Nikon D90 or Canon XSi

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DeepCobalt, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. DeepCobalt macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Over and around
    Having a tough time deciding this one... any opinions? I like the feel of the Nikon, but the Canon XSi is cheaper...
  2. nhaque macrumors member

    Feb 21, 2008
    you know there'll be opinions for both cameras?

    Long answer:
    I suggest you try them out, feel them, take some picture with them. Then the next step is to think of what glasses you need, and this is way more important that the camera itself. Believe me, you should look at the range and quality of Nikon or Canon's glasses and decide from there, it may sound wrong, but I think it will save you lots of headache later on.

    Short Answer: Go with the D90:D
  3. taintedwheat macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Even though I find Canons approach on lenses to be easier, if I could afford it I would almost certainly get a D90... it has a good feel to it. I really don't like the D40/D60 in my hands but the D90 is a different body. The kit lens is better than the XSi kit, it has higher ISO sensitivity, faster FPS, a better viewfinder, and of course the movie mode. Comparing it to the XSi isn't really a fair comparison, these cameras are in different classes. The T1i would be a much better contender. I guess what I'm trying to say is if you have the money, spring for the D90... otherwise the XSi is a very capable camera and of course you'd get the selection of Canon glass ;)
  4. cenetti macrumors 6502

    Jan 30, 2008
    Not in even in the same class....

    D90 is hell of a better cam than XSI....
    D90 vs 40D/ you're talking...

    And last but not's not about body, it's about the glass and the photographer.

    When you decide on a body you should ask yourself, what kind of a photographer you are. A macro/still life or action ? Are you going to be sitting under rain to catch a shot?

    D90 is a match to D300 when it comes to image quality..(even a bit better ISO performance) .. but D300 has 51 focus points vs 11 and better sealing (weatherproof).... If you're not going to shoot sports or sit under rain/dust/dirt.... save yourself $500 and get a D90... you see my point? I know you're asking D90 vs XSI.... but apply the same mentality...

    I personally separate cam bodies into 2 categories, FX and DX... that's all

    rest is all about GLASS and SKILLS....

    Good luck... :)
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    That's an apples-to-oranges comparison. Pitting the D90 against the newly announced successor to the XSi (that is, the T1i) might be more fair. However, if you're in a hurry, then get the D90, since the T1i isn't shipping yet.
  6. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    Even if the comparison were between the D90 and T1i, in my view the D90 still wins out. The T1i is still locked into the Rebel series and isn't quite the step-up that the D90 is in comparison to the D40/40x/60 series. In my opinion, the T1i is a direct competitor to the D5000, and not the D90.

    Past that though, the competition isn't really as direct. The D90 is certainly a great body, and the 40D/50D match up in the more prosumer-minded featureset, like dual control wheels and bulkier bodies. They are different enough, however, where you're going to need to take a look at your needs and decide which one fits you best, but really the body doesn't matter that much. Try out different brands at a store or something, and see how they feel. The lens library is also important, so you're going to need to take a look at which brand fits your probable lens needs best.

    I'd suggest doing your fair share of research, since this is a pretty heavy investment to sink some money into. Hopefully you find the camera/brand that's right for you. :)
  7. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    1080p video on the canon (although 20fps) so video might be a little better compared to the nikon.
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The feel of the camera is much more important than perceived features. If the D90 is too expensive, try and get a D80.
  9. DeepCobalt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Over and around
    So here's my dilemma: I originally thought about the D40/D60. But from the reviews, the D40 seems to be the best Nikon for the money/performance according to several reviewers (in the D40/D40x/D60 family), but it has some serious limitations, in my view. The kit lens doesn't have image stabilization/VR, the sensor is only 6.1 MP (I know about the MP myth, but I still think 6.1 is low esp for larger prints), and the lack of AF in the body.

    Also, everyone has suggested the D90 over the D80. Hence, the D90 is the Nikon that you seem to be "forced" into by the reviewers.

    On the Canon side, it seems the XSi looks attractive, though obviously a step down from the D90, and could be getting even cheaper with the T1i coming out. So how much better is the D90 than the XSi? For a fairly new DSLR'er, does it make sense to shell out the extra $$$? Overall, I like the Nikon, but I hate the price.:confused:
  10. seedster2 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2007
    Nikon has started shipping the d5000 so you can consider that kit and I believe the kit lens has VR.

    If you are worried about choosing your own lens you can get a refurbished d60 body from Adorama/B&H/Calumet at a big discount and purchase the lens of your choice seperately.
  11. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well like someone mentioned, you can't compare the D90 with XSi, that is comparing like D300 vs 1Ds! the D90 should be compared with Canon 50D/40D while XSi to D60.

    Now its T1i vs D5000
  12. DeepCobalt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Over and around
    I understand that... the problem though is that the D5000 has some of the same problems as the D40/40x/60... namely, no AF in the body, has a flash sync speed less than half of the D40, so the D5000 is poorer for use with flash in daylight, and has all that for twice the price of the D40. Also, I'm not sure I like the flip-down LCD screen...
  13. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    exactly, if you can afford the D90, I say get it, even the kit lense is good, you might want to look for a prime as well, a 50 1.8 is really cheap, I'd probably just get that and the body only, buying a VR zoom when I can afford it.
  14. Razeus macrumors 603

    Jul 11, 2008
    I suggest you get the XSi. I just got mine 2 days ago and love it. Can't wait until finals are over so I can actually make extensive use of it.

    But on to your problem:

    The D90 is good, but the XSi IQ is on par for lots cheaper. Nikon is seriously lacking in the entry level department. I'd get a XTi before I got one of their models that are below the D90.

    The Nikon D40 is CLEARLY outdated. The D60 is lacking and you might as well just get the D40 over that model. Feature for feature, the Canon models (XTi, XS and XSi) beats Nikon. The seriously need to update their $500-900 line up. I wasn't impressed by the D5000.

    The Canon's feel much better in my hands. I was too in the market for a D90, but after extensive research, reading reviews, watching videos, observing internet forums for user experience, I still opted the the XSi, because in the long run, I prefer Canon's lenses over Nikon.
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Think about long term. If you buy the Canon you will have to buy Canon lenses and Canon flush units and when it comes time to upgrade the DSLR body you will be buying a Canon body. You will be "locked in" to the brand for many years. Same for Nikon.

    So "cheaper" may not matter if you take a longer term look. That said I don't know which brand is cheaper in the long term. It depends on the types of lenses you want later, down the road.

    Yes you can switch brands later but You will have this lens and maybe another one and you will want to re-use them with the new body you buy in 5 years.

    This is the most common advice you will get. Nearly EVERYONE will suggest that you buy whatever they happen to have. What this means is that you, like them will likely be happy with whatever you buy. Read these forums and you will see very, very few people say "I bought this DSLR and hate it, stay away from brand XXX." Those comments are very rate. Most peoplel like whatever they own, This says that all the major brands are good.
    In your case you are comparing a mid-level Nikon to an entry level Canon. Of course the Canon wil be cheaper. The two cameras don't compare

    First pick the brand and chose the brand that you would like to be locked into because that'
    s what will happen. Peole tend to stay with a brand for decades.
  16. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well I agree that I dont like the flip down LCD screen, to me its just adding the bulk to a dSLR. Then the D40 is the only entry level model with such a high flash sync speed (I bet you must be reading kenrockwell) but in reality, built in flash sucks and it doesn't really matter to have a fast flash sync speed. And you are comparing the oldest Nikon entry level model against a newly released "entry" model which to me is not really a fair comparison.

    6mp vs 1x mp
    no built in sensor dust removal vs sensor dust removal
    non VR kit lens vs VRed kit lens
  17. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I would just buy the one of the two that leaves some money left for a good lens or two, and use this camera for perhaps four years. Learn how to get the most from whichever of the two you buy, and don't feel for a moment that your camera is obsolete the moment the new model hits the market. Well, I would put it to you this way: Canon, Nikon, and every camera manufacturer wants you to buy the newer model by the time you have paid for the older one:D:D

    Both are being replaced by newer models, something that happens with every digital SLR camera out there, and unless you are very rich, it makes no sense to buy a perceived "better or greater" technology.

    And I disagree with others who have said that you may want to upgrade to a FF in the near future. This is the case with some buyers, but the majority continue used cameras with cropped sensors, including those who buy FF ones. My former camera was a Rebel XT, and now use a 40D. I will use this 40D for a few years, and then probably upgrade to a 60 or 70D.

    And about the flip screen, I agree with you. That's something else to worry about, specially for those of us who shoot in very cold weather where plastic snaps.
  18. SilvorX macrumors 68000


    May 24, 2002
    'Toba, Canada
    I just got a Canon XSi over the weekend for my birthday today. I love it! It's a great camera so far. I haven't had experience with Nikon D90, but get what you want most, the gut feeling is usually right. I'm happy with the customizability of the XSi, it took me a few days to get used to, but now, I'm used to playing around with settings
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    My shop has both in stock as of today (DC area) as well as the D5000 kits...

    About lenses, that only counts if you want to be able use older screw drive lenses in the end.

    The sync speed between the Canon T1i and the Nikon D500 are the same at 1/200.

    The D40 is priced where it is that it is near the end of its life given it age and 6mp.

    If the rumors are true the D5xxx series is sort of a higher end to the rumored D4xxx series. Add to that the rumored D6xxx series will replace the D90. Three price points in the "lower end"; with the Dxxx and Dx series having some more room to grow for now.

    Keep in mind the D90 does open up the world of older Nikon AF lenses. And the D90 has Nikon's CLS wireless flash system compatibility built-in... Canon requires the about $250US ST-E2 transmitter for wireless flash work.
  20. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    According to several reviews on the Internet, the D500 replaces the D90, but who knows?

    In relation to lenses, although one can't use old Canon lenses, with the right mount one can use Pentax, Nikon, Vivitar, and several other lenses. Leitz offers some with Canon EOS mounts and electrical contacts, but focus is still manual.
  21. LittleCanonKid macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    I don't think that's quite right. While the featuresets are very similar, the D90 is still more prosumer-minded, with the faster shooting speed, better build, dual command dials, information window, etc. There's certainly research to be done when deciding between the two relatively similar bodies, but I wouldn't go as far to say that the D5000 is replacing the D90. It's mostly a (planned, apparently) response to the T1i, in my view.
  22. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Oct 17, 2007
    Camp Snoopy
    If you like the Nikon's feel, get the Nikon. In the low-end range and for a beginner, it's not much of a difference unless you already know what kinds of shots you prefer to take.

    That said, I wound up getting a D90 because of the feel. And because I found that I prefered Nikon's aesthetics and ergonomics.
  23. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    You are correct. It sits between the D40 and the D90, but quite close to the latter, except that like the D40 and D60 it has no AF in the body. It means that like the other two, it has a lens incompatibility issue.
  24. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Wrong IMO at least for now. Hopeful thinking on some folks. Depending on ones needs the D5000 will not be a replacement to the D90 right now. The D5000 does not have the 900K LCD screen, nor does it have the Nikon CLS flash system.

    The D90 will be replaced by the D6000 IMHO. I think the d40 will be replaced by a D4000 model at some point.

    What I see is:

    D4xxx - entry level DSLR without a swivel screen; basic LCD screen

    D5xxx - upgraded DSLR with a basic LCD screen, matching the mid-level DSL's in performance with a few cuts here and there

    D6xxx- a true replacement to the D90. Upgraded LCD screens, improved AF and other tweaks

    I see the likes of the D300 leading to others in the Dxxx series; and well as the Dx series for the time being. Each has it place in the marketplace. Five levels of features of features and performance.

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