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D40x to ????? D90 or D300?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by ERAUGrad04, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. ERAUGrad04


    Jan 15, 2008
    I have been using the heck out of my D40x since I picked it up in January. It has almost 15,000 shutter actuations and is still going strong. But I feel I have outgrown it. I am always changing things like WB, metering, AF, and the D40x requires menu diving to accomplish these changes. I am in the process of starting my own photo business and know that I need to upgrade away from the D40x.

    So the question is how far "up" do I need to go? I have had my eye on the D300 for a while now, but with the announcement of the D90, I am waivering a bit.

    The main reason for the upgrade aside from ergonomics is ISO perfomance and AF capabilites on AF only lenses. The D90 would satisfy both of those requirements.

    I am trying to weigh the two bodies against one another and the big thing I keep coming back to is the $700 price gap.

    My initial thought is to pick up the D90, and put some of the additional funds to another lens, like the 35 f/2.

    So after all of my rambling, any thoughts? Would I be dissapointed with the 90? Is there any one thing the D300 can do considerably better the D90?

    Thanks for reading and I look forward to some feedback!

  2. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    the D90 will no doubt be a great camera
    there are none out yet, as such, no reviews

    depends what you need
    the D300 offers many more features and superior build
  3. Well, the D300 is certainly heavier! :biggrin:

    Joking aside, I'm considering ditching my D200 for the D90 just because it is smaller and lighter. But if you plan to be a pro, then the D300 is probably a better choice.
  4. ERAUGrad04


    Jan 15, 2008
    I do keep coming back to the D300, but I can quite figure out why. I guess the D90 seems that it will do everything I need it to do. I know the D300 has the pro build, while the D90 has a more amature build. The "pro build" bug bit me when I upgraded to the 17-55 2.8 lens. There is nothing like mounting up a pro lens. It just inspires confidence. I am willing to bet that the same thing is true with the pro bodies. I have handled the D300 and I love it, I am just wondering how the D90 compares.
  5. Leif


    Feb 12, 2006
    Why do you have to upgrade from the D40x?

    And what features do you need, which the D90 does not have? Surely you are the only judge of that. High FPS? MLU? Metal body? Shooting banks? Metering with manual lenses? (Bear in mind that the D300 might cost more, but it might allow you to more easily use older cheaper lenses.)

    I would choose the D300 because I need MLU. But you're not me. :smile:
  6. ERAUGrad04


    Jan 15, 2008
    ***Ok, I have to ask, what is MLU?*** And shooting banks? I apologize for my ignorance, but I have yet to own a camera with those features!

    **EDIT-got it..Mirror Lock Up

    The D40x is lacking the ergonomics for me. I find myself constantly menu diving to change things. Also, I would like to have autofocus on lenses like my 50mm 1.4 AF-D.

    Thanks for the input everyone and I look forward to hearing more!

  7. iLLMaCK

    iLLMaCK Guest

    I think the D90/D300 is big upgrade, where as the D200/D80 would be better.
  8. as others have said, comes down to what you need.

    It sounds like D90 AF will be similar to D80 AF, perhaps slightly better but for sure will not be as good as D300. Will this matter? Not if you shoot portraits, weddings, or other relatively static subjects. It will matter if you are planning on sports photography, wildlife/birds in flight, etc.

    D90 matrix metering probably will not be as good as D300. Will this matter? Again, not if you have the time to set up your shots and/or use center-weighed or spot metering or set up everything manually.

    Sensors are the same so high ISO performance will be a wash.

    Ergonomics on both bodies will be a huge step up from the D40x. Both bodies will AF with AF-D lenses. The D300 will meter with manual lenses, which may or may not be an issue for you.

    so big differences are
    D300 will have better AF tracking of moving subjects and likely better matrix metering. Can meter with manual lenses. AF fine-tuning of lenses probably isn't a big deal but it's a nice feature for some. on the other hand, as you point out, D300 is definitely more expensive and it's bigger/heavier. This may be a positive or a negative depending on your priorities. I have a D80 and I don't have any real issues with build quality.

    For $700 difference in a new body, you can definitely buy yourself a nice lens e.g. almost enough for a used 85 f/1.4 if you shoot a lot of portraits, weddings etc. You really need to ask yourself whether you need the additional D300 features more than you need better glass.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2008
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