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Old 12-19-2016, 07:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Massachusetts
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Originally Posted by passrailfan View Post
My D70 Nikon camera has reached the end of its life. I am in the process of purchasing a new Nikon DSLR camera. What are the best suggestions, especially for photographing high quality railroad photographs? I am thinking of something like a D3300. If possible, I would prefer not to spend thousands of dollars. I don't need to take videos. Thanks.
Hi Passrailfan,

Unless you are thinking of selling off your Nikon lenses, you are pretty much limited to the Nikon line of DSLRs for a replacement. That said, virtually anything you buy new today will run circles around the D70 in terms of image quality. Not only do today's cameras feature higher resolution (typically 24 MP vs. 6.1 on your current camera), but their ability to work at higher ISOs is a dramatic improvement over the 2004 technology of the D70. You'll also find that the number of autofocus points and the accuracy of those systems is much better than what you have.

Which model you should buy depends a lot on how serious you are. I started with a bottom-of-the-line D40x in 2007 and within a year, its limitations (3 AF points, 3 fps burst rate, no aperture dial) were killing me. I went through a D90, a D7000 and finally bought a D4 (figure $6,000) in search of a camera that could get me good photos in challenging (bad weather, bad light, etc.). If all you intend to do is shoot diesel freights on nice sunny days and shoot in automatic modes, by all means go ahead and buy a D3400 (Nikon's current entry level) and enjoy. I can't imagine you'll be disappointed. If you are thinking of spending more time on photography, and want to increase your skill and knowledge, don't waste your money on entry level cameras. You will outgrow them quickly. Buy a real 7000-series enthusiast camera in that case. D7100s (technology is several years old) are available new for about $700, and the D7200 (still a couple of years old) is available new for around $1,000.

Another question that folks typically have to resolve is to whether to buy new or used. You'll often see the term "refurbished" used by sellers, and the inference is that something has been done to make that camera "like new again." Generally speaking, all that "refurbished" means is that the seller has verified that all functions are working, the camera has been cleaned and the AF has been re-calibrated. They typically don't replace the shutter. I have always bought my cameras new. When I look at the refurb prices, they are typically not that far below the cost of new......check out Nikon's website for their new and refurb prices. You don't save THAT much by going used. I would rather spend the extra dough and buy a new camera with a full 1-year warranty.....and not have to wonder in what ways the previous owner may have abused the unit. But that's just me. As they say, your mileage may vary.

My RP stuff is here.

Link to my Flickr Albums. Lots of Steam Railroad stuff there from all over the US.

Last edited by KevinM; 12-19-2016 at 07:28 PM.
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