Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 10, 2010, 2:52 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
C.K.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Default D90 still the better option?

Hey gang,

First, thanks for all the useful information here at Steve's. I've been reading and searching the many topics here, at Dp and elsewhere looking for my first DSLR.

I'd become fairly enamored of the Nikon D3100 but several arguments have swayed me towards getting a D90. It can be had, along with the 18-105 at most outlets through tomorrow for ~$900-950.

I've always been interested in photography, have a good hand in photoshop, I'm told I have a good eye... just never invested and now looking to make it more of a hobby and improve my skills... I'm also a little fascinated by playing around with HDR.

Some of my original interests were quality of stills (sharpness, depth of field quality), quality in low light... Video's not really impotant to me... I'd use it once in a while just for giggles.

So I may have settled on getting a D90 given it's abilities for the price versus the 3100 (or the Pentax K-X and K-R).

So for a starter hobbiest, am I making a good choice?
C.K. is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 10, 2010, 3:28 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
John.Pattullo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 613
Default

good camera but just be aware that alot of the things you are looking for are determined by the lens not the camera - now the d90 has an excelent selection of lenses but the 18-105 isn't the best one of the bunch - kit lenses rarely are - but on the plus side its got a not bad focal range so will probably suffice until you can afford better lenses
__________________
Flickr
PENTAX K-5 & PENTAX K-7
Pentax-DA 12-24mm f4 | Pentax-DA* 16-50mm f2.8 | Pentax-A 50mm f1.4 | Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro | Pentax-DA* 60-250mm f4 | Sigma 150-500mm
Pentax Photo Gallery
John.Pattullo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 4:52 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
C.K.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Default

Thanks John-

Might you recommend a better all-purpose lens? May just order the body if something somewhat bettre in a similar price range could be had.

Comments like here make me think I could pick up beter/more for similar price?

Last edited by C.K.; Dec 10, 2010 at 4:58 PM.
C.K. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 5:02 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

What do you want to shoot?
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 5:10 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
C.K.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Default

I want to experiment and learn broadly at first. I've some interest in landscapes but am more interested initially in low-light... food/wine (I have a friend who owns a restaurant)... mostly fiddling around with artistic shots versus pictures of the dog

Macros are interesting to me, my wife keeps bees so I have the hives as subject matter.

But mostly just trying to get started and keep price at $1000.
C.K. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 5:17 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
John.Pattullo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 613
Default

are other people with more knowledge on the nikon lens line up than me but rarely will you find a truely good all purpose lens

but the narrow depth of field issue that requires a fast aperture so for say a wide angle to normal zoom you'll be looking for an f2.8 lens to be able to get some control over dof - the quality of that out of focus effect, known as bokeh, is determined by the shape of the aperture if you can find a lens with rounded aperture blades that helps as does having lots of blades generally

low light performance well again you need a large aperture for that too now with prime lenses you can get some very nice f1.8 or 1.4 lenses but if your sticking with zooms i think i'm correct in saying the largest is again f2.8

now when shooting at a wide aperture typically is not the lenses sharpest aperture more expensive the lens the better its gonna be while shooting at its widest apertures generally but you can get some bargins if you go third party

the tamron 17-50mm f2.8 is a very reasonbly priced lens and has a good reputation - now shooting nikon this lens comes in 2 variants with and without image stablisation - but the one with image stabisation isn't as sharp a lens sadly but nikon themselves dont offer a lens in this range with a wide aperture with image stablisation either so perhaps you can make do without it since the lens isn't excessively long - but thats a trade off you will have so consider unless you switch to canon which does offer a stablised lens in this range which is an excelent lens and very sharp - your other option is pentax and sony which have stablisation in the body so you can buy the cheaper non stablised lenses adn get the stablisation from the camera

now in terms of more of an all purpose lens for the d90 though the 18-200mm is another option but not sure how much better it will be in terms of sharpness over the kit lens but does have a longer focal range making it more versatile but you will struggle with narrow depth of feilds effects at the shorter focal lengths but as you get further out into the telephoto end then dof becomes narrower anyway so not much of an issue then infact often dof can be narrower than you want

anyway hope that helps you understand a little about choosing the right lenses but shall leave it to nikon shooters to advise on specific lenses
__________________
Flickr
PENTAX K-5 & PENTAX K-7
Pentax-DA 12-24mm f4 | Pentax-DA* 16-50mm f2.8 | Pentax-A 50mm f1.4 | Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro | Pentax-DA* 60-250mm f4 | Sigma 150-500mm
Pentax Photo Gallery
John.Pattullo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 5:17 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
C.K.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 14
Default

I see a lot of praise for the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II but at $750 it's a bit much for lens #1.


This? http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/5018daf.htm
C.K. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 5:21 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
John.Pattullo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Scotland
Posts: 613
Default

for the indoor shots low light shots will you be using a tripod? as that would simplify things hugely =) your other option is a good flash unit if flash photograpghy appeals to you
__________________
Flickr
PENTAX K-5 & PENTAX K-7
Pentax-DA 12-24mm f4 | Pentax-DA* 16-50mm f2.8 | Pentax-A 50mm f1.4 | Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro | Pentax-DA* 60-250mm f4 | Sigma 150-500mm
Pentax Photo Gallery
John.Pattullo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 5:36 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Belize & UK
Posts: 463
Default

Just remember that the D90 will be discontinued fairly soon (now that the D7000 is out) and used prices (and possibly new ones as well) will inevitably drop.
peterbj7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 2010, 6:30 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
TCav's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Washington, DC, Metro Area, Maryland
Posts: 13,571
Default

The Tamron 17-50/2.8 is a very good lens, but it's not stabilized and the stabilized version isn't very good. You can get good photos with shallow depths of field using flash, but you may also get a "Velvet Elvis" effect where the subject is well illuminated, but the background is dark (if not black.) That, unfortunately, wastes the effort of getting a shallow depth of field. When shooting inanimate objects, you can use longer shutter speeds with image stabilization, and even longer ones with a tripod, but carrying around a tripod can be cumbersome, and there are no good, stabilized, large aperture, standard zooms for Nikon, and only one for Canon, but ti's $990.

You may want to think about this and decide if maybe a Pentax or a Sony might be a better choice. They would allow you to use one of the very good, unstabilized, large aperture, standard zooms on a stabilized body.
__________________
  • The lens is the thing.
  • 'Full Frame' is the new 'Medium Format'.
  • "One good test is worth a thousand expert opinions." - Tex Johnston, Boeing 707 test pilot.
TCav is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:28 AM.