I need to make a decision today and would like the opinion from anyone who has owned or used the D7000 and D3100.
I shoot for the fun and enjoyment. I am not a professional and will never shoot a picture for money. My first digital camera is the D3100 that I've owned since it was released. It's performance has been very nice and I do enjoy it's simplicity, but there is three areas that seem to be lacking.
1. Lack of adjustment buttons to keep me from going into the menu.
2. Low light shooting performance could be better.
3. The BIG one is I don't like the small viewfinder frame coverage and magnification.
I own the following lenses: 16-85DX, 18-200DX VRII, 35DX F/1.8, 24-120 F/4 FX, 28-300 FX.
1. Does the D7000 really have a lot more improvement in low light performance?
2. Is there a very noticable improvement in the viewfinder over the D3100?
3. Is the D7000's 14-bit RAW performance noticably better than the D3100's 12-bit.
4. Lastly, I know there is a lot more adjustments/settings on the D7000, but can I still enjoy it's sophistication and keep it simple like the D3100, I like to shoot using aperture priority.
Have you considered the D5100? It has the simplicity of the D3100 if desired but also more direct control when you want it and has the low light performance of the D7000. If you are looking for ease of getting the shot the D90 might have a lot lower learning curve. For sharp images, your technique will need to be a lot more precise than a D90, or D3100. It is not such a hot casual shooting camera, even a lot of experienced users required rethinking their approach to get the images they expected from the D7000. It is not forgiving of lax attention to lens quality, careless hand holding technique. For those who are willing to adjust and accept a long learning curve, its is probably the best DX format camera ever made.
1. Yes, definitely. 2. Yes, especially if you use glasses, sun glasses included. 3. Yes there is a difference, but, will you notice it??? 4. Yes. I use Aperture priority and Auto ISO much of the time, especially at concerts.
Well, ready or not...I bought a new D7000. Tonight I will carefully read the manual and set the camera up for testing tomorrow.
I probably would be very happy with the D5100, except the viewfinder is like the D3100 and not as good as the D7000. I hope it's a noticeable improvement. If not, it will have been a expensive experiment gone wrong.
Did a few preliminary indoor test shots. I decided to push the limits and did not use my 35 f/1.8, instead I attached the 24-120 f/4. After several shots of some colorful oil paintings and chasing my cat around the house, all I can say is fantastic. The low light capabilities are so much better than the D3100. Also, the viewfinder is so much nicer to use.
I'm sure all of you D7000 owners are aware of this already.