Fuji S5 or Nikon D90

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mr Ski 73, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I am upgrading my camera but not sure what too. My choice is either a Nikon D90 or a Fuji S5. I currently have a Nikon D40x and the lenses are compatible so I just need the body. I can get a S5 for £420 and a D90 for £650. I use Aperture a lot.

    I have 2 concerns, 1. Does Aperture work ok with the Fuji RAW file format and 2. What is the best camera to take portrait and landscape shots?

    Any thoughts welcome.
     
  2. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #2
    Just curious, what attracts you to these two cameras? They seem like different beasts.
     
  3. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    Basically looking for a step up. if I go for a D80 it has the same sensor as my D40x, I am looking for sharper images out of the camera. D90 is the replacement and has the same sensor as the D300 and I have heard that the S5 takes excellent images with superb colour repro.

    and the S5 is basically a D200 chassis with different electronics
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Yes.
    That depends on the resolution you need. The S5Pro (effectively) has a lower resolution than the D90, but it has the best dynamic range on the market (12 EV, that's pretty much the same as good films). If I were in your position, I'd take the Fuji: its full-metal body (same as D200) would feel better, it's fast and I typically don't need that many megapixels. Unless you need more than 6 (very good) megapixels, get the Fuji :)
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    I few extra megapixels will not help you much in terms of sharpness. When you print what matters is pixels per inch not the total pixel count. Well actually they are related. Pixels per inch is proportionate to the square root of the pixel count. What this means is that you need to double the number of pixels to get a 1.4x improvment in pixels per inch. Bottom line is that gong to the D90 means you can make prints about 1.5 inches wider. Not much.

    If you are looking for dramatic improvements that will make a huge different you need a larger sensor, not one with more pixels. The cheapest large sensor today is film. Spend $100 on a good used film body and have the film scanned to about 24MP files.

    If you are shooting landscapes you don't need fast handling and yu aren't going to be taking thousands of exposures. Film works well for this subject.

    In fact I'm thinking of 4x5 sheet film or this kind of work. So it costs $1 per exposure. I'd only shoot a dozen or so per month. I'd pay less over several years shooting 4x5 then I'd pay for a D90.

    back to your question: Which body to buy. Decide based on how you will use the images. If you need small prints and/or display on the web or other eletronic screens then you don't need many pixels the S5 will be perfect. If you need medium size prints up to a foot across then a dSLR will work but if you want very large prints film is still king.
     
  6. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Thanks for both your responses.

    I must admit I rarely print anything large, a majority of the time I buy Aperture books or view the images on my 24" imac via Aperture or share pictures on Mobile me. The D90 is over £200 more and I am unsure what benefit it brings apart from HD video which I am not interested in.

    If I do blow an image up then it is likely to be viewed from a distance. Would I still be correct in saying that at A2 the S5 would provide better quality prints than my 10.1MP D40x?
     
  7. cube macrumors G4

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    #7
    You can get a Nikon F90 for less than $50 and invest the rest of your money in a Sigma 12-24 for extreme landscapes, or a Nikkor 105 DC for portraits without requiring a huge room.

    To be able to profit from those lenses in digital, the cheapest you can go for is a used Kodak 14n, which you should only buy after researching it well and getting ready to accept its shortcomings (I did, because I really wanted full frame).

    The SLR/n improves on the worst aspects of the 14n, and it's possible to find apparent good deals.

    It seems the interest in these cameras has dropped dramatically in the last year since the D700 came out.
     
  8. jpfisher macrumors regular

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    #8
    Although the sensor does play a part, sharpness is generally more of a characteristic of a lens rather than a body. What type of glass are you using? The D40x kit lenses?

    I'm personally a fan of the S5 -- as others have pointed out, it offers very impressive dynamic range, and the build-quality of the D200 body. Consider that and a good prime lens to go along with it; because it's the D200 body, you can even go after older manual focus Nikon lenses. I'm not that well versed with their glass, but I'm sure you can do some research and find out which are regarded highly for rendering and sharpness.
     
  9. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Sorry, this is not good reasoning. Except of course if you're using negative film like the discontinued Ektar 25 and Tech Pan. Otherwise you'll get a lot of well defined film grains at 24Mpx, especially if you're shooting at higher ISO.

    The S5 is definitely a great camera but its performance at higher ISO settings is not as good as the Nikons. So it depends what's more important: very good dynamic range very good performance in low light.
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Better quality in terms of what? Color? Most definitely. Sharpness? Nope (the D40x has more MP and the optics is presumably the same).

    Plus, since you have the body of the D200, you can use a wide variety of manual focus lenses for your landscapes. :) All AF lenses just work, too.
     
  11. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #11

    Thanks film is not for me, I really want an dSLR

    I have a Sigma 17-70 and a Nikon 55-200 for long range stuff but I use the Sigma for most things. I will look for a Sigma 12-24 longer term, or even fixed Nikon lenses.

    Thanks - unusual to use high ISO certainly not beyond 800

    Thanks that is consistent with what I have read in that the colour management is much better. How much do you think I will loose on sharpness? This may be an issue to me as I find that the Nikon images are already quite soft and do need some sharpening. I am told this is also true of the D80, that is why I have considered other options
     
  12. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

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    #12
    omg! i have to say this

    nikon!!

    go for the nikon please!!!! lol its just that in my eyes nikon is a better camera maker over the years and i trust their cameras more than i do with fuji
     
  13. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    I have an S5, I upgraded from the D70. Would I do it again? No. The S5 is a ton better, tougher, nicer in my hands, it has a better viewfinder screen etc. But, apart from the dynamic range, which I do make use of the camera has made no meaningful difference to my photographs and I would be very surprised if it did to yours.

    Why do you want to upgrade again?!

    As the others have said, changing your camera will make screw all difference to 'sharpness' technique and perhaps lenses, yes.

    My advice; stick to what you have, and just take more pictures. You can upgrade when its dead.

    Informed and rational. Congrats.
     
  14. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Interesting and yes you are probably right. To recap I find the images from my D40x too soft (that may be my camera it may be my lenses........not sure) I thought the S5 may rectify this but it sounds like you think otherwise.
     
  15. jpfisher macrumors regular

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    #15
    If you get a 12-24mm, go for the Tokina. It won't autofocus on a D40x, but it will get you sharpness.

    What aperture are you shooting your current lenses at? You should stop them down a bit to increase sharpness. Take a look at the MTF charts for resolution on the Photozone reviews for your lenses --

    http://photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-a...8-45-dc-nikon-review--lab-test-report?start=1

    (there are a couple 55-200's -- the main Nikon page is -- http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests )

    You can see at which apertures you'll get peak resolution.
     
  16. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #16
    Many thanks, I will do my homework this looks very useful. I think as has been said before I maybe need to experiment more with what I have got and changing my body is not necessarily going to give me better quality images.
     
  17. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #17
    To be honest I would suspect your technique before blaming the camera or lenses. These 10-12 megapixel DX sensors have small pixels that can be very susceptible to small amounts of camera movement.

    The real test is to put it on a good sturdy tripod or other firm surface, and take a picture - preferably using a remote shutter release, or at least a timer (people often move their camera slightly while they're depressing the shutter release).
     
  18. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #18
    At those wide focal lengths, the depth of field is HUGE - manual focussing is not a problem. As a matter of fact, I always use my wide angle lenses in manual focus mode - even though my cameras have all had in-body motors.
     
  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Ditto. The built quality is a lot, lot better, too. Tokina has released a new 11-16 mm f/2.8 lens which is supposed to be even better, but at the expense of a smaller zoom range. I'd probably go for the 12-24, because 24 mm (corresponding to 36 mm on film) still gives you a viewing angle that you can use for group shots, for instance.
     
  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    The biggest loss in sharpness is in fact due to the lower resolution of the sensor: less megapixels, less details. Regarding the D80 (and to a degree, all of Nikon's cameras), Nikon doesn't apply a lot of sharpening to its pictures by default. This gives you less perceived sharpness, but more headroom for editing your pictures. Other manufacturers (in particular Olympus) are far more aggressive.

    Again, I wouldn't worry about it. From what you've written so far, you don't need 6 MP. And if you get the Fuji and don't like it, I'd be more than happy to trade my D80 for it! ;) :D (I'm serious.)
     
  21. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #21
    Thanks for your note.

    I really dont want to sell all my lenses and start again. I think you have hit the nail on the head my problem (apart from the need to take more pictures) is the res of the sensor, hence the D90 or the S5 which both have different sensors to my D40x but will accept my lenses. The more I read the more nervous I am about the S5 colour will be better but I dont think it will give me the sharpness I am looking for. My final question is will the D90 with the alternative sensor provide sharper images than my D40x or indeed a D80?
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #22
    Don't overestimate things like `sharpness', `noise' and the like. The most important thing is still the photographer. Just a few years ago, people have used a D70 to take pictures for the Pirelli calendar. Pretty much all dslrs take very good pictures which are more than sufficient -- unless you have special needs (e. g. very high resolution, very good high-ISO performance).

    And just two weeks ago, I had a 5 MP shot (taken with an Olympus E-20) printed at 50x75 cm^2, had it framed and given it to a friend as a birthday present. Sharpness and resolution were not really a problem. So, although it has just half the resolution of my D80, I still had no problems getting high-quality large-size prints. I wouldn't worry about sharpness, really.
    The D90 has a slightly higher resolution than either the D80 or the D40x (which share the same sensor). But the D90 will only give you marginally sharper pictures at best -- and only if coupled with very good lenses. With kit lenses or cheap tele zooms, you won't be able to see a difference.

    The difference is marginalized even more by the description what you actually do with your pictures.
     
  23. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    So I am wasting my money and am better off spending the cash on some better quality lenses?
     
  24. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Exactly!
    Lenses last longer than bodies. My 80-200 zoom will have a long life, unless I plan to replace it with a 50-135 zoom. But even when I sell it, I know I will get a decent price for it.

    Seeing that you focus on landscapes, either Tokina lens mentioned before would probably suit your needs.

    One thing hasn't been mentioned yet: both, the D90 and the Fuji, have a much larger viewfinder. You will benefit from this a lot more than from an increase in sensor resolution.
     
  25. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #25
    Ok I think I am getting there.

    Does the D80 have the same viewfinder as the D90? I am just thinking with a Tokina lense it will not auto focus on my camera but would on a D80 and I can then "tweak" the focus manually from there.
     

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