it takes great Pictures I have the 18-55mm and the 55-200mm lens

If you want to look at some photos I've taken look at my gallery. The first album is a Mix of photos from other cameras and taken with this camera The others strictly with this camera.

Phillip M Jones, CET
pjonescet@comcast.net
http://www.phillipmjones.net/

Visit my Nikonians gallery.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjonescet/
http://www.phillipjones-cet.net

  

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TiffTheMetalhead Registered since 22nd Feb 2012Thu 23-Feb-12 08:48 PM
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#8. "RE: Choosing the Right Camera..."
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

Cute kitty on your website. That was a very touching story.

Lovely pictures all around. Thank you for sharing

  

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Forums Lobby GET TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA & MASTER IT Nikon D5300/D5200/D5100/D5000/D3300/D3200/D3100/D3000 (Public) topic #5421 Previous topic | Next topic