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Old 12-08-2009, 04:56 AM   #14
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Flowing's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 190

I recently purchased a D90 as an upgrade from my D40, and I will offer my input here.

Many of the other posters have already commented about researching other camera models and buying the one that you think is best for you, so I won't comment any more about it, except to say that it is important to know for what you want to use the camera and look for cameras that can handle your needs.

Compared to my D40, which was a delightful little camera, the D90 offers:

1. better control of noise at high ISOs (but still pretty noisy for my tastes when you get up above ISO 500), and a more diverse range of ISO than just 200, 400, 800 like the D40 had

2. a larger viewfinder so you don't have to squint so much when you're taking shots (I didn't think this was that important before I bought the camera, but I love it now)

3. two dials, one each for aperture and shutter speed, so you can adjust both dials one handed (if you're of the manual persuassion)

4. a more accurate light meter than the D40 (which tended to overexpose... although I always shoot in manual, I still monitor my light display in the viewfinder)

5. better white balance settings and the ability to customize them

6. the number one reason (for me) to buy any SLR over a point-and-shoot is that SLRs are much much faster in terms of shutter response and continuous mode shooting - very important for photographing moving objects!

The D90 feels like a very solid, well-built camera too, though I wouldn't go beating it around. All in all I'm very satisfied with it and feel it was worth the money.

As far as lenses, 95% of the time I keep one lens on my D90... Nikon's new 35mm f/1.8 DX lens. This little jewel of a lens is only $200 (because it only works on smaller DX sensors, not full frame like the D700) and has superior sharpness to any of my zoom lenses. Plus the ability to open the aperture up so far (most standard Nikon zoom lenses only stop down to 3.5-5.6 depending on focal length) means I can capture images in low light at faster shutter speeds and lower ISOs... this lens has saved me on many a cloudy and rainy day. The only catches are that it has fairly pronounced barrel distortion (which you won't notice 75% of the time, and even when you do, it isn't image-condemning, in my opinion) and it is a fixed lens... it can't zoom. You get one focal length and you just have to work with it. But honestly I'll sacrifice the ability to change focal length for superior sharpness and the ability to get optimal exposures in low light. I've always liked the standard, normal angle view focal lengths myself anyway (35mm on DX = approx. 50mm on film, full frame digital) Plus, I usually keep my D40 as a standby with a zoom lens on it, just in case. Just throwing the idea out there, you might want to look into prime lenses like the 35mm f/1.8, I feel they are more than worth it, and this lens with my D90 has been a pretty satisfying combination.

Last edited by Flowing; 12-08-2009 at 05:00 AM.
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