39 AF points vs 11 AF points

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ric_hunter, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. hi guys, im choosing between a Nikon D90 and Nikon D7000 but i just want to be practical. if most of my shots would just involve landscape, street photography, people at their candid moments, parties and events, and some macro and wildlife..., (i dont shoot sports that much, it requires a hefty lens)
    would the 39 AF points of the Nikon D7000 a huge advantage over the 11 AF points of the D90?
    i would like to invest on lens but im just wary that if this feature affects the quality of sharpness on my photos regardless of what lens i use...
    would the D90 be enough? is the D7000 too professional for me?
    what else should i consider aside from the number of AF points?
    thanks so much for your professional input...!
  2. In addition to the AF points, the D7000 adds the latest sensor, metering with manual focus lenses and some other
    things, but those are the big ones. If you want to save money, yes, the D90 is still a good option. A lot of are using
    either it or one of the other models with the same sensor (D300/D300s and D5000). If you can afford it, the D7000
    represents newer technology that does better in low light situations, and you might yet find a use for the improved AF.
    (The AF points also include more cross-type points, which handle better in lower light.)
  3. ric.
    I love having the most focal points as possible. I have a d7000 and that is one of the features that I love the most. I also have a d300 and love the fact that it has 51. Because of problems I have with my shooting eye I admit I have a bias. The great high ISO performance of the d7000 should also be taken into consideration.
  4. @And and Owen: thank you for your response. i was just a bit confused although i was leaning towards the D7000. i was just thinking if there is really no noticeable differences with those areas i mentioned above then i would just go for the D90 and save the rest of the money for great lenses other than the kit lens provided...
  5. The D90 is a remarkable camera for the money. No one but you can decide if you need more focus points. In general, you can use just the center focus point to focus on the subject and then recompose the camera to frame the shot as you would like and take the picture. Now the focus and recompose method is NOT recommended if you are shooting portraits wide open because of the shallow DoF. In this case, it is better to frame your shot and choose your focus point (or better yet: manually focus). And, more focus points come in handy when you are trying to continuously track/focus on moving subjects.... say birds taking flight.
    i would like to invest on lens but im just wary that if this feature affects the quality of sharpness on my photos regardless of what lens i use...​
    Good glass is always a good investment and both the D90 and the D7000 will be more of a camera than most will ever need. There are very, very few situations where a D7000 will produce a better image all else being equal. The biggest limitation will be your knowledge and technique.
  6. The D7000 has two fundamental advances over the D90:
    1. sensor improvements: more pixels (no big deal, just marketing) and better low-light sensitivity
    2. more AF points
    If you are shooting sports, more AF points is helpful, but you also need more buffer depth.
    If you are shooting landscape, nature, etc., the D90 AF is sufficient. Indeed, I have been using a D90 for sports and it has been ok.
    Having more pixels feels nice, but I'm not convinced it makes a big difference. Lens resolution, even of good primes and pro zooms, is no better than 10ish Mpixel.
    Better low-light performance is important if you are shooting indoors without strobes. That means indoor sports (I always shoot outdoors) or other indoors stuff. Will you be shooting these? Low-light performance is probably the big differentiator for the D7000.
  7. The d7000 also meters with older manual focus lenses. I would call that another a fundamental difference. Whether or not that matters to the OP is another story...
    The d90 has the same AF module as the d200, not the greatest but works alright unless sports or fast action is involved. While the d7000 is much nicer, the d90 should do for OP's need. Another option is the d5100. It has the same sensor as the d7000 but has the d90 AF module, I believe, at a lower cost.
  8. I can't vouch for 39 vs 11, but I can say that my shooting style changed completely between my Eos 300D (7 points) and my D700 (51 points). With the 300D I almost always used the centre point and recomposed. With my D700, unless I'm trying to focus at the edge of the frame, I usually move the focus point to the subject; on rare occasions I might focus at the centre and let the subject track across the frame as I recompose if this is faster than using the joystick. How many more shots I get in correct focus/exposure I can't say - I didn't have any fast lenses for Canon that would have shown up a lot of missed focus - but I'm confident in using wide apertures on the D700 where I might have worried about focus-and-recompose. It's also useful to be able to track a subject with a composition defined relative to the subject.

    That said, I don't do too badly with a Pentax 645 or a Bessa R, neither of which have autofocus at all...
  9. 39 Vs 11 focus points - You really only need one!
    "would the D90 be enough?" The D90 would be great for you, and at about 1/2 the price of a d7000, is an exceptional value. You won't be disappointed. You can get some really nice lenses (if you want) and/or accessories with the money you save.
    Except under the most extreme conditions, if you were to take and compare side-by-side shots with the D90 and d7000, it would be difficult if not impossible to tell the difference between the two bodies (all other things being equal).
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    The D90 would be great for you, and at about 1/2 the price of a d7000, is an exceptional value.​
    Elliot, in the US, a new D7000 with Nikon USA warranty sells for $1199.95. Could you tell us where you can get a new D90 with USA warranty for $600? $600 would certainly be great value for a brand new D90. However, the prices I find from B&H and Amazon.com are more like $800.
    The D7000 has a lot of advantages over the D90:
    • Much better AF
    • Much better construction, weather sealing
    • Considerably improved low-light capability
    • Dual memory cards
    • Better live view mode, much better live view/video AF
    • 1080p HD video
    • Improved EL-EL15 battery
    • Metering with no-CPU AI/AI-S lenses (although I no longer use such lenses myself)
    To me, the many advantages on the D7000 means in a lot of situations, I can get excellent shots with the D7000 while the D90 can easily miss them in many occasions. E.g., I find the fact that the D90 has only 1 cross-type AF point very annoying indoors.
    I would say if the price difference is only $400 and you can afford that, I would just get the D7000 to eliminate any doubts in the future. If you can find a new D90 for $600 and money is tight, the D90 is worth considering. You can buy a very decent lens with $600.
  11. AS Shun has mentioned, the D90 has only one cross-type sensor - the centre point. The D7000 has 9 cross-type. That alone would be enough of a reason for me. I find I use my D90 with the centre point 90% of the time because it is noticable more accurate (at least for me).
    The D90 is a really good camera but if you don't mind spending a bit more, the D7000 is pretty sweet. I also like the two user defined settings on the mode wheel of the D7000. My D90 ius only 2 years old so I will not upgrade until I need to or if the D300s replacement is amazing as I hope it will be.
  12. Man, I'm really obsolete. I always use the centre focus point, recompose... and I always get exactly what I wanted in perfect focus, no matter how cheap the camera. The more you rely on point & shoot metering and focusing, the more high-tech automation you need on top of other automation... and I suppose, the more the better. From your description of what you intend to take pictures of, it doesn't sound to me like you really need even 11 AF points.
  13. The D7000 has 9 cross-type. That alone would be enough of a reason for me. I find I use my D90 with the centre point 90% of the time because it is noticable more accurate (at least for me).
    i have a d90 and a d300s. the 90 is pretty good, except when AF performance is needed. to some that's a bigger deal than others. if i were buying now, i'd get a d7000 over a d90.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Pierre, it sounds like you mostly photograph subjects that do not move much so that you can use the center AF point to focus and then recompost. That is certainly not the case for the most part in my photography; frequently I smply have no time to recompose.
  15. i love my D90. No way would I buy it today with the D7000 out.
  16. I have a D90, and I only deliberately limit myself to the centre focus point in either: very low light situations or with rapidly moving subjects (unless of course I want the subject in the centre of the frame).
    The other focus points work perfectly well in most situations despite not being cross-type, and are well positioned for a traditional "rule of thirds" composition. I estimate less than 20% of my pictures are taken with the centre focus point.
    If I had considerably more money I'd have more focus points of course; but for me (and I shoot similar subjects to the OP) better glass is higher priority. The only feature I would really like from the D7000 is the ability to save user defined custom shooting set ups.
  17. I was referring to the cost of a used body for $600. The D90 is currently available new with warranty from Amazon for $799, a savings of $400 over a new d7000.
  18. Henry's Canada has the D90 new for $679 vs $1149 for the D7000. I paid close to $1100 when I bought my D90 new. If I had to pick, I'd take the D7000 but most of my photography is of my kids - playing and karate. Oh, and my son has a black gi and the dojo is dark - I'm typically shooting 1/125 f/2.8 1600 ISO if there is some decent light coming through the windows.
    If the OP is not planning on shooting sports in a dark arena (LOL) then the D90 might be the way to go and spend the extra money on lenses. I think D90 would still be worth ~$450 used a year from now if he decided to upgrade if it didn't meet his needs.
  19. thanks for the responses, i highly appreciate all of your professional opinion. what do you think of these pair for my field of photography i mentioned above? please share me your opinion...
    Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM + Nikon D7000
    Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 + Nikon D7000
    Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM + Nikon D7000
    this is so far i could forecast about my budget...thanks!!!
  20. The 17-70. It sounds like you have more of a general-bit-of-everything need, and the 10-20 is just too wide, while the 28-75 has no wide angle on DX. The 17-70 is fast, has VR and AFS and is quite sharp.

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