Camera upgrade

Boy has a Nikon D3100, with lenses like 18-55, 55-200 and a couple more. He takes photos and videos of wildlife and trains.

He has suggested an Xmas present of a 600mm lens. I have two issues with this: firstly it’s probably the wrong thing, as he tends to walk around taking pictures rather stay in one spot with a tripod. Secondly it’s fucking expensive!

I think that a much better choice would be to get a used D3500 or D5600 body, as this would give higher resolution, much better low light output and ISO, plus phone connection etc.

But I’m slightly concerned about getting a camera like that when the future seems mirrorless. That said, a whole new camera system is unlikely to be within budget.

Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas?


If we are in that mode

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I don’t think that the existing lenses work with full frame, so that would be a complete change

He will love you for it

I think that this kind of thing might be good for a complete change

Has anyone used anything like this? I’m hopelessly out of touch with these

Buying that and you will be paying for lenses that he already has. It may be too small a camera to easily use with large lenses should he get one.
I think the lightest fx fit 150 - 600 is over 2kg that is a lot to lug around

Going from 200mm to 600mm is a really large step, perhaps too large. Is getting a Tamron 100 - 400 an option? and later if needed a 1.4x converter?

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That’s made for video.

No viewfinder will be a nightmare with long lenses if you’re taking hand held stills.

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Yeah they do talk about vlogging a lot!

Yeah, it will be close to useless for telephoto stills.

Looks like you need the z50, another £200 for a viewfinder

The mirrorless is a different mount system, so the existing camera would be redundant

What’s the budget roughly?

I don’t really know, but I’m unlikely to spend a grand on Xmas. Less than half that, really, unless it’s just perfect.

Andy’s idea of a Tamron 100-400 is probably favourite, if we don’t get him a D3500

If the budget is £500 something like this might be worth looking at

The D3100 has an APS-C sensor though so it will effectively be a 225-900 zoom.

The problem is the more lenses you buy for that body the more that could be defunct when he inevitably gets a better body.


Hmm yeah, the Sigma looks like a decent option

That’s part of the problem, for sure.

I reckon that a new body would actually be the most useful in practice - having an extra 4 stops is very handy, as well as lots of features and better AF. But a new lens does things that you just can’t do with they lenses he has.

You’re starting to sound like you’ve already made your mind up

How does a new body do this? Unless you’re talking about increased ISO capability

^ this

Go for the lens, it isn’t a lot of money for that Sigma and he can always put the whole lot in p/x when/if he wants to upgrade the entire system.

I’ve got a Sigma 150-600 that has a bit of fungus an therefore unsellable - I can send it to you for nowt (donation to AA) if you like.


Why would I want it?

It’s Adam that’s looking for a solution.

But thanks anyway.