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I'm thinking to upgrade my D5100 for three reasons -

  1. More pixels
  2. WiFi
  3. Quieter shutter release

Right now the D7500 is the front-runner because it still supports my DX lenses, and I do take my camera outdoors in many types of weather so the environmental sealing is appealing. The better auto-focus is nice and the higher ISO and higher shutter speed are also appealing since I do find myself taking pictures in some extreme lighting conditions.

One feature I can't tell about, is the quiet shutter available on some of the Nikon FX format cameras like the D810 and D850. Do any of the DX format Nikons have an actual quiet mode? I don't mean the fake quiet mode like my D5100 has, where all it does is split the two kerchunks so they don't happen at the same time.

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    If you're looking for a quieter shutter have you considered moving from dslr to mirrorless? If so sony offer a wide range on mirrorless which are rather good. – Matthew Jan 16 '18 at 9:04
  • Good idea, but at this point I've got an investment in Nikon lenses so switching to Sony would be financially impossible ... – Betty Crokker Jan 16 '18 at 12:42
  • I've not shot on many DX models, but the 3200, 5200 and 7200 all (as far as I recall) only have the "split" quiet mode you refer to. Mechanically I'm not surprised, as there's only so much you can do to make (rapidly!) moving a mirror and sensor cover out and back in quiet. The expression "so quiet you could hear a pin drop" comes to mind. Mirrorless as mentioned by @Matthew will give you truly silent (other than the button physically clicking). – wally Jan 29 '18 at 14:38
  • Oh and I should have said - the many of the FX cameras will work with the FX lenses in "crop mode". But it seems an expensive way to get a quieter shutting IMO. – wally Jan 29 '18 at 14:39
  • I think your best bet is to go to a good camera store on a quiet day, and ask them. – Sherwood Botsford Feb 1 '18 at 22:13
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I have had experience with Nikon system for a while, used D3100, D7100, currently D600 and D3. From these I would think that D3100 and D7100 sound roughly same way, pretty quiet; D600 and D3 are significantly more loud cameras.

Real question is "how quiet" you want your camera be, and how much you are willing to pay for it, given your investment into DSLR system.

If you need to shoot inside music hall and require different lenses (good quality tele/wide), you will have to get a real mirrorless camera. I have shot in amateur theater during performance and it was OK noise-wise (D600, non-quiet mode).

If you need to snap occasional street portraits, you can get away with cheaper mirrorless with single lens, such as pocket-sized Fuji X100* or anything similar, which is relatively inexpensive. However, I have shot those with much more loud film F90 (sounds like a tank) and was able to survive.

If you need to do some "spy", concealed long-range shooting, then you don't need quiet camera, just long lens. Same goes for sports.

Each camera and camera system solves particular problem, and we need to know your problem more precisely in order to point in the right direction.

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