Share
Stephanie Huber 12:40am, 6 January 2013
Hi all, I'm looking to upgrade from my D3000 in the next week. I've had it since 2009 and I'm looking for better low light capabilities and sharper photos. I was originally leaning toward the 7000 because in every forum I browse people are raving about it. However, I am wondering if the $300 price difference is going to be worth it for someone who is a learning hobbyist like myself with no professional inclinations. I know it would not be smart to pay $300 for special features that I will not even use instead of a new lens Would I notice a big difference in quality between the two cameras?

All of that being said I'd like to keep this camera for years to come so I want to make sure I don't have any regrets in not going for the best. I kind of felt that way after getting the D3000 instead of the D90 which I suppose is also still a camera I should possibly consider?

Thanks guys.
Rangefindergeneral 9 years ago
7000 for sure..
Focus motor and CLS...!!!
Walt Polley 9 years ago
If you have a long term commitment in mind, then go for the 7000.

It has some significant features that the 5100/5200 dont have. CLS to control off-camera Nikon flashes remotely is one key feature.

Three hundred dollars over five years is less than twenty cents per day. Well worth it.
JyBravo 9 years ago
What modes do you shoot in most often?

What lenses do you have now and plan to get in the future?

What subjects do you shot the most and how many different types do you shoot (landscapes, macro, portraits, candid, street, still life, etc.)?

These are the big questions you need to answer. The D7000 offers more lens choices including faster in camera AF required ones as well as older MF AI lenses the D3000 can't use well. The D7000 has a brighter viewfinder, faster shutter, and more durable construction. Go to a store and pick one up, see if the weight and controls are comfortable. The D7000 puts way more dedicated controls on its body which take time to learn but expand you creative control by huge factors over the D3000, opening a whole new set of possibilities, and pitfalls.

If you are constrained or frustrated by how the D3000 performs an upgrade to a D7000 might be the best prescription. It all depends on your creative vision and how easily you can achieve it with the tools you have.
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Rangefinder general: Walt Polley:

Thanks guys. I'm definitely leaning toward the 7000 but wanted some confirmation that I wasn't crazy.

JyBravo:

I typically shoot in aperture priority. Have the 18-55 that came with the D3000 and the 35mm f1.8 prime. Tested out a lensbaby but was unsatisfied so I just returned it to save money for a better lens. I'd be selling the 18-55 with the D3000 but plan to replace it with a better lens. The 35 is on my camera 95% of the time to be honest. I'm definitely a hobbyist in that I tend to shoot whatever comes up in my life. People, my pets, my office, anything I come across during the day and find beauty in. But I definitely feel constrained by the D3000 at times. The 35 and the D3000 are definitely a fairly decent combo in low light but I'm hoping for better. I also really want live view.

I actually went to the store earlier and handled both the D7000 and D5100 and preferred the D7000 despite its size. Unfortunately they didn't allow the cameras to actually turn on so I definitely want to go check out how both handle live.

I'm thinking perhaps the 7000 will give me more room to grow because I'm definitely learning new things every day. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't shooting for more camera that I can handle at the expense of more money for the same, or poorer, results since I still consider myself to be largely a beginner.
Mervyn S Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Mervyn S (member) 9 years ago
What camera store did you go to? Specialized camera stores (even Blacks) will allow you to use your memory card in a camera to analyze images at home.

I've mentioned this elsewhere, to fully take advantages of the features of the D7000 means having gear, specifically things like flashes, tripods, software, even better camera bags. I'm assuming you have a couple of lenses already.

Both the D7000 and D5100 are quite cheap now. If video is something that might become important to you, I'd consider waiting for the D7000 update. An inconvenience which I found with my D40 that the D7000 has is that is does overexpose in certain situations, something which I'm glad my D5100 does not do. Too often with my D40, I went straight to manual....

www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond7000/22

If you are going to be doing a lot of precise picture composition, the 100% viewfinder of the D7000 is what you are going to need.
Stephanie Huber Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Stephanie Huber (member) 9 years ago
Mervyn S:

Oh, I just happened to be near a Best Buy. Unfortunately I work all weekend this week but I'm going to try to go to a local camera store next week. It would be great if I can do comparison shots with my D3000 and each camera.

I was laid off for the early half of 2012 but now I can start to build up all of my camera gear and I'm very excited. A more durable tripod and an SB600 are on the list. Already using PS Elements which is working great especially since I started using RAW.

Oh, and I'm not terribly interested in video.
JyBravo 9 years ago
If you are moving beyond the scene modes into the user defined modes (P, S, A, M) than the way to go is the D7000. The D5100/5200 have a nice unique feature, the flip out screen, but that is about it. The D7000 continues to hold its own in resolution in low light over the larger sensors in the D3200 and D5200.

If you are learning and still shooting in a wide area of subjects the D5100/5200 will quickly feel like the D3000 you have today. Their menu systems and controls are more suited to staying in scene modes and "basic" exposure type scenes.

The D7000 has a much better metering/AF system, the multiple cross point AF zones in the sensor will increase your chances of getting what you want in focus in focus. If you end up taking action shots the 6 fps will serve you better as will the more sturdy shutter system. Live view is great and something I wish my D40 had for IR photos.

If you like the feel and are looking to use CLS, the SB600 is excellent, get the D7000. Off camera flash opens a new world of creativity and the D5200 can't come close to unless you get separate gear. The D7000 also uses Nikon's cheapest accessory, the ML-3 remote and it has front and rear facing sensors so you can easily trigger from behind the camera now (without aiming for the viewfinder and without a cap over it). I think you have your mind made up already. Adding in the capability to use the AF-D lenses will pay off in the future, the 50mm f/1.8 is a real bargain and super sharp. Jan 8th Nikon is supposed to announce something at the CES 2013, if its the D7000 replacement expect to see the price come down again soon, though at Amazon today it is almost $400 off its introductory price.
Mervyn S 9 years ago
You will notice an improvement in picture quality with any of the D3200/D5100/D7000/D5200 and whatever D7000 replacement there is.

I'd say get the tripod and SB-700 (may be hard to find a SB-600 new) and while you are figuring out these two things with your D3000, dwell a bit on the D7000 or it's replacement.

Meanwhile, you can take a peek at some of the better D3000 pics here:
www.flickr.com/cameras/nikon/d3000/
Ed Ludt 9 years ago
Unless you're a "professional photog wannabe", sit back and really consider what is lacking now in your current results. I opted for the D5100 instead of the D7000 since I didn't find a need for a multitude of non-AF-S lenses, the added weight and cost of the body. Spend the $$'s saved on the 35mm f1.8 lens. I bought the Tamron 18-270 PZD lens as my walk-around travel lens, the 35mm for low light, and a Sigma 150-500mm for wildlife. Now I'm sure many here will thumb their noses at my gear selection, but I don't pretend that my images will someday grace the cover of NatGeo magizine either! BTW - I still hav emy "old" D40 with a Nikon 18-135mm zoom...works just fine....
Lee Longwater Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Lee Longwater (member) 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber:
"I'd be selling the 18-55 with the D3000 but plan to replace it with a better lens."

You might want to consider your lens options before selling the 18-55VR (and D3000). A non-kit Nikon lens covering the 18-55mm focal range could cost you in excess of $600 or much more; the 18-55VR will work just fine on the D7000 while you save up for a higher quality lens.

One BIG reason to buy the D7000 over the D5100, D5000, D3200, D3100, D90, etc. is the Auto Focus Fine Tuning control. There are some lens/body combinations that make it difficult to auto focus properly without this adjustment.
Walt Polley 9 years ago
+1 what Lee said about the 18-55mm lens. Keep it - it is actually a pretty good lens!
Rangefindergeneral 9 years ago
I think you will notice a big difference between the D3k and a D7k.
The D3k had a bad rep with regards to its sensor. The D3200 is a very different camera and should be considered..
However the focus motor of the D90, D7k, D300s, etc is a killer feature, it allows you to use some great lenses that are more affordable than the latest releases...
kwngmy 9 years ago
Go for D7000, it can fit AF D lens and has U1 & U2 features.
kgreggbruce 9 years ago
All of the cameras listed 'fit' AF-D lenses, not just the D7000. In fact, the D40/motor less mount can 'fit' MORE lenses than the D7000.
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
JyBravo:

I've never really trusted the scene modes. I did use the D3000's guide mode when I got the camera because it was the only way I could produce the results (bokeh and dof) i wanted. If on a trip and not wanting to fuss I'd even leave it on auto despite knowing I wouldn't get the best results. Now I'm strictly using aperture priority and manual. I want to get to where that feels more simple than auto. I think you're right about the D7000. Do you think the 50 1.8 is worth it if I already have the 35 1.8?

Mervyn S:
MisterEd45:

Thanks, guys. I am leaning towards the 7000 still but the 5100 isn't out of consideration. I am going this week to test them both out. I've got the 35 f1.8 already. It's my favorite lens! Definitely improved my low light abilities. That being said I'm definitely seeing a lot of noise at the higher (1600) ISO. Anyone know what I could have done differently here? Would the D7000 or D5100 have given me more options here or is this purely user error/amount of light?

[https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikon-odactyl/8358040108]
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Lee Longwater:
Walt Polley:

The reason I was considering selling it is because I noticed while glancing around Ebay that body only auctions of the D3000 aren't selling. Is there not a better lens than the 18-55 in the $<400 range?
ScottJ 9 years ago
I totally agree on keeping the 18-55. Don't sell it short -- used properly that lens is unbelievably sharp, and some of my best photos were taken with it. It has earned a permanent place in my camera bag.

As for low light work ... your example photo would have been far less noisy if you'd locked down the camera on a tripod, turned down the ISO, and exposed longer. High-ISO performance really becomes an issue with moving subjects -- shooting football on a poorly-lit field, or shooting a dimly-lit drama production, for example.
burly oatmeal [deleted] 9 years ago
I would think the reason D3000 body only is not selling is because for someone buying a D3000 it would be their first DSLR and they wouldn't have lenses already. If I'm just getting into DSLR photography I going to be looking for a body and lens. If your looking at the D5100 or D7000 the price difference between buying a body only and body and lens kit isn't significant.

I would say sell the D3000/18-55 and then buy the body and lens you want. There are some pretty good deals out there for the D5100 and D7000 right now.
Lee Longwater Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Lee Longwater (member) 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber:
"Is there not a better lens than the 18-55 in the $<400 range?"

There are very few Nikon AF-S lenses that cover the 18-55mm range that sell for less than $400. Most notably is the 18-105VR kit lens that sells in the $300 to $400 range. It's recently been advertised in the D7000 kit for as little as $100 over the D7000 body only price. Now that's a deal but I personally wouldn't pay as much as $300 for the 18-105VR although there are those that like this lens.

One step up is the Nikon AF-S 16-85VR and 18-200VR that sell new for around $600. Both are very similar in size, weight and build quality. Some say the image quality is better in the 16-85VR but that might be expect since the lens has less overall magnification than the 18-200VR. The PLUS for the 18-200VR is "one lens does it all" with no changing of lenses while you're out shooting.

There's an older, non-VR, discontinued lens (Nikon 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 AF-S DX) that perhaps can be purchased used for maybe around $300. To quote a review, "This is a serious lens, not a "kit lens" or a cheap replacement for a lens cap sold as part of a kit as with most other cameras. The fast f/3.5~4.5 speed should be your clue; the cheapies are all f/3.5~5.6. The 18-55 is a cheapie, but good."

Some non-zoom lenses to consider: the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8 ($219) and the AF-S 85mm f/1.8 ($499).

If it were me, I'd keep the D3000 for a backup body, use the 18-55 on the new body for the time being and save some money for that better quality lens.

Current list of Nikon Lenses: www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Camera-Lenses/All-Lens...
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
ScottJ:

Thanks, Scott. Would this shot be less of an issue handheld with the D7000's higher ISO capabilities, though? Or is that only moving objects as you mentioned?

Heatonje2011:

That's what I was thinking as well. Otherwise I wouldn't sell the 18-55. It is a good lens. I'd like a zoom that is faster and longer but I know that can get pricey.
schneeg 9 years ago
hello I wouldn't sell the D3000 and 18-55mm lens. I have a D5100 and my old D60.And for me there are still lots reason to use my old camera. Many times 10MP is more than enough and also having a simpler camera works because there many times comes in very handy also a D60 or D3000 is easier to carry around becuase it need a smaller bag and you can hang it form your neck all day
Lee Longwater 9 years ago
Keep the D3000. There maybe times when you do not want to risk damage or loss to the more expensive, new camera; like inclement weather, hiking to waterfalls, the sand at the beach, the not so good part of town, etc.
henrytsay 9 years ago
Lee Longwater:

ScottJ:

(I don't mean to threadjack - please message me or tell me off :P if this is inappropriate)

I'm a D40 owner planning on waiting on a body upgrade until next year or so, but I'm actually considering picking up the kit lens (I sold it shortly after getting my D40 in favor of the 35mm f/1.8). Complicating matters is that someone locally is selling a 17-55mm f/2.8 for $600, which is right about the end of my budget for photography for the year. Am I overthinking it considering going for the kit instead of the much higher IQ/build 17-55mm? There's not really any other gear other than a lens that I'm considering purchasing. I've been going around with the (cropped) 35mm as my widest available length, and I'm itching to get back down to the 17-18mm range.
Mervyn S Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Mervyn S (member) 9 years ago
I did keep my D40 when I got my new camera body.

(Stephanie Huber) the noise in your picture is what I would expect for older dSLRs. Yes, there isn't much in the dSLR world that costs less than $500.

, (tsayguy) that is a great price for that lens but if you don't need f/2.8, just go for the 18-55 VR and use the $400 elsewhere.
Lee Longwater 9 years ago
tsayguy:
"someone locally is selling a 17-55mm f/2.8 for $600"

The 17-55 f/2.8 sells new for about $1400 and used (ebay, buy it now) for around $900.

$600 sounds a little low, almost too good to be true. I'd check it out real close before buying it. Do you know the seller?

You might consider a new Nikon AF-S 16-85VR for around $600 or a Tokina 12-24 if you just need the wide angle. Also, you should be able to buy a new or refurbished 18-55VR for around $100. And you should be able to get a 55-300VR for around $350.
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Mervyn S:

That's what I expected. I was looking at the 50mm f1.8 but not sure it would be terribly different from my 35 f1.8. The 85 f1.8 mentioned above is kind of catching my eye though. Love a good prime lens.

tsayguy:

The more the merrier.
ScottJ 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber:

Stephanie, in my experience, more light on the sensor is always better than more signal gain. The sensitivity of a CCD is pretty much a set value; cameras with good high-ISO performance achieve it by using very low-noise amplifiers. As any engineer will tell you, anything that amplifies signal will amplify noise, and by the same amount.

Your picture was taken at f/1.8, 1/40, and ISO 1600. That means, essentially, that your picture's signal was amplified three stops from what the sensor actually saw at its "native" ISO of 200.

If you'd set the ISO to 200 and the shutter speed to 1/5, you'd have gotten the same picture without the noise.

While I don't know what the D7000 looks like at high ISO, it's never, ever going to look as good as an image exposed at ISO 200. If the picture is less noisy than what you got with your D3000, it will also be less detailed due to the use of noise reduction in the camera.

No two photographers have the same rules, but in general, you can think in three basic steps, and the order of the first two is debatable:

1) Open the aperture, until you can't because of DOF or lens limitations.
2) Increase exposure time, until you can't because of motion or time.
3) Increase ISO, knowing you're adding noise in the process.
ScottJ 9 years ago
tsayguy:

Briefly so as not to threadjack: Get the 18-55VR. It's versatile, and its IQ is far better than people give it credit for. I will never part with mine. In the right hands it's truly a magic lens.
henrytsay 9 years ago
Lee Longwater:

Lee, thanks. I have the long end covered. I've been shooting for the last year or so without anything wider than 35mm, and it's been driving me nuts. Hence, this deal on CL is sorely tempting.

I'm considering ultrawides (12-24mm, 10-24mm), but 17/18mm seems wide enough for me, plus I wouldn't need to change lenses, which is a plus for me.
henrytsay 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber:

I've spent enough of your thread talking about something else- let me take a crack at your question!

I'm thinking of upgrading bodies sometime in the distant (~ a year out) future. Likely 2013 updates from Nikon aside, I recently decided I would go for the D7000 over the D5100 when the time is right. For a while, I thought similarly to you that the extra cost may not be worth taking the D7000 since the sensor is the same as the D5100, but the compatibility with older AF-D lenses has changed my mind. Having the AF motor opens you up for using all sorts of great glass down the road; the D7000 or equivalent would be the last body I would ever plan to buy.

I hope this helps. You should update this thread when you make your final decision!
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
ScottJ:

Thanks, Scott. Was just wondering if this was the sort of shot that could be achieved without dragging out the tripod on a different camera. I start to think I have a handle on things but admittedly the technical aspects get a little muddled in my brain sometimes.

tsayguy:

Thanks, I will!
JyBravo 9 years ago
I would get the 50mm 1.8D. It is cheaper than the 35mm 1.8 and can be used on film and FX bodies, the 35mm is only usable on DX bodies.

The DX is a 1.5 crop so the 35mm is 52mm equivilent and the 50mm is a 75mm equivilent lens on FX/35mm film field of view perspective. Don't get too hung up on that but the difference is significent enough.

You can test this on your 18-55 buy looking at your past shots or doing a test. If you are shooting people and candids often the 35mm requires you to get quite close, or crop the shot heavily. The 50mm is more descreipt and keeps you at a more comfortable distance. The reverse is true for indoor shots, a 50mm tents to be too tight for indoor shots.

However this is a tangent from the main topic, on the body. While both the 5100/5200 and 7000 can use the 50mm 1.8D, only the 7000 can AF the lens. The D7000 has a nice bright and 100% view finder making it easire to MF any lens, it might be harder to do on the 5100.
PJ Sinohin 9 years ago
D7000
Stephanie Huber Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Stephanie Huber (member) 9 years ago
What's your opinions on the D5200? Looks like it's going to be out this month with the 18-55 lens for about the same price the D7k's body is sitting at. About the same comparison as to the 5100?

Edited to say: Reading back I see the 5200 mentioned along with the 5100 a few times above so it would seem like it would be about the same.

Thanks for all of the great advice. The price of the 5100/5200 is really attractive and so is the flip out screen. I'm also not particularly concerned with being able to AF with older lenses and while I do know I need to get an external flash and work with it I doubt I will be doing anything beyond attaching it to the hot shoe. On the other hand, I definitely prefer the size and set up of the D7k body and while I may not be concerned with certain extra features now I don't want to regret them later on down the line. Definitely going to be a tough decision.

Unfortunately, I've discovered all of the good camera stores around here shut down. I'm trying to track down a Best Buy that has the cameras on and available to test. Planning on buying online but I did want to play with them before I made my final choice.
Lee Longwater Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Lee Longwater (member) 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber:

Here's a review of the new D5200, which includes a comparison to the D5100 and D5000. www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5200.htm

The main difference in the Dxxxx series is megapixels and the new D5200 has an improved focusing system (39 points vs.11).

Still, the one big benefit of the D7000 over the D5000 & D5100 is the Auto Focus Fine Tune adjustment so you can individually calibrate focus on all your different lenses. The D5200 may or may not have this.
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Well, I was still flip flopping on my decision all day and I plan to make the purchase tomorrow so I decided to head to a different store after work to see if they had models I could test out. Once I got to handle them both I knew my decision instantly. While the D5100 is nice it feels very similar to my D3000 and the D7000 was just a whole other camera entirely. I didn't find it much heavier than the D5000 at all. I took a few shots in store and they were great. It even has me looking at a refurbished 18-105 on Adorama that isn't much more than the Sigma 17-50 I was looking at. Any other lens that might be in the same price range ($300>) refurbished that I should be looking at? I'm looking for a good walkaround lens that is sharp and decent in low light.

Anyone who stumbles across this thread in a similar situation: I definitely recommend anyone who is struggling with the decision of whether to pay extra for the D7000, when they wouldn't (at least currently) even be using all of the features that cause the extra cost, go to the store and handle both cameras and it will make the decision for you either way. You'll probably either fall on the side of the D5100 for its lightness and cool swivel screen or the D7000 for its viewfinder size and larger body with more buttons.

Thanks for all of your advice!
Mervyn S 9 years ago
I can't imagine the target market of the D5200 would ever use Auto Focus fine tune; I doubt this would be included.

Unfortunately, there aren't that many lens options around the $600 or less range. Most camera store websites usually allow you to sort items by price, so try this out.
ScottJ 9 years ago
Since the D7000 has a focus motor in the body, your possibilities for lenses have opened up considerably. Take a look on KEH.com ... you will be able to use any auto-focus nikkor lens, and non AF-S lenses are much less expensive on the used market. (I trust KEH ... quite a bit of my glass came from there, since I used to live in Atlanta and could pick up locally to save shipping costs.)
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Thanks, Scott! So basically any lens made by Nikon would be good to go on my D7000?
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Sorry, not a lot of experience with checking out older lenses :) but if the focus motor in the D7k means I might be able to find something comparable to the 18-105 or Sigma
17-50 for a walk around lens that would be great.
ScottJ 9 years ago
Pretty much any AF Nikkor lens or any aftermarket lens compatible with Nikon AF will work. Manual-focus, older lenses will work too, but you need lenses that are either AI or AI-converted ... very old pre-AI lenses won't mount properly. There are some slight limitations with some lenses. See the chart here:

imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d7000/compatibility02.htm
Stephanie Huber 9 years ago
Well, guess what? My significant other decided to throw in on the camera because he wanted me to be able to get it today. I picked up the kit. I'm very excited! It's such a beautiful camera. So big next to the D3000 especially with the 18-105 on it. Thanks again for all of the advice.

[https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikon-odactyl/8371016045]
[https://www.flickr.com/photos/nikon-odactyl/8371038985]
Mervyn S 9 years ago
Very nice, and congrats
henrytsay 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber: Awesome!
burly oatmeal [deleted] 9 years ago
Woooo Whooo!!!! Very Nice!
dagifguy 9 years ago
Great choice, I havent looked back!!
Lee Longwater 9 years ago
Stephanie Huber:

So glad that you took our advice.
curtiscwilson52 9 years ago
I have had the D7000 for sometime now, great camera, but I am still impressed by the image quality by my D40.
Will-travel 9 years ago
Yes. I still have my D40. It's 7 years old......and it's just hard to beat with the 18-55 lens. Light weight....I carry it around in one hand.
Riju112 8 years ago
greattttt...3100 loooks like a baby in front of 7000...use it well.best wishes..how much did it cost u?
Marina Yolkina 8 years ago
I have 5100 and my boyfriend have 7000, sometimes I have to use his camera with my lens and there's no difference. 7000 have more settings, but the question is in need of these settings, also 5100 is lighter and I feel myself more comfortable with him.
Groups Beta