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Mark Guinn's picture

Time for a gear upgrade... Advice, please?

After a lot of thought, I've decided to up my photography game. I feel like one of the first things I need to do is upgrade my gear.... I'm currently shooting with a D5600 and basically kit lenses. I want to move up to a full frame, but here's the dilemma: I need to move up a piece at a time. I feel like it would be better to start collecting good glass first, which would still produce better images with the DX body. Should I invest in the FX lenses first, and then the body? Or would it be better to start with the FX body and use the DX lenses, understanding the images will automatically be cropped?

Any advice to help me solve my newbie problem (yes, I realize this is a newbie question) is greatly appreciated!

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If you're going to eventually move to FX, I would suggest you begin buying lenses since they'll work on your D5600. After you collect the lenses you want, then it's time to consider an FX body. My recommendations for the camera would be either the D750 or D850. I realize the D750 came out in 2014, but it's still an excellent choice when moving up to a full frame camera and you can get it with the 24-120mm f/4 lens for less than $2000.00.

Thanks for the reply, Tim! After obsessing over this for a couple of days, I agree that it'd be best to buy the lenses and then find the body.

You're welcome, Mark. I recommended the D750 because I used to own it. It may be getting long in the tooth, but it's a great camera. I switched to the D850 to complement my D500. And I love the fact that the button layout is exactly the same on both cameras. That makes a big difference when switching between the two bodies, too.

Always go for the glass!
Good lenses will be worth the investment, pay for them selves, and push your skills way more than the body.
One way to see just how dramatic the change can be is to go out and rent your "dream" lens. Craft some challenging senes with it and then compare the images with your old lens. Do the same with a rental body and you will see just how dramatic changing to good (or better) glass can be. Most times the body change will not show such dramatic improvements in image quality. Also most good camera stores will apply the rental fee to the purchase so you will not loose any money in the experiment/education process. Good luck and let us know what you ended up doing.

That's the plan... I'm (hopefully) renting the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED for the weekend and heading up to the mountains. The goal is to do some comparison shots between this and my current DX lens. I'm really interested to see side-by-side comparisons straight out of camera.

You are in a stage where I was a few months back. I was using D5200 not very different from D5600. I hated missing shots due to lack of controls and shitty autofocus system in entry-level bodies. I am not a professional. Nobody is printing billboards. I just needed the autofocus and great control layout. So I got the cheapest best focusing camera by Nikon, D500. DX vs FX debate is long. I preferred to get more usable shots from a shoot with existing glass. No matter what glass you have if you miss shots, it's useless.
I was missing around a third of the shots because of focus. With D500 that problem is almost gone even in low light. Now I can invest in FX glass to move to FX body. D750 is good upgrade only for landscapes, not everyone can afford D850. D500 is the best upgrade in my experience if you shoot everything. It will take some time until you will find a need to upgrade to FX, D850, or whatever they come up with in future.