Old 06-19-2017, 03:19 AM   #1
NorthWest
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I'm considering upgrading cameras as the one I have is over a half-decade old and its age is showing in image quality. I'm looking at mid-range consumer-level cameras such as the Canon D70/D80 and the Nikon D72000. Anyone have any recommendations?
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:54 AM   #2
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What do you have now? The glass you own pretty much dictates which brand you upgrade with. The Nikon D7200 has just been replaced with the new D7500, so you have some options. Stocks of new 7200s still exist and because it is technically "obsolete", you can probably get a good deal on what is still a very capable camera. That said, you're buying technology that's already a couple of years old. If it were me, I'd go with the latest and greatest, but I don't have kids in college.

I can't comment on Canons. I've never considered buying one. My friend Mitch Goldman says they suck.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:59 AM   #3
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The first question I would ask yourself is what are you going to use the images for and what level of quality/technology does that require. I say that because I think the majority of us pay for more technology that we ever use. But you may be one of the exceptions.

I used a Nikon D90 until recently (it is my backup now), and now have a D7100 that is more than enough for my needs, and I got it reasonably cheaply after the D7200 was on the market.

Perhaps the bigger question should be what lens or lenses to get, because a good choice there might cost more than the camera body.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:20 AM   #4
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Modern Canon/Nikon equipment is pretty good. I would say that if you are doing non-professional applications, and especially if you don't print images but only view/distribute online, then the image quality of the big brands is more than sufficient. So important criteria are the features that you might want to have, the usability (comfort in the hand, ease of use of menus) and of course the lenses.

For example, way back when I chose the mid-range Canon line (xxD) over the Rebel-level bodies because having that second control dial was really important to me for how I wanted to handle the camera. Or perhaps frames per second is important because you often face the problem of placing the nose of the train perfectly in the frame.

I have no opinion as to whether one body has better image quality than another. I've seen Mitch of late repeatedly mention Canon's limited dynamic range on FB; perhaps he will chime in and you will have the benefit of an additional opinion.

If you are shooting steam at night, I would suggest that in this day and age you want a full frame body so as to get a desirably shutter speed with minimal noise. That is a full frame vs crop issue, not necessarily Canon/Nikon/whoever.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:59 PM   #5
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Mitch will certainly give you the best Nikon sales pitch you've ever heard, but I'm not sure if he's trying to convince us or himself.

As stated previously, if you already own a good selection of lenses from a certain company, I'd only consider their bodies. The fields are aplenty with high quality equipment from every vendor.

I learned many years ago when I worked in the R&D side of the car audio industry that dick measuring over specs and test results rarely went anywhere beneficial.

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Old 06-19-2017, 02:52 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bigbassloyd View Post
Mitch will certainly give you the best Nikon sales pitch you've ever heard, but I'm not sure if he's trying to convince us or himself.

As stated previously, if you already own a good selection of lenses from a certain company, I'd only consider their bodies. The fields are aplenty with high quality equipment from every vendor.

I learned many years ago when I worked in the R&D side of the car audio industry that dick measuring over specs and test results rarely went anywhere beneficial.

Loyd L.
Unless someone is going to be habitually shooting in really poor light, it is hard to go wrong with the equipment available from any of the major manufacturers. Current bodies and lenses are miles ahead of what was offered just half a dozen years ago. If you look hard enough, you'll find good photographers who swear by just about all of them. A friend of mine, whose railroad images have achieved quite a following, recently ditched thousands of dollars worth of Canon DSLR gear and bought 4 Fuji bodies and 4 primes. He has not looked back as far as I know. It is all a matter of person preference. I personally like the color and dynamic range of the Nikons. I also like the user interface. With Canons, I just can't get past the fact that the On-Off switch is on the wrong side.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:48 PM   #7
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With Canons, I just can't get past the fact that the On-Off switch is on the wrong side.
???

On my 50D the switch is bottom center of the back. On my 70D it is part of the dial on top, left side. Are those both the wrong side? Inquiring minds want to know! You have more screener's choices than I do!
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:45 PM   #8
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???

On my 50D the switch is bottom center of the back. On my 70D it is part of the dial on top, left side. Are those both the wrong side? Inquiring minds want to know! You have more screener's choices than I do!
On all of the Nikons, the On/Off Switch is located on the top of the front side of the grip. It is perfectly positioned so that when you reach for your camera with your right hand, you can "draw and get the safety off" with your index finger as you bring it up to your eye. I never understood Canon putting the On/Off switch on the back of the camera at the top left. Unless you're a lefty, the camera is still off until you get the second hand on it.

Another odd thing.....and Canon shooters can feel free to correct me if I am wrong, is that Canons don't make it easy to select the focus point on the fly. With my Nikons, I can use the "joystick" on the back of the camera to select whatever focus point I want while I am shooting.

The only Canon Feature that I wish Nikon would adopt is the "big wheel" for reviewing photos. That wheel is a lot more effective for reviewing shots quickly than Nikon's joystick. But I would never accept that wheel as a substitute for my shutter speed thumbwheel, and on the Canons, the big wheel apparently is also used to control shutter speed. To me, that wheel is in a very awkward spot when the camera is up to your eye.

All a matter of what you are used to, I guess..... I am keeping my Nikons.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:37 PM   #9
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Another odd thing.....and Canon shooters can feel free to correct me if I am wrong, is that Canons don't make it easy to select the focus point on the fly. With my Nikons, I can use the "joystick" on the back of the camera to select whatever focus point I want while I am shooting.
I think you are wrong about this. Hard for me to remember, but I think one scrolls through the focus points with the top roller. It seems easy enough. If one has a body with 60+ focus points, on the other hand, that would be cumbersome. I don't know how those bodies are set up.

Quote:
The only Canon Feature that I wish Nikon would adopt is the "big wheel" for reviewing photos. That wheel is a lot more effective for reviewing shots quickly than Nikon's joystick. But I would never accept that wheel as a substitute for my shutter speed thumbwheel, and on the Canons, the big wheel apparently is also used to control shutter speed. To me, that wheel is in a very awkward spot when the camera is up to your eye.
Perhaps you are using the terms "big wheel" and "thumbwheel" differently than I do, or the language is different in Nikon land. I control the shutter with my thumb on the back wheel and aperture with the (smaller) top roller and my index finger. Or is it the opposite? Hmm, I was just out last night shooting and already I don't remember. At any rate, two wheels, two fingers, it works readily enough.

I'm sure if I had started with Nikon years ago, I would do it that way and not have a care in the world.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:19 AM   #10
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Another odd thing.....and Canon shooters can feel free to correct me if I am wrong, is that Canons don't make it easy to select the focus point on the fly.
Yeah, you are wrong about this. You hit the AF point button, then either move the joystick or wheel to select the AF point. It's extremely easy.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:45 PM   #11
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???

On my 50D the switch is bottom center of the back. On my 70D it is part of the dial on top, left side.
Yeah, I just got a 6d and the on/off switch is up on the "mode" dial, which is very unnatural to me compared to all my previous canon bodies.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:08 PM   #12
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I use 'my' body to select to the focus point. It's called center point focus

I've never ran into an issue where I missed a shot because of the power button either.

Spend enough time with any particular camera and the motions become instinctual anyhow.

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Old 06-19-2017, 06:26 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice, all. I'm currently shooting a Fuji HS30 bridge camera which has been a wonderful thing to learn on as it's really flexible and forgiving, but it's time for something bigger and better.
So I'm basically starting from zero. Budget is a concern, but I intend to hold onto whatever I get for a while so I may be able to spend a bit more.
Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:25 PM   #14
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Thanks for the advice, all. I'm currently shooting a Fuji HS30 bridge camera which has been a wonderful thing to learn on as it's really flexible and forgiving, but it's time for something bigger and better.
So I'm basically starting from zero. Budget is a concern, but I intend to hold onto whatever I get for a while so I may be able to spend a bit more.
Thanks for the ideas.
It would be really hard to go wrong with any of the DSLR companies. If you have a local camera shop nearby, I'd suggest spending some time fiddling with each one. The correct choice will become apparent, and then you can work on defending your decision from the people who run something else

Signed,

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Old 06-22-2017, 01:34 AM   #15
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What is this mode you speak of? Automatic all the way!!!!

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Old 06-22-2017, 02:26 AM   #16
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Automatic all the way!!!!
No.

I never wanted the exposure changing as those black PRR/NYC/PC engines got closer to the camera.
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Old 06-22-2017, 11:57 AM   #17
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No.
facetious

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Old 06-22-2017, 03:50 PM   #18
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Don't ignore cameras by Sony. I have used them for years. First was an A100. Now I use an A700 and an A77 and I have no complaints. I like the fact they have image stabilization built into the camera body, among other things. I read once that Nikon uses Sony sensors in some of their cameras.
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Old 06-23-2017, 04:14 AM   #19
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Don't ignore cameras by Sony. I have used them for years. First was an A100. Now I use an A700 and an A77 and I have no complaints. I like the fact they have image stabilization built into the camera body, among other things. I read once that Nikon uses Sony sensors in some of their cameras.
I feel like people that have been shooting for years don't even consider Sony since they're already heavily invested in lenses with other systems. I'm my experience, it seems like it's mostly younger people who shoot Sony - or at least who shoot mirrorless. I personally shoot on an a6500 and couldn't be happier. The image quality and dynamic range is at the top of its class.
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:38 PM   #20
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Wasn't there a Sony camera that you can use Canon glass on?
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:30 PM   #21
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Wasn't there a Sony camera that you can use Canon glass on?
You can use Canon or Nikon glass on pretty much every Sony mirrorless - just as long as you have a decent adapter.

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The mirrorless cameras certainly have a significant advantage in terms of size and weight. For those who travel by plane and those who hike, it means you can take a lot with you in a fairly small bag. Another advantage is that the image you see in the EVF is the image you are going to get. It makes last second adjustments to exposure much easier to do than with a DSLR. You even get a histogram in the EVF in many cases.

All of that said, there are still some drawbacks. You have to like EVFs, and I personally still have not warmed up to them. I like seeing my subject vs. a video image of my subject. The selection of lenses is not yet as good for mirrorless as it is for DSLRs, although I assume it will catch up at some point. Lens cost appears to be about the same as for an equivalent DSLR lens. And lastly, battery life is an issue. You don't get nearly as many frames on a battery with a mirrorless camera as you do on a DSLR. A battery grip is almost a must for anyone doing any serious shooting. For folks who take just a few frames on each photo excursion, that's not an issue. For charter patrons like me that shoot 800-1000 frames a day or more, you'd better have several batteries with you.
Size and weight is the biggest advantage for me. I can carry my camera, an 18-105mm, a 55-210mm, a 12mm, a 35mm, a 50mm, filters, batteries, and also a tripod in a sling bag and have the whole thing weighs only a few pounds. This fits everything I need which means I'm never wishing I had brought something else along.
EVFs have come a long ways in the last couple of years. The refresh rates on the latest ones are incredibly high and the resolution is higher than the eye can see in such a small space. I can certainly understand why some people don't like using them though - especially if you've used a proper optical viewfinder your whole life. The biggest advantage to them is that it pretty much makes metering a thing of the past. You can see your exact exposure in real time, so making adjustments is effortless.
Lens selection definitely isn't anywhere close to the availability that DSLRs have. But that will come with time, hopefully. The ability to adapt any lens that isn't natively available is really nice though.
Batteries are definitely a big drawback. I'm not familiar with Fuji's batteries, but Sony's are especially bad. I usually get around 300-400 shots on one battery. I always have 4 extra batteries in my bag. That's probably overkill though as even with a full day of shooting at the Nevada Northern this last February I only went through two and a half batteries - and that was in the freezing cold. Battery grips are an option, of course, but they you negate the size benefit of having a mirrorless. Luckily the batteries are really small and are easy to pack around in my bag. The latest Sony A9 seems to have remedied this issue to some extent though. The new Sony battery is a little bigger in size but lasts over twice as long. Still, I think that mirrorless will never have the battery life that DSLRs have just from the fact that the sensor is always on.
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Old 06-23-2017, 12:40 PM   #22
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B & H Nikon D750 full frame with 24-120 F4, includes 64 GB MC, Shoulder Bag and a battery pack. $2296, free shipping and no tax outside NY and NJ. If you are conflicted about tax, in Illinois you can declare on your tax return to ease our states pain, not sure about other states. May be replaced soon but not sure of price drop has not already been factored in.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...mera_with.html

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Old 06-23-2017, 02:38 PM   #23
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The mirrorless cameras certainly have a significant advantage in terms of size and weight. For those who travel by plane and those who hike, it means you can take a lot with you in a fairly small bag. Another advantage is that the image you see in the EVF is the image you are going to get. It makes last second adjustments to exposure much easier to do than with a DSLR. You even get a histogram in the EVF in many cases.

All of that said, there are still some drawbacks. You have to like EVFs, and I personally still have not warmed up to them. I like seeing my subject vs. a video image of my subject. The selection of lenses is not yet as good for mirrorless as it is for DSLRs, although I assume it will catch up at some point. Lens cost appears to be about the same as for an equivalent DSLR lens. And lastly, battery life is an issue. You don't get nearly as many frames on a battery with a mirrorless camera as you do on a DSLR. A battery grip is almost a must for anyone doing any serious shooting. For folks who take just a few frames on each photo excursion, that's not an issue. For charter patrons like me that shoot 800-1000 frames a day or more, you'd better have several batteries with you.
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