advice: D90, D5000 or D200

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by maineiac, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. maineiac

    maineiac TPF Noob!

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    The perennial question...which camera to buy? This will be my first DSLR. Here's my thoughts - any advice would be appreciated.

    And before people ask, I'm considering a Nikon over a Canon because I've used a Nikon for a long time at work (I'm a journalist) and like the way they feel in my hands.

    A quick word about what I'll use the camera for. As I said, I'm a journalist and am starting a freelance career. I've focused on writing and radio until now, but have been very interested in photography. I also fancy myself as an alright photographer who would like to dive deeper into the art. I've been taking photos with my company's D40 and have really enjoyed it. I'll be traveling with my new camera, taking photographs for publication in magazines and the web.

    Obviously, the D90 is a great camera. I like the low noise and the kit lens (18-105mm). Having the HD video would be cool, and I'd definitely use it, but that's not why I'm buying a camera. This is the camera I would buy if I wasn't worried about money (I need to buy a new Mac as well so money is tight). But at $1200 I'm a bit worried that I'm buying more camera than I need, especially considering I've been happy just shooting with my company's D40 (though I haven't made an effort to delve deeper into what the camera could really do).

    I was also looking at the D5000. I don't like how I need to go into the menus to change ISO, etc., but it is about $400 cheaper than the D90. It has an inferior lens, but it does have the video. Other downsides to this camera vs. the D90?

    An other option may be to buy a used body of an older generation and spend money on a nicer lens. For instance, there's a D200 for sale on this site for $725. Why isn't this way to go? So many people have recommended spending the money on the nice glass and not being as worried about the body. This option would also give me some time with a DSLR without dropping $1200. If I really get into photography, I can upload to a D90 (Or, if I really get into it, a D300).

    In short, for someone who knows they're interested in diving into photography, what are the pros and cons with going for a D5000 or a used D200 versus a new D90?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Whit
     
  2. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    definitely D90 - it is the best of the three. it has the best high ISO performance. It is as good as the D300, D300s. It is lighter and smaller. The D200 is 1 to 2 generations older and image quality will not nearly be as good as the D90. The D200 has a metal body so it is tougher. But then it is heavier and bigger.
     
  3. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    I don't think you need to go to the Menu to change the ISO on the D5000, you can program the function to change the ISO (it's the button you press for a timer). That's how I do it on my D40 at least. The D90 and the D5000 does offer better image quality per say at hight ISO than the D200 but the D200 is a more rugged camera that can handle much more abuse. If money is tight, I would get the D200 a long with a prime lens and it'll be sharp and fast, just have to zoom with your feet. And you should be able to get used D200 for less than 725 too, you probably can get one for around $600.
     
  4. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D90 all the way...
    IQ of d5000 should be same as d90 and also smaller then d90 BUT controls are a bit different as well as no AF built in motor, thus you'll have to make sure that extra glass you by has the built in af motor HENCE more expensive.

    Once you get a hang on d90, and upgrade to d800 (rumors) your 90 will be your back up :thumbup:
     
  5. maineiac

    maineiac TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your advice. I guess the real worry I have is that the D90 is more camera than I need, especially at a moment when money is tight...

    But, like I said, I'm launching a freelance journalism career and definitely see photography as a part of that career. So if it's worth it and would add to the quality of my work, I don't have qualms about buying the D90. However, if I could get the same quality from the D5000 necessary to publish a photo in a magazine, say, or create an audio slideshow for the web, then maybe that's all I need.

    Hmmm....decisions, decisions...
     
  6. maineiac

    maineiac TPF Noob!

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    My last post came off a bit dumb....I KNOW the D5000 produces images able to be published in a magazine or collected into an online slideshow.

    I guess I'm just looking for reasons that the D90 is a better choice.

    Here are the benefits I see to the D90 over the D5000 - it has lower noise at high ISO and comes with a better kit lens...are those all of them?

    Is the low noise and better lens worth the extra $400????
     
  7. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    If a D5000 is all you need, go for it... I'll also recommend the D90 over the D5000 but I also use the the feature differences.

    A few differences that are important to me:

    Wireless flash ability built in (Commander Mode).
    Auto focus ability for older non AF-S lenses.
    Direct access to commonly used functions.
    Battery grip.

    To me, those features alone are worth the difference in price - if it's not worth it to you then the D5000 is a good candidate.

    I'd skip the D200 unless you need the weather proof body, even then you'd need weather proof lenses as well. D200 is great when the sun is shining, but anything above 800 ISO pretty much sucks (same with the D80).
     
  8. maineiac

    maineiac TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Noyze. Those are good differences to keep in mind that I keep forgetting to consider. Someone above mentioned the D90's built-in auto-focus ability, which I find very attractive. And though I don't know how much I'll be using flashes, I like the how easy the D90 is able to control wireless flashes. I also prefer the D90's easy access to the commonly used functions.

    Some more food for thought...
     
  9. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  10. maineiac

    maineiac TPF Noob!

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    Aaaa!!....I just dropped $1300 on a D90....Man, I hope that was the right choice!!!!!!!!! Now I need to learn how to use it properly and have fun with it!!!!

    Sorry for all the exclamation points. I'm just freakin' a bit from spending so much money when a wiser man might be saving. I initially went into the process thinking I would spend no more than $800...then the D90 seduced me.
     
  11. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, think about it this way. If the D90 is $400 more than the D5000, well, how many jobs do you have do to make up for the difference? I'd say it's worth it in the long run.
     
  12. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Hahaha, I hear ya... I was in the same position a while back. It's a lot of coin to plop down but I have no regrets and I doubt you will either.

    Enjoy!
     

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