Camera Recommendations

I know this isn’t strictly shop related, but my wife has an ancient Nikon D50 with a couple small lenses. I was contemplating updating the body for her, since it’s well outdated. Any camera-folks out there have recommendations? She’s beyond point and shoot and enjoys screwing around with settings, but doesn’t need a mirrorless frame or anything like that. Almost strictly
landscape and nature scenes for her. I’d ideally like to stick with Nikon since her lenses would (should) fit. Anyone have any input?

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

45 Replies

sorry ive been a canon guy for the last 45 years. i love canons !

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Jeffs son does very well for him only thing i know is natural light is the best  


If he doesn't see this thread, ping Mosquito.  He's a camera geek.

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

also dont forget about moke, he was a professional photographer and had a camera store. id say he could give you some great advice ?

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Moke, is a camera guy.


See, I knew I’d find help! Love this place…

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

that is the beauty of a forum, lots of people working together to solve a problem 

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Looking at the D50, you'd have to stick with a DX format (APS-C) F-Mount body from Nikon to reuse the lenses (or go with something like MFT with an adapter/speedbooster), unless she already has FX lenses.  The newer higher end Nikon cameras are going to a different lens mount, but I believe the most current F-Mount are the D3500, D5600, D7500, and D500 in cheapest to most expensive.  There's a decent jump from 5600 to 7500, and even bigger jump to D500. 

I've got a D5300 that I've had for about 10 years, and other than not being able to shoot 4k video I've been quite pleased with it.  It offers enough controls to keep me happy when I want to, and the 5000 series has a better autofocus than the 3000 series, so I'd say that jump is definitely worth it, but the jump to the 7000 series or 500 is a matter of preference, in my opinion.

Eric....I had very little to do with my Camera Store the last 5 years and retired 2 1/2 years ago.  I had a manager that took care of it.  So I am 8 years away from it really, and in Camera years that is like a century anywhere else except computers of course. I ran the Studio, which was where the money was.  We used Canon after we went  Digital in 2003, but used  Nikon in 35mm when we were still analog, but almost totally we used medium format.  

Mos has it very right, except, I am a full frame chip guy and do not like APS-c chips ...but It is far better in the last ten years, since megapixel counts are higher, but I still am a Full frame guy. The Nikon line calls the full frame chip cameras FX.  I think they start at 1699 tho.  It is the D850.  The line of APS-C  start at 649.00 for the D3500 they are CCD chips.

Many folks have a  APS-c camera and don't know it or realize it or even care.  The chip is smaller and traditional lenses will snap on but they are not meant for them.  Basically, A full size chip utilizes basically a 35mm size sensor to capture the image, which basically measures the sensor from corner to corner at 50mm.....hence the old days a normal lens, meant to yield the magnification of our eyes, was 50mm.  Anything greater was telephoto, and less than 50 was wide angle.  A "C" chip has a normal of 30 to 35mm.  Not that it would matter but all lenses have aberrations (inherent issues)...and subsequent corrections to compensate.  Wide angle lens have some pretty radical correction incorporated into them to stop the "fish eye'" effect and Long lenses use an opposite correction to focus all the light spectrum.  So while the lenses interchange from APS chips to full frame, there are some strange results form using the wrong series of lenses.  Your lenses are APS-c so you would need to stick with a D-500 @$1600 , D7500@ $1000, D5600@700, D3500@$649.  For those of you Canon users this is commensurate to the  Canon "R" line, formerly called the Rebel line.

The 7500 looks to be a nice camera, 21. meg, 4k video, and an ISO range to the moon and other words you can shoot in almost no light.  Also, do to the way sales are set up you may r may not be money ahead to buy a body and lens set over just a body.  

One thing I do not like is mirrorless bodies....I am sure we will all be there someday, but I think they are is like watching a little tiny tv in the viewfinder....look through one.

A few  last things,  when Camera companies change models, they sell there entire stock of whats left to one retailer or Sams or Best Buy.  These are what is referred to as distressed stock.  They also may or MAY NOT be a better will need to do some research.  There is really only one issue to buying one of these, according to Federal Trade Commission rules  they have to maintain repairs for 7 years past that time......some companies (I don't think Nikon is one) will sell it's entire repair parts stock to another repair house, whom they may or may not tell you who that is.
Also, the model numbers on the website is ALL they make and distribute in the US.  There are some dealers in NY particularly that have some models with unfamiliar model numbers.....probably never used in the US ever....These are models possible from Europe or Asia.  Most of these DO NO have US warranties and need to be shipped to the country of origin to be repaired.  This is called Gray  Pentax of America is not a worldwide Pentax it is an entity of its own in the US that sells there cameras and has exclusive rights here but will not repair another countries product.  Canon and Nikon are subsidiaries of the world wide Corp and have vasilated on repairing other countries cameras.  Gray marketing is limited now somewhat but was a huge problem in the early 2000's, but is still alive.

Feel free to contact me....


Fwiw, I knew a thing or two about digital photography as well. I traded in all of my APS-C and full frame Nikon equipment for a Micro Four Thirds rig (two camera bodies, four lenses) I love. But then I do mostly wildlife shooting with those cameras, and the smaller form factor means a doubling of effective focal length on the lenses, which I LOVE since it makes a 600mm-e lens both small and affordable, allowing me to get close-up portraits of birbs without scaring them.

May you have the day you deserve!

Yup, Moke and I pretty much agree on everything we mentioned.  I run APS-C simply out of cost at the time when I bought it, I'd love to go full frame in the future I just don't have the money to sink in it right now.  My video cameras are Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k's which are MFT.  That's briefly caused me to swap my Nikon D5300 for a MFT camera, just to be able to interchange the lenses better as I look to get more MFT glass.  But I don't know that I see myself actually going down that route, because I'm more chasing f-stop range for what I do... 

Dave brings up a good point about the focal length (and consequently calculated f-stop) when going with a smaller sensor.  You can play games with that and speedboosters if you wanted to as well, going from full/crop sensor lenses to MFT, for example.

But simple answer, easiest to stick to one of the cameras we mentioned, if not buying new lenses or adapters is the goal

This subject can be as open ended as "what table saw should I get" 🙂

Typically I'd say see what available body are still compatible with her lenses.

Much of the improvements in bodies over the last decade have been in the image processing side versus the actual light collection side.

Cameras can focus faster and in lower light conditions. Processors can do a better faster job at moving the image from the sensor to the memory card.

Do you need to take pictures in low light or need rapid focus for quick shots? Improvements in either of these areas entail higher costs, if not so important then say the money for where you need the boost.

Actual improvements in the sensors has been less noteworthy unless you are always seeking the very lowest noise and highest sensitivity possible.

"Mega pixels" is really a useless term, are they counting a pixel as something that can capture red/green/blue or as a single photon bucket that captures just one color. The key parameter is the size of the sensor, larger means more silicone dedicated to receiving light.
In the interest of being able to use the lenses she currently has for the D50, I was considering a used D5200 or D5300 body. I believe those both use the same lenses she has, yes? I found a site called MBP that sells used equipment. I know nothing about them, but a quick search yielded good reviews. Does anyone know about them??

Anyway, a used D5200 is around $230 and a used D5300 is about $380. Both are listed as ‘Excellent’ condition….whatever that means. She’s not a hard core photographer by any means. She’d probably shoot wildlife and landscapes, maybe the whales jumping when we go to Maui. I’m sure sunset would come into play with that as well. Anyone have any input about a choice between those two bodies? Anyone see any issue with buying used?

I know it’s all very subjective, but would you say that’s going in the right direction? 

Thanks for the input, and the PMs with added info! Just don’t want to toss money if it’s not a better value. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Good point Dave about the lens...I was going to mention that but after typing that book, my fingers were tired.  

I just want to mention that while the APS sensor is smaller and the lens factors are in there, sensors have increased in quality so much that an APS sensor is better that the full chip sensor of a few generations ago.  The ISO collection is phenomenal, the 7500 has an add on capability of just over one million the photos would suck but that is huge for many folks....cops come to mind....working at night in LE I have sat in cars trying to do surveillance photos...waiting for some mope to walk under a street light so the photo will be some better.....or no photos suck anymore than night vision photos!

Splint as you said, sensor yield red/green/blue, but  the ability for the sensor and the lens to focus the blue spectrum is directly related to sharpness.  Remember blue is the UV spectrum and the most dominant.  

To put it all in perspective, I shot for 3 years with 8 meg cameras, and regularly made 20 x24's.  They were every bit as good as what my medium format hasselblad photos were.  At least for an indivdual or a couple.....when I went to 12 and 24 mg cameras I could see the difference in the edge sharpness of people faces in large groups where people were edge to edge.  When I retired we were using a digital hasselblad 60.  That means they were 60 meg.  They filled my drives on my server quickly but yielded the best images of digital I have ever seen.  It weighed 11 lbs and cost a little under 20k and really only worked well when tethered to a laptop....I did not take it out of the studio.  It had its own camera stand ( a one legged stand with three wheels) with a laptop dock attached to it. 
Also another factor is the conversion software....raw to jpeg....we used a product by Capture has so much control it is not makes light room look like a joke...but it was 1200.00 per copy and only really lasted as long as the cameras you used were current.  

My point is there are two ends of the only need to be as good as what you are pleased with.  Much like our lathes and TS's......I know some guys that have what I consider to be lousy tools and do work 5x what I can do with my tools that I have paid a ton for.  Most of the 50 or 100 focus points or 10 gen sensors or wifi or bluetooth, is really only a Sales point for the Company.  But I am predjudiced toward the Camera companies.  They intentionally drove smaller camera stores out of busniess, so they could get rid of Reps, literature, Point of sale things, Tech Reps and shrink customer service.  It was intentional, I had many friends with in the companies and they said their goal was to have less than 100 customers that were all massive.  A VP of Nikon that was the manager of the Camera Division for North America got an email from a Tech Rep that said that by driving Camera Stores out of business there would be no one to educate the public on how to use DSLR's.  His response was that then they will sell the public a point and shoot too!  The tech rep was layed off the following week and he forwarded these emails to a National Newsletter rag, and they printed it.  At that point we were making 5 to 7 % on a new Camera sold, they set the MSRP.  Then they raised the minimum to 100 k per year for purchases then 200K....later.  At that point that meant that the smaller point and shoots we were making 7 to $10.  They were riding high, with DSLR's, camcorders and Point and shoots...then Cell phones came along and got better and better....the Point and shoot market is a pittance of what it 5%.....I couldn't be happier for them.  They ised to million dollar booths at PMA our national trade they have 1/4 of that at CES...they ultimately drove PMA (Photo Marketing Assoc) out of business because the Camera stores are all gone.....That coupled with the demise of photo processing because of digital...I was lucky I kept my store and studio for 30 years and was retirement age and had planned to retire anyway....


Wow! Not something I ever thought of. I mean, I knew the change from film to digital made major changes within that industry, but I’ve never heard about the changes to the sales side of it…pretty shitty way to hang out your sellers. 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

trictly shop related, but my wife has an ancient .... I was contemplating updating the body for her, since it’s well outdated. .....
I thought the same thing... that's what led to my 1st. divorce.

If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD


Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

So we talked it over and decided to order her the D5300 body. Although I think I already screwed up because o got her a slightly longer lens to go with it and I I don’t think it’s going to work. After it was all done, I read that the D50 has an AF motor on the camera, whereas the newer models don’t (it’s in the lens). So I don’t think any of her current lenses are going to have AF on the new body. So I may return the lens I got her and get an AF-S lens so she’ll have auto focus on at least that lens. So much stuff to learn, I should have stuck to woodworking!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

I had a few years that were what my mom called my “Ansel Adams” phase.  But it was as much about finding interesting landscapes and observing them as it was about capturing it on film, usually a slide, for me.