Art and Photography

Nikon D90 really worth double the D80?

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  • Nov 30th, 2009 6:25 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2009
536 posts
220 upvotes

Nikon D90 really worth double the D80?

I'm trying to buy a DSLR for my wife. It's gotta be either the D80 or D90 because she has AF (not AF-S) lenses from her old film camera (Nikon F65 I think) that she wants to use, and they are not compatible with the D40/60/3000/5000. Currently on the used market the D90 is going for double the price of the D80 ($900+ for D90, $450+ for D80). Is the D90 really worth the substantial extra money for the photography enthusiast?

Any input appreciated!
20 replies
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
21266 posts
2088 upvotes
Yes...and...no.

I use both and the D90 really is a step up from the D80. Better menus, and LCD make it a joy to use for extended periods of time.

If I were just starting out, the D80 would keep me happy. If I knew a bit and wanted the latest, the D90 would the the ticket.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 25, 2009
7914 posts
951 upvotes
I would say the D90 is worth it IMO.

The D80 uses the same CCD sensor as the D40x/D60/D3000, the D90 uses the same CMOS sensor as the D300/D300s, which is definitely superior.

Megapixels aside, the D300 CMOS has much better high-ISO performance and generally newer bodies have better algorithms that will automatically reduce things like distortion or chromatic aberration etc.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Deal Addict
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Nov 17, 2003
3042 posts
21 upvotes
Definitely worth it.

(Or go up another $100 and buy my D300. :cheesygri )

The speed, image quality, noise performance alone are worth the price.
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2005
573 posts
66 upvotes
ISO is king.

You can work around a lot of other features like AF points or custom calibrations etc..........but ISO is the one thing that's 100% dependent on the sensor and has a huge impact on the kinds of shots you can take (ie. indoors, dim light).

I'd hit the D90 dude
Jr. Member
May 26, 2009
166 posts
10 upvotes
Basically what everyone has said! I was also debating a purchase between the D80 and D90 not too long ago and came to the same conclusion comparing detailed specs, reading reviews etc. The D90 is worth it!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2009
536 posts
220 upvotes
Pretty unanimous by the looks of things :) . Really hard to eat that extra $500 for something that looks so similar on the surface!

So, for a followup question, for the body only, what is a good price or a like new used unit? Vistek is selling them brand new for $970+tax, so I'm thinking $850 for a used unit should be reasonable?
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 17, 2005
89 posts
31 upvotes
Sorel-Tracy
McGuillicuddy wrote:
Nov 24th, 2009 1:05 pm
Pretty unanimous by the looks of things :) . Really hard to eat that extra $500 for something that looks so similar on the surface!

So, for a followup question, for the body only, what is a good price or a like new used unit? Vistek is selling them brand new for $970+tax, so I'm thinking $850 for a used unit should be reasonable?

Right now, you can buy a D90 (body only) at MostlyDigital.ca for 875$, and for today only you will not pay for GST.

I bought myself this morning the D90 with the 18-105 kit lens for 1176$, and since I'm living in Québec Province, I didn't have to pay for PST either, only for shipping!
[OP]
Sr. Member
Oct 29, 2009
536 posts
220 upvotes
Actually, it looks like Simonscameras.com is a better deal than mostlydigital.ca because mostlydigital charges double for shipping which negates any savings on the GST today.
Newbie
User avatar
Jun 17, 2005
89 posts
31 upvotes
Sorel-Tracy
McGuillicuddy wrote:
Nov 24th, 2009 3:48 pm
Actually, it looks like Simonscameras.com is a better deal than mostlydigital.ca because mostlydigital charges double for shipping which negates any savings on the GST today.
Well for me I would have to pay PST if I were to order from Simoncameras, wich would negate any savings ;)
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
21266 posts
2088 upvotes
The D90 gains perhaps an ISO stop over the D80. Its nothing a bit of focused PP'ing cannot match. Nice to have, but not worth $500 IMO.
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2005
573 posts
66 upvotes
well put another way....

if you wanted to gain 1 stop advantage by buying a slightly more upgraded lens ie. F2.8 vs. F3.5, see how much you'd spend :)

It's cheaper in the long run to have clean iso on your body..
Deal Expert
Mar 25, 2005
21266 posts
2088 upvotes
xtracrispy123 wrote:
Nov 24th, 2009 8:55 pm
well put another way....

if you wanted to gain 1 stop advantage by buying a slightly more upgraded lens ie. F2.8 vs. F3.5, see how much you'd spend :)

It's cheaper in the long run to have clean iso on your body..
You also gain greater control over DOF, and a better overall lens when moving to the "pro 2.8." I personally prefer holding something solid if Im using it all day.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
3767 posts
460 upvotes
Toronto
Does anyone know if / when / what Nikon has planned as a follow-on to the D90? I would be interested in getting one once a new model is out and the D90 prices on the used market have loosened up a bit (just as the D80 has).

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