need new DSLR body, advice please?

Started Nov 21, 2011 | Discussions thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 8,925
Re: need new DSLR body, advice please?

The D90 is still available, but its position as top-of-the-line in Nikon's consumer body lineup has been taken by the D7000, which significantly upped the "professional" aspect of its feature set to the point that much of what made folks choose a D300 (Nikon's "semi-pro" DX body) over a D90 (with the same sensor but not the same AF module) now could be found in the D7000 - partial weather sealing, partial magnesium body, AF fine tuning, extremely capable AF module. All without increasing the weight or bulk of the mid-size D90 by much at all.

As the general rule of thumb is to skip generations if you want to upgrade at the same point in a manufacturer's lineup, the D90 will be a very significant jump in image quality, resolution, and handling over your D70. Its 3" high-res LCD, to name one thing, is an absolute joy to use. It is still a very highly respective camera, easily at the top of its class, but the D7000 and its cheaper, smaller, single LCD/single control wheel little brother the D5100 are noticeably better at higher ISOs (800 and above) and have greater dynamic range (don't buy the D5100 if you use screwdrive-AF lenses). There are minuses to the D7000 as well; the high-resolution sensor requires much greater shot discipline (i.e., rock steady hand-holding, etc.) for sharp 100% magnification images; view the d90/d7000 forum for plenty of talk on these things, and read the D90 and especially D7000 reviews on this website - using the image comparison pages to compare your D70 images against what the D90 and D7000 can do.

Personally, I like a lot of the pro features of the D7000, but the D90 fits my hand better. I wouldn't get any bigger body than the D90/D7000; even the D7000 is pushing it a bit. Given the feature set of the D7000, the D400 is probably going to be positioned more towards the "pro" end of the spectrum than the D300 was to differentiate it from the D7000, and it will likely sport a higher resolution sensor ( the D7000's sensor can already equal or exceed the resolution of most of Nikon's consumer lens line).

One final thing - the D7000, D5100, and D90 are/were made in the Thailand factory, which is under water and will be for several months. The newer bodies are now in short supply and prices are rising. Fresh supplies may not be forthcoming until the spring. If you want a camera now and don't want to buy another one again for a decade, consider the D7000 first, then the D90. By spring the D90 will probably be gone for good, and the D7000's successor 6 months from release.

 mosswings's gear list:mosswings's gear list
Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1 Nikon D90 Nikon D7100 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +5 more
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