June 7, 2016 at 7:41 pm #17324
I was looking to upgrade from my Nikon D70 to a Nikon D3200. I was wondering if anybody had any thoughts on it( pros and cons, problems,etc). I would really appreciate feed back!
Thanks!June 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm #17329
Welcome to the forums, @nikonlover!
Your D70 was announced in 2004, so it’s 12 years old! Electronics become obsolete very fast, so one that’s 12 years old is definitely a good candidate for an upgrade! 🙂
A couple of things to keep in mind:
- The Nikon D70 is considered a “Midrange and professional usage cameras with DX sensor”
- (The D3200 on the other hand is considered “Entry-level (Consumer) – DX sensor”) [According to Wikipedia…]
- Since the D70 is more advanced, it has more advanced controls, as well as a built in auto-focus motor; (Both of which the D3200 lacks.)
In a way, you could look at it as a downgrade, going from a midrange to a beginner level camera. On the other hand, sensor technology has come a long way, and the D3200 should be better, as far as pixel-peeping image quality is concerned.
I have a couple of questions that will need answered to give us a better idea on how to advise your further:
June 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm #17330
- What lenses do you already own? You want to make sure that you can auto-focus them with a D3200 if you go that route.
- What is your budget? If we know your budget, we can make a better recommendation.
- Would you consider buying refurbished/used? This one’s related to the question about the budget. A higher-end used/refurbished DSLR could be about as cheap as a new entry level one…
Welcome to the Lenspiration forums, Savannah!
I haven’t looked at it in detail, but the only “con” of that upgrade I see is that the D3200 doesn’t have a built-in focus motor. That is only a problem if you have lenses that don’t have a focus motor, such as the 50mm AF (vs 50mm AF-S). (I’ll let you guess what happens to autofocus if neither the camera nor the lens have a focus motor… )
Other than that, you will need SD cards instead of CF, but I think you will really like the upgrade!
The D70 was a higher-end camera than the D3200 is, but it’s 8 years older and even the cheapest DSLRs can beat it on almost every point.
edit: I see @buddingphotographer has beat me to it, but I see that we mostly agree. 🙂June 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm #17331
@dfrazer, that was close! 🙂 It’s amazing how similar our posts were!
There are a couple of advantages to the higher-end cameras like the D70/D80/D90 vs. the entry level D3000/D3100/D3200
I’ve already mentioned 2 of them, built-in AF motors, and more advanced controls–(More buttons for settings instead of having to dig down in the menu to change settings). There are a couple more though…
- Penta-prism viewfinder. (versus the cheaper, darker Penta-mirror viewfinder)
- More Viewfinder coverage. (Many DSLR OVFs [Optical View Finder] only cover 95% of the frame)
- Weather-sealing. (NOT water-proof, it just means that a little rain shouldn’t hurt it any…)
- Battery Life. (Some of the higher-end cameras get up to 2x the battery life of entry-level cameras.)
Of course, the entry level DSLR has a few benefits of it’s own as well…
June 8, 2016 at 9:17 pm #17333
Thank you for the information!
Before I answer your questions let me give you a little history about my Photography life. I got my D70 about a year and a half ago. For a whole year I shot in auto only. It wasn’t till the end of April this year that I learned how to shot in manual modes ( shutter priority, aperture priority, etc). The upgrade was more focused towards getting a camera that would take better pictures ( my D70 doesn’t take the best ones) while I learn more about photography.
Now to answer your questions.
You asked about lenses I have two. One is a Nikon Af Nikkor 70-300 lens. The other is a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120 VR lens. I think I am going to keep the D70 as my back up camera( so I can use the 70-300 lens too).
Budget. Well, My Mom recommended to save $500. I have $360 right now.
I did find a camera on craigslist that was $320. Here is the link if you want to see it: http://yakima.craigslist.org/pho/5613279663.html
We’re heading to Spokane(Wa) tomorrow and we were planning on stopping in Ellensburg(Wa) to see it.
Thank you again for your help! I really appreciate the feed back. It made me think about my choice more.June 9, 2016 at 8:59 am #17336
Ok, I see you already had a D3200 in mind! That’s great! It’s always great to get some accessories to go with it too. (The tripod is junk though, you’ll almost surely end up replacing it eventually. That’s not a bad price either, but I think you could get a little more bang for your buck… I just looked a little through Adorama and B&H’s used/refurbished section, and found a Nikon D5200 (which is a step up from the D3200) for only $329.99 body only. It’s rated a “D” which means it’s practically brand new. Adorama offers a 90 day warranty for all their used items, and 30 days to return it with no questions asked. That’s likely better service than a Craigslist seller! 🙂
Of course, the con is that it doesn’t come with a wide-angle. Your 24mm isn’t very wide on a DX camera.
Just curious, is your 24-120mm VR lens the f/4 version, or the f/3.5-5.6 version?June 9, 2016 at 9:02 am #17337
Oops. I posted a little too soon! Adorama also has the same camera, (Nikon D5200) with the kit lens and a free SD card for $399 refurbished. So basically for $70 you get the kit lens and a 64GB SD card.
Or, if you’re a red camera kind of a person, you can get the D5200 refurbished in red for only $309!
June 9, 2016 at 10:53 am #17340
- This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Ezra Morley. Reason: Added another deal
My lens is 1:3.5-5.6G. Does that help? I’m the most novice person you can get!June 9, 2016 at 10:59 am #17341
A few more thoughts:
– The D70 should still be able to take good photos, and I would encourage you to keep it as a backup camera. Having said that, the D3200 or D5200 will make it easier to take better pictures in many cases as you won’t be as limited by the iso, colour depth, dynamic range, etc.
– Always honour your Mom. You will probably find that when you get into photography more seriously you may need 500$ to get a few more pieces of equipment, whether it be a tripod, filters, flashes, batteries, lenses, etc depending on what kind of photography you want to get into. So keep saving. Another option would be to wait until you find a more advanced body (such as the D7100, which has the built-in focus motor) for 500$, which would be rather unlikely.
Some of my siblings have D3200’s, I have a D5300 and my Dad has a D7000. My thought is that the D3200 and the D5200 are quite similar; the difference between the D5200 and the D7100 is more noticeable. But any one of them would be an improvement over the D70 in many ways.
Of course, you could use the same money to sign up for Capture Oregon. In my experience, the Capture workshop did more to improve my photography than a camera body upgrade ever could – and I take pictures of houses, not landscapes.June 9, 2016 at 12:24 pm #17343
My lens is 1:3.5-5.6G. Does that help? I’m the most novice person you can get!
Don’t worry, we were all a novice at some point! It’s hard for me to believe, but when I first met James in 2011? I didn’t even know what a DSLR was! 🙂
Ok, the reason I asked, is that you don’t really need that lens. (I just wanted to be sure that it’s not the $600 f/4 version) It’s not wide-angle enough to be very useful on a crop-sensor camera like the D70 or the D3200. Here’s what I would do if I were you.
- Sell the 24-120mm lens at KEH.com [You could get $75-100 for it at KEH] (Or try to sell it for a little more on ebay/craigslist)
- Buy yourself a camera. (D3200 on craigslist, or links in previous posts above to a Nikon D5200)
- Buy yourself a lens that will actually be useful. [If the camera you buy doesn’t come with a lens] (18-55 VR, or 18-70 (no VR), or if you really want a nice lens, the Nikon 18-140 VR.)
If you really want to keep on with a higher-end camera as @dfrazer said, then there are a couple of options:
- Nikon D90 ~$260.00 (Old  but still a decent upgrade from the D70. I know at least one forum-member here owns a D90.)
- Nikon D7000 ~$400 (Old-ish  even more of an upgrade from the D70/D90)
- Nikon D7100 ~$600-$700 (Expensive  This is probably more camera than most beginners need. If you get it, you won’t have any excuse to upgrade again for a long time! 🙂 )
All of the “high-end” cameras above are body-only prices. You’ll still need a lens to go with them. I agree with @dfrazer,
– Always honour your Mom. You will probably find that when you get into photography more seriously you may need 500$ to get a few more pieces of equipment, whether it be a tripod, filters, flashes, batteries, lenses, etc depending on what kind of photography you want to get into. So keep saving.
Photography can be quite expensive, but it helps to make sure you prioritize your savings. Ask any good photographer, and they’ll tell you to invest in good glass (lenses) rather than spending a lot on the newest camera on the block. I use a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 lens, and it is definitely better than 18-55mm kit lenses! The Nikon 18-140 is what I would consider a “higher-end” lens compared to the cheaper 18-55/18-105mm lenses. (One small clue is that it’s sold together with the Nikon D7200 as a kit) It’s not cheap either, at around $500 new, but if you keep your eyes open, you’ll see them for much better prices than that.June 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm #17344
The D3200 is quite capable of taking nice pictures. My daughter has one and it’s a great little camera. If you decide to go with it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy using it and will find that it does a nice job. But if you’re serious about photography chances are you will want to eventually upgrade beyond that. If I were you I think I would keep learning all I could with the D70 and keep saving money. You can buy a refurbished D7100 directly from Nikon for $599.95. I have a D7100 and I feel it is well worth the extra money over a D3200.June 13, 2016 at 10:41 am #17370
I’m pretty sure a D3200 is a lot better than a D70. My sister has a D70S, and bought my Canon T3. Even the T3, which was the cheapest Canon DSLR back then, produce better pictures. Cameras have improved a lot, and even though the D70 was intended to a mid-range or professional market, it just can’t measure with the newer technologies (ISO, Megapixels, etc…)
This said though, when talking of ergonomy, the D70 is probably better (didn’t test the D3200, but I guess it must be something like my Canon T3). So if you’re used to a camera that was designed to be costumized, you may miss that on the D3200. The D90, D7000, and D7100 have a better ergonomy in my opinion.
Weather-sealing. (NOT water-proof, it just means that a little rain shouldn’t hurt it any…
Funny you mentioned that. A water pipe in the ceilling broke over my sister’s D70s which had a nice shower. It still works beautifully!June 13, 2016 at 2:12 pm #17372
This said though, when talking of ergonomy, the D70 is probably better
Very true, I hadn’t thought of that!
Funny you mentioned that. A water pipe in the ceilling broke over my sister’s D70s which had a nice shower. It still works beautifully!
Good advertisement for a Nikon’s weatherproofing! 🙂
By “not water-proof” I meant it likely won’t survive a dunking in the pond. Weatherproofing should keep out water that splashes on it, but once you’re underwater it doesn’t take long to force its way under the seals. I’ve seen videos of Pentax cameras being dropped in mud puddles from waist high and being covered with dust, then taken into a shower and sprayed off and surviving without any problems, but I certainly don’t recommend that you try it! 🙂June 13, 2016 at 2:15 pm #17373
Actually, my brother has a cheap Pentax that would be similar to a Canon T3, their entry-level camera. He has made people gasp before by borrowing a water bottle from them and rinsing off his camera with it when it gets dusty!
Just a note to anyone who wants to try that: Make sure that you have a weather-sealed lens as well! If the lens isn’t sealed too, water can get into the camera/lens mount, THEN you’re in trouble!June 13, 2016 at 2:33 pm #17376
Just a note to anyone who wants to try that: Make sure that you have a weather-sealed lens as well! If the lens isn’t sealed too, water can get into the camera/lens mount, THEN you’re in trouble!
Right! I forgot to mention, my sister’s D70s had a 18-70mm on it. I don’t know if it’s weather-sealed, but it has a gasket on the lens mount. Maybe that’s what saved the camera. 🙂
BTW, those 18-70mm seem great as walk-around lenses. The D70s has only 6MP so it’s hard to judge on sharpness, but it’s a really solid lens!
- The Nikon D70 is considered a “Midrange and professional usage cameras with DX sensor”
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