I'd like to know from any of you that have upgraded from a D40/50/70 to a D90, did you experience much of a jump in IQ?
Can you tell if the images were sharper/more dynamic ranging than the older body you upgraded?
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#1. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 0Asgard Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004Sat 12-May-12 08:25 PM | edited Sat 12-May-12 08:25 PM by Asgard
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#4. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 0
This is an interesting question since there are so many possible answers. I can offer two, No and Yes. My first DSLR was a D70 (I still have it) which made me very happy for the most part. I did not like having a self-imposed limit of 640ISO. But my feeling is that if you can shoot within the D70's capabilities you will be rewarded with more than satisfactory IQ.
Did any of this make any difference to my decision to go forward, first with D300 and then D90? Nope. Those decisions were based on other characteristics of the cameras which had no direct effect on IQ but I feel do have more than tangential impact. RGB histograms is one such. The substantially more competent rear LCD is another. Better high ISO response is an important third. Live view is yet another. Every difference in capability between bodies can help or hinder the photographer in search of optimum IQ in any given situation.
So, did I experience a jump in IQ? For images shot at base ISO, no, not really. Well shot D70 images can be as punchy as you and PS can make them and if I were to limit myself to conditions that would make Ektachrome 200 happy I'd be set for life with the D70. Did I experience a jump in my ability to acquire potentially useful images across a substantially broader range of conditions? Absolutely. And that, in a very meaningful way, constitutes for me a jump in IQ. The D90 is my out and about workhorse, especially when out and about is inside.
#5. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 0
I agree with Hendrik. I also went from D70 to D90. High ISO improvement was obvious, but otherwise (occasional weird cyan skies aside) the D70 was just as good and more forgiving of poor technique when you pixel-peep for sharpness.
The D90 is still a nice step up from the D70 though. It shoots faster, has a bigger viewfinder, has a bigger rear screen, has a more advanced focus system (if you care about that), doesn't lose color when shooting high ISO, doesn't produce as much noise at equivalent ISO and goes two stops higher in ISO. And RGB histograms as Hendrik pointed out, live view for more accurate focusing, video if you want it, etc, etc.
Having said all that, you'll probably get more bang for your buck putting the upgrade money into something like a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, depending upon what you like to shoot.
Edit to add: I'm trying to sell a D90 if you want one. But beware, it's a slippery road: I've already fallen to the temptation of a D7000.
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#6. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 5Enthus_Photo Registered since 15th May 2012Thu 17-May-12 10:34 PM
I'm another guy who went from a D70 to a D90. It is a great camera. I agree with Henrik overall, and am in the same boat as Gary. The only thing causing me to step away from the D90 is the AF of the D300s, or possibly a D7000.
I think the D90 is a big jump up from a D70, in pretty much every way. Generally glass is always a better and more enduring investment, but the D90 gave me a lot of shooting flexibility I just didn't have with my D70.
Net: you won't regret the upgrade, but don't get into the habit of chasing bodies. Invest in glass. It will work on your next 3 cameras.
#8. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 7Enthus_Photo Registered since 15th May 2012Sun 20-May-12 10:18 PM | edited Sun 20-May-12 10:18 PM by Enthus_Photo
It is. The good news is good glass doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg. My older Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 (non-built-in-motor) compares pretty dang well with the Nikon 28-70 f/2.8 for about a third the price (and almost 1/5 the price of the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8).
My Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 sings on my D90 and is less than half what the 70-200 VR I is selling for and a little more than a third the price of a VR II.
The only hitch to these is they both require the camera I'm on to have a screw drive, something Nikon is rumored to be removing from the still-hypothetical, FX-based D600. I'm hoping the also-hypothetical, DX-based, less-talked-about D400 will stay closer to the D300s...
Anyway, you'll love a D90 or a D300 in your price range.
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#9. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 8Aperture Andy Registered since 31st Aug 2011Tue 29-May-12 08:41 PM
My first DSLR was a D40 and I found the image quality very good even with the 18-55mm kit lens. When I upgraded to the D90 I expected a big jump in image quality. I was sadly disappointed and actually thought the D40 produced a better picture. However the D40 is more of a beginners camera and a lot of processing in camera makes for a good picture. The D90 is a more advanced camera and needs some knowledge of the camera to get good results. A increase of sharpness to +5, a little more saturation and contrast and the use of a single focus point produces a sharper and better picture for me. It takes a little time to get used to the D90 but when you do you will be rewarded with some stunning images.
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#10. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 9espeto68 Nikonian since 28th Aug 2010Tue 29-May-12 09:54 PM
Last weekend i was in a round trip here in Portugal, with my girlfriend. I was shooting with an D700/D90 and my GF was shooting with a D70s. We exchange our cameras several times. By the end of the day, when seeing the pictures in an PC, i was really surprised about the IQ from the D70s (only 6MP).
It's all about the lenses!!!
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#11. "RE: D90 image quality...." | In response to Reply # 10AClogston Registered since 07th Feb 2012Wed 30-May-12 01:39 AM
For me, upgrading from a D40 was more about the D90 having features I wanted that the D40 didn't have. The image quality was improved as well, as others have mentioned, by improved ISO range.