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Upgrade or Not?


TPF Noob!
Feb 12, 2012
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Right now I have a Nikon d5100. While it takes pretty good pictures, I would like to upgrade to pro body and/or full frame. I mostly would like to shoot landscapes, portraits, and macro, but would also like to get into wildlife and sports. I like that the d3 is full frame, pro build, and fast fps however even used it is out of price range (and so is d700). I'm looking at Canon 1ds Mk2, 1dMk2N, or 5D plus L lens. The 1dMk2N is only one with fast fps but it's also not full frame. Between these 3 (and specifically the 5D and 1dMk2N) would fill frame be a huge difference over a 1.3 crop? I'm leaning toward 1ds Mk2 but also wondering if I could get 5D or 1sMk2N and not miss 1ds. Tough decision because with 1ds I give up fps and with 5D or 1D I either have to give up full frame or pro body. Yikes! It would be nice if there was a camera in my price range that was full frame, pro build, and fast fps (like d3). Also, I kind of like canon because their equivalent pro L lenses are cheaper than Nikon's. -Andrew
It takes pretty good pictures or you take pretty good pictures? Are you sure you've worked your D5100 to the bone?

What would you do differently with your new camera to make your pictures better than with your current one?
I think you are wanting to upgrade your camera body because you are bored with the d5100. Nothing wrong with that just don't give in to the GAS (gear acquisition syndrome) until you can afford it.
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If you had to ask, you don't need it yet.
How long have you HAD the D5100, and what have you done with it? Has your skills really just advanced to the level that you're ready to move to a better body, or are you thinking a better body would give you better results, without first having acquired the prerequisite skills needed to achieve those results?

What lenses do you have for the 5100? Flash equipment?

Based on what very little you've given us to go on, it kinda sounds like you haven't really used the D5100 to its fullest capabilities yet. If a used D700 is out of your budget, it sounds like maybe you'd be better off investing in some good glass and maybe a flash rather than upgrading the camera body.

It's the lens that make the REAL difference. That, and the skill of the person using the camera.
If you can afford to upgrade, I will ALWAYS recommend upgrading. Yes, I have GAS. LOL.
There's not much a D5100 will not do in the hands of a skilled user. If you get a 1 or 5D, sure you get a nice body, but what lenses are you going to have on it? Nice lenses? 70-300's are not nice lenses.. the 70-300L is borderline, nice build but OK optics

If you want something significantly different than what a D5100 provides, and you want full frame, get a professional film camera like an EOS 1V and a 50mm f/1.4. Shoot some 400h or Kodak Ektar 100 at half box speed, shoot wide open, put the sun to the backs of the subjects, expose for the shadows, your portraits will be 100x better. and no matter what anyone says, it's not hard, and it's actually alot easier than fiddling around with a digital camera.

I'm completely serious. There is really nothing a D5100 can't do in the hands of a skilled operator. The only thing a more expensive digital camera will give you, is more of the same. put an AF-S lens on a D3 and a D5100, and they will focus at identical speeds. Upgrade to a D3, and you'll get that same Nikon color pallete, or if you shoot RAW, you'll get the same Adobe color pallete... If you want something with significantly different color and rendering, save yourself alot of energy and shoot film and send it off to a real lab to get it done.

Landscapes? Pretty damn hard to argue with Fuji Velvia 50 and E100VS for slide, or Ektar 100 for CN.

Portraits? My favorites are 400H and Ektar 100, but the Portra series is good too. Again, Pretty damn hard to argue with those for skintones

Macro? Take your pick.. Velvia 50, E100VS, or Provia 400X..all are awesome for serious macro.
Well most of the canon bodies you mentioned are more for portrait work or studio work where nikons are usually more of work horses. But I dont know how you could have out grown the 5100 yet. I dont shoot nikon but a friends has one of those and it is a boss camera for the price. Nice processing light weight. Wide array of lenses options.

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