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    Thread: Best upgrade path from Nikon D50?

    1. Member adrew's Avatar
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      09-17-2012 03:05 PM #1
      I have a D50, Nikon 18-70 (D70 kit lens), a screw-drive 50mm f/1.4D (on loan from my dad) and the little SB-400 flash. It's been great but I want video, better high-ISO performance and better behavior under CFL and LED light bulbs (D50 is miserable in this regard, even with custom white balance).

      I don't have a need for the extra pro-level features that come on the D7000 and would like to spend around $800± at the most -- so I will probably give the 50 back to dad and start over with a new "G" 50mm with a built-in focus motor.

      What would you do? Get a more basic body (refurb'd D3100 + 18-55 or refurb'd D5100 body are around $400 at Adorama) and a new 50mm f/1.4G or a nicer body like the D3200 and the basic 50mm f/1.8G?

      I really like some of the new features on the D3200 (mic jack, Android remote control, double the resolution of my D50) but am hesitant to spend the extra money on the body versus a nicer lens I will keep forever. My decision would be a lot easier if I could get a D3200 without the plastic kit lens I don't need for $100 less.

      My eventual plan is to get the next entry-level full-frame camera that slots in under the D600 since I do a lot of night photography, star trails, etc. (I want it for the big ol' sensor and no crop factor, not for all the additional pro-level stuff like external flash control and etc.)

      Also, if I move to the 50mm 1.8G instead of getting the 1.4G, will I be disappointed down the road? I am mainly asking about build quality and longevity over the wider aperture.

      Thoughts?
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    2. 09-17-2012 03:23 PM #2
      Edit: just noticed in the OP that you don't care for flash stuff but I'm keeping this here anyway

      I went from D50 to D90 and couldn't be happier. It has a built in AF motor so it can take better advantage of the older generation Nikkor prime lenses compared to the "entry level" D40/60/3xxx/5xxx, plus it has some other flash related tricks like High Speed flash sync capabilities and it's pop up flash can be used in Commander Mode for the Nikon CLS off-camera flash system.

      It's also pretty comfy to shoot with once it's bolted to the MB-D80 battery grip. I don't care for video so I'm sure some motion shooters will chime in with how dated the D90's video mode is, but you can't really go wrong in the bang-for-buck department.

      This deal on KEH.com aint too shabby either.
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    3. Member adrew's Avatar
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      09-17-2012 04:13 PM #3
      Yeah, I do very little with flash. The little I do is family stuff where I use the little SB400 bounced off the ceiling.

      I like to be unobtrusive and use available light as much as possible for candid shots which is why I was asking about the primes. I have shot with the new 50mm 1.4G on a D5000 in twilight and it felt almost like magic compared to my D50, with much faster/quieter autofocus and totally usable shots at 3200 ISO and higher.

      It's so hard to choose with so much good stuff out there.....
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    4. 09-18-2012 10:11 AM #4
      Second the D90. Best bang for the buck imo, as you can pick up a nice used one for ~$550. I'll probably be selliing mine (D700 on the way). PM me if interested.

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      09-19-2012 01:56 PM #5
      The natural progression is to a D90. But a D7000 might be a even better choice.
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      09-19-2012 03:01 PM #6
      I was on the same boat as you are wanting better ISO and video. If can tell you that jumping from a d40 to a d7000 was one of the best things I ever did. I also have the 50 1.8G since I also have a d40 and I don't have any film cameras going with it was a better choice for me. Now If you don't really need the af motor then you could always d5100 since it's pretty much a d7000 in a smaller body and without the extra features. One warning is the build quality is pretty crappy and if you are using video a lot you will more batteries for and that if you do get a battery grip it won't really function as well as the d90's or d7000's battery grip.

      With that in mind I would second the d90 but I would also look into the d7000 since they have recently dropped to about 900 and some change brand new. Maybe even cheaper used.

    7. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-19-2012 03:03 PM #7
      The D3200 is a hell of a camera, you can find some places offering body only for $500, though it is not an official Nikon offering as far as I can tell. The D90 will give you more direct access to controls, 2 wheels, top LCD, built in AF motor, etc. If none of that matters I would probably go with the D3200 to be honest.
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    8. Senior Member JettaGT8V80's Avatar
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      09-19-2012 09:17 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      The D3200 is a hell of a camera, you can find some places offering body only for $500, though it is not an official Nikon offering as far as I can tell. The D90 will give you more direct access to controls, 2 wheels, top LCD, built in AF motor, etc. If none of that matters I would probably go with the D3200 to be honest.
      its also not as good as the d50 honestly the no internal af on the lower nikon's really made me not even consider them

      d90 or d7000, d90 is like a newer better d50 the d7000 is close to pro level camera

      i went to d90 lat year and i love it after 5 years with my d50 it was a little bit of learning where stuff is and the sweet spots in certain modes but its a great stout camera

    9. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      09-19-2012 10:55 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by JettaGT8V80 View Post
      its also not as good as the d50 honestly the no internal af on the lower nikon's really made me not even consider them
      Are you really saying D50 > D3200?

      There is no need for a built in AF if you have only kit lenses, only if you have older lenses does it matter.
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    10. Member adrew's Avatar
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      09-20-2012 01:10 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Are you really saying D50 > D3200?

      There is no need for a built in AF if you have only kit lenses, only if you have older lenses does it matter.
      Yeah -- I only have the 18-70 DX as the 50mm is now definitely going back to dad.

      My sister has a D5000 and my aunt has a D3100. Aside from build quality, both are an order of magnitude better than my D50.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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      09-20-2012 09:19 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      Yeah -- I only have the 18-70 DX as the 50mm is now definitely going back to dad.

      My sister has a D5000 and my aunt has a D3100. Aside from build quality, both are an order of magnitude better than my D50.
      You seem like you don't want to spend too much...Pick up the 3200 (best compact DX dslr out there) and a 50 AFS lens...then decide from there. It's a combo that will kick the crap out of your D50 and won't break the bank either.
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    12. Member adrew's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:42 PM #12
      I did a ton of research over the weekend and have decided to get a refurb'd D5100 ($429). It has the D7000's sensor, is less noisy than the D3200, makes great photos and is inexpensive enough to leave plenty in the budget for a new 50mm, extra battery, new fast/big memory card, etc.

      I thought about getting a D90, but its video quality leaves a lot to be desired. And while I would really like some of the features of the D3200 (Android remote control, 720p60 video) I'm not sure it's $200+ better than the D5100.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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      10-03-2012 12:54 PM #13
      I have the D5100 and for the past 2 weeks, I also now have the D3200.. Lot of differences between both of them, but if video is what you're after, their both perfect for that. In fact, the 3200 lets you shoot video in manual, which is fantastic! plus the 24mp resolution... Fun camera..

      But the one thing that kiiiiiiiiills me, is that both of these do not have the autofocus motor within the body.. That means any lens that isnt AFS or AF-i, is fully manual..

    14. Member adrew's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 01:12 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by WeenerBoy View Post
      I have the D5100 and for the past 2 weeks, I also now have the D3200.. Lot of differences between both of them, but if video is what you're after, their both perfect for that. In fact, the 3200 lets you shoot video in manual, which is fantastic! plus the 24mp resolution... Fun camera..

      But the one thing that kiiiiiiiiills me, is that both of these do not have the autofocus motor within the body.. That means any lens that isnt AFS or AF-i, is fully manual..
      I still haven't bought anything since Adorama and B&H are closed until the 10th for a holiday. Now waffling a bit.

      Focus motor isn't an issue; I have an AF-S 18-70 and will be getting a new 50mm. Of the two bodies, which one would you get? The D5100 seems fine to me but I am not sure I want it since so many controls/buttons have been pushed into the menus to make room for the flip screen.

      Costco has an $829 bundle where you get the D3200, 18-55VR, 55-200VR, a Nikon bag, 16 GB SanDisk card, the new wifi Android remote dongle. That's kind of appealing because I've never had a zoom like that...
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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      10-03-2012 01:42 PM #15
      Well, check this out: Nikon-D3200-vs-Nikon-D5100

      The D5100 is my fav of the two mainly because I'm not completely used to 3200 yet, the controls are quite different. But the 3200 has 24.1mp compared to the 16.1 of the 5100 and i'm a quality freak & yes, I can tell a difference

      I got my 3200 at Bestbuy with kit lens for $649. But that Costco deal sounds pretty good. the 55-200mm is fun, but the 55-300mm & 18-300mm are a freakin blast

    16. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 01:54 PM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by WeenerBoy View Post
      But the one thing that kiiiiiiiiills me, is that both of these do not have the autofocus motor within the body.. That means any lens that isnt AFS or AF-i, is fully manual..
      How many of the average 3200 or 5100 owners have lenses that would be impacted by this? Id say very few. Sure some probably have hand me down lenses or some old film ones but most people with these bodies are using the kit lenses. No cheap 50 1.8 option isn't a reason to get an AF motor body. Nikon did people a favor in removing some weight and cost for something they will never use.
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    17. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 01:57 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by WeenerBoy View Post
      Well, check this out: Nikon-D3200-vs-Nikon-D5100
      What horrible reasons listed for the 5100
      Take my fusion hybrid, please! Blue 2013 titanium package, goes to the first person that will take it for only what is owed. PM me if serious.

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      10-03-2012 02:04 PM #18
      alas, once again im made out to look like an idiot. think i'll stick to just posting photos

    19. 10-03-2012 02:21 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      What horrible reasons listed for the 5100
      Yea, lower noise at higher ISOs, longer battery life, higher boost ISO (although not that important), larger sensor, larger viewfinder, and $100+ in savings all sound like really bad advantages of the 5100 to list over the 3200.
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
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    20. Member adrew's Avatar
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      10-21-2012 11:21 PM #20
      I decided to get the D3200, along with a USB 3.0 PCI card and a USB 3 card reader. In the end, I decided I wanted the extra resolution (it's the first camera I can afford with double the resolution of my D50), the 720p60 video and the mic jack. I also figured it would be nice to have the stabilized 18-55 for shooting video.

      I was all set to go with the $390 refurb'd D3100, but then I realized it didn't have the IR receiver for the wireless remote. That is a huge dealbreaker as I do a lot of long exposures (star trails) and family photos at the holidays.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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      10-21-2012 11:57 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      I decided to get the D3200, along with a USB 3.0 PCI card and a USB 3 card reader. In the end, I decided I wanted the extra resolution (it's the first camera I can afford with double the resolution of my D50), the 720p60 video and the mic jack. I also figured it would be nice to have the stabilized 18-55 for shooting video.

      I was all set to go with the $390 refurb'd D3100, but then I realized it didn't have the IR receiver for the wireless remote. That is a huge dealbreaker as I do a lot of long exposures (star trails) and family photos at the holidays.
      Good choice. I'm waiting for the D5200 specs and price as of know just rumors. If I can't value in that one I'm gonna get a d3200 too.

    22. Member adrew's Avatar
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      10-22-2012 11:52 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by BmwFanBoy View Post
      Good choice. I'm waiting for the D5200 specs and price as of know just rumors. If I can't value in that one I'm gonna get a d3200 too.
      B&H and Adorama have some pretty decent no-cost extras at the moment.

      Adorama will throw in a bag, 16 GB memory card (unknown brand/model) and some basic filters. B&H will let you choose a LowePro bag, 16 GB Sandisk Class 10 UHS-1 card or an extra (generic) battery.
      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

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