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Old Nov 12, 2013, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Nikon D5100 to D5200 upgrade ???

I have the Nikon D5100. I find it to have superb still image quality, however, if it's possible, I want more. I was wondering if I upgraded to the D5200, would I really see a "big" difference in still image quality ? Maybe I would be better off going to the D7000 or even the new D7100. But then I have to seriously question the 24 megapixel ratings on both the D5200 and the D7100. I don't plan on printing pictures the size of a barn or doing that much cropping. Maybe I should just keep what I have and invest in better lenses. What are your thoughts ?
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 10:58 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surplusshooter View Post
... Maybe I should just keep what I have and invest in better lenses.
That.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 11:18 AM   #3
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I have a Nikon D 90 that I really enjoy. I use it almost exclusively. But occasionally I will pull out my D 40 and do a little shooting with it. When I do that, I often ask myself why I "upgraded" to the D 90. My own suspicions are that you wouldn't see enough difference between the two cameras to really make it worthwhile. You might devote your time to really getting to know the camera that you already have. As you can tell from the models that I am using, I'm not one to clamor for every new model that is introduced. So that probably biases my opinion quite heavily. It's always nice to have new equipment. But getting new equipment doesn't automatically make us better photographers. At least that has been my experience.

If the D5200 has a feature that you absolutely must have, then it's probably worth the investment. Otherwise, you might be a little disappointed even though you will be getting good photos from the new camera.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 11:32 AM   #4
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The D5200 has an improved AF system (same as D7000)- and has a faster continuous frame rate- so,if you're frequently shooting moving targets,maybe worth considering- though if speed was high on the priority list maybe jumping to the D7000 might be worth considering- never mind the fact that you can use older type Nikkor lenses with AF on the D7000/7100.
The D7100 has yet another AF upgrade- and in it's 1.3x crop mode (15mp) can rattle off 100 images at 7fps... and bear in mind that most of the image is covered with AF points in crop mode... food for thought..!
As for outright IQ- the 24mp sensor does offer slightly more DR and high iso performance- and of course,gives you more latitude for cropping - effectively lengthening the length of your zoom lens..!

All said and done- if your happy with the IQ on the D5100 (and why not- a good camera...)- perhaps going the way of lens upgrades/additions is worth considering...

You do mention however "...if it's possible, I want more..."
More of what..? In what regard...?
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 5:13 PM   #5
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"More of what" ? Answer....the best still image quality that I can achieve. I could care less about the video capabilities of all the DSLR's listed. I think that the poster that suggested that I keep what I now have and invest in better lenses might have it right. I guess that it would be fair to say that if you have the best camera body in the world but have a cheap crappy lens on it, then the image quality results will be no better than what that cheap crappy lens can produce. Any arguments on that statement ?
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 5:16 PM   #6
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Any arguments on that statement ?
Nope.
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Old Nov 12, 2013, 5:27 PM   #7
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The difference between 16MP (D5100) and 24MP (D5200) sounds like a lot, but it's really only about a 22% increase. It's not going to help much for letter size prints, and it's useless for images viewed online.
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Old Nov 13, 2013, 5:20 AM   #8
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surplusshooter- I'm still slightly perplexed by your initial post...

In your own words... "I find it to have superb still image quality..." (the D5100)... yet say "if it's possible,I want more..."
The initial statement suggests your very happy with the camera's IQ- which might also suggest that you already have decent glass up front...maybe...?
The latter suggests that you believe that more is achievable- which maybe suggests that there is something that you feel could be improved...?
I'm intrigued as to what and where that "something" is...(above your "superb still IQ"...)- without which it's hard to advise/help...

Are you looking for more sharpness to your images...? Maybe more dynamic range..? Improved noise levels at high iso settings..? Improved colour accuracy..?
You don't really need resolution beyond what you already have- as you've already stated you aren't looking to make big prints or crop your images.

In other words, if you could be a bit more specific with what you're looking to improve, we could ascertain whether you'd be better served by a body or lens upgrade...

For example- when I purchased a D3100 some time ago,I was very underwhelmed by the IQ- primarily a lack of sharpness to the images- which was quickly remedied by ditching the kit lens for a prime (50mm f/1.8)...
I still haven't purchased a decent zoom lens,but clearly my limiting factor was the glass up front.

What I will add,however- going back to your initial post...
Comparing the D5100,D5200 and D7000/D7100 in achievable IQ alone, you'd be hard pressed to find any difference... with features/speed/build/lens compatibility the only area for gains by a body upgrade...

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Old Nov 14, 2013, 1:07 PM   #9
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There was recently a youtube video called good lens on crappy body versus a crappy lens on a good body by a Chinese chap.
It was quite amusing and the results are interesting..
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 1:35 PM   #10
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A crappy body makes every shot crappy.

Even the crappiest lens is reasonably good sometimes. Some combination of aperture, focal length, and focus distance, will produce good results with every commercially available lens.

The point, though, is that 16MP is pretty good (as in, definitely un-crappy), and the best way to improve image quality with it is via the optics.
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