Getting back into Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by UnluckyXIII, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. UnluckyXIII macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2014
    Hey guys,

    Looking for some advice really... I’ve been out the Photography game for a while (around 8 or so years), back then I owned my own business and did photography purely as a means to earn money. I was running duel Nikon D300’s which I sold when closing the business, including a lot of my equipment and my iMac. I did however retain the range of lenses I had acquired (including a Nikkor 24-70 2.8 or the “holy grail” as it was known back then, a “Big-ma” Sigma 50-500 and a collection of mid-tier Nikon telephoto/Prime lenses).

    I’m looking to take back up Photography but this time purely as a hobby rather than a means for income, but since I’ve been out the game for so long I feel a little lost in today’s Nikon range of camera bodies and from what I can see the industry seems to have leaped forward since things like the D300 were first launched.

    I guess my question is, what would be a decent offering from today’s lineup to be used as an “enthusiast” level piece of kit?? Or, would I be better selling all of my “legacy” lenses and starting from scratch opening the door to alternatives like Canon??

    Thanks a lot,
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Nehalem

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    There's about 100 different ways to go and a lot will depend on what you want to shoot.

    I'd not think it was worth selling your glass to go Cannon. Not unless you're looking to get into video heavily.

    Given what you own I'd say either look at the D500 or a D850 (full frame).
    The D850 has just been launched so there is probably a glut of D810's coming onto the second hand market.
    These cameras both have the same layout as the D300 so will be easy for you to pick up.

    Alternatively look at the D750 (what I use) or D7500 if you're looking to spend a little less.
  3. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'd strongly advise looking at mirrorless technology. Personally, this has made me not want to look at a dSLR again and I've moved completely to Sony shooting with the A6300, A6500, A7RII and the A9 for my professional photography needs.

    You'll be amazed at what even the crop sensors are capable of doing in these relatively tiny, fast Sony bodies. I think the A6300 is absolutely incredible value for money and if I absolutely had to, I could easily shoot full weddings and events with this. There's adapters for Nikon and Canon lenses, but unlike with Canon, you'd be stuck with manual focus only so it would be up to you if you felt it was worth trying for something new and then investing in new lenses.
  4. Hughmac macrumors demi-god


    Feb 4, 2012
    Kent, UK
    As AFB above says, I would stick with what you know initially; D500 ;)

    There are also a myriad of other cameras out there to consider once you are back in harness, including some very good mirrorless offerings, might be worth a look if you don't want to stay with Nikon.

    Cheers :)

  5. kenoh, Oct 2, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2017

    kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    +1 for what has been said above.

    With your experience and your lenses already in possession, the D500 is the logical choice. If you are considering something like the D500, D850 or even D5 level of equipment then the spend opens up other alternatives as options as it reduces the financial benefits of the existing glass investments. For example, you could get an Olympus O-MD E-M5ii and 12-40 f2.8 combo for about the price of the D500. Or you could get a Fuji X-Pro2 or X-T2 for about the same price. A Sony A7mkii also could be had but like the Fuji it would need glass. Then sell your Nikon Holy-Grail to offset the initial investment.

    I would certainly see the D500 as being your ideal successor to the D300 however, as an ex-DSLR, now mirrorless shooter myself (just a hobbyist though), I would strongly recommend at least exploring what the likes of Sony, Fuji and Olympus or Panasonic have to offer. Compared to the D300, there are small sensor options there today that are a compelling alternative.

    I was a big fan of the Sony cameras but lately I am beginning to go off them a little due to the spiralling cost of decent lenses. I remember when the FE 55mm was announced for the A7 and the world went nuts about the £800 price of a 50mm 1.8 lens. Now we see the G-Master series of lenses all topping £2,000! and they are no smaller than the DSLR equivalents. So factor in size advantage to the body, but remember that advantage is a trade off in battery life - obviously it is easier to change a battery every 300 shots than a film every 36 but you get the drift.

    Image quality, I would argue - certainly Sony full Frame - is close if not better than most DSLRs. Depending on use case where a DSLR is a requisite e.g. fast action and long distances. Anything requiring super fast frame rates and quick AF, while mirrorless is getting there, these aspects are still in the realms of the 1Dx / D5 cameras. However, for everything else, M43 and APS-C are very compelling options now. I once took pictures of wakeboarders on a manual focus rangefinder at 1fps so it can be done without a machine gun obviously.

    I suspect that if you try a mirrorless option, you may find the grab and go appeal of them better than the planned logistics required for the DSLRs. this may be my own mind only but I find the mirrorless more enticing to grab and go. As this is a hobby now not a profession, then I suspect the high end mirrorless options may prove to be more convenient for you. While they may be more expensive at first, I think going forward they may present better options for you with lens size and costs. For example the Fuji glass is very very good but tops out at about £850 a lens. Nikon, Canon, Sony (lets not start with Leica) all start north of £1,000... so thinking ahead, are you going to be wanting to spend that kind of money on lenses going forward?

    Sorry a bit of a waffle...

    Caveat: I am not a pro, just a hobbyist, so YMMV
  6. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    The D300 is a beast in low light. I still run into guys shooting the D200. D750 is sweet. D500 will give you a nice bump up from D300.
  7. TheDrift- macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2010

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6 October 1, 2017