Please explain dpr comparison of Nikon D90 & Canon 450D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Lost in Tech, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Lost in Tech macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
    I have never owned a DSLR camera, just have a P&S. I have been reading this forum and the dpr forums for a month now. I have done all the things that you all recommend like going to a camera store to hold the cameras to see how they feel in ones hands. And, I even bought the "Understanding Exposure" book by Bryan Petersen and read it cover to cover. But, I am still torn over which camera to buy because every time I read something I change my mind and I just cannot make a decision.

    I looked at the following cameras:
    Canon XSi
    Canon T1i
    Canon 50D
    Nikon D3000
    Nikon D5000
    Nikon D90

    My P&S is a Canon Power Shot A95 (pretty old camera) and my photo printer is a Canon also. But, I thought I had narrowed my choice of dslr narrowed down to the Nikon D90 and then I saw the comparison of pictures taken with the Canon 450D and the Nikon D90 in the dpr review forum and the Nikon D90 pictures seem not as crisp as the Canon 450D. I am perplexed at this because the dpr review gave the D90 a higher ranking, than it did the Canon 450D. The review even said that "the D90's default output is very soft, having had very low levels of sharpening applied. Canon, meanwhile, takes the opposite approach, delivering very crisp (and contrasty) images at its default setting." So now I am back to thinking that I should buy the Canon T1i because of the crisp images.

    Can someone please explain why the D90 pictures do not look as sharp as the Canon? Here is the link to the comparison:

    Also, could you please point me in the right direction as far as which camera listed above would be best for me. I am looking for a camera mainly to take travel photos of streets, people, churches, museums, etc. I do need a camera that takes good photos in low light because I take pictures inside churches. But, I also take alot of outdoor street shots too.

    And thanks for all the great info on these forums, I have learned alot from all of you.
  2. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    comparing jpegs doesn't mean much IMO, RAW on the other side is another story
    also, for low light take a look at this
    I own a Nikon d90 and have owned Canons in the past, I like them both, I just prefer the Nikons right now.
    Before you choose the camera that suits you more, go in a shop and try them all in your hand, also look for the lenses that you'd like to own, now and in the future..
    also, T1i vs d5000
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    He said in his original post that he's already gone to a shop to handle those cameras. And as for the lenses, people coming from a point-and-shoot usually need a good year at least of DSLR experience to figure out what sorts of lenses they really need. And furthermore, the differences are so slim between the various brands, that lens offerings really only matter in the most specialized niches of photography.

    I can assure the OP that either camera is more than capable of producing images to his taste. The beauty of a DSLR is the control it gives you over how the images turn out, whether you use in-camera settings or shoot in raw. You can make either of those cameras--the D90 or the T1i (which is the 500D, not the 450D, btw) produce comparably sharp or contrasty images; you don't have to stick with the default settings.

    That said, you should know that PMA is happening in February, and Canon is rumored to be announcing a successor to the 500D/T1i in advance of that expo. If they do, the price of the T1i will of course drop. The most recent rumor pointed to an announcement on February 9, but it could happen a week or two later. I'm not up on Nikon rumors, but perhaps a D90 successor isn't all that far off either.
  4. poopyhead macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2004
    in the toe-jam of greatness (Fort Worth)
    the d90s default jpeg output is soft however you can easily adjust it in camera to output a sharper jpeg with no problems or sharpening artifacts. it is not that the nikon is incapable of delivering images as sharp or sharper than the canon its just that the canon, as a default, has the sharpening turned up. if you compare the acr raw conversions on dp review you'll see that when the post processing has been equalized between cameras there is very little difference.

    if you get the d90 or any nikon with a built in focusing motor go ahead and spring for the 50mm 1.8. it only costs about 120 and it is a great and cheap low light lens. I use it more than the 18-105 that came with my d90 kit.
  5. akdj macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2008
    I concur with the other poster's assessments. If you like the feel of Nikon, that's the camera to buy. Both are excellent cameras, but as mentioned, you can cater the settings to your eye.

    Shoot RAW! When shooting with these High MPXL DSLRs, it is essential, IMO, to learn post processing. Doesn't matter which program you choose (Both Canon and Nikon come bundled with their own, proprietary software for reading the RAW files), Adobe, Aperture, or even Picasa:)...they will all allow you to add sharpening in post.

    I found the same thing when I got rid of my 40d and picked up my 7d. The 7 seemed softer than the 40 initially.

    As Phrasikleia mentioned, either body will give you exceptional quality. I tend to believe your choice in lenses is MUCH more important than the body. You've mentioned that you've played with both bodies...have you taken a look at the glass options with each manufacturer? That to me is the most important factor in choosing one side of the other. Also, Nikon has a leg up on Canon in flash/lighting (and I'm a Canon guy:)). You did mention you'll be shooting in churches and museums...neither of these are really excited about you using flashes inside, so this may or may not be an attribute that affects you.

    We are a mixed family. My wife and I both shoot professionally and she uses Nikon, I use Canon. There is no right or wrong choice. They are both Exceptional manufacturers.

    Also, as Phrasikleia mentioned, both cams are at the end of their life cycle. If you need it now...go for it...if you can hang another 4-8 weeks, there will be replacements on both sides coming soon!
    Good Luck
  6. husker4 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2010
    is waiting for the update worth the extra money? from what i've read the price on the d90 has come down a lot lately. i'm assuming that when the replacement comes the price will be much higher than the d90 at the moment. what does everyone think?
  7. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    Yes, the new one will be higher, probably the same list price that the D90 had when it was released. And the D90 will probably drop by about $100 within a few weeks of the announcement.
  8. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

    Mar 14, 2009
    Houston, TX
    Addressing only the sharpness issue:

    You can always increase sharpening in post (ex: Photoshop) but you can't as easily reduce the sharpness of an over-sharpened image.

    I have the in-camera sharpening set to 0 on all of my bodies and perform any needed sharpening as a step of my editing.

  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    What the DPR review is saying is that, by default, and only when shooting JPEG, the Canon is applying more sharpening to the image than the Nikon. That's it. It makes the default, straight out of the camera pictures look a little crisper on the Canon. This has been a consistent trend between C and N.

    However, if you turn up the sharpening settings on the Nikon, and turn the sharpening settings down on the Canon, the situation will be reversed. The DPR images are just the camera set up as default at the factory.

    If you shoot in RAW, or learn to post process, it is likely you will be disabling the in-camera sharpening anyways. At which point the crispness difference goes away.

    So don't read too much into the DPR JPEG comparison. As it is just really a reflection of the default settings. In the long run it is of no consequence what the default images look like, because you will eventually customize the camera settings to your liking once you become familiar with them.

  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I concur with what people have been saying: recently, someone posted who was unhappy with the color output of his Nikon. Turns out that (s)he didn't know that you can tweak the in-camera RAW conversion with your own parameters. Having less sharpening applied means that these jpgs are more suitable for post-processing.

    Since you can change the settings of the in-camera RAW conversion (= conversion of the signal from the sensor to a photo), the issue you're asking about is in fact a non-issue.

    You should try cameras from both (and other manufacturers) yourself and decide from the feel. This will have a lot more significance as to the quality of your pictures than anything else: ideally, the camera should be an extension of your arm. You should not be aware that you're using it.
  11. pdxflint macrumors 68020


    Aug 25, 2006
    Oregon coast
    It's sad in a way that cameras today have life cycles that can be measured literally in months, when in the days of film they were measured in years. Bodies are more like computers now, and digital "rot" is pervasive. Anyway... just had to get that out...

    To the OP: exactly as everyone else is telling you - don't judge a camera too much by the 'default' .jpeg output, which is easily adjusted in any dSLR. Think of it like TVs in a store, where the ones they want to sell you have the brightness and contrast pumped up to max so they'll wow the buyers on the showroom floor compared to the other brand which has been left at default settings.
  12. Lost in Tech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2009
    Thanks everyone for answering my question, the information was helpful.

    I would probably consider myself to be a Canon person, but I am leaning towards the Nikon D90....go figure?

    PDXflint - Did you change the content of your post? I checked the board earlier today and I thought you had listed some lenses in your post, but now they are not there. I was going to look some of those up. Maybe I am thinking of a different post....I have read so many that I cant keep them straight.
  13. svndmvn Guest

    Nov 6, 2007
    you can use older, legacy, lenses with the D90 and you can't with a D40, D40x, D60, D3000 or D5000, this would allow spending less on good glass. Since you're considering the D90 vs Canon it's a moot point, I guess, useful nonetheless. Did you prefer a Canon in your hands? The layout and everything? In that case you could simply go with that one, or even wait, as suggested, for these cameras to be updated and either buy the new one or a more heavily discounted "older" version.

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