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Subject: "Upgrade from D50" Previous topic | Next topic
rnield Registered since 16th Jul 2010Tue 03-Aug-10 10:02 PM
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"Upgrade from D50"


GB
          

i currently have a D50 and am considering upgrading. i am a freelance journalist who does a lot of travelling with my reporting (mainly in the Middle East and South America) and i want to be able to sell photographs from my travels to add an extra source of income (and enjoyment).

i started to use the D50 regularly about a year ago, and am now learning to manipulate aperture, shutter speed, ISO, manual focus etc, independently of the scene mode offerings. i typically shoot 2-3k images on a trip, and travel roughly every 3 months.

what i would like to know is first whether i am right in thinking i'd be well-advised to upgrade my camera body in order to increase the resolution, so i can produce a higher quality image / larger publishable image at 300dpi?

second - if i do need to upgrade, then how far do i need to go? i've looked at D90, D5000, D300s and D700 and found myself unable to determine which i need, given the combination of being at a relatively early point on the digital photography learning curve, but still wanting to produce publishable-quality images.

i only have basic lenses too, the 18-55mm kit lens and the AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 4-5.6G.

any advice greatly appreciated!!

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
blw Moderator
03rd Aug 2010
1
Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
jpFoto
04th Aug 2010
2
Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
MEMcD Moderator
04th Aug 2010
3
     Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
jpFoto
04th Aug 2010
5
     Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
blw Moderator
04th Aug 2010
6
Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
Kit Sims Taylor
04th Aug 2010
4
Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
rosborn Silver Member
04th Aug 2010
7
     Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
blw Moderator
04th Aug 2010
8
          Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
rosborn Silver Member
04th Aug 2010
9
          Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
Kit Sims Taylor
04th Aug 2010
11
          Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
rnield
04th Aug 2010
10
               Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
blw Moderator
04th Aug 2010
12
               Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
MEMcD Moderator
04th Aug 2010
13
               Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
Arkayem Moderator
05th Aug 2010
14
                    Reply message RE: Upgrade from D50
LATENTA
05th Aug 2010
15

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 03-Aug-10 10:58 PM
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#1. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Whether an upgrade is necessary depends a lot on who you expect to buy your images. Most journalism - as far as I know - with print as the destination doesn't really require very high resolution. I've done a full color magazine cover and a number of newspaper articles with a 6mp D100 - and using crops, too. But other publications, including stock agencies, tend to set much higher requirements and you should be checking with your direct consumers. They might have high requirements, they might not.

The d90, D5000, D300s and D700 are all exactly the same resolution - 12mp, give or take a tad. You can make a display-quality 24 x 36" print from a 12mp file, if you do your part. On the other hand, you can make a display-quality 19" print from your D50, too. Do you need more? How often have you needed to print 16x20"? In fact, I've also had images published with a D2h - which is 4mp.

> i only have basic lenses too, the 18-55mm kit lens and the AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 4-5.6G.

They are more than adequate for making those 19" prints. You only need to upgrade if they aren't fast enough to get the shot, or if they're not wide/long enough, etc. From the way you've phrased the question, you don't appear to have hit those limitations yet, so in your situation, I'd save my money in anticipation of the day that does happen. And then you'll know exactly what needs to be addressed in the upgrade.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010Wed 04-Aug-10 03:05 PM
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#2. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 04-Aug-10 03:50 PM by jpFoto

US
          

In addition to the above, and if you are considering the D700, keep in mind that it is FX format and your lenses are DX. As such, you would only be able to use them on the D700 in DX crop mode which means that your images would be 5.1 megapixels rather than 12 megapixels.

This would obviously add to your upgrade costs since you would probably want to upgrade to non-DX, and they are generally more expensive than DX lenses.

One consideration not mentioned by Brian is that all of your potential upgrade choices have much better low light performance, with the D700 at the top of that list.

Edited to add: Also, keep in mind that the D5000 will only autofocus with "G" type lenses.

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 04-Aug-10 04:12 PM
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#3. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 2


US
          

Hi D,

>Edited to add: Also, keep in mind that the D5000 will only
>autofocus with "G" type lenses.

Not correct. There are D type lenses that will autofocus an a D5000 body such as the 17-35mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S, 28-70mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S, 80-200mm f/2.8D ED IF AF-S, etc.....
The D5000 requires lenses with a built in AF motor such as Nikkor AF-S, Sigma HSM, ect...

"G" type only means that the lens does not have an aperture ring.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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jpFoto Registered since 25th Jun 2010Wed 04-Aug-10 04:16 PM
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#5. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

Marty

Thanks for catching that. There's nothing worse than receiving bad advice.

D

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 04-Aug-10 04:23 PM
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#6. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond, US
          

And just for silliness, there exists at least one G lens that will NOT AF on a D5000: the 10.5/f2.8 AF G. It was the last of the screwdriver AF lenses to be introduced, thus needing the in-camera focus motor that a D5000 does not have. Yet it's still a G lens in that it does not have an aperture ring.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Kit Sims Taylor Registered since 16th Feb 2006Wed 04-Aug-10 04:14 PM
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#4. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 0


Kingston, US
          

DX vs FX: There are serious travel photographers who get along fine with DX -- Bob Krist (in National Geographic Traveller, among other publications) would be one. Any of the DX Nikons have sufficient resolution for even two-page spreads.

The main advantage of FX for travel photography would be the higher image quality at very high ISOs. But that advantage comes at a high cost, in weight as well as price. A good set of lenses for FX weigh a lot more than their DX equivalents. And we DXers have a wider choice of lenses as we can use any of the FX lenses as well as DX lenses. The excellent 16-85 VR is my most-used lens, and there is really no FX equivalent at present with the same angle of view range and image quality (although there are rumors about a replacement for the 24-120 VR).

DX cameras: Your D50 will give you suffcient resolution. The gains from a higher-end body will be from the ergonomics -- more that you can do quickly without going through so many menus -- and other features like more frames per second, better autofocus, DOF preview, etc.

Camera build: From my travels, I think the metal body and sealing of the D300 is well worth the extra half-pound over the D90. I've had it for over 2 1/2 years now -- got one from the first batch my local camera store received -- and it has been completely reliable on trips that included two months on the Orinoco, Casiquiare, Rio Negro, and Amazon rivers and a one-month trek through northern Portugal and Galicia.

KST
www.arovingvision.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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rosborn Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Oct 2009Wed 04-Aug-10 05:42 PM
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#7. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 4


Chelsea, US
          

KST wrote:

"Camera build: From my travels, I think the metal body and sealing of the D300 is well worth the extra half-pound over the D90."

But how do you know that the D90 wouldn't have been just as good in some of those adventures, if you don't have one and use one?

Rob

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 04-Aug-10 06:59 PM
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#8. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 7


Richmond, US
          

My experience with the D100 - which is similar to the D50 in most regards - is that it is pretty tough. I've had it hanging out of trains, caught in Yosemite downpours, and in general it did about 140,000 air miles with me. It's got a big scratch on the surface from setting it down on a torn-off screw head on a picnic table, but other than that and some shiny corners, it seems to have held up pretty well.

My opinion is that the lower-end models are built better than most people realize. (And I do have the tougher pro models to compare against, too.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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rosborn Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Oct 2009Wed 04-Aug-10 07:06 PM
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#9. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 8


Chelsea, US
          

>My experience with the D100 - which is similar to the D50 in
>most regards - is that it is pretty tough. I've had it
>hanging out of trains, caught in Yosemite downpours, and in
>general it did about 140,000 air miles with me. It's got a
>big scratch on the surface from setting it down on a torn-off
>screw head on a picnic table, but other than that and some
>shiny corners, it seems to have held up pretty well.
>
>My opinion is that the lower-end models are built better than
>most people realize. (And I do have the tougher pro models to
>compare against, too.)

Yeah, that's my point. I've had my D90 for ten months now and I have been caught using it all kinds of weather and it's still performing like it did when I first took it out of the box. In fact, three weeks ago I got caught in a torrential downpour and my camera made it through fine and dandy. I've knocked it against many different things, had it fall of the back seat of my car onto the floor, etc., and it's still good to go. One point that many forget is that the frame of the D90 is partially made out of aluminum. Okay, that may not be as durable or as light as magnesium but it is still metal and not a completely plastic body.

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Kit Sims Taylor Registered since 16th Feb 2006Wed 04-Aug-10 08:02 PM
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#11. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 9


Kingston, US
          

I've no doubt the D90, 80, 70 are well built -- I still have my D70 and have had no problems with it. Of the many Nikons I've had over the years the only one that was less than durable was the N6006 some years back.

Still, the metal build and seals of the D300 and 200 provides a bit of extra insurance. The most expensive part of my photography addiction is the travel -- by far -- even when I travel by myself and stay in no-star hotels.

KST
www.arovingvision.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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rnield Registered since 16th Jul 2010Wed 04-Aug-10 07:10 PM
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#10. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 8


GB
          

my impression is that the build quality of the older models like the D50 is perhaps better than the newer mid-range models like the D5000 and the D90 - is this reasonable to say or not?

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 04-Aug-10 08:50 PM
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#12. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 10


Richmond, US
          

Not my impression, although I haven't had the skins off of any of them to be sure.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 04-Aug-10 09:24 PM
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#13. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

Hi Richard,

The build quality appears to be the same to my eye. Nikon has a well deserved reputation for building very robust camera bodies, and while not built to pro standards the D5000 and D90 are very well built machines. The new bodies are slightly heavier than the D50 as well.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberThu 05-Aug-10 01:26 AM
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#14. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 10
Thu 05-Aug-10 02:26 PM by Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>my impression is that the build quality of the older models
>like the D50 is perhaps better than the newer mid-range models
>like the D5000 and the D90 - is this reasonable to say or
>not?

I don't think so.

Nikon is well known for quality and ruggedness, and that's one reason Nikons cost a little more. Each new model has better and better shock mounting for the electronics and viewfinder components, and I think the D90 is better sealed against weather than any of the previous low end prosumer DSLRs.

Russ
Nikonian Team Member
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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LATENTA Registered since 21st Feb 2007Thu 05-Aug-10 01:32 PM
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#15. "RE: Upgrade from D50"
In response to Reply # 14


US
          

In addition to less shadow-noise at high ISO speeds, the 12MP models
(like D90) will allow a usable portrait crop from a landscape
image..not so easy with 6MP..

I had a darkroom. Now I have a PC. PC smells better.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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