Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

Started Jul 13, 2014 | Discussions
PhotographyExplorer8321 Junior Member • Posts: 38
Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

After looking over several camera bodies, I noticed a few deals on older bodies such as the D90 or even D60.  Would such a body be a good buy even with its older specs?  Any advice if this is feasible on buying lenses that would be compatible with future bodies?  (ie avoiding lenses incompatible with current or future models such as D5300).

Nikon D5300 Nikon D90
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David Lal Forum Pro • Posts: 10,337
Yes
1

PhotographyExplorer8321 wrote:

After looking over several camera bodies, I noticed a few deals on older bodies such as the D90 or even D60.  Would such a body be a good buy even with its older specs?  Any advice if this is feasible on buying lenses that would be compatible with future bodies?  (ie avoiding lenses incompatible with current or future models such as D5300).

Yes.

But you should search the forum.  The D90 is well-regarded, as is the D300 - I have one, bought secondhand for not too much money in virtually new condition. Even the D200 has its proponents. Personally I'd not go further back in time than that. Lenses? Buy the best you can afford, preferably with in-built focus motor.

David

photoeng Senior Member • Posts: 1,150
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

If you go for the D60, my advise is to make sure you don't pay more than $200 or so. Any more than that, you may as well go for the D90.

The D60 gives very punchy images and at 10MP, you have at least some room for cropping.

I've seen a couple go for less than $200 in my local Craigslist.
--
David

My gear list: D40 / D70s / D200
A bunch of lenses

 photoeng's gear list:photoeng's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Nikon D70s Nikon D300 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G II +7 more
qunamax
qunamax Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

PhotographyExplorer8321 wrote:

After looking over several camera bodies, I noticed a few deals on older bodies such as the D90 or even D60. Would such a body be a good buy even with its older specs? Any advice if this is feasible on buying lenses that would be compatible with future bodies? (ie avoiding lenses incompatible with current or future models such as D5300).

Yes. Some people only have trouble with older bodies once they are used to dynamic range and ISO performance of the newer body. Since you aren't and probably don't have the latest body to compare the older one to, you aren't spoiled and you won't notice anything wrong with D60/D90. If you can stretch to get D90 it would be better option, more controls, builtin focus motor, top info screen, video/liveview mode etc.

For the lens, they are all compatible (given you won't buy something really vintage), but if you get D90 now and plan to get something from D3xxx / D5xxx series later be sure to only buy AF-S lenses because they can autofocus on those two series, only higher bodies like D80/D90/D7000/D7100 can autofocus with non AF-S lenses.

 qunamax's gear list:qunamax's gear list
Nikon D40 Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF +1 more
Ronan_M
Ronan_M Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
1

None of the Pre-D7000 DX bodies will be a high-ISO star, but having said that if you're ok with the limitations, D90, D200 and D300(s) have all been extremely well regarded, plus on all those bodies you have in-body screw drive focus motor, so your lens selection really opens up.

I'd go with any of those 3

Mr Physics
Mr Physics Contributing Member • Posts: 716
The older DX machines can be a great buy..
2

...I'm fighting with the urge to upgrade my D90 right now. The D7100 seems to do everything a little bit better but there is nothing wrong with the D90. I can count on it for my birding and action stuff. It doesn't ever seem to get in the way of capturing the best image that I can.

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qunamax
qunamax Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Re: The older DX machines can be a great buy..
3

I might have different sense of time for these things but the way i see it is that D90 was a killer camera just a 'moment' ago (actually a few years, given that only the wealthy ones buy it the day it comes out) and everyone was reading reviews and salivating, putting money on the side for it. Few years fast forward people are making fun of it like it is some vintage technology. D90 isn't old or bad cam, it's the Nikon that pushed new models earlier than it should for sole profit and people nowdays are hooked on that spending market model (enthusiasts like us, not pros that live of it and don't care about anything but getting the job done the easiest and fastest way).

Everyday there are threads here like "oh should I buy this few years old body, it can't shoot at ISO-1000000, won't anyone laugh at me and my photos?" or the threads "look my vintage D7000 still has some life in it, look at the photos, don't you think the old girl is still keeping up, i'm sorry I don't have D4 i promise to upgrade next month, then i'll come to show you the best photos ever".

 qunamax's gear list:qunamax's gear list
Nikon D40 Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 20mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Samyang 85mm F1.4 Aspherical IF +1 more
T O Shooter Veteran Member • Posts: 8,894
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

PhotographyExplorer8321 wrote:

After looking over several camera bodies, I noticed a few deals on older bodies such as the D90 or even D60. Would such a body be a good buy even with its older specs? Any advice if this is feasible on buying lenses that would be compatible with future bodies? (ie avoiding lenses incompatible with current or future models such as D5300).

You should always throw out how much money you have to spend. If you have at least $350 to $400, I suggest you start at the D90. My brother shot D200 for years and with some post processing he had some amazing photos, but the PP did get to be a drag for him ( he now shoots D600 ) Around $400 to $500 you should be able to pick up a D300 - a little more pro body than a D90, but similar or equal image quality. In the $500 to $600 range you should be able to pick up a D7000 - more dynamic range, slightly higher MP, slightly better image quality. AF is probably not considered as good as the D300/s, but whether that impacts you will depend on what you shoot. Personally, I would not go back any further than a D90.

I have owned D300, D300s, D7000 and had a D90 for a brief period sometime after the D300/s. I think the best bang for the buck would be the D90. Depending on where you live or if you're buying from Ebay you may be able to squeeze a better deal than the numbers I've listed above. I'm in Toronto with about 5-6 million people, so I could probably shave some money off the above prices with a little looking. YMMV.

For what it's worth I currently have D7100, D700, D800e and a D4. But if budget was tight or I just didn't want to outlay too much money, between the D200, D300, D90 and D7000, I'd probably take the D90. While I've primarily shot the "pro" bodies, that would still be my choice.

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Canon G5 and a bit more "stuff"

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jimoyer
jimoyer Senior Member • Posts: 1,879
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
2

The D200 is probably one of the best deals going right now.  A 10mp Professional body for $200.  A lot of people say you can't shoot it above ISO 400, but with a good NR program, and careful attention to exposure, you can go much higher than that.

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Answell Contributing Member • Posts: 958
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
4

Just give it a few more months, and we will have some people  asking if the D7100 is a good camera.

jimoyer
jimoyer Senior Member • Posts: 1,879
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

Answell wrote:

Just give it a few more months, and we will have some people asking if the D7100 is a good camera.

And it will probably become a better and better body the older it gets, much like the D200 which was heavily criticized when released for several reasons, and yet it's one of the more popular "old" DX bodies around now.

 jimoyer's gear list:jimoyer's gear list
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OP PhotographyExplorer8321 Junior Member • Posts: 38
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

Thanks all for your help and comments! They were all very helpful.  Both the D90 and the D300 look like very strong possibilities.  Both seem like they were have sturdier builds than looking at less costly consumer/entry level DSLRs.

Hansa Yindee
Hansa Yindee Veteran Member • Posts: 4,327
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
3

PhotographyExplorer8321 wrote:

Thanks all for your help and comments! They were all very helpful. Both the D90 and the D300 look like very strong possibilities. Both seem like they were have sturdier builds than looking at less costly consumer/entry level DSLRs.

.

Here's a plug for a D300...Been using them for years.

Most all of my work is done in the Thai jungle where

the D300 has held up superbly well.

I carry 2 at a time. One has a mid range lens while

the other is long range.

More then once they have been used  as defensive weapons.

The price of a low mileage D300 is money well spent, IMO ..;-)

.

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Jon in Thailand
www.flickr.com/photos/af2899/
.

 Hansa Yindee's gear list:Hansa Yindee's gear list
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pforsell
pforsell Senior Member • Posts: 1,792
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
1

PhotographyExplorer8321 wrote:

After looking over several camera bodies, I noticed a few deals on older bodies such as the D90 or even D60. Would such a body be a good buy even with its older specs? Any advice if this is feasible on buying lenses that would be compatible with future bodies? (ie avoiding lenses incompatible with current or future models such as D5300).

Older DX body? Why not. I still regularly use a D1x and a D2x alongside my newer cameras. And my 5 yo daughter uses a D40.

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Cope
Cope Veteran Member • Posts: 6,331
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

D90, yes.  D60, only if ti was almost free.

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Never ask a man where he's from. If he is from Texas, he'll tell you. Otherwise, don't embarrass him.

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Answell Contributing Member • Posts: 958
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
1

jimoyer wrote:

Answell wrote:

Just give it a few more months, and we will have some people asking if the D7100 is a good camera.

And it will probably become a better and better body the older it gets, much like the D200 which was heavily criticized when released for several reasons, and yet it's one of the more popular "old" DX bodies around now.

I still use a D200 as my back-up camera, and in some ways, even like it over the D7100. To be honest, most older cameras are still capable of excellent results. Your lens, and the knowledge of how to use them are far more important than the camera body. The dynamic area and pixel count  have changed on newer bodies, but with some careful pp, we can pull these out of the older bodies too. This is my opinion anyway. cheers

jimoyer
jimoyer Senior Member • Posts: 1,879
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

Answell wrote:

jimoyer wrote:

Answell wrote:

Just give it a few more months, and we will have some people asking if the D7100 is a good camera.

And it will probably become a better and better body the older it gets, much like the D200 which was heavily criticized when released for several reasons, and yet it's one of the more popular "old" DX bodies around now.

I still use a D200 as my back-up camera, and in some ways, even like it over the D7100. To be honest, most older cameras are still capable of excellent results. Your lens, and the knowledge of how to use them are far more important than the camera body. The dynamic area and pixel count have changed on newer bodies, but with some careful pp, we can pull these out of the older bodies too. This is my opinion anyway. cheers

I couldn't agree more.  I used the D200 as a back up on a paying job last week, and the images came out every bit as nice as those from my D7100 give or take.....there were some images the extra resolution of the D7100 added that "pop" you sometimes get from added resolution, and other times the D200 handled the difficult and varied skin tones far better than the D7100.

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon D7100 Olympus E-M1 Nikon D4S +14 more
six34sigma
six34sigma Senior Member • Posts: 2,169
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

PhotographyExplorer8321 wrote:

After looking over several camera bodies, I noticed a few deals on older bodies such as the D90 or even D60. Would such a body be a good buy even with its older specs? Any advice if this is feasible on buying lenses that would be compatible with future bodies? (ie avoiding lenses incompatible with current or future models such as D5300).

Me, I would look at a D90, D300. Prices are good at $370-$475. Great bang for the buck.

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Regards,
Sanjay

 six34sigma's gear list:six34sigma's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Nikon D90 +9 more
sceptical1 Forum Member • Posts: 67
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?
1

You are getting great advice her. I am a longtime pro and I am convinced after moving from FF to DX (first D7000's, then D7100's) that I could get great results from any of these cameras. With a good lens, there is no reason you can't get professional results from a D300 or D90 assuming you put the time in to learn how to take good images.
Always lenses (and good lighting ) are more important than the camera body.
Note that I would want a camera with a focus motor for better lens choice. I don't think the D60 has a motor, so l would pass on it.

rrings Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: Buying an older DX body...A good idea?

I shot with a D5100 for a year or so then bought a D300 (61k actuations) for around $350 on ebay.  I like it enough that I don't feel the need to upgrade to a D7100 (yet).  I almost never pull out the D5100 anymore actually.

I think it is a great idea.

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Nikon D800E Nikon D500 Tokina AT-X Pro 12-24mm f/4 (IF) DX Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G +7 more
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