I'm after some opinions and thoughts on what you think would make a decent D90 replacement if I go down the road of converting it to IR. In terms of lenses, I've got:
Nikkor 18-105 DX kit lens
Sigma 10-20 DX
Nikkor 50mm F8 FX
Nikkor 70-300 (Is it FX or DX?! I thought FX but not sure....?)
I mainly shoot landscapes, although I'd be looking to use it for general shooting too, which might include airshows, but If Ihave to compromise, I have to compromise!
A year or so ago, the natural one-step-up upgrade path would obviously have been the D300 but the water seems particularly muddy now in terms of upgrade options! I'd considered looking at:
D7000 - Whilst an upgrade, I guess has been superceeded by the...
D7100 - which looks like it should be an excellent camera and a worthy upgrade, however the....
D600 - would give me much greater capability, and I'm curious about going to a full frame body, however I've read a number of comments about oil spots, which leads to the...
D800 - which I've read on here is an awesome camera, but I'm conscious that my current glass isn't really going to do it justice, and the body would wipe me out! On the other hand, I understand the DX crop mode still gives you a 16 megapixel image, which is still better than my D90!
I will be keeping my D90 as an IR conversion, so current lenses wouldn't immediately go to waste (although I would be upgrading over time I would imagine) but I would need to use my current crop of lenses on the new camera, at least in the short term.
So what are your thoughts?
I'm certainly no expert so can't give expert advice.
But I guess any of those bodies would be good for you. However, I think that you need something that may be a bit future proof, or as future proof as can be.
If you're mentioning full frame now, I can pretty much guarantee you'll be thinking of it again in the not too distant future. So that may push you down the full frame path.
Nikon has put in place a process for cleaning dirty sensors on the D600, but it's a shame that some D600's have this problem, because by all accounts it appears to be an excellent camera. You could be lucky and get a 'good' one.
The D800 is another step up, and not cheap.
If it was me, I'd get the D600, but that's just me. It seems to answer most questions and seems to answer them well.
And Nikon are doing £150 cash back on the D600 at the moment.
But ultimately, it's down to you.
I think you're highlighting a particular quandary that many Nikon D90 shooters who are looking to upgrade are going through at the moment. For many this decision will be made on their budgetary constraints and the compatibility of their current lenses with the new camera body they buy. If you have to swap your entire collection of lenses this makes the upgrading from DX to FX an expensive task. However, you have 2 x FX lenses and 2 x DX lenses in your collection, so this blurs the boundaries slightly.
Now you currently don't have any wide angle FX lenses in your collection, so if you were to go for an FX camera you would need to buy a wide angle lens with it, so you still could cover the same range of focal lengths as you do at present. A D600 can be purchased with a 24 - 85mm lens for £1799 at the moment, so that would be your minimum spend. If you were looking at a D800 with the same lens, you'd be looking at £2450ish and if you went for the very highly rated 24 - 70mm it would set you back about £3300 for the camera and lens.
So, if that is way out of your budget, what other options do you have. Well you could look at the ageing but still excellent D700 as a good secondhand option or look at staying with a DX format camera.
I can't say too much on the D7100 as it not been launched to market yet and as such there are no full reviews on it at present. I tried it at Focus last week and was quite taken by it. It certainly handles very nicely and they've address every issue there is with the handling/ergonomics of the D7000 that I currently own. If you're planning on taking a lot of wildlife images, then the 1.3 crop mode will be of great interest to you with the D7100
So James, are you ready to go FX? Do you feel you need to go FX? Can you afford to go FX? Will a DX format camera have sufficient capability for what you intend using it for? These are some of the questions you will have to ask yourself before you can make a decision.
All I would add is that you try each of the contenders for size before you buy and see which one you're happiest with, because this will be your camera which you will be using and what suits you is the most important thing to consider and not what I or anyone else has to say on the matter.
Thanks for the replies folks! :D Expert or not, its good to bounce ideas around with people who at least have half an idea!
£150 cashback on the D600?! Doh!!!! Although I'll have to look into it to see what the cashback is on... if its any old camera, that might work! If its an SLR, hmm... then I might need to buy some old body off Fleabay.
However, on the FX vs DX debate, I'm a bit ambivolent on it at the moment. I like the idea, but haven't used an FX to see the differences in practice. So I'll happily stay DX if the camera has the milage, and that makes life cheaper! I guess at the moment I'm a bloke looking for the next new gadget and, until it actually comes to really looking at honest budgets, the D800 looks great! :cool: However in reality, my D90 IR conversion will be £250, so that will knock any budget I might have.
So, if the D600 problems have been "fixed" (or there is at least a process in place to deal with them) then that puts it back on the table! Although the crop mode won't be as good as the D800, the price difference might allow some glass.
D700.... hmm... someone at work has one and loves it and there seems to be a fair few of them on Fleabay, although prices do seem quite high for second hand... hmm...
D7100 not to market yet? Ahh, that might delay the decision a little, or maybe not...!
May take a run into town tomorrow and see what they've got....
The D800 is a cracking camera but it's a bit slow for focus, so action shots can be hit and miss. You don't need to chase the latest cameras which, have a high price tag to match. Look at the Nikon D7000 which is even better value after the launch of the D7100. :D
This is the Nikon statement in relation to the D600;
Yes, I saw the prices for the D7000 had come down since the D7100 launch! If I can drag myself into town today, will have a looky!
Actually, I'll share my thought process behind the D7000 and why I perhaps so easily rejected it It may not be logical, it may not make sense, but....
Its basically the same camera I bought when I bought the D90 (upgrading from the D70). Its a level transfer, I'm not "gaining" a massive amount (in my head), and I feel its time to step up. Its also at the end of its model life (yet I see the D90 still appears on the current cameras on the Nikon website! Wow!)
I keep hearind of a D300 replacement, which I guess would be the natural upgrade path, but does that even exist?
At Focus, they did a presentation on the new D7100 and it was mentioned that both the D90 and D300S would be on limited supply only, with a view to them being phased out of the current line up. They also mentioned that the D7100 wasn't a replacement for the D7000, as it would sit above it as the flagship model in the DX line up of cameras. The D7000 would continue to be produced as the next rung up the ladder from Nikon's 4 Beginner level cameras.
Now I have a D7000 myself and yes it shares the same direct access controls as the D90 and D300s, but that is where the similarities end. The D7000 is a newer camera, with a newer sensor that enjoys the benefits of much better noise control, more focus points and a newer picture processor that improves it's Dynamic Range performance over the D90. Now the D90 in it's day was a fabulous camera, but time moves on and cameras like the D7000 have moved the boundries forward.
Getting back to your original question, like you I think the D7000 is a step up on what you have now, but is it a significant enough step up. It's debateable, I'll be honest. However, the new D7100 on paper is a significant improvement on the D7000 and a monumental leap from a D90. You would benefit from the latest sensor technology, the latest picture processor proven in the D4, D800 and D600 and still be able to use all your current lenses. Plus in the 1.3 crop mode you would have even more telephoto pull with your 70 - 300mm lens and still have nearly 16 MP resolution pictures.
Personally, I would wait for the D7100 to drop in price to a level that was within your budget and then go for it. I think the reviews will be out very soon and from what little experience I've had from playing with one at Focus I think it's going to be a Bobby Dazzler. Its very like the D7000, but really it's how the D7000 should have been. Basically, they've designed out the few niggles with the ergonomics, improved the picture quality and they won't need another camera to replace the D300s because the D7100 is good enough itself.
Well I managed to have a look at all of the options today, which was an improvement over what I expected! I did ask at LCE about opinions on a D300 replacement, and whilst they didn't know of any D400, they felt that the D7000 series was the path they thought Nikon were taking as a replacement, so maybe I am a little too quick to dismiss.... I really really don't get Nikon's numbering convention though - clearly I'm not supposed to! Maybe another topic there...
D7000 - I think will be out of contention, although the price is tempting - its not far off D90 (new) money. However the D7100 seems so much better.
D7100 - probably the sensible front runner in terms of initial outlay still allowing me to convert my D90, and in terms of lens replacements. Looks a great camera, and will be the painless upgrade option and seemingly a worthy upgrade for me. Lack of a screen protector seems odd mind! Maybe full frame at a later date, and upgrade my lenses from DX in the mean time.
D600 - still very much in contention. I understand the D600 is basically a full frame D7000? I have to admit, there didn't really seem much difference in feel. So the toss up really comes between crop and full frame, and that will require more research from me! They both certainly seemed very similar, although the 7100 did clearly have some features not evident on this or the 7000.
D800 - Lets be honest, unless I win the lottery, I'm just not going to do this camera justice in terms of lenses. I didn't get much time to play with this camera, as only John Lewis had one available on the display mount with nobody around to ask. Its certainly bigger, I did prefer the ergonomics and the idea of having medium format like images sounds great, but it'll just be too high maintenance and I couldn't afford to convert my D90 or get any suitable lenses. So out of contention. hm...
I also had a look at a couple of lenses related to my other thread, of which one was coupled with the D7100 (the 18-105VR and 70-300VR replacement).
Firstly the 18-300VR DX lens - my god, what a weight! Whilst I'd love a single lens solution, and I'd heard it was fairly weighty, I didn't quite appreciate quite how heavy it would feel - it really did change the balance of the camera compared to my current setup! It did seem very slow to focus too, but maybe that was just the environment. I'll have to research how images compared to my current kit. Obviously this would lead me down a DX route as well, and wouldn't help me in terms of future proofing my kit! £700-odd too... ouch, but no great surprise.
I hadn't considered the 24-300 though. This WOULD provide a future proof solution being a full frame lens, and whilst I lose out a little at the wide end (I've got a Sigma 10-20 so maybe I'll just have to use that more!), I'm guessing I'll gain over the 18-105 in terms of quality, and not lose out on the 70-300 too much. It felt lighter than the 18-300 and was around £100 cheaper! Maybe I've just found my lens solution too!
EDIT: Thanks for your reply IanP - that certainly tallys with what I picked up today (and again prompts the question about Nikon version numbering!) and I think your reply gives me greater confidence in the 7100! Good point about reviews though, although I know those have caused consternation in the past when awesome cameras got mediocre reviews! :D Can I (be bothered to) wait for prices to drop? Hmm... Its a much about converting my D90 to IR as getting a new camera.... We'll see! ;)
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