"Lost" all of my gear recently (D7K, SB400, Nikkor 18-105, 55-300, G series 35 mm 1.8, and S series 50 mm 1.8). Long story, but it may well have been stolen; there's also a chance it simply got lost, however. Regardless, I have virtually no hope of finding it and will have to replace it over the weekend. Therein lies my dilemma.
My best option to replace the camera and the two kit lenses is Costco, both because they have some incredible deals and because I have a credit card rebate check that will cover much of the cost. So my options are a D5500 or a D7100. Both come with two kit lenses -- the 18-55 and 55-300. The D5500 has an extra battery and the D7100 comes with the wifi adapter. They both come with some other nonsense that I don't consider particularly relevant -- primarily an SD card and a Nikon bag. The D5500 is $1100, the D7100 is $1250. I think at those prices the D7100 is the clear winner as having the screw drive will allow me to replace my 50 mm with another S series instead of a G, which will cover almost the entire $150 difference.
So why am I bothering all of you? Two reasons. The first is that typing this out helps me clarify my thinking. But if that was the only purpose, I could just hit delete instead of posting. So that takes me to the second reason -- I may well be over-buying.
Although I like to just go out and shoot, I rarely get to do so. My primary use is taking pictures of my kids, both "portraits" and action shots -- particularly baseball, basketball, and horseback riding. If I am being honest with myself, I rarely used most of the features of my D7K. Not once did I use the AEB, never did I do anything with the flash other than attach the SB400 and fire, and rarely if ever did I change the AF setting from the default of center. I usually shoot in A mode, although I sometimes use S if I am trying to freeze action. And on occasion I play with the scene options to try to learn from what the camera recommends. I'd also be lying if I didn't say that hauling around all of my gear (even though it all fit in one sling bag) wasn't sometimes a pain when doing kid stuff and didn't sometimes cause family strife. On the other hand,
This all leaves me wondering if I should be thinking about completely different options. Maybe mirrorless? Should I save a ton of cash and get the D3300 package ($600 with the wifi adapter, 18-55 and 18-200)? (And then maybe upgrade again in a few years when my kids are out of the house.) Go with the D5500 because it's smaller? Buy one of these, sell the kit lenses, and get a super-zoom?
In closing, there's a part of me that feels like this is a very long way of asking for support in going with the D7100, particularly as I think the D3300/5500 will drive me insane if for no other reason than because it doesn't have separate wheels for aperture and shutter speed and because I will want more reach than the 55-200mm provides, which will have me spending more money right away. Not to mention that -- undersized buffer and all -- I like to be able to shoot 6 fps for sports (although considering the buffer I am not sure the D5500's 5 fps is any less useful). But there's a part of me that feels like I really should be considering a mirrorless option -- smaller and plenty quick for most uses (but maybe not for sports . . .).
All thoughts, as always, appreciated.