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Old 01-03-2013, 09:07 AM   #1
MrToilet
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Default Nikon D80 or D90?

Hey everyone - just a quick camera question. I'm currently using a Nikon D40 with the kit 18-55 lens and 55-200 lens. I'm looking at getting a 35 or 50 mm prime lens (f1.4 or 1.8) soon, but the whole lack of in-body focus motor in my D40 kind of limits my options to the AF-S lenses, which are frustrating more expensive .

I've been looking on Ebay, Amazon, etc for an updated camera body, something like the D80 or D90. Used D80 bodies are running $200-$300, while D90's are $400-600. I don't see myself using the video feature on the D90, so that's not an issue. So I could get a D80 body and prime (or Nikon 18-200 lens, which I'm also considering) for about the cost of a D90 body alone.

So my question: Is the D90 enough of an upgrade over the D80 to justify spending double the money? I know it has more AF points, better sensor, but for my amateur photography skills (vacations, weddings, landscapes, etc) is the D80 enough?

Thanks in advance! I appreciate it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
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Have you looked at the D300 yet?
See them on Ebay as low as the 500-600 range

I think that would be a good upgrade for you

A D80 isn't much of an upgrade from a D40
You gain a few mp and a autofocus motor
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
Don Vito Corleone
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For what it's worth there seems to be a general consensus (Ken Rockwell notwithstanding) that the f1.8 AF-S primes are optically superior to their D equivalents. I'm not sure I would do a body upgrade just to use D lenses.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:52 AM   #4
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The D80 was release a months earlier than the D40, only major difference is 11 vs 3 af areas & megapixle. I own D70 and D80 since the first day it's out, for what you're doing, its fine. My D70 is sluggish now, can't match the D80 and uses the old CF, the D80 is still good.

If you do get it, you just need to update the firmware. I threw away a perfectly good battery because the camera thinks the battery was bad, was fix with a firmware. That battery was still good from 2006 till recently. But battery was only like 30 bucks, so wan't a huge deal.

Of course you can always buy something newer and fancier

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Old 01-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #5
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D7000 (successor to D90)? They're getting cheaper.. and coincidentally, I'm selling one
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:26 PM   #6
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My wife went from a D70 to a D90 for her side photography business. The upgrade was pretty big. I don't know about the D80, but I can vouch that the D90 is a great camera
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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IMO the D90 is heads above the D80.

The D80 uses the 10mp sensor that is known to be quite noisy at higher ISOs.



The Auto ISO is also improved on the D90, allowing you to see the ISO before you shoot. You also have easy ISO where while in A or S mode you can use the other scroll wheel to change the ISO.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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I went from a D40 to D90 on release, best move. I think D90 is a lot better than D80. better menu, better low light, better AF, better sensor than the D80.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
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For what it's worth I think if I had gotten a D90 back in the day I would have postponed my D600 purchase. That's a pretty damn good camera.

However I don't think you should be upgrading a camera to use AF and AF-D lenses. Not unless you already have a bunch. Take the 50mm for example. Yes you can save about $90 on the lens but it's not as good as the AF-S version.

Wanna know a secret about photography? When you need to upgrade or buy something you'll "know". Don't just do it to do it. Do it because you need higher ISO performance (I can shoot comfortably at ISO 6400 on my D600), need better auto focus, need more frames per second, need live view, movie mode, a better rear lcd, need a 100% viewfinder, need full frame, etc.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Vito Corleone View Post
For what it's worth there seems to be a general consensus (Ken Rockwell notwithstanding) that the f1.8 AF-S primes are optically superior to their D equivalents. I'm not sure I would do a body upgrade just to use D lenses.
This.

The latest digital sensors are extremely demanding of the glass. Lenses that were good back in the film days do not always stand up to scrutiny in the digital era... SLRgear has many older "D" lenses that simply look horrible by even a D90's sensor let alone a D3200's sensor.

The D90's sensor is significantly better than the D80's, plus it has video etc. but really, think twice about using "D" lenses on digital cameras unless they were excruciatingly good even back in the film days. SLRgear is your friend.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:48 PM   #11
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I appreciate all the input - yeah as I got to thinking about it a little more (meaning, I had a D90 body and D80 body in my cart on Amazon...yeah I have a problem ...) the smartest thing for me right now would be just to get the 35mm 1.8 and see how much I actually use it on my D40.

What I'm sensing is that I should probably just hold out and get the D90, or something along those lines later on. The only other lens I'm looking seriously at right now is the Nikon 18-200 VR, which is drool-inducing but still $400+.

Can anyone tell me why buy photography stuff is A) so addictive and B) so fun?! lol.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:16 PM   #12
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Look on the bright side, at least you don't have to pay for film anymore, at least not much. SD card, hard drive space, etc. are cheaper than tons and tons of rolls of film. Then again, if you use stuff like Adobe's products, that can get expensive really fast.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:11 AM   #13
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D7000 $749 Refurbished by Nikon. For $7.95 add an additional one year warranty on it and any other new/refurb item you purchase in the next 12 months.

http://www.adorama.com/INKD7000R.html

BTW, I miss my D40...
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
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I moved from a D40 to a D90, but only sold the D40 recently, holding on to two long years! The D80 is not that much of an upgrade from a D40.

I can personally vouch for what Don and others have said - the newer lens are really (really) better. I have said it before - I love the 35mm 1.8; loved it with the D40, and love it with the D90. The older 50mm 1.8 is nice, but not equal to the 35mm.

And if you have held on for so long, do yourself a favor and wait till you can afford the D7000; maybe once Nikon gets a replacement for it. Or as JR's link shows, you might already be there.

But really, if you have to spend some money (I know, I've been there), you might just get a good lens. And not the 18-200, which is so-so, but maybe the Sigma 17-50mm F/2.8. You won't regret it.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:31 PM   #15
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I have the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 OS HSM lens. Good lens. If you don't need ultrawide or telephoto or flashless + low-ISO + low-light ability, it might be the only lens you need.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:50 PM   #16
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This is older, and the above advice is all good.

I just wanted to say that the D80 and D90 sensors are a whole generation apart. The D90 sensor is the same generation as the D3 and D700 (but on the low end of that generation of sensors), and is far away better than the D80 sensor. That's the primary difference you'll notice. As mentioned above, the high ISO performance is the reason for it, as you get a full stop more performance, or more.

If you're holding out, the D90 is a pretty good option, though, I agree, don't upgrade just for the lenses.
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