Sorting out starter Nikon - D3100, D3200, D5100

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by LoonyLeon, May 26, 2012.

  1. LoonyLeon

    LoonyLeon TPF Noob!

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    Hi there. I'm looking to get my first DSLR and looking for a versatile option as our family grows. I do more tinkering with settings, night photography, post processing, while my wife will likely do less of that.

    I like the feel of the D3100 and have not held the D3200 or D5100, but have been hearing very positive things about the latter two. With the 5100 and 3200 at the same price right now, I have a basic understanding of the differences between those two.

    However, I'm having a hard time evaluating the differences between the D3100 and the D3200 and whether they warrant the ~$150 price difference given that I'm looking to buy in the next week or so. I'd greatly appreciate your thoughts on sorting out that piece of the puzzle.

    Thanks in advance!


     
  2. jrizal

    jrizal TPF Noob!

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    Main selling point of the D3200 is 24MP resolution which can be a good or bad feature depending on how you look at it. Also it has a remote sensor which was not included in the D3100 but was included in the D3000. And last, the screen resolution of the LCD is the same as the D5100 and higher models. Though the LCD resolution is not a dealbreaker for me, I must admit that under outdoor conditions I cannot really make out the photos I've taken with my D3100.

    And since you mentioned about pricing, I got my D3100 kit at Costco for $699 which added a 55-200mm lens and a bag with instructional videos. The D3200 kit alone is at this price level. Between the D3200 and D5100, I'd rather go with the D5100 as the latter IMO is more versatile and also has the sensor of the D7000.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2012
  3. abhishekdg

    abhishekdg TPF Noob!

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    I was on the same boat a couple of weeks back and ultimately pulled the trigger and bought D90, a classic camera over the last years from Nikon.. It has got all the semi pro buttons for quick access and truely speaking the built quality and hand hold experience seemed a lot better than D3100,D5100. And the biggest advantage is now I can buy some of Nikon's old AF lenses and not the latest AF-S version which cost more as D 90 has an inbuilt focus motor in the body itself which is lacking in the D3100 and D5100..
    I believe and many others in this site have adviced me the same that if you wanna really learn photography and move up to Pro level cameras D90 is better than any other entry level dslrs.However, it does come with a little higher price tag ..
     
  4. orb9220

    orb9220 TPF Noob!

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    Yep was frustrated within 9months of buying an entry camera. Like many I always recommend a D80,D200 or in my case D90 as a good start and camera you can grow into instead of grow out of the first year. Good prices used or refrubs less than new of D3xxx or D5xxx series.

    As I needed the bigger,brighter viewfinder and built in motor for some of the older cheaper AF or AF-D lenses out there widening my choices for lenses. A flash commander mode to operate flashes off camera. Dedicated controls like 2nd Command wheel and buttons allowing me to change settings without my eye leaving the viewfinder. Top lcd for night and tripod work. Can add a true integrated grip for less wrist problems for vertical shooting for my old narly hands.

    It's great to have a improved higher iso performer in the new sensors. But true be told Most don't ever shoot out of the 200 iso range. Hell I rarely shoot above 800. But if doing a lot of night,indoors,concerts and do a lot of low light shooting then I would consider the newer sensor bodies out there like the D7000.
    .
     
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  5. jamesbjenkins

    jamesbjenkins No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had a D90 for 3 years. My first DSLR. Great camera. You can find one for the same price as the D3200 and D5100. If you know your way around the basic functions on Nikon bodies, you'll really appreciate the differences in the D90. Better build quality, a lot bigger body than the other entry levels.

    The internal AF motor is a really big deal if you're wanting to use older lenses. Probably the biggest liability of the D90 is its ISO performance. It's not totally on par with the newer sensors, but if you're not shooting at night or in bad lighting that requires higher than ISO 1600, you should never have any issues with the D90.

    Much better choice than the D3200 or D5100, IMO.
     
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  6. darrenberk

    darrenberk TPF Noob!

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    Hi LoonyLeon, I would get the D3200 if I were you. D3200 is lighter, faster, higher burst speed, and higher LCD resolution
     
  7. Bellezzo

    Bellezzo TPF Noob!

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    I've been working a bit with a d3100, and it's easy to use with a lot of auto modes etc. - but you'll probably need another (like for example D90) in a year or so.
     
  8. nickwhite

    nickwhite TPF Noob!

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    The D3200 whips the D3000, D3100 in every aspect. It ties the 5100 on photos only (with the 5100 having the slight upper hand in low-light photos, and in some more advanced photography things like bracketing), but handily beats the 5100 in video capabilities. My recommendation to anyone who wants both photo and video would be the D3200. For someone who doesn't really care about the video, but wants pure photography, I'd go D5100.
     
  9. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally I dont need the AF motor on DX.

    On FX, sure. Theres some lenses which are awesome I would want to have, specifically the Nikon AF DC-NIKKOR 135mm f/2 D. But on DX, I buy DX lenses only, to save the weight and because the same lens has a lot different area of view on DX and FX.

    I would like to point out though that even on FX the best lenses, such as the Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 G ED VR II, are AF-S (i.e. having an own motor) because thats the only way to have a really fast and silent autofocus.
     
  10. Buckster

    Buckster In memoriam

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    Why do all your posts have several attempts (so far failed) at spamming us embedded in them?
     
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  11. PicMaker

    PicMaker TPF Noob!

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    I have a D90 but love the easy nature of the D3100 and now D3200. With the price of a D3100 now with even the kit lens (which is pretty darn good by the way) you are up and running and wil get great pics.
     
  12. Mach0

    Mach0 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    You do know fx glass works on DX quite well, right ? There are some older fx lenses that aren't afs and shouldn't be overlooked. They aren't slouches in any shape or form. You are correct in the all of the newer lenses being afs and much quieter in focus. There isn't a point to upgrading to fx when all you have is DX glass. You should build up a collection. FX glass will make a difference. Then, when you are ready to transition, you won't need 5+ grand in glass.
     

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