D300 with D90 as backup, good idea?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by pdechavez, May 6, 2009.

  1. pdechavez macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007
    I have a d300 but want a backup camera which is close to the D300. Is the D90 a good companion? I believe the features are close but it supports video as well...
  2. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
  3. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007

    anything really, like landscapes to weddings, one cam will have a zoom lens and the other a wide. I find it convenient for that.
  4. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    For landscapes, having two bodies (especially if they're both DX) isn't really efficient for your money. Weddings, I can understand the need to switch focal lengths fast (full-frame would do well there, too). How often are you planning to do weddings?
  5. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007
    Well, money wise, im getting it for free, i just want thoughts and plus i plan to shoot sports. has anyone used the d90?
  6. luminosity macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    The D90's video is a gimmick. I wouldn't plan on using it for anything serious.
  7. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    If you're happy carrying two SLRs, then use whatever you want to spend your money on.

    I've tried many solutions to this is the past, maybe still trying to find the right solution for each occasion.

    Started with just the one SLR with a 28-300 lens on it. Worked really well, but it was a compromise on the wide end.

    Then used a 70-300 lens for telephoto and a compact Canon Ixus for the wide angle. Much the same, the telephoto was better, but wide angle was still a compromise.

    Tried 28-70 lens on my D300 and 70-300 on my (now old) D100. Similar to your suggested setup, but I found the weight unbearable especially traveling around the world. Not helped by different battery requirements, and the D100 limited to 4GB cards.

    Then D3 and D300 as backup. Heavy, but excellent results.

    Recently, Canon Ixus for quick shots, and D300 and 28-70 and 70-300 FX lenses. Chnaging lenses is a pain, but if I plan ahead changes are minimal, and the Ixus is always at hand. D3 is only used for short trips, or when my 2 year old isn't with me, he loves to play with the Nikons. Dropped my D300 on the floor in Auckland airport last weekend, so he never gets within 30ft of the D3.
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    that'll work fine. what wouldn't work is a D40 unless you restrict your lenses...

    you probably won't need it much for landscapes since those are usually slow, deliberate shots, though i guess you could accidentally drop one in a river or something. a second body is pretty much required for wedding work - what do you tell the couple when your primary fails?
  9. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003

    I have two camera bodies when I do weddings because fleeting moments are constantly happening all around me and I literally don't have the 3 seconds it takes to switch lenses. So I usually have two cameras with me at all times with different lenses, so I can immediately grab the camera with the focal length I need. Having two cameras also means that I have at least one working camera if the other fails. You can't postpone or re-do a wedding because your one camera isn't working, and at least brides in America might consider their wedding experienced ruined if they don't have any photos...

    As far as landscapes... not quite sure what you'd need a backup camera for...

    Finally... not quite sure what the point of this thread is. If you're getting the D90 for free then what difference does it make if we think it's a good backup to a D300? You're already going to have it if you don't already. Just take it with you if you think you'll need a backup camera. If you don't, then don't.
  10. pdechavez thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2007
    i wanted to hear people's thoughts on this.
  11. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I reread your original post and think I might have misunderstood.. You are being gifted enough money to buy a D90 and want to know if you should spend your money on that as a backup camera, correct?

    Depends. If you are the hired, paid professional photographer at a wedding, then for God's sake man, get a backup camera as soon as you possibly can! Photographing a wedding without a backup camera is like a cardinal sin!!!

    If, on the other hand, you're just a guest at weddings who likes to take some pictures for the bride & groom, or you're just mainly involved in landscapes, etc., then the vastly superior choice is to spend your money on new lenses. Not sure what the Nikon-equivalent of Canon L-series lenses is, but your bag should be chock full of them
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you have been hired to photograph and event and you think a D300 is required for acceptable results then how can you get acceptable results with a D90?

    I don't understand the logic in using a cheaper backup. If the cheaper backup can get you the shots you need then use that as your primery. If the cheaper camera can NOT get the shots then it is not a usful backup

    I think the way many people handle this is whaen they upgrade the old primary becomes the new backup

    Funny how only a few years ago nothing short of a medium format camera loaded with high quality ISO 160 film was good enough for a wedding but now many people are shooting with a crop body SLR. Why have IQ standards fallen so much? Is it that the buying public doesn't care much about IQ or it it that price pressures have reduced prices so much that photographers cannot longer justify the price of high-end equipment. I'd thinking it mightbe a little of both. Clients don't can't tell the difference in small prints and the guys doing the $100 wedding packages have made it impossable to complete if you have a $30K camera system to support.
  13. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003

    Film silver hallide particles are about 2 microns in size whereas a 40D (for example) has pixel sites that are 5.7 microns in size. HOWEVER, a single silver hallide particle can only represent 2^1 different tones (it's binary - either "exposed" or "not exposed") whereas each digital camera pixel can represent 2^16 (65536) different tones. You need a clump of about 30-40 silver hallide particles to provide the same tonal information as a single digital camera pixel. So while film still slightly edges digital in spatial resolution, unless you're taking pictures of black and white resolution charts all day and want to, I don't know, take pictures of people and flowers and landscapes and such, then a digital sensor annihilates film in terms of real-life image quality.

    Of course, you'll immediately argue that that statement only applies to sensor and film of the same size. That's true. But even considering the fact that medium format film is 8 times larger in each direction than a cropped sensor, you still arrive at the conclusion that medium format film and cropped digital provide about the same amount of image quality in terms of real-life resolution.

    Back in the film days of wedding photography, of course professionals used medium format because it is vastly superior to 35mm. However, digital now reigns supreme in wedding photography because of its superior image quality and flexibility.

    Now that that's out of the way, any photographer worth their salt will tell you that the sensor has little to do with image quality in terms of resolution compared with lens quality. Very few lenses except some L-series primes can provide a point spread function smaller than the size of a single pixel at a reasonable aperture throughout the frame anyway, so increased pixel density is just going to waste anyway.

    Cropped and full frame sensors have their tradeoffs. Cropped uses only the central portion of the image field, which presents an advantage over full frame because all 3rd order aberrations (coma, astigmatism, field curvature, and distortion) except for spherical aberration are field dependent (meaning they get worse as you get closer to the edge of the field). On the other hand, cropped sensors typically have a higher pixel density than full frame so you're trying to collect more pixels with less field information.

    Sorry for that long rant. At any rate, I think we can all agree that wedding photography is 10% equipment and 90% skill. I've seen amazing pictures come out of a Rebel XT, and I've also seen crap from photographers who use a 1Ds-III.
  14. Rotary8 macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2006
    ^ true.

    I've seen way too many scrubs buy all that pro gear and end up with mediocre results.
  15. georgemann macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2005
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    I shoot a lot with a D300 and D80. Usually putting the wider lens on the D300 and the longer lens on the D80. (I prefer shooting wide angle when possible)

    If I have time to change lenses I will actually switch lenses and shoot with the D300 instead, because the focusing system is so much better.

    I have toyed with the idea of changing the D80 for a D90 but after testing it a few times, I have decided that two D300s would be better for me.

    So now I am of course waiting for the D400 to come out before making a final decision.

  16. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601


    Feb 27, 2005

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