Upgrading from a D40 to a D90, advice needed

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by fehhkk, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. fehhkk macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    Started off with a D40 around a year ago, and I loved it!

    However, I feel like I would like the features of a D90 over what the D40 for the following reasons:

    - Exposure bracketing, I like doing HDR shots.
    - Better low light and ISO performance, I imagine the much higher ISO ranges in the D90 blows away the D40 (ISO 200/400/800 and the 1600 which is basically useless). I like low light pictures, long exposure photog as well
    - Higher megapixel resolution 6.1 vs 12.3 ... Noticed that when doing zoomed shots with my 500-200mm lens and doing some cropping, I would like more resolution, basically
    - Self sensor cleaning. It's a pain having to clean the D40s sensor so much, maybe I won't have to do this as often on the D90?
    - I'd like capability to shoot videos with it.

    Are my upgrade needs justified, or should I save my money and get a D5000 instead?
     
  2. capall macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    #2
    I upgraded from a D40 to a D90 just over a month ago and love the D90. I really like the extra controls on the body and find it much easier to change settings. As you said the extra resolution and better ISO performance is nice and I like the fact that you can use lenses that will not auto focus on the D40 body. I don't regret upgrading at all.
     
  3. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #3
    I also upgraded from a D40x to a D90 a few weeks ago. I've just started a wedding photography business so I needed a second body anyway, and the additional low light capability of the D90 (for dimly lit churches) helps tremendously (though the 24-70 f2.8 that I ordered with the D90 certainly helps in that regard!).

    If you find that the physical limitations of the D40 are holding you back, then go for it. There are certain things you can't do (or can't easily do) with the D40 like bracketing, better high-ISO performance, etc... everything you mentioned. Also very nice is the ability to add a battery grip and the top LCD display.

    Bear in mind, however, that your photos may not be better with a D90. It's just a tool, after all. You're the creative genius behind the lens.
     
  4. fehhkk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #4
    Thanks for the feedback :D

    How about the newer VR lenses? I have two Nikkors, 18-55mm and a 55-200mm non-VR. I would plan on keeping these lenses, but, would it be worth upgrading to the VR versions?
     
  5. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #5
    Honestly, I don't know. I don't have much use for VR, as all of my subjects are often in motion (making VR useless).

    I wouldn't bother upgrading the wide lens. Unless you have some serious shakes going on, VR won't really help. The long lens... it depends. If you see yourself upgrading eventually (to either a consumer 70-300 or a pro 70-200), then don't bother.

    Unless you find that you're not able to get the shots you need and it really is the hardware holding you back (and not your skill) then perfect the use of what you have.
     
  6. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Location:
    Maui, Hawaii
    #6
    I'm a former D40 user that upgraded to the D90. I did so for the same reasons as you except wanting to do video. I upgraded my lens selection at the same time. The 16-85 VR is much more versatile than the 18-55. 2mm at the bottom is much bigger than you might think and the extra 20mm at the top, saves me from changing lenes as often. Most agree there is an increase in PQ, too. VR lets me shoot indoor, hand held shots down to 1/10sec without flash. The 70-300 gives me the reach and PQ I was missing with the 55-200. If you don't have the 35mm 1.8, then I would get that for your low light shots. At $200. it's a bargin. Add a super wide (10-24 or 11-16) and you would pretty much cover it all. If you can only swing one lens at first, get the 16-85 VR. Like most others, I'm sure you will love it.:D
     
  7. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #7

    I feel your pain. I clean everything then the next week somehow it's dirty again. :(

    D90 sounds great if you can afford the upgrade. I've been thinking of upgrading my self and read that the lower light sensitivity is significant. Combine that with a 55mm f1.4 and you're gold!
     
  8. fehhkk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    I'm not a pro, but here are some examples of what I have done with the D40. Those downtown Chicago long exposure shots I did without a tripod (didn't feel like bringing it that day)... but I was thinking in those situations, the VR might help.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fehhkk/

    :D
     
  9. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #9
    Nice photos. I'm glad you posted this thread. I bought a D40 in May, and after a Safari overseas, I hit the limitations of the D40 (ISO, exp bracketing mainly).

    The D90 was too expensive for me to start with, and now I feel that I might be ready to upgrade as well.
     
  10. fehhkk thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fehhkk

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    Yes, initially I was lured by the relatively low price of the D40, and though that the D90 would've been too "pro" for me. I generally go and buy something that will last me for a while, but wasn't going to think I was going to hit the D40's limit, just like you :D

    Then I got sucked into the HDR thing, and figured how to do "manual" exposure bracketing, but it's a pain with the D40 and without a tripod.
     
  11. FarSeide macrumors 6502a

    FarSeide

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Earth Lane
    #11
    I also upgraded from D40 to D90 a week ago and I love all the controls D90 offers.

    Upgrade was definitely worth it.
     
  12. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
  13. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #13
    Yup, there is no upper limit.

    But, really, think about what you really like to shoot and really will shoot. Most everyone likes to shoot (photographically speaking of course) their friends and family, scenics and vacation shots, amusing photos of chance and so on.

    Lots of people think about portraits, street shoots, sports, dangerous animals and the like, but don't really do them even if they have the equipment.

    I would go with the mid-zoom suggestion, with VR as that will help in many cases. Then, if you are constantly reaching for a lens that isn't there, make another purchase.
     
  14. redbuzzybug macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    #14
    I have the d90 for a while now, Probably the biggest difference you will ever see between the d90 and d40 is the CMOS sensor compared to the d40 CCD sensor , The higher iso levels on d90 will blow the d40 away.

    I'm not sure why your sensor will get dirty often? Do you change your lens often? I rarely use the sensor cleaning, but admit it is nice and handy.
     

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