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Beginner Camera Feedback  
User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4420 times:

Hi all,

I am just starting with plane spotting and currently use an older Nikon D100 with the cheap AF Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G lens. From what I have read here this lens is only good up to about 250mm which is not enough for shooting landings at SFO's 28s from the waterfront. Here is my dilemma, would it make sense to switch to Canon (and buy all new lenses) since I am able to get my hands on a slightly used 7D for around $700 or would it be better to stick to my old Nikon body and just buy a newer and better lens?

Other lenses I currently own:
Sigma 18mm 1:3.5
Sigma DC 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.4

Any input would be appreciated, thank you!

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2901 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4380 times:

altbg,

Most dslr bodies are good these days, its the lens that is more important. If you are happy with your camera body, any investment should be directed at lenses. This is where you'll gain more in terms of photo quality.


Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4349 times:

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):

Would you consider the 10 year old D100 still "good"? I am trying to figure out if it makes sense to stick with it for a few more years and just buy a new zoom lens, buy a new body and a lens, or start completely over with a Canon body and lenses.


User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4301 times:

Quoting altbg (Thread starter):
Any input would be appreciated, thank you!

How much, after the $700, will you have to spend on Canon lenses?



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4268 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 3):
How much, after the $700, will you have to spend on Canon lenses?

I was looking at the 70-300mm and 100-400mm ones, so I'm guessing around $1300-1500 - assuming these are actually lenses that are recommended. And then I would obviously need something smaller for regular shots.


User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2901 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4268 times:

Quoting altbg (Reply 2):
Would you consider the 10 year old D100 still "good"?

I'm not familiar with that camera model but I don't see why it wouldn't produce good quality results when used properly with a good lens.

A 7D will need a good quality lens on the end. A 7D with a cheap lens will probably not produce much better than you have at present. The lens is far more important than the camera body as I mentioned above. It really comes down to what you are using the photos for. If they are for your own enjoyment and collection, only you can decide what you need. If your sole purpose is to upload them here, then I'd certainly be saving your money and not be bothering spending that level of money as no matter what equipment you have, you'll still struggle to upload here at the moment! Technique is as important as the equipment you use. No matter what equipment you have and how much it costs, unless you know how to use it to your advantage, you'll not get the best from it. You need to decide what you are looking for and what you need. Just going out and spending hundreds on a camera body or lens without knowing exactly what your need may not get you what you want.

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 3):
How much, after the $700, will you have to spend on Canon lenses?

That is a really important question to answer. As I mentioned originally, you need good quality glass to get the most from a 7D, you can't get away with a cheap lens and can spend anything from a few hundres to thousand on lenses. It's where most of your money should go.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4262 times:

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 5):

Darren, thank you very much for the advice. I am not a professional and it is not my goal to become one, photography is just a hobby of mine on the weekends. I am still new to most of this, but I have been an aviation enthusiast since I was a little child and I have always enjoyed taking pictures of aircraft. It is mostly for my own enjoyment but I would love to share my pictures with others. I definitely want to submit pictures here but that is not the reason why I want to buy new equipment. I understand it takes a lot to get them submitted here and I still have a lot of learning ahead of me, especially when it comes to post-processing.

The Nikon D100 I have is 10 years old and it already had two repair jobs done. Some features don't work anymore, like the self-timed shutter release which I don't necessarily need but it would surely come in handy sometimes. I also feel limited with only 6.1 megapixels but so far I have been able to work with it.


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9901 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4259 times:
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Two major questions/points:

1.) Why do you want to switch to Canon? That would require you to replace all lenses, as you said. There's nothing wrong with Nikon.

Quoting altbg (Reply 6):
The Nikon D100 I have is 10 years old and it already had two repair jobs done. Some features don't work anymore, like the self-timed shutter release which I don't necessarily need but it would surely come in handy sometimes. I also feel limited with only 6.1 megapixels but so far I have been able to work with it.

2.) I would suggest you stick with Nikon, and upgrade lenses first. Use better lenses with your D100, and see what you think. If you're still not happy, then you can upgrade bodies.

Better yet, go rent some better lenses and try them out.

I don't see the point of switching brands, but perhaps there's a reason I'm not seeing.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4256 times:

1) Only reason why I was considering the switch is because I would be able to get a good deal (at least I think it is at $700) on a slightly used 7D from a friend who recently upgraded to a 5D Mark III. Besides that, no other reason for me to switch.

2) Thanks for suggesting the rental idea, I did not even think about that. I will definitely give that a shot. There even is a place close by (BorrowLenses in San Carlos) that would be perfect.


User currently offlinetrvyyz From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1369 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

Why don't you get a D7000 instead, it was around that price last month for new. The IQ and noise performance of the D7000 would be better than the Canon's 18 mp sensor imo.

User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4223 times:

Quoting altbg (Reply 6):
The Nikon D100 I have is 10 years old and it already had two repair jobs done. Some features don't work anymore, like the self-timed shutter release which I don't necessarily need but it would surely come in handy sometimes. I also feel limited with only 6.1 megapixels but so far I have been able to work with it.

That being said, I would drop the d100 and get another Nikon product. A d7000 new in the box is the same price as your used Canon 7d. You don't know what's wrong with the 7d or how many shutter actuations it has had. It might not be physically new(ish), but it could be well worn.

Take the $700, get the d7000 and then take the extra $1500 and get the 70-300mm vr iii. I have heard good things about that lens. If your 17-70 lens fits Nikon and you like it, use that. Also, if you are able to get close to the aircraft/subjects you are photographing, I would also recommend the 10-24mm.

[Edited 2013-01-28 15:47:08]


Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3925 times:

Quoting altbg (Thread starter):
Beginner Camera Feedback

what did you choose?



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3911 times:

You could buy a brand-new D90 for less than $800 right now, or for about $100 more, a new D7000. Both are excellent cameras. I rarely advise people to upgrade the body but your D100 sounds like it's getting to its last legs. The 70-300mmVR lens is excellent, others here have recommended the Tamron equivalent for a lower price. These bodies/lenses should be good to you for 7-10 more years.

The 7D might be a good deal, but then you'd be forced to deal with the lens mismatch right away, instead of having some glass to work with right away.


User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 6 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 3754 times:

Quoting unattendedbag (Reply 11):

I have not had the chance to rent some equipment and head back to the airport. I'm hoping to do so next weekend. Going to try the 70-300mm VR and a D7000.


User currently offlineEpten From Macedonia, joined Sep 2007, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3555 times:

Quoting altbg (Reply 2):
Would you consider the 10 year old D100 still "good"?

As far as image quality is concerned, yes, it is absolutely fine.

As others have said, focus on the lens. The body is typically overrated. Look at the body as some sort of accessory to the lens, used to merely capture the image and convert it to 0s and 1s. The main thing you should be concerned about is the quality of the optical image that will hit the sensor and that's all about the lenses.

The real resolution lies in the glass, not in the megapixels of the body.


User currently offlineGuitrThree From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2045 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

Quoting Epten (Reply 14):
As others have said, focus on the lens. The body is typically overrated.

But is the Body overrated in this case? The D100, from what I searched, is a 6mp camera. The TS stated that his current long lens gets soft over 250. Buying a new 70-300vr lens only brings 50mm closer, and I have to believe that some cropping still will occur. Unless I'm wrong, 6mp doesn't leave much room cropping, if any, to take acceptable photos for this site.
Even if the picture is much clearer with the new lens, you're going to lose a lot of it's benefits if you start cropping. I'm far from a pro, but I'm betting that upgrading the body in this case and cropping a much higher mp picture, say 15-18mp, he'll be fine with his current lens and shooting @no more than 250mm.

Quoting altbg (Reply 13):
I have not had the chance to rent some equipment and head back to the airport. I'm hoping to do so next weekend. Going to try the 70-300mm VR and a D7000.

I say after you look at the pix you snap with the new body and upgraded lens.. all this talk about what to upgrade will be meaningless! You will end up buying both!
But seriously, do yourself a favor, make sure you bring your old body and mount it to the 300VR. Then mount your old Nikkor 300 and mount it to the D7000. Do the edits and compare. I'm thinking you might be just as happy with the D7000 and old lens since your ability to crop will be increased greatly.



As Seen On FlightRadar24! Radar ==> F-KBNA5
User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9901 posts, RR: 26
Reply 16, posted (1 year 6 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3513 times:
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Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 15):
Unless I'm wrong, 6mp doesn't leave much room cropping, if any, to take acceptable photos for this site.

I'd guess you might be right. Though it doesn't always work that way - I could crop more on my 10 MP 1000D than I can on my 15 MP 50D, just because the 1000D was ridiculously sharp.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 6 months 7 hours ago) and read 3429 times:

I did rent the D7000 and a Tamron 200-500mm lens with it. I picked the Tamron lens because it was very cheap to rent and had the focal length I was looking for. I definitely got much better pictures with the D7000, but the 70-300mm I currently own just wasn't enough at certain locations. Image quality was definitely a lot better with the D7000 than the D100 when using the same lens on both.

So I'm convinced I need a new body. I liked the D7000, but would it be overkill? Would I be better off with a cheaper body and spend more on better glass? The 70-300 I own right now is decent at close range, but I need something around 400-500mm for certain spots. Would an extender be an option with my older 70-300? Or would I be better off getting the Nikon 80-400, for example?


User currently offlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9901 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (1 year 6 months 6 hours ago) and read 3427 times:
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Quoting altbg (Reply 17):
Would I be better off with a cheaper body and spend more on better glass?

In my opinion, yes. But when I upgraded camera bodies, I did it more for the features than the image quality. I wanted things like a larger ISO range, larger buffer, faster burst speed, focus micro-adjustment, control wheel for aperture, etc., etc. The improved image quality was also nice, but good lenses made a much larger difference there.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinemegatop412 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 6 months 1 hour ago) and read 3415 times:

You could certainly do well with a D5100 or a D3100 as opposed to the D7000 if that body is a bit much for you.

And I have the same situation: 70-300mmVR when I can get close enough, and the longer Sigma 150-500 for the many spots where 300mm won't cut it. I would avoid the 80-400 entirely- not wide enough and not long enough to be 'the' lens.


User currently offlinealtbg From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 40 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 3379 times:

One issue that keeps bringing me back to the D7000 is lens compatibilty. I don't think my older lenses would work with the cheaper D3000 or D5000 series since they lack the AF motor.

megatop412, how happy are you with that Sigma 150-500? Does it perform great at around the 400-450 range?


User currently offlineepten From Macedonia, joined Sep 2007, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3374 times:

Quoting GuitrThree (Reply 15):
The D100, from what I searched, is a 6mp camera. The TS stated that his current long lens gets soft over 250. Buying a new 70-300vr lens only brings 50mm closer, and I have to believe that some cropping still will occur. Unless I'm wrong, 6mp doesn't leave much room cropping, if any, to take acceptable photos for this site.

The photos on a.net are typically about ONE megapixel. 6 megapixel sensor is FINE provided that the image brought to it is of good quality. How much you'll be able to crop depends on the lens and its optical characteristics, not the number of megapixels of the sensor.

I'd much rather use a 5 megapixel sensor with good lens than 5000000 exapixels sensor with not-so-good lens.


User currently offlineunattendedbag From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2325 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3292 times:

Quoting epten (Reply 21):
I'd much rather use a 5 megapixel sensor with good lens than 5000000 exapixels sensor with not-so-good lens.

I'd much rather have a camera sensor that was made today than a camera sensor that was made 11 years ago, or to use your exaggeration, 5 septillion years ago.



Slower traffic, keep right
User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

One big question no-one's asked is: how big do you want your final images (i.e. the edits) to be? I love large, high-res files and deal exclusively with those outside of this site. Some on the other hand are only after the small, low-res images, and often bin their originals once edits have been produced.

6mp is still sufficient for most applications (including for here), because it's your technique that matters more than what resolution your camera is. If your composition is good you'll be fine. I had a couple of images accepted recently taken with a 3.2mp compact that's 10 years old!

Your Nikon is fine for the moment, especially if you only want to look at resized versions of your files.

Karl


User currently offlinedarreno1 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3246 times:

Quoting altbg (Reply 17):
I liked the D7000, but would it be overkill?

Not for what you seem to be after. Also you mentioned lens compatibility which is an important consideration going forward. And it is something you will regret not having when you come across a juicy deal on a great lens.

The body is also stronger, and with the dedicated buttons and dials, makes changing settings on the fly easier. This is all aside from the class-leading image quality and ISO performance. I'm seeing prices as low $700 for the body which, IMO, is a steal. I paid $1100 for mine more than a year ago.



Nikon D7000 / Nikkor 105mm AF f2.8 / Nikkor 35 f1.8G / Nikkor 50 f1.8D / Nikkor 85mm / Nikkor 300mm f4 AF
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