Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?
After 40 years of using high-end Minolta/Sony gear, last year I sold all that gear and decided to go 100% Nikon. I got a D5100, a DX 18-200mm VR zoom, and an SB-700 flash.
On the autofocus lense forum here, I inquired about my 18-200 lense and asked what other lenses would yield sharper images. I was given some excellent replies, and should I keep my D5100, I will get an 85mm 1.8, 16-85mm 3.5-5.6, and a 70-300mm 4.5-5.6.
Any time now, I'll be receiving a windfall inheritance, and I'll have no problem upgrading to let's say a full frame D600 or even a D800 with a good selection of lenses.
For the past 40 years I have been accustomed to using professional quality 35mm cameras with a variety of various focal length lenses and taking sharp, high quality photos, the type most non-photographers consider to be outstanding compared to their inexpensive point and shoot camera and smart phone photos. I want to continue taking better than average photos, so I've taken the Nikon route.
97% of the pics I take are used to post on Facebook or various travel forums, or I send them in e-mails. I may have a few exceptional photos printed and framed, but the size would never be larger than maybe 16" x 20".
I'll soon be retiring, and I'll alternate living between the Philippines and Thailand, traveling a fair amount in both venues. I take maybe 60% people photos including portraits, and the remainder would be landscape, architectural, miscellaneous pics. I take photos purely as a hobby and never sell any pics.
Here's my question:
Is my D5100 with a few excellent Nikkor lenses adequate for my personal photo taking, or would a step up to a full frame DSLR be more beneficial?
What are the advantages of a full frame D600 compared to a D5100?
#1. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0DavidN4 Nikonian since 09th Nov 2011Wed 20-Nov-13 05:56 PM
I used to have the D5100 and I currently have the D600.
First, both cameras can record good photos, and both have access to quality glass.
That said, the D600 is in another league when it comes to quality of the photos. It records a superior image, when using comparable lenses.
The D5100 is lighter, and uses lighter and cheaper lenses. It has a swivel screen, and really works well when you are traveling. The 17-55 and the 35 1.8 really work well on it, and are lighter than their FX counterparts.
The D600 really shines when you use good glass, like the 1.8G primes. With the 28/50/85 Nikon combo, or the Sigma 35/Nikon 85 combo, you will get shots that the D5100 is just not capable of.
It comes down to what you need it to do.
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#2. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0Ineluki Nikonian since 03rd Aug 2011Wed 20-Nov-13 06:09 PM
I switched from DX to FX this year and I can tell you that I regreted it not to buy FX-lenses for my DX-camera.
To spend your windfall inheritance I recommend you to get some pretty good lenses (FX) and stay with the D5100.
#3. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0jcsocalphoto Nikonian since 18th Apr 2013Wed 20-Nov-13 08:22 PM
This is a hard question - it's really up to you. If you are not getting what you want out of your 5100, then I'd upgrade cameras. But to what is the next question. Do you like the DX format (the extra reach you get with the 5100)? I shot 35mm film (original FX), then got used to the DX format, then had to re-acquaint myself with the FX format when I switched.
In looking at only the two cameras, the 600/610 is a more 'robust' body than the 5100. But, so is the 7100 DX body if you choose to stick with DX. Which format do you prefer? If you're already used to (and can't seem to "get the DX thing") and the professional full frame format you previously shot, you might want to consider the 600/610. It might be more 'familiar'.
But better yet, keep the D5100, get the 600/610 and you won't have to decide. Shoot both and shoot away!
D810 & a few great lenses...
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#4. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0SCvol81 Registered since 13th Nov 2013Thu 21-Nov-13 07:32 AM | edited Thu 21-Nov-13 07:33 AM by SCvol81
I'm in a very similar situation. I'd been with Minolta since my first SLR, the SRT-101, in the mid-1970s. I bought a D5100 last year and just purchased a D600 a couple of weeks ago.
However, we differ in what we're shooting for. I've gotten more serious about photography after being in a more casual mode for about 20 years. I am selling my photos and wanted to have higher quality/lower noise images for that reason. However, I didn't plan to upgrade to a FX camera this soon, but the close out prices on the D600 were irresistible.
For the type of shooting you describe, I would echo the advice that's "its entirely up to you". For what you're doing, and if you're happy with the performance of the D5100, I don't think you 'have' to upgrade. I do think you'd love the quality of the images from the D600, but I don't think you'd see a large difference with the type of shooting that you describe.
That being said, I'm keeping my D5100 for reasons others have mentioned and making it my 'walking around' camera.
Good luck with your decision!
#5. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0potica69 Registered since 01st Nov 2013Thu 21-Nov-13 02:12 PM
I did some research on Google regarding my own query. It's an April 2013 article by Thom Hogan.
"So the third marketing message is this: For email, social site use, Web display, and even slide shows (we don't use slide projectors any more, we use HD video outputs), you're not going to see a difference between DX and FX, so buy what you can afford. Hmm. That would raise DX sales and lower FX sales if Nikon made that marketing message, and the profit margins on FX are higher, so any guesses as to why they don't trumpet this message? ;~)"
#8. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 5Pugzilla Registered since 05th Aug 2008Fri 22-Nov-13 04:01 PM
Since I have both a D7100 and a D610, I can comment on each's value. If you want to spend megabucks for FX, you can go with the 14-24/ 28-70/ 70-200/ 200-400mm combination and be covered for life (well, with a 105/200 micro, a fast 35 or 50, and a good portrait lens in the mix).
If you opt for for DX, upgrade to the D7100 - it's a great camera. If you want FX, the D610 is great (D800 more so, but that's another story), but keep the D5100.
Just a quick note. I shot the "Super Moon" one day late (SM+1, I guess) with my D7100 and my older 300mm f/4D - a very underrated lens, I believe. I set the camera to crop mode, giving a 16 MP setup with a 600 f/4 equivalent that I could shoot handheld (couldn't find my "L" plate) at about 1/640 and f/6.3. To put this in perspective, a 600 f/4 is on sale elsewhere on Nikonians for about $9,000.00. Can't do that with with FX, and images are more than satisfactory.
Anyway, good luck with any choice you may make.
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#6. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0
For your use, I would recommend staying with the D5100 and upgrading your lens collection. The ones you have listed are fine, but if your don't need the reach all the way out to 300mm, I would suggest the Nikon 70-200 F4 rather than the 70-300. I have both and like the 70-200 much more, both for image quality and handling.
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#7. "RE: Stick with D5100 or upgrade to D600 ?" | In response to Reply # 0
Both cameras can produce fabulous images in skilled hands. The D600 has a little more opportunity to fine tune camera settings and take advantage of having more control. It also has a better AF system - especially for lower light conditions.
The set of lenses you mention is generally good for both FX and DX. The 16-85 is a good all purpose lens, and has an FX equivalent (24-85mm). I don't see much weight savings from DX unless you are comparing the proposed lens kit with very different lenses. The 70-200 f/4 could replace the 70-300, but the quality gain is offset since you lose reach and add weight.
My logic for FX would be that it performs better with low light conditions and higher ISO levels. Image quality and controls are better - especially if you are serious about image making. The other big advantage is the ability to better isolate your subjects with a shallow depth of field.
My argument for DX would be low cost - therefore less risk of loss or theft. While there is a small advantage in terms of lighter weight, it's not really material for your kit.
I'd probably opt for the D600. I have a D600 and it's a great camera.
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