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How's the D90 AF performance?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Jonathan F/2, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. I'm dumping a D2X in order to get another body. I might pick up a used D300, but the D90 video capabilities are really intriguing me for work purposes, but I still need a capable camera for taking pictures. Anyways, this third body will most likely be used for telephoto shooting on either the 200 F/2 VR, 200-400 VR or my 500. I'm a little worried the AF won't be up to par, but I'd love to get feedback from users. I want to start getting used to the video capabilities, because I know I'll be going up against photographers using the 5DmII and I want to stay competitive. Opinions appreciated, thanks!
  2. I'm not sure I would dump a D2x for a D90. I can see MAYBE going to a D300 for its better high ISO performance and the screen, but that's about it. I have a D2x and a D3. IMO, I get more action keepers from the D2x than I do with the D3. In fact, so many more that I sent the D3 off to Nikon for them to take a look at it. I just got it back, so we'll see how it goes this weekend.

    IMO, the D2x is a no compromise camera when light is good. It's low ISO performance is better then the D3 IMO. As long as the light is good, the D2x is in my hands. You may also miss the "feel" and ergonomics of a Pro body when you make the move. JMO though. Good luck with your decision.
  3. Hi Rich,

    I currently have 1 D3 and 2 D2X bodies. I'm definitely keeping one of my D2X bodies forever, but I may sell one of the D2X bodies for another D300 (I had two D300 bodies which I sold to buy the D3). I want to assign the D300 to straight telephoto use on either my 200-400 or 500, pixel density makes a difference on the long end.

    I'm surprised your D3 wasn't locking on as well? Have you tried different group focus selections? I found that when I switched to the D300/D3 it took me awhile to get used to the new design.

    Back to the D90, The only reason it came to mind was for the video features. If the AF is on par with at least the D200, it might be an alternative for my work. Being able to shoot a couple shots and then do video while on a 200-400 VR is just insane! But I need to know if it can handle the rigors of the job first.

    I guess I'll swing by the camera shop!
  4. That's probably a tough question to answer for a lot of D90 users. I don't think we have as high of standards as a professional like yourself would. I can say that it works pretty damn good for me, even with a Sigma HSM motor.
  5. Jonathan, the center point works just as fast and as accurate as that of the D2x. Won't track reliably but I guess you know that already. I'm speaking from experience with the D80 w/c I used as back-up for the D2x last year. There was no instance where the D80 wouldn't focus where the D2x would. Even had the same weakness as the D2x. Had difficulty AF'ing on subjects that are smaller than the AF point, specially with wide angle lenses.
  6. davidwegs


    Feb 7, 2008
    So far, I find that it's keeping par with the D300/700's. Just need to keep the center point and recompose, which I do anyway.

    Overall, there is a slight lag as best I can tell. If you don't mind the shorcomings in other ways, its a great camera and I like the higher ISO better than the D300's.

    Best, D..
  7. sjd996


    Sep 21, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Like any AF system, the more you understand how it works, the better it gets...

    THe D90 is no slouch, it's AF keeps up with "normal" situations (like my preschoolers running round the garden) just as well as my D300. Given the AF system is basically the same as the one in the D200 (CAM 1000) but with enhancements, it shouldn't be bad with fast moving objects either (like Jets at airshows - my D300 locks on every time, with slower lenses like the 70-300 my D200 occasioanlly wouldn't lock onto a jet doing 500+ knots, so I expect the D90 will be similar).
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