Nikon d90 or d300s? I currently have a d5000, which I love mostly. I get great photos with it, but I am ever so sick of messing with the white/balance iso that i have to enter a menu to adjust. I went into to best buy today hoping to see both, and they only carry the d90 in store. I sure like the feel, but is it enough of an upgrade? I have also looked at the d700, as I am interested in fx, but feel that this is a huge expense for a hobbyist. I mostly take photos of my kids (daily) and would love to get even better images. I have started taking family pics for friends as the requests become more and more frequent. I would love a camera that could carry me into very professional photo quality as I continue my hobby. Thoughts?
It definitely depends on your interest. For what it sounds like you are doing now, I would recommend the d90 to save a bit and get great lenses. I currently have a d90 and have been looking to add a d300s sometime soon. The main reasons are the iso and the focal points. When I started out photographing professionally it was strictly families and my own kids with natural light. I mainly do that still, but have quite a few evening weddings and do not desire to use flash. The d90 does great in smaller situations, but with the higher iso I do see a bit more noise in the images. The video was a huge selling point for me being a parent. I use it constantly with my kids! Ultimately of course the choice is up to you (budget, need, etc), but in my opinion, I say get the d90 initially and enjoy that one before deciding on the extra $ for the d300s.
its better to have an underpriced camera with overpriced lenses than vise versa - always spring for the lenses ALWAYS. they are what make photography, not the camera. and i know plenty of pros that can prove it by using a d40 and taking better pictures than an enthusiast with a d3, all day long! marketing is the only thing that is titillating you into buying a new cam. the d90 is phenomenal and superior to the d300. its features are better and more intuitive. the only thing the 300 has is weather proofing and twice the bill. the 700 is a full frame, that means you have to get top quality fx lenses. no use having that camera unless you are planning on springing 1000 - $10000/lens. thats just the facts. happy shooting!
If you understand the Rule of 16, the older AiS Nikkor MF Lenses like the 28mm f2.8, the 50mm f1.8 and the 50mm f1.2 are optically superior to most AF lenses. You only be able to shoot in the Manual mode, no metering, but the resulting IQ can be amazing and the prices are right.
I have the D40 and the 18-55 kit lens. Image quality was 'OK' but I wanted more. Have now added the 24mm f2.8 and 35mm f2 primes. No comparison with the kit lens what so ever. Far superior. I also have the 50mm F1.4, 60mm f2.8 'micro' and 85mm f1.8. Took quite a few photos the other day under identical conditions and oddly the order of quality (from my perception) is 24>35>50>85>60 >> kit lens. As a scientist I don't like things to pan out in this non-random way :-) - well almost as the 60mm is a micro and the photo test situation was sort of landscape (a marina). OK, the above lenses are (apart from the 60 mm) non-AFS so I used manual focus (not that difficult and I feel preferable in many situations). The difference between the 24mm f2,8 and the kit lens is just so far different - from centre to edge - that there's just no practical comparison. Last weekend purchased the 300mm F4 and did similar tests (same situation) with this against my 80-200 f2.8 AF lens. Both incredibly good. Revising the list of lens IQ one comes to the (not unexpectedly) that the higher price lenses out-perform the lower cost ones. The 60mm exception is that it was used outside of its' design area (landscape rather than portrait/macro work). In essence, you get what you pay for. To expect a zoom to outperform an equally well designed fixed lens is a nice fairy tale. The 24mm f1.4 blows away the 24 - 70 f2.8 'legend' lens as you would expect as the price differential is very small. I would guess that (my perspective) the 24 mm f2.8 AF lens will be very close to the 24 - 70 zoom (and the difference would be such that it's not worth the extra bucks to buy the zoom - not to mention the weight - as an amateur or semi-pro). So, my advice is to spend money wisely on 'glass' and not to worry too much about the camera. The camera can only resolve what the 'glass' gives it. As I point out (to the annoyance of many) there were great, sharp, images taken 40 - 50 years ago with 20th century glass and (inferior) 35 mm film. Ultimately, with kids, you need 'fast glass' so aim for 1 stop less than you expect you will use (e.g. if you think you need f2.8 routinely then buy f1.8 glass). Very few lenses give good results at their largest appature. The 50mm f1.8 is a good starting point and the least expensive lens. Try it you'll be amazed at what a difference it makes over a kit lens (and probably equivalent to the 10 times more expensive zoom equivalent). Luckily the D90 has a built in motor drive so you don't need the more expensive AFS lenses.