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Does the D90 warrant an upgrade from a D80?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by wgilles, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    I have a D80 right now and it's not too old, but the new D90 just seems really friggen cool. Does the D90 have enough "new" stuff to warrant an upgrade...money isn't really an issue.
  2. mattsteg


    Aug 10, 2007
    Yes, if the video features hold substantial value to you. Maybe yes if you require better low-light performance. Otherwise, probably no.

    Beyond seeming cool, what new features or abilities would the D90 give you, and are those worth the price of admission? Most cameras seem pretty cool when introduced, but in the end the differences between successive generations or similar products tend to be exaggerated.
  3. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Better low light would be nice...
  4. I don't see enough improvements in the D90 to say yes, I don't shoot with a D80, but on paper too many things are the same or not that different, in my opinion, to warranty an upgrade. I think a more logical move, depending on the shooters needs, to go to a D200 or D300.

  5. Kqw1208

    Kqw1208 Guest

    Going from a D40x or even a P&S to the D90 would probably make more sense. I agree with ashman...D80 to a D200 or 300 would be a more prudent choice...
  6. I've got a D60 now, and will probably go to the D90 when it comes out. Mostly for the video mode and in-body AF motor that I miss from my old D50. I think if I had a D80 already I might not be considering the D90 as much. TBH the differences don't seem like much of an upgrade. I'm also hoping D300 prices drop with the D90 release and I may just jump up to that one if it's a few hundred more. I'd think the D300 or even a D200 would be a more effect upgrade from a D80; unless of course the d-video intrigues you.
  7. See for me, I shoot sports in the summer and low light shooting is important, as is fps, fast focusing and focus tracking. When I'm not shooting sports, I still prefer a well rounded body with lots of features and capabilities. The video feature of the D90 is 'cool' but I'm a still photographer, not a videographer, and while this feature might appeal to some people interested in dabbling in video, I fail to see what is has to do with photography. I think if someone really wants to take their photography to the next level, the D90 isn't going to do that for them as much as a D200/D300 will. Granted their is a considerable price difference but I got a used D300 body for $1275 USD with 10K actuations on it, which for me was a steal considering they sell for almost two grand including taxes here in Canada. Yes, I don't get a Canadian warranty, but I'm comfortable with that and understand that some folks might not be.
  8. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    As a hobbyist I skip every other model. As the shelf life seems to be 18 months that leaves about 3 years of use with one camera.

    I'm currently using D200 and have skipped D300 completely. I'll go to D700 later this fall and I will skip the D800 of 2009/2010. When the D900 comes sometime 2011/2012 I'll get it because my D700 will be 3 years old by that time.

    As the D300 technology has now been passed down the food chain and the D300 is one year old, we'll soon start seeing rumors about its replacement, possibly called D400. And yes, there will likely be a D60X in a year's timeframe too, a smaller body without focusing motor but using the D300/D90 sensor.

    To go from D80 to D90? Hard to tell. If your D80 is old and worn, why not. If it is still young I wouldn't bother. Wait for the D90X or whatever which will have the D400 sensor sometime 2010 and meanwhile shoot with the D80 like there's no tomorrow :smile:
  9. wgilles


    Apr 25, 2008
    Thanks guys, I think I will wait, I'll save for the D300
  10. As I just posted in another thread,
    From a D80 upgrade standpoint, the D90 offers at least two important improvements - Lower noise and a larger/higher res screen. Of course, the noise improvement is yet to be proven but there's every reason to believe that it will be the same improvement as that between the D80 and the D300...significant. The larger/better screen will permit easier/better review of images on-the-fly which does make a difference.

    Additionally, the higher frame rate, sensor cleaning, extra 2Mp, and live view are all modest but noteworthy improvements.

    So, why not buy a D300 instead? Three reasons... size, weight, +$700.

    For me, cost is not a big issue but size/weight are. So, selling the D80 for $500 and investing another $500 for the D90 may not be a slam dunk but it is certainly viable.
  11. Joe I don't know where people are getting the idea that the noise on the D90 is going to be anywhere near as good as the D300, is not the same sensor, its the same sensor the D80 currently has, so why would the noise be any better at all? The only difference is the D90 uses a CMOS sensor like the D300 whereas the D80 uses CCD technology. I have seen some samples of shots takes with the D90 online all the way up to 6400 ISO and they are not in the same league as the D300 by a long shot, I can see the noise at 400 ISO however it's not bad but nothing like the D300 IMO. As I said it really depends on how important noise is to you, but for the cost difference, again in my opinion, the D90 does not offer enough of a change to warrant the upgrade, whereas the D300 does. The increase in fps is in my opinion negligible, and does not improve with the addition of the grip whereas it does with the D300, the extra 2MP is also negligible, and the sensor cleaning is a nice to have feature, but not a need to have IMO.

  12. MikeG76


    Jun 11, 2008
    Middletown, NY
    Since the D90 has a CMOS sensor, people just assume that the noise will be lower and most of the time it probably will be natively lower. However, there may be more complex noise reduction techniques on higher end models which would account for any better ISO performance. Again, we have very few sample shots to make judgements from. By the end of October, I think we'll have a better idea of the overall picture of the D90.
  13. timkoo


    Oct 9, 2007
    Am I mistaken?

    I believe the d90 uses the D300 sensor
    Why would it use the D80's?
  14. Ok I misspoke however I still maintain my belief that the sensor in the D90 is not the same as the D300. I think it would upset a lot of people who bought the D300 if a camera almost $1000 (new) cheaper had the same sensor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 29, 2008
  15. I'm afraid you're a bit confused. The multicam refers to the metering sensor which meters and determines focus...not the image sensor. The D90 does use the same as the D80 for this part. But this only impacts metering and focusing.

    The D90 uses the exact same image sensor (same part number 12Mp CMOS) as the D300.
  16. pforsell


    Jan 15, 2008
    I think you are confusing two separate issues. The MultiCAM-1000 chip is the AUTOFOCUS module, not the imaging sensor. Autofocus performance with D80 and D90 will most likely be very similar.

    The imaging sensor is a completely different issue. The D90 has the 12.3 Mpix CMOS sensor from the D300, not the 10.2 Mpix CCD sensor from the D80.
  17. demosaic

    demosaic Guest

    This is all kinds of wrong.

    First, "Multicam-1000" is the AF module, not the image sensor.

    Second, CCD and CMOS are totally different processes run on different fabs requiring different support electronics and most importantly having different pixels. Chalk and cheese.

    Third, even if all of the above wasn't obvious, the two cameras don't even have the same pixel count (D80 = 10.2MP, D90 = 12.3MP). In no sense do they use the same sensor.
  18. No, people are claiming that the sensor in the D90 and the D300 are the same, but no where, thus far, have I found any review that says that with any certainty. If anything, the sensors in the D300 and D700 are the same with the exception that the D700 sensor is full frame.
  19. demosaic

    demosaic Guest

    What's the part number? I hope you don't mean it's "12Mp CMOS," because that's not a part number, it's a description.

    Maybe they're the same part; I have no idea.
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