D3100 to D7200 worth it? OR D5500?

Modred189

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Right now, the D7200 body is on sale for $930 at Newegg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0ZS2RU1469
I have a D3100 and am starting to bump up against its physical limitations. Any thoughts re the upgrade? It seems like a no-brainer but I'm worried I'm missing something.

The D500 I saw at CES was cool, but for $2k, it's just not worth it, IMHO.

Most of my photography is family pictures and random still life stuff. I'm not bad, but by no means a pro. It seems like this camera could be the kind of thing where it's the last one I buy.
As is, i have the stock lense from the D3100 kit (which I don't really use anymore), I have a 35mm prime. And I have a 18-200mm.
 
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Nenu

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The D3300 will fit your bill and is damned cheap for what you get.
Its 24mp with no aliasing filter (gives a sharper image), does 60fps video, and has a more than acceptable stock 18-55 zoom lense with second generation Vibration Reduction.
http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Nikon/D3300
Prices have dropped ridiculously low if you shop around.

If you want even more detail, there is a very cheap Nikon 35mm f1.8 lense.
It lets in a lot of light and is very quick to focus. It weighs almost nothing and is tiny.
No VR sadly but well worth the money if you tripod, or use a higher shutter speed - which you can because of how much light it lets in.
http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Nikon/AF-S-DX-NIKKOR-35-mm-f-1.8G-mounted-on-Nikon-D3300__928

edit, ah you have that lense already :)

This page is pretty useful when comparing abilities.
http://www.dxomark.com/best-nikon-cameras
 
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Modred189

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Oh yea... I LOVE that lense. The DoF it can generate is absolutely fantastic. Lack of VR has been an issue sometimes when I forget what I have on there.

I'm not really interested in a kit, and am looking at body only. My D3100 has been pretty nice, but it is lacking features which might be nice to have. Rotating LCD, Wifi and bracketing to name three. I'm also bumping into resolution issues at only 12mp.

The D3300 is nice, but I can't find the body only. I have essentially the same kit lens form my 3100, and just don't use it since I have the 18-200mm. I'd rather save the money. The D3300 appears to run ~$450. The D5500 is running $750, body only.
 

Meeho

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I don't think an upgrade to 5xxx is worth it. I would go for a 7xxx for better physical controls.
 

Modred189

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Modred189

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northrop

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Anh beat me to it, but I was going to suggest getting a new copy of D7100 for $800 (Amazon, B&H...)
 

DyNamiC.

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I'd skip a D5xxx and go for at least a D7xxx series. The improved physical controls are beyond worth it.
 

Ron024

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I upgraded from a D80 to the D7100. The focus on the 7100 is a little hairy sometimes using an older Sigma 17-50 2.8. However the body has great feel and controls.
 

madFive

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I'd definitely go with one from the 7000 series if possible. I've used the 3100, and while it has a great sensor for the price, I absolutely can't stand that it only has the one selector wheel on the right-side grip. It's a huge pain to use in manual mode! Coming from the D90 and now D750 I absolutely need both wheels to change aperture and shutter as needed, and when I pick up that 3100 it feels like I'm trying to run on one leg. There's probably a better way to do it with some practice, but I find myself constantly switching between AP, SP, and M to be able to control everything like I want it.

I haven't handled any from the 5000 seriese, but from what I can see it has that same half-functionality as the 3000's where it's made more for people who don't shoot in manual mode.

Gotta step up to that 7000 series to get the full manual functionality in the current DX lineup.
 

northrop

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I'd definitely go with one from the 7000 series if possible. I've used the 3100, and while it has a great sensor for the price, I absolutely can't stand that it only has the one selector wheel on the right-side grip. It's a huge pain to use in manual mode! Coming from the D90 and now D750 I absolutely need both wheels to change aperture and shutter as needed, and when I pick up that 3100 it feels like I'm trying to run on one leg. There's probably a better way to do it with some practice, but I find myself constantly switching between AP, SP, and M to be able to control everything like I want it.

I haven't handled any from the 5000 seriese, but from what I can see it has that same half-functionality as the 3000's where it's made more for people who don't shoot in manual mode.

Gotta step up to that 7000 series to get the full manual functionality in the current DX lineup.

Not to mention the internal motor, which may open doors to some older AF lenses, especially if on a budget. I do agree with you, the dual wheels are a must. Both of my camera bodies have them, and I can't see myself using a camera on a daily basis without them. Life is so much easier with them. :)
 

Modred189

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Not to mention the internal motor, which may open doors to some older AF lenses, especially if on a budget. I do agree with you, the dual wheels are a must. Both of my camera bodies have them, and I can't see myself using a camera on a daily basis without them. Life is so much easier with them. :)
Wait, I was under the understanding that all Nikon cameras these days have the same AF motor setup: AF-S? Including everything from the D3100 to the D7200...
 

madFive

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Wait, I was under the understanding that all Nikon cameras these days have the same AF motor setup: AF-S? Including everything from the D3100 to the D7200...

With newer AF-S lenses, the focus motor is built into the lens. These are what you need to run on the lower end 3000 and 5000 series. If you want to use older or off-brand lenses that don't have an internal motor, you need the camera to have a built-in motor to run them. In the current lineup, you need the 7000 series or higher for that too.
 

northrop

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Wait, I was under the understanding that all Nikon cameras these days have the same AF motor setup: AF-S? Including everything from the D3100 to the D7200...

What madFive said. With D3x00, D5x00 you will have auto focus with AF-S lenses only. Older AF lenses, say this Nikkor 50mm D is almost half the price of its newer AF-S version. Not that I would suggest getting any of the 50mm's on a crop camera anyway. Or an older 80-200 vs. new 70-200. That said, current Nikon lens line up has been updated with all AF-S lenses at this point anyway (maybe a few exotic exceptions), so unless you plan on getting these older lenses in a future, I wouldn't give it much thought.
 

Modred189

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With newer AF-S lenses, the focus motor is built into the lens. These are what you need to run on the lower end 3000 and 5000 series. If you want to use older or off-brand lenses that don't have an internal motor, you need the camera to have a built-in motor to run them. In the current lineup, you need the 7000 series or higher for that too.

What madFive said. With D3x00, D5x00 you will have auto focus with AF-S lenses only. Older AF lenses, say this Nikkor 50mm D is almost half the price of its newer AF-S version. Not that I would suggest getting any of the 50mm's on a crop camera anyway. Or an older 80-200 vs. new 70-200. That said, current Nikon lens line up has been updated with all AF-S lenses at this point anyway (maybe a few exotic exceptions), so unless you plan on getting these older lenses in a future, I wouldn't give it much thought.

Got it, so all the lenses (well, three) I have that work with AF on my D3100 will work with AF on the D7200 or D5500...?
 

MN Scout

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What limitations are you having with the D3100? Always good to know, so we can make sure your limitations are taken care of.
 

Modred189

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What limitations are you having with the D3100? Always good to know, so we can make sure your limitations are taken care of.

Partly resolution. I'm not a super photographer. I know how to compose the hell out of a shot, but I still have to do some cropping when I'm done. And then I picked up a wide format printer that does great photos.
I fully recognize that the tech is a crutch for my slowly growing abilities, but still, the D3100's 12mp is somewhat skimpy.

THe other thing is that the D3100, as great of a starter camera as it is, is VERY manual, and has VERY few options. Bracketing, for example, is not available on the D3100. Neither is on-camera HDR. It's also got about 5 AF points, and is not fast to find them well.

It also lacked any kind of wireless shutter control abilities, requiring a wired remote which has limited uses.It was also surprisingly heavy, at least in relative terms, for the amount of tech it contained (on a related note, the D5500 is actually a bit smaller and significantly lighter.)

So far I have been very happy with the D5500
 

MN Scout

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Gotcha. The D5500 is a handful of generations past the D3100, so I'm sure you'll like it.

If you use the latest Lightroom CC releases try the HDR function in there with your RAW photos. I was pleasantly surprised with it. I was glad I kept some bracketed photos from ages ago.
 

Modred189

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Gotcha. The D5500 is a handful of generations past the D3100, so I'm sure you'll like it.

If you use the latest Lightroom CC releases try the HDR function in there with your RAW photos. I was pleasantly surprised with it. I was glad I kept some bracketed photos from ages ago.

I do, and yea, I just discovered the i menu on the camera, as I was lost trying to find the bracketing mode (it's not in the manual!!!), and took a few. Again, took some trial and error. Other cameras I've used with on-camera HDR took all 2-3 pictures (the D5500 takes two, one up and one down) with one press of the shutter button. The D5500 requires you to hold it down. One annoying thing is the in-camera HDR doesn't stay on. You have to go to a menu and re-enable it VERY TIME you take a picture. Unless I'm missing something, this is kind of dumb.
Anyway, no time to upload and play last night (FOOTBALL!), but I plan on playing some today.


The App...

So, Nikon makes an app for their wifi-enabled cameras, like the D5500. It's kind of cool, actually, allowing quick viewing and sharing of DSLR pictures to social media, etc, and even works as a remote shutter button.
BUT-
When the camera is not connected, it leaves a non-cancelable notification in your android notification tray to that effect. W.T.F.F>???

One drawback: the shutter/mirror sound is considerably louder than the D3100. Not annoyingly so, actually a bit more "satisfying" but definitely louder. Apparently there is a quiet mode. Will try it for kicks.

All gripes, I know, but they are not major, and so far I absolutely love the camera.
 

Daggah

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The D3x00/D5x00 series cameras also don't support AF fine-tuning by the owner. So that can be a huge limiting factor with higher quality/fast aperture lenses. It's always possible for a camera lens and body to not match up with each other perfectly, resulting in front- or back-focusing issues. (Example: you focused on a person's eyes for a portrait, but the focus plane is actually on their ears or nose, leaving the eyes soft and the image out of focus) and it's not necessarily an issue of defective manufacturing. It happens. The entry-level Nikon bodies aren't intended for use with higher quality lenses.

The D7x00 series bodies are leagues better because of the improved support for Nikon's better lenses, as well as the improved control scheme. If you're serious at all about photography, IMO, it's a no-brainer.
 

HiDDeN sTaSh

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I upgraded to the D7100 from a D3100 last year and it was a big diffence, with the 7100 you have so much more control and can really dial in to a great shot!
 
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