D70 upgrade - (D90 or D7000) + Sigma 17-50 f2.8 ex dc os?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gsbhasin, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. Dear Photographer,
    It has been many years since I have posted on Photo.Net.
    I have a deadweight - N95 and a joy to work D70.
    Planning to get a current (or near current) spec Nikon for personal use. Primary use is portraits of my toddler. 2 reasons for the upgrade:
    1) Need faster AF to catch him
    2) Need more cropping area.
    My primary lens is 50/1.8 AF-D, which i bought initially many years ago. Between F2.5 - F2.8 it is a gem, see a sample attached
    (I am able to print 11X14 regularly and 16X20 occasionally with the D70 and the 50mm. Yes the latter is not sharp when you nose-view it but looks good in the living room)
    Outside of that, i occasionally use 18-70 DX when travelling - not super great, but stopped at F8, I see few faults.
    What is the question:
    I am planning an overseas trip in mid Jan. So if i do get a newer camera it has to be at least by the 1st week of Jan (so i know all the dials etc.)
    D90 is around 450 USD cheaper than D7000. I am planning a Sigma 17-50 to be bonded with the camera for my trip?
    I know the specs for both D90/D7000 well.
    But what would you choose (Assuming D7000 was in stock- can't find it anywhere)?
    PS: Not impressed with the AF speeds of the EVIL and no great primes available for them yet.

  2. I'd go with the D7000. Newer technology & it has the ability to meter with older manual focus lenses (of which I have many) & I still enjoy manual focus. I'm still using a D70s & my next camera would likely be the D7000...Plus it's cheaper than a D700 which I would love to have as well...
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you can swing it, I would get the D7000 for these two reasons:
    • Better AF capability when your son starts running around
    • Better video capability: the D7000 can capture 1080p HD video (instead of 720p on the D90) and has much better AF for video, although that is still far from perfect yet.
    You seem to be in the San Francisco area. I would check your local Best Buys. Larger camera stores such as Keeble and Shuchat in Palo Alto, San Jose Camera, etc. sometimes have it in stock. If you need it by January, I would pay a down payment and get on a waiting list. You should be able to get it in a matter of a week or two.
    I bought my D7000 from Keeble and Shuchat. When I picked it up in early November, they essentially had nobody left on their waiting list. And then a week later a friend of mine just walked in and bought one off the shelf, although he was stuck with a kit lens.
  4. Thank you gentlemen.
    What is your view on the lens?
    I leaning towards it based on Bob Atkins' comparison of the Sigma and the Canon where it kind of held its ground. I can't stretch to buy both D7000 and a Nikon 18-50 (dont even know if there is one. And don't need 18-105/200 though Ken Rockwell has a great comparison of the 18-105 with a pro zoom)
  5. I am not sure about "nose view". The reason I haven't upgraded is that D70 does all I need up to 11x15 print, matted up to 16x20.
    I suggest you download a image like a RAW off dpreview.com and print it yourself and see if you like the results. ....
  6. Thanks Ray. The 16X20 is a bit when seen up close 'nose-view' even with sharpening. The attached pic is a resized of the 11X14 which is really sharp
  7. I think the camera comes down to the money. The D7000 has the newest technology. The D90 is still a very good camera at a good price and certainly a big improvement over the D70. If you can swing it, get the D7000. If money is tight, you'll still be happy with the D90.
    The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS is a good choice. So are the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 VC and Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 OS. If you're taking just the one lens, I suggest the 17-70 because of the little extra reach.
  8. From my experience, the D70s is not the speediest focusing with the AF and AF-D (screw drive)lenses. Cameras like the D200 and better have better built in AF motors and drive the AF and AF-D lenses much better. I can't speak for the D90 or D7000. Personally, I am looking to replace my D70s with either a D300 or D7000 for this very reason.
    The D70s works very well with my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 OS HSM since it is not reliant on the D70s' internal AF motor. This is likely true for AF-S lenses too.
    I do recommend the Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 OS HSM. I took it on a trip to China and due to its zoom range, it stayed on the camera the entire time. The OS and relatively fast aperture really makes low light photography fun. The lens is quite sharp but not as sharp as my Nikon lenses. But it is a great lens for the price.
  9. First, that's a GREAT shot of your little one - I recently replaced my D80 with a D7000, and could not be happier. The D90 is a great camera, but the D7000's edge in low ISO, video(kids do sooo many things that you'll want a video of later), and in tonality really make it a slam dunk over a D90. Add in the second sd slot, stronger construction, and the ability to use manual lenses in a real fashion and it's just an easy choice.
  10. If you have the budget I would go for the D7000 for the same reasons Shun mentions. I have no experience with the Sigma. The Tamron 17-50mm gets a good read here but I have not used it either.
  11. " Need more cropping area." Perhaps what you need is a longer lens to bring distant subjects closer so you have your image framed correctly without the need to crop further.
    "Assuming D7000 was in stock" Probably will remain out of stock for the near future.
    "Need faster AF to catch him" Please explain how you are using your camera now, such as AF mode, AF point(s), etc. and aperture/shutter speed/ISO settings. You should be able to properly shoot an active child with your current camera if it is set up correctly. Top: Stopping your lens down will helps as it expands the DOF.
  12. Ive tried the Sigma 17-50. Sigma 17-70 which I bought as a general purpose lens s to replace my worn out Nikon 18-200. Sigma has proved fear better then my best expectation, especially as regards distortion and Bokeh.I dont find the variable aperture an issue.
    I cant comment on D7000 but I'd consider it over a D90 but not a D300S
  13. there's almost no reason not to get the d7000 over the d90 at this point. that said, the d90 is great for travel. i would consider the 35/1.8 over the 50 for that purpose.
    also, just got the sigma 17-50 OS HSM after previously owning non-VC tamron 17-50. still evaluating it, but it is pretty sharp at 2.8 and i was getting 1/10 with the stabilization. HSM isn't super-fast like siggy 50-150 or 50/1.4; in fact, it was not noticeably faster than the tamron at AF. according to photozone, its optimized for wide apertures and corner performance isn't good until f/8. i have traveled with the tamron, but the sigma seems to have similar if not better optics and better build. the tamron took a lot of dings in 4 yrs. and never fell apart--eventually it was stolen--but i was always afraid it would disintegrate one day. the assembly always seemed a bit loose but it did have a nice rubber bumper which stood up to abusive conditions. the siggy doesn't have that but overall build is nicer. also like the 77mm filter size which might help the lens in low light. biggest gripe so far on the sigma is the backwards (canon-style) zoom ring. but as far as a compact stabilized fast zoom lens which is sharp wide open, it seems to do the trick. i have it mounted on my d90 right now b/c i missed a 2.8 wide-mid zoom. i shot a holiday party with it last week, all the pics were sharp.i think it may be sharper than the tamron wide-open and at f/4, which was saying something since that's sharper than the nikon 17-55 wide open. focus accuracy was pretty good, and it played well with the sb-600.
    at this point, i would recommend either the siggy or the tamron. both balance well on a smallish body, which can't be said of the 17-55, which you wouldnt want to travel with.
  14. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    You should be able to properly shoot an active child with your current camera if it is set up correctly. Top: Stopping your lens down will helps as it expands the DOF.​
    Elliot, I have had trouble with the D200's AF photographing a child indoors, and the D90 has the same AF module as the D200. Both the D70's Multi-CAM 900 and the D90's Multi-CAM 1000 have only one cross type AF point, and that is the only one that works well under dim light. That is why those cameras have a lot of limitations for action photography and indoors. You can still get some good action shots with them, but something like a D7000 or better yet D300 will provide a lot more flexibility and success rate.
    Stopping down the lens to expand the depth of field is not an effective way to compensate for poor AF capability. When AF is not up to the task, it can hunt back and forth quite a bit, way beyond the depth of field range. Moreover, if you are already shooting action with a high shutter speed, further stopping down the aperture will force you to very high ISOs, lowering the quality of your images. While beginners typically would like to have everything sharp in an image, once a photographer gets more advanced, using a larger aperture to isolate the subject from the background is an important technique.
  15. I can keep up with my 8-year-old with my D90, but a 2-year old is more predictable. And the upgrade from my D50 was significant, imho.
    The answer is clear. If you can find a D7000, go for it.
  16. I have had a D70 since it was first released - and have enjoyed it. I now have a D7000 with the kit 18-105 lens, and am impressed with the upgrade. The high ISO capability for low light combined with the VR lens capability make shooting in dimly lit places easy and impressive. I have not tried it with children's action photos, but know the success rate would be an improvement over the D70. You may also appreciate the movie capability for children.
    The controls on the D7000 are very similar to the D70, so making the switch or using both of them interchangeably is a no-brainer. I plan on keeping the D70, and using it as backup as well as second camera. But the D7000's features are a pleasurable upgrade.
    I wish you success with whatever you choose. Your child photo is beautiful!
  17. Great responses. Thank you.
    I am not sold on video with DSLRs. The form factor, or ergonomics are still tough. (Agree with Michael Riechman of luminous-landscape). Even if there is that feature, I am not interested since I have Canon HF11, 1080p recorder which is very good for personal use. (Pro-use is different, since now you are talking of dedicated mics, panning hydraulic tripods etc. and the craved shallow DOF etc)
    I know D3100 is much lower in class but could it be a poor man's substitute for D7000? Yes i know, it has no built-in motors.
    Also are there ways to install D7000's firmware on D3100? I think that the sensor could have been the same; the software would control different newer cameras. So maybe the software flags in D3100 inhibit performance to some extent. Granted, there is a lot of better H/w in D7000 too. I just cheeked my D70 count. I have < 8000 shots in 7 years. So do i need a semi-pro rugged body. NO.
    For the balance of 700 or so difference I could even get a newer body in 3-4 years, D3200 or whatver name it has.
    Does someone know how the AF of D3100 compares with that of D70?
  18. Gurpreet, the sensor of the D3100 is not the same as the D7000, nor is the AF module. I'm quite sure hacking a D7000 firmware onto a D3100 is not going to work. They're too different.
  19. d3100 is essentially an upgraded d40/d40x/d60 with a newer senser, video, and more mp.
    the d7000 is like a hybrid d90/d300 with a brand-new sensor, better video and live view, more card slots, and more mp. for action of sports, 11 cross type-sensors and 39 AF points will be much better than anything on lower-end cameras.
    you'd have more luck hacking into Visa or Mastercard than hacking the d3100 to transform it into a d7000.
    the problem with d3100 as i see it is that you are a bit more limited in lens choices. otherwise, it seems to be pretty decent for an entry-level DSLR.
  20. For Darrell Young's first impression of the D7000, I suggest you check out the latest Nikonian issue, page 25 and following.
  21. @ the O.P. -
    First I will point out that I have never shot the D7000 for an extended period and cannot vouch for it in "real world" situations. From my limited experience with it, the AF system is much better than the D70/80/90/200, but not quite on the same playing field as the D300/700/3.
    As for the D3100, I would steer clear. It really is meant as an entry level camera. Having shot a D70s for nearly 5 years, I would sorely miss having 2 wheels, (thumb and forefinger)...as the D3100 lacks the forefinger wheel. On top of that, not having the AF motor in the camera limits you to AF-S lenses and turns your 50mm f/1.8 into a paperweight.
    As for KR's suggestion that the new "kit" lens that comes with the D7000 in on par with "pro" lenses...keep in mind that KR has a disclaimer on his own site that says:
    "this site is my 'aggressive personal opinion,' and not a 'logical presentation of fact.'"
    In other words, take anything he puts on his site with a grain of salt and add a bit of common sense. His words are not based on fact, only the need to drive people to his site.
    Finally, and keep in mind that this is only my personal opinion, but I think that if you are going to spend the money on a D7000 and you don't care about video that you shoot look into a refurbished D300s. You can see the item here:
    If you intend on purchasing it, please use the "STORE" tab at the top of this page to get to adorama.com and search for "D300s refurbished" once you're on Adorama's site. It helps this site keep going.
    Hopefully this helps.

  22. After reading Richard's comments, I decided to check out KR's site to see what he said, and noticed that KR indicated that the D7000 is currently in stock at Ritz camera. Act fast because it probably won't be for long.
  23. I realize that this is an old thread. But it raises an issue about a difficult decision that emerging photographers find themselves in when shooting on a Nikon platform. Since I travel allot in some "equipment unfriendly" conditions, I have concerns that a D7000 would not hold up to the wear and tear of everyday professional use. So that leaves only one option for a recent grad., gulp and pay the price for a D700. I guess that's what Nikon expects budget minded pros to use, the D700. For those who don't need of want a full sensor camera, the D300s is the only one that I think will stand up to professional use. Yes, the D7000 has a metal body. But I'm still skeptical on how well it would stand up to shooting in four different Asian cities and all of the jostling around through airports even with a pelican travel case. Nikon take note. Please, upgrade the D300s with the current electronic guts for pros who want to use this platform and need the larger viewfinder and ruggedness. I'm just glad that I already bought my D300 when it first came out and will have it as a backup when I can afford a D700. i wouldn't feel comfortable with a D7000 even as a backup, no matter how good it is. It seems to suit Ken Rockwell's travel uses. But I can't afford to keep buying new ones when they poop out during or after a rough trip when I've been caught out in an Asian downpour (even with the sealed pelican). In Asia it's the frequent 90+ percent humidity and heat out on the road that would make paying extra for the D300s body well worth it, if they would just upgrade the guts. But for me, I've already got one and really don't need the extra fast AF and much improved metering as I have a light meter for the tricky situations. Also, please, Nikon, hurry up and update the D700 as it puts us a situation of buying into the end of a product life cycle. They should have come out with the updated FX chip at the same time. I guess, times are hard, and it's one chip at a time for Nikon.

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