A young friend of mine who lives in Argentina is about to make a trip to Thailand and wants to get "real" camera. She has a great eye and I've encourage her to get something better than her point and shoot.
I was about to recommend the D5000. However, I see there have been issues. I don't know her price range but she is asking me to advise between the D5000 and D3000, so somewhere around that price.
Should I recommend the d5000 or the D40X or D3000 or what?
She also asks "I would like to invest in a couple of very good lenses, with versatility (zoom-wide angle). Which do recommend to me?" I'm thinking the Sigma 10-20. And then a Sigma 18-200. She wants lightweight and is on a budget.
#1. "RE: D5000 or what? plus kit." In response to Reply # 0
Spring Hill, US
If I were to do it all over again, I'd save for another couple of weeks and buy a D90 kit instead of my D5000. All of the features except for the swivel display are in the D90 and it's up the chain from the D5000 so far as construction is concerned. It's also a tried and true camera with a good to great track record.
The one place where the D90 is not on par with the D5000 is in the weight and size area. The D5000 is the size of a D40 class camera which makes it smaller and lighter; but at the cost of control real estate and using plastics instead of the D90's heavier frame.
Lenses are a tough area to make suggestions because they wind up being very personal. Some people do fine with an 18-55 kit lens and others are disappointed in one of the 'three kings'.
That said, I'm looking at the Sigma 2.8 lenses. They're about 1/3 the price of comparable Nikons and the Nikons definitely don't give 3x the image quality.
An 18-200 zoom is a compromise, no matter who makes it. I'm interested in seeing the actual field experience with the new Nikon 18-200 VR II lens, but from what I've seen this class of lens is a jack of all trades but a master of none. The big advantage to having a superzoom like this is that you can look at the focal length of the pictures you take and that will give you a good idea of where to spend your money for your next lens.
#4. "RE: D5000 or what? plus kit." In response to Reply # 1
I guess I'll recommmend she avoid the 18-200. She could at least try the D90 at a local camera store but I suspect she'll opt for lighter. I told her that the lenses and other kit will move with her as she upgrades to other camera bodies.
#2. "RE: D5000 or what? plus kit." In response to Reply # 0
I would think the D5000 would be a better choice, but she should be aware of the issues and make sure that she does not get one that falls within the recall numbers.
Nikon's kit lens are fine performers and should do a nice job. If she wants to upgrade from that, I would suggest the Nikon 16-85VR and the Nikon 70-300VR as a combo. I would stay away from an all in one lens such as the 18-200. The quality in this combo is about as good as it gets without getting pro glass.
I shoot mostly landscapes and have never gone wider than 16mm. If she is not well experienced, there would be a learning curve with something as wide as 10mm.
Good luck in your decision.
Jerry Jaynes Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina