Old 01-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
bigiron
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Default Nikon D90 or D7000

Hello,

Looking for opinions on which camera body would be the best way to go with a few factors to consider. The D90 is for $799.00 (body only) and the D7000 is for $1199.00, so is the $400.00 difference worth it to people having had the chance to experience both? I like the construction features of the D7000 but in reading reviews I get a mixed bag of opinions on which camera has the sharper photos and that is of great importance shooting trains as we know. The price cost is enough to get a nice new lens to add to the ones now if the difference is minimal to the users out there. Either way getting either one could take a bit as Nikon has production issues and both are on back order at my local store.

Have users of both seen a definite difference in the pixel increase of basically 12 mega for the 90 to 16 mega for the 7000?

Any thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated and thanks.

Rich
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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can you shoot in raw with the d90?
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:00 PM   #3
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yes you can.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Thoughts from a non-Nikon person:

- in my view sharpness is determined first by the lens, not by the sensor. Moving up from 12 to 16 mp does not overcome a poor lens.

- where are you displaying your images? Online? In print, and what size? For web use in particular, so images that are resized, the 12mp-16mp is basically worthless. The only time it comes into play is when doing severe crops, so taking an image from a 100 mm lens and cropping it, say, to a 300mm equivalent. On the few occasions I have printed in the last 5 years, I don't recall ever having a problem with 8.2 mp output.

- more and more these days sensors are so good that the image quality differences are small enough that features matter as much or more. What is important to you in a camera. The main reason I am at the Canon xxD level instead of the xxxD level is the two control dials on the former.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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I figured you could shoot RAW, but the quick spec sheet I saw did not say so. I'm biased myself toward lenses given that they never go obsolete. But more pixels are good too. Either way, I'm sure you'll be happy.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:17 PM   #6
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Rob,

Even Nikon's P&S cameras can shoot raw, so that's not an issue.

Rich,

I did see your PM. I am not aware of any professional review on the D7000 that claimed any sort of "sharpness" issues. Sharpness is generally a function of lens issues, not body problems. Any lack of sharpness you may see in any of my stuff is likely due to some sort of execution or processing mistake on my part, not a camera problem.

I carry two bodies, a D90 and a D7000. Both are fine cameras. From my standpoint, the only advantages of the D7000 are the 16 MP sensor, the better high ISO performance and the higher rate of fire (6 fps vs. 4.5 fps). The 16 MP sensor is useful when I need to tightly crop an image. I can crop the heck out of a D7000 image and still have decent picture quality. The high ISO capability comes in handy for night/low-light shots. Since I do a lot of charters, that's important. The higher rate of fire is probably only important to steam enthusiasts like me, because we care about the perfect plume and the rods-down pose. Diesel shooters could probably care less.

Yes, the D7000 also has a bigger focusing array, but quite honestly, I have not found it to be that useful. The boundaries of that focusing array are still way too centered for my tastes. The D300 is the cheapest body that has one that meets my requirements...but I would not spend money on a D300 now. The D7000 sensor is more advanced.

Both cameras have a slight disadvantage over the comparable Canons. They use SD cards vs. CF. SDs have the advantage of being small, but the memory speed is just not as good. The photos don't download as fast on the SD as they do on a CF. Even the highest class SD card can't compete with the highest class CF. Is that important? Depends. Again, I like to shoot in burst mode and I do occasionally run into a problem. If you don't do that, forget that I ever mentioned it. I have otherwise found SDs to be reliable.

The D90 has been around for over 3 years now and there's a reason why. You get a very capable camera for a very reasonable price. Your call if the few extra perks on the D7000 are worth $400.
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Old 01-19-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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Thanks Kevin,

I appreciate the response you gave as the fact you have both really gives me some insight to a direct comparison. I, like you and others have said believe the glass is what counts and always look at resolution tests of lenses before I drop my money on one be it Nikon or other. How much better is the 7000 for long night time exposure shots having double the ISO as to your experiences?

Here is a quick link comparing the two:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Nikon_D7000-vs-Nikon_D90

Also with the 39 focus points on the 7000 and 11 for the 90, do you see focus issues with some shots being soft? I see you would like the D300 for your liking but I wonder do they seem to have similar picture results?

Thanks again for your time, Rich
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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Rich, my 2 cents from a Nikon fan.....

I bought the D90 three years ago when it was new on the market. It took a while to get used to it, but that had more to do with the jump from a FM2 film camera to the much more sophisticated D90 digital, than anything else. I love the D90 and shoot on full manual 99% of the time. I recently traded in the 55-200mm Nikkor lens that I bought with the camera, for the 18-200 and this lens has remained on my camera ever since. I also have the 18-55mm.

I have no experience with the D7000, but if you decide to save the $400 price difference, I have no doubt you will be happy with the D90.

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigiron View Post
How much better is the 7000 for long night time exposure shots having double the ISO as to your experiences?
Hi Rich,

I hate to keep showing this frame, because I know people are sick of it, but I could never have gotten away with this using a D90....not happening:

Image © Kevin Madore
PhotoID: 385762
Photograph © Kevin Madore


Very little noise and decent color at ISO 2500.

I recently did a night shoot in Durango, Colorado. The Charter Operator had some neat set-ups planned, but it all went to hell when a couple of engines came back with write-ups that needed attention. The back-up plan involved shooting some of the servicing action in the roundhouse. In order to do that, I had to shoot ISO 2500 and I did get a few frames. Perhaps at some point, I will post one or two, because the quality is good enough

A few weeks ago, I took my D7000 to see one of my favorite entertainers, Olivia Newton-John. She allows cameras at most of her shows...and yes, she's still a doll! I shot at ISO 2000 and was very pleased with what I got.

Is the D7000 as good as a full-frame camera? No. But it is a damnsight better than either my D40X or my D90.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigiron View Post
Also with the 39 focus points on the 7000 and 11 for the 90, do you see focus issues with some shots being soft? I see you would like the D300 for your liking but I wonder do they seem to have similar picture results?
No problems with soft pictures. I manually choose the focus point on every shot. My issue with the array of focusing points is frame coverage. It is not much better than the D90s. The D300, on the other hand, has like 52 points, and they cover virtually all of the frame. I like that, but not enough to blow $1500 on an obsolete body. If I were to buy another camera today, it would be either a D700 or a D3S. Either one would require an investment in new glass, as most of my lenses are DX products. The D3S in particular, is a very sweet piece.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #10
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I have a D90 and love it. JMRDC's and Kevin's comments are right on. I also have a 6 mp D40 and in terms of picture quality it just about as good as the D90....pixels are over rated. Even with severe cropping the lens usually is the limitation not the pixels. I also recently took some shots with my wife's little Nikon point and shoot, and they made very nice 8x10 prints, indistinguishable from similar prints from the D90. However I do appreciate the larger buffer and more focus points of the D90. The lens is the big thing, in two ways. Obviously optical quality is one, but I also like having a zoom with enough range so that I rarely have to change lenses....that both minimizes the problems with dust getting on the sensor, and also allows me to concentrate more on things like composition.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #11
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My advice, two words:

GO CANON.

I shot with a D60 for over two years. It was a decent camera, but I love my T1i so much more. Always had to do a lot more post-processing with the Nikon than I've ever had to with the Canon. I'm a firm believer. Canon > Nikon.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WMHeilman View Post
My advice, two words:

GO CANON.

I shot with a D60 for over two years. It was a decent camera, but I love my T1i so much more. Always had to do a lot more post-processing with the Nikon than I've ever had to with the Canon. I'm a firm believer. Canon > Nikon.
It's hard to say. Personally as a Canon user, I find the Nikon interface kind of confusing, but that's mostly because I am a Canon user. I would imagine it would be the same thing if I went the other way. From everyone I know who uses them, the Nikon bodies are great, but the lenses are not as good and considerably more expensive. One area where the Nikons apparently excel is in the area of autofocus ability. This is kind of a sort spot for me on one of my camera bodies, the 5d mark 1. Great camera, sucks at tracking moving objects and even locking focus in certain situations. Especially on anything but center point.

If I had to do it all over, I dont know which route I would go. If I had to buy what I have in terms of glass, I would have ended up spending almost twice what I did on my Canon system. Even the 5d mark 2, which by all accounts is a much better body than the Nikon D700, EXCEPT in the department of AF abilities. At the end of the day, if you cant lock focus, what good is the body, lens, the entire SYSTEM...
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:45 AM   #13
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Another thing for you to consider, all those great old Nikon manual focus lenses of the Ai and Ais series will meter with the D7000.

Ed
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:18 PM   #14
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As far as taking the glass from that era I have a mountain of old MInolta or Minolta compatible lenses and we all know the money and more of the picture quality lies in the lenses versus the body so seeing I have Nikon glass now I will defer on Canon too. Right now I'm pretty sure I will get the D90 and wonder how much the weather built body would ensure a longer life? It's good to know that several enthusiasts here do use the D90 and are very happy with it and the $400.00 extra does talk too. Thanks for all the input and discussion it helps.

Rich Clark

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Old 01-22-2012, 06:20 PM   #15
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It's not just the weatherproof body. I went from a D80 to a D200, and the ergonomics alone make a big difference.

Ed
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