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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:50 pm 
Hi,

this is my first question here.
I would like to buy my first DSLR and focused on the Nikon D90 for a long time, because good pictures are most important for me.

Now I read the review about the Nikon D5100 and also the Canon 600D (Rebel T3i). I wonder if the D90 still has an advantage in image quality over the above mentioned. Or should I head for the newer ones?

Thanks.

Georgios


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:42 pm 
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With the D90 only being one rung above the D5100 in Nikon's product lineup, I can't imagine there being much appreciable difference between the two in terms of image quality. With DSLRs you'll find that image quality is much more dependent on the lens than the body, especially when you try to compare two bodies that are one step apart in the lineup.

Have you actually handled or used any of the cameras? That is probably the best way for you to decide. The way the camera feels in your hand is hugely important and it made me decide to buy the Canon EOS 550D over the Nikon D5000.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:13 pm 
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The D5000 had the same sensor as the D90, and produced identical image quality. Can't say anything about the D5100, other than that the D90 is more rugged, slightly bigger, features a top screen and is a somewhat more advanced camera.

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I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:18 pm 
Maybe you´re right and I should also compare the cameras by holding them in my hands.

Speaking of lenses, I guess it is better to buy them seperately from the body?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:26 pm 
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Not necessarily.

A body and lens kit can only cost a relatively small amount more than the body alone. Gordon pointed out two benefits to having the kit lens, even if you seldom/never use it.

1) It helps preserve the resale value should you upgrade
2) If your most used lens is damaged, at least you'll still have something to use, even if it doesn't have the same focal range or produce as good image quality.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:38 pm 
Good points.

Back to image qualities. If I understand it right, I can´t compare the results from different cameras from different years regarding image quality, because these results are relative to the specific year.
If so, how do we compare results from older cameras with newer ones?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:11 pm 
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I don't think anybody here said the body's release date makes a comparison meaningless if you try to compare a body from a couple of years back with one from today.

DSLRs have simply become more featured at every price point with time and image quality has only improved marginally by comparison but it was good to start with.

This video shows that, for the most part, having a good camera body means little if you put a cheap, not so optically sharp lens in front of it, adding to my earlier statement that your lens is more important than your body when it comes to image quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk5IMmEDWH4

Another example I can give is that a friend of mine climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro earlier this year and he noted a couple of people using Canon EOS 300/350Ds from over five years ago but because they were using L lenses, they were still getting fantastic pictures. They didn't feel they needed the extra features of newer bodies as they were more than content with what they had, largely attributed to the lenses they were using.

_________________
DSLRs: Canon EOS 70D, 30D
Lenses: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF 50mm f/1.8 II, EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

CSCs: Panasonic DMC-GF3
Lenses: Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:13 am 
Thanks for the video. It certainly will influence my decision which camera I´ll buy.
Now I have to learn more about lenses.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:33 am 
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Hello, Georgios, and welcome to the Cameralabs Forum!

As the video showed, using a cheaper, older DSLR that maybe doesn't have as much features but putting on some good glass, will get you much better results than getting an expensive pro body but mounting some cheap, soft lenses. I like to say that a photo is made up of three parts, the camera body which accounts for 2%, the camera lens which accounts for 8%, and the eye of the photographer, which accounts for the final 90%. What good is having all this expensive gear if you're not a good photographer, or just don't have the enthusiasm needed to take a good picture? If I could quote Ansel Adams, "There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept".

Anyways, the D5000 uses the same imaging sensor as the D90, but the D5100 uses the new 16 MP CMOS found on the D7000. Overall, the D5100 will get better image quality than the D90, but they're still pretty comparable. If you're worried about the 4 MP difference, it's not a big deal unless you're making enormous prints. Besides, being an older camera with an older sensor, the worse IQ is to be expected. I'd personally prefer the D90 over the D5100 for it's better construction and feature set, but if you really want the better IQ or the vari-angle screen, the D5100 is still an excellent choice.
Regarding the 600D, it's 18 MP CMOS produces a tad bit more noise than the D5100's 16 MP CMOS, but they're very similar overall.


If you're looking for some decent lenses, for Nikon the 35mm f/1.8 DX is an excellent, sharp lens and perhaps an upgrade from the kit lens such as the 16-85mm or 18-200mm would be a good choice. I own the 16-85 and I love it, it's such a sharp lens. You could also look at the 70-300mm for a telephoto zoom, and the 10-24mm for a wide angle.
Regarding Canon glass, I'm not too familiar with it, but their L lenses are definitively worth taking a look into (providing that you have the sufficiant funds :) )

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:37 am 
Hello Evan,

thanks for your thoughts. I´m not familiar with many things yet. What´s an IQ?

What I learned from all your inputs is that the right lens is very important. I guess, I will invest in a not too expensive body with a better lens. Thanks.

Kind regards
Georgios


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:09 pm 
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IQ = Image Quality ;)

I agree with other posters; investing in good glass is a very good thing

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:11 am 
Thanks, Janern.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:04 pm 
In all this discussion about equipment -- bear in mind that it's the photographer not that camera that takes the picture. If you are relying on the notion that a "better" or more expensive or more recent camera takes "better" pictures than a less expensive or more recent camera, then with respect, I would suggest that you are thinking in the wrong terms here.

All advice so far is valuable and valid -- but above all get the cameras in your hands. Remember that DSLRs are much heavier than P&S cameras -- and the higher up the food chain you go, the heavier they tend to get. UI also plays an important part of this hands-on testing as well. Ergonomics go well beyond how the equipment feels in your hands. Ease of use in terms of feature selection, menu access, etc., are all components of the overall feel of the camera.

Insofar as D5000 vs D90 vs D5100 vs D7000 --- they are all good cameras -- I would not say that any one is better for you than an other -- only you can determine that.

Where lenses are concerned, a kit lens is often a good place to start, but eventually, you will want a decent prime, wide angle and telephoto zoom. The Nikon 18-105VR is an excellent first / walk-around lens, and is often bundled with the D90 and D7000. If you purchase from a proper camera store rather than a box store, you will be able to get it bundled with any of the bodies you are considering.

One final word -- in case you are new to the world of DSLR photography, it would not be a bad idea to sign up for a set of photography classes. They often have rental cameras available for students to use/try. I simply add this last point as I didn't get a sense of your photographic experience from the thread, and thought it was worthwhile to make the suggestion.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:32 pm 
Thank you for your suggestion signing up a phptography class. I guess I really have to learn something about that.

I am aware of the fact that a DSLR has the disadvantage of being heavier than a compact one. That´s the reason why I hesitate for so long. My little Ricoh is so handy and makes nice macro-shots. But on the other hand, it is almost impossible to make good photos in sunlight, because of overexposure. So, there is a need for a better camera, but it must not be the best one.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:38 pm 
Most photographers have their main DSLR, and often a smaller P&S that is fully pocketable and that they always have with them.


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