first dslr camera

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by zeppman, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. zeppman

    zeppman TPF Noob!

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    Hey everyone,

    First post here. I've decided to purchase my first dslr camera. I've been using a canon sd700 for the past couple of years, and have decided that this is a hobby I plan on sticking with, and would like a nicer camera. I've shot a friend's nikon d80, and canon eos rebel (xs I think). I believe I like the way the nikon feels a bit more so I've narrowed it down to the following: D40, D80, D90 and the newer D3000. Obviously I don't want to spend more than I have to, since this isn't paying me anything, and is only a hobby. But, When I'm looking at spending, lets say $600 on the D3000, I think, "why not just spend a few more hundred and get the D90?" Or if I'm spending $650 on a used D80, I think, "Do I want to spend that much on a used camera when I could get something brand new (but less features) for the same price?

    So I'm just looking for other opinions. I've searched through quite a few of these threads. I would really love the D90, but don't see myself using the Video feature all that much. I want it because it seems the sensor is superior to the D80, and it can shoot low light better (from what I've read). I'm looking at the D3000 and D40 from the view point of "do I need the amount of camera that a D80 or D90 will provide? Could I save a few hundred and be just as happy?"

    I'm a beginner to the DSLR, but not SLR cameras in general. I took a few photo classes years ago with an older Canon SLR (forgot the model), so I do have a basic understanding of an SLR. Could I be happy with the D40? Probably, but I don't want to be trading up in a year or two. I am an engineer and like to tinker. I just don't want to be held back (or think I'm being held back) as my skills and knowledge advance.

    Thanks everyone, all comments will be much appreciated. If I'm looking at this the wrong way, please don't hesitate to tell!
     
  2. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    The D90 is the only camera you listed with the new CMOS sensor. The other use the old CCD sensors. This is why the D90 has superior high ISO performance. That alone to me is worth the extra money. You'd be shocked as to how useful it can be and being able to shoot at ISO 1600 when you need to without worrying about whether noise is going to ruin the shot.

    Would you be happy with a D40? Probably for a while. In the end I think you would upgrade to a D90 anyway. (Not that I know you or anything but from the information and tone of your post)

    You might as well skip the upgrade down the road and save money long term. Also the D90 gives a wider selection of compatible lenses.
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Off the top of my head:

    D40:
    Great camera, easy and fun to use, compact.

    D60:
    All the above plus some added features such as 10 megapixels vs 6 of the D40, built in cleaning system, still movie mode, tilt sensitive menu, display shuts off when you eye goes to the viewfinder, Active D-Lighting, etc. Slower flash sync than the D40 however.

    D3000:
    Supposedly more intuitive menu system, 11 auto focus points. Still shares the same sensor.

    D80:
    Over the D40 the D80 adds the ability to control off camera flash wirelessly (SB-600, SB-800, SB-900), front and rear command dials, more buttons to control common tasks vs using the menu system and more megapixels.

    D5000:
    CMOS sensor for better low light shooting, 11 point auto focus, movie mode, GPS ability.

    D90:
    CMOS sensor for better low light shooting ability, Live View, HD movie ability, dual command dials, ability to control wireless flash, GPS ability.

    I've owned the D40, D60, D80, D200 and D90 and they all have their pros and cons. Just need to sort out your needs vs wants and pick what's right for you.

    Good luck and enjoy whatever you choose!
     
  4. zeppman

    zeppman TPF Noob!

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    If I went with the d90, should I buy new? I've read many different things on new vs refurb vs used...

    But yes, itznfb, as you stated, I want to skip the upgrade if possible in the future. If money was no object, I'd get the d90. I just want to know if the D90 is worth the extra money over the other models I mentioned. I didn't realize the d90 was the ONLY camera out of my group with the new cmos sensor.

    NOYZE: that is my problem. I want the best all around camera without going broke. If I wasn't a noob I wouldn't be asking these questions. ;)
     
  5. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    D5000 has it as well, but for the price difference I personally think the D90 is a much better value.
     
  6. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    Well. It will come down to what is important to you. Is low light performance important? Than the extra $ for the D90 is probably worth it. The D40/60/3000 are also all small body cameras with no built in motor. I know for me I can't stand the way they feel in my hands and I even have small hands. The D90 and D300/s are much more comfortable to hold and easier to control. So from the models you listed my second choice would be the D80.

    I will generally buy refurbished before I'll buy used. But if you're buying from a reputable retailer then there is generally no issue buying used. It's tough to find a good deal on a D90 though. People haven't started to get rid of theirs yet.
     
  7. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    He listed the D3000, not 5000.
     
  8. robdavis305

    robdavis305 TPF Noob!

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    I started out with D40 and that lasted about 6 months. I sold it on ebay and went to the D90 and what a good choice that was. Glad to hear your looking at Nikons. In my opinion u cant go wrong
     
  9. robb01

    robb01 TPF Noob!

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    D90 is a very solid camera
     
  10. zeppman

    zeppman TPF Noob!

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    Do you guys know of any "labor day weekend" sales going on? Haha... $1000+ is just so much for a camera...
     
  11. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    I'm know what he listed, just throwing it out there in case he wasn't aware of that model.
     
  12. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    If you're talking about the D90 it's $909 at Newegg right now and $898 at Amazon.
     

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