The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:28 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Nikon Centric Question

The Answer "look at what Cannon's got is ALSO an acceptable response at the point."

Defining Criteria:
-I have a Sony DSC-HX1 for the wife, low light, and HiDef recording. Does some neat panoramic stuff, Video is substandard a specific use case (described below) and does not provide enough manual control.
-I have an iPhone 4s which is the go-to, always have, device. I'm VERY happy with it's output, considering its the camera you have when you need a camera.
-I have a Nikon D50 with it's kit lens, and an ED 28-200 short zoom (1:3.5-5.6), I occasionally use a full manual speedlight to complement it's on-camera flash. It's taken 5000 exposures in it's life in my care.

Looking at modern DSLR's it looks like tech has advanced enough to warrant looking around. The big sticky point with Nikon is their dividing line between motor-in-body and motor-in-lens systems.

I'm most interested in low light Video capture, in addition to all the other geegaws. Once a year, we have a Halloween event where a rented Prime Lens would be AWESOME as all previous attempts at low light video have been...unsatisfying.

The contenders:
Nikon 7000, body only. $1500-ish. Pro: Reuse my existing glass, motor-in-body focusing. CONS: More than I want to spend, New consumer lenses have anti-vibration features.

Nikon 5100 kit from Costco ($1000). Pros: Short and long Zooms, modern glass. Reviews seem generally positive. Cons: Body is not as stout as the D50, I'm stuck with good and marginal glass with the D50 I can't use (auto-focus not supported) I have no idea how modern prosumer kit glass stands up against older Pro line ED glass.

Nikon 1? Unknown. The whole different size, lenses, etc are unnerving. I wouldn't say I'm _annoyed_ with the lack of control the Sony gives me...more that I'm accepting of things I cannot change. The next camera needs to have _good_ manual controls.

Cannon - Now would be the time to jump ship for the 'other' major brand. I'm still looking at the Kilobuck range.

Last edited by Unintentionally Blank; 05-06-2012 at 08:31 AM..
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:45 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Nikon D3200 ready for pre-orders. $699 with kit lens 18-55

24MB, no AF motor (need G Nikkors), Live View but no articulated screen, apparently a pretty decent movie mode.

There is a 35/1.8 G nikkor available for around $200 brand new.

Initial reviews are pretty positive.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:49 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Yeah, I hadn't looked at the 3200 yet...I don't remember the specifics (I did the research two or three months ago) but the 3100 didn't do as much for me as the 5100 and 7000...with the 7000 being too far out of the comfort zone. (and yeah, the aphorism "buy the best glass and the cheapest body" was running through my mind, too)

The cameras I've had with a moveable screen have been surprisingly useful.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:56 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
AF-S lens with a G on the end, in case I wasn't clear. AF motor in lens.

I checked on Nikon.com, the D32oo movie mode is 1080p HD with stereo sound.

I'll wait for some user reviews myself, but I like what I see so far. (D90 and D60 user right now)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:59 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
5100 might drop in price, too. According to Nikon Rumors site
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:05 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
THAT would be interesting. I could be pretty happy with a two lens 5100 kit for $800. I'm still researching what my gear would get on the used market, I figured resale value would drop substantially when going from film to Digital, but surprisingly, the D50 + ED lens may still be worth enough to bother with! ($250)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:06 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
AF-S lens with a G on the end, in case I wasn't clear. AF motor in lens.

I checked on Nikon.com, the D32oo movie mode is 1080p HD with stereo sound.

I'll wait for some user reviews myself, but I like what I see so far. (D90 and D60 user right now)
Any clue how glass quality stacks up? I'd be interested in seeing how a 10 year old prosumer lens would stack up against a modern kit lens.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:14 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm

Some good reading.

Even Series E lenses had good optics. If you want faster glass or a beefier construction, then you need the pro or prosumer lines of lenses. Kit glass sharpness is excellent across most brands. (YMMV) They are slow lenses generally, and mostly plastic barrels. I've even seen plastic mounts (can't remember which brand).

My D60 and kit lens has held up remarkably well despite being thrown around during traveling. I wouldn't rely on it for a pro shoot, but even if I did, it could possibly outperform a pro series camera/lens combo used by someone who didn't know how to shoot a good photo to start with.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:17 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
B&H takes trades, btw. A fairly good dollar amount on many older digitals. Not as much as selling on eBay might get you, but at least you save some hassle.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:56 AM
The Vorlon The Vorlon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Sol III
Posts: 1,180
5100 kit with 18-55 is 699 right now.

This meens the kid gets the D3000, and the D40 goes on the shelf.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:00 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Vorlon View Post
5100 kit with 18-55 is 699 right now.

This meens the kid gets the D3000, and the D40 goes on the shelf.
Costco's got that plus the longzoom for $950

I kinda miss the long zoom I had with the N70 when I shot film. It let me step right up to the chain link fence at the races and shoot through it at the cars. Some of my candid shots in crowds benefitted from having more reach:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33743995@N00/6544735861/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33743995@N00/6544735437/

Last edited by Unintentionally Blank; 05-06-2012 at 10:02 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:12 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Correction....that's a 200mm max zoom...the one I had for the N70 was a 300mm....of course, I haven't done the math to convert 35mm to ???
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-06-2012, 11:17 AM
twickster twickster is online now
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,288
Moved MPSIMS --> IMHO.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:10 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
200mm is still 200mm, regardless of the camera it's on. Since there is a difference in image sensor size, tho, there is a crop factor to be aware of.

Nikon's FX size is virtually full frame of old film 35mm dimensions, Nikon's DX sensor cameras have a crop factor of 1.5X (Canon non full frame dSLRSs have a 1.6X crop factor due to a slightly smaller sensor).

So, on a Nikon DX sensor camera, my old 500mm (if mountable, compatibility differs per model of camera or lens) would be the equivalent field of view and magnification as a 750mm would be on my old EL2.

Speaking of my old EL2... The Nikon EM, Nikon Series E 100/2.8, Speedlight SB-E, and Winder E weighed maybe 1/3rd of my EL2, Motor Winder EL, Nikkor 105/2.5, and Speedlight SB-3. Cost half as much, too. Modern Photography did a field test comparing these two setups, end results of photos showed negligible differences. Just a fun thought when talking about picture quality of entry level cameras.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/fx-dx-future.htm
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-06-2012, 01:35 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoClueBoy View Post
Modern Photography did a field test comparing these two setups, end results of photos showed negligible differences. Just a fun thought when talking about picture quality of entry level cameras.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/fx-dx-future.htm
Which is why I'm not leaving out the Nikon 1 in the analysis...mirrorless cameras are supposed to be getting pretty amazing...it's just that I don't want the weaknesses of my last mid-range camera (the DSC-HX1)...It's got similar glass capabilities, I'd just be worried it gives up access to all of the manual controls for the sake of size.

Edit: Meh, scratch the N1...that's nowhere NEAR what I'm looking for.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:23 PM
The Vorlon The Vorlon is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Sol III
Posts: 1,180
Nikon's DX lenses have NO crop factor. That is why the 55-300 DX lens is 399, and the 70-300 nonDX lens is much more (and a 105-40 on my 5100)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:40 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Last year I upgraded to a D7000 from my old D70 (a similar vintage to your D50, though mine has done 50k exposures). It was a good choice. Granted, I have some manual focus and old AF lenses, so I had to choose a body that would work with them.

One of the reasons I chose the D7000 is that I knew I wouldn't feel the need to replace it for a long time. It's solid, the controls are good, and it's not lacking any features. Even if I don't use older lenses often, the capability is there.

PS the D7000 is usually quite a bit less than $1500.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:41 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saskaboom
Posts: 8,028
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Vorlon View Post
Nikon's DX lenses have NO crop factor. That is why the 55-300 DX lens is 399, and the 70-300 nonDX lens is much more (and a 105-40 on my 5100)
No lenses have a crop factor. Bodies have crop factors. DX bodies have a smaller sensor, which is equivalent to automatically cropping the edges off an image from an FX camera.

What (most) DX lenses do is produce a smaller image circle than is required for an FX sensor, although some DX lenses can be used with passable results on FX bodies at some focal lengths and apertures. Generally you'll have at a minimum pretty heavy vignetting, though.

But the DX 55-300 and the 70-300VR will produce exactly the same angle of view at full zoom. The 70-300VR is more expensive because it has more glass in it, has more expensive parts (re: focus motor, stabilizing element), and better build quality.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:45 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
I guess the crux of the question would be: What would the better camera setup be:

$950 worth of 5100 + two kit lenses

$1200 worth of D7000 and my 10 year old ED lens.

Of course, it would be closer to $600-$700 for the D5100, assuming I could get some money for my existing gear. Can't really do that with the D7000 option.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:06 PM
tellyworth tellyworth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
If you go with the D7000, a 50mm f/1.8 AF-D is about $120, or even less used. That'd give you a second, versatile lens for not much more. On a DX body it's great for portraits, and the wider aperture will give you a much more usable lens in low light than your old kit zoom.

(That said, the AF-S version is only $220)
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:27 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saskaboom
Posts: 8,028
Pretty sure the new kit lenses are better lenses than your old 28-200 (optically, at least), and have the additional virtue of starting at 18mm. 28mm on a crop body isn't very wide.

The real question is, are the extra features on the D7000 outside of the focus motor worth anything to you? If they aren't, go with the 5100 kit. One old zoom designed for film cameras isn't worth spending extra on a body for, especially if you can get a few bucks for it. But if the other features of the D7000 are compelling, that's a different story.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:13 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
(clarification) I don't think it's a film lens...it was bought at the same time as the D50...

What's odd is, a few years after I got (rather, inherited) the whole tamale, I threw the kit lens on the body...and was immediately amazed at the improvements in focus speed...used it for a bit, then threw the ED lens back on...okay, slow focus, but I could see a big difference in quality.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:41 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saskaboom
Posts: 8,028
Well, it's not film per se, but it dates to that period.

Mid-range zooms starting at 28mm or 24mm are designed for FX-sized sensors or 35mm film. They give you a field of vision that ranges from moderately wide-angle to however telephoto they happen to be. On crop bodies, they are barely wide-angle at the wide end of the zoom, and so there are a bunch of DX zooms starting at 16 and 18mm, giving you back the wide end of your mid-range zoom.

Your AF 28-200mmG IF-ED f3.5/5.6 came out in 2003, predates all FX sensors and would have been intended for use on F100 and F6 bodies, I would presume. There's no particular reason not to use it on a DX body if you aren't concerned about having no wide angle options.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-06-2012, 09:54 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
This is frankly bizarre. I set up some stuff and took back to back pictures of it with the ED and Kit lenses I currently have. The Kit lens is 28-80 3.3-5.6, the zoom is 28-200 3.5-5.6....

at 28 mm, f5, I really liked the output of the 'cheapo' kit lens better. (Feel free to blame the operator, I never claimed to be a pro) It seems to have a LOT more detail.

Full res samples with relatively no mods (barring iPhoto converting from RAW to JPG) are here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/3374399...7629619207986/
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:23 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saskaboom
Posts: 8,028
That's not bizarre at all. 28-200 is a rather wide zoom ratio, and compromises in optical design have to be made to achieve it. Lack of sharpness at the wide end should pretty much be expected in that sort of lens.

The 28-200 was never a high end lens. It's pretty much explicitly a consumer-take-one-lens-on-your-vacation sort of lens. So it has an ED element - so does the plastic 18-55mm lens that was part of my D40 kit.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-06-2012, 10:26 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
I notice nobody's leaping in with 'Checkout the Canon ABF-ER-6t Pro'
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-07-2012, 01:24 AM
Otara Otara is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Because theres no compelling need to change brands. He has lenses, is familiar with the system, and there are great cameras available to pick from.

Otara
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-07-2012, 01:24 AM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 22,547
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unintentionally Blank View Post
Any clue how glass quality stacks up? I'd be interested in seeing how a 10 year old prosumer lens would stack up against a modern kit lens.
Good glass is good glass. Optics hasn't changed much in the last 100 years - we've got some better coatings and some glass that handles abberations better or can bend the light the same for less weight, but there haven't been huge advances in 10 years to the optics. I just ordered a 50mm prime off ebay that was probably made sometimes in the 60s or 70s because it's still a great lens.

That said, a 28-200 type lens is generally of the general purpose walkaround lens range for a full frame camera - and those tend to make compromises on optical quality for convenience, so it may not be as if you were looking at top end image quality sticking with that. I'm not familiar with those particular nikon lenses, though.

I'd go with either the 5100 or 7000 - the Sony exmor sensor is by far the best thing going for APS-C cameras right now. The 5100 will take pictures that are just as good as the 7000, but it has other compromises - the body won't be as tough or rugged, it won't have an in body lens motor for older lens compatability, it won't have an electronic level, it won't have a second dial and various other controls, etc. I took the step up to a pro-sumer type level like the D7000 because of those sorts of factors.

I'd invest in the better camera and just buy lenses as you go. People tend to say that the glass is more important, that cameras come and go but glass can stay with you - but I think this is overstated. A DSLR can last you years and if you're a photography enthusiast you'll make use of the extra features. If you aren't, though, the d5100 is still a very good camera.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-13-2012, 03:16 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Bumping to add interesting information.

So I finally got to perform a real hands-on comparo between my D50, the 5200 and 7000. The D7000 feels NICE. Very fast, very easy to get the perfect shot. The D5200 wasn't bad at all (and I liked the folding display)...but it wasn't til I got home that the one, stand-out, deciding feature, came out.

The freeking focus motor on the D7000 is LOUD. Like I could never hope to take video with anything other than manual focus loud. By comparison, the D5100 was really quiet. I'm sure with an external Mic, the D7000 would be fine, and it was much more stoutly built, but the default sound is a non-starter.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-13-2012, 03:37 PM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Huh! Hadn't even crossed my mind.

Video is becoming a major feature with newer cameras. I would think there would be an advertizing blurb or two about that.

Looking back at some of the independent reviews of various cameras and brands, it is often mentioned. Funny how I didn't see it before, not being a personal priority for myself.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 05-13-2012, 03:42 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Low light Hi Def is the main reason why I'm considering upgrading. We film our Halloween presentation every year, and it's a bitch to get enough light + film some of the effects in low light with what I currently have.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 05-13-2012, 10:01 PM
Gorsnak Gorsnak is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Saskaboom
Posts: 8,028
I'm a little confused. The D5200 doesn't have a focus motor. It, like the D40/60/3000, only autofocuses with AF-S lenses which have focus motors in the lenses.

The D7000 does have an in-body focus motor, but with an AF-S lens mounted, that focus motor wouldn't be active - only the focus motor in the lens would operate.

With identical AF-S lenses the two cameras should make pretty much the same sound. Stick an old AF lens on them, and the D7000 will be loud and the D5200 will be silent and out of focus.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 05-13-2012, 10:07 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Good point. I was swapping between my lenses, the kit lenses on the 5100 and 7000 and taking a bunch of different shots...I suspect it was _my_ ED short zoom, and the 7000 that was making the noise. Still it's the kind of niggling detail that would REALLY SUCK to find, after that amazing afternoon, with great footage, that it's all overlayed with GRRRRR, SRNNRRRRRKRK, CHIT CHIT, GRRRRRRRR.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:51 AM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Added for context:

D7000 auto-focus noise: http://youtu.be/Nlf7664QYZo
D5100 auto-focus noise: http://youtu.be/Vu--09atSgI

Yeah, if yoy know about it, you can avoid it, but you've gotta admit, it's a pretty big mine to step on.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 05-14-2012, 09:34 AM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 22,547
It's not really a downside. In that situation, the 5100 wouldn't function (at least you couldn't use autofocus at all) using the lens that the 7000 is using in that video, and the 7000 would be just as quiet using the same lens as the 5100 is using in that video. There's no situation in which the 7000 is performing worse.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:42 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Whether or not it's a 'feature' or 'no big deal', it blows a hole in my plans for spending more on the body and reusing my glass.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:47 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 22,547
Well, SLR autofocus can be kind of sketchy for video anyway (frequent changes in focus point, which often comes with changes in metering/exposure), except the progress sony made with their SLT cameras. SLRs aren't ideal camcorders. You may want to consider just using manual focus when you want to record video or use an external microphone. Or just use a cheap modern lens like a kit lens with a silent motor for video.

I just mean that there's no upside to the 5100 in this case - you'll have limitations using your old lenses in video with the 7000, but you won't be able to use it at all with the 5100.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 05-14-2012 at 05:47 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 05-14-2012, 05:55 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Well, it was going to be:

$900 for the D7000, reusing my own glass ( -$200 for the D50 body, roughly)

or
$950 for the D5100 Costco bundle with two new kit lenses ( -$350 or so for the D50 and it's glass)

Why? Because. It's all kind of an arbitrary 'this is what I feel comfortable spending' kind of thing. I _REALLY_ liked the way the D7000 felt, but I didn't like it $1200 worth, compared to $600 or so out of pocket for the D5100.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:32 PM
robert_columbia robert_columbia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Reported for promoting Nikonocentricism.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 05-14-2012, 06:39 PM
Unintentionally Blank Unintentionally Blank is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
You're more than willing to open a Canon thread...Now would be the PERFECT time to jump ship if I were to do so.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.