450D, D90 or?

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450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:04 am

Yep, I'm torn between the two. Anyone got any experience with either or preferably both, that can share their wisdom?

I'm open to other suggestions, these are the two that I've really liked the look of so far.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 7:45 am

I have a 450D and I love it, can't really say anything bad about it. Ok, I don't like noobish live view, I turned it off, although in very rare circumstances it's handy, so not exactly a minus, just noobish stuff, but other than that it's a great camera.

Oh, I think I couldn't find how to make a longer timer than 2 sec. once, without manual, but it was in a hurry, so I don't know.

The worst thing about Canons is their lenses, they're so damn dark :roll:
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:42 am

Remember that you're not really buying a single camera. You're buying into a camera system.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:57 am

Richie_G wrote:Yep, I'm torn between the two. Anyone got any experience with either or preferably both, that can share their wisdom?

I'm open to other suggestions, these are the two that I've really liked the look of so far.

what's the budget?

I don't know the nikon side very well.. but i think the D90 is better than the 450D.
Why not step up to the mid-level cameras? 50D canon? or wait till Oct for the 60D?

The thing about getting a dslr is that you'll be spending a lot of money on a single nice lens... so doesnt really pay to skimp too much on the body.
That said, I did start off with the Rebel XT and it served me well for quite a while. I wouldnt recommed that line though.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:20 am

The budget's about 1400 USD. I currently only have a G9 so that could be an influencing factor towards getting another Canon. That said, I really like the feature set of the D90, though I have no idea about lenses etc. It's a steep learning curve, but that's what I enjoy. I'm after good low light performance - and I like taking landscape and portrait pics. As I understand it, I'm going to need to spend some serious dough on a lense to get the most out of the camera - so I suppose that has to be taken into account with the budget.

Thanks for the input so far.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:32 am

The D90's a nicer camera, but it's about a lot more than that. You need to look at both systems, see what they offer you, verify they meet your needs, and see if either system's advantages are particularly important to you. You also need to get into a camera store and at least give both models a 5 min. ergonomic test drive. Ergonomics matter a lot. I don't find the xxxD series cameras to be particularly usable at all, for example.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:36 am

mattsteg wrote:The D90's a nicer camera, but it's about a lot more than that. You need to look at both systems, see what they offer you, verify they meet your needs, and see if either system's advantages are particularly important to you. You also need to get into a camera store and at least give both models a 5 min. ergonomic test drive. Ergonomics matter a lot. I don't find the xxxD series cameras to be particularly usable at all, for example.


Interesting point that I would have overlooked completely, I'll drop into my local photography store and try a couple out.

Forgive the probably stupid question, but what is meant by 'System', are we talking about all the peripherals and such that are used with the camera, or is there more to it than that?
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:51 am

Richie_G wrote:
mattsteg wrote:The D90's a nicer camera, but it's about a lot more than that. You need to look at both systems, see what they offer you, verify they meet your needs, and see if either system's advantages are particularly important to you. You also need to get into a camera store and at least give both models a 5 min. ergonomic test drive. Ergonomics matter a lot. I don't find the xxxD series cameras to be particularly usable at all, for example.


Interesting point that I would have overlooked completely, I'll drop into my local photography store and try a couple out.

Forgive the probably stupid question, but what is meant by 'System', are we talking about all the peripherals and such that are used with the camera, or is there more to it than that?


mattsteg does make a good point. I have the opposite feeling he has ... so it pays to go in and handle them before deciding.
I couldnt stand how the nikons felt in my hand and loved how the 40D feels.... but as stated by mattsteg, others feel the exact opposite.

the other thing to note is the rebel line / 450D is a small body... I got used to mine because I didnt know any better but it is annoyingly small once you've handled xxD series.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:04 pm

They are ok, and since the sensor is pretty much the same as the 40D, I like the fact I can take it to a home party or road trips.

With 3 lenses, mini tripod size starts to annoy, and we are not talking about external slashes, bigger tripods, and stuff like that.

I like the compact size of the xxxD line, and the LCD screens on later models are pretty big, viewfinders are bright and bigger as well now.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:13 pm

The Nikon D90 is a nice camera. It has excellent high ISO performance for shooting in low light. Unlike low-end Nikon DSLRs, the D90 can auto-focus with Nikon's older design AF lenses that lack internal motors, so you wouldn't have to purchase only expensive AF-S lenses, and you would have many more options available in the used lens market. You might get the D90 with the AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens for $1100-$1200 and add the $200 AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G or the $130 AF 50mm f/1.8D fast prime lens for indoor portraits.

The Canon EOS Rebel XSi (aka EOS 450D in other parts of the world) is a very good value. You can get the Rebel XSi with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens, the $225 EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS telephoto zoom lens and the $95 EF 50mm f/1.8 fast prime lens for $800-$900. Add a decent bounceable flash like the $240 Speedlite 430EX II, and you've got enough left in your budget for a bag, filters, tripod, photography books, etc. You might even choose a better quality wide-normal zoom lens for general purpose photography like the $450 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II rather than the kit lens and the 50mm prime lens.

You won't go wrong with either Nikon or Canon. Nikon's lens selection is nearly as large as Canon's. Both companies offer equipment to cover all of your photographic needs. Nikon gear is somewhat more expensive than equivalent Canon gear. Sony has the potential to eventually compete with Canon and Nikon, but Sony's best quality CMOS sensors (like the ones that they make for Nikon) are currently only available in their expensive α700 and α900 cameras. Sony's lens selection is adequate for most of us, but it lacks some of the lenses that professional photographers might need. Sony lenses are priced even higher than Nikon lenses. Sony's in-camera image stabilization extends the performance of third-party (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) lenses and old Minolta Maxxum lenses that are compatible with the Sony alpha mount.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:21 pm

I've owned both the Canon 40D and Nikon D90, and in my personal opinion the D90 has been a better camera for me, but like others have mentioned you need to try them both out to see which will fit you best.

As for the "system", like you mentioned you might want to consider an additional lens that will help with low light situations. I have Nikon's new 35mm f/1.8, and its awesome, and if you go with the D90 you can get it with the kit lens (which is also really good) and the 35mm for under your budget. Another bonus for the 35mm is that it is really small and lightweight.

But, this is what works for me, YMMV.

EDIT: JAE beat me to the punch...
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:00 pm

Thanks for the well informed post JAE (and thanks to everyone else who have shared their opinions), I'll most likely print that one and some others for reference when I go to the photography store. Trouble is that Sweden, where I live, is notoriously expensive... I'm just hoping I can find these products at sensible prices. The knowledge about lenses is the main thing I need to get my head around though, so that info really helped.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:13 pm

Anyway, you should read this -> http://dpreview.com/ and their technical section, very good source IMHO.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sat Aug 01, 2009 4:27 pm

The thing about getting a dslr is that you'll be spending a lot of money on a single nice lens... so doesnt really pay to skimp too much on the body.

I disagree; since the lenses are going to be the most important part of your setup, it can sometimes be a better idea to get a cheaper body mounted to a great lens. There's a limit, of course; I wouldn't buy a $100 used five-year-old DSLR and mount it to L glass or nothin'.

Anyway, I run around with the D90 and recommend the crap out of it. Live View and Movie Mode are forgettable features, and I don't even take it into account in my judgment. But the ISO sensitivity is great, ADR is a wonderful feature, big giant friggin' screen for easy review, etc. For my uses, both Nikon and Canon offer essentially equal options in terms of lenses; if you feel like dropping big loads of money on a giant, heavy, and gorgeous f/1.2 lens, Nikon ain't your path... but if that were the case I doubt you'd be talking about the Rebel line, anyway.

This may just be significant for my style of photography, but I've always loved how Nikon's mid-range line will work with a wireless flash right out of the box. Sure, it's only a few of their speedlights, but the SB-600 is an excellent piece of equipment. But some people may not care about an external flash, or they may not care about using it wirelessly.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:12 am

SPOOFE wrote:Anyway, I run around with the D90 and recommend the crap out of it.


I didn’t realise you use the D90 yourself (hadn’t paid much attention), but I have seen some of your pics in the general photography thread and they’re very impressive, particularly with the low light.

I’ll be heading to the store on the morrow to see if I can’t get my hands on a few of these cameras, and will also take a lesson in lenses while I’m there.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:52 am

SPOOFE wrote:
The thing about getting a dslr is that you'll be spending a lot of money on a single nice lens... so doesnt really pay to skimp too much on the body.

I disagree; since the lenses are going to be the most important part of your setup, it can sometimes be a better idea to get a cheaper body mounted to a great lens. There's a limit, of course; I wouldn't buy a $100 used five-year-old DSLR and mount it to L glass or nothin'.

You buy the cheapest camera that gives you what you need/want. Unless you're changing sensor sizes, image quality will be pretty much identical, and even going back a generation or so doesn't lose you much at all (except some high-performance for Nikon, for example). Thus you just buy for the features, build, and ergonomics you need and call it good.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:52 am

There's a question of which camera differences are significant to you. If a feature isn't important to you, it's probably not worth paying for. I see two things that the Nikon D90 (and D300) can do that cheaper Nikon cameras cannot do that would be significant to my purchase decision. You may have other criteria.

The Nikon D50/D70/D80/D90/D200/D300 cameras can auto-focus with AF lenses that lack built-in motors, but the D40/D60/D3000/D5000 cameras cannot. Eventually, this distinction will matter less as Nikon continues to very slowly convert its lens lineup to AF-S. Nikon has been working on the transition to internal motors since 1992. They now have 30 AF-S lenses available with 21 currently-produced AF lenses left to replace. The old AF lenses will remain in the used market for a few decades after that. With this year's availability of 35mm and 50mm AF-S prime lenses, you can now buy most of the lenses that you might want in AF-S. The AF lenses are mostly just a less expensive alternative.

The CMOS sensors in the Nikon D90 (and D300) have much better high ISO performance than the CCD sensors in the D80 (and D200) models that they replaced. The just-announced D5000 also uses a CMOS sensor with good high ISO performance, while the new D3000 uses the same old CCD sensor as the D60. Eventually, improved sensor technology will make its way down to Nikon's low-end camera models.

In the Canon line, those two sharp distinctions don't exist between camera models. The differences in high-ISO performance between different generations of Canon CMOS sensors aren't as dramatic. All Canon EF and EF-S lenses produced since 1987 are fully-functional with even the cheapest Canon EOS DSLR. You will be looking more at other items like the size of the camera body, the top display, wheels and knobs, auto-focus system, viewfinder, resolution, video capability, shooting speed, etc. to determine which Canon EOS camera model might suit your needs.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:11 pm

I didn’t realise you use the D90 yourself (hadn’t paid much attention), but I have seen some of your pics in the general photography thread and they’re very impressive, particularly with the low light.

Until about a month ago I was running around with a D70s, which is also a very good body and can be had for about ~$300 these days. Megapixels are down and sensitivity ain't so great (you won't want to go above ISO 800 in most instances), but it can definitely take solid images and I would definitely recommend it as a cheapie/starter camera. It can allow one to get a good body with an amazing lens (or lenses) with the money saved. Oh yeah, it also had wireless flash functionality right out of the box.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:22 pm

The AF-S only issues on the D5000 and below is really a complete non-issue for most people buying in this budget range. The only AF lens I think I would really want is a Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 on the cheap. Even then the AF lenses also tend to have other features missing besides an internal focus motor.

For most people the strongest argument for Nikon right now is the 18-105, 18-135, and 18-200. Canon and Nikon are rather equal... except in this range where they're completely behind. Canon's 18-200 is rather universally considered worse. Pretty big deal for many people. They might not be fast lenses but they have a very wide range and good VR. Plus most people will never need another lens after the 18-200.

I just sold my Rebel XS after using a D60 for a week. I simply like how the Nikon handled. Even after six months with the Canon it never felt natural. The Nikon's, to me, have a much better designed small body camera.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:38 pm

You could get the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II (for Nikon or Canon) and the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS (Canon) or AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR (Nikon) for less than the cost of an 18-200mm lens, and have much better image quality than a super-zoom provides.

DPreview doesn't seem to be all that high on the AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR:
http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/wid ... on.xml%3F4
http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/wid ... on.xml%3F4

I can understand the appeal of never having to choose which lens to use for a particular photography session, but there's that "jack of all trades, master of none" issue to deal with.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:57 pm

I don't like superzooms, either. I have the 18-135 but almost never use it these days, sticking almost exclusively to a 30 or an 85 prime; but that's just me, buddies that borrow my camera prefer the zoom overwhelmingly.

But outside of select lenses, I consider Nikon and Canon's lineup to be essentially equal for most people. Some will want crazy huge apertures, in which case Canon's offerings of f/1.2 lenses is something Nikon can't match; same with tilt and shift lenses (these are also very expensive lenses). Others will stick almost exclusively to the basic kit lens, in which case Nikon's 18-55 is better (but these are cheap lenses anyway). For everything else, there are rough analogues that essentially do the same task, and there are always third-party lenses that flesh out options considerably.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:05 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:I can understand the appeal of never having to choose which lens to use for a particular photography session, but there's that "jack of all trades, master of none" issue to deal with.


That is the entire point. At some point you must make a decision. You either use multiple lenses and have superior image quality or you use one lens and have worse image quality. The thing is that multiple lenses are annoying, they take up more space, and most importantly they take time and can caused missed opportunity. A single lens is lighter, can snap almost any picture except when it might be to slow, and the image quality trade off isn't an issue except for highly analytical people or those printing in very large sizes. The issues of a single lens don't apply to the vast majority of people in this cost range. The image quality trade off is a much lower priority to the multiple lenses trade off.

Third party options are nice if it wasn't for potential auto focus issues. Which is a massive deal to me, at least.

My ideal set up is a 18-200mm with a 35mm prime. A set up of 18-55, 55-250, and then a fast prime... sounds much worse. The image quality increase not near worth it. But, everyone is different.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:22 pm

Even a superzoom will get very sharp if stopped down, and with camera bodies getting better and better handling high ISO's the loss of aperture isn't as big of an issue outside of select circumstances (low light without the ability to use a flash, or the need to catch quick movements). Plus, if quality is the ultimate requirement, one would be getting a 2.8 zoom or tele prime, which get pricey really quick.

The other thing a superzoom is good at is helping new shooters figure out which range they work best at, and from there they can have a better understanding of any other lenses they may want.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 7:45 pm

The aforementioned Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II usually goes for under $450. The AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR goes for just over $700. If you have a D90 or other Nikon camera that can auto-focus AF lenses without built-in motors, you might find the older non-BIM version of the Tamron lens (or the version that was rebadged under the Promaster brand) for $200-$300. The cheap AF-S DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR telephoto zoom goes for under $225.

So, you're spending more to get significantly worse image quality but greater convenience.


If auto-focus is critical to you, isn't the D60's old 3-point auto-focus system rather limiting? It's more primitive (slower and less accurate) than the auto-focus system in the low-end Canon Rebel XS that you discarded. The just-announced Nikon D3000 has the same old CCD image sensor as the D60, but the new model features a much better 11-point auto-focus system.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 8:04 pm

I haven't bought a camera to replace my XS yet. I simply sold the XS because I'm going to buy a Nikon. The 7 point focus system on the XS was certainly not more accurate or quicker. You had greater control of the focus on the XS but it had worse auto focus when not giving the camera a specific point. Either way, I personally have full intention of at least purchasing a D5000 or D90, not less. This is because of the higher usable ISO more than anything. The XS simply didn't handle as well as the D60, that was the biggest issue followed by lens selection in the range/features I wanted. Clearly every is different. I think the OP would be best served learning a bit more before buying. Maybe even rent a camera or purchase from a retailer with a good return policy and test drive both Nikon and Canon options.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Sun Aug 02, 2009 9:04 pm

Of course you could get a Panasonic G1/GH1 and adapt any lens system to it, including cheap, fun, amazing legacy manual focus stuff. Then you have a small, useful size camera which is arguably more portable than any dSLR but 4/3 SLRs, yet with similar performance. Yes low light suffers a bit in ISO > 800, and dynamic range as well over ISO800, but I have been using a 50mm F1.4 for $35 (100mm equivalent) which is simply incredible so I don't need to use high ISO, almost always <ISO800, even in dark rooms.

Many Canon and Nikon users are buying these to supplement their systems, or what they call "going commando" because they are tired of lugging around the heavy obtrusive equipment.

The Olympus EP-1 falls into the same category. Remember a camera is only good if you have it with you, and dSLRs don't travel well. The G1 fits in my center car console with lens attached!

Many of these are with a manual focus 50mm and kit lens.
http://picasaweb.google.com/wymanfamily3/

Oh, and the GH1 does video far better than any other dSLR, that is if you are into that sort of thing.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:49 am

Well, I went down to the photography store today, and took a look at three cameras.

The Cannon 450D, Nikon D90 and the Sony α700

I spent some time with the chap, and discussed a number of different pros and cons to each.

The 450D was the first one I looked at, and I was immediately drawn to its small size compared to the D90 and the slightly larger still α700. It’s about half the price of the other two here which would free up a lot of money to buy lenses etc. The assistant explained that it actually performs better than the 500D and 50D at higher ISO owing to the fact that they cram too many pixels.
It is rather light, and I decided that I preferred a larger camera, which ultimately ruled out this option.

I really liked the look and feel of the Nikon, it’s a good size and weight and had practically all the features I am after (or at least that I know of – it’s a steep learning curve).

I then saw the α700 and of the three: this one felt the most rugged and had the best menu system in my opinion. It lacks live view and video, but has built in image stabilisation and can work with Minolta lenses (which allow for some good bargains as far as I know) and has wireless flash.

So now I’m stuck between the α700 and the D90.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:36 am

The larger and sturdier Canon cameras would be the EOS 50D or the just-discontinued EOS 40D. With more knobs and buttons and a top display, it's easier to change some of the settings on these "prosumer" cameras than on the consumer models like the EOS 450D or 500D. These ergonomic factors may matter to you, so it would be a very good idea to hold one in your hands. You may be able to find new, refurbished or used EOS 40D cameras at good prices. The Canon EOS 50D costs about the same as the Nikon D90 or Sony α700.

Sony offers many fewer lenses than Canon and Nikon do. High-quality Sony "G" lenses cost even more than Nikon lenses do. The good news is that Sigma offers many lenses to work with Sony alpha cameras, Tamron offers a few compatible lenses and all of the old Minolta auto-focus lenses (from the Maxxum era onward) are compatible with the Sony alpha mount. Tokina offers only one lens for the Sony alpha mount.

If you get the Sony camera, you may want to scrounge around your local used lens market to find a couple of Minolta lenses. The $250 Minolta AF 70-210mm f/4 "beercan" is a popular telephoto zoom that provides better image quality than cheap modern telephoto zoom lenses. The $120 Minolta AF 50mm f/1.7 is an inexpensive wide-aperture prime lens.

Other than the old Minolta lenses that are still out there, you'll probably lean on Sigma and Tamron to provide reasonably-priced lenses. The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 Di-II or the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 HSM DC for around $450 would be far superior to the (rather poor) Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens.
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:40 am

When I played around with a Sony A700 I did not like the ergonomics of the body...for some reason it just felt clunky and wrong...

For me, when it comes to ergonomics and usability, I would choose the Nikon D90, then a Canon 40/50D, then Nikon D5000/3000/60, then a Rebel...Of course, if I book enough weddings next year I might take the dive into a D700x (assuming one comes out) and have a D90 as a second body...
jobodaho
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Re: 450D, D90 or?

Postposted on Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:25 am

The 50D is stepped just above the D90, although that's how Canon and Nikon play the game; neither has direct competition to the other, really, with each successive model being priced just a bit above or below the other's rough equivalent. In fact, just about the only point the two really coincide is with the 5D mkII and the D700, although I can understand Nikon's desire to get a good presence in the FF digital world.

Just to fling more spaghetti on the wall, one of the nice little bonuses I like about Nikon is coming across old lenses that will still mount to my body. Not everybody will like it, because it can be a pain in the butt focusing manually on one of these dinky viewfinders (the finder on a Nikon FM is glorious and a thing of beauty), but I personally enjoy coming across a lens older than me and getting bitching pictures. Some of those old manual lenses can be had for cheap, too. They suck for anything with much action but you can get some awesome portraiture.
SPOOFE
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