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D90 still viable?

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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Apr 2012 13:39:29 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Apr 2012 13:40:49 BDT
JJ says:
I'm looking to buy a dslr. I really want a Nikon as through the extensive reading i've done (Oh yes, weeks of it!) feel their lenses are 'better'. I can't afford a D7000 with lenses which I think would be my preferred choice & was considering the D3100 or D5100. Having read the old thread regarding the choice between those 2, I am now considering again (I'd dismissed as being quite out of date) the D90.
I'm not interested in video, I'd play with it if I had it I suppose but it's image quality that would be most important to me.
Thank you for any advice/comments.

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 14:15:14 BDT
The D90, as you no doubt know, can use old lenses as it has the focus motor in the body.
The D5100 uses only the more recent lenses.
I bet Graham Hearn has a view so I'll say no more.

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 15:12:25 BDT
X says:
JJ: Buy the camera you want, whatever its age or the age of its design. Look at all the film-nuts who hang around here, like me, and get enormous pleasure, and the work they want, out of cameras more than 40 years old. New camera of an older design? Why not? Look at the highs and lows of Panasonic's TZ range; the "twice-replaced" TZ8 is still the one to buy. Panasonic are still making them...

You are so right to prioritise lenses. Not that I would follow your example, but when the results suit your style you just have to go for it.

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 19:24:02 BDT
evan says:
although it has less mega pixels, the d90 is a far better camera for some one wanting to learn photography. the reason being its function buttons and features such as the built in motor and creative lighting system ability. also the cameras modes ; manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, iso settings, exposure comp,etc are quicker to access. it is much more of a photographers tool than the 3100 or 5100. i use the d90 and the d7000 and can honestly say that they are on a par with each other. good luck with your choice.

Posted on 30 Apr 2012 20:51:13 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 May 2012 04:55:56 BDT
Graham H says:
The D90 rocks. I love my one. It can use Nikon's best lenses (The old ones!) as it has an AF motor in the body.
The screen is the same as on the D300S, ie: Excellent. The battery life is tremendous and the picture quality is outstanding despite (or more likely because of) "Only" being 12 -odd megapixels.
I believe it can take movie clips too, but I couldn't give a rat's about that and I've never used it anyway.

If you want the battery grip too (As I have) then don't waste your money on the Nikon one. There's one from Japan which is the exact same part but with "Meike" on the bottom instead of Nikon and it can be had (including postage) for around £30-40.

One caveat though: Don't be tempted by cheaper pattern batteries. Just use the correct Nikon branded ones. Many other batteries won't work properly with the "Remaining Charge" indicator and will give erroneous readings. Some may even switch off long before the charge is exhausted in the battery.

Nikon may have newer models out but I don't care. The D90 does exactly what I need and I have no plans to replace it until it dies of old age.
Why would I need to? I can think of no aspect in which it's wanting.

As I use mainly 35mm (film), and some 30-plus year old cameras are my most-used favourites, this trend of being forced to buy new digital bodies every few years does rather stick in my craw.
I'm refusing to play that game. My D90 will have a long and productive life in my ownership.
Anyway, the new Nikons seem to be aimed more at the video market than the stills photographer. Some useful dedicated controls have been relegated back into sub-menus to make way for silly video buttons.
Not that I have anything against video - it's great! But please Nikon, don't try to make our DSLRs into "One Size Fits All" imaging devices.
If I wanted a camcorder I'd have bought a camcorder, ta very much.

I think as good a testament to the quality of the D90 as any is the fact that despite Nikon releasing several new models, the D90 hasn't appreciably dropped in price. I paid £620 for mine a few years ago. They're still not far off that from the majority of real-world suppliers.

I'd have one body-only and not bother with the 18-105VR that it's usually bundled with. I bought one of those with my own money for my D90 and I was distinctly underwhelmed. It went on Ebay a week later!

Posted on 1 May 2012 13:40:22 BDT
JJ says:
Thank you all for your comments, much appreciated. I think the D90 sounds to be more of what I was looking for judging by the above. Your comment, Mr H, regarding the video particularly swung it as I couldn't agree more. Thanks also for the tip regarding the battery grip. Money saved is better lenses after all.

It's so nice to get input from actual users/enthusiasts. Excited now, off to shops!

Posted on 1 May 2012 14:05:38 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 May 2012 15:24:23 BDT
Graham H says:
I think you'll love it. Mine came from here:

As indeed does all my Nikon gear and as will any future purchases. There is no finer camera shop anywhere in the World in my experience. I would strongly recommend buying any camera or lens from Grays, because the service and help you'll get will be unmatched by anyone else. No-one knows Nikon like they do, and they're great guys to deal with, whatever your experience level. No sneering spotty sales staff there!

The Meike grip will indeed save you money. It's not just similar - it's exactly the same! Even the recess on the base where the "Meike" label sits is the same shape as the Nikon label. I am 90% sure it's the same part from the same factory being sold under the maker's own name.

If you're after a good lens to go with it then I can thoroughly recommend one of these:

Nikon AF-S DX 18-70 mm f/3.5-4.5 G IF ED

There are a few example snaps of mine on there too. All done with the D90. You'll probably pay around £100 for a good one privately, maybe a bit more from a dealer, but the quality beats the 18-105VR hands down.

Posted on 1 May 2012 15:38:31 BDT
X says:
Graham: From what I have seen any plastic component made in China for a top brand of anything is liable to have its moulds and other tooling "borrowed" for a little "personal initiative work". The identical nature of so many plastic components is that suspicious. If I were still working and was mandated to work in that area I would with the security of all forms of machines and their moulds, cutting tools and the like.

Posted on 1 May 2012 15:50:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 May 2012 15:50:56 BDT
Graham H says:
Ed, I think £30-40 is a very fair price for the grip, but I can't justify the £100 - plus that Nikon charge for the same thing.
What annoys me with Nikon is that I have the lovely F100 with its magnesium body, yet the official Nikon grip is made of plastic! Makes the whole machine feel quite cheap really. The F90X had a plastic grip in the form of the MB-10, yet it still felt right because it was better quality plastic, and at least as good build quality as the camera itself.
I reckon they changed suppliers of grips for the F100 and later models. Trouble is, they kept the high prices. Might also explain why I've never seen a "fake" MB-10.

Posted on 1 May 2012 18:27:03 BDT
X says:
Graham: The quantity of perfect copies of hoods for the latest Olympus lenses for Digital Pens and OM-D, available from the land of all the possibilities, cannot be down to a small company that has just managed to make a set of moulds a la Blue Peter. Someone got hold of the moulds, or managed to get a second set manufactured...

It's so flagrant I have no motivation for looking deeper or wider. Olympus must put it down as one of the risks of out-sourcing manufacturing of items where the "ahh, but don't forget you won't get the manufacturer's warranty" argument is useless.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2012 20:12:10 BDT
Hi Ed,
My nephews import goods from China. They report that they have seen whole shadow factories making unbranded facsimile versions of top names - just as you are saying. Of course they may not function quite the same.............
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Participants:  5
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  30 Apr 2012
Latest post:  1 May 2012

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