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Old Dec 12, 2011, 1:29 PM   #1
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Default Going on 50: D5100 or D7000 for gift

New here as of a few minutes ago, already put in a new thread but in the wrong place, Sorry. Yes I will be 50 in two months and I'm not so excited about it, but what can you do. I have been researching 2 cameras the D5100 and the D7100 and really like the reviews of the D7100 but I'm not sure if this is the one that I really really need, money is one of the main reasons. I figured if I got the 5100 kit I could get another lens and possibly a flash for around the same price as the 7000, however I still want the 7000 and that just may be that I want to have a camera that is close to professional without paying the big bucks. Also know that the camera doesn't make a good photographer a good photographer can take good photo's with cheap cameras. My issue is I am currently using or still using the Nikon N8008s and have 3 lenses at present time that I use on a regular basis with this camera, and I was wanting to have a dslr body that I could use the lenses on and also buy lenses for when appropriate. My photo love is mainly in scenery (nature and wildlife, old buildings and animals), and yes I do enjoy family photo's also. I want a camera where I can grow into and not out grow within the next 3-5 years, a camera that if I do desire to one day sell prints or anything of the sort that I could without running out and buying another camera. My wife would probably go with the 5100 quicker than the 7000, but I could probably talk her into it. I don't want to buy something that I'm not going to use or need, so this is why I am requesting some intervention. So far no one has talked me out of wanting the 7000 and I guess that is what I'm trying to achieve. I've been doing photography for around 25 years, not professionally in any way of course, and yet I do feel I know more than a novice, and then you add digital and that's a different story. I would appreciate any advise that you all could give, thanks.
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 2:39 PM   #2
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The D5100 and the D7000 use the same image sensor, so there isn't much difference between them as far as image quality goes.

There is, however, a big difference between them as regards your lenses. The D7000 has a built-in autofocus motor, so it will work with the lenses you've got. The D5100 doesn't, and relies on lenses that have their own AF motors (i.e.: Nikon AF-S, Sigma HSM, etc.). If your lenses don't have their own motors, they'll be manual focus only.

It's also possible that your current Nikon mount lenses aren't anything special, and may not be worth keeping. A significant difference between film and digital is that digital image sensors are more reflactive than film ever was, so lenses designed for film mounted on digital SLRs may create type of flare that results from a whole set of internal reflections that film SLRs never had to deal with. Modern lenses have extra coatings that prevent that kind of flare.

So this isn't exactly the kind of thing that you can just compose a shopping list and hand it to your wife to take with her to WallyWorld. I suggest that you take your lenses to a good camera store,buy an SD Card, try them on the D7000, and as best you can, try to put your lenses through their paces in the harshest lighting you can, take the SD Card home and critique the images, looking for flare.

Also, if you can list your lenses here, someone might be able to tell you of their experiences with them on a dSLR.
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 3:39 PM   #3
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I'll throw my 2cents in as well.

Aside from the D7000 having a focus motor, which is no small matter if you want total flexibility in lens choices, the D7000 has a much easier and more flexible button/controls feature set that allow, you to make settings changes quickly and easily, without delving into the menu each time.

From my perspective, if you're going to use the camera in AUTO mode most of the time, then the D5100 is the more appropriate choice. If, however, you want to be able to control what the camera is doing at all times-then, the D7000 is the better fit.

Not to be overlooked is the D7000's more sophisticated auto focus system and faster frame rate vs the D5100. If you'r going to get serious about nature and wildlife photography, then the D7000 is again the more appropriate choice.

Can you live without all the features of the D7000? Of course you can. I look at it this way, you'll probably have this camera a long time. Don't get the D5100 if you think you're sacrificing, because you'll always regret it.

I bought a D90 back in July, knowing that the D7000 was the better option but not wanting to part with that much cash. I now have the Nikon D7000 and only wish I had bought it in the first place.

good luck with your decision.

P.S. Being 12 years ahead of you, I only wish that my 50th was ahead of me - not behind me.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.

Last edited by zig-123; Dec 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM.
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Old Dec 12, 2011, 6:01 PM   #4
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Hey thanks TCav and Zig-123, as you stated Zig I think I would not be happy with the 5100 knowing that I really do want the 7000 and knowing that I have alot more options to work with including video. I am probably bound one way or the other to beg my wife to let me have the 7000, Cnet shows a great video of the camera in review and they seemed to love this camera.
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 10:24 PM   #5
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Default D5100 or D7000

I have both cameras.
I use the D7000 for Sporting Events where I take thousands of photos.
The twin card slots and larger battery are essential.

I use the D5100 for everything else.
The menus take awhile to get used to.
I can now change the set up just as fast on both.
Both AutoFocus just as fast.
I get better single still images with the D5100 (newer technology, same sensor) but I think it is because the smaller lighter camera is more comfortable for me to use.
I shoot "Home Movies" and Church Services at HD1080P 30fps, the D7000 can not do that.
The Articulating screen is very nice to use.
Almost all new Nikkors are AF-S. The new DX kit lens are surprisingly very good. It is difficult but you can use non AF lens with this camera.

Lastly "it takes a lickin and is still tickin". The plastic body is very tough.
I've dropped it twice now on concrete.
Maybe I should put a strap on it, but it is so easy to hold and I use it on a TriPod a lot.

I recently had to sell one of my D7000 bodies or my D5100.
I am glad they choose the D7000.
My wife uses the second D7000 camera at Events. I can use the D5100.
I will just have to carry extra batteries and SDHC cards.
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 5:26 AM   #6
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i think you will find out later on that the lenses are more important than the camera,
a cheaper camera with a good lens will take better pics than a more expensive camera with a cheaper lens, if the cheaper camera does everything you want, buy that one the money you save put it towards a decent lens.
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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Personally I have a D5000 and I wish I'd gone with the D90 (predecessor to the D7000) for it's focus motor that allows it to autofocus with older lenses and for it's commander mode that can command and control Nikon-compatible TTL off-camera flashes from the camera. Also, there are some control aspects that are very nice like dual control wheels, etc.. For someone that's not planning on going with older lenses and using off-camera flashes then the D5100 would be fine. They are both capable of making great pictures if you do your part. There is also something to be said for a smaller lighter body like that of the D5100.

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Old Dec 14, 2011, 11:42 AM   #8
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When I bought my D7000 I already had a couple decent lenses from previous Nikon. So it was a choice of Nikon body only or other cheaper make plus lenses. I had a small issue with the D7000, but had it fixed and no regrets with the camera. The question is .... are your lenses good enough that you need a body only or do you need body and lenses?
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Old Dec 17, 2011, 6:51 PM   #9
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Well I have the D7000 & the D5000 and there is NO comparison if you want to shoot birds in flight.
D7000 is far superior in focusing speed, low light shots etc.
I used the same lenses on both camera's and the D7000 did consistently better.
In fact, I had the D300s for a week, and took it back for the D7000.
The low light is phenomenal... see hand held pics below.
To me, the extra money spent for the D7000 is far worth it.
Check out my website in my sig below.

Here are the two handheld shots I took at Disneyland this summer:
This was handheld at ISO 3200 (sitting down, support with my arms on my knees.)

This one was handheld at ISO 1600 (support by leaning on rail)
Nikon D7200 & Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR
Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM
Nikon SB-800
Carbon Fiber Tripod & mono-pod
Samsung S7 Edge

Last edited by jack55; Dec 17, 2011 at 6:53 PM.
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Old Dec 19, 2011, 8:49 AM   #10
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When it comes to image quality the D5000 is not a good comparison at all to the D7000 since one has a previous generation sensor and one has the latest and greatest DX sensor. The D5100 would be a much better comparison when talking about high-ISO performance because it shares the same sensor as the D7000. Either way I'd still choose the 7000 personally over the 5100 for the same reasons that I stated above for having wished I'd gotten the D90 over the D5000. One should expect similar low-light performance between the two though.

Here's a head-to-head:

Man..reading that makes me want the D7000 even more.


Last edited by DigMe; Dec 19, 2011 at 8:51 AM.
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