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Thread: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

  1. #1
    carloshpvp's Avatar
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    Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    I know that this is a very complicated issue to address but there it goes

    I'm planning to buy my first DSLR in a couple of months. I was really decided to go for the D7000 mainly due to its extra features compared to the D5100 such as:

    - more manual control (I currently have a Sony HX1 in which I feel very much the lack of manual controls);
    - dual card slots (as I intend to go further on PP, it would be nice to have the option of capturing both RAW and JPEG in separate cards);
    - built in focus motor (I could, for example, take the non AF-S 70 -300mm for 5 x less money than the AF-S one);
    - weather sealing (although the sealing is not 100% safe it would be good if some drops of rain take you suddenly);
    - better focus system, shoots faster.

    However, the current price of the D7000 is around the double of the D5100 and I started wonder if it is really worth to pay US$ 750 for these differences. Mainly considering all the rumors about an upcoming replacement for the D7000 and with this money I could get a lens instead, but would be stuck with only AF-S lenses.

    So, I would like to ask for your opinions about these two cameras to try to gather more info to help on my decision.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    I ran into a similar question when I bought my first DSLR about 3 years ago. The comparison was between the D90 and the D5000. The internal focus motor ended up being the deciding factor, and with 3 years of shooting behind me now, it was absolutely the right decision for me. Both my Nikon 80-400mm and my Tokina 11-16mm are screw focus and at the time I bought them, there were no alternates to these lenses. Move forward three years and Tokina has just announced an internal version of the 11-16 and Nkon has still not replaced the 80-400 (although there is a rumour that they will this year).

    I personally don't see any advantage in shooting raw on one card and jpg on the other. In fact, I find I am shooting less jpg.

    Ultimately, the 5100 is a novice camera and the 7000 is aimed at the more advanced user. You will have to decide which one suits your needs better. It is certainly not worth-while paying for features that you don't use, but on the other hand you don't want to find yourself in a situation where you have outgrown the camera too quickly.

    On the other hand, Nikon is supposedly announcing three more DSLRs this year, so there may be even more choices in your future.

  3. #3

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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    I don't think your list of differences is quite correct. It lists some of the differences, but misses a couple of the important ones, and there is one erroneous statement.

    All system cameras include the same manual controls, although they are not always implemented in the same way. In the D7000 some controls are easier to reach, due to its convenient buttons and wheels, while the instep model lacks some of these and instead uses double functions on some controls and a few others are hidden a bit deeper in the menu system. There is also a window on top of the D7000 where important settings may be checked, while in the D5100 you have to look at the screen or into the viewfinder to see them. The D7000 is also more ruggedly built, and one important feature is the brighter viewfinder with a pentaprism, while the D5100 has a somewhat dimmer and smaller mirror viewfinder.

    Whether or not those features are important to you is a personal decision, but in my opinion they may be worth the price. YMMV, so for you the lower price may be more important. Both cameras share the same extremely good sensor, so although the D5100 is not as swift and comfortable to work with for someone that takes lots of pictures and enjoys the ease of control of the more expensive model, the D5100 can produce the same image quality, everything else equal.

    The built-in focusing motor in the camera body becomes less and less important, when lenses at an increasing rate incorporate their own focusing motor, which is a better choice, as it is faster and mostly more silent.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    Hi Carlos,

    I haven't yet read any of the above, but a very similar thread is happening here, do have a read there too (if you haven't already).

    Cheers,

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    When I chose 3 years ago (like Manfred), I went for the D5000 for the movable LCD screen (unlike Manfred), which can help with Kathy's point about not having the top LCD for shooting info.

    Yes I am annoyed by the lack of lens choice.

    But I sure love that twisty screen

    Cheers,

  6. #6
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    I have both (or at least I have the D7000 and my wife has the D5100). They run the same camera sensor so image quality is the same. Focus motor issue aside (which incidentally adds a whole lot of weight to the body), the only reason I pick up the 7000 over the 5100 is because of the buttons that allow all the settings to be changed on the fly without much thought. The D5100 is more than a capable camera, but as I tend to shoot in manual everything, changing settings through the menu is just tedious for me on the D5100. For my wife, she finds the menu system much easier to navigate then having to remember every button on the 7000 and what it does.

    Yes, there are other differences but the one that I only ever notice is the lack of manual controls on the 5100. There are a couple of other things I find very use too - the two user modes you can save, the faster shutter speed (1/8000 vs 1/4000), but it just comes down to the fact that the D7000 gives you options and better control over how you shoot. Does that make the 7000 worth the extra money? For me, absolutely. I'd lose too many photo opportunities having to fiddle with the menu.

  7. #7
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    If the differences aren't fairly obvious to you then I'd buy the D5100. It will take excellent pictures, should last several years - at least until you master all the controls and outrun its capabilities. You can always recoup some of your money if and when you decide to move up a notch. There are plenty of S lenses available so internal motor focusing is not a problem. The 7000 is an excellent machine but if you are just getting into DSLR territory than an "entry level" camera seems to make sense. Alternately, a used or reconditioned D90 would be a good choice. Good luck with your quest.

  8. #8

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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    Carlos: Both are excellent cameras, the capture from that sensor is great and I mean great, I went with the D7000 as the D5100 had not come out yet. If you go with the D5100 I would use the extra money to get some good glass as you can never go wrong there. I have the D90, as a back up however it is quite old now (August of 2008), the new software and sensor of the new two cameras is a big factor in the quality of the capture so, I would not go the route of used or reconditioned D90 as good as it was at the time.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  9. #9
    Tringa's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    Another camera to consider is the Pentax K5.

    It and the D7000 are in some ways very similar cameras, I think they share the same sensor.

    I have just checked a camera retailer in the UK and the prices, for the bodies, of the two Nikons and the K5 are

    D5100 519 GBP
    K5 695 GBP
    D7000 949 GBP

    If there are similar differences where you are the K5 could be worth considering.

    The range of lenses with the Pentax is smaller than with NIKON and finding dealers may be more difficult, but all Pentax K mount lenses from about 35 years ago to the present day will fit, so there are many old lenses, at reasonable prices, that will work (though various auto functions may/will be lost). The image stabilisation is in the body of the K5 so all lenses, no matter how old, will be stabilised.

    Sorry if I have just added more confusion to your decision.

    Dave

  10. #10
    carloshpvp's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon D5100 vs D7000

    Thank you all for the inputs. I'll keep saving for the D7000 and see what happens in the next couple of months.

    Dave, I considered the K5 along with the D7000. However, Pentax has no support in Brazil and I don't even see rumors that they intend to come here. This was the main thing that drove me away from Pentax. But It is for sure a good value for money.

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