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D5100 or D7000? First time user, please help!


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Initial post: Jul 30, 2011 1:11:59 PM PDT
Hi. I'm a mom of two girls, 4 years and a newborn and mostly want to take pictures of them and the family. I have been wanting to get into photography a long time ago, but finally want to take the jump. I am planning on getting the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S FX SWM Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras and the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II Nikkor Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon DX-Format Digital SLR Cameras for either of the cameras I am planning on getting. I want a good camera, not too heavy but with optimal results. I would love to get the D7000 but I think it might be too heavy and bulky so that's why I'm considering the D5100. Thoughts on this? I want to make a decision today so I can take advantage of the offer Amazon is offering in their Nikon lenses, which ends today.
P.S. Thoughts on the lenses? I have spent several days reading about this and I think these two would be good choices. Thank you for your much needed input!

Posted on Jul 30, 2011 2:19:04 PM PDT
According to Nikon's website, there is very little difference between the two, about .2 inches in any dimension, and the D7000 is only 4.6 oz heavier. It looks from your lens choices that you are serious about getting into this, and it's always better to buy more than you need and grow into it rather than not buy enough and have to do it all over again. The lenses are good choices.

As long as you have the money, go for the D7000.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 30, 2011 6:56:41 PM PDT
Grandpaw says:
I think your two lens choices are excellent ones and you will be very happy with these. I have the lenses and the D7000 and can tell you that you will be extremely happy with this combination for a long time, Jeff

Posted on Jul 30, 2011 7:53:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 30, 2011 7:57:00 PM PDT
Thank you both for your answers! I went ahead and placed an order for the D7000 with the 18-105mm lens (the body only wasn't available anymore with the offer and I can sell this lens later), the 18-200mm, the 50mm f/1.4G lenses and in the end also threw in the 35mm f/1.8G lens so I guess I don't have excuses anymore not to take good pictures!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2011 11:08:27 AM PDT
Debora,
(D7000 owner) - There is one REALLY nice feature with the D7000 over the D5100 - the ability to save ALL your settings with the U1 and U2. I use U1 for non-people landscapes and U2 for people. I have a 35mm 1.8G which serves me well. I can really shoot all day long with that lens and do fine!

Happy shooting!

Posted on Aug 18, 2011 2:00:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 18, 2011 2:09:22 PM PDT
R. Slater says:
According to Ken Rockwell's review:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/18-105mm.htm
"I'd rather buy something else. The photos are nice and sharp most of the time, but if you're looking closely, the 18-105mm is Nikon's fuzziest lens in the corners at 18mm. Even the $100 18-55mm is better. The only DX midrange zoom I like less than this 18-105mm is the non-VR 18-135mm, which is also overpriced."
Now, MY OPINION--BEST BANG for your BUCK are the two (CURRENT) Nikon best-sellers--the 18-55 VR & 55-200 VR. Sold my bigger, better more expensive lenses when I got these. Banked a load of cash, even after I popped for the 70-300 VR for sports/action shooting!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 20, 2011 3:08:22 PM PDT
C. Barbaros says:
yes 18-55mm is he best lens for your buck. It`s wonderfully sharp. I took my best images with it. I really love and trust Kenrockwell and he is right. You can see from here what 18-55m can do

https://www.facebook.com/8thRule

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 2:06:10 AM PDT
Chia Lun Ao says:
I am very happy with my D7000, with 35mm f1.8 and the 18-200 VRII, only problem with the 18-200 is that its not fast enough indoor, so if you think 35mm f1.8 doesnt cover all the focal length you desired for, get a flash, which is what I did. I love my combination and enjoying them everytime I take pictures! cheers!

Posted on Aug 30, 2011 10:49:53 PM PDT
Bill Holt says:
The fact you are wanting the 35mm 1.4 makes me think you are considering low-light, natural light photography (reading between the lines - maybe I'm wrong). If that is true, there is a slight advantage of the heavier camera. The inertia of any additional weight helps steady the camera, which can let you hand hold at slightly slower shutter speeds. Admittedly, with that slight difference in weight you might only be gaining 1/3 f/stop worth (one dial click) of shutter speed, but that might be the difference between a properly exposed, hand-shake free image and a slightly blurred image. As for carrying it around, I don't think you would ever notice the additional weight

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 8, 2011 5:02:07 AM PDT
LES46 says:
Hi Debora, I recently bought the D7000, I upgraded from the D80 and I can't tell you how happy I am with it. My only gripe is that the battery grip is way too expensive. I have one on my D80 and love it for portraits, and I've never run out of power. The video on the D7000, which I had never planned on actually using, is amazing. It is also a lot more forgiving than my D80 because the processor is more advanced so I can take a shot that is underexposed and fix it in photoshop with better results (less grain and noise). My guess is this is due to having more MP's and the processor being better. Also, I've read that the D7000 will do just about anything the more costly D700 will do, which is another selling point. I really think in the end you'll be more happy with it. As far as the weight difference, we are talking ounces and not pounds. Good luck, Lee Sill, www.lesill.com

Posted on Sep 13, 2011 12:40:52 AM PDT
The Nikon-branded battery grip is definitely expensive. I just ordered the D7000 and it nearly bankrupted me. ;) I've been looking at some of the third-party battery grips; there seem to be some popular ones out there, and I'm considering purchasing one of those rather than an actual OEM version.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2011 9:12:59 AM PDT
Neo Lee says:
Opteka battery grip works like a charm. No cheap plastic feeling. It closely matches the camera body materials.

Posted on Oct 4, 2011 7:52:09 AM PDT
The main differences are in the viewfinder, the materials of construction, the built in AF motor, and the burst speed. I think for a first time DSLR user with those lenses, the D5100 is more than enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 11:28:35 AM PDT
EdM says:
gwlaw99 - As to "the built in AF motor", the D5100 has none, but the D7000 does have one. This is important if anyone chooses to use non AF-S lenses, of which there are many fine ones.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 11:40:57 AM PDT
As well as several great Tokina lenses, most of which are AF, not AF-S. I have one of their wide-angle lenses and a macro lens that I would not have been able to use with a D5100. The price on those lenses was half the cost of the Nikon alternative, and the quality is amazing!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 11:56:58 AM PDT
True but the original poster is a novice, is using it for limited purposes, and has decided on lenses already. By the time she learns enough to want those lenses it will be time for an upgrade or she can manually focus.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 11:58:45 AM PDT
True but the original poster is a novice, is using it for limited purposes, and has decided on lenses already. By the time she learns enough to want those lenses it will be time for an upgrade or she can manually focus.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2011 1:33:32 PM PDT
i agree. Better train with the simplest body and buy good lens, which can be used later. When I learn more, I'l upgrade to a new body. Thank you

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 8, 2011 7:36:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 8, 2011 7:38:01 PM PDT
EdM says:
Carla, the OP surely bought a DSLR back at the end of July. If not, there is another extra lens sale on now, or at least I have seen an ad from my local Nikon Dealer/camera store with the details on it.

For example, the 50 mm f1.8 AFS lens is a neat lens, but it costs $100 more than the 50 mm f1.8 AF lens. Further the AF lens is sharper. BUT, only the more expensive, less sharp AFS lens will autofocus on a D5100. I actually own both. The 85 mm f1.8 lens is also a fantastic lens, but also does not do AF on the D5100. For 85 mm as portrait or medium tele, one can get the AFS 85 mm f1.4 lens for a D5100, but the $1100 extra for the AFS f1.4 lens is far more than the extra between the D5100 and the D7000.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S Nikkor Lens for Nikon Digital SLR
Without doubt, the f1.4 lens has advantages, but not for a beginner, IMO, partly due to the size and weight as well as price.

The D7000 with its magnesium body will likely last longer than will the plastic D5100. Still, the D7000 body is less than 5 oz. heavier. So, there are reasons to go either way. Getting a high quality lens is good, as a lens can last decades.

But a great lens is likely $1000 more than the low cost good lens. So, getting a D5100 does not quality to save enough for one of Nikon's legendary pro lenses, IMO. Further, to retain AF, you must forgo the better but lower cost 50mm f1.8 lens. I believe that the AF 50mm f1.8 lenses from now do have a plastic mount, but my older one and many in the used channel have metal mounts, and that lens design has legendary IQ, particularly for its cost.

The best body to get also relates to one's budget. For those who can afford it, the D7000 may be a fine choice.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 9, 2011 4:40:34 AM PDT
Tku,I'll think about it!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2011 6:13:11 PM PST
Tom H. says:
Neewer Vertical Battery Grip for Nikon D7000 Digital SLR (DSLR) Camera MB-D11 EN-EL15. Probably won't last as long as the Nikon grip, but this is only $47 amd it works (but the dials work in reverse)

Posted on Dec 22, 2011 10:36:25 AM PST
I am a new D5100 owner and for some reason my camera keeps giving me a "No SD Card Found" indication after 5 or 6 photos. Using the approved 16GB SanDisk HDSD card. Anyone have any idea why this is happening or a fix? Took my first D5100 back for the same reason.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2011 10:41:31 AM PST
Is it the same card? Did you try another card instead of switching cameras?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2011 10:44:55 AM PST
try reformatting the card while it is in the camera.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2011 11:24:23 AM PST
® says:
there is a rumor that the last d5100 firmware fixed this.

http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/17547/~/d5100-firmware%3A-a%3A-1.0.1-%2F-b%3A1.01-upgrade
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Discussion in:  Nikon forum
Participants:  27
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Jul 30, 2011
Latest post:  Nov 25, 2012

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