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Old Feb 21, 2012, 10:14 AM   #1
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Default Newbie with questions and decision to make.

Hello all, First post here.

My wife love photography, though she hasn't done much since college (~10 years)...work, house, kids, all getting in the way. Well, I've decided its time for a digital SLR. As I can see from reading this forum and others, we have the typical debate of D5100 vs D7000. I will be using the camera often for taking pictures of the family. I am NOT a photographer. I would likely use the "auto" modes most of the time. My wife, has much more knowledge, and believe she would use at least some of the advanced features in a more expensive camera.

Pile on top of this, the current availability issues of the D7000. The D5100 seems to be available several places without problem. But of course the D7000 is hard to find, and when I do, its selling for $2-300 more than the normal asking price it seems. Price gouging because of supply/demand I am sure. This makes the D5100 look even better from a price point, it really is half the price of the D7000.

Here are some questions:

My wife has a Nikon film SLR, maybe 8 years old, the lenses are Nikor, 28-80 and a 70-300, both AF. As I understand it, these would work with the D7000 because it has the internal focus motor, but not with the D5100.

The question is: Are these good lenses to go with the D7000 or is it better to upgrade to newer lenses anyway? If we are better off getting new lenses, I would likely go with the D5100 to save cost and invest in better glass which can always be used in the future if we upgrade.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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The question is: Are these good lenses to go with the D7000 or is it better to upgrade to newer lenses anyway?
There's nothing very special about either of those lenses. The two-kit pair of the 18-55 VR and 55-300 VR will blow the doors off those lenses at quite a reasonable price (there are better lenses than this kit, but they are more money.) Those two kit lenses will dazzle you if you're used to the old 28-80 kit lens and the no-VR, mediocre IQ 70-300. The main thing you'll lose out on with the kit lenses is low-light performance -- but either of the DSLRs you're considering have better low-light performance than you would have had with film, and they aren't any darker than what you have now -- and are a lot better-performing wide open than your current lenses. FWIW
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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There's nothing very special about either of those lenses. The two-kit pair of the 18-55 VR and 55-300 VR will blow the doors off those lenses at quite a reasonable price (there are better lenses than this kit, but they are more money.) Those two kit lenses will dazzle you if you're used to the old 28-80 kit lens and the no-VR, mediocre IQ 70-300. The main thing you'll lose out on with the kit lenses is low-light performance -- but either of the DSLRs you're considering have better low-light performance than you would have had with film, and they aren't any darker than what you have now -- and are a lot better-performing wide open than your current lenses. FWIW

My wife is the photographer, so I am struggling with the terms and specs of the camera and lenses a bit. And of course I would like to get this for her birthday, so I am trying to be careful not to ask too many questions.

My main purpose will be shooting the kids, other family, and friends at events like birthdays, holiday, and other get togethers. Next yeah(2013 I mean), once our youngest is a bit older (currently 7 months), we hope to start visiting National Parks for family vacations, so I would hope to have a lens for landscape and maybe some wild life.

I am leaning toward the D5100 simply because of cost. If I were to buy the body (not a kit), what lenses would you recommend for it?
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 11:27 AM   #4
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I agree. The 28-80 and 70-300 shouldn't be a factor in your decision as to which model, or even which brand of dSLR you should get.

The D5100 and the D7000 both use the same image sensor, so you can't use image quality to distinguish them.

There are a lot of very nice features in the D7000 that might appeal more to a more experienced phtographer, that aren't available in the D5100 (in addition to just the AF motor), but it is bigger and heavier (not to mention more expensive and harder to find.)

But you have to know that if you get the D5100 despite your wife's objections, you will never hear the end of it. The difference isn't that great, so defer to her. It will work out better for you in the long run. (And if she ever complains about how big or heavy it is, you can remind her (indirectly, of course) that you wanted to get her the smaller, lighter D5100.

She'll be happier with the D7000, and you won't be unhappy with it.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 11:30 AM   #5
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... And of course I would like to get this for her birthday ...?
Since it's a birthday present for her, get her what she wants.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 1:45 PM   #6
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Since it's a birthday present for her, get her what she wants.

Point taken. BUT, if new lenses are also necessary, cost comes into play. I don't have a defined budget in mind, but if you start talking upwards of $2K for camera+lenses, I am not sure I am willing to spend that kind of money for her B-day!
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 2:33 PM   #7
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I just checked B&H. The D5100 with the 18-55 VR and the 55-300 VR lens will cost about $1000. That doesn't include anything else -- you need a memory card, camera bag, flash, etc. It's a very nice camera that most anyone would be very happy to get. BTW, if you've got an old flash that went with your film camera, make sure that its voltage level is appropriate before using it with any digital camera -- the older cameras had flash units that operated at voltage levels that will burn up a new digital camera.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 7:33 PM   #8
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Are those lenses you would recommend? I think I would rather spend a little extra on good lenses, and get the lesser camera for now...though I am still considering just going for it all...haha...to make the wife happy...


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I just checked B&H. The D5100 with the 18-55 VR and the 55-300 VR lens will cost about $1000. That doesn't include anything else -- you need a memory card, camera bag, flash, etc. It's a very nice camera that most anyone would be very happy to get. BTW, if you've got an old flash that went with your film camera, make sure that its voltage level is appropriate before using it with any digital camera -- the older cameras had flash units that operated at voltage levels that will burn up a new digital camera.
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Old Feb 21, 2012, 8:19 PM   #9
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Well...I just happen to be shopping on Amazon a few minute ago, the D7000 was in my recently viewed section....I clicked on it....saw 4 in stock....and bought one!

Body only...but its on order. Assuming Amazon is not screwing with me, should have it on Thursday!

So, about those lenses......
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