Shopping ... help to compare models

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by BratNikotin, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. I am a Nikon photographer.
    Upgrading from D7000 to ... and that's where I need help.
    Can anyone help me choose:

    To tell what I am photographing:

    Just about anything worth:
    - Mostly concert photography
    - Nature, animals during hikes
    - Some street photography
    - slowly, but persistently I enter fashion - portraits, models, etc..

    I am slowly learning to use remote lighting, so I would like (need to) invest into some mechanisms for remote flashes ..
    also, I damaged the speed light I had for years, and would eventually need to invest into one as well.

    Now, If this is an input, I am NOT able to use photoshop, don't have time to learn it. I only use LightRoom for some basic .. lightening and cropping/cutting.

    I am looking at 3 models, which kind of fit my price range ..
    1) D7200 - Heard good things about it ... but is it worth buying now, considering that D7500 is already out there.
    2) D7500 - Well, new camera, how does it compare to the 7200 and 610

    I have a 3 lenses for DX cameras, which I would use if I go with the 2 cameras above.
    Nikon 16-60/2.8-4
    Nikon 55-300
    Nikon 35mm/f1.8

    Important information needed
    3) D610 (Yes, FX, I know).
    - I never had and never tried the Full frame camera.
    - Is it worth buying full frame, and investing into additional lenses... given that this camera is the cheapest one and I would hardly
    be able to afford an upgrade to it anytime in the coming .. 5-6-7 years.
    So, is it worth buying entry - level full frame and shedding money for the lenses or is it better to buy more or less advanced DX, keeping my lenses and spending money for lighting ?
    I do not know how to evaluate the benefit of a full frame camera over DX format. So ... this is a source of my confusion ...

    I do know, that when I take pictures, I like them to come out clean, crisp and I like "volume" in my pictures.
    Can you help me understand what to go with, give some advice, maybe suggestions ?
    Thank you
  2. The D610 will give you close to a stop of light more useable ISO than the D7200 and coupled with a full frame lens like a 50mm f 1.8 you should have something that is quite useable indoors with ambient lighting. That said the D7200 that I own and currently sells for less than $1000 is a great camera if you can make it work for indoors concerts. If you use the D7000 to your satisfaction indoors then you should be OK with the D7200. I would use it with your 35mm f 1.8. I have started using Photix radio triggers with my Nikon speed lights in manual mode for fill in many of my insect and landscape images. You can couple them with third part flashes such as the LumoPro 180 or even less expensive Yongnuo flashes and you should do fine. If you don't mind shooting in manual and like the control it affords then you can pick up two or three good but inexpensive non TTL flashes and a set of very inexpensive radio triggers for around $200 and your good to go. I think most of the current flashes have a slave mode that will let any flash trigger them so you might get by with one set of radio triggers. Good hunting.
  3. Taking another approach, what is it about the D7000 that does not meet your needs?
    • Look at bulk and weight.
      • For me, at my age, this has become a significant factor.
      • I nixed the FX cameras because of the weight.
        • A D750 + 24-120 weighs 40% more than a D7200 + 18-140.
        • For me, 40% is a significant weight difference. And there are times when even the D7200 feels heavy.
    • Look at the focal length lens you need for your jobs, and the quality of those lenses.
      • The 55-300, like any super zoom, has optical trade-offs to get the 6:1 zoom ratio.
      • What is available for DX vs FX.
      • Lay out a full kit of lenses for DX and FX and compare them for usefullness and cost.
    • What do you need for concert work?
      • FAST glass and high ISO.
      • Depending on what and where you shoot, the sound of the camera firing can be a major issue.
    • If you get a FX body, you will need a whole new kit of lenses = $$$$.
      • So it is like changing camera systems, because all your DX lenses will have to be replaced by FX lenses.
      • You may end up replacing some of your DX lenses anyway, even if you stay in DX. What did you layout for a DX kit?
    • There has been several threads on the D7500 vs D7200. I suggest you search for them.
      • The newer D7500 was not the clear winner. You need to read the reviews and comments to see if any of the issues applies to you.
    • The DX camera has a 1.5x crop factor vs. the FX camera.
      • This comes into play with longer lenses, where a 300mm lens on a DX camera is like a 450mm lens on a FX camera. So with the same lens, the DX camera can reach farther.
    That's about all I can think of to give to ideas to consider.
  4. Good chance of Black Friday/holiday deals on the D7200. Killer value, better still on sale.
  5. The D7200 is a very fine camera, with great controls, a wonderful sensor, and an excellent autofocus system.
    The D7500 is better in some significant ways, but it only has a single memory card slot. Good memory cards rarely fail (my Sandisk cards never have) but if one should fail on an important shoot, you will hate your camera.
    The D500 shoots at very high rates, very useful for your fashion photography, includes auto fine adjust, a very important feature, the best autofocus in this whole group, but is rather heavier than the other DX cameras.
    The D610 combines a sensor with great low-light capabilities with an old autofocus system--you'll be able to shoot in light low enough than the autofocus will have trouble. If you want to go to FX, get a D750, which weighs about as much as the D500. I like my D750 very much. With FX, you'll need more expensive and a larger quantity of new lenses.

    I recommend the D7200 if the D500 is too heavy or costly. Since your D7000 suggests that you hold on to your cameras for a long time, the D500 is an excellent choice for you. If you'll be shooting professionally, get two D7200 bodies for about the price of a D500--the best backup body is another copy of the same body. Hope this helps.
  6. If you don't do night/low light, ISO advantage of full frame doesn't matter to you. So, it is all about look, full frame depth of field looks different from crop camera, try both if you have chance, I personally like full frame more, if I need more depth of field, I can always close down to F8 or F11, other way is more limited on crop.
  7. Not knowing your budget it is a little hard to say but I know what it is like to live on a limited one so here's my approach. Your glass needs to be upgraded first, I think that is the most important part of any camera bag. Honestly I would go with a full frame body, the 610 you mentioned would do. There are two lenses you'll find most useful as you describe your needs. Get an 80-200/2.8 AIS, a fast lens with ED glass, I had mine out today and the results were wonderful. ED glass is great and worth the cost. You also need something in the 28-75 range, also a 2.8. I have a Tamron version and it too is excellent. Then find a 300/4 or 4.5. These three lenses covered my daily needs in the news business, rarely did I need anything else.That is still what is in my ready bag, the one that's always ready to go. You need a good flash, something in the SB600-800-900 range will go a long way. None of this is cheap but it can be bought at good prices and the glass will last many years without needing repair or upgrades. Check the KEH web site, lots there to be found. You have several recommendations here and I don't have much argument with any of it, what I've described works for me.

    Rick H.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Since the OP has three DX lenses (and no FX lens, at least according to the opening post), going FX means getting perhaps 2, 3 new lenses. The total cost is not going to be trivial. Unless the OP has a fairly large budget around $3000 to $4000 or more, going FX isn't very realistic.
  9. I'd venture to say that an investment in better lenses might benefit as much as, if not more than, a new camera body.

    I have a D7200, which came with the "kit" 18-140mm lens. As a walk around, tackle-almost-anything lens it's great, and there's nothing wrong with its image quality...... However, I also have a Tamron SP 17-50 f/2.8 zoom. The image quality of the Tamron is noticeably better than the Nikkor, plus it gives me an extra stop of light. Each lens has its use, and sometimes the tradeoff in convenience over image quality wins out, at other times vice versa.

    Unfortunately, Nikon has neglected the DX format with its quality lens range - there's no fast 50-150mm pro quality Nikkor zoom for example. So you need to look elsewhere to fill that niche. As with fast wideangle zooms. IMO it's crazy of Nikon to have a camera like the D500, and no matching glassware, but that's another story.

    WRT off camera flash. All you need is a set of cheap radio triggers - YongNuo RF-603s for example. These will fire anything from a little speedlight to a 1000 Joule studio flash.

    If you have ambitions to shoot fashion and studio portraits, then forget i-TTL and unreliable AWL. Setting lighting levels manually will teach you more about lighting than fiddling about in your camera menu with groups and channels. It takes just seconds to walk over to a light and adjust its position or power; probably less time than it would take to perform the dozen button presses needed on the camera. It also doesn't hurt to lift your head from the camera occasionally to interact with the model/sitter and actually look at the lighting in three dimensions. That's why waist-level finders used to be popular with portrait shooters.
  10. Part I

    Earlier this year, I was at the exact same crossroads as you are now. Here is what I had, did, why – and what I would have done differently.

    I had a D7000, Nikkor 10-24mm, 18-105mm, 35mm/f1.8, 40mm/2.8 (micro) and a 55-300mm (and an SB-800). The long end was lacking in the AF department for indoor horseback riding. I considered the 70-300mm VR but it did not feel like a cost-effective upgrade. I started to look for a 70-200 f4 VR or 2.8VRII and lusted for the 80-400mm (AF-S version).

    So, what did I do and why?
    I decided to get a better tele and that the D7200 would be my next camera (a younger relative was interested in my D7000 so it had to go…). I stumbled upon a new D610 at a price that was too good to pass on. Knowing that the better tele zoom I wanted would be equally usable on FX got the ball rolling for me.

    The D610 is a really good camera and a huge upgrade from the D7000. I suspect most people who frown upon its AF come from cameras with better AF than the D7000. I am yet to miss a shot because of its tighter placement. Size and weight are similar as well as handling; you would feel at home right away. The DX crop mode on the D610 (and D750) is usable for macro work, but not much else.

    What i would have done differently
    Had I known I would have ended up with the 70-200, I would not have gotten the 85mm. Having had the equivalent of 450mm stopping at 200mm with FX did not sound all that appealing and I did revisit the AF-S 80-400mm and looked at the AF-S 300/f4 VR+TC-14EII but ended up with the 2.8 zoom as my favourite dealer had just traded one in with the TC. I have since gotten a 50mm that does not see any use and a fixed tele that does (I currently use the TC with that lens more than with the zoom). I am considering selling the 24-120mm/f4 VR as I barely use it. However, sometimes it is nice just to grab the camera and the 24-120mm.
  11. Part II

    With regards to the D610 vs. D750. If the difference in price is minimal get the D750. However, coming from a D7000 it is not worth several hundreds of dollars getting the D750 for its wider AF coverage. Had I paid normal retail price for my D610, I probably would have ended up with the D750.

    My advice to you
    Whatever you decide to go for; a better telephoto lens should come first. Get one now and re-evaluate your D7000. I know it sounds normative and I really liked the 55-300mm’s IQ on the D7000, but... Its AF is painfully slow indoors and in dim lightning. Additionally, I am not sure how well it would hold up on a higher resolution DX camera. Thus, I would start by getting a lens that will be useful for whatever camera you end up with, be it DX or FX. Perhaps you will find that your D7000 will do for another year or two.

    From what I read into your use, either an AF-S 85/f1.8 or an AF-S 70-200/f4 VR could be helpful where the latter would probably see more use. Both have excellent price/performance ratios and if you are buying used, the 70-200/f2.8 VRII also offers excellent value for money. All three will make your photos cleaner and crisper. You can shoot at lower ISO, have a smaller DOF and the AF will work better.

    When you go to concerts, are they stadium or intimate venues? Is the camera’s mechanical noise and high ISO a bigger problem than reach? Many music venues have difficult lightning and focusing manually could be cumbersome. Same goes for fashion if it includes runway photography, where AF really helps. If you are not used to manual focus, I would advise against a manual focus lens to save some money. Better then getting an AF-D 80-200/f2.8 if you are on a very tight budget.
  12. Part III

    In conclusion
    Get a 70-200/f4 VR or f2.8 VR II (the latter preferably used) and see if you still feel like upgrading your D7000. If you do, the D7200 is a great camera. If you feel 200mm on FX (about 130mm on DX) is OK for now and that you really need good high ISO performance, go FX, if not get the D7200. Either zoom will still AF with a TC-1.4EII if you want to add more reach later on.
  13. My $0.02:
    1. I don't think the D610 is a good investment for you. It's got a perfectly cromulent sensor, but as others have said, you'll have to replace your lenses to use it, and that doesn't feel like a good budgetary choice. It's not especially fast, you get the same AF module the D7000 gives you (but stuck in the middle of a bigger sensor area), and the rest of the camera is pretty old. It's basically an expanded D7000, and you know what that looks like. If you want to upgrade to FX for better depth of field control and better low light performance (at the same f-stop), I'd save up for a D750 - or at least see what Nikon launch next year, since there's a good chance they'll update it and/or the D610.
    2. It doesn't sound as though you especially need a large image buffer. That's the biggest failing of the D7100, and the biggest fix in the D7200. If you don't think you'll run out of space by shooting bursts, I'd consider saving money with the D7100. Otherwise, the D7200 is a perfectly capable camera.
    3. The D7500 giveth and taketh away (partly because of Nikon's positioning to differentiate it from the D500). You don't have a second card slot, which might bother you if you want to do pro shoots (not that I've ever had a card failure). If you decide to pick up some older lenses (because budget) you won't have the AI indexing tab on the D7500, so you don't get metering. The D7200 and D7100 have a little more resolution than the D7500 (and D500), although the difference is small. There's no vertical grip for the D7500, which might bother you if you want to spend all day in portrait orientation shooting fashion. On the other hand, the D7500 is a little lighter, a bit faster, adds a tilting touch screen, adds auto AF fine tuning, and adds 4K video. It's probably a better camera by most measures than the D7200, but it's not a huge jump. The D7500 gives a little more dynamic range at higher ISO than the D7200 (according to DxO), but only by about half a stop; the D7200 is a little stronger at minimum ISO, but again not by much. They're all a step up from the D7000, especially as ISO rises. For the photography you're talking about doing I'd err towards the D7200 (or D7100) rather than the D7500 and save money for lenses - but you may find the D7500's other features swing things for you if you have specific plans (particularly for 4K video or if you decide you like the interface).
    4. FX gives you an advantage at the same aperture - but you can compensate by getting lenses with a larger maximum aperture. Something like the 50-100mm f/1.8 Sigma is a very good lens, and you might like to compare what it can do to the option of upgrading to FX and getting a 70-200 f/2.8. If you want to improve what your 55-300 is giving you for wildlife, the DX 70-300 AF-P (on a recent body) reviews well, although it may be too slow to be all that useful for your lower-light scenarios; sadly there's no budget option for that. If someone offers you a 120-300mm f/2.8 Sigma, bite their hand off for it! A decent quality f/2.8 zoom will
    5. While most people and companies are going towards radio flash (because it's more reliable and has better range), I'll point out that the D7x00 series can use the on-camera flash to trigger Nikon's optical wireless lighting system - an approach I've been using with my D8x0 series bodies. It's awkward if the flash can't see the camera very well, and it's a little prone to interference if you're shooting with other photographers, so you may want to go third party - but it works with old Nikon flashes like the SB-600 and 800 which may be relatively affordable. Some third party options won't break the bank either. Rodeo Joe has more experience with flash than I do (I only shoot flash occasionally), and I believe him that i-TTL (optical wireless flash) is imperfect compared with radio triggers or manual configuration; nonetheless, people did use it successfully for a very long time.
    [Oops, sorry, meant to hit send on this.] I hope that's some use for your musings. Everyone has their own priorities in a camera - and honestly the D7000 is already a good body. Best of luck!
  14. With respect to lighting, in the past I generally had my off camera flashes direct wired to the hot shoe on the camera by a long wire. I started using the iTTL optical wireless system on my SB-800 and SB-910 occasionally when I needed greater distance though it was problematic when moving around. I like the simplicity of manually setting my flashes and relying on a radio trigger that works around corners. On manual, I have full control and I know exactly what output I am getting each time. It gives me more time to think about the lighting distance and quality as I have always done when shooting underwater and less time fiddling with the DSLR menu. On land I have had inconsistencies with optical wireless remote triggering due to orientation of the remote flash with respect to the cameras optical controller using both TTL and manual modes. I like that I can trigger my camera's shutter from the radio transceiver attached to my remote flash. I have not had any experience with Yongnuo components that Rodeo mentioned but just from the advertised price and capabilities they look like a bargain, especially if they hold up under average use. In the past I have been shy on third party electronic accessories and believe from experience that its better to have one of something that works for a life time than to purchase two or three for 1/4 the price that cant be relied on and fails at the wrong time. Third party products evolve and the quality turns the corner so maybe I should try the Yongnuo flashes next time. My non-TTL Photix triggers were a fraction of the cost of the Pocket Wizard triggers and the Yongnuoes have similar capability and are even less expensive than my Photix. All-in-all since switching to radio triggers I have no plans to go back to optical. Good hunting.
  15. 200mm lens on FX (4x) = equivalent of 300mm when on DX (6x)
    130mm lens on FX (2.6x) = equiv 200mm when on DX (4x)

    So the 70-200 lens would feel like a 105-300 lens on a DX body.
  16. Thank you al !!
    Wow !! Soo much to read here !!!
    Please let me make a little correction: Many here suggest buying lenses INSTEAD of the camera body. The issue is, that I was able to get a decent price selling my D7000 - So, I do not have it !! The dilema is: Keeping lenses and investing .. in maybe D500 (littel more)
    Going FX, I could stretch for the camera body, but .. additional lenses would have to come later :( Can't pull $3500 - $4000 at once :(
  17. The OP has DX lenses and knows what field of view he gets with different focal lenghts.

    I wrote what I did, the way I did, to help him get a feeling for how the field of view 200mm on FX feels like on DX. In order to get the same field of view with DX as you do with 200mm on FX, the DX lens should be at around 130mm. I am sorry if that was not clear and if I caused any confusion.

    Ok, so you no longer have a camera? Well then I would suggest a used D7100 and an AF-S 70-200/f4 VR.
    BratNikotin likes this.
  18. I have to second Shun's point - moving from DX to FX isn't just about buying a new body - it involves new lenses, as well. You've already sold your D7000, so you are committed to buying SOMETHING, but buying a D610 (I have one and love it) also commits you to FX lenses, and that will cost you more than the camera body.

    I upgraded from a D7000 to a D610, so I can say with confidence that the 610 sensor offers a significant improvement over the 7000. But the autofocus is no better - no worse, but no better. For shooting wildlife (or anything else that requires quick decisions and rapid camera response), the 610 will do no better than the 7000. That's one area where the 7200 or 7500 will definitely offer improved performance.

    The 7200's sensor is obviously a major step up from the 7000, maybe not as large a step as the 610, but not far off, either. The 7500 (haven't tried one) seems likely to offer a bit better low light performance (compared to the 7200) and a bit faster shooting rate. Whether the single memory card is a show-stopper is a personal decision (I agree with the post saying it isn't important until you have a card fail, and then it's everything). But I shot for many years with single card cameras before dual slot cameras came to the market.

    Since you have an assortment of DX lenses that you seem to be happy with, I recommend skipping the D610 and buying a DX body. I usually recommend buying for the future, meaning get the latest if it fits your budget. All 3 DX bodies you are considering represent the leading edge of the product line in various ways, but I see one with a clear advantage. I'd skip the single card 7500 and save money by buying the 7200 instead of the 500, and put the difference in price toward a used AF-S 300 f4 lens and a 1.4X teleconverter to improve image quality and get longer reach for wildlife-type shooting. Keep the 55-300 you have to fill in the range between the 16-80 and the 300.

    Of one this you can be confident - no matter which one you finally choose, they are all good cameras and will offer you the ability to get great shots - none of them will be a handicap.
  19. You don't have to spend $3500 for all this. This summer I picked up a very low miles D800 and an 80-200/2.8 AIS for $1400. Add something in the 28-75 range and a 300, you can come out for way less than $3000. Consider a manual focus 300, it's very useable and with a little practice you can easily live without AF. Upgrade to AF later as money comes in. Shop around, look in the classifieds here, there are plenty of good useful deals to be had.

    Rick H.

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