New DSLR: Should I even consider a D60 today?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by T-Stex, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
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    Pennsylvania
    #1
    Hey all. I'm looking to get back into photography. I'm thinking I'll primarily be taking portraits and still life shots outdoors. I'm thinking of getting a DSLR with a kit lens (either 18-55mm or 18-105mm), and a 35mm f/1.8 lens that I imagine will primarily be used. Video on the DSLR isn't really a concern, and to be honest, I don't think I'll ever use it or regret not having it. I don't really have a specific budget, but I don't want to spend money for features I won't use. I've looked at most of the Canon and Nikon line, and I'm now thinking of the D90, D60, or the Rebel t1i. Based on price and how they felt in my hands, I'm leaning toward the D60. I guess I'm wondering if I should even consider the D60 now, with the D5000 out, and if it would be worth it to step up to the D90. I searched this forum, but couldn't find anything specifically regarding the D60 vs. D90.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #2
    Even in its heyday, the D60 was not a very popular camera. Unless they're letting them go for a song these days, I'd seriously consider stepping up to a D90. The T1i is also an excellent camera, but I think you have to add the battery grip to have the best ergonomic situation with it.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #3
    There's no reason not to get one, they work just fine and take excellent pictures. Their unpopularity has more to do with the price point of the D40 than anything else as far as I can tell. The main reason to get a D90 would be if you wanted to get older used lenses and still maintain autofocus. The D5000 is a newer sensor, but for your usage it's probably not that material.

    There are lots of bargains in the older used lens market, though prices have been steadily climbing- if you're good with your lens choices, then I'd recommend just getting the D60, there'll be something newer and better out by the time you want to trade up anyway.
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #4
    Do you already own that 35mm lens, or are you planning to purchase it with the camera? If you haven't already purchased it, just be aware that it's a DX-only prime. That's not a problem in itself, but it may mean it'll be collecting dust should you ever decide to go full-frame.

    I'm not saying "do not buy it" - I'm just saying be aware of what you're buying. If you end up buying a camera with a in-body motor (e.g. the D90), then consider spending the extra $100 and buying the 35mm f/2 D instead.

    P.S. I wouldn't think about video being a "feature I won't use" - you're not really paying extra for it in a new camera nowadays. Any current generation camera will have video.
     
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #5
    A 30mm f/2 will have the AOV of a 60mm lens on a DX body, that makes it a completely different lens. For its price, the 30/1.8 is a good deal, and it's resellable, and Nikon has added DX crop mode to all of its FX DSLRs. I'm not saying "It's not an issue," but I don't' think it's as big of one as people make out.
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #6
    The 35mm f/2 will have the exact same field of view on the DX body as the 35mm f/1.8 DX has on that DX body - or is that not what you're saying?

    If you're stating that the 35mm lens is completely different on DX versus FX, I have no quarrel with the statement. I haven't used my 35mm f/2 very much since I went to FX, actually - I just don't shoot at that focal length very much. And I know a lot of people - maybe MOST people - will probably stick with DX forever. But having listened to people (who didn't do their homework) complain that their 18-200 DX lens didn't work with their D700, I figured it was worth mentioning that the 35mm f/1.8 is designed specifically (and only) for DX cameras - that's all.

    Basically I agree that it's not a big issue... as long as people have done their homework.
     
  7. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #7
    Paul, I think you meant 35mm f/2 = 52.5mm equiv. on DX, and both the AF-D older 35mm f/2 and newer AF-S 35mm f/1.8 G would be very similar on a DX camera (as long as it has built-in screw drive.)

    I've seen the older f/2 version (used) selling for mid-$200s, just have to look around. I was considering either one of these two lenses myself, and still haven't bought one yet. The older lens appeals because of the more "retro" look with the aperture ring, etc. and less to break with no AF motor, plus the ability to use it either on film bodies or digital FX as a moderate wide-angle. Optically, I don't think there's much perceptible difference, but the newer lens does seem to show more than average distortion than what you'd expect from a prime lens... but it's cheap... :)
     
  8. T-Stex thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Pennsylvania
    #8
    I don't already own the 35mm lens, but I think that no matter what DSLR I go with, I'll be getting a 35mm or 50mm lens. In the event that I go with a DX camera and get the 35mm lens, it'll likely be 2-3 years out at the earliest, and I'll be okay with selling the DX lens and putting that toward the equivalent full-frame option.

    Also, thanks for all the replies. I'm still considering the D60, but everything I read about the D5000 points to it being an improvement over the D60, so I think that right now it's primarily between the D90, D5000, and Canon T1i, and maybe the D60. I know that the D5000 and T1i are enough for me right now, but it's just a matter of whether or not I want to go with a body that I won't outgrow as quickly. I think the biggest things that bother me about the D5000 over the D90 are the build quality and solid feel, the lack of the top mounted LCD, and the flip-down screen of the D5000.
     
  9. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Oregon coast
    #9
    If you don't need the video, you might really want to take a look at a very lightly used D300. I've seen a few of them (low shutter clicks) actually selling for under $900. If video will be a big part of it, then if you can spring for it, you won't regret the D90 over the D5000 - it's a nice upgrade all around. But, for stills the D90 can't perform like the D300. Image quality might be very similar, but the build quality and AF performance just ain't the same. The D300 is built like a tank compared to the D90 or below. (do I sound biased? ;) ) I just happen to love my D300 after three years with a D50. Light years different!
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #10
    I would get a used D50 kit for $300 instead of any D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D5000.
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    Adorama has used D80 bodies for around $400. That looks like a better deal than a used D50 kit for $300.
     
  12. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #12
    Go for the 18-105 or get both the 18-55 and the 55-200 or the 18-200. You will like using a telephoto for most portraits. It gives a nice perspective and is less intrusive to your subject. Lots of people really hate cameras being stuck in their face.

    For scenics you can use all the resolution possible. A prime type lens is often sharper, and thus recommended for scenics. But, in the end wouldn't an uncropped zoom be sharper than a cropped prime lens? Of course, the 35mm has great low-light ability and is small and light, and isn't terribly expensive.

    Camera-wise, I would go for the pixels, hopefully in the 12mp range as these pay off in cropped scenics. More than 12mp? Experts don't seem impressed, and they are likely right.
     
  13. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Oregon coast
    #13
    So-called "crop" sensors have nothing to do with lens sharpness. But, lenses designed for 35mm film or full-frame sensors cast a bigger image circle on the "film plane" of the camera, so actually a full-frame lens mounted on a DX body will find the center portion of it's image squarely over the "cropped" sensor, which means the sweet spot of the lens is what gets used. One example of this "sweet spot" would be with Nikon's previous 70-200 f/2.8 AF-S VR zoom, which had some edge softness and light dropoff when used on full-frame or 35mm, but those defects were largely negated on DX bodies, which simply "cropped" off the bad stuff and used only the more central part of the image of the lens.

    Lens sharpness with any particular sensor would be a combination of lens resolving power and sensor pixel density/inch... usually the center of a lens can resolve better resolution than the edges... so DX cameras usually get the best 'part' of lenses designed for full-frame, but lose out on the full width of the lens' image capability.
     
  14. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #14
    My not-quite-so-well-articulated point is that getting the FX lens because it's an FX lens means that it won't be "what you got" in terms of its original focal length when you switch. Spending the extra money now, based upon the chance you'll switch to a $1500 camera body in the next few years is actually not necessarily as good an investment as buying the AF-S lens and a potentially lower-cost body today. If you like the AOV of the 35mm on DX, then you're going to have to get a new lens- and it's likely that investing that price delta will turn it into more of a percentage of the price of a gently used 24-70 down the road when their prices drop.

    To expound a bit more- if the eventual goal is to go to an FX camera, then if you spent $100 less on a lens and $350 less on a body today, that $450 will be worth let's say $500 when you're ready for FF- even if you lose $100 to sell the DX lens (which you don't necessarily have to do) that $400 against the equipment then may be worth significantly more than the $300 you're "throwing away" on a body that'll use AF-D lenses plus the lens price delta (same basic value today, but it may be that you've suddenly gotten the equivalent of 20% off down the road.) If the eventual goal isn't to go FX, then you're putting money on the table that you don't need to- but it's one of those "choice" things. Personally, I never shoot with my 24mm prime- I find the 20-35mm zoom good enough and more convenient-- if I had a 35mm prime, I'd probably still shoot with my 35-70mm zoom most of the time. If I was just getting into it, I'd probably go with the DX lens today with a goal of the Sigma or Nikon 24-70 down the road.

    Personally, if you don't have a 24-70, I'd recommend the 35-70 f/2.8D as an all-around versatile lens unless you really need the speed. I find it a convenient lens in the studio and even for landscapes these days- and the pseudo-macro is very useful for the times I'm too lazy to switch lenses! If you're looking at the AIS version, it's not as good as the AF-D one in terms of performance.

    Good advice, the D300 sensor rocks if you're going to be in that price bracket anyway.

    Paul
     
  15. T-Stex thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #15
    Thanks for all the help, everyone. I think I'm just going to bite the bullet and step up to the D90. I tried out the D90, D5000, and Canon T1i at a shop today, and the D90 was much more solid, and I think the 18-105mm kit lens is well above either the Nikon or Canon 18-55mm kit lenses that would be on the D5000 or T1i. The D90 should give me plenty of room to grow into as well.

    Now that I'm pretty sure I've made up my mind, does anyone have recommendations on the best place to buy the D90 kit with 18-105mm lens?

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  16. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #16
    In your town there should be at least one top-notch camera store, and their prices should be competitive, plus you get the service that only comes with buying locally. But, if you want to shop online, I'd have no hesitation in recommending two or three online sellers:

    Arlington Camera

    B&H Photo

    Adorama

    Good luck hunting and buying.
     

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