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Old Mar 1, 2010, 8:59 PM   #1
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Default 1rst DSLR package - D90 - is this a good deal?

Greetings all,

I've been reading forums, magazines, websites, and a year later I'm pretty sure that I'm going to get Nikon's D90.

It's been an information overload...but I realize that when one spends too much time researching, it's often a benefit to get other's opinions to avoid the forest/trees syndrome!

What I'd like to know is your advice on whether or not this package is a good deal or not:

-D90 body
-AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105 F/3.5-5.6G VR lens
-AF-S VR Nikkor 70-300 F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens
-extra lithium ion battery
-proflash 4GB SDHC card
$1599.99 CDN

So...is this an ok deal, or am I being taken to the cleaners?

And a bit of a follow up question:

I came to the D90 for the following reasons:
-good indoor image quality without flash
-good track record
-good LCD screen for checking shots
-option for video when not lugging around a camcorder
-Live View mode and automatic modes for my wife, since she has zero interest in learning about F stops and other aspects of photography.

Regrets:
-I like the articulated screen on the D5000...but it doesn't have as clear an LCD or in body AF motor. (I'm going off memory...please don't skewer me if it isn't an AF motor but something else. I just know that the D90 has one and the D5000 doesn't!)
-That the Canon T2i's come out with a true HD recording mode at viewable refresh rates. (IIRC, 24-30 for 1080 with 50-60 at lower res.)
-That said Canon has SDXC compatibilty, and I can't find anything about the D90 and SDXC.
-For some situations, I'd like a faster burst rate...but I can't rationalize spending $5-8k on the camera I'd like to have!

I'll be shooting a mix of outdoor nature shots, outdoor aviation shots, indoor aviation shots, and general 'family' shots at weddings & such.

Is there anything else I should put into the 'right now purchase' category? Or, given the lenses above, should I look into perhaps an 18-55 instead of the 18-105? Or is it possible to get good performance from an 18-200 and avoid lens changes?

Any caveats about the D90 with regard to shooting in the Great White North...specifically, the cold & wet stuff?

Thank you in advace for any advice,

"maso"
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Old Mar 1, 2010, 9:31 PM   #2
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Well, a couple things jump out. First, you're going to be VERY limited as to the types of indoor shots you'll be able to take without using flash given the lenses included. Available light photography will often require f2.8 and sometimes 1.8 or 1.4 lenses. And in some cases, available light photography simply isnt feasible and you'll need to use flash. So you need to adjust that expectation going in.

Second - you need to prepare your wife to use a viewfinder. The AF capabilities in DSLRs using liveview isn't that stellar. Sony has good liveview AF but if you and your wife are expecting it to work as well as it does on point-and-shoots, unfortunately nikon isn't there yet.

When you say indoor and outdoor "aviation" shots - what do you mean exactly?

I know I'm not addressing the package yet - I think it's more important to identify what equipment you'll really need to accomplish what you want - or at least adjust your expectations if the equipment you can afford cannot meet all your requirements.
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 2:21 PM   #3
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Hello JohnG,

Thank you for your reply.

I'm good with the flash/no flash for indoor. I've seen the D90 take acceptable pictures w/o flash during situations where I've seen point-shoot cameras and some DSLR's flashing away. I'm ok with the limitations, and can save up for a 'fast' lens in the future.

I know about the Live View limitations...it's just that I know she's going to prefer a camera with 'scene settings' and the availability of Live View. While I'd love to go to the Nikon 300 for the faster burst & shutter speeds...compromise wins.

Aviation shots - pictures of aircraft taken on the ramp or in hangars, no barriers (glass or fence). The hangars can vary from very brightly lit with supplemental spotlights to dingy barn-like structures where I'd be more concerned with the local fauna than getting a clean picture! A colleague uses a D80 with kit lens, and comes away with excellent pictures...so I'm hoping that with practice, the D90 will match them. (It's been 25 years since I was really 'into' photography...and while I hope the basics will come back, I'm prepared for the learning curve.)

I would much prefer a full frame camera with armoured frame and super-fast burst rate for moving aircraft...but I can't justify that for a 95% hobby 5% work camera. (Work where the 'industry standard' is a $100 point-shoot....but that's a subject for a very different forum...)
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 2:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masotirag View Post

What I'd like to know is your advice on whether or not this package is a good deal or not:

-D90 body
-AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105 F/3.5-5.6G VR lens
-AF-S VR Nikkor 70-300 F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens
-extra lithium ion battery
-proflash 4GB SDHC card
$1599.99 CDN
Is the vendor reputable, and are they an Authorized Nikon Canada Dealer?

If not, and the package happens to be "grey market" (not intended for sale in the country it's being sold in), then Nikon Canada will refuse to service it, even if you are willing to pay them for the service.

http://www.nikon.ca/en/GreyMarket.aspx

You can find authorized dealers here:

http://www.nikon.ca/en/DealerLocator.aspx
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Old Mar 2, 2010, 2:53 PM   #5
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Hi JimC,

It's Galaxy Camera in Ottawa, and they're on Nikon's list. I haven't found anything negative about them...but that's why I'm asking questions. Best to check all the bases when plunking down a larger amount of $.

The Ottawa Better Business Bureau rates them as B+, with no complaints in the last 36 months. In operation since 1991.
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