Time to ditch the D90 and gear for a smaller camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 103734, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. 103734 Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    I bought my D90 when it launched in 2008, I used it heavily for the first couple years, but I just don't have the time to go out and take pictures like I used to, and for casual shooting I find myself using friends point and shoots instead of carrying around my big DSLR.

    I have the D90, kit lens, 80-200 f2.8 (hasn't been used for over a year), 50mm 1.8, and a SB-600.

    I'm thinking about selling my kit and getting a Olympus PEN E-P3. How much would I be sacrificing here? I'm only looking to use the kit lens, and maybe a prime. Would this be a smart move for someone looking for a smaller camera for more casual shooting?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I don't know your shooting style so I can't say but I think the PEN camera is nice and would be a good addition or for your case, a fine replacement if you don't feel like you need that long zoom.
  3. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    Get something like a S95...

    But do not sell your DSLR... you never know when you might want to get professional again, and SLR's are very expensive...

    No compact can yet compare to the image quality from a full frame or APS-C SLR ;)
  4. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    It depends on how into photography you are. A four thirds system is fine, but you will be sacrificing image quality and control of depth of field.

    I have the Nikon D700 FX with pro lenses and I can tell you that my bag is heavy and my shoulders do hurt after carrying it, but I love the quality it produces. And sadly, I don't shoot enough either to justify the cost.
  5. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
    Keep the D90 (or make me an offer lol)

    But the first rule about compacts is that they're ................ slow.

    Neither the S95 or the G12 or P7000 will snap off shots or focus as quickly as a dSLR.

    btw with the P7000 you can continue to utilize the SB-600
  6. jbg232 macrumors 65816


    Oct 15, 2007
    I was in your situation before and got the s95 which is an excellent camera with full manual control and portability. I use it most of the time and my dslr when I'm at a special event. It's the best of both worlds.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I've used the S95 and while it is an excellent compact camera, it is still a far cry from the control, speed, and flexibility of a D90.
  8. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    huh? D90 too big?wow Pick up a D300 and then go back to the D90. I carry my D90 and 50mm around in my messenger bag. Sometimes I throw it over my shoulders.

    If you want a P&S just pick up one. Canon SD?? is great. But I can't see why you would sell the D90.

  9. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    People are responding as if you're considering a point-and-shoot, which the E-P3 is definitely not. I'm a Nikon shooter who has put DSLRs on hiatus in favor of Micro Four Thirds, so here are some opinions.

    The lens selection with m4/3 is great, though it distinctly lacks a fast zoom. However, the 20mm f/1.7 and 12mm f/2 primes are both fantastic lenses, are absolutely peerless in their combination of price/performance/size. The kit lenses aren't too shabby, either.

    My biggest issue with m4/3 is the lack of a viewfinder. Olympus offers a good, but bulky, one, while Panasonic's is mostly worthless. Regardless, the hotshoe viewfinder destroys the form factor, so I've chosen to get re-accustomed to framing with the LCD. Live view-oriented shooting has its own benefits, such as being able to check focus at 10x+ magnification prior to the shot, which is great for manual/legacy lenses and impossible with a DSLR viewfinder.

    Autofocus times are quite fast, especially with the E-P3. However, the low frame rate and/or buffer of current m4/3 cameras makes them inferior for shooting action compared to a DSLR, though they're miles better than a P&S.

    High ISO noise is also an issue, but if you're not making big prints, it's a negligible one. Again, it's much better than a P&S.

    The E-P3 is pricey for what it offers, imo (the E-PL2 is a good alternative). Were money not an issue, however, the E-P3 would be an easy choice. I use a GF1. I prefer the Olympus control layout, though the circular control wheel, which I love from a design standpoint, is really prone to accidental readjustment, which I hate from a practical standpoint, because there's no annoyance like having a shot ruined because your shirt changed your settings (the E-P3 touchscreen has similar issues).

    Given your current equipment and your aim to move towards more casual shooting, you should have little trouble transitioning to m4/3.
  10. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    Look into the Sony NEX-7 being announce tomorrow or the new mirrorless Nikon that might be annouced tomorrow as well. I'm in the same boat as you, tired of lugging around all the gear. I miss a lot of shots because I don't have my gear with me. I plan on keeping my D90 and lenses, but want a quality smaller camera for the times I don't have my D90. I'm looking at the X-100 as well.
  11. 103734 thread starter Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    Thanks for all the input everyone! :D, I'm not looking into getting a point and shoot, I can't give up that much, thats why I was asking about the EP-3

    The thing is I don't go on dedicated photography trips anymore, the only shooting I do now is when I'm out with my girlfriend or family, but 95% of the time I rather not deal with the hassle of carrying all my gear when I'm with them.

    EDIT: oh and my shooting style is mostly landscape.
  12. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its funny I stumbled upon this thread because I have a D70s that's collecting dust because I'm using a Canon G12. It takes great pictures, its small but yet shoots in RAW.

    The sensor is smaller then a DSLR and so I can see some images exhibiting a higher level of noise but they're easily cleaned up in LR and my shooting needs is more taking pictures of my kids then doing any sort of events any more.
  13. avro707, Aug 23, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011

    avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2010
    I would recommend you keep your DSLR, it's an investment you shouldn't sell. Some time later, you might change your mind about it and want to keep using it.

    If you wish to get a smaller type of camera, save for one and have it as well as your DSLR.

    What the smaller cameras will not give you is the absolute flexibility and high ISO performance of the D90, but they will give you more portability. But if you have both, you can pick and choose which one you want for the occasion.
  14. davidinva macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2009
    Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, USA
    What he said. (Seriously)
  15. Qwest905 macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2007
    the fuji x100 is very comparable and most of them it beats =)
  16. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    The MFT cameras are just as capable as most DSLR and the EP3 or Epl2 are as good or better then the d90 you have but in a much smaller package.

    I have bought a twin lens kit EPL1 for $450.00 and have really felt liberated in using it vs my Sony a850 with all its bulky lenses.
    Since you don't shoot professionally you don't need professional gear.

    I say make the switch and enjoy taking pictures again.
  17. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    It isn't the weight of the DSLR, it is the bulk and intimidation factor. Given an alternative, people going to smaller and less involved designs. Let's face it, any quality P&S today can take great photos suitable for fine prints on any home printer.

    After that there are all these fine 4/3 models and now the EVIL designs (electronic viewfinders) are starting to come out. In time these will make the DSLR pretty much a niche product.
  18. Ravaroo macrumors 6502


    Aug 26, 2010
    feels like Canada South
    if you were to go the point & shoot route, you might want to wait a week before deciding on a model. Nikon just announced 6 new P&S cameras that will hit stores in September and Canon will most likely be unveiling their new line today or tomorrow. just a thought
  19. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
  20. 103734 thread starter Guest

    Apr 10, 2007
    I'm mostly curious with how my D90 will stack up against an Olympus PEN EP-3 (this one - link) I am not considering moving down to a P&S
  21. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
  22. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    Is the new NEX-7 in your budget? It has a built-in pretty high-res OLED EVF, plus the portability of a mirrorless system. I'd wait to see what any reviews say before actually buying it, but from the specs it looks nice.
  23. CounterCulture macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2011
    Los Angeles
    its as if you took the words right out of my mouth....
  24. jji7skyline macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2011
    As I said... and many others said... get a S95 (It's tiny!) or a P7000 (a little bigger but has a tunnel viewfinder)... They are the only cameras that will give you good speed...

    Normal compacts are slow... be prepared to wait 1+seconds for focusing even from a travel zoom (the expensive compacts with long zooms)

    Just to show you how small the lightning fast S95 is...


    And micro 4/3 are a waste of money... but that's just my views ;)
  25. owaint macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2009
    I've done exactly this in the last few months, gone from a full D90 kit with 3 lenses, flash, etc to a Fuji X100. Photographically its the best thing I've ever done. The image quality of the Fuji is easily as good as my D90 and in some cases even better, the high ISO quality is stunning. More importantly though is the sheer ease with which I can carry it around.

    Went to New York recently for a long weekend and had the camera in my hand all day every day, it's so small and discrete it was an absolute joy to use.

    I love the viewfinder (a big improvement on the D90) and the manual controls are almost perfect. There are a couple of limitations: the fixed lens might not be for everyone and the focussing isn't as good as a DSLR, especially in low light or with fast moving subjects, but depending on what you like to shoot it could be a real winner.

    Have a look at my DPhoto site for some examples of my pretty amateur skills and what the camera can do .

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