What's your recommended Nikon FX camera?

Home Forums Photography Q&A What's your recommended Nikon FX camera?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  James Staddon 4 months ago.

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    Hannah Espineda

    Hi there!

    I am looking to upgrade my Canon T3 to a full frame camera and considering a switch to Nikon as well. I am looking for a camera that will give sharp images for outdoor AND indoor in-action shots, and serve well for portraits too. So I have a couple questions:
    1. Do you see a difference using full frame vs. crop sensor?
    2. Is there a significant benefit in having more auto-focus points and more MP?
    3. What is your #1 equipment investment for getting tack sharp indoor photos?
    4. Now, what would be your best recommended camera and lens combo for under $2000?

    The Nikon D750 sounded good to me. Has anyone had experience with or owned this camera?

    I’d love to hear from your experiences!



    Ezra Morley

    I am looking to upgrade my Canon T3 to a full frame camera and considering a switch to Nikon as well.

    Wow, that will be a HUGE jump to go from a T3 straight to a full-frame, and a different system, at that! Is there a particular reason that you’re wanting to jump ship to Nikon? šŸ™‚ I used to own a Rebel T3, and I must say, even my Pentax K-5IIs was a pretty big jump up from that!

    Question, do you already have Canon lenses that you’ll have to replace with Nikon equivalents? That will be a factor in your decision, if you’re having to buy new lenses as well as a new camera.

    1. There’s definitely a difference between crop vs full-frame sensor, I’m sure James will be able to tell you that. One of the big things is more pronounced DOF: bokeh will look nicer, (and conversely, it might be harder to get stuff in focus at wider apertures). Secondly, it might not be huge, but FF/FX sensors tend to do better in low light, since they have larger photosites compared to their crop sensor equivalents.
    2. One “feature” of expensive full-frame cameras is having tons of focus points all over the viewfinder. I’m sure for the pros they’re great, but all of my photos have been taken with 9-11 focus points, and I don’t see that as a major reason to upgrade your camera on it’s own. šŸ™‚ Same goes for MP, if you have 16 or more, you’ll be fine. No need to get a new camera just because it has 36 MP; if you never print photos, you could easily get by with a 4 MP camera!
    3. For getting tack sharp indoor photos, a speed-light would be one of my suggestions. Bounce it off of a white ceiling or wall, and you’ll get some lovely diffused lighting to work with. You can get all-manual speedlights for less than $100.

    If you are wanting to upgrade to a more professional camera, there are certainly other options besides going all the way to full-frame. Like I said, my Pentax K-5IIs was a pretty big jump up, and it costs far less than a full-frame! The main things I liked about my new Pentax compared to the T3 were:

    • Much larger and brighter OVF (Optical View Finder)
    • Much better build quality, it just felt like a real camera, instead of a plastic toy. šŸ™‚
    • Much, much better low-light shooting. There was seriously no comparison at higher ISO speeds.
    • Similarly, the overall image quality was much higher. Suffice to say, I was very impressed with the Image Quality.
    • Much higher resolution screen for previewing photos.
    • Much faster continuous shooting (7 fps vs. 3 fps) Actually, I almost never need that speed, but it’s still nice. šŸ™‚
    • Better battery life. (The T3 has some of the best battery life of any entry-level camera, but the Pentax is better yet!) I recently got ~800 shots out of one battery charge.

    There are lots more advantages, which you can peruse at your leisure here: http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-T3-vs-Pentax-K-5-IIs/detailed

    What I’m trying to say is this. You don’t have to jump all the way to full-frame to get a very nice upgrade, without the expense of top-of-the-line Pro equipment. (FX lenses tend to cost a lot more than crop frame lenses).

    The K-5 IIs is a little bit old now, but there are a couple of newer crop sensor options… Canon 80D, Nikon D7200, Pentax K-3 II, and so on. Any of the cameras mentioned above will be a very significant upgrade from a T3, and you’ll have some funds left over to get a high quality lens, (which will be an even better investment), and a flash! šŸ™‚


    Hannah Espineda

    Thank you for the insights here! Yes, I realize the jump to FX might sound ridiculous. But I figured, hey, if I’m going to upgrade, why not go for the highest quality possible? If I’m going to shoot, then I’m going to do my best, not produce <100% results šŸ™‚ Eventually I would like to be shooting full frame, and the results I’m getting with my T3 make me skeptical to try anything else crop sensor lol. However, I do want to make a wise investment and not spend more than necessary.

    I find myself shooting alot of moving subjects, so I want a camera/lens that will perform well in those situations.

    More bokeh/blurred background is high on the priority list for me!

    The switch to Nikon is because a friend shoots a Nikon and is willing to share lenses with me. I’ve been playing around with her D80 and 50mm 1.8f. LOVE the outdoor results for portraits, but anything moving fast (like outdoor youth games) or anything moving at all indoors (like walking toddler) has been close to impossible to get stark clear.

    A speed light is an interesting idea. I haven’t experienced with one of those. It would be a nice idea as long as it doesn’t white out the subject (the way a flash does).

    I actually did consider the Canon 80D, before I thought about switching to full frame šŸ™‚

    You mentioned the Nikon D7200. Have you personally used that camera? How would you compare the quality and clarity of photos to the T3?


    Ezra Morley

    Eventually I would like to be shooting full frame, and the results Iā€™m getting with my T3 make me skeptical to try anything else crop sensor lol.

    My post was to try to correct that idea. šŸ™‚ I think you’ll be very pleasantly surprised with a high-end crop sensor camera like the ones I mentioned above.

    If you want nicer blurred backgrounds, then buying a new lens can be a good way to accomplish that. A 50mm f/1.8 is wonderful for pretty bokeh, and if you’re wanting to go with even higher-end stuff, Sigma’s ART line of fast lenses are expensive, but they’ll get you a look that very few lenses can give wide open. šŸ™‚

    If you’re wanting to capture action, you’ll definitely want a wider lens than a 50mm. The longer your focal length is, the more easily the photo will be blurred. (Camera shake and subject motion are both affected by longer focal lengths.) So… go wide! Get a lens that goes down to 18mm or even less, and learn to take advantage of the “Shutter Speed Priority” mode on your Mode Dial. You should be choosing a fast enough shutter speed, not the camera. With a newer crop sensor camera, you can easily push the ISO to 1600 (or even higher) if you need to, to freeze the motion. It might be a tad grainy, but I much prefer a little grain that can be post-processed, than blur, which is un-fixable.

    I shot a whole wedding one time at ISO 1,000 with my Pentax K-5 IIs (and a couple of speedlights). I would never have tried that with my Canon T3. Here’s a 100% crop so you can see what ISO 1,000 looks like on a Sony sensor. (Pentax and Nikon both use Sony’s excellent sensors.)

    There is some grain visible, especially in the dark black of the suit, but remember we’re pixel-peeping here. No one who sees this photo resized to about 1 MP (a common resolution for web-sized photos) will even know that it’s grainy. I could print that photo up to 8.5×11 inches, and you probably still wouldn’t notice at a normal viewing distance.

    Come to think of it, I did a noise comparison test between the two before I sold my T3, which you can view here:

    Also, check out more details and specs here:

    Do you shoot for pay? Would you say that your photography is just a hobby, or would you call it a job? If you’re making a tidy little income from your camera, then I could see why jumping to full-frame might be useful, but honestly, I don’t think it’s worth the money just for a hobby. I would way sooner spend $1,000 on a good lens than upgrade the body, and be stuck with a sub-quality lens to use on it.

    The reason to love a speedlight instead of the horrid on-camera flash is that you can aim the speedlight wherever you want to. You’re not stuck with one solitary angle, (straight-on), but you can bounce, and wrap, and soften and modify the light any way you want to. Plus, a speedlight puts out a whole lot more power than the on-board flash, so you can use lower aperture and ISO values, and get better results.

    I have not personally used the D7200, but in many ways my Pentax K-5 IIs is similar, and they actually compare quite well. The D7200 is also newer, so as far as specs go, it’s an even better camera than my Pentax in almost every way! So if I was impressed with the difference between my Pentax, and the Canon T3, then the difference between the T3 and the D7200 should be even greater!

    It definitely pays to do your research before plunking down a thousand or two for some new equipment. Keep asking questions, if we know the answers, I’m sure you’ll hear them. šŸ™‚

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Ezra Morley.

    James Staddon

    Wow, a lot to talk about there in those 4 initial questions!

    1. Do you see a difference using full frame vs. crop sensor?

    The MAIN reason I shoot full frame (and will probably never return to a cropped sensor) is because wide angle is truly wide angle. When I’m shooting at 17mm, it’s truly 17mm, not 27mm.

    Secondly, it’s the size of the pixels, like @buddingphotographer mentioned before. The biggerer the pixels on the sensor, the higher quality and better noise control you will have.

    Perhaps I can plan to be available Friday evening after the Sacramento Conference Photography Team during teardown to talk in person about these things if you haven’t already upgrade before then. šŸ™‚



    I just upgraded from a D7100 to a D750. Both are great cameras, the main reason for the upgrade was that I do a lot of night time photography, astro etc., as well as some indoor stuff in dark places (auditoriums). The D7100 does a good job under these circumstances with a fast lens (just ask James, he’s seen what it can do), but the low light performance in the D750 is AMAZING. Large sensor=larger light receptors=more light gathering power. It’s also much less noisy at high ISO (you can get reasonable photos at 12800, which is impossibly high for a dx sensor).

    If you were to go with the D750, I’d do a kit like this one https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1082604-REG/nikon_d750_dslr_camera_with.html with the 24-120mm f/4. It’s a great lense, and good combo for general shooting.

    If you were to go DX, you can’t really go wrong with the D7100/7200. The sensors are outstanding, and even in low light they do a good job. FX is going to be better just because of physics, but I’ve shot tons of astro and event stuff in dark situations with my 7100 over the last 4 years, and it holds it’s own.

    Incidentally I have a d7100 and a couple of lenses sitting on my desk looking for a buyer… šŸ™‚

    But, if you’ve got the cash – go with the D750, you won’t regret it at all.


    James Staddon

    Now there’s some experiential advice for ya, @hannahe! Thank you @mrstevens.


    James Staddon

    Hey @hannahe, seeing as you have joined PRO since asking your initial 4 question, I wanted to follow up and ask if you’ve received satisfactory answers or if you’d like me to tackle these questions in more detail. Let me know! It’s great to have you on board!

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