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      05-18-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
xtac
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First DSLR - Nikon D7000 right choice?

I'm a total photography newbies, I take awesome shots with my iphone 4s lol, but people think I have an "eye" for photography so I'm going to try to become a semi-pro.

I just need to know if the d7000 which seems to be a popular camera and modestly priced @ $1200 is what you guys would recommend. I'm aware that I probably will not understand or use 50% of the cameras ability but gradually I will.

It seems the d7000 is 2 years old, so I'm not sure if thats 'new' for you guys I just don't want to get something I will outgrow in a year or two.

Hell I'm open to take photography classes just to speed up the process, I really want to start taking nice photos especially on vacation I travel frequently.

Filming will be important on it as well.

I'm not looking for the best, just the middle thats priced affordable - under 1500, so the mk2/3 is out of budget.

I realize that to take it to another level I'd need to be lenses so I'm willing to splurge on that once I get a grip on things.
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      05-18-2012, 06:09 PM   #2
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Im a canon person so I would naturally recommend the new Canon 7D. I would also buy it without a "kit" lens and invest in a 50mm f/1.4 lens as well as a telephoto.

As you stated you are new to it, maybe look at a less expensive body like the Canon 60D.

I have always said that the lens's make the photo, not the body.

Also invest in a few books
Understanding Exposure - is a book I recommend to everyone.
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      05-18-2012, 07:46 PM   #3
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By D700 do you mean D7000? I do not believe you can get a used D700 for 1200.
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      05-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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A full frame is not a good pick for a first camera. You will find it very complicated since its a Pro-sumer camera. If you have no knowledge in photography, I wouldnt waste that much money on camera to use it on Auto mode all the time. Any entry level DSLR can do that.

I was in your shoes not too long ago. I had the D5000 for a year and a half, but never really tried anything but the Auto mode. I bought it as a replacement for my stolen point and shoot. It is a very decent camera for $500 with the 18-55 kit lens. That was a perfect pick for a first DSLR. Now its been replaced with the D5100.

Then I decided I wanted to learn how to get good at this and then opted for the D7000 last fall. Dont regret it at all. For a grand, you get a very complete camera which can do everything you could ever want it to do; From HDR bracketing to Interval shooting.

You could get a decent deal on one of those. Going full frame as a first DSLR is like trying to run before you know how to walk. BUT, if you can afford it and afford the lenses that go with it, and think you can devote to photography; constantly learning how to use it better, then this may be for you. But still a big gamble if you end up buying it and not using at its full potential afterwards.

Other thing to mention is that if you pick a (almost) top of the line camera, you have to pick top lenses too. That means spending over a grand for every quality lens that you'll put on it. Because if you use DX lenses on your D700; might as well just go with a DX frame; either the D5100 or D7000.

When you get the good lenses; THEN you can trade your DX for a FX. But I would never go for a top body without having top lenses in my bag first.
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      05-18-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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Indeed, 1200 is low for a d700.

And the D700 is 4 years old btw. But the D7000 is indeed 2 years old; so can you confirm you meant D7000? My answer would be totally different if its the case since there's a big gap between the two.
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      05-19-2012, 01:10 AM   #6
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Sorry, can't believe I made that error yes I am talking about the D7000. Updated OP to reflect that / duh
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      05-19-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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D7000 is a great camera. All the needed controls are there and plenty of dials etc. It's what I use currently.
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      05-19-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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Thats what I currently use. So I think I can chime in here.

I first thought that it was an ok camera. I did a mistake in my purchase tho. I bought the $1699 kit which included the 18-105 and 55-300 lenses.

I was thinking it was just ok because I was using it inproperly and I was using it mostly with the 55-300; which is the poorest lens I ever owned. DONT buy that! Its $400 wasted. The kind of crappy lens that I will probably end up being stuck with; unable to sell.

Then I began to learn my camera and all its options and began to use it more with the 18-105. This is where it really started. The 18-105 is an aaaamaaaazing lens for $400. VERY sharp and very wide for a kit lens.

For a grand, you get a very complete camera which can do everything you could ever want it to do; From HDR bracketing to Interval shooting.

The only thing I find it lacks of is that the bracketing is limited to 3 shots; up to +2ev. Some camera now can go up to 9 shots. But maybe that wont affect you if you're not that much into HDR.

A big plus of the D7000 is the continuous mode that can shoot up to 7fps (!!!) and got a 11 shots buffer. With a proper memory card the buffer empties very quickly so for sports or car race photography, this is THE camera. A 45 shots sequence takes 11 seconds; which is very good.

Also, the provided straps are crap; either Canon or Nikon. Check on ebay and find a neoprene kinda strap and your neck will thank ya. Paid maybe $3 for both of mine, shipped.

Sandisk also developped a memory card specifically for that camera and is the only camera that is faster with a UHS-1 card then a class 10 card. All the others got the same kind of results with both. So you'll want to get one of those. (SanDisk Extreme Pro 95 MB/s) Dont cheap out on memory cards. I lost precious shots doing so because i did the mistake of continuing to use my old Class 6 cards from my previous D5000. Get at least a 20mbs class 10. UHS-1 is the best.

Another BIIIG plus is that chinese manufacturers made every accessory replica possible. So I bought everything from china (from remote to extension tubes) and kept my money for the lenses. For a D7000, you may want to consider a battery grip instead of buying additional batteries. But buy a third party ($50), dont waste your money on a nikon grip ($300).

And lastly, when you're ready for more, and really want to get razor sharp pictures with this camera, get non-DX lenses. The only exception would be the 18-105mm which is a good lens for the price, and you'll need one of those all the time.

So when you're ready to go a step higher in sharpness, save your money for the ED lenses!

When you get it, you will want to surf on those websites that I love to learn basic stuff and also some tips you do not always naturally thing of.
www.improvephotography.com
www.digital-photography-school.com (Thanks to dcstep for this one!)

GET IT! And enjoy that new passion that will soon hit ya
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      05-19-2012, 07:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximusJ View Post
...And lastly, when you're ready for more, and really want to get razor sharp pictures with this camera, get non-DX lenses. The only exception would be the 18-105mm which is a good lens for the price, and you'll need one of those all the time.

So when you're ready to go a step higher in sharpness, save your money for the ED lenses!
Agree wholeheartedly with Maximus - invest in glass (FX, IMO) once you get your camera, DX-format notwithstanding.

For a good value, good quality zoom, I'd suggest the 70-300 VRII zoom. It's an FX lens with ED glass and is nicely balanced and quite sharp. It's internal focus, unlike the (agree with previous poster) poor 55-300 DX lens, so once you've set your focal length, focusing won't cause any more external extension/retraction of the lens AND the filter ring doesn't rotate so you can use a polarizing filter no problems.

The 35mm F1.8 DX is a nice prime for the D7000 (or any Nikon DX body), lots of light and very nice size.

Cheers
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      05-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #10
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thanks guy will come back to this thread when I learn much more, seems like you all agree on the d7000 being a superb camera. It will be an expensive hobby with the lenses, but it should be fun
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      05-19-2012, 11:51 PM   #11
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Just a few thoughts:

- Expensive gear will not automatically take great shots. You can take great shots with anything (even an iPhone). However, expensive gear will sometimes allow you the opportunity to take a great shot that you would not have had otherwise.

- Invest in good lenses. You will keep these long after you've traded your DSLR body for a newer/better model.

- If you are just interested in stills, consider an older pro body (e.g. D2Hs, $1300) instead of a new pro-sumer body. The speed and handling of a pro body (even an old one) are way better than pro-sumer bodies.

- Don't get caught up in the resolution of the camera. Basically, every camera out there has plenty of pixels to make decent sized prints. Low light (high ISO) capabilities can however be quite useful depending on what you are shooting.

- Don't forget that you'll need post-processing gear (fast computer, lots of storage, software).

- If you intend to make this your career, you need to think about how you're actually going to make money with photography. It's not easy in today's world where everyone has a camera phone in their pocket.

Last edited by Foodle; 05-19-2012 at 11:58 PM.
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      05-20-2012, 12:02 AM   #12
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Judging by your posts, you sound ready to learn. If your first sets of shots are taken in auto mode, it probably isn't the camera for you. P mode is basically auto, but smarter and slightly adjustable. You can Learna lot about exposure from the info on the screen accompanimg the image you took.

Something else to remember is processing on the computer is almost as important as the shooting. So save some money for a decent processing program and you will be happy you did. Iphoto and things like that don't cover very much ground.

Also, when in doubt, ask questions. There is a large knowledge base around this forum, lots of helpful people. Questions bring results and can help keep frustration down.

Anyways... I hear the D7000 is a fantastic camera.... (that was my attempt at being on topic)
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      05-20-2012, 12:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodle View Post
Just a few thoughts:

- Expensive gear will not automatically take great shots. You can take great shots with anything (even an iPhone). However, expensive gear will sometimes allow you the opportunity to take a great shot that you would not have had otherwise.

- Invest in good lenses. You will keep these long after you've traded your DSLR body for a newer/better model.

- If you are just interested in stills, consider an older pro body (e.g. D2Hs, $1300) instead of a new pro-sumer body. The speed and handling of a pro body (even an old one) are way better than pro-sumer bodies.

- Don't get caught up in the resolution of the camera. Basically, every camera out there has plenty of pixels to make decent sized prints. Low light (high ISO) capabilities can however be quite useful depending on what you are shooting.

- Don't forget that you'll need post-processing gear (fast computer, lots of storage, software).

- If you intend to make this your career, you need to think about how you're actually going to make money with photography. It's not easy in today's world where everyone has a camera phone in their pocket.


Very good points.

It's easy to look at big lenses you want. But affording and needing them is an entirely different story. A lot of photographers that are starting out go to big too soon. You don't have to have the best gear to be a good photographer, but it's good to build your kit up over time so the financial impact doesn't become an issue.
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      05-20-2012, 12:08 AM   #14
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If you buy new, shop.

There's a shop here that have a promotion when you buy a camera of $500 or more, they give you lightroom and PS Elements for free.

With those two, you get everything you need to get started; software wise.

Last edited by MaximusJ; 05-20-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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      05-20-2012, 08:14 AM   #15
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The D7000 is going to be replaced in a few months. The first camera of the series, D3200 is already out.
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      05-20-2012, 05:23 PM   #16
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They say it'll be an update; not that the D7000 will be discontinued.

If I compare the D5000 to its update, the D5100, the improvements were not worth the 8 months wait.

I would get the camera anyway and enjoy 8 months of photography.
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      05-21-2012, 01:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diver View Post
The D7000 is going to be replaced in a few months. The first camera of the series, D3200 is already out.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaximusJ View Post
They say it'll be an update; not that the D7000 will be discontinued.

If I compare the D5000 to its update, the D5100, the improvements were not worth the 8 months wait.

I would get the camera anyway and enjoy 8 months of photography.
As with most things in the "electronics" category, buy what you need when you need it. Waiting will always allow for new products to emerge that give you more features for the same money (or the same features for less money).
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      05-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #18
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Either the Canon or Nikon in your price range is the way to go, IMHO. Take the Steve Jobs approach and go handle them.

Full frame is out of your budget, but there's no reason not to get one if you could afford it. I jumped from a P&S to a full-frame Canon 5D MkII with no hitch in my get-along. It's a myth that FF requires some special skills.

Start with the best quality zooms that you can afford. People suggesting fast 50mm lenses are living in the past. All the cameras mentioned in this thread have excellent high-ISO performance and an f/4 lens gives plenty of speed for almost all circumstances. If you develop "special needs" then a fast prime is worth considering, but a noob should stay away from specialist lenses, IMHO.

My set up is a a full-frame camera and a crop sensor body, with three lenses, a 24-105mm, a 70-200mm and 500mm for birds and wildlife. I have absolutely no craving for a short specialty prime. I sometimes daydream about an ultra-wide zoom or a true macro that'll do larger than life size closeups of spider tongues, but you're not ready for that yet.

All taken with zooms:


Surfers come out at dawn by dcstep, on Flickr


Twisted cedar, snow and canyon by dcstep, on Flickr


Rider 1 in another race in CCSP by dcstep, on Flickr
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      05-21-2012, 11:06 AM   #19
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Thanks again guys. I'll be doing any post processing on an imac 24" with 1tb drive. I have a MBA as well, but won't be using that for anything regarding photography other than to view pictures here and there, although with the ssd it may be better suited.

I have photoshop/final cut/aperture as well. Interesting comment about the old pro body vs new pro-sumer, anyone want to chime in on that?
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      05-21-2012, 11:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtac View Post
Thanks again guys. I'll be doing any post processing on an imac 24" with 1tb drive. I have a MBA as well, but won't be using that for anything regarding photography other than to view pictures here and there, although with the ssd it may be better suited.

I have photoshop/final cut/aperture as well. Interesting comment about the old pro body vs new pro-sumer, anyone want to chime in on that?
SSD will have no major impact on image processing. How much computing power you'll need is dependent on how serious you get about your image quality. If you start shooting in RAW and start generating 20-30MB files, then you'll want to operate in a 64-bit OS environment and get a better monitor (iMac apparently doesn't show a true RGB image, from what I've read), but all of this is probably further down the road, if ever. You're well equipped to get pretty darn serious about photography without any major computer upgrades.

I'm a believer in buying the latest generation of sensors. I'm a Canon user and don't want the larger, clunkier pro bodies. I've got my money invested in top quality glass. The cameras that you're discussing will give best results with the best glass that you can afford.

Dave
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      05-21-2012, 11:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Interesting comment about the old pro body vs new pro-sumer, anyone want to chime in on that?
If you need weather sealing and/or need a more highly rated shutter, then the old pro body is better. Otherwise, in all other cases, a new pro-sumer body is better, assuming you are referring to the 5D3 or D800.
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      05-21-2012, 11:43 AM   #22
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If you need weather sealing and/or need a more highly rated shutter, then the old pro body is better. Otherwise, in all other cases, a new pro-sumer body is better, assuming you are referring to the 5D3 or D800.
And remember, weather sealing, even on pro bodies is not water proof and most pro-sumer cameras are good for over 100,000 shutter cycles. Few of us need a shutter approaching 500,000 cycles. I shoot tens of thousands of cycles per year and haven't worn out a pro-sumer shutter.

If you needed a "pro" body, you wouldn't be here asking us for advice. If you want to blow some money, it's a great way to spend it fast. Lenses are a much better investment than ANY body.

Dave
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