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Old May 1, 2011, 8:27 AM   #1
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Default Is Nikon D90 worth buying in 2011

Hello Everone,

I've been looking for my first DSLR for quite a while and had pretty much settled for Canon 550D (just waiting for funds). But nowadays I see that the price of Nikon D90 is falling and for body only it is selling below or around same price as Canon 550D body only.

I intend to buy Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 as my first lens and will get camera as body only option. I will add a 50mm f1.8 later.

I just want to know if Nikon D90 is worth the investment in 2011 esp. at this price point. I'm pretty much content with 12MP resolution and I'm not interested in videos. I want to have a camera that I can grow with by experimenting with its settings and then upgrade in probably 2 years time. Also I don't have money for D7000 thats out of question (may be in 2 yrs time but not now). But there is also D5100 (life is not easy) the DxO has rated its sensor above D90, but its price is well above D90 so I may have to wait another 6-8 months to get a good deal.

My photography needs are general street photography, landscape, portrait and parties. So there will be some low light photography, not in pitch dark but in poor lighting conditions mostly indoors.

Also I would like to know the ISO setting you use for indoor photography, I mean with f1.8 and f2.8 lens what is the normal ISO speed used by pro photographers. From what I understand with these lenses ISO 800 would be enough? (your thoughts on this?) or I would need to shoot at 3200 and above?

Also I will get external flash after sometime, so with that and these lenses does higher ISO matter?

Thanks for your advice!
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Old May 1, 2011, 2:56 PM   #2
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The D90 is still an excellent camera and as a first DSLR I think it would be ideal. I've just bought my son a Nikon D5000 which again is an excellent camera with the only down side it has no internal motor so some lenses won't work as auto focus but a vast majority of lenses will.

I would read all the write ups about the D90 as nothing has changed since the write ups with the camera. Cameras may have moved on such as the Nikon D7000 etc but the D90 is still as good as the original reviews. Here are a few of the reviews on this camera.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...review-12.html

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond90/page36.asp

http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d90.htm

I would certainly consider getting this great camera but the ultimate decision is yours.

Hope this helps,

Howie
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Old May 2, 2011, 4:29 AM   #3
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I was in similar situation. The D90 is still a very good camera. When it arrived it was ahead of it's time. I got my D90 one month ago. Compared to the D5100 there are some significant differences.

Short list of differences

D5100
Pro
  1. Same sensor as the D7000
  2. 14-bit RAW
  3. 16MP
  4. Articulated screen
  5. Slightly better picture performance
Cons

  1. Menu driven interface, lack of buttons for most used controls
  2. No AF-motor (Can only use lenses with built-in motor for AF)
  3. Pentamirror in viewfinder (Dimmer view)
  4. Less coverage in viewfinder
  5. Slightly slower continues speed
  6. 600 shots on one charge (CIPA)
D90
Pros

  1. Better ergonomics
  2. Faster to use and change settings
  3. AF-motor (Why this is a significant pro, see below)
  4. Pentaprism in viewfinder = Brighter, better view
  5. Larger view in viewfinder
  6. 850 shots on one charge (CIPA)
  7. Lots of wheels and buttons for quick and easy access to settings
Cons
  1. Movies (But since you don't care for that I wont discuss it anymore)
  2. LCD-screen is not articulated
  3. Slightly less ISO performance
  4. Very few Scene modes and special effects (Not really a con, because you can accomplish much of it in a computer or by using the D90 the correct way.) Good to have if someone else is using the camera.
Quote:
My photography needs are general street photography, landscape, portrait and parties. So there will be some low light photography, not in pitch dark but in poor lighting conditions mostly indoors.

Also I would like to know the ISO setting you use for indoor photography, I mean with f1.8 and f2.8 lens what is the normal ISO speed used by pro photographers. From what I understand with these lenses ISO 800 would be enough? (your thoughts on this?) or I would need to shoot at 3200 and above?
I would buy the D90 with a kit lens 18-105 VR That would give you a good base to shoot things in most conditions. The VR on the 18-105 lens will let you shoot down to 1/10 w/o problems on things that doesn't move. That way you can invest in really good low-light lenses.

The f/2,8 lenses are not enough in my opinion, and you do pay a premium for the zoom function. The D90 is usable down to 1600-2000 without problem and if you use noise reduction software you can use 3200 as well. 6400 is usable for B/W or in a pinch. Better to get the shot than not.

Have a look at my Picasa album, for the last pictures, 85-118, I've used the D90 and primes only. Click on the images and you get the info on what lens, ISO and aperture I used.

https://picasaweb.google.com/Hans.Brauer/BrauerWorks

I'm in Sweden so my prices are much higher but I should be able to compare the options.

As a new DSLR owner, (I also have the epic Casio EX-F1 ) I have found that the D90 is easy to learn and will give you the ability learn a lot faster. I can't stress it enough, the ergonomics (how it feels in your hand, viewfinder, wheels, buttons) is more important than the technical differenses between the D90 and the D5100/D5000/550D. There is the D90 superior in my opinion.

The lack of AF-motor in the lower end nikons make the total cost of ownership a lot higher if you need highspeed lenses (I E 1.8, 1.4).

For the same amount of money you can get this:

D5100
Tamron 17-50 2.8
50mm 1.8G

D90 + 18-105mm 3.5-5.6 VR
50mm 1.4G
35mm 1.8G

Primes will give you the best optics but you'll have to use your legs to zoom in and out. But they will also make you think more about the way you want to take the shot, framing and light.

D90 + 18-105mm 3.5-5.6 VR
50mm 1.4G
85mm 1.8D
35mm 1.8G

will give you almost the same performance as this combination but will cost you 1.6 times the price:

D5100 18-105mm 3.5-5.6 VR
50mm 1.8G
35mm 1.8G
85mm 1.4G

You can ever get a 180mm f/2,8, one of the sharpest tele lenses there is and still pay less.

I have the 28-80mm AF G 3.3-5.6, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/1.8, 35-70mm f/2.8 Macro and the 180mm f/2.8. On my upgrade list is the 18-55 or 18-105 and a 35 f/1.8 but I'll probably get the 35mm 1.8 before the zooms.


Good read on lenses for the D90/D5100: http://www.bythom.com/nikon-dx-lens-summary.htm

I hope this will help you to decide. With the D90 you can choose any lense you like to suit your type of photography.

Regards
Hans Brauer
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Old May 2, 2011, 9:49 AM   #4
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@Hans

Excellent tips mate, I really appreciate that you took out the time for all this. At this moment D90 looks set. You gallery is very nice and to reciprocate here is mine with different point and shoot cameras https://picasaweb.google.com/imrankhan1984
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