Good Cameras under $1000.00

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Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:22 am

I saw this article on DPReview and decided to post it as an aid to anyone contemplating purchasing a more expensive camera, but still looking for good bang for the buck and not needing the absolute state of the art. $1000 is still a lot of money, but you could spend more, and potentially get less, by purchasing the very latest. That said, there are many tradeoffs involved in selecting cameras today and a bewildering range of options available. Here is the link:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/052089 ... -than-1000

I own one of the cameras mentioned, the Nikon D7000, and can recommend it for anyone looking for an excellent camera, now available at a much lower price than when introduced.

However, before purchasing any of the more advanced cameras, one should also keep in mind that the cost of the camera may only be the tip of the iceberg insofar as cost is concerned. Good glass is expensive (can be VERY expensive) if you decide to upgrade. You will likely have to purchase memory cards as those are usually not included. A good strap makes your camera easier to carry, not included. A speedlight adds a lot of versatility, not included. Lens filters can dramatically improve your shots when the light is not quite right (i.e., about 99% of the time), not included. A spare battery is a good idea, not included. Did you need a bag to carry around your camera and all the extra stuff you bought? Not included. How about a tripod? Not included. Budget accordingly.

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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby Dave76 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:26 am

Nikon FM10 is a decent one.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby pennstater2005 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:14 pm

I have a Nikon dslr but am tired of lugging the gear around. I am strongly considering the Sony rx100. I know it is not a replacement for a dslr but at least I'll take it with me and actually get a picture.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby CaliJim » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:39 pm

We recently sold our house. The photographer who took our marketing pictures used a Nikon 7000 with a 30-150 zoom. The photos came out GREAT. I was very impressed. He said it was the best camera he's owned - and he has used many cameras in his business.

He used a technique called HDR (high dynamic range) where several shots are merged together (in photoshop? in the camera itself?) to better capture the colors in bright spots and shadows. It involves some sort of programming on the camera. Push the shutter button and several photos with pre-programmed shutters speed /aperture settings are fired off. Camera's can be programmed? Who knew?

BTW - he used an iPad on a tripod when it came time to record a video. He said it was more than adequate for his web publishing purposes.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby interplanetjanet » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:51 pm

gatorman wrote:http://www.dpreview.com/articles/0520890719/best-dslrs-and-ilcs-for-less-than-1000

Nice article. I plan on getting an OM-D E-M5 body when its successor is released (probably Q3 of this year) - a friend has one and it's truly a magnificent thing for its size.

However, before purchasing any of the more advanced cameras, one should also keep in mind that the cost of the camera may only be the tip of the iceberg insofar as cost is concerned. Good glass is expensive (can be VERY expensive) if you decide to upgrade. You will likely have to purchase memory cards as those are usually not included. A good strap makes your camera easier to carry, not included. A speedlight adds a lot of versatility, not included. Lens filters can dramatically improve your shots when the light is not quite right (i.e., about 99% of the time), not included. A spare battery is a good idea, not included. Did you need a bag to carry around your camera and all the extra stuff you bought? Not included. How about a tripod? Not included. Budget accordingly.

This is true but at least many of these are one-time or close to it purchases and may last for decades - my tripod, camera strap and larger camera bag fall into this category.

Where filters are concerned, a polarizer is just about all I reach for these days - most other situations I might have used a filter for in the past can be dealt with by judicious image manipulation later. I suppose if I did a lot of wide-open daylight shots then a neutral density filter would be handy.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:56 pm

Dave76 wrote:Nikon FM10 is a decent one.

Here's one you could pick up for $175- with a lens!

http://staugustine.craigslist.org/pho/3862906673.html
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby madbrain » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:30 pm

Really surprised they left out the Pentax K-30 . The camera itself is IMO superior to the K-5 they chose in almost every respect, and sells for under $500 from Amazon. You get your choice of color too. This leaves another $500 for lens and accessories. Currently $489 :

http://www.amazon.com/Pentax-K-30-Weath ... +body+only

You can get a decent 18-200 lens for $200 :
http://www.amazon.com/Tamron-AF-18-200m ... tax+18-250
You could always spend more on the lens of course.

AA battery adapter, so you don't have to buy camera-specific batteries for $7 :
http://www.amazon.com/DSLRKIT-D-BH109-B ... aa+adapter

One Sanyo eneloop 8-pack for $20 :
http://www.amazon.com/eneloop-typical-P ... eneloop+aa

A Maha charger for $55 :
http://www.amazon.com/Powerex-MH-C9000- ... ha+charger

Total is still under $800 . That leaves plenty for a bag and tripod.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:58 pm

gatorman wrote:I saw this article on DPReview and decided to post it as an aid to anyone contemplating purchasing a more expensive camera, but still looking for good bang for the buck and not needing the absolute state of the art. $1000 is still a lot of money, but you could spend more, and potentially get less, by purchasing the very latest. That said, there are many tradeoffs involved in selecting cameras today and a bewildering range of options available. Here is the link:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/052089 ... -than-1000

I own one of the cameras mentioned, the Nikon D7000, and can recommend it for anyone looking for an excellent camera, now available at a much lower price than when introduced.

Great timing. I'm also reading dpreview.com, but looking at the Nikon D7100. Why? I'm no longer happy with my Nikon D-60 for a lot of reasons. It works perfectly fine, but I'm at the point that my image quality criteria has gone beyond what this model can do. Also, I want a camera with a built-in lens motor, as well as faster cycle times between shots.

I got bit by the new camera bug... Can I spend a tad more and go for the Nikon D7100? I've got the glass I need- for now.

A good photography site: KenRockwell.com: Photography, Cameras and Taking Better Pictures

For under $1,000, the D5200 looks OK.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby TT » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:59 am

If you intend to be a casual photographer then by all means select a moderate priced body or a camera without interchangeable lenses that will produce good quality images.
If you think you may become an advanced photo hobbyist then think about the lenses offered for the body you intend to purchase.
Also IMO image quality is more about the glass than the body. I personally would spend less of my budget on a camera body and more on quality glass as camera bodies are upgraded over the years but excellent lenses last a long time. Also, look at how bodies depreciate but quality lenses hold their value and some appreciate in value over periods of time.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:53 am

LadyGeek wrote:
gatorman wrote:I saw this article on DPReview and decided to post it as an aid to anyone contemplating purchasing a more expensive camera, but still looking for good bang for the buck and not needing the absolute state of the art. $1000 is still a lot of money, but you could spend more, and potentially get less, by purchasing the very latest. That said, there are many tradeoffs involved in selecting cameras today and a bewildering range of options available. Here is the link:

http://www.dpreview.com/articles/052089 ... -than-1000

I own one of the cameras mentioned, the Nikon D7000, and can recommend it for anyone looking for an excellent camera, now available at a much lower price than when introduced.

Great timing. I'm also reading dpreview.com, but looking at the Nikon D7100. Why? I'm no longer happy with my Nikon D-60 for a lot of reasons. It works perfectly fine, but I'm at the point that my image quality criteria has gone beyond what this model can do. Also, I want a camera with a built-in lens motor, as well as faster cycle times between shots.

I got bit by the new camera bug... Can I spend a tad more and go for the Nikon D7100? I've got the glass I need- for now.

A good photography site: KenRockwell.com: Photography, Cameras and Taking Better Pictures

For under $1,000, the D5200 looks OK.


I almost bought a D7100, even went to the point of offering family and friends a great deal on my D7000 and a couple of kit lenses I no longer use. Ultimately though, I decided against it for two reasons. First, DXOMark posted a sensor test on the D7100, and, although it scored better than the D7000, it just wasn't enough better to justify the extra money at this time. Secondly, and this would probably be a non-issue for everyone but sports and wildlife photographers (I am one of the latter), the D7100 buffer is too small when taking RAW images and fills up very quickly. For someone looking at a new purchase, and if the buffer issue isn't a concern, I think it is a great camera. It certainly has garnered a lot of good reviews on Amazon.com.

If I was in the market today, I'd consider three accessories to go along with the camera, an aftermarket battery grip ($35 or so from any number of sources, not the Nikon grip which is way overpriced), a good Nikon iTTL flash (the SB-700 is about $350 or the SB-910 for about $525) and a better beamer flash concentrator for my flash ($30). I think with those three items, the utility of the camera would increase markedly. The battery grip is a great accessory and makes the camera a lot easier to use in the portrait mode. There certainly are other flashes available, but the Nikon flashes are very good and worth the money. The better beamer makes it possible to use one's flash for wildlife photography even when the bird or animal is quite distant.

My personal plan is to wait until Nikon releases the D400 and to buy a D400 body if the buffer issue is adequately addressed. If I get the D400, I'm going to keep my D7000 body and have it converted to shoot infrared.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby froman118 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:33 pm

LadyGeek wrote:I got bit by the new camera bug... Can I spend a tad more and go for the Nikon D7100? I've got the glass I need- for now.


I'm fiercely fighting the desire to buy the D7100 to replace my D90. I got the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 as a compromise to hold off upgrading my body. Maybe next year if the price drops a bit.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Jul 03, 2013 5:49 pm

gatorman - Thanks for the info. I see what you mean about the buffer size, dpreview knocked them pretty hard for it. Nikon D7100 In-Depth Review The alternative is to shoot JPEG mode, but it's a compromise. I do mostly nature photography with a strong interest in macro. Compared to "wildlife," it's an entirely different challenge in terms of understanding depth of field and exposure.

The rapid-fire is to catch the little critters in action. As for ISO, I don't use anything above ISO 100 for my D-60 - there's too much low-level noise for what I'm looking for.

Back on-topic, one of the best accessories I ever bought was a $10 diffuser for my SB-400 flash. I could never figure out why my flash pictures seemed too harsh, yet I was doing everything right. The diffuser just fixed everything, I never shoot without it.

froman118 - One of my coworkers just got a D7100 to replace his D-80.

BTW, I do not recommend buying a multi-purpose lens. I purchased a Sigma 70 - 300 mm f/4.5 DG macro (combines telephoto with macro). Long story short, it had problems and just never seemed right - I want to replace it. I have a Tokina 100 mm f/2.8 dedicated macro and am thinking about what to do for a telephoto. I have a Nikkor 70 - 210 mm that will work, but I need all the reach I can get. BTW, the Tokina is an excellent 100 mm lens in its own right.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:45 pm

LadyGeek wrote:gatorman - Thanks for the info. I see what you mean about the buffer size, dpreview knocked them pretty hard for it. Nikon D7100 In-Depth Review The alternative is to shoot JPEG mode, but it's a compromise. I do mostly nature photography with a strong interest in macro. Compared to "wildlife," it's an entirely different challenge in terms of understanding depth of field and exposure.

The rapid-fire is to catch the little critters in action. As for ISO, I don't use anything above ISO 100 for my D-60 - there's too much low-level noise for what I'm looking for.

Back on-topic, one of the best accessories I ever bought was a $10 diffuser for my SB-400 flash. I could never figure out why my flash pictures seemed too harsh, yet I was doing everything right. The diffuser just fixed everything, I never shoot without it.

froman118 - One of my coworkers just got a D7100 to replace his D-80.

BTW, I do not recommend buying a multi-purpose lens. I purchased a Sigma 70 - 300 mm f/4.5 DG macro (combines telephoto with macro). Long story short, it had problems and just never seemed right - I want to replace it. I have a Tokina 100 mm f/2.8 dedicated macro and am thinking about what to do for a telephoto. I have a Nikkor 70 - 210 mm that will work, but I need all the reach I can get. BTW, the Tokina is an excellent 100 mm lens in its own right.


I own the Tokina lens as well, and is truly an excellent lens, for a lot less money than the comparable Nikon lens.

Some ideas on a zoom. I use a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VRI and a 1.7 teleconverter for most bird shooting. I find it is very effective combination. I bought it used off Craigslist and paid ~$1300 for the lens and converter. On the DX sensor cameras it is very sharp. Alternatively, you might buy the 70-300 VR lens, which you could probably find for $500 or so, and which has a reputation for good optics and snappy autofocus. I also own the 55-300mm VR lens, but I can't recommend it, autofocus is way too slow. If you were willing to go with a fixed focal length, you could buy the 300mm f/4 AFD lens for not too much money. I owned one for awhile and thought it was quite good. The 180mm f/2.8 also has a good reputation. The best source I've found for lens evaluations is Bjorn Rorslett's website, http://www.naturfotograf.com/lens_surv.html , which has evaluations of lots of Nikon lenses.

If you decide to buy the D7100, I think you will be pleasantly surprised concerning ISO performance. My D7000 is quite good at ISO 1600. The D7100 should be even better, maybe good to 3200 from what I've read.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:41 pm

^^^ I decided to buy the D7100. :)

I like Ken Rockwell's site, so I support him by purchasing through his recommended links: Nikon D7100 It was an easy decision this time, as my go-to camera site, Adorama, has a better deal than Amazon. Both sites have the same price for the body, but Adorama throws in an extra battery.

Amazon: D7100 body + free Nikon "sling backpack" + free 16 GB SDHC memory card
Adorama: D7100 body + free Nikon "sling backpack" + free 16 GB SDHC memory card + free EN-EL15 replacement battery

Adorama was also a few dollars cheaper on the SDHC memory cards. I purchased 2 x 32 GB cards so I'll have one in each slot, which also provides a backup - if needed. You need to be careful on the memory card specs, as the transfer speed has to match what the camera is rated for. IOW, my D-60 SDHC cards are too slow. I got the recommended UHS-1 Class 10 type.

Adorama is a family-owned business that's been around for a while. I purchased my original D-60 from them, as well as a few lenses. They have excellent customer support and took care of me when I needed it.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby nisiprius » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:40 pm

As fate would have it, this month's Consumer Reports has fairly full reports on "Basic cameras" and "Advanced cameras." I won't try to summarize because as is often the case, adjacent cameras have very close scores and the top-scoring models aren't actually a standout. They classify their "advanced cameras" under three categories, "Point-and-shoot," "SLR-like," and "SLR." Prices of the models they reviewed ranged from $450 to $1,700.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:59 am

LadyGeek wrote:^^^ I decided to buy the D7100. :)

I like Ken Rockwell's site, so I support him by purchasing through his recommended links: Nikon D7100 It was an easy decision this time, as my go-to camera site, Adorama, has a better deal than Amazon. Both sites have the same price for the body, but Adorama throws in an extra battery.

Amazon: D7100 body + free Nikon "sling backpack" + free 16 GB SDHC memory card
Adorama: D7100 body + free Nikon "sling backpack" + free 16 GB SDHC memory card + free EN-EL15 replacement battery

Adorama was also a few dollars cheaper on the SDHC memory cards. I purchased 2 x 32 GB cards so I'll have one in each slot, which also provides a backup - if needed. You need to be careful on the memory card specs, as the transfer speed has to match what the camera is rated for. IOW, my D-60 SDHC cards are too slow. I got the recommended UHS-1 Class 10 type.

Adorama is a family-owned business that's been around for a while. I purchased my original D-60 from them, as well as a few lenses. They have excellent customer support and took care of me when I needed it.



I believe you will find the D7100 an enormously more capable camera than the D60, especially in low light situations. You'll also find the U1 and U2 settings to be supremely useful and the ability to add an additional 1.3 crop will come in quite handy for macro photography. Getting the spare battery was a good idea too, especially since you did not have to pay the $50 or so that Nikon sells them for. All in all, an excellent purchase.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:01 pm

LadyGeek wrote:^^^ I decided to buy the D7100. :)

I like Ken Rockwell's site, so I support him by purchasing through his recommended links: Nikon D7100 It was an easy decision this time, as my go-to camera site, Adorama, has a better deal than Amazon. Both sites have the same price for the body, but Adorama throws in an extra battery.

Amazon: D7100 body + free Nikon "sling backpack" + free 16 GB SDHC memory card
Adorama: D7100 body + free Nikon "sling backpack" + free 16 GB SDHC memory card + free EN-EL15 replacement battery

Adorama was also a few dollars cheaper on the SDHC memory cards. I purchased 2 x 32 GB cards so I'll have one in each slot, which also provides a backup - if needed. You need to be careful on the memory card specs, as the transfer speed has to match what the camera is rated for. IOW, my D-60 SDHC cards are too slow. I got the recommended UHS-1 Class 10 type.

Adorama is a family-owned business that's been around for a while. I purchased my original D-60 from them, as well as a few lenses. They have excellent customer support and took care of me when I needed it.


Here is a very good review: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/n ... d7100A.HTM

ISO 3200 appears to be quite useable.
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Re: Good Cameras under $1000.00

Postby gatorman » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:02 am

CaliJim wrote:We recently sold our house. The photographer who took our marketing pictures used a Nikon 7000 with a 30-150 zoom. The photos came out GREAT. I was very impressed. He said it was the best camera he's owned - and he has used many cameras in his business.

He used a technique called HDR (high dynamic range) where several shots are merged together (in photoshop? in the camera itself?) to better capture the colors in bright spots and shadows. It involves some sort of programming on the camera. Push the shutter button and several photos with pre-programmed shutters speed /aperture settings are fired off. Camera's can be programmed? Who knew?

BTW - he used an iPad on a tripod when it came time to record a video. He said it was more than adequate for his web publishing purposes.

The software to do HDR is included in most photo editing software, but I like a stand alone program, Photomatix Pro to do it. When you take the photos (usually 3, but you can use more or less) your camera should be set to aperture priority so that the aperture does not change during the shots. This is important to avoid any change in image size resulting from changes in aperture. Then simply take 3 shots, one underexposed by a stop, one correctly exposed and one overexposed by a stop. Then you import the images into Photomatix and select how you would like to combine them. It sounds a bit complicated, but it is really quite easy. It really only works well with images that are relatively static, like architecture and landscapes when there is not much air movement.
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