Is it time to upgrade the D90?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by marc_le, May 17, 2016.

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  1. I've had it since it came out and while it has worked fine to date, it's been a while and naturally wondering how much better my photos would be on a newer SLR.
    Any thoughts from people that have gone through the same through process?
  2. SCL


    Lots of new/improved features, but they might not be important to you. Is there anything about your shots which you don't like or is a source of annoyance attributable to the camera itself?
  3. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Had a D 60 Kit -- rationalizing because of my son's upcoming wedding, early Summer '14 I bought a Nikon DF (that so I could use my many Film Nikon lenses). I learned the camera basics, managed to get decent wedding photos, but in the process completely revitalized my passion for photography. I now have all kinds of digital gear and am heavily involved in photography. I understand that the D 90 was quite a bit better than the D 60, but I strongly recommend you get as good a newer camera as makes sense. It will be a revelation! I believe you will be in for a heck of a good ride! All the best and enjoy.
  4. I have had a D90, used it a great deal, and currently shoot a D7100 and a D750. The advances since the D90 to the D7100 or D7200 have been huge--much better image quality, much better autofocus, much better handing. If you can afford it, and will be using the camera, upgrading is very much worthwhile.
    I don't recommend a one-step upgrade to D7000. To me, (1) that's not a big jump, particularly in autofocus, and (2) the D7000 has a mode dial that is too easy to change accidentally, so you can wind up in the wrong settings by mistake.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    it's been a while and naturally wondering how much better my photos would be on a newer SLR​
    Could you show us a portfolio of your typical images? Something like 5, 10 or 20 images should go. That should give us an idea whether the D90 is limiting your results or not.
  6. Perhaps you just need better lenses?
  7. the D90 was a great consumer body when it came out. i still have mine, but i dont use it much these days. for me, the limitation wasn't so much IQ, but AF capabilities. But the newer bodies are better in every way. Still, it's hard to say if upgrading a camera would make a difference in the quality of the OP's photos, or a Rich says, whether it would be a better idea to upgrade lenses. i agree with the other posters that analyzing your shots on a technical and aesthetic level would be a good initial step. if the D90 is holding you back, you should be able to articulate exactly how it's holding you back.
  8. An upgrade to a D7100 or D7200 would improve the original poster's resolution, dynamic range, and AF for starters, whether or not he posts his images for you, or knows and can tell you what he doesn't like about his D90. The advantages of the upgrade are still there for his future shooting. I'd say, go for it. The many advantages will make themselves known to you, in the shooting and results of a better camera.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    An upgrade to a D7100 or D7200 would improve the original poster's resolution, dynamic range, and AF for starters,​
    All true. However, if the OP's images are not at all limited by any one of those factors, potentially any upgrade could become fairly meaningless. I am not talking about anybody specifically, but generally speaking, the primary limitation to one's photography is neither the camera nor the lenses. Instead, it is how much time we spend on photography and how to improve our photography skills.
    One issue that is more specific to older Nikon DSLRs such as the D90 is that it cannot control the aperture on modern E lenses. If you get one of the new E lenses such as the 16-80mm f2.8-4 AF-S VR and the 200-500mm/f5.6 AF-S VR, you will be stuck at the widest aperture. It may not be a very severe limitation today, but as E lenses become more popular, it can be an issue down the road. For more info on E lenses, see this thread from last year:
  10. A friend of mine she gave me her aging D80 for my daughter (8 years old) to learn photography.
    I know the sensor of that camera well, from my D200, and it performs in fact rather well!
    The 10Mpx images are really nice at around ISO200.
    But.. It's low-light capabilities are limited .. which my daughter will find out soon enough.
    Even a 50/1.8 lens doesn't help a great lot there.

    The D90 had the D300 sensor, which really was a step-up from the D200/D80 sensor in terms of low-light performance. Arguably less 'smooth' (my D300 always was a bit 'muddy' at pixel peeping enlargements), but better indoors.

    Nowadays, low-light performance has made some serious progress, alongside pixel-count.
    A D7200 (or any other modern camera) would definitely widen your photographic opportunities in that regard!!
  11. Good points, spending the time to learn the craft is paramount, but I will say that when I upgraded to my D7100, it brought out every flaw in my kit lenses and really gave me a lesson on buying good glass.
  12. I am faced with the same decision - only, my d7000 has a malfunctioning card slot. So my decision is - spend now or use what I have until it's totally unusable? I don't have the money now though so that's a factor.
    Let me tell you: Life Is Short. If you want an upgrade (whether it be body, or lens, or a class, or lighting, whatever), and can afford/will use it, and perhaps be inspired to delve further into photography like another responder was - then do it.
  13. I enjoyed my D90 a lot and the only problem I had with it was its inability to fine tune the AF. I replaced it with D7000 which can fine tune the AF. Problem solved. Having said that I use the D7000 as a back up for my D610.
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