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acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
61705
kudos:2

Nikon D3100 - Replacement for P&S

Hey, everyone -

My wife has been bugging me for a new camera; up until now, we've used Sony P&S's, most recently a DSC-W150 (8MP).

She's looking at a Nikon D3100 - mainly to get fast focus, rapid shots, etc, of the kids. She somehow stumbled upon the D3100 as a replacement she would probably like to have. Amazon had it, Best Buy has it, etc.

I don't mind buying it for her, but I'd like to know ahead of time about the difficulty of using this next to the P&S, the pros, cons, etc, as this is in an entirely different ballpark than what I've traditionally been using the past several years. Also need to know what are core accessories I need (not "optional ones that a camera store tries to sell you to up their dollar per ticket", but "you gotta have this or you're going to really regret it" ones.)

We had the original Mavica floppy (.3MP), a Mavica CD (2MP), a DSC-W5 (5MP), and most recently the DSC-W150 (8MP), and that's all we've used since 2001, so this is a new exciting journey for us if we indeed get a D3100.

Thanks ahead of time for the thoughts and comments.....



Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL

The only additional items I would consider out of the gate are definitely a bag and possibly a second, longer reaching lens. I don't know what kit lenses Nikon currently offers, but it's usually an 18-55mm, which is a 3x zoom in P&S speak. If they still offer a kit with the 18-135mm (or better yet an 18-200), you should do fine with that for the time being, allowing you to find out for yourself exactly what your lens needs are. If they do not offer a kit like that, then you have two options. Get the 18-55 kit and add on a 50-200 or 70-300 if you believe you will need the range, or just get the body and buy an 18-200, 18-250, or 18-270 separately. It ultimately comes down to your needs and your budget. Any other accessories you can get in the weeks or months to follow, again as you determine exactly what your needs are.

The biggest differences you will see are the obvious increased size and the addition of an actual through the lens viewfinder. While it's not a large camera, realize that a DSLR is considerably bulkier than a P&S and can't just be thrown in the wife's handbag. As to the viewfinder, even though DSLR's now offer LiveView, they really don't perform or handle as well as when using the viewfinder.



acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
61705
kudos:2

Thanks, Jodokast!

Amazon has two lenses that have $100 or $150 off if you buy the camera...

»www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZY···KIKX0DER

Save $100 on the Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED IF AF-S DX VR Nikkor zoom lens.
Save $150 on the Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX Nikkor zoom lens.

Would one of these work? If so, what's the difference other than $150?



Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2

The only difference is one is 100mm longer. There may be some IQ differences, but I honestly don't know. You could try DPreview, Photozone.de, or even PopPhoto for some lens reviews.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to acadiel

You can use DSLR cameras just like a point and shoot using the auto settings. I think it is a waste of money to use one this way, you might as well stay with a point and shoot type camera. You should learn the manual modes to get the most out of it. Learning how to use a camera like this is not hard, anyone can learn.



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to Jodokast96

that and the 300mm has VRII= second generation vibration reduction.



acadiel
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join:2002-06-22
61705
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1 recommendation

I ended up getting the 200mm one... it was $149 after Amazon's $100 credit, so I can't complain.

My wife will be the primary user of this camera. She's already super excited that it's coming in... she's enlisting her SLR toting friend to teach her how to use it, going to sign up for a local community college class on how to use it, etc.

Me? If I can pick it up and take a picture in P&S fashion, I'm good. Sorry, Sue



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1

Tell her to read the manual, over and over and over again.



SueS
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Macon, MO
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to acadiel

Last fall I was out shooting and came across another lady out shooting and we got to talking. She informed me she was taking a class and learning how to use her new camera. She had her camera set on the Landscape setting and was trying to shoot using the grid without a tripod. She was quite proud of her accomplishments thus far, because others in her class were still shooting on auto. I asked her why she wasn't trying the aperture, shutter, or manual settings, and her reply was they don’t work as she had tried them before.



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

LOL! I see a lot of Moms and Dads at recitals and take pictures on auto then wonder why they don't come out.



pcdebb
RIP lil hurricane
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Brandon, FL
kudos:5
reply to acadiel

do you need a camera bag? I upgraded to a much larger bag, and have a Lowepro that I'm not using.
--
| map your city |



acadiel
Press fire to begin
Premium
join:2002-06-22
61705
kudos:2

PM send, pcdebb... thanks!

I'm going to need to find a few more things piecemeal for this... I have a RadioShack tripod (16-2017) that's missing the camera mount (it has a level and everything), and I'd like to see if I find a new mount for it. I also need to hit the camera store for a lens cleaner, etc.

My wife also had a good observation about the lenscap ... where do you keep it while you're taking pictures? I'm so used to my camcorders and P&Ss either closing the lens or having an attached lenscap.



pcdebb
RIP lil hurricane
Premium
join:2000-12-03
Brandon, FL
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Bright House
reply to acadiel

i think you can buy those lenscap attachment things, a string or something. I usually just slip mine in my pocket
--
| map your city |



Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to acadiel

said by acadiel:

PM send, pcdebb... thanks!

I'm going to need to find a few more things piecemeal for this... I have a RadioShack tripod (16-2017) that's missing the camera mount (it has a level and everything), and I'd like to see if I find a new mount for it. I also need to hit the camera store for a lens cleaner, etc.

My wife also had a good observation about the lenscap ... where do you keep it while you're taking pictures? I'm so used to my camcorders and P&Ss either closing the lens or having an attached lenscap.

While you are at the camera store if you are gonna get a tripod, seriously get a nice one, one that will last you years. I got a Manfrotto. Pretty basic, but if the need arises I can change out the head. For the lens cap, get a NC lens filter and leave off cover. That's what I do.


Warzau
Premium
join:2000-10-26
Naperville, IL
kudos:1
reply to pcdebb

I used to do that but it would get in the way when zooming or focusing, so I just got a NC filter.



jvmorris
I Am The Man Who Was Not There.
Premium,MVM
join:2001-04-03
Reston, VA
kudos:1
reply to acadiel

Like pcdebb, I long ago went to wearing shirts, vests, and jackets with a multiplicity of pockets. One of these typically becomes the repository for lens caps. (It takes a bit of time, but one eventually gets rather organized as to what goes where, but I'm not going to bore you with my organization at the moment. ).

Much of this clothing comes from backpacking/camping/hiking shops and I've a variety of shirts, vests (including padded vests), and jackets that I typically wear when out and about. Indeed, I typically wear pants with about seven pockets on them, but I've never felt it necessary to use those for lens caps.
--
Regards,
Joseph V. Morris