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16 January 2013 @ 05:13 pm
My Nikon D50 died the other day, as I believe I mentioned, and I'm flailing about what to replace it with.

They have all sorts of names for higher-end cameras these days, from "beginner" to "advanced beginner" to "enthusiast" to "semi-pro" to... I don't know. Professional features in there eventually, but the costs on those range from significant to astronomical. And truthfully, in today's market, a vast percentage of what makes something professional-level is the lens you're using, not the body. I'm probably an "enthusiast", as I have a fair amount of actual technical training in photography, or even semi-pro, as I do occasionally sell photography even if I don't pursue it as much as I'd like.

So the D5200, aimed at "advanced beginners", is very new, and has what several other Nikons in this range lack, which is an automatic panorama stitching option. (Hundred dollar cameras have this. Why do thousand dollar cameras not?) It seems preposterous to buy a new DSLR that lacks a function like that. Reviews are generally good, and, importantly, it fits in my hands, which my husband's D70 does not comfortably do. It's not as high-end as the other one I'm contemplating, though *realistically* it no doubt does most things I'd want it to.

The D7000 is an enthusiast's camera, apparently. I haven't held one, so I don't know about its size for my hands. It lacks several of the D5200's features, but this is because it's a couple of years old. But being a couple years old means it's due for an upgrade which would presumably *have* those features, plus all the much finer "enthusiast" or "semi-pro" or whatever the hell you want to call it options that the D7K has. And they are *good* features: it's a camera that's much more flexible than the D5200. Even if you opt to leave it on automatic most of the time, the ability to override that and do as you wish is very appealing. So probably the *smart* thing to do is at least wait and see on the new D7K.

Which will leave me with no camera this weekend, and we're going to London. :(
The Green Knight: Cameragreen_knight on January 16th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
Comiserations on the failing camera :-(
The thing about 'professional' is that it's a moving target. Ten years ago, my 10MP Pentax would have been a high-end professional camera - today it's considered a 'beginners' camera. (And you'll prise it out of my cold dead hands.)

And I get your point about the panorama - that is about the only feature that I'm missing. Other than that, I've got more programs than I can shake a stick at; from that point of view, I don't think there are any modern cameras that do *not* meet the needs of most amateur/enthusiast/whatever photographers. A good sensor and good lenses seem to be the most important features; a lot of other stuff seems geared towards selling people new cameras.
kitmizkit on January 16th, 2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah. *grins* I know it's a moving target, but it still makes a person squeak! :)

I really want that panorama thing. I'm utter crap at putting them together myself. :)
GM Ceosanna: cameraceosanna on January 17th, 2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
I use Photoshop Elements and it usually works like a charm ... as long as I remember to get enough photos to make it look right. Heh.
The Green Knight: Snowgreen_knight on January 18th, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
In the past I've used software that was doing a decent job, so you might go in that direction.

Beware of London this weekend. We have a severe weather warning with snow announced for tomorrow and more tomorrow night; there may be disruptions to airports and public transport - dress warmly and check tfl.gov.uk at every opportunity.

I hope you'll have a fantastic time regardless - *you* might not be daunted by a couple of inches of snow, but the rest of us will be.
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on January 16th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
You're in London this weekend?that's only 50 miles from me -- except I shall be in Switzerland. Bah.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 16th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC)
Please don't break it: we'll be there in a month. Oh, and if you have any knowledge of Strasbourg, we're staying there for 3 nights first, and would welcome tips.

(I have a vague memory of you and P castle hunting in that region.)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on January 16th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
I am well acquainted with Strasbourg. Fine city, with excellent museums. And my favourite restaurant ever, La Cloche a Fromages -- http://www.cheese-gourmet.com/restous.html
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 16th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Cheese. Hmmmmm.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 16th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
London? This weekend? Aaahh ...

Yeah, regarding lenses, the Nikkor 18-200 VR I use cost me half as much again as I just spent on my D5100. I love this lens: the only thing I would like is for it to be a bit faster, but it's fast enough for using in a gig, at full zoom.

Would you plans fit with me dropping down to London and letting you have a good play with the D5100? (I do need to be in Cambridge by about 19:00 Saturday evening for a gig.)
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 16th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
Umm, and I assume you're flying in? If so, via Stansted?
kitmizkit on January 16th, 2013 09:04 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I'll be buying the D5200 on Friday, which should not preclude you from dropping into London if you want! Our Saturday afternoon plans are to go to the British Museum and see the Rosetta Stone, which we missed last time we tried. :)
kitmizkit on January 16th, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
We're flying into Heathrow.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 17th, 2013 08:24 pm (UTC)
Very sensible. Aer Lingus is much nicer than RyanAir
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on January 17th, 2013 09:04 am (UTC)

Oh yeah: here for Ken Rockwell on the D5100 against the D7000, at the old prices.

(And here for why he'd not yet go for the D5200 over the D5100)

Note the lack of the in-body autofocus motor. If you have any AF as opposed to AF-S lenses, those will require manual focusing on the D5200. (I have only one, a 70-300, and it's not a real problem. For telephoto, manual focus is not really a problem)

Edited at 2013-01-17 10:19 am (UTC)
GM Ceosanna: cameraceosanna on January 16th, 2013 06:28 pm (UTC)
I just replaced my D90 with a D7000.* I also had the debate with myself about waiting for the newer version to debut, but I ultimately caved because I wanted something reliable right now.

*And by "I", I mean my husband bought it for me as a Christmas gift. :P
Dan/Дмитрий: The Sign at the End of the Universeicedrake on January 16th, 2013 06:49 pm (UTC)
I had a (much lower-end) camera with auto-stitch panorama functionality. I was, frankly, unimpressed. The problem with onboard capabilities like that one is that they're not easily upgraded* or customized. I much prefer to just grab a bunch of photos manually, load them into a stitcher app, and produce my panoramas that way. Did a 360 a few months ago that turned out quite nicely :)

*unless fancy DSLRs allow for firmware updates? That would make me (even more) envious.
kitmizkit on January 16th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
I'm *so bad* at panoramas that I want one that'll do it automagically. My dad's point & shoot that he bought last year does remarkably nice ones, so I have hope. :)

I don't know if the more modern DSLRs do firmware updates, actually. Mine doesn't, but it's nearly ten years old. And broken, now. :)
Lauratavella on January 16th, 2013 07:46 pm (UTC)
Anyone in your family have a camera you can borrow for a few days?
kitmizkit on January 16th, 2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
In essence, no. :)
anthony_lionanthony_lion on January 16th, 2013 09:54 pm (UTC)

Personally, I stick with cheap Canon Powershot A-series compacts or the camera in my cell-phone.
The Canon because it uses AAs...

for panoramics, I got a Zenit Horizon 202 'Perfect'.
(120degree panoramic pictures with one push of the button. Only problem is that the negatives are wider than what's normal on 135 film, so not only do you get fewer pictures on a roll, but most processors completely mess up the prints, too. )

A Holga 120WPC also does pretty decent wides...
(pinhole, with 60x120mm negatives. A bt slow with f=135, but focus is from 10mm to infinity)

Maybe a 360degree panoramic would be something?
(I definitely want one, and are trying to justify it in the budget)
Jeff Linderjslinder on January 17th, 2013 03:00 pm (UTC)
Depending on specific features I was going to recommend finding a refurbed D90. I am very happy with my D90, it takes great pictures (over 100000 exposures so far). Maybe not all the latest bells and whistles, but you can find one very reasonable and all your lenses should work.

Also on a side note, I have moved to Sigma lenses for the D90. They are much less expensive, if a bit heavier than the Nikons..