Upgrading from my 5100 - need some input

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by SquarePeg, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Been thinking of upgrading from my 5100 which I bought as a refurb about 2 years ago. While I love the 5100 for it's lightness and the convenience of the flip out screen, I get frustrated with it lately for a few different reasons, some are equipment limitations but others may just be my lack of skill.

    Not enough focus points has been the biggest issue lately - I feel that I am having to compose my shots to fit the focus points then crop later. I don't like to use the focus/recompose method as I always seem to end up with missed focus when I do that. I mostly shoot landscapes and vacation type pics but I've lately been taking some action photos now that my daughter is cheerleading and I haven't had a lot of success with nailing focus on those (this is likely my lack of skill so not sure an upgrade on the body will help with this but it sure won't hurt). I got some good advice here on my settings for that and my shots improved but they are still not what I would consider great. I would like a few more MPs for cropping purposes and when printing and a bigger LCD screen would be great for me as my eyesight without my reading glasses is not great but I don't like to wear the glasses when shooting because they get in my way.

    Strictly sticking to DX and most likely buying a refurb. Here are my current options (all refurbs are from Cameta and come with a 1 year warranty and all are in a comfortable price range for me). These seem to all be a big jump in technology from the 5100:

    5300 - refurb $469 this was my immediate thought to upgrade to because I could keep the flip out screen and I'm familiar with the controls but, it's already been surpassed by the 5500

    5500 - refurb $539 I don't care about touch screen and don't see this as a huge improvement over the 5300 but it's a newer model for only a $70 price difference

    7100 - refurb $579 is a really good value and has many key features that the 5000 series does not. Maybe not features that I need right now but ones that I will grow into needing I think.

    7200 - refurb $950, from reading reviews and previous similar posts, it seems that the improvements from the 7100 to the 7200 are not worth the $370 difference in price but there is an argument for buying the newest available model...

    Leaning toward the 7100 refurb but wanted some input first. Any good arguments for going with the newer 7200 or 5500? Are these all similar enough in IQ and focus system that I should reconsider the cheapest option and go with the 5300 and put the extra $ toward a needed long range lens? Should I wait and see if the 7200 has some price cuts around Black Friday? Would refurb prices drop accordingly?

    Thanks for your thoughts. Please no comments about pixel density at the center of the shot.


     
  2. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The only "problem" with the d7xxx models is you might miss the flip screen. If that is not an issue for you I can highly recommend the d7100.

    I have had the d7100 and now the d7200. The d7200 is slightly better but as you said not worth the price of a good lens better.

    The d7xxx gives you 2 cards, better weather seals, better af and faster fps along with high speed sync and the cls lighting system.

    If you go d7100 budget for a good card. SanDisk extreme pro 95 mbs is often recommended
     
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  3. MRnats

    MRnats No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I went from 5100 to 7100. I keep the 5100 as a backup. The 7100's layout is so convenient that I struggle every time I go back to the 5100 because everything on it is menu based. Changing settings on the fly with the 7 series is a breeze.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I would go with the refurb 7100 I think, for the price. Bigger, better viewfinder with a full-fledged pentaprism, which "I" think is really helpful for better seeing what the image is before snapping it.
     
  5. shadowlands

    shadowlands No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Move up to the D7000, D7100 type of body, for sure...
     
  6. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I do use the flip screen and would miss it but I was thinking to the times I've used it lately and I could easily have got the shot another way. Thanks for your input.
     
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  7. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The trade in/resale value on the 5100 is small enough that I will probably keep it. I might copy pixmedic and give away my current back up d60 to someone looking for a freebie to get started.
     
  8. dannylightning

    dannylightning Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    the 7200, it has a newer sensor , its got a newer processor, slightly more megapixels and i do mean slightly, better auto focus system, better images in low light when using higher ISO.

    its seems to be the highest rated crop sensor camera out there. if your gonna upgrade to a higher end camera why not get the slightly better one. that is how i look at it.
     
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  9. JacaRanda

    JacaRanda Hobbyist Birdographer

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    Because none of that necessarily means better photos. $370 dollars can slightly go towards many other things that could make more of a difference in the photography.
     
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  10. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes- a d7100 with a sigma 17-50mm os for exmple(approx 360 dollars) will take far better pictures than a d7200 body only
     
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  11. jaomul

    jaomul Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    [​IMG]Katie at Fota by jaomul, on Flickr

    While not the greatest example this was shot @ iso 3200. Its in dark enough conditins as its 1/200 at f2.8, maybe 1/100 at iso 1600 would be better but it gives an idea of the d7100 capability when the iso is pushed. I'd say it's there or thereabouts the same as the d51oo. Point being all these modern nikon crop cameras wont vary much with image quality, function is what you get for your money, the d7100 delivers in spades
     
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  12. Solarflare

    Solarflare No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have to do that ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME on my D750.

    Not because of lack of focus points - but because they are all in the center.

    My D5100 is HEAVEN in comparison.
     

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