Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by drew2, Oct 5, 2012.
What would be the next step up from my Nikon D3100?
D300s, D600, or D7000. There are smaller "steps" in between the D3100 and these, but in my view their improvement over the D3100 would not be worthwhile. If you can't swing a D300s/600/7000 then I would suggest spending your $$ on upgrading lenses or adding lighting gear instead.
The D3100 is a fine camera. Its successor, the D3200, is probably the best camera in its class (entry level DSLR's). The next step up would be the D5100 or the D7000. Here are the differences among the four cameras.
Resolution - D3100 14, D3200 24, D5100 16, D7000 16.
Higher resolution is important to get more detailed pictures, but the downside is that more megapixels mean a larger file size. Plus at some point it may cause the sensor to have more noise at high ISO's, though this is probably not a problem here since all 4 cameras have the same size APS-C sensor.
Processor - The D3200 has the newer Expeed 3, while the others have the Expeed 2.
Number of auto focus points. The D7000 has 32, the others have 11. More auto focus points usually mean a more reliable auto focus system.
LCD - All have 3 inch diagonal LCD's, but the D3200, D5100 and D7000 have the ultra-high rez 921,000 dots compared to the D3100's 230,000 dots. Also, the LCD on the D5100 is fully articulated while the others have a fixed LCD.
Viewfinder - the D7000 has a larger, nicer viewfinder.
Continuous shooting - The D7000 is slightly faster than the D5100 and D3200. The D3100 is the slowest of the four.
Auto Exposure bracketing and white balance bracketing. The D5100 and D7000 have these features, the D3100 and D3200 don't.
Ruggedness - The D7000 is resistant to dust and moisture, the others are not.
Size and weight - The D7000 is significantly larger and heavier than the other three.
2nd LCD - The D7000 is the only one of the three with a 2nd LCD on the top plate of the camera.
The bottom line is that the D3200 would be a nice step up but, if the price differential is not too great, consider the D5100 or the D7000.
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