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AF motor in body vs in lense?

victoria voodoo , Jun 09, 2009; 08:16 p.m.

Hi, i looked for this question but couldn't find it already asked; sorry if i missed it. Here goes:
Stuck between d60 and d90. And now the d5000 is bothering me too; the biggest difference i can see between d5000/d60 and the d90 is the autofocus motor being in the body of the d90.
Is AF motor in the body better than in the lense or vice versa? Or do they work the same? I reeeeeeaaally want the d90 but it seems to be out of my budget at the moment and i want to have my camera before a trip to europe in july.
If i settle for the d60 am i going to be kicking myself when it comes time to expand my lense collection?

Also, if i have NO intention of shooting video(which i do not), is the d5000 still a good upgrade from the d60? Or is it just a flippy screened waste of money for non video-shooters?


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Joseph Leotta , Jun 09, 2009; 08:36 p.m.

not necessary better, but it gives you a lot more lens options.
If you have a motor in the body you can use both type of lenes. ones with and without AF motors in them. Its very helpful if you have a number of Nikon lens without motors.
AF-s or Swm Autofucos lens have a Silent wave motor built into them. As a rule they focus faster and are easier to override manually and are silent.
Right now a little more that half the nikon lenes are afs. all DX lenes are AF-s as are all new lens that nikon introduces.
Aftermarket len companies produce lens both ways.

Lex Jenkins , Jun 09, 2009; 09:08 p.m.

The in-body AF motor gives you access to some real bargains in older Nikkors and several current and recent third party lenses. For example, the Tokina 12-24/4 uses the screwdriver AF system and needs an in-body motor to drive the autofocus. Ditto the inexpensive 50/1.8 AF Nikkors.

Andrew Gale , Jun 09, 2009; 09:32 p.m.

IMHO the 50mm is the best lens to have. I use it all of the time, mostly for its speed but also for its convinient focal length and small size.
The difference between the 50/1.8 and the 50 AFS is enough to pay for the difference between the D60/D90.When you start to uy other lenses, you will save even more.
Besides the 50, some other great nikons are not AFS. These include but are not limited to: 85mm, 24mm and the 20mm.

tobey bilek , Jun 09, 2009; 09:43 p.m.

Almost any Nikkor ever made will mount and take pictures on a D60. It will not autofocus or meter.

If those two items are important to you, go for the D90 because the money you save on not buying one fancy new AFS lens will pay the extra if you buy used Ai, AiS aor original autofocus screw drive lens. The only exception is the new 30 1.8 DX for $200.

Shuo Zhao , Jun 09, 2009; 09:53 p.m.

Victoria, the D90 is a generation newer than the D60. It features more advanced sensor and processor technology. It's capable of better results and high ISO performance than the D60.

Also, the "motor built into the lens" design is generally more advanced than the screw-driver AF systems. The SWMs are often faster, more accurate, very quiet, and don't really vibrate' when compared to the screw-driver systems.

The AF-S/SWM lenses are all relatively new, and often relatively expensive. The vast majority of older lenses lack their own motor, but they are often more cost effective and the selection of them could offer you more creative possibilities.

So essentially, the motor in lens design is better. While the D90 is better and more versatile, because of its more advanced technology and its ability to work with more lenses.

Glenn C , Jun 09, 2009; 09:56 p.m.

I started out with a D40 but quickly upgraded to a D90 because I realized that I would be tremendously handicapped as I attempted to put together a flexible and capable collection of lenses to go with the body. Two examples from my own small collection: My Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 zoom will not focus on the D40/60/5000, and the new Nikon equivalent, though admittedly newer and better, costs over $1,000 MORE than what I spent. Two, my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, has no Nikon equivalent at all.

If you intend to expand your interest in photography, the ability to use (and autofocus) older lenses is critical; it will both save you a bundle and give you far more choice.

victoria voodoo , Jun 09, 2009; 11:56 p.m.

thanks all. so basically, d90 wins. *sigh* figured it would. now to stop eating and maybe can get it

Apurva Madia , Jun 10, 2009; 01:51 a.m.

D90 images are far better than D60. Period.

rob malkin , Jun 10, 2009; 05:14 a.m.

Just a minor correction but not all DX are AF-S, as is the case with the 10.5mm AF.

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