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To Nikon D90 or not to Nikon D90, that is the question

Although my Panasonic DMC-TZ10 (ZS7 in the USA) has somehow fixed itself, it still occasionally gives me problems. In addition to those problems, sometimes photos look great on the LCD screen, but when I get them onto my computer monitor all of the detail disappears and I’m disappointed with the result. Low light photos, in particular, can look funny or at least not be true to the scene I was trying to capture. Also, macro shots sometimes won’t focus. I have fewer complaints with my LX3, but the lack of zoom (24 – 60 mm) limits its usefulness.

Should I finally take the plunge and buy a DSLR camera? I won’t be carrying it with me everywhere, but on certain outings I suppose carrying such a beast around won’t be too bad, will it?

For four more days, Costco has what appears to be a super deal on the Nikon D90 with two lenses.

Will the quality of my photos go up with the D90? I’m guessing yes. Leaving the issue of portability aside, my other concern is having to swap lenses every time I want to zoom a shot. Anyone have any advice for me? Should I purchase the D90? Will I be disappointed? Happy? Frustrated with having to change from the 18-55 lens to the 70-300 lens on a regular basis?

Feedback would be appreciated.

7 Responses to “To Nikon D90 or not to Nikon D90, that is the question”

  1. 1

    Hi, the D90 is a great camera, but if you want to buy something really new with a lot of more potential try the Nikon D7000 or the Canon 7D. Cheers!

  2. 2


    This is a tough question. From what I can understand from following your blog, even though you never owned an slr you do have an understanding of how things work, so I believe that the technical side of the thing won’t be an issue.

    You concern about having to swap lenses to zoom is a valid one, I personally don’t mind swapping lenses around, but that depends on the images you want to create and how you want to use a camera. When I go out with mine I usually go with the mindset of creating good ( well I try 😛 ) images so I’ll do what I must and spend as much time I need finding the subjects, angles that work best and then put the lens and whatnot that is needed to get the image I want, but sometimes I also just want to go for a stroll and snap some quick pics here and there. In this case I bring only an all purpose zoom and that’s all I’ll use, and rarely feel the need for anything different (if I do than I’ll come just come back another day).

    That said if you don’t really want to worry about changing lenses you could go for the 18-300 lens, though you wouldn’t be using that deal.

  3. 3
    Dave wilson:

    Ive had a D90 for over a year now, and I love it. I can’t say anything about any other dslr as I haven’t used them. All I would say, is see if you can get a good deal on just the body and then get yourself the 18-200 zoom. It’s not a cheap lens, but it’s way better than the to lenses bundled in that deal. Have a look at I have the 18-200 for a zoom lens it is very very good. If not swapping lenses over is as important as picture quality then the 18-200 is your baby. If your budget can stretch to a d90 and 18-200, spend the extra and you won’t regret it

  4. 4

    I’m torn people. I have been jumping on board the 18-200 mm lens idea (instead of 18-55 which will be somewhat limiting at times) even before Dave’s comment. However, 300 mm would be really nice for sporting events at a distance.

    Before Carraol’s post I had been looking into the D7000 as well since Costco has it, too, on sale (with an 18-200). “But is it really worth an extra $700?” was my thought.

    Then I noticed that the Canon DSLRs have the really good video (1080 instead of 720 and even more fps than the D7000), like the D7000, but they cost quite a bit less. Some people don’t like the Canon menu system as much as the Nikon though.

    Hmmmm… so many things to consider.

  5. 5
    Dave wilson:

    The only problem with video on most dslrs is that they can’t autofocus as the focusing systems work via the mirror and of course the mirror is out of the ligh path when recording video or taking a picture. There are one or two that can do it tho, but I can’t remember which ones. I they tho that they rely half silvered mirror method which reflects some light up to the focusing and allows the rest through to the sensor. Less light for the sensor usually translates into reduced quality also with the light having to travel through even more glass i would be sceptical of it being much good. But thats just my own take.To be totally honest,If u want to record video, get a dedicated video camera. Oh and don’t be tempted by cheaper 70-300 zooms either. I was and bought the sigma one 2nd hand for £100 and beyond 200mm it is way too soft to be useful. Pictures taken with my 18-200 are much better even after resizing.

    Have fun choosing :)))

  6. 6

    Dedicated video cameras are great if you are making a movie or something, but I rarely think (in fact I can’t remember EVER thinking) “I should go out and shoot some video.” Instead, I’m out somewhere taking pictures and think “a video of this would be cool too” and use my camera to take the video. My son has a really nice video camera (which he never uses), and I have yet to even borrow it a single time.

    I do take videos at concerts, but they won’t let you bring in anything fancier than, say, my TZ10.

    That said, this video taken with a D7000 looks pretty impressive for focusing.

    I’m coming to the conclusion that I don’t want the D90 with two lenses. Now I’m thinking either the D7000 with an 18-200 or maybe a Canon.

  7. 7

    More than a year and a half has passed since this original post on the D90, and it remains the most visited blog entry. You probably don’t want to buy a D90 at this point with the other available cameras that have since been released. If you can afford it, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Nikon D600 available here:

    If you don’t have $2,000 then go for the D7000: