Thinking of Buying a DSLR. Read This First…

Thinking of Buying a DSLR. Read This First…

I get asked often “what type of camera is best for me to get”? It is difficult for me to recommend a camera system to someone since very much depends upon what they are going to use it for. That is, will they be using it professionally for things like portraits, weddings, sports, etc., or will it be used for family or personal projects. Also, will they be doing video with it as well?

With that said, I’ll give you my opinion and what my research has lead me to believe, as well as what my needs would be. First off digital photography equipment, including DSLRs, diminishes in value very quickly. A good example would be my Fuji S3. I purchased it new in 2005 for $2349. plus S&H and sold it 11 years later for $250. Another would be my Nikon D300, which is still a pretty good camera by today’s standards but sells for a fraction of what it cost new.

Nikon D7200 DSLR
In the film days it was not so. Even old Hasselblads or Mamiya RB/RZ 67s held their value. That is, until the digital revolution started.

If you are looking for all the newest features with bells & whistles you are going to pay a premium price. Which is OK if you have the budget or business write-off. And, like purchasing a new automobile, you are getting first usage but at a quickly depreciating value. Since these new digital cameras depreciate so greatly, I am hesitant to spend a huge amount on something that loses value so fast. Prices for most of today’s camera’s system are pretty reasonable compared to the early days of digital cameras plus, the newer technology is great enough to give great quality images for a long time. Another big advantage is that they also do pretty amazing video, not to mention the huge savings on film, processing or video tape. Something that not too long ago had to be part of the photographic process.

I am still happy with my Nikon D7200 and don’t have an urgent need to upgrade. However, if I would not have the D7200, I would consider the D500 as far as DX DSLRs go.

Now that the major camera manufactures developed their amazing full frame mirrorless camera bodies, If I were starting today and looking for my first camera to use professionally, I would consider one of the new full frame mirrorless camera systems. I found shooting with the Sony A7lll pretty amazing. It is so quick not to mention it’s amazing image quality.

I also like Nikon’s Z6 mirrorless full frame. At 25 MPs, it’s more than adequate for most applications and more affordable than the Z7, especially if you’re going to be using several camera bodies. However, one thing that concerns me a little about the Z6 &Z7 is that they only have a single card slot. As a wedding photographer, it was always a nice insurance policy having a dual card slot. As I mention and talk about in my “Crash course in Wedding Photography”, if you just got done photographing a wedding and found out your memory card got corrupted or lost, how much would you pay to get that card back?

Now that I’m retired from wedding photography, I could consider shooting with the Z6 or Z7. The memory card they use for storage is the XQD. Supposedly, these cards are more durable and they do have blazing fast read and write speeds.

I am also a big believer in avoiding lens changes when possible. In my case, I would use 2 or 3 camera bodies on a wedding or portrait session. My assistant/2nd shooter would also be using another camera body or two & lenses, usually a prime lens or we find the 18-200mm to be quite useful in wedding photography.

Nikon D7200 – Will it become a Classic

The Nikon D7200 is still a great camera choice, especially since Nikon has newer cameras available and the price came down. I was happy to pay $1100 for it at the time. Now, someone I know,recently purchased a D7200 for under $700. However, it looked like a gray market body and with gray market products, the manufacture may refuse to honor warranties or even repair theircameras if they do not meet purchase requirements.

As of this writing, you can still pick up a new D7200 for about $797 from a reputable dealer. B&H currently has them available at about $797.
You can also pick up a refurbished or used body for even less.

The Nikon D5500/5500 would also be a good consideration for someone on a budget, especially if you plan on doing quite a bit of movie work with your camera, since both the D5500/5600
have the Vari-angle TFT-LCD which I really like.

Along Comes Fujifilm’s X Series

If, I would not own any Nikon gear and I was getting a new camera to use professionally today, I would also consider the Fuji X series cameras in addition to the Full Frame Mirrorless Nikons. For professional use, I would consider the Fujifilm X-T3 or the X-E3. I would probably lean toward the X-T3 since it is the newer of the two. It also has an articulating screen, dual card slot, faster fps among a few other advantages. But the Fujifilm X-E3 is no slacker, especially when you consider it is currently $700 less than the X-T3.

Nikon D7200, Fuji X-T10 Shootout Part 6 – My Conclusion

In addition to Nikon, I have been a Fujifilm user since the early days of digital photography. In fact, my first mirrorless camera was Fujifilm’s X-M1. I still own it and use it occasionally. Fuji has been on the cutting edge of professional photography products for a long time now. I have also read that image quality in Fujifilm’s X- Series cameras rival that of full frame, as The X-Series have APS-C size sensors. For photographers who need still more, Fuji also has the Fujifilm GFX 50S 51.4MP Medium Format Mirrorless Camera.


Is the DSLR Dead

So, is the DSLR on the way out and mirrorless the way of the future? Some say yes, others say that both systems have advantages over the other and both will be around for some time.

What do I think? It looks to me like both systems have advantages and if I could use all my lenses, flash units and accessories from a DSLR system and also use them on my mirrorless camera, that would give me a huge advantage. So, ideally, instead of ditching one for the other, I could incorporate both systems into my shooting and could get the best of both worlds. This way if I wanted one of the best FX camera bodies on the market, I could shoot with the Nikon D850. For an APS-C sensor body, I could choose the D500 or several D7200 bodies and get the APS-C advantage. Then ad a mirrorless Nikon Z6 or Z7 to my arsenal and be able to use good Nikon glass, speedlights and other accessories on all my gear.

Down the line, I could upgrade and put a higher priority on the system that is working better for me.