Old 12-18-2016, 04:00 AM   #1
passrailfan
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Default Purchasing a New Nikon DSLR Camera

Hello,
My D70 Nikon camera has reached the end of its life. I am in the process of purchasing a new Nikon DSLR camera. What are the best suggestions, especially for photographing high quality railroad photographs? I am thinking of something like a D3300. If possible, I would prefer not to spend thousands of dollars. I don't need to take videos. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:25 PM   #2
KevinM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passrailfan View Post
Hello,
My D70 Nikon camera has reached the end of its life. I am in the process of purchasing a new Nikon DSLR camera. What are the best suggestions, especially for photographing high quality railroad photographs? I am thinking of something like a D3300. If possible, I would prefer not to spend thousands of dollars. I don't need to take videos. Thanks.
Hi Passrailfan,

Unless you are thinking of selling off your Nikon lenses, you are pretty much limited to the Nikon line of DSLRs for a replacement. That said, virtually anything you buy new today will run circles around the D70 in terms of image quality. Not only do today's cameras feature higher resolution (typically 24 MP vs. 6.1 on your current camera), but their ability to work at higher ISOs is a dramatic improvement over the 2004 technology of the D70. You'll also find that the number of autofocus points and the accuracy of those systems is much better than what you have.

Which model you should buy depends a lot on how serious you are. I started with a bottom-of-the-line D40x in 2007 and within a year, its limitations (3 AF points, 3 fps burst rate, no aperture dial) were killing me. I went through a D90, a D7000 and finally bought a D4 (figure $6,000) in search of a camera that could get me good photos in challenging (bad weather, bad light, etc.). If all you intend to do is shoot diesel freights on nice sunny days and shoot in automatic modes, by all means go ahead and buy a D3400 (Nikon's current entry level) and enjoy. I can't imagine you'll be disappointed. If you are thinking of spending more time on photography, and want to increase your skill and knowledge, don't waste your money on entry level cameras. You will outgrow them quickly. Buy a real 7000-series enthusiast camera in that case. D7100s (technology is several years old) are available new for about $700, and the D7200 (still a couple of years old) is available new for around $1,000.

Another question that folks typically have to resolve is to whether to buy new or used. You'll often see the term "refurbished" used by sellers, and the inference is that something has been done to make that camera "like new again." Generally speaking, all that "refurbished" means is that the seller has verified that all functions are working, the camera has been cleaned and the AF has been re-calibrated. They typically don't replace the shutter. I have always bought my cameras new. When I look at the refurb prices, they are typically not that far below the cost of new......check out Nikon's website for their new and refurb prices. You don't save THAT much by going used. I would rather spend the extra dough and buy a new camera with a full 1-year warranty.....and not have to wonder in what ways the previous owner may have abused the unit. But that's just me. As they say, your mileage may vary.
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Last edited by KevinM; 12-19-2016 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:05 AM   #3
passrailfan
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The answer is definately new. I am a serious photographer, whether if I am shooting pictures of trains or not. As far as the trains go, I will shoot anything that moves on rails, but typically, I like to photograph passenger trains, especially commuter rail and Amtrak. I like to photograph them going fast, but don't mind reduced speeds. In addition to considering the D3300, I am also going to consider the D3400, D5500, and maybe the D7100.
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Old 12-20-2016, 03:59 PM   #4
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All of the cameras you mention will probably do the job for you. If you are thinking of going to the higher end (D7100/D7200, etc.) your options are to take advantage of the low prices on the current models, as they are all due for a refresh. At least they are proven technology. You could wait for that refresh and get the latest and greatest in 2017....but my only caution is that lately, Nikon has had some issues with quality on new releases. The D600 and D750 are examples of the latter. I have a D750 as my second camera and it functioned great for a year. It wasn't even included in the initial recalls. Then suddenly, right in the middle of charter season, it started acting up. Within a week, it developed ALL of the issues that were all over the internet, including a shutter freezing problem that Nikon wasn't admitting. It eventually froze completely and became useless. To their credit, Nikon fixed it at no expense to me and even paid for shipping both ways. Unfortunately, during the 10 days it was gone, I ended up having to rent a D750 for a charter that I'd paid for and that cost me a hundred bucks out of pocket.

My advice is: "Don't be limited by your equipment." Make a list of the features that are important to you and proceed accordingly. The D3400 may be all the camera you need, but it if it turns out not to be, it will cost you more in the long run to find that out the hard way.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:22 AM   #5
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I purchased the D3400 camera.
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