Looking to upgrade to a better Nikon camera

cpgongju

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Jan 18, 2018
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Hello Everyone,

I currently have a Nikon D3200 that I bought 2 years ago. I loved using it, but eventually became frustrated with some aspects. One is that I just cannot seem to get the autofocus system to work while filming moving subjects. I'm not sure if it is a deficiency with the camera or with the owner :)

I am considering upgrading to either the D7200, D5600, or D5500 OR just living with the D3200 I have currently.

New features I would like:
-Better ISO performance
-Longer battery life for all-day trips
-Wifi Control
-Better Autofocus system?

Why I like the D7200:
-Highest ISO Max out of the three
-Dual SD card slot

Why the D5600:
-Cheaper

Why the D5500:
-Articulated screen!

I would really love some input on what I should do. I would like to make a decision soon because I have a trip to Europe in about a month and I cannot wait to bring my camera. Thank you in advance for your help!
 

bjornl

Estimable
Mar 16, 2016
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The Nikon d7x00 series have the best AF of the bunch. They are also weather sealed (if you get a weather sealed lens). They have a brighter viewfinder because they use a penta-prism while the d3x00 and d5x00 use penta-mirrors. Ignore the max ISO setting and instead look at ISO performance. There are plenty of cameras out there that will go to a bazillion on the ISO but are so noisy as to be useless well short of the maximum setting. The best source to compare the performance is use DXOmark.com to compare raw sensor performance and dpreview.com to compare high ISO shots.

Video on DSLRs like Nikon is not the best. The quality is very good, but the autofocus in video is not good. There are plenty of high end professional results (on TV and other large venues) done with DSLRs (including Nikons), but if you want AF with a moving subject you are going to want a mirrorless system. Which one would depend on your goals. If "best at video" is your goal, get a Panasonic GH series. Also noteworthy is the Sony a7s series (kings of low light video). The Panasonic GH series is the ONLY DSLR type camera that can take longer than 29 minute videos.

If best at still images and great quality video (but slow video focus) is ok, then Nikon is the best bet and Canon equally good in most regards.

WiFi control is spotty on every camera I have tried it with. A simple remote still works better.

Battery life on a mirrorless camera is terrible. They have to power that little TV in the viewfinder and seemingly those draw a lot of power. The Nikon d7x00 series tend to do really well on battery life. So long as you don't use the popup flash (please don't, it ruins photos, get an addon like a sb700) or spend too much time viewing the rear screen, it is entirely possible to get well over 1000 photos per charge.

Let me know what else you'd like to know. I have owned Canon. I currently own Nikon, Panasonic and Sony. I favor Nikon, but am reasonably unbiased since I favor it for reasons not brand.
 

dawgnga

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Jan 16, 2012
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d7200 is a great camera, lowlight is really good, budget is the biggest question I have...I am a pro photographer and I shoot with a crop sensor d500 and am able to shoot fast (10fps) and also great for portraits, but it is double the price of a d7200. but half the price of a d5( best of the rest Nikon)
 

dawgnga

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Jan 16, 2012
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5500 is much better camera, sensor cleaner, not good enough reason to not get it, I suggest save a bit more and get the 7200, the results in lowlight is worth it

 

bjornl

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Mar 16, 2016
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There is no difference in low light capability. The advantage of the 7200 is the better viewfinder, the better build quality (incl weather sealing) and the much better control layout (dual dials)/
 

bjornl

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Mar 16, 2016
399
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3,060
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The differences between the d3xxx, d5xxx and d7xx cameras has to do with features not performance. Performance will depend on the lens used, your control and understanding of lighting and so on.
I prefer the d7xxx series as the better controls help me get the results I want. between the two you selected, there is little difference. With either of them you should once every other year or so (depending on usage and environmental conditions) take it in to have it professionally cleaned. I have a couple of Nikon's. One as a sensor cleaner (d750) and the other does not (d700). Even when I was shooting 20k+ photos and changing lenses in the field a lot, I managed to keep dust mostly out of the d700. I had to have it cleaned twice in 6 years of near constant use.
 
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