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Thread: New Camera Advice

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    jtg's Avatar
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    New Camera Advice

    I would like to have a second camera and cannot decide what would be a good choice (not the most expensive). I have a Nikon D7000. Does anyone has a recommendation? Thanks.

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    Digital's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jtg View Post
    I would like to have a second camera and cannot decide what would be a good choice (not the most expensive). I have a Nikon D7000. Does anyone has a recommendation? Thanks.
    If you are like me you will have to decide on what you want to invest in a second camera body. Also do you want to stay with Nikon? To me these points are a good starting point in your decision.

    Bruce

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    jtg's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    I do want to stay with Nikon. And I do like the 7000 features so hate to go backwards but money is an issue. We do not have many camera stores in town to be able to see in person.

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Janet - How about a clean, used D7000? I think quite a few folks are upgrading to the D7100 so there should be a selection out there. Other than that, if you want a new Nikon and have a limited budget, then I would just go down the line until you get to one you can afford.

    Seriously consider a good used camera whether it is a D7000 or one of the other models.

    John

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    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Janet, I don't know your reason for wanting a second camera but one active member of CiC has two Canon 7D's. One of them may have been bought used.

    His reasons for two identical bodies are that he can have different lenses on each camera and so avoid rapid lens changes and also the dials etc. are in the same place on both cameras (no need to remember which camera he's using).

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    I have a pair of 7D's. I like shooting with two cameras because my standard kit is a 17-55mm f/2.8 IS and a 70-200mm f/4L IS on a pair of cameras. This combination gives me excellent IQ in all focal lengths; immediate access to the total focal range without switching lenses (I don't miss the 55-70mm gap); fast and accurate auto-focus; IS with all focal lengths; and a constant f/2.8 aperture in my mid-range zoom plus a constant f/4 aperture in my telephoto lens. I don't have to switch lenses to have this at my fingertips. There is no extended range single zoom lens which will give me the performance of my two top-line lenses...

    I have always shot with two cameras but, until recently I always used different generations of cameras. As an example, I shot with a 30D + 40D for a long while and then shot extensively with a 40D + 7D. I really liked my 7D so I decided to bite the bullet and buy a second 7D. Both 7D cameras, as well as the 40D, were purchased as Canon refurbished items.

    Shooting with two identical cameras is a luxury, not a necessity. I now use the same type of battery in each camera plus all of the controls are identical. That is really nice but, I got along pretty well using two different cameras and didn't purchase the second 7D until I found a refurbished one on sale from Canon.

    Not to beat a dead horse but, using two cameras is to me a wonderful way to shoot. Yes it is a bit heavier than a single camera with two lenses but, it is fairly close to the weight of a single camera with a battery pack plus the two lenses.

    The most important thing to me is having a pair of cameras with which to shoot. It is not only easier and more pleasant than switching lenses in the field but it is safer for the camera (less chance of dirt on the sensor) and safer for the lens (less opportunity to drop the lens). However, the most important aspect is the insurance policy that I won't miss a photo opportunity due to a malfunctioning camera. I once fell while climbing a slippery Alaska slope and broke my 40D camera. My 30D saved the trip photographically.

    Having two identical cameras is just icing on the cake. Not really necessary but, very nice to shoot with if you can afford them.

    BTW: Although I love my 7D cameras, I'd rather use a pair of 40D cameras than to shoot with a single 7D...

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Hi Janet,

    Do you NEED a second body or do you just WANT a second body?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Much like your first camera choice; your end plans for it will influence the direction you are going for here.

    1. If you are shooting professionally and need a "hot" backup, i.e. a camera to switch to should your primary camera go down; you should consider two identical bodies configured identically so that all you have to do is switch lenses and keep on shooting;

    2. If you are an amateur sports photographer and shoot field side, you might want two bodies set up with two different lenses; one for long shots down the field and another one when the action takes place near to you. with a shorter lens. Having an exact duplicate is less important as you can probably get used to making the switches. It doesn't have to be sports; you could use a full frame for wide angle or shallow depth of field work and a crop frame for shooting long telephoto shots.

    3. General backup - it's nice to have a spare on the road if something should happend to your primary camera. Quite frankly anything will do; until the time I bought a full-frame DSLR (where my crop-frame became the backup), I used a cheap point and shoot as my backup camera.

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I have always shot with two cameras but, until recently I always used different generations of cameras.
    Let me echo Richard's comments and amplify a bit. I have been shooting two or three bodies for quite a while. The practice arose in the dim, dark days of film - it was the only way to shoot mixed ISOs (then ASA) or both color and B&W or negative and positive film. How freeing it seemed when one could persuade one camera to do all those things and mix them up in the same batch of images on the same card (well, leave out the negative bit...).

    Still, for all the same reasons as Richard I find having two bodies available to be very useful and normally arrive at shoots with two bodies, each chosen for its abilities with the lenses available to me. Until recently I would show up with a D300 and D90 and put a fast prime on the D300 (slightly earlier and slower iteration of the same sensor in the D90) and the all-purpose fast zoom on the D90. No, the controls are not the same but similar enough. For any camera in the Nikon stable, there will be sufficient similarity between bodies to make this sort of transition easy if not exactly seamless. I typically shoot in manual mode so, for me, the sub-command dial (under the shutter button) is non-negotiable.

    Now, with only one D600 and no other body that matches its exposure characteristics, I show up with one main camera and a backup that typically doesn't leave the bag. This makes for a deal of lens changing but not a deal breaker. With a little bit of thought, I'm certain I could return to two shooting two bodies interchangeably with what I have lazily considered my current 'mismatch'.

    I'm a pro with all sorts of tools and can normally do things well even, if forced to, with a sub-optimum tool. Most folk only use a hammer to hang pictures. I own just one hammer for driving nails but, in my shop, I have a collection (I stopped counting at ten) of hammers, each useful for one or two processes and reserved for just those. Do I NEED that many? Perhaps I could get away with half the number but they are part of my livelihood so I do ride herd on them to be certain I don't have to waste too much time looking the the right hammer for the job.

    Bringing it back to your quandary, it's hard to advise solely on the basis of the information you have provided. If the budget doesn't stand in the way then replacing the D7000 with a D7100 and keeping the D7000 as a back up would seem to make a great deal of sense. Looked at in some lights (but not all) this would still be "not the most expensive". If not that, then the suggestion to bulk up on another D7000 should be given real consideration. If this is still a budget-buster and, like me, you need the sub-command dial, consider the D7000's immediate predecessor, the D90. Otherwise, you can consider one-generation-old cameras from the D3xxx and D5xxx series. Amongst all these choices, you should be assured of consistent image quality except in the highest reaches of ISO.

  10. #10
    RustBeltRaw's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Is the second camera going to be a simple backup, only leaving your bag if the main fails? Will it be part of a two-lens, two-body combo to eliminate lens swaps? Does your current camera lack any capabilities, or does it have bothersome weaknesses? Each of these questions will affect our recommendations.

    Personally, I shoot a Canon 60D as my main, swap lenses when necessary (practice, practice, practice), and borrow either a Rebel XSi or XTi from my family when I need a backup. This imperfect solution is a stop-gap measure until the 7D mkII is released. That will probably become my second camera, since it is likely to offer some considerable advantages over the 60D for action shooting.

    There's something to be said for having a cheap, easily-replaced second or third body. For instance, you're not too worried about setting it up as a remote and placing it (and your $600 Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 and a $230 Pocket Wizard FlexTT5) six inches from a drift car at full speed. And yes, I got the shot.

    Worth mentioning that I'd checked the used market to make sure I could replace that borrowed camera if it got clobbered. But this is another reason to have a second or third body. Nothing fancy - the XSi is iffy above ISO800, and its images always seem softer than what my 60D cranks out. But if it was a really good camera, I would have thought twice about placing it there.

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    I need to make a final statement... I enjoy photography and like working with tools that I enjoy operating. Back in the dark days of film, I had access to a Leica IIIG camera which was the standard body for many photojournalists. Even though this was a great and efficient camera for some photographers, I never enjoyed working with it!

    I have at times carried a single camera single lens on a shoot and have always missed the second lens. I also tried using one camera and two lenses, but I don't enjoy switching lenses. Enjoyment of photography is very important to me.

    There are some folks who enjoy a great watch like a Rollex or a spiffy car like a Ferarri. They don't NEED to spend the money on those items, a good Seiko watch will tell time as accurately at a lower price tag and a Honda Pilot will certainly get you from place to place efficiently. People tell time and drive with the expensive toys because they like doing that; not because they necessarily need to...

    It's fun for me to work with a pair of cameras and I have found that it is even more fun to work with two 7D cameras because the 7D has some capabilities that other cameras might not have. As long as I can afford a pair of 7D cameras (and can physically carry them), I am quite happy shooting with the 7D cameras, telling time on my Seiko and driving my Honda Pilot.

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Nice to have two camera bodies if and when you have one serviced or repaired.

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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jtg View Post
    I would like to have a second camera and cannot decide what would be a good choice (not the most expensive). I have a Nikon D7000. Does anyone has a recommendation? Thanks.
    Not the most expensive? That means different things to do different people. An exact dollar range would be helpful. I can assume that you have excluded the D7100 and have already thought about getting a D7000. The D7000 makes a lot of sense since you like it and are used to it. You can use the same batteries. But, you may mean a camera less expensive than the D7000 which leaves my camera, the D90, ready and waiting. It is very similar to the D7000 although the batteries are different. It is obviously a step down but that is what you get when you can't afford more. It is my only camera so I think it will work well consigned to backup status. Any older and you will run into real compromises in terms of noise and functionality.

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    jtg's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Wow! Thanks so much for each response. It has given me much to think about... like my reasons for wanting a second. The first thing that comes to mind is that my D7000 is at Nikon for 3 weeks now and I sure wish I had a backup. I am borrowing a friend's camera now. The other reasons like not having to change lens while out shooting and having a second camera when on a trip make me wonder why I do not have another one already! I have a trip in October and one in May that really calls for having a backup.
    I thought about another D7000 because I would not have to think twice when switching. I am also considering the D7100 because I wonder if the HDR feature on it would be worthwhile. I would love to find a used "perfect" D7000 but do not know anyone with one for sale. Not really sure about buying one I cannot check out first. Thank you to everyone for all the great thoughts.

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    jtg's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Hi Andre,
    I am laughing out loud at your question ! Of course, I need it ! Wanting it just doesn't sound as important. But thanks for reminding me. I will phrase it like that on my Christmas wish list.

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: New Camera Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by jtg View Post
    I am also considering the D7100 because I wonder if the HDR feature on it would be worthwhile.
    The D800 has this feature and I've tested it and frankly I'm not totally sure why Nkon even bothered. It is not a terribly good or flexible implementation and is nowhere close to what a software solution gives you.

    It this is the main reason you are considering the D7100, I would suggest it is not worth the money.

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