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Subject: "Which Nikon?" Previous topic | Next topic
ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Thu 27-Dec-12 12:50 PM
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"Which Nikon?"


Chichester, GB
          

Hi all,
I have a chequered history with cameras - I tend to keep on changing thinking the next will be better for me. And here I am again...

I have had D60, D90, D7000, J1 and now V1.

D60 was fine but I got feature envy.
D90 was fine but again that feature envy kicked in.
D7000 was a stunning camera, everything I could want but I wasn't taking it out because it was too big and heavy.
J1 was new and different but no viewfinder.
V1 - now got the viewfinder but it is just not as good as an SLR.

So, here I am. I want to go back to an SLR. Don't want the bulk of a D7000. Don't use the features despite the fact it has so many wonderful options...

So, I am now looking at D3200, D5100 and D5200. I would go straight to the D5200 but it is twice the price of the other 2 and I don't think it does enough to be worth it.

The camera will priamrily be used for photos on holidays and occasional other use. No matter how much I thought I would I just don't do loads of photography at home.

So, looking for a nice carry around camera (I have a 35mm prime and the 18-200VRII to go with it that I kept from before).

Would you get the D3200 for the extra MP and newer engine, the D5100 for articulating screen or pay twice the price for a D5200 with the higher MP, articulating screen and the extra focus points?

I am leaning towards the D3200 as they are under 400GBP at the moment (about the same price as the D5100).

PS - I don't shoot video so really don't care about HD video, stereo sound, etc.

Thanks.

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
walkerr Administrator
27th Dec 2012
1
Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
ithompson72 Silver Member
27th Dec 2012
2
     Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
27th Dec 2012
4
     Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Ellis Feibush Silver Member
30th Dec 2012
16
Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Alfred70
27th Dec 2012
3
Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
27th Dec 2012
5
Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
27th Dec 2012
7
     Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Toby01 Silver Member
27th Dec 2012
8
          Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
27th Dec 2012
9
               Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
28th Dec 2012
10
                    Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Alfred70
28th Dec 2012
11
                    Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
28th Dec 2012
12
                    Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Toby01 Silver Member
28th Dec 2012
14
                         Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
Leonard62 Gold Member
28th Dec 2012
15
Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
ithompson72 Silver Member
27th Dec 2012
6
     Reply message RE: Which Nikon?
ithompson72 Silver Member
28th Dec 2012
13

walkerr Administrator Awarded for his con tributed articles published at the Resources Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in multiple areas Nikonian since 05th May 2002Thu 27-Dec-12 01:06 PM
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#1. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 0


Colorado Springs, US
          

If you don't think your past experience of getting "feature envy" will recur, I'd go for the D3200 given your planned use. If you think there's a risk of it recurring, I'd spend the money for a D5200 since it's easy to eliminate the cost savings of a D3200 if you sell it in a few months at a loss.

Rick Walker

My photos:
GeoVista Photography

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Thu 27-Dec-12 01:34 PM
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#2. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 1


Chichester, GB
          

Hi Rick. I have just been looking at more reviews. Does that mean you would rule out the 5100? I have been looking at more reviews since posting and the 5100 does seem to stick out a bit and looks like most of its idiosyncracies have been fixed in the 5200.

So, are the focus points worth it in the 5200? Gut feel is I probably wouldn't use them. Then there is the articulating screen - but I tend to use the viewfinder. And the interface on the 5200 looks a little better but I get the feeling that is just icing on the cake rather than a real benefit.

I handled both of them earlier and they felt very similar in the hand. And both much lighter than the D7000.

This is proving to be a difficult one for me. Anyone else any thoughts on why I should go for a 3200 rather than a 5100 or 5200? I think my head says the 3200 is the logical choice but that darn feature envy could come back and as you say Rick would potentially mean more money down the drain (just think of all things I could have bought if I hadn't kept changing cameras - and especially as I always tend to buy the "just released" cameras at a premium - OK maybe the 5200 is not a good idea then

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Thu 27-Dec-12 05:20 PM
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#4. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 2


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

I have both the D5100 and the D3200. Until the D5200 comes out, I need both of them. I originally bought the D5100 because of it's articulating screen and it's high resolution. I like shooting photos of my model trains, which sit on the floor, and are otherwise very difficult to photograph without that screen and LiveView. Here's one example. Shot with the AFS 35mm f1.8 DX lens.



Here's another use for the D5100. This time the camera was over my head. The Hummel figures are on the top of my bookshelf. This one was shot with the kit AFS 18-55mm DX VR lens. Neither photo was sharpened in post.



I bought the D3200 because of it's high resolution. I enjoy measuring the resolution of all my lenses. The D3200 resolves my charts with much more clarity than any other camera I own including the D5100.

Both cameras perform flawlessly. I have not found any shortcomings in the AF systems or anything else. I'm even using both bodies with my pro lenses and even my manual focus lenses in manual mode. The D3200 has become my top DX body for use with my long lenses as well as my ultra wides.

I might get the D5200 after it comes out and give my D5100 to my grand daughter who is now a freshman in high school and has shown a great interest in photography. She's currently using the cheapest and mostly automatic p&s.

If I were you I would probably hold off for the D5200 even though your photography needs are probably a lot different than mine.

Len

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Ellis Feibush Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Sep 2009Sun 30-Dec-12 09:39 AM
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#16. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 2


Summit, US
          

I just bought a D5100. The price certainly was right and it was a Christmas gift to myself. Well, I found myself looking for very quick and more direct ways around the camera to set ISO, white balance, picture controls and other things. You can use the (i) setting to get to many of these things but it isn't as explicit or direct as pressing a button as on the D7000 or D300.I have also set the "Fn" button for ISO. That's pretty fast. I haven't made any prints yet but understand they are the same quality as the D7000.
The point is once you become used to the convenience of setting these things more directly, it's hard to become too enthusiastic about the user features on the D5100 IMHO. For me, in terms of "usability", the D5100 is a step down from the D7000. But, of course, so was the price.
"Nothin' for nuthin" as my father used to say. You get what you pay for. For me, the D5100 was a step down even though it was offered at a great price, price isn't everything!

efeibush

  

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Alfred70 Registered since 12th Dec 2012Thu 27-Dec-12 05:17 PM
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#3. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 0


San Antonio, US
          

I'm also comparing the same cameras as you are for purchase. I currently have a D60 and would like an upgrade. The D7000 looks like too much camera, features, and learning curve for me so I have narrowed it down to the D3200 or D5100. My preference so far is the D5100.

The D5100 has some interesting features that the D60 and D3200 do not have, that is the AE bracketing, WB bracketing, and HDR. These are things I have been wanting to experiment with, but cannot with the D60.

Also the 5100 file format has 14-bit NEF whereas the 3200 is 12-bit NEF. I'm not sure if this is of any real significance. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.

In Thom Hogans review of the 3200:

http://www.bythom.com/nikond3200review.htm

he states that with the 24 megapixel sensor, the quality of kit lenses (I presume 18-55mm and 55-200mm) is at their limits. These are the lenses that I have, along with the 18-200mm. I would hate to think that I have to upgrade these lenses in order to maximize use of the 3200.

So everything says the D5100 is a better choice for me. It will give me an upgrade without breaking the bank. One can purchase the D5100 body only, refurbished by Nikon, for $380. That's manageable for me. My wife would like a new Nikon 105mm macro lens for her D40X, which I must also consider.

What are your main reasons for favoring the D3200, other than the increased pixel count?

Al
San Antonio, TX

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Thu 27-Dec-12 05:30 PM
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#5. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 3


Hatboro, Pa, US
          


>
>In Thom Hogans review of the 3200:
>
>http://www.bythom.com/nikond3200review.htm
>
>he states that with the 24 megapixel sensor, the quality of
>kit lenses (I presume 18-55mm and 55-200mm) is at their
>limits. These are the lenses that I have, along with the
>18-200mm. I would hate to think that I have to upgrade these
>lenses in order to maximize use of the 3200.
>

I certainly disagree with that statement. I have over 100 lenses from Pro lenses to kit lenses to very old manual focus lenses. While I haven't used all my lenses on the D3200 I have used enough to know that outside of a couple, nearly every lens gives me sharper photos on the D3200 than on any other camera. And that includes the AFS 18-55mm VR and the AFS 18-200mm lenses.

Len

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Thu 27-Dec-12 07:54 PM
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#7. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 5


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

Here's a little illustration as to how good a kit lens is on the D3200.

I compared 3 lenses, all at 24mm and f4. All were shot in raw using LiveView in AFS mode and ISO 100. Center target. There is no sharpening or contrast adjustments in any of the photos.

The kit AFS 18-55mm VR lens at 24mm. The widest aperture at this FL is f4.


The AFS 14-24mm f2.8 at f4.


The AFS 24mm f1.4 at f4.


The 24mm f1.4 lens and the kit lens have about the same resolution with the 24mm f1.4 lens slightly higher contrast

The AFS 14-24mm lens has slightly less resolution with about the same contrast as the kit lens.

Don't get rid of those kit lenses just yet. They're pretty good and for the price one heck of a bargain.

Len


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

  

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Toby01 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Nov 2012Thu 27-Dec-12 08:29 PM
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#8. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 7


El Sobrante, US
          

Hi, Len.

I have also been thinking about these two cameras. Could you post a couple of shots using the same lens, at the same aperture, on the D3200 and the D5100 to show the difference in resolution you see? Thanks.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Thu 27-Dec-12 09:38 PM
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#9. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 8


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

If I get a chance I'll do it tonight. Since I view the charts at 100% I'll need to down sample the D3200 shots to get an exact size and resolution comparison.

Len

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Fri 28-Dec-12 12:00 AM
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#10. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 9


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

D5100 versus D3200 resolution.

The two lenses are the AFS 35mm f1.8 at f2.8 and the AFS 18-55mm at f5.6

D5100 AFS 35mm f1.8


D3200 AFS 35mm f1.8


D5100 AFS 18-55mm


D3200 AFS 18-55mm


The D3200 charts have been down sampled to the same size as the D5100. The nearly two line pair increased resolution of the D3200 is significant. But these are 100% crops. Normal viewing size photos are pretty close between the two.

Look at the charts. Column 0 #5 is equal to 80 LPMM. The D3X will seldom exceed this resolution. The smallest pairs, column I #1 is equal to 100 LPMM and #2 is equal to 112 LPMM. This puts the resolution of the D5100 and D3200 extremely high which is both equal and then higher resolution that the D800. That makes both of these cameras real winners whichever you buy.

Len




Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)
Attachment #4, (jpg file)

  

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Alfred70 Registered since 12th Dec 2012Fri 28-Dec-12 12:06 AM
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#11. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 10


San Antonio, US
          

Greetings Len,

That was a lot of work you went through to show the worthiness of the D5100 and D3200 cameras and lenses. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Al
San Antonio, TX

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Fri 28-Dec-12 12:22 AM
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#12. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 11


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

Thanks Al,

It's really not a problem. The charts are always up. The only thing that takes a little time is setting up the distance between the lens and the chart based on it's focal length. That's why I used the same focal length lenses. I didn't have to move my tripod. Plus I enjoy doing it. I consider it play not work.

Len

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Toby01 Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Nov 2012Fri 28-Dec-12 05:45 PM
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#14. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 10


El Sobrante, US
          

Hi, Len.
Thanks for doing the shots and posting the crops. Your comments are also useful because it's obvious you know a lot more about interpreting the charts than I do.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Leonard62 Gold Member Awarded for excellent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community, especially of Nikkor Lenses Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Fri 28-Dec-12 06:56 PM
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#15. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 14


Hatboro, Pa, US
          

I bought the Modern Photography magazine lens testing kit from the early 70's and have been using it for all my testing since. The kit came with a 16 page manual, test charts and a magnifying loupe to inspect your negatives. I have been able to preserve the manual in excellent shape and four of the charts like new. In the manual you are told what distance the lens should be for each lens focal length and what camera format, 35mm, 6x6 or 4x5. The manual has charts which convert the line pairs on the charts to resolution in Lines Per MM. (LPMM). I find the resolution increases in LPMM (of the same lens) as the digital sensors get better. It tells me that the resolution limits are not caused by the lens but by the sensor (in many cases). By checking every lens at every f stop I can also see where diffraction is creeping in and it's not like hitting a brick wall as some would make you think. As an electrical engineer and past design engineering manager and quality control manager, now retired, this type of testing is very interesting to me.

Len

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Thu 27-Dec-12 05:35 PM
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#6. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 3
Thu 27-Dec-12 05:37 PM by ithompson72

Chichester, GB
          

Might be another change of mind going on now...

The 5100 was semi ruled out as it is an older camera and seems to have a few idiosyncrasies going by the reviews.

The 3200 looks good but I am worried that I might feel it is limited far too quickly. The 5100 has the same sensor as the 7000 which was very good. But the 5200 has the af of the 7000 which also was good.

I am wondering if I should bite the bullet and go straight to the 5200. It is available in my local camera shop so I could pick it up tomorrow (but then they have all 3 so in itself that isn't a selling point - but it isn't a limiting point either unlike for any of you in the states where I believe the 5200 isn't yet released.

I have a growing feeling that if I don't go for the 5200 that I'll be back in the store in 6 months to buy it anyway. Following Len's comparison I can't help but think it would be the right choice. And the other post I've just seen from Len about the lenses on the 3200 seem to support that I could use the 5200 with my existing lenses (18-200 VRII, 55-300 VR and 35mm 1.8).

Darn but this is hard - why can't Nikon make some really bad cameras to make the decision more obvious

  

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ithompson72 Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Aug 2008Fri 28-Dec-12 10:39 AM
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#13. "RE: Which Nikon?"
In response to Reply # 6


Chichester, GB
          

Thanks to everyone for their help. Spent more time on reviews and went back down to the camerashop.

Choice was a D5200 at around £800 including 18-55VR kit lens or the D5100 with the 16-85VR for a total of £820 minus £105 cashback - so final total of £715.

The glass is more important than the few extra features for the 5200. So, went with the 5100. This way I can use the 5100 for a while and if I decide that I want the 5200 later then it should have come down in price quite a bit - at the moment it is just too much extra cash.

The amazing thing is the D5100 body with cashback came in at just £295 from my local camerashop. I am amazed that I can get that much camera for such a small amount of money and support my local economy.

They did also put out a second hand D3X on display whilst I was there for £2399 - if I get serious feature envy then I could go to that and employ someone to carry it for me

  

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