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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:42 pm 
I want to upgrade to a DSLR camera. This will be my first. The main use will be for casual photography as well as travel. For ease of use as well as portability, I will also be purchasing the Nikkor 18-200mm VR II lens. Right now, there is a deal at Costco for the D7000 + 18-200mm VRII lens for $1800 (after a $250 coupon). The other option would be the D5100 kit with the 18-55mm VR lens kit for $850. Add on the 18-200 and it come out to about $1700.

At this price point, the $100 is not that big of a deal to me. I would rather get the better camera for me. Is it a bad idea to get the D7000 as my first DSLR? The one think I really like about the D5100 is the swiveling screen (would be useful for traveling and awkward shots). Any thoughts, opinions, suggestions? Thanks


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:59 pm 
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Either camera is a good choice.

The D5100 is more compact and has the swivelling screen. The screen would be useful for video, but live view is not the strong point of either camera (slow focusing).

The D7000 has a better control interface (eg two input dials, and they are useful) and is more strongly built. It also has a bigger viewfinder.

At $100 difference, the D7000 represents the better value, in my opinion.

It really depends on what you want to do with the camera.

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Nikon DSLRs, film cameras from Leica to Linhof


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:14 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
The D7000 + 18-200mm VRII lens for $1800 is a great deal, recently my D7000 cost me $1300 and a year ago the 18-200mm lens $900. Are you talking US or Oz dollars, either way it's a steal for the buyer.

Cheers

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Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:21 am 
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The D5100 would be the better/easier option as a first Dslr, BUT for only $100 more, it's a no-brainer!

The D7000 is a great camera & even after several months I probably still haven't used it to it's full potential.
Don't worry though, it has full `Auto` so you won't miss any shots while learning :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:38 am 
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my $0.02

I was in a similar situation to yourself a few years ago - stepping into the DSLR world. For me it came down to how the camera felt in my hands, how easy all the controls were to access and how much headway and opportunity the camera body would give me in terms of learning.

At the time I had the choice of D60 or D90 as the D5000 hadn't quite come out. Everything just felt better on the D90.

Similar to nowadays with the D7000 and D5100 - I wouldn't hesitate if I had the funds to go for the D7000 over the D5100. It'll be a good learning tool for many years to come.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:48 am 
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What about a D90, maybe even used/refurbished?

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:28 pm 
I am new here so this would be my first pos, My first DSLR was the d7000 and its a killer camera with more features that you can poke a stick at... I have the 18-105 kit lens witch does the job and is quality for its costs.

Taking abit of getting used to the manual needs some work but then again all manuals do... and who really likes to read those ;)

I have bought a Magic Lantern Guide for it so hopefully will help they are meant to be great.

And yes I would heavily recommend this camera as a first DSLR if you don't mind a steeper learning curve above the cheaper more noobish models

I find the focus points in the camera pretty accurate too
Dual card slots is always a plus
abit more durable due to magnesium alloy back and top

It seems like a d300s but smaller with more features and more upto date tech.
I Am Heavily impressed with mine way more then i thought i would be and would recommend It to anybody wanting a killer camera,

Cheers hope this might be somewhat of a help


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:57 pm 
Thanks for all the advice everyone!!!

I didnt realize how great of a deal the D7000 package was. I looked again yesterday and its sold out :cry: Hopefully they get another shipment in. Thanks again


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:16 am 
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Location: Gold Coast Australia
Some people are allergic to reading manuals, you can not read it once and expect to retain all of it. I spent half an hour each night reading it while my wife was watching her soapy. One section at a time and looked at the camera and menu on that section until I understood, it's not hard. :wink:

Those who comment on the manual being bad have probably not invested the time in it.


Cheers

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:21 am 
I probably would choose a D90 over the D5100. D7000 is also a good choice.

I think a D90 or a D7000 is especially better for beginners and i will tell you why:

Hardware buttons help you very much in full manual mode. Also extra display on top of the camera with information about ISO settings shutterspeeds, Aperture, etc..

But there is also a few extra things that you really want as a beginner (and it has nothing to do with image quality or sharpness) that a D5100 does NOT have.

For example the GRID in the viewfinder, this will really help you with the composition using the rule of thirds. I think its one of the most important feartures a beginner should have available on his camera, unless maybe you have a natural ability to make perfect compositions. But without a great composition your photos will become useless anyway no matter how sharp it will be.

And the cameras are not difficult to use. Just read the excellent Nikon manual that comes with your D90 or D7000 and read it and play around in the menus and settings for a while and the camera is easy to understand. Maybe most difficult part will be to choose a lightmeter setting and autofocus setting. I suggest to start with full matrix lightmeter setting and single point autofocus.

D90 will be a good choice since it will be less picky about lenses. A D7000 will need pretty good lenses to truely shine becuase it has a very good sensor and more megapixels (more detail).


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:59 pm 
Nikonfreak- You say that the D7000 is "picky" about lenses....... Would the 18-200mm VRII lens be a bad choice? I have read some reviews saying that the IQ is not that great compared to other Nikon lenses? Is the difference in IQ something that I will easily be able to spot as a very amature photographer? Thanks


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:28 pm 
On the cameralabs review about the 18-200mm lens it says it is not really a bad lens at all. I dont know about optical quality but any superzoom lens has its flaws, so a 16-85 and a 70-300mm would be a better choice because of less optical distortions such as barrel distortions). The D7000 has lens correction in camera anyway so maybe you wont even notice it.

The smaller the zoomfactor the better it is distortion wise.

Maybe you should look at the review gordon did of the 18-200mm.
I use two lenses: Nikkor 35mm F1.8 and Nikkor 70-300mm.

35mm is more a walk around lens you can use it to do flowers, or buildings or people or whatever. The 70-300m is nice for the zoo or nature fotography. The point of this story is that you dont really switch lenses all that often (less then people think they do).

But I dont own a 18-200mm so i cant really comment on optical quality.
But its 11 x zoom so in theory it cant be as good as 5 x zoom such as a 16-85 or 4 x zoom such as a 70-300mm.

Will you notice the difference? yes you probabaly will. The difference between 2 zoom lenses is less noticable maybe then the difference between a zoom and a prime lens but there will be difference and you will notice it unless they have the same optical/glass quality.

Maybe look at the lens database and see if you spot diffrences in lenses:
http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7148


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:59 pm 
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The D7000 does require more critical lenses. For example, on my 70-300 at 300mm, usable aperturesn (producing best quality results) for my D90 are f6.3 to f10. On the D7000, only f8 and f9 bring out the best. However, this is looking at them pretty closely.

I find the 16-85 and 70-300 excellent ncompanions, and the 35/1.8 a particularly useful lens.

The 18-200 I tested was a bit weak at the telephoto end, but the focal range is very convenient - some PP would porbably assist when you need it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:44 am 
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In reality, the lens you choose is what you intend to shoot, As pointed out the sharpest point for the 18-200mm VRII on the D90 and D7000 differ, this would happen to most lenses and also pointed above out you would have to look closely.

If the correct setting for a perfect shot was not used every time you would not have to look closely to find flaws with it, it's just a learning curve. Whatever lens you choose set the camera on auto/program and see what the camera determines and make your own adjustments from there. Cameras are so smart nowadays the A & P modes give a reasonable output while you are learning.

The 18-200mm is the best lens I have bought :D and I never miss a shot because I need to change a lens in my daily use as at festivals and some sports. These shots in the link were taken with the 18-200mm VRII, mostly at f7.1 and ISO 1000 in app mode.

http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27511


Cheers

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Nikon D7000, Nikkor 80 - 400G, Nikkor 18- 200 VR II, f3.5-5.6.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:11 am 
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Ah yes . . . wasn't meaning to run the 18-200 lens down - I've contemplated acquiring one myself. And two lenses are markedly less convenient, so I generally leave one on. For a general purpose lens the 18-200 is what I'd choose.

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