I'm not particularly adept with cameras, and I'm looking to buy one for my girlfriend for her birthday. She used to have a Canon Rebel XTI, which wasn't particularly good, but still functional. She's a spectacular photographer, and likes to do artistic photography (professional style, not vacations etc). The Rebel worked for her up until about 4 years ago when it became obviously far behind. She's a fan of night photography, portraits, and magazine style photography (not so much sports or landscapes). She has a 50mm Nikon lens, and used the D80 for a couple weeks and didn't like its lack of low-light functionality, and said it still wasn't that amazing, but it was a marked improvement on the Rebel XTI.
Right now I'm debating between getting this camera and the D7000 (which I found on Craigslist for $600 with 5,000 pictures taken). I know the D7000 is a better camera (semi-pro, etc), but it's also 2 years older than the D3200. I'm not sure how to compare the specs--I know the D3200 has great resolution, but it doesn't translate into particularly impressive image quality. Right now I'm in love with the D7000, because it has a lot more functions, etc, and I know she'll use those. Is it actually a better camera even after 2 years?
If she likes the handling etc of the D80 and has older lenses, the D7000 may be the better choice. The D3200 has great image quality and high resolution, but it's low light capabilities aren't worlds away better than the D7000. It's small, has poor controls and doesn't work with older non AF-S lenses. It is slightly better but not much. It sounds like your girlfriend is far enough along the D7000 will suit her better, and 600 bucks for a 5000 shot example is the right price for that camera.
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