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What to upgrade?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by danhegehog, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. danhegehog

    danhegehog New Member

    Hi, I am a student who has saved up £500 and wants to upgrade gear.
    I am currently using a
    18-55 VR kit lens (great lens)
    55-300 VR
    50mm f1.8

    I have a good understanding of how to use the camera and get the most out of the lenses so I'm stuck about whether or not I should get either the D7100 or D5400 (both under £500 or upgrade my glass and what I should upgrade to.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Hi Dan, I hate that word "upgrade". If you are going to spend hard-saved cash then look at what you need to do that you find hard or not possible to do with your current kit so you that you get some real benefit. If there is nothing substantial then keep saving - better to aim to have 5k in the bank as a camera fund than spend down every time you hit 500.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yup. If you don't know what to upgrade, you don't need to upgrade anything.
    Want, mind, is another thing. ;)
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Iwantitis is a dreadful affliction
  5. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    When you're out taking photographs, what causes you the most frustration? What is it you're not able to achieve?
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The problem with an upgrade here is that either body you mention will not actually in itself deliver any obvious lift in your results in any discernible way. So I ask you, what is the issue with your current kit? The D7100 does allow quicker adjustment of settings as it has two control dials, but in IQ terms you would be spending money to little avail otherwise, the output of all three is pretty similar.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  7. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

    The lack of mountains, lakes, waterfalls and crofters cottages in East Anglia o_O.

    Sorry, back to the matter in hand. Agree with the above. You will know what you need when you need it.
    EightBitTony and Roger Hicks like this.
  8. danhegehog

    danhegehog New Member

    Im thinking of getting the d5300 because I have all Nikkor glass that is very sharp. I basically want to be able to do bracketing and have a better screen which the d5300 has. And then waiting to get something like a d810 a few years down the road Thank you for all the advice :) The Nikon line is really daft, They could have the same thing with 4 or 5 cameras instead of loads of tiny upgrades with loads of different bodies. And the thing that annoys me most is probably the lack of being able to bracket without a tripod. Sometimes I don't want to carry it around and also the intervalometer. The lack of focal points is not even annoying just focus where I need to and then compose it, and that one of the key differences.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    You can bracket shots on any camera - even a pin-hole. Just change the exposure. Can't say I have ever used auto-bracketing. If I am unsure I just use exposure compensation.
  10. danhegehog

    danhegehog New Member

    Ah ok, ill stick with my lil d3200, thanks for the advice :)
  11. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Canon aren't any better, the current available range runs to 17 variations...
  12. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The only advantage of auto-bracketing that I can see is for people doing HDR where time is important because some cameras will run through the bracketing automatically if set to multiple exposure and they may want something like 10 different exposures for one shot.

    These days there is much less need for a bracketing safety net unless the lighting is really difficult. The camera metering is pretty good most of the time for average subjects and, especially if you shoot raw files, you can make small exposure adjustments (+/- up to 1 stop) quite easily in post production. It used to be different for people shooting transparency film because exposure was fairly critical and 1/3 of a stop could make quite a difference to the end result.

    For situations where the metering falls down predictably - such as shooting a subject you want dark where the camera will make it average mid-tone or a subject you want light where again the camera will make it mid-tone if left to its own devices - you should aim to understand how to set appropriate exposure. One way is to meter off a grey card which is what the camera is calibrated for, read the settings off, and set manual exposure.

    An easy way to cover a systematic range of exposures for a scene is to use exposure compensation. On most cameras it is an easily accessible function that will let you bias the camera exposure by between -3 and + 3 stops relative to what the meter says. To do it manually rather than set the camera to do it does involve a bit of time but not a lot. I tend to keep the camera on aperture priority and fixed iso and then compensation changes the exposure time - this is legacy behaviour from my film days. These days of variable ISO you could also set the camera to manual for aperture and exposure time and vary the ISO.

    These days cameras can also bracket on colour temperature. To my mind that is also something best done by shooting in raw and adjusting in post or/and using a grey card and setting a custom white balance.

    Occasionally I use a hand-held meter (I have a film camera without a meter) - this can be good for assessing exposures in complicated lighting and illustrating cases where the camera metering (reflected light off a subject) is very different to the light falling on the subject (incident light). My meter (and one of my cameras too) also has a spot meter function where you can assess the brightest, darkest and mid-tones of a scene separately to decide where to set the exposure. I don't have the patience to use it much in that mode.
  13. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    If your reason for upgrading from the D3200 is to achieve HDR type images.

    Then there is no need. LOL

    A few years back Sony (who supply Nikon) made a leap step in sensor design which increase the DR on them. The result which AP's Prof Newman found was you could under expose a shot and then lift in raw processing. He called it the "death of ISO. " LOL

    This means you can shoot a image and adjust areas in PS to bring out hidden detail.

    So it is a question of getting your exposure balance right for a given shot knowing you can tweak it in PP.

    I assum you work in raw?

    You have 24MP so that is well enough to print quite large. :)

    Now the only thing that might be useful in your lens bag is a fast 16mm (24mm equiv full frame) for landscapes and night shooting.

    I presum you have a polariser, ND filters and shutter release for daylight slow shutter work.

    Tripod or clamp?
  14. Craig20264

    Craig20264 Well-Known Member

  15. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    If I currently had a decent DSLR with a 24 megapixel sensor, I would only be looking at decent lenses.

    You don't say if you have any particular types of picture you want to take (apart from HDR) , but cannot do so because of the limitations of your existing lenses. I see that a decent wide angle lens and macro lens are both missing from your list.

    If these are of interest, look for a good condition used Sigma 10 -20 mm (the old model, which is smaller and lighter than the new model), which now sells for under £200. The same applies to a used Tamron 90 mm macro lens. I have both of these and use them with an older 16 megapixel DSLR. They won't have the latest 'must have' image stabilisation (VR) that adds to the cost, size and weight, but if you can't hold the camera still enough to use them give up and buy an Iphone.

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