Upgrading to dSLR and very overwhelmed.

GoldenHour

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Hi all, this is my first post so please excuse my newbieness.

I will be making my first dslr purchase soon and I am so confused as to which route to take. I am looking at spending 2.5k USD max.
Initially, I figured I would go older on the body and just grab a couple of quality lenses but now I think I am leaning toward a solid body and one all around good lens.

The problem I am facing is FF vs DX. SIGH! I know as a newbie I shouldn't even think about this but most of what I like to snap is landscape and I really want to be able to print large format for framing. With my budget however, I think FF is just out of reach.
So, I am considering the Nikon d7200. I like the low light capabilities and the battery life is awesome. I'd like to have this camera for the next 5 years while I learn and grow as a photographer.

Am I overreaching here? Any other suggestions?
Thanks if you read this whole post!
 
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TCampbell

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$2.5k is quite a nice budget for "just getting started" (most people start with budgets of less than $1000).

But budget aside... the "real" answer is... what do you think you'll enjoy shooting? There is no "best" camera for everything. Some cameras are better for action photography. Some are better for low light. There are many uses which are easy of just about any camera, in which case buying a more expensive camera isn't necessarily going to change your results.

In the pecking order of what makes a good photograph, it's:

1) Photographer's knowledge and creativity
2) Lighting (and the photographer's ability to control it)
3) Lenses (there many factors that influence how well images from a lens will look and it's not just a matter of the focal length. The aperture, aperture blade design, optical design (ability to control factors that distort images or inability to resolve detail), build quality, focusing motor performance, etc.
4) and in last place... the camera body.

This is not to say the body isn't important. But usually if you're being held back and unable to produce the photographs you want, more often than not, improving items 1-3 will do more to help than item 4.

I was just out on a photo-walk (the Kelby World-Wide Photowalk event) and one of the photographers who had a point & shoot said she REALLY wanted to get a DSLR but just couldn't make up her mind "which one". I told her to stop worry about it and just get something... it really doesn't matter if she gets a Nikon or a Canon... or a Sony or a Pentax. It's hard to buy a "bad" DSLR camera in 2015.
 

wyogirl

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The camera you are looking at is a solid choice and way better than what a lot of people start with, myself included. You won't outgrow it too quickly and lenses and learning are way more important.
 

Designer

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Very nice budget!

I just LOVE spending other people's money!

So yes, there are several way to look at this:

Like a really low-end system and a bunch of cool add-ons like; lights, modifiers, tripod, extra lenses, and keep on going until it's all gone!

Another tack might be to max out on the body (Nikon D750 is at your price) and a good, but inexpensive lens (one lens) like a 50mm. That would get you one of the best bodies available in your price range, and you would have the fun of saving up for each additional lens and accessory that comes to mind.

Then, you could go for your chosen deal, one lens, and still have enough for a speedlight. I like that one.

Nikon D7200 DSLR Camera with 18-140mm Lens 1555 B&H Photo Video
 

jaomul

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If you look at my signature you'll see I have a nikon d7200. I like it a lot, nikon have a good selection of lenses and accesories.

I would however look at other options before you commit. I have said on this forum that if pentax was readily available where I live I may have possibly got a k3

Pentax K-3 DSLR Camera Body 15530 B&H Photo Video

This Pentax has many of the features that the nikon has, is missing a few features, but surpasses it in other features. Pentax have many lenses in their system, and do 2 lenses (an 18-55 and a 55-300mm) that are weather sealed and not massive money.

If you compare price and specs the pentax looks like a bargain. I really like the fact it has inbuilt stabilisation in the body which allows any lens effectively to be stabilized. If you bought this you'd have change out of 2.5k for accesories and lighting, it' just another option for you, not necessarily better or worse.
 

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Yes, the D7200 has a superb sensor in it, and also has a very good autofocusing system, and it has wonderful light metering. The D7200 was the only still camera Thom Hogan took with him to Africa for his month-long "no internet" break this year, and he has access to multiple camera systems and lenses. He speaks very highly about the D7200. dPreview's tests of the D7200 have them calling it the most ISO-invariant camera they've ever tested; that is because the sensor is simply superb in that camera.

Lenses are a big deal: they form the image, and they also focus it, and they make it possible to do different things, like make wide-angle images, macro images, or telephoto images.

There are a number of ways you could go with a $2.5K start-up system. A D7200 ought to be adequate for a five-year period, considering just how good it is. DX has finally gotten to the point where it is very,very good. Five years ago, FX had a distinct edge...not so much now with Sony-sensor cameras like the Nikons and Pentaxes.
 

Scatterbrained

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Well, you could go with the D7200 ($1100), a Sigma 10-20 ($500) and a Sigma 24-105 ($900). Of course that doesn't leave any room for a backpack, filters, memory cards, tripod, ballhead, etc. . . . .
 
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GoldenHour

GoldenHour

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Thank you so much for all of the replies, it has helped tremendously.

I thought I'd add a few more details.

I'm not new to photography just the dslr level. I've been using the same point and shoot for about 8 years now and I am fed up with poor picture quality. It's gotten to the point where I don't even want to take my camera out of the house anymore. Definitely ready for an upgrade.

I like nature photos most of all, mainly landscapes with some wildlife here and there. I definitely gravitate towards dramatic lighting and brooding scenes. Can someone point me in the right direction for an appropriate lens?

I would post a couple of my shots but they are all on flickr and have been edited quite a bit.
 

Derrel

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I would suggest looking at the Nikon D610 with the 25-85mm VR-Nikkor lens. Nikon D610

Wide dynamic range, due to the superb sensor. Good at higher ISO values. Not really an overly large camera. The really important issue though is this: the BEST lenses Nikon (and Canon!) has made are for full-frame cameras. The few Nikon-made DX Nikkor lenses are, for the most part, second-tier lenses. And the other fine lenses from other makers....like that Sigma 24-105 OS that Scatterbrained mentioned--those lenses are designed to have a full-sized sensor behind them.

The prime lens lineup, like 24,28,35,50,85mm primes...those really, truly, work the best on full-frame cameras. A 50mm 1.8 lens on a crop-body is not anywhere near as good a lens as say, Nikon's 85mm f/1.8 G-series lens is; that one lens is one of the sharpest, most-contrasty, best-performing prime lenses one can buy for under $4,000. Seriously...it performs on par with lenses costing $4,000. But the reallllly big deal is that, indoors, a 35, a50, and an 85mm lens are all very useful on an FX camera; on a DX-size sensor, the 85 is almost useless in many social situations because the angle of view is far too narrow.

The pictures coming from the 24-mp FX Nikon bodies are simply superb...D600, D610,D3x,D750...all of those use 24MP FX sensors made by Sony, with custom-designed in-camera electronics designed by Nikon. The D610 is, I think, the best "value" camera on the market right now, because there are many,many earlier lenses made for FX that can be used on it, and used the way they were designed to be used.
 

Ido

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I like nature photos most of all, mainly landscapes with some wildlife here and there. I definitely gravitate towards dramatic lighting and brooding scenes. Can someone point me in the right direction for an appropriate lens?
I think the wildlife part is the key in determining which camera would suit your needs. The D7200 has a better autofocus system for tracking moving subjects than the excellent D610 FX camera that Derrel suggested, so for many wildlife subjects it would be better—easier to use and nail focus. To get the same AF performance in an FX camera, you’d have to step up to the D750—a very nice camera indeed, and one that could fit in your budget constraints with the kit 24-120mm f/4 lens if you shopped around a bit.

However, that may not be such a big issue if you don’t plan on shooting fast moving subjects, like birds in flight for example. Slower and more stationary wildlife is a lot easier to get in-focus—even the D610’s AF system can be overkill. And on the other way around, with a bit more work and skill-forming, you could do just fine with the D610 shooting fast moving subjects.
 

soufiej

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Hi all, this is my first post so please excuse my newbieness.

I will be making my first dslr purchase soon and I am so confused as to which route to take. I am looking at spending 2.5k USD max.
Initially, I figured I would go older on the body and just grab a couple of quality lenses but now I think I am leaning toward a solid body and one all around good lens.

The problem I am facing is FF vs DX. SIGH! I know as a newbie I shouldn't even think about this but most of what I like to snap is landscape and I really want to be able to print large format for framing. With my budget however, I think FF is just out of reach.
So, I am considering the Nikon d7200. I like the low light capabilities and the battery life is awesome. I'd like to have this camera for the next 5 years while I learn and grow as a photographer.

Am I overreaching here? Any other suggestions?
Thanks if you read this whole post!



I've never had your type of budget but, if I ever did ...

Unless you've got another $2.5k to spend on your accessories and post production gear, I'd never spend more than I had to for the camera body.

If you want to print at large sizes for framing, look at the cost of a high end monitor for production work. You can get by with a $500 monitor but if you want to get the best for producing large scale prints, then you may really be looking more at the $1-1.3k price range. A calibrator for that monitor is probably going to run you another $400 or so though the best calibration tools can run several times that amount. So, I'd guess, figure on spending at least a grand on your monitor and calibrator and more if you want to do your camera justice.

If you need a new computer to drive your production work, add that to your budget. Budget digital cameras can get by with budget gear behind them but the more camera you buy, the more expensive the support gear becomes.

Have you checked the prices for top o'the line lenses? A top line camera body deserves top line lenses. Particularly if you're going to go large with your prints.

One thing to consider is, what comes with a top o'the line body; lots of controls. Less expensive camera bodies generally have all the controls you might need for 95% of the photos you might be taking in your situation but you'll have to go looking through menus to find them. As a new DSLR owner coming from a compact, a high end body probably has more controls than you can actually use intelligently. And, if you can't control the camera, then the camera begins to control you ... just like your compact did.

IMO, if your intention is to have a camera for five years and then move up, put your money in things other than the body. Head to a decent local camera shop on a slow weekday afternoon when the staff can discuss priorities with you and maybe come up with a semi-realistic plan for how to grow as a new DSLR user.
 

JohnnyWrench

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I just saw a for sale thread on here with a Nikon D700 full frame camera for $700. Add a used 24-85 3.5 - 4.5 VR and a 50 1.8 D to that and you still have almost $1300 left for other stuff to add later once you figure out what you want/need.
 

beagle100

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Thank you so much for all of the replies, it has helped tremendously.

I thought I'd add a few more details.

I'm not new to photography just the dslr level. I've been using the same point and shoot for about 8 years now and I am fed up with poor picture quality. It's gotten to the point where I don't even want to take my camera out of the house anymore. Definitely ready for an upgrade.

I like nature photos most of all, mainly landscapes with some wildlife here and there. I definitely gravitate towards dramatic lighting and brooding scenes. Can someone point me in the right direction for an appropriate lens?
.

don't know about "brooding scenes" but the appropriate lens for birds and wildlife would be the 400mm prime or maybe 100-400 (V1 or V2 depending on budget)

100-400 V1
16764458703_604a39ecb7_b.jpg
 

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