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Nikon D3100 vs. 5100

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Anyone have either of these? Thinking of getting one for the wife on Black Friday. Thanks!

 

The 5100 shoots16.2 Pixels vs 14.2 and 4 frames per second vs 3 frames and slightly larger sensor which does a bit better in low light are the main factors. If you don't shoot low light you won't know the difference in my opinion and you will save a couple hundred bucks, but it a couple hundred doesn't mean all that much I would go with the 5100.

 

Also, the 3100 is a few ounces lighter which may have some value to the wife, so you may want to save the couple hundred and have the lighter setup.

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Some of the long zooms (non slr) are amazing, Panasonics FZ150 and Canons new 35x. Theres a few websites which i won't post here, that i have seen (one day only) specials on two different SLRS for under 4bills including the extra lenses.

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Got the 5100 and two lenses a few months ago. Got the 18-55 VR and 70-300 VR lenses. I use the big lens to shoot our sons HS football games at night, under the lights. Not a real camera guru by any means, but this camera lets me zoom in on the team when they're at the far end of the field while I'm sitting on the 50 yd line. Have it set to shoot at 6400 ISO and 1/250 and it stops the action beautifully. Camera has more bells and whistles than I know what to do with. But it serves the purpose we got it for. I'd buy the same thing again.

 

If you google Ken Rockwell, you'll get his favorable review of the 5100.

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Some of the long zooms (non slr) are amazing, Panasonics FZ150 and Canons new 35x. Theres a few websites which i won't post here, that i have seen (one day only) specials on two different SLRS for under 4bills including the extra lenses.

 

I agree the new super zooms are very close to the entry-level DSLR's..I have a panny FZ28, the thing takes amazing pictures..I recommend a circular polarizer glass filter for whatever you get.

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I also bought the D5100 kit with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm lenses. I am more than happy with it. I took it to the airshow on the first day that I owned it and it did great. I checked out all of the std modes (Auto, shutter priority, aperture priority, and program). Each worked well, as did the 4 frames/sec shutter mode. The one feature that i really liked for shooting in crowds was the flip screen. You can flip it out and rotate it like a camcorder. It was most useful when standing iamongst a crowd and holding the camera over my head (while taking video mostly).It also allows you to flip it so it faces the camera when not in use ( I shoot mainly off the viewfinder) so it doesn't get damaged.

 

When I compared the D5100 vs D3100, some of the differences were the 4fps vs 3fps continuous shooting mode. 1920vs 1080 video at 30fps vs 24 fps, standard IS of 640 vs 3200, 4 timer release delays vs 2, 16 pre-programmed Scene modes vs 6, remote (control) shutter release vs none, etc. and some other more esoteric features. The last feature that the D5100 has is HDR, which takes greatly improved piictures of scenes where there are shadowed areas and bright areas. It basically takes two bracketed shots and combines them into a single photo.

 

Basically your wife will be happy with either camera, especially if she is a novice. The D5100 had some features that I would use, but the feature that really sold me was that the D5100 kit came with a 55-300mm zoom lens, while the D3100 kit came with a 55-200mm zoom lens. Much of the shooting that I do will use the full 300mm lens. Given that a new 300mm lens is $250 (or more) on sale and a NIkon multiplier is $400-$500, it was a no-brainer. The two lenses encompass nearly all of the shooting that I do (or any novice does). Also, I got the remote control whihc makes low light, super zoom, and self-portraits much better.

 

Many of the super zoom are great cameras especially if the photos are not being heavily cropped or blown up, but there is no substitute for a larger sensor. Even the DX sensor is substantially larger than the FZ150 sensor.

 

FZ150 sensor size = 1/2.3" = 6.17 x 4.55 mm

D5100 sensor size = 23.6 x 15.6mm (nearly 12 times as large)

 

The large sensor means less noise, better performance in low light, just a better picture.

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Guys, thanks so much for your feedback. I pulled the trigger on a d5100 body, and got a Nikkor 18-105mm lens from Ritz camera, best deal compared to best buy, buy-com, and amazon. It will be used more for portraiture and close-ups. When she came home today, she threw a curveball at me by asking "what about the d90?

 

So, how's the d90?

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The D90 was replaced by the D7000. It's really a no brainer if you compare the features. The D7000 also performs better than the D300S from what I've read. The D5100 has the same image sensor as the D7000 but the body is not as tough. Get a Nikon DX 35mm 1.8 lens! Amazing sharpness for it's price. It's the only lens I use most of the time and is awesome in low light situations. Small and easy to carry around. Nikon is having a real problem keeping the inventory up with demand for the D7000. It's flying off the shelves. A recent flood where they are made didn't help. Here is the best reason to save for the D7000. Lens compatibility. If you own several Nikon lenses already, they will work with the D7000 but will not auto focus on other DX bodies.

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