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Ready to move up from 5100

underdog01

Helena, US
11 posts

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underdog01 Registered since 08th Aug 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 04:56 PM

I have had the 5100 for a year now and love it. It has been a great first camera. However I'm ready to move to the next level. I have purchased a sb800, Nikkor 70-200 2.8, and Tamron 24-70 2.8. I'm going to sell my 5100 with bag and kit lenses and use this money to help upgrade for a body only camera. My question is, do I move to the 7000 or take the next step above that? What is the next step after 7000? Obviously, I want to stay with Nikon with the flash and lenses. The reason I feel the need to upgrade are as follows: I need more focus points, I never thought it would be a huge deal but now I'm finding recomposing is my only option but not necessarily the best option. Less noise at higher ISO would also benefit me greatly. I'm an amateur but am moving more toward professional all the time. I have shot a Prom (Christian school, they were looking for somebody willing to do it for free that had equipment better than a cell phone) and have been asked to do it again this year. I have also done portraits for family members and friends. I'm not ready to quit my day job or anything, but am getting more serious into the hobby. I have not found a niche yet as far as landscapes or aviation or architecture. So I need a good walking around jack of all trades camera. My budget will be less than $2,000.

I hope I have been able to give enough detail of what I'm looking for. As far as DX vs. FX I will consider either, my lenses should work well with both.

Thanks in advance for your advice

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3575 posts

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#1. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 03-Sep-12 04:02 PM

Right now, between announcements, your options are the D7000 and D800. At your price point, it leave the D7000 which is right now, the best imaging device in DX format. If more FPs are really important the DX cameras have a larger portion of the field of view covered by focal points but all the FX cameras have higher end AF systems.
Can you post some images that you feel would have been better if you have a more expensive camera? If you are using flash in the prom, how would high ISO/low noise performance be seen?
I shoot a lot of events, clubs and such and have 3 bodies ranging from D90 through D7000 to the D800. I bet few people could tell the difference between those cameras in finished images. If shooting in low light without flash, the D800 obviously does better but a used D700(smaller files, cheaper) might be better for that sort of shooting.
If you have your heart set on changing, right now the D7000 is a mighty competent camera and on sale for a very good price of under $1000. But high ISO is not that much better, than a 5100 if light is really low.
There is a good chance that a new lower cost Fx body similar in size and weight to the D7000, rumored to be the D600, with 24mpx which could be announce mid month.
For events the D7000 Dx crop might be be the best choice since you will be a longer apparent reach from your lenses. Be aware that FX bodies are the very cheapest part of going FX, lenses worth having start getting pricey. I would venture a guess that the typical Fx shooter has $10,000 in lenses in his bag to cover the same range he had with a kit lens and a Dx body. A serious landscape shooter would benefit the most from Fx, or portrait/studio shooter who wants the thinnest DOF from his lenses. Sports, events, wildlife, birds in flight etc shooting has some advantages using Dx.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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underdog01

Helena, US
11 posts

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#2. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 1

underdog01 Registered since 08th Aug 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 07:10 PM

Thanks for your quick response.
I do not have any photos currently saved on my computer that would give a good indication of when I feel a better camera would have better suited me. But there have been many occasion where a shot did not come out do to slower shutter speed with a fast lens (f-2.8). We as photographers capture light and I'm amazed at how elusive light can be. I never before realized that 'low light conditions' were anything other than outside on a mid July day.Lol. For the prom and studio pics I have a 3 way light set up, along with 2 flashes coupled with remote triggers (if necessary), so low light is not the issue.

I have taken 2 trips to Vegas in the last year and have struggled with situations where flash photography is either not allowed or extremely inconvenient. I was hoping to gain another stop via ISO. After studying the 7000 a little more, as per your post, I see where I would gain nothing as far as ISO is concerned. However, I have also missed many-a-shots due to the AF not able to focus. It is my understanding the AF is much better with the 7000. And as I have stated in my original post, I find having to recompose many shots after depressing the shutter half way and then moving the focus point for desired framing will sometimes, not often, leaves me with a softer image.

So, after reading your last post it sounds as though I would gain little by switching from the 5100 to the 7000. I will continue to learn and improve on the basics of photography. I know that most of the shots I miss are user error, I am just hoping to give myself more margin for error. I need all the help I can get.

Have I assessed your post correctly? There is not much to be gained by the 7000? Thanks again, I really appreciate all the help on this forum!


cwils02

HIXSON, US
826 posts

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#3. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 2

cwils02 Gold Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 08:35 PM

I think Stan did a good job in answering your question.

I "upgraded" from a D5100 to D7000. I wanted to wait for the follow on to the D7000, or until I could actually get a D800. Unfortunately, there was a wedding event that I felt I needed a better camera for.

After a D80, and a D300, I found the D5100's controls to be very strange, and somewhat awkward. I got the D5100 for the increased MPs, the articulated monitor, and the video. Since I spent last summer shooting a combination of stills, and video; I felt restricted to shoot in Aperture mode. The other thing was that all I could usually see in the monitor was my reflection. I do still use the D5100 from time to time. It is my backup or secondary camera.

Since the D5000 was upgraded to the D5100, and the D3100 was upgraded to the D3200, I was hoping for a D7200 or D7300. Guess I'll wait to see what the D600 will bring. A 24MP FX won't do it for me. However, a 24MP DX just might. I shoot a lot of long distance sports, etc. And, all my lenses are for DX.

Charlie

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underdog01

Helena, US
11 posts

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#4. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 3

underdog01 Registered since 08th Aug 2012
Mon 03-Sep-12 10:50 PM

I'm guessing that once the new model (d600) is announced the price of the 7000 may drop in price. Curious to see what will happen. I think I may sell my 5100 and upgrade. Worse case scenario, I make a small upgrade for a small price. We'll see what happens! Thanks!!!

km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3575 posts

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#5. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 4

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Wed 05-Sep-12 10:15 AM | edited Wed 05-Sep-12 10:33 AM by km6xz

I did not want to put a damper on your interest in the D7000, it is a great camera, the best device made in the crop format.
My main focus was on the incremental improvement where you might need a significant step improvement. I have the D90, 7000 and 800, all the best of their class and competent cameras. I am a big fan of the functionality, handling and performance, particularly at low ISO, of the D7000. If the D7000 is being upgraded, it will likely be with the 24mpx sensor that does very well in the D3200.
AF performance can be tricky in low light, with low contrast subjects and in some color light. The low light issue can be resolved in most cases by activating the AF Assist light that works only in AF-S mode. Using the Assist light of a shoe mounted flash like the SB900 is even more effective because it is primarily infrared and patterned in a way that helps AF precision. The built-in AF-Assist light is brighter and more distracting since it is bright white but is not as effective as the almost invisible speed-light patterned light.
Another issue that is becoming apparent. Low light scenes are being expected to be as bright, with high contrast and good color from a camera when our eyes can't even do that. Many newer users are expecting low light performance mean low light amplification so a night scene looks more as if sun lit. If one tries to recreate the visual impression of a scene, not brighter then we see with our eyes, many of these cameras can actually deliver very good images in low light conditions.
Operating them as Night Scopes with image amplification is creating unrealistic expectations of what can be accomplished by adding gain to a low light scene. The D7000 is very good in capturing close to what our eyes see in natural low light scenes but like all cameras, get noisy, with less detail, color saturation through excess amplification. Trying to make a captured dim scene daylight bright when our eyes see it as dim, with pronounced deep shadows, muted colors and less detail that we see in lower light.

Just as an example of what can be done with low light that is not overly terrible, too dim to read a menu. I took this last night, had to use 20,000 ISO and a 70-200 wide open and a slow shutter speed. This the boyfriend of my waitress last night in a bar where I was having dinner and a couple beers. He came in to give her a message. I took this while they were chatting at the other end of the bar, about 30 feet away. I took it to send her the file.

Click on image to view larger version


Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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Attachment#1 (jpg file)

underdog01

Helena, US
11 posts

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#6. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 5

underdog01 Registered since 08th Aug 2012
Sat 08-Sep-12 04:54 PM

Thanks once again for your replies.

I figured I would try to purchase a used 7000 at a good price. I could justify making a smaller upgrade with a small price.
Thanks to ebay I just purchased my new 7000 at a steal. Camera was used for one year (20,050 actuations) prime 50mm f1.8, Nikon battery grip with extra battery, bag, 64g extreme sandisk, 8g Eye-fi pro, all for $825 including shipping. I will receive on Monday. Pretty excited, at least I will know that I have the current best camera for the DX format.

DSW90049

Los Angeles, US
177 posts

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#7. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 6

DSW90049 Registered since 11th Feb 2012
Sat 08-Sep-12 10:08 PM

Congratulations. Love mine and think you'll love yours too.

Now get & read Digital Darrell's D7000 book, which you can buy on this website, and read it with camera in hand. This one has all kinds of capabilities and is a great next step.

ENJOY!!!

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3575 posts

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#8. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 0

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 10-Sep-12 08:08 PM

Congratulations, that is a lot of excellent gear for that price. If you have any questions or problems let us know, there is a lot of accumulated D7000 wisdom spread around this forum.
The first thing that is advised when changing is making a conscious effort to keep the shutter speed a little higher then before and stick to the 1.5 times the focal length as a minimum for SS using unstabilized lenses
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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underdog01

Helena, US
11 posts

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#9. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 8

underdog01 Registered since 08th Aug 2012
Tue 11-Sep-12 02:01 AM

Thanks for all the advice,
Received camera today and have been playing with it. Wonderful! I'm just loving it! The deal seemed too good to be true, so I must admit I was a little worried. Everything arrived in the condition that it was presented in. Very happy with the purchase and the seller.

The camera seems much heavier than the 5100 with the battery grip attached. Not a big deal for me but my wife thinks we will keep the 5100 for her. I was going to sell it to cover my cost. The only thing that wasn't included was the strap for the 7000. So I will do a search on this forum for a good strap. Figured if I have to buy one, might as well make it a good one.

I ordered the book yesterday, it should here on Thursday. I thank you for the suggestion. I am excited to look it over page by page! Thanks so much once again for your suggestions, advice, and education.

Gamecocks

Joanna, US
986 posts

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#10. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 9

Gamecocks Registered since 22nd Jul 2010
Wed 12-Sep-12 10:28 AM

Lots of good straps available. Suggest you consider the Black Rapid as it works great for me. It comes in various styles. Good luck.

John

Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. <><

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LeeSyl

Belleville, US
147 posts

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#11. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 10

LeeSyl Silver Member Nikonian since 05th May 2011
Wed 12-Sep-12 11:38 AM

Another vote for the Black Rapid strap. I love my RS-7. Best of luck with the camera - it's a great one. Lee

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underdog01

Helena, US
11 posts

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#12. "RE: Ready to move up from 5100" | In response to Reply # 11

underdog01 Registered since 08th Aug 2012
Wed 12-Sep-12 10:44 PM

Wow! That was fast. Thanks for the responses on the strap.

I ordered the Black Rapid Sport. I think this will be the best one for me. Anyone had any experience with this particular strap?

G