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Thread: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

  1. #1

    Default Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Hi people,

    Newbie here, have been using a PnS for the past few years and decided its time to upgrade to a DSLR.

    I am mainly interested in doing landscape photography and maybe abit of people photography. (Just photos, seldom gonna video).

    I have shortlisted 2 models within my budget, D90 and D5100. (Prefer Nikon Models ^^) Planning to use it probably for the next 3-4years as I slowly pick up photography.

    Could some kind souls provide me with some advices on which to get? Whether 1st or 2nd hand of each models?

    The only difference I know is that D90 has an AF motor inbuilt and D5100 doesn't and it could mean much more expensive lenses for D5100 than D90.

    Appreciate the help, thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member rain5533's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kst8x
    Hi people,

    Newbie here, have been using a PnS for the past few years and decided its time to upgrade to a DSLR.

    I am mainly interested in doing landscape photography and maybe abit of people photography. (Just photos, seldom gonna video).

    I have shortlisted 2 models within my budget, D90 and D5100. (Prefer Nikon Models ^^) Planning to use it probably for the next 3-4years as I slowly pick up photography.

    Could some kind souls provide me with some advices on which to get? Whether 1st or 2nd hand of each models?

    The only difference I know is that D90 has an AF motor inbuilt and D5100 doesn't and it could mean much more expensive lenses for D5100 than D90.

    Appreciate the help, thanks.
    If you got more budget then try to going for D7k.

    The D90 is same perform like D300 ISO.
    But still can used AF lens.

    The D5100 is new machine, but can't used the AF lens, the best autofocus needed only go for AFS lens.

    The D90 & D5100 both is feel like plastic toy.
    If you really love the photographer,
    Sure I can guaranty go for D7k is no regret,
    Cause fully metal built.
    The ISO and IQ much better than D300s & below.

    If right now u just planing to getting half way sure you after few month later still thinking for selling and plan to upgrade again

    That's what my opinion.

  3. #3
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    TS... D5100 is a newer DSLR, and I would expect many improvement in this camera in term of sensor, ISO handling, video mode (although you don't use video much, it is still a plus), vari-angle LCD which is a god sent in many situations (trust me) and I would believe that it is a bit lighter when compared to D90.

    For D90, you get semi-pro camera ergonomic and a more comfortable grip (I believe). Its high ISO noise handling might not be as good as D5100, but is okay. And yes, you get an inbuilt motor that allow you to use many lenses and still enable AF, while D5100 might had that limitation.

    My advise is for you to go to the shop and test out these two cameras to see which one fit you better. In my opinion though, I would easily have picked up the D5100, although it didn't have built in motor and some of the lenses would be manual lens to this camera but that is not a show stopper, plus I like the varied angle LCD and the great movie mode. If you want the best of both world, go for the D7000 which will cost significantly more... however if can also check out the Pentax k-5 (share the same sensor as the D7000 and had greater weather seal capability) and is cheaper too...
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  4. #4

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    i would recommend a D3100, max out its capabilities after 1-2 years then upgrade. A brand new one with kit 18-55 won't cost more than $750.

    Alternatively, a second hand D90 will probably be less than $1k with 18-105 kit.

    don't suggest a D7k at this point of time.
    D7000 + 50mm

  5. #5
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kst8x View Post
    Hi people,

    Newbie here, have been using a PnS for the past few years and decided its time to upgrade to a DSLR.

    I am mainly interested in doing landscape photography and maybe abit of people photography. (Just photos, seldom gonna video).

    I have shortlisted 2 models within my budget, D90 and D5100. (Prefer Nikon Models ^^) Planning to use it probably for the next 3-4years as I slowly pick up photography.

    Could some kind souls provide me with some advices on which to get? Whether 1st or 2nd hand of each models?

    The only difference I know is that D90 has an AF motor inbuilt and D5100 doesn't and it could mean much more expensive lenses for D5100 than D90.

    Appreciate the help, thanks.
    It would be difficult or practically impossible to predict 3-4 years down the road:
    a) what your interest level with regards to photography as a hobby would be at
    b) what lenses you would own

    The lack of an AF motor in the D5100's body is a handicap, but hey, the lack of a vari-angle LCD screen on the D90 could be seen as a handicap too

    Tough call. Personally I'd go for D90 if that counts for anything. Good luck with your choice!
    Perhaps consider dropping by Nikon Service Centre at Fuji Xerox Towers, where they have demo units for you to try your hands at. Might give you a clearer idea about which camera appeals to you more.
    Exploring! :)

  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Welcome to Clubsnap,

    the newer generation Nikon lenses will be AF-S, if you don't own older lenses, or intend to collect many older Nikon lenses, I do not see body don't have a build in AF motor is an issue.

    Yes, there are some people rather upgrade camera to enable them to use AF-D 50mmf1.8 lens instead of buying the AF-S 50mm f1.8 lens.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dougs
    i would recommend a D3100, max out its capabilities after 1-2 years then upgrade. A brand new one with kit 18-55 won't cost more than $750.

    Alternatively, a second hand D90 will probably be less than $1k with 18-105 kit.

    don't suggest a D7k at this point of time.
    Agree .. d3100 iso1600 performance trash d90, d90 iso1600 trash d300, its ur best bet. If u need iso3200, get d5100 or d7000. Need iso6400 then d700. Built wise depend on ur budget ,image quality more or less the same .. unless u shoot for a living.

  8. #8
    Member Fudgecakes's Avatar
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    I think the best 2 choices here is d7000 or d5100.
    There are no bad photographers, only photos that could've been done better
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    I'd suggest you look to something else.
    Sensor performance has moved on since D90.
    Greatly so in fact.

    A new K-01 has the same 16mp sensor as the D7K/K5/NEX5n and betters the D90/D5100 in dynamic range, ISO performance, resolution.
    (same applies to NEX5n).
    All for ~$690 body only.


    The D5100 may have a better sensor, though I leave that for the folks familiar with Nikon cameras to comment on that.
    Of course D5100 need the AF-S lenses for AF compared to D90 and lacks some buttons for fast access.
    Otherwise, try to find a 2nd hand D7K, which imo should suffice for the hobbyist for even 2-3yrs from now.
    If you are ok with $1280 for a other brand camera body, the Pentax K5 is a good deal at the moment.
    Last edited by pinholecam; 18th April 2012 at 05:04 PM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    If you're sure you're gonna stick to the same camera for 3-4 years, I recommend getting the D7000 instead of the D90 or D5100.

    D90 is old since you plan to stick with it for 3-4 years (sure, it will still be a great camera, but there are much better sensors out there)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Just like to share my experience... I started photography last year after a getting a D5000 (considered to be an entry-level body) with 18-55mm kit lens + 70-300mm G, and the latter won't autofocus with D5000. (whole set was given to me as a present) Within a few months I found the specs of the D5000 wanting (mainly lack of internal AF motor, no 100% viewfinder coverage,etc) for my style of photography, and realised that a D7000 would have been a better camera to get right from the start. Waiting for the D7000 replacement : /

    However I would not have realised this if I had never got a DSLR to try in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    It would be difficult or practically impossible to predict 3-4 years down the road:
    a) what your interest level with regards to photography as a hobby would be at
    b) what lenses you would own

    The lack of an AF motor in the D5100's body is a handicap, but hey, the lack of a vari-angle LCD screen on the D90 could be seen as a handicap too

    Tough call. Personally I'd go for D90 if that counts for anything. Good luck with your choice!
    Perhaps consider dropping by Nikon Service Centre at Fuji Xerox Towers, where they have demo units for you to try your hands at. Might give you a clearer idea about which camera appeals to you more.
    Totally agree. If possible try to rent/borrow one of those DSLRs for a few days of shooting to find out of each camera will suit you/if you can live with their limitations.
    Last edited by tacitrainbow; 19th April 2012 at 12:26 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)


  13. #13

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Get the D3200 . just announce today !

  14. #14

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    Its a rumor ... Isnt it ?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thinktank22
    Its a rumor ... Isnt it ?
    Official announcement today.
    KF Photography
    Thanks for viewing!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Quote Originally Posted by frederickykfoo View Post
    Yeah image quality is one thing, but after shooting a DSLR for a while, you'll soon realise that image quality is just one of the many factors to consider when getting a camera. If you are ever going to hold it, you'll realise that the D3200 size body has serious problems with handling once you attach something heavier than the kit zooms. This is true unless you have seriously small hands. You'll also realise after you have handled a camera with 2 control dials, having 1 control dial is quite a handicap.
    Last edited by brapodam; 20th April 2012 at 07:13 AM.

  17. #17
    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    Yeah image quality is one thing, but after shooting a DSLR for a while, you'll soon realise that image quality is just one of the many factors to consider when getting a camera. If you are ever going to hold it, you'll realise that the D3200 size body has serious problems with handling once you attach something heavier than the kit zooms. This is of course you have seriously small hands. You'll also realise after you have handled a camera with 2 control dials, having 1 control dial is quite a handicap.
    +1. i vote D90 or D7000.
    Dxxxx | 35/1.8 | 50/1.8 | Tokina 28-70 | Panny G1 | 14-45 | 25/1.7
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Think in terms of IQ, D5100 surpasses D90, just that if you wish to use non-motorized lenses, then D90 will be the one.

  19. #19

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    If you want good image quality with good colour depth and dynamic range get a D5100 (which shares the same sensor as the prosumer D7000 and K-5)

    If you want to use older AF lenses and other non AF-S lenses get a D90

    If you have the money then go for D7000
    Pentax K-5 | DA 18-55 WR | DA 50-200 WR

  20. #20
    Member fmeeran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie Looking for 1st DSLR (D90 or D5100)

    Quote Originally Posted by fmeeran View Post
    +1. i vote D90 or D7000.
    I should clarify. I voted more for the second dial. It's difficult to do with out once you get used to the convenience.
    Dxxxx | 35/1.8 | 50/1.8 | Tokina 28-70 | Panny G1 | 14-45 | 25/1.7
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