First DSLR...New D7000 or Refurb D7100?

rasto21585rasto21585 Posts: 6Member
edited January 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I initially was thinking of getting an entry level camera like the d3300, but was worried that I would outgrow it quickly. I now have set my sights on the d7000. At Best Buy it is being sold with the 18-140 lens for $629. My only concern is that since this is an older model, this camera might be a little outdated. I have also noticed that a refurbished d7100 is being sold at Adrorama for $699. Although this is only for the body. Is this something I should consider or is the d7000 a good camera to start out with? How is the 18-140 lens? Should this be a factor in helping decide which camera to get?

Also I've read a lot about auto focusing issues with the d7000. Since I'm a novice, would it be apparent out of the box to me that I have one of the poor models? How do I go about testing this issue?
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Comments

  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 208Member
    I bought one of the Amazon D7000 bodies for $484 to replace a D50; quite happy with it so far. I was waiting out the impending D7200 announcement to get a discounted D7100, but I decided the D7000 did what I needed for a too-good-to-pass-up price. My take on refurb: a DSLR is an intensely mechanical device, and you don't know how many shutter actuations it has accrued. I do failure analysis for a living, and I want to know the expected service life of devices like this. Others may disagree, but that's my predisposition.

    AF fine tune isn't that hard to do, is more a fact of life than a particular problem with the D7000...
  • rasto21585rasto21585 Posts: 6Member
    Thank you so much for the advice. This has been really helpful. By any chance have you had any experience with the 18-140 lens?
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 944Member
    @rasto21585
    I've owned both. This is an easy choice: the 7100 refurb for sure.
    Better IQ with more MP, more crop ability, cleaner ISO, MUCH better AF, faster shooting, 1.3x crop mode and a locking mode dial. If you can wait, the 7200 should be announced so a new 7100 should drop in price, but if I had to buy today, I would buy the refurb 7100 over the 7K.
  • The_Other_SteveThe_Other_Steve Posts: 14Member
    It's a little difficult to say because it's a little apples and oranges. You're comparing the D7000 purchased as a kit with a lens, and the D7100 purchased without a lens, and a camera without a lens ain't much use. Do you already have a lens(-es)? Do you have a target budget for everything?

    The D7000 gets you CLS (remote flash), a 320 sync speed with Nikon flash, a 1/8000 shutter, and two card slots. It's a fine camera. These two kits are roughly the same price: (1) the D7000 and 18-140 lens kit with an SB-700; (2) the refurbished D7100 with a refurbished 18-140 and no flash. I'd strongly prefer the D7000 bundle.

    About refurbished: Just be aware, as ggbutcher said, that your refurbished camera may arrive with a lot of usage already on it. It's a bit of a gamble.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,146Member
    edited January 2015
    I have the d7000 and the 18-140. Its a great combo. I also have the 18-200 and 18-70. The 18-70 is really nice with good IQ but no VR. Its a really nice lense if you dont need the VR. the 18-200 has great range and AF is fast(for a kit lense) . The 18-200 is very versatile, famous for the lense that you love and hate bec of the versatility and you need to "know" its sweet spots for IQ, as wide open its not very sharp at the longer focal lengths. The 18-140 has nice range and is the best IQ of all the VR kit lenses(old 18-70 still better imho). Its replaced my 18-200 on the D7000 even if the 18-200 af is a tiny bit faster. My 18-200 now stays close by to my Nikon1 V1. awesome range and very sharp on the V1 !

    The D7000 af "issue" is really not very noticeable. Its just at at times it may hunt and it "hesitates". It really only does it in poor light and/or the f5.6 lenses. I have recently upgraded to the 70-200 f4 and 24-70 F2.8 the D7000 works very nicely with them! I was also waiting for the D7200 to upgrade.. now I think I will be keeping the old D7000 until I find a good deal for the D7200.. as they say .. good glass comes first !

    Re the D7100 if i was going in now I would get the D7100.. its a nice upgrade from the D7000. but the D3300 is no slouch, neither are the D5300 or I expect the new D5500)

    But having said all that some of my fav photos are from the 18-200 + the old D200 clone 6/12 MP fuji s5 pro (with AF "worse" than the D3300 and only 25% the MP). Upgrade yourself ! ( courses, books, mentor... however suits you best).. you will be changing cameras more often that you expect.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • rasto21585rasto21585 Posts: 6Member
    Thanks this was really helpful. I actually briefly considered getting a mirrorless camera. If i were to go mirrorless, i would lean towards the fuji x100 and x-t1. Unfortunately these are out of my price range. My budget is roughly around $800. Ideally I would like to get a mid level body with 1 or 2 lenses.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 944Member
    Thanks this was really helpful. I actually briefly considered getting a mirrorless camera. If i were to go mirrorless, i would lean towards the fuji x100 and x-t1. Unfortunately these are out of my price range. My budget is roughly around $800. Ideally I would like to get a mid level body with 1 or 2 lenses.
    what are you primarily interested in shooting?
    maybe you don't need a 7K series camera and could get by putting more $ on a nice lens.
    The 7100 is top of the line currently for Nikon DX cameras. If you don't need the high FPS and fast AF, you would be better off with a cheaper camera. There is an awesome series on digitalrev where they take pro-photographers and make them shoot with the most ridiculously cheap cameras, and most of the time the results are really good...
  • rasto21585rasto21585 Posts: 6Member
    Primarily I think I will be taking pictures of landscapes, cityscapes, architecture and pretty much anything I think looks interesting. Also taking pictures at night is something I intend to do a lot.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,735Moderator
    Oops - if you want to do a lot of night work, that precludes a lot of cameras. You'll need a decent sensor like D5300/D5500/D7100/D600/D610/D750 etc.
    Always learning.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 944Member
    Primarily I think I will be taking pictures of landscapes, cityscapes, architecture and pretty much anything I think looks interesting. Also taking pictures at night is something I intend to do a lot.
    Given what you are shooting, I would recommend against either the 7000 or the 7100. These cameras are tailored for action shots and are overkill for static shots. Although people here will cringe at me saying this, but something along the lines of the Canon 6D would be perfect for you. Large sensor, ability to focus at night without an assist lamp, decent high ISO performance, and relatively cheap and not that complicated for a FF camera. If it weren't for the shutter issues, a D600 would also be near perfect as well. Both are still over your budget, but would be near perfect cameras for what you want to do currently.

    Within your budget I would look at the 5300 and the 35 1.8 DX prime to start. Something wider (i.e. 20's range) would be welcome for a DX camera shooting scenery, but most of the good AF lenses don't come cheap and would blow out your entire budget. For night time shooting, you need a flash if it is objects; or if it is scenery either a VR lens (Nikon does not make any affordable wide VR primes so you may be stuck with the 18 VR zooms) or a tripod...choose accordingly.
  • The_Other_SteveThe_Other_Steve Posts: 14Member
    Yeah, if you're hoping to shoot handheld at night, you might be better off with an FX body. You could look for a used D600 maybe. I haven't shot the D3x00 or D5x00 or D7100 (or a Canon 6D), so can't comment on their high ISO performance.

    If you're shooting cityscapes at night long exposure, on a tripod, then it's a different story. The D7000 is probably fine. You might be able to do handheld with the 50/1.4, or a 50/1.8, depending on what you're doing. You can get a 50/1.8 AF-D for about $100. That lens will AF on the D7000, but not with budget bodies.

    I said it above, but I like the D7000 and think it is a versatile camera. You get CLS, VR, AF with D lenses, the 1/8000 shutter speed, the 320 sync, the 2 card slots. It's a fine camera. There's also a professional, ease of use. I had an assistant shoot a gig with me, and her camera was the D5100. When she got the settings right, she took great photos. When we were both shooting 50's, you really couldn't tell our photos apart, and I was shooting the D600. But for her to shoot in manual was a nuisance, just to change aperture she had to stop what she was doing, lower the camera, navigate through menus and sub-menus. The D7000 has the command dials that get you Aperture and Shutter directly, and also dedicated ISO & WB buttons, right on the back of the camera. Perfect. I think it's just a nicer camera, easier to use. But those are my preferences.
  • rasto21585rasto21585 Posts: 6Member
    Oops - if you want to do a lot of night work, that precludes a lot of cameras. You'll need a decent sensor like D5300/D5500/D7100/D600/D610/D750 etc.
    So is the d7000 a poor camera to use when shooting at night?

  • rasto21585rasto21585 Posts: 6Member
    Also is it true that the d7100 uses a Toshiba sensor and has dismal low light performance compared to the Sony sensor in the D7000/D5100?
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 944Member
    Also is it true that the d7100 uses a Toshiba sensor and has dismal low light performance compared to the Sony sensor in the D7000/D5100?
    No. The 7100 has a higher res sensor than the 7000, but it also has newer technology. The best way is to see for yourself. Take an SD card to a camera shop or Best Buy or whatever and shoot a couple pics with each camera and then compare on your screen at home. Also look at interfaces, etc. The 7000 or 7100 are steep learning curve cameras and honestly if I gave one to my parents it would probably be too complicated for them to use. If you don't know you if need a 7000 or 7100 then you probably don't. Many on here will argue that you may waste money buying lesser equipment. I mean why not go for an 810, right? It makes the most sense if you have the money, but if you don't, then "getting the best just in case" does not really apply. Get what you need instead. For lenses I would stick with the AF-S lenses (see Here for an explanation: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/nikortek.htm). You are starting fresh so backwards lens compatibility with a built in AF motor should be low down on your priority list.

    Ultimately just go with whatever you want... that will make you the most happy in the near term. Later, you can commiserate your mistakes here in the forums ;)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,735Moderator
    Primarily I think I will be taking pictures of landscapes, cityscapes, architecture and pretty much anything I think looks interesting. Also taking pictures at night is something I intend to do a lot.
    Given what you are shooting, I would recommend against either the 7000 or the 7100. These cameras are tailored for action shots and are overkill for static shots. Although people here will cringe at me saying this, but something along the lines of the Canon 6D would be perfect for you. Large sensor, ability to focus at night without an assist lamp, decent high ISO performance, and relatively cheap and not that complicated for a FF camera. If it weren't for the shutter issues, a D600 would also be near perfect as well. Both are still over your budget, but would be near perfect cameras for what you want to do currently.

    Within your budget I would look at the 5300 and the 35 1.8 DX prime to start. Something wider (i.e. 20's range) would be welcome for a DX camera shooting scenery, but most of the good AF lenses don't come cheap and would blow out your entire budget. For night time shooting, you need a flash if it is objects; or if it is scenery either a VR lens (Nikon does not make any affordable wide VR primes so you may be stuck with the 18 VR zooms) or a tripod...choose accordingly.
    I have to disagree with you there. Firstly, if we are recommending cameras based on low light focusing without regard for budget, the D750 is better than the 6D, secondly it doesn't matter because you are always manually focusing at night anyway and because of that a Samyang (Rokinon etc.) 14/2.8 or 24/1.4 is a good lens with it's coma correction AND CHEAP. Thirdly, if you do need a flash (which I don't ever use in night shots due to drop off which is why I recommended the D5300), the D7100 has full CLS plus the ability to buy lenses cheaper that don't have the focus motor built in like the excellent Tokina 11-16 f2.8 which is freely available used in its motorless form.

    The more I think about it, the more the D5300/D7100 still get my vote.
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,735Moderator
    @rasto21585: I have had the D7000 and still have the D7100. I didn't intend to buy the D7100 until I saw it's low light performance. It is a good two stops better at night than the D7000.

    Whatever DX you choose, it needs the 24mp sensor in it given your chosen genres. I'll say this even though it is controversial: You will get a camera that is better suited to your shooting and budget with the D7100 than blowing your budget on the D750 (and I have that body too as I am into low light/night shooting).
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 5,735Moderator
    Yeah, if you're hoping to shoot handheld at night,
    Impossible.

    C'mon guys - I get the feeling people are recommending gear they haven't shot for genres they haven't any actual experience of shooting which doesn't help the OP.
    Always learning.
  • The_Other_SteveThe_Other_Steve Posts: 14Member
    Yeah, if you're hoping to shoot handheld at night,
    Impossible.

    C'mon guys - I get the feeling people are recommending gear they haven't shot for genres they haven't any actual experience of shooting which doesn't help the OP.
    No, eminently possible. I wouldn't hike up into the hills to shoot a nighttime skyline panorama without a tripod, but with the ISO performance of the new FX bodies, there are plenty of buildings, transit depots, and street elements around town that are feasible handheld. If you're one of these dogma people and insist that anything *scape has to be shot with a tiny aperture and ISO 100, you can make it impossible though.

    And I resent your implication that I'm some kind of posing hack. In my reply, I specifically noted the gear I haven't shot. And I didn't say the D750, I said a used D600, which is at least near the OP's budget. And for low light and anything *scape, I'd strongly prefer that to any DX body, 24MP or not.

  • HammieHammie Posts: 258Member
    What I didn't see was what you plan on doing with the pictures after you take them.

    - Will they be for personal enjoyment or will you be selling them?

    - Do you plan on printing them? If so, how large will you be printing?

    - Will you be pixel peeping?

    - Do you plan on doing significant cropping?

    - Color or B&W?

    These questions can help in determining whether a 24MP+ sensor is really necessary. I think the investment on glass will be the most critical for long term enjoyment. IMO, it is sometimes easier to justify an upgrade to the camera body versus a lens.

    I think the D5300 paired with the Nikon 10-24 DX lens would be a great package to start with. Add the 35mm 1.8 FX prime (don't get the DX version) and you have a really nice set up for what you are looking at doing. BTW, I know that this is over your budget, but this is my recommendation.

    Let us know what you have decided.
  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 208Member
    edited January 2015
    Here's two things to consider:

    1. Any of these camera/lens combinations will be nice to work with, from the perspective of someone starting out. I seriously considered sticking with my D50 and zooms because I was getting good pictures straight-to-jpeg, and I'd just started working with the raw data. For me, the D7000 was primarily a good deal for an incremental improvement.

    2. You're looking at mirrorless options, and I think the industry is on the cusp of getting on with DSLR-equivalent offerings. The SLR mechanism is really a hold-out from the film days, the only good way to do what-you-see-is-what-you-get, at the expense of a complex mechanism. I think mirrorless will do the same thing that diesel did to steam on the railroads back in the '50s: within a decade, total replacement. Not spending too much on a DSLR now will maybe make room for you to go mirrorless when the offerings align with your experience. That was part of my D7000 thinking....
    Post edited by ggbutcher on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,247Member
    I am late to the discussion @rasto21585 - My suggestion is to go with the D7100 + the 18-140mm lens. You can save money by buying a refurbished D7100 body but buying that SRP (suggested retail price) for the lens will cost you more money than buying the kit with the DSLR and lens.

    The prices for a new D7100 has dropped a lot since the end of October so keep watching for the next drop in price for the kit (D7100+18-140) and buy one.

    Your going to own that D7100 for quite a while and my guess you will be more satisfied with the D7100 over the long haul than a D7000. The technology improvements are worth the extra dollars.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • rast21585rast21585 Posts: 20Member
    If it helps I plan to take both color and b&w photos. I'll be mainly be taking pictures just for fun and print size I won't be printing too big. Just probably and average size image for something I would like to hang on wall. Here is an example of the type of images I would like to do; http://instagram.com/cole_younger_

    My thinking is since I'm learning and new to this, maybe I shouldn't be spending some money right out the gate. I dunno what do you think is best for me? I'm just worried that I will experience the limitations of 5300 rather quickly if I went down that route.
  • ggbutcherggbutcher Posts: 208Member
    5300 limits? I wouldn't think so. 24MP sensor; take a look at the low-light comparision between the 5300 and the 7100 here: http://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Ratings/Sports Some may deride DxOMark, but if they're doing the same measurement/analysis on both cameras, the comparison should be insightful.

    The major limit I see is with respect to lenses; the 5300 doesn't have an AF motor, so you need to buy lenses with motors for AF.
  • rast21585rast21585 Posts: 20Member
    Cool good to know! How does the d7000 perform in low light? Can I produce similar images to the Instagram link I mentioned above?
  • rast21585rast21585 Posts: 20Member
    Also I'm quite fond of the physical controls and weather sealing of the d7xxx models. My hands tend to get sweaty and I think this should help from getting moisture in the camera. Another thing is I wear glasses so a large view finder is very helpful for me.
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