Nikon D90 *or* Sony a300 + Canon HF10

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mattcube64, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    Hey guys!

    I've had a good interest in photography for a long while, and love taking pictures quite a bit. I've always eyed getting an DSLR, especially after using them quite a bit when I was the editor of my HS paper.

    Well, now I'm a sophomore at Mizzou, and am thinking of possibly moving my journalism major to photo-J. Now, of course, this gives me a good excuse to get myself a pretty good camera.

    I've looked at all the options out there, and with my bigger hands I've found Nikon's and Sony's body offerings feel much better in my hand. I've looked at their lens offerings, and both companies have just about everything I'd eventually like getting.

    HOWEVER... for a while I've been wanting to get a Canon HF10 (I'm minoring in film studies :p ) My mom said she might be able to help me with the purchase for my birthday.

    But, with the release of the D90, I'm curious if I could use the video mode (HD, variety of lenses, etc) to replace the need for a HF10...

    So, it kinda comes down to this. I either buy a Sony Alpha a300 in the next couple months for around $600 (This is my favorite "cheap" body) and get myself a Canon HF10 a little bit later. *OR*, I just wait a little bit, and spend a bit more, kill two birds with one stone, and get the D90.

    What do you guys think?
  2. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    hmmmm.... That's a pretty hard decision. Though i do have a HF10 and love it.. I would love to have a better DSLR also... I'm not sure about the video capabilities of the D90 but one very appealing feature would be the ability to use different lenses with the D90 and being able to use selective focus in video mode. It would be like having a 35mm DoF adapter built-in to the camera. One draw back though is that the D90 records in 1280 x 720 instead of 1920 x 1080 like the HF10 and the D90 records in .avi which i don't know if Final Cut can edit this easily. So in short, I don't know what you should get, sorry.

    EDIT: I just looked a little deeper into the D90 and turns out your can only record video in 24p which may be a problem if you want to record video of fast moving subjects. But none the less, still looks really cool from sample footage on

    EDIT #2: Once again it just hit me that a major draw back of the D90 is that your have no external mic inputs which if your serious at all about video, your going to be hurting with this camera.

    So after some serious thought of your situation, I would have to say get the D90 since your major is photojournalism and you probably be focusing more on photography than video.

    Though you must realize the drawbacks of your video capabilities (only being able to record in 720p24 and no external mic inputs) but at least your can play around with video and if your school is anything like mine, you can easily check out a video camera if you need to do some serious video work.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    You want to major in photojournalism, and minor in film? I say the Nikon D90 is the far better camera overall.

    However, if you really do need the video, then I suggest you get the Sony A300 and the video camera. The Sony A300 should also be a good camera, and it has a tilting LCD screen that's pretty useful, even for photojournalism work.
  4. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2001
  5. 103734 Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    I would stick to getting two different cameras that do what they are supposed to do and do it well, the D90 is a great camera but I wouldn't use it for anything more than taking a few short video clips, a regular video camera would be alot nicer to have.

    I would go with a separate camera and video camera, though if I was in your position I would go with a Canon XSI instead of the Sony A300.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Not much question. If the main iinterest is PJ then you want the Nikon.

    The reason is the Nikon takes Nikon lenses and the Sony takes Sony lenses. Which company offers the best selection of profesional qulaity lenses a PJ might want later.

    When deciding don't look so much at what SLR body you will buy today. You will be locked into what ever brand you get started with. A profesional PJ would not do bad to get started with Nikon. Not to many f them would want to be tied forever to Sony's lens line up.
  7. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    I'm a Nikon user, but sometimes I like to play devil's advocate...

    A lot of people complain about Sony's lens line-up, but considering they're still expanding, and have more Zeiss glass than any other company, I don't see the big problem.

    Sure it's limited to Sony cameras, but it's the same situation as any other company. What exactly are the problems with Sony lenses?
  8. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    If I were you, I would buy two different devices. The D90 may have high-res video, but it's not so high-quality. It goes "rubbery" when the camera is in motion, which really drops it's usefulness in your situation.

    Your option for the A300 sounds great for $600, especially since (unlike what others may say) Sony has a great selection of lenses. With a huge lineup of Zeiss optics, you certainly have upgrade options down the road. As a photojournalist, an important lens would have to be the 24-70mm f2.8 Zeiss lens, but at ~$1800, you might have to wait a bit :p

    Enjoy, and good luck!
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Assuming that lens lineup remains unchanged forever. The tilting screen of the Sony A300 would be nice for PJ work.

    Also, for most PJ assignments (which he doesn't even need to worry about yet), he's probably going to need lenses in the 18-100 mm range, although the 24-70 mm range is more like it. That's most of what he needs. He doesn't need all 60 Nikon options to be available to him in order to be a good PJ. The number of Sony, Zeiss, and old Minolta lenses available to him are enough, as are the Sigma lenses available for Sony.

    However, the D90 is the better camera, and if you're a photography student of any sort, I still believe that you should go for the better camera.
  10. Fortimir macrumors 6502a


    Sep 5, 2007
    Indianapolis, IN
    I second that.

    I also admit there are several endearing qualities in all those cameras, but the D90 is a brilliant camera for under $1k.

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