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Old 04-17-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
Laurel Alanna McBrine Laurel Alanna McBrine is offline
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Looking for Recommendations for Nikon DSLR




My Nikon D50 has low pixels and has been seizing up on a regular basis, so I am in the market for a newer, better model.

I am most interested in good value for $$ and would love to hear from those who have any advice for me before I start the time consuming project of researching the review sites.

The zoom lens I purchased (24-120 VR) eventually ended up with really bad reviews. It takes rather soft images and I have wound up using a 50mm 1.8 cheapie most of the time, so I would like to know your favorite lens too.

Thanks in advance to all!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
Mike McCarty Mike McCarty is offline
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Laurel,

I purchased a new Nikon D5100 a few months ago from my local Best Buy.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond5100/

This replaced my D70 which I've had since they first came out in '03 or '04. The 5100 came with a VR 18-55mm kit lens and camera bag, and I think it was $850. I also purchased a Nikon VR 55-200 lens which brought the total to right at $1000.

The camera has the same 16.2 MP sensor as the more expensive
D7000 but without the sturdy metal body.

If you are not rough with your equipment this may be a good option for you. The image quality is remarkably good and it has a fully articulated screen with many other bells and whistles.

Lenses are another matter. The lenses mentioned above are by no means expensive. Others will argue that you must buy very good lenses, and who (but the poor) can argue against goodness. If it is your intention to become a "photographer" then I would agree completely; however, if it's photo reference you seek, and your budget is tight, my experience is that these lenses will serve. If you have the money to spend then I would say buy the best lense you can find, otherwise, look them in the eye and shoot with confidence.
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
Marvin Mattelson Marvin Mattelson is offline
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Hi Laurel,

The D5100 is a great camera. It's advantage over the D7000 is that it's lighter and smaller. The D7000 is built stronger due to a metal body. They share the same sensor but the auto focus on the D7000 is superior using 39 focus points and 9 crosshairs vs 11 focus points and one cross hair for the D5000. The D7000 has two command dials making it easier to control basic functions without having to dive into the menus. However B&H Photo is giving an additional $150 off on the D5100 so there's a difference of over $500 between the two.

I'd still go with the D7000 but it's your money. The ability to focus better and faster will, I believe, always pay off in the end.

As for lenses, the better lenses are bigger, heavier and more expensive. There's a 55-300 zoom that's gotten good reviews. The 55-200 is a little bigger and heavier and may be worth the additional cash. I process all my images in Nikon Capture NX2. I shoot in raw and this program allows me to make a lot of subtle adjustments. It also negates any lens distortion if you choose to enable this function.

Check out DPReview.com for reviews and forums where everything is debated ad infinitum. They're the gold standard.

Good luck,

Marvin
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:49 PM   #4
Laurel Alanna McBrine Laurel Alanna McBrine is offline
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Wow, thanks so much Mike and Marvin for the great information, I really appreciate it!
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