Nikon D90 - will I be disappointed in the lack of zoom? I have been using digital camears for awhile, with my latest being a Fuji with an 18x zoom. I am disappointed with missing shots because of the slow shutter, and have been salivating over the Nikon D90 -- the only thing holding me back: will I be disappointed by not having a zoom? (the 18-105, or even the 18-200, will only give me about a 3X zoom, right?)
With SLRs, its best not to worry too much about the zoom range of a single lens but about whether you have lenses that can actually do each job you need done. One of the advantages of having a dSLR is being able to change lenses at a moment's notice (and to also be able upgrade them when required).
The Fujifilm FinePix S2550 is claimed to cover an 35mm equivalent focal length range of 28mm to 504mm. With a dSLR, the included kit lens and something like a 70-300mm lens, you'd be covered from a 35mm equivalent focal length range of 27mm to 450mm. So, no - I really don't think you'll misss the having the range between 450mm and 504mm found on your Fuji. In fact, you'll probably be much more pleased with the better results you'll get.
"...the 18-105, or even the 18-200, will only give me about a 3X zoom, right?"
Nope, the 18-105mm has a zoom range of about 6X (105/18 = 5.8) and the 18-200mm has a zoom range of about 11X (200/18 = 11.1). A large zoom range isn't always a good thing for a SLR lens because it takes more compromises to design a single lens that can cover all that range. This is one reason photographers carry multiple lenses instead of just getting an 18-200mm super zoom lens (there are other reasons too but that would require a longer explanation).
The greater the zoom range the greater the compromise in image quality and light gathering ability, so you have to pay the price for the convenience of a "wide and long" zoom like the 18-200mm. Having said that, almost any modern Nikon-branded lens that you can attach to your D90 will produce noticeably -- and in some cases vastly -- better results to an ultra-zoom point and shoot camera.
I bought the highly regarded and rated Panasonic ZS3 P&S as a with-me-all-the-time camera. It has, I believe, a 25-300 (12x) zoom. When I got it I compared it to my 135mm f/2.0 (ok, I shoot Canon too). I took shots from the same spot with both cameras. Even though the ZS3 image was larger, after blowing both images up on my computer I was surprised to see that my DSLR shoots contained more usable detail than the ultra zoom, which was rated as having more than twice the focal length! Unfortunately, after this test, I rarely use the P&S.
Although the 135mm is a much more expensive lens, the image quality of the 18-200mm zoom will be closer to the 135 than to that of an ultra-zoom P&S. The major knock that I have against the 18-200mm zoom is that it is big and heavy. It's convenient because you may never have to switch lenses, but you probably won't want to walk around all day with that behemoth attached to your D90. I think that the 18-105mm is a good compromise. It's a good lens and provides a bit more reach than the basic 18-55. I second the recommendation for adding the 70-300mm. If you want to stay light, than I'd consider the 18-55 and 55-200 combo.
Thanks - I had a film SLR years ago and tired of changing lenses. That's why the digital cameras with 15+ zoom have been ideal for me - except for their slow shutters. I'm trying to find a lens that will make me happy without having to change all of the time, so I assume if I start with the 18-105 I'll be OK until I decide to change to an 18-200... yes? (When traveling I don't want to be bogged down)
I see. One of the drawbacks with the 18-200+ types of superzoom lenses is that they tend to have smaller apertures which will also give you somewhat slower shutter speeds at the same focal length compared to a lens with a smaller range.
Sure, the 18-105mm with its wide angle to moderate telephoto should cover muost of your general photography needs. Won't help with birds though. I used a 15-85mm when I visited China and it was a great range for travel. Of course YMMV (depends how much you use the long telephoto end).
I have recently puchased a Nikon D90 and am so happy that i can take pic witha remote trigger and not wonder whether or not the photo is blurred or not saved to memory. I have taken some pics at higher zooms and have looking at macro and micro options too. Even though the zoom of an editor or magnifying glass in lightroom increases the zoom with exceptionally clear resolution think being able to get the shot right away saves alot of time. And have also been looking at ridiculous zoom lenses that up to like 600-1600mm? Anybidy have any recommendations for what these lenses are really good for?
Thanks - your example of blowing up the picture taken with the DSLR was exactly the kind of response I was hoping to get! I get the feeling that the 18-105 will be a good travel camera, with perhaps a pocket 12X in case...
This maybe to late, but I take pictures for a local theater. (Plays and concerts) Some times I can not use my flash and I use my 70-300 lens the most. The high ISO this camera has I still use it at 1/160 for stop action. I will also use my 18-105 zoom for my wider shots. I'm happy and so is the theater.