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Nikon D5100 vs. D7000


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#1 nono0606

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 11:28 PM

Hey guys I’ll be getting a new camera in a day or two and I'm having a hard time deciding between the D5100 and D7000. I intend on using it for mainly birds but also wedding and family portraits. As far as I've read the D7000 is much more professional and sturdy, I'm just wondering is it worth going that extra $500-$600?

#2 Liam

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:16 AM

If you're serious about photography, then I would say yes. The D7000 has a DX-CMOS sensor (does much better in low-light, can handle higher ISOs, and can take pictures faster).
However, the D5100 does have some cool features, such as in-camera HDR and a vari-angle LCD, that the D7000 doesn't have.
If you want a nicer lens, you may want to go with the D5100, so you'll have more money for the lens. The Nikon 300mm f/4 is a nice one, but if you're looking for something cheaper, go with the standard Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 AF-S VR.

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#3 canon eos

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:10 PM

First of all I am biased as I use Canon, but my first choice if you want to do bird photography would to go Canon solely beacuse of the excellent Canon 400L prime lens.
I'm sure you have researched this considerably and know both Nikons you mention are very good. Heck, it's hard to find any current DSLR that isn't good!
The one underlying fact is that it won't be your last DSLR, by any means, unfortunately. What is a 'winner' today is an also-ran in no time at all.
The feature of 'weather sealing' is often mis-understood, as it only provides a little more sealing, not enough to help in downpours etc. In over 30 years of photography my non-sealed gear has never failed in rain, snow, sand etc. And 6fps vs 4fps.........many will suggest you 'need' a higher fps rate. I shoot single frames, a 'trick' I learned from one of Canada's best bird photographers!
My humble suggestion would be (other than going Canon!) to get the excellent Nikon D5100. The money you save will be needed (and welcomed) to purchase a good birding optic to go along with your capable camera.

#4 Liam

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 04:05 PM

Actually, I'm pro-Canon as well. I use a Nikon D70, but really wish I had a Canon (because of the 400mm f/5.6L prime lens, believe it or not). I'm selling my D70 and getting a T2i (maybe a T3i) and hopefully the 400L.

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#5 photobirder

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 03:17 AM

I am currently using the Canon 60D which I have enjoyed very much, I use the Sigma 170-500mm as my main lens. I am trying to make the switch over to the Nikon d7000 and upgrading my older lens to the newer Sigma 150-500mm lens. My reason for the switch is I shoot mostly wildlife and landscape and the nikon has the higher dynamic range for shooting nature photography. Where as Canon seems to be a little softer with the colors and better for the portrait work. (Just my opinion.) As for using the Sigma lens they are great lenses with great glass, a little slower, a lot cheaper and although they may not be as nice as the Nikon or Canon lenses they do great especialy for starting out.

#6 cabirds

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:56 AM

I take that back - the latest generation of Nikon has two stops more dynamic range. So wait a month and the next generation Canon will be two stops better. [shrug] Hard to junk tens of thousands of dollars in glass and switch platforms when they trade off feature advantages every other generation. Nikkor just doesn't have the glass that Canon does - Canon has been out in front of that race for generations.
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#7 mystery bird

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:52 PM

What Cannon is equal to Nikon 7000? I am thinking about getting a new camera maybe later this year. I have always had Nikon although everyone I know uses Cannon. Since all my equipment is prehistoric it might be the time for me to switch.

#8 cabirds

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:28 PM

I'd probably say the 7D is about the closest comparison. The 7000 edges it out in some respects, and the 7D edges the 7000 out in some respects.
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#9 canon eos

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 11:44 PM

And of course the key phrase is 'the latest generation'. Things change very quickly in the camera world so it is not a sound idea to base things on what is the best right now. More thought should be put into the 'system' possibilities, especially regards to your own (perceived) requirements and of course budget.
Another very important consideration is how a camera (and lenses to a certain point) actually feel in your hands, and how intuitive it is. Some of the highly rated gear is quite confusing even in experienced hands.

#10 Joejr14

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Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:28 PM

Nikkor just doesn't have the glass that Canon does - Canon has been out in front of that race for generations.


Meh. I'd argue that. The Nikon 500mm f/4 has just about a near perfect MTF chart---more impressive than it's Canon counterpart. Not saying that MTF charts mean much, but I don't know that its fair to say that Nikon doesn't have the glass that Canon does. Sure, Canon had IS in their superteles well before Nikon did, but I'd say the difference in glass is minimal at best.

Nikon performs better at higher ISO's, but who really is shooting at ISO 24,600? Both platforms are almost identical and the difference between either is negligible. It all depends on what you're more comfortable with, what menu systems are easier for you to use, etc etc.

Many pros use Canon, many use Nikon. Different doesn't matter much.

#11 cabirds

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:22 AM

It's ok if we agree to disagree. :)
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#12 Joejr14

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:30 AM

It's ok if we agree to disagree. :)


This is true. Fun factoid of the day....did you know the first Canon camera was made with a Nikon lens? :)

#13 Liam

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:00 AM

It'd be very nice if Nikon sold a 400mm f/5.6 like Nikon's for the same price.

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#14 Joejr14

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:12 AM

It'd be very nice if Nikon sold a 400mm f/5.6 like Nikon's for the same price.


I agree, but I guess they've never really seen a need. A 400mm at 5.6 is not a fast lens, and it's somewhat of a niche market. The 300mm f/4 with a TC is a good alternative.

#15 Liam

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 08:41 PM

I agree, but I guess they've never really seen a need. A 400mm at 5.6 is not a fast lens, and it's somewhat of a niche market. The 300mm f/4 with a TC is a good alternative.


Except the 300mm f/4 lens with a TC would cost a few hundred $$ more than the Canon 400mm.

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#16 Joejr14

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 09:59 PM

Except the 300mm f/4 lens with a TC would cost a few hundred $$ more than the Canon 400mm.


Yeah, like $200 more. The added benefit is that the 400mm f/5.6 Canon can't become a 300mm f/4. All depends on what you're looking for, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to build a camera/lens system over ONE lens.

#17 LauraC

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:11 AM

Hey guys I’ll be getting a new camera in a day or two and I'm having a hard time deciding between the D5100 and D7000. I intend on using it for mainly birds but also wedding and family portraits. As far as I've read the D7000 is much more professional and sturdy, I'm just wondering is it worth going that extra $500-$600?


I have a D7000 and in the winter (we have mild ones and the trees are bare) I mostly use it for birds. I'm happy with it. I hand hold my camera always and it works out fine. Does the D5100 have bracketing for HDR because the D3100 did not.

#18 cabirds

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

Hard to imagine a camera without auto bracket. My 10D had auto bracketing around the turn of the century. Thinking about it, so did my Minolta film camera 25 years ago. I've played with it once our twice for lunar eclipses...

(yes, 5100 has 3 stop bracketing. Can't imagine the point for bird photography, but have it it does!)
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#19 Liam

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:39 PM

I have a D7000 and in the winter (we have mild ones and the trees are bare) I mostly use it for birds. I'm happy with it. I hand hold my camera always and it works out fine. Does the D5100 have bracketing for HDR because the D3100 did not.


The D5100 doesn't only have bracketing, it has in-camera HDR. It processing the bracketed photos without even having to connect to the computer.

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#20 lyceel

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:08 AM

To the OP's question: D7000, D7000, D7000! It's low light, high ISO performance is excellent for a camera in that price range. The D7000 even beats the D300s in low-light performance.




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