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Which Camera to Buy? D40 vs. D3000 vs. D5000 vs. D90

Chloe Jenning , Oct 05, 2009; 07:15 p.m.

I bought a nikon d3000 camera one day ago. I wanted to buy the nikon d40, however i ended up buying this one because of the 11 point focus and such and since i would need to go downtown to buy the nikon d40 which is used as a display model. The camera's good and all, i guess. However, i'm second guessing. apparently the d40 is way better but in terms of action shooting? I am a first time dslr user, other than the fact that i played around with my camera for the past day. I'm a quick learner so i don't really need the "easiest" camera around. so i guess i could learn with the d90, if that helps with helping me.
I change my mind really quickly when it comes to me buying things. I've read reviews about the nikon d3000 on rockwell, and apparently it's the worst camera to get. so would the nikon d40 be better? I really want an all around camera which is better for sports. i would like to keep it under $1000. I'm more focused on getting winter snowboarding shots, and some indoor arena hockey shots in terms of sports, however i'll most likely be taking photos of friends and such.. I'm not into photography with all the plant photos and such. unless it's landscape pictures of tourism cities and such.
now that i'm thinking more about my choices i was thinking between the nikon d40, d3000, d5000, or d90. also the only other (kit lens and ...) lens i'm considering on buying is the 55-200mm VR. so which would be the best camera when it comes to shooting my sports and overall photo shooting with the kit lens and this lense?
the nikon d3000 guide doesn't really matter to me. once i learn all of the things i need there is no point of having it there. i will buy a book and go to classes to learn more on how to use my camera, so please just tell me the best camera and if you can give me some tips and such. =) Also i don't want a really bulky camera. like the d3000 body is wonderful. and i'm not thinking on getting any lense bigger than the 55-200. i'm not going pro. these pictures will only be for myself and showing to my friends.
sorry that my explanation is messed up. I'm just throwing information here and there


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Kris Bochenek , Oct 05, 2009; 07:24 p.m.

Since you mentioned that you want to shoot indoors I would go for D3000 or D90 not a D40 that last is a older camera and it's high ISO capability is not as good as the other two.
Also 11 point focus beats 3 point and last D40 is 6MP and D3000 or D90 are 10.2 and 12MP

if I were you I would get D90 for it's ability to focus with older lenses such as 50mm (+/- 100 USD)
and it's ability to handle high ISO better. So if money allows go for D90.
However if you are not going to use AF lenses just get D3000.

Chloe Jenning , Oct 05, 2009; 07:26 p.m.

also, i would like a camera which i won't have to setup up too long when i need someone else to take a photo of me and/or with my friends. for sports photos i'll set it up for them and let them shoot away. maybe i'm most likely to get people to take pictures of me. =) and i want my mom to be able to use the camera i choose too. so yea. she'll definately be a beginner. =P however, when i know what the photos are for, i'll set it up for her. and maybe eventually she'll learn. doubt it though.

gogu , Oct 05, 2009; 07:30 p.m.

D90=if you can afford it, more expensive but an excellent camera.
D5000= less expensive than the D90, more expensive but better than the D3000.


Eric Arnold , Oct 05, 2009; 07:31 p.m.

anike, KR is often taken with a grain of salt but it is worth noting he said the d3000 has worse high-ISO performance than the d40, which is a cause of concern for your intended purpose. so you have to balance that with the better AF. for shooting sports indoors our at night, high ISO can be a factor. then again, 3-pt AF can be challenging for objects in motion. bottom line is neither of those entry-level options are ideal for sports.

as for your other options, d5000 would give you both 11-pt AF and much improved high-ISO performance over the d40 and d3000 (and may even be better than d90). except for faster frame rate and video, you wouldnt gain too much for your purposes from upgrading to a d90 from there, and that money would perhaps be better spent on glass.

my suggestion is to go with the d5000 and the 55-200 VR and see how that works for you. if you find yourself needing/wanting faster, wider, or better glass, then you can upgrade at that point. at beginner level,w hen just learning the camera, sometimes its hard to know what your specific requirements will be as far as lenses. i would suggest at least getting an 18-55 for $99 so you have the wide and mid range covered as well as tele.

Eric Arnold , Oct 05, 2009; 07:33 p.m.

it's high ISO capability is not as good as the other two.

kris, are you speaking from personal experience? have you compared d3000's high ISOs against d40?

Kris Bochenek , Oct 05, 2009; 07:42 p.m.

Eric not from personal experience but from reviews on the net.

Shun Cheung , Oct 05, 2009; 07:45 p.m.

We have another member Joe A. who just added a D3000 to an existing D40: http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00UcfD

Hopefully Joe can provide some personal experience.

Markus Arike , Oct 05, 2009; 09:06 p.m.

We have another member Joe A. who just added a D3000 to an existing D40: http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/00UcfD
Hopefully Joe can provide some personal experience.

Since you reviewed the D3000, don't you have any feedback for Anike? I know you had a limited amount of time with the camera, but surely you have some thought as to her dilemma.

For me, between the D3000 and the D40, I would get the newer camera. It has a new sensor that more than likely offers better IQ than a D40 (already good IQ) and the CAM1000 AF module is an improvement over the 3-point AF of the CAM530.

That said, in general, the D90 will give you better IQ, probably lower noise (CMOS vs CCD sensor), and much better build quality albeit in a bigger, slightly heavier body. If you can afford a D90, don't think twice about it, get it. Make sure to budget for at least one good lens, a polarizer, and depending on the shooting you do, a good tripod.

Shun Cheung , Oct 05, 2009; 09:21 p.m.

I posted the first response to Joe A.'s thread mentioned above. Since I have never actually used the D40, I cannot comment on the D3000 against it in terms of high-ISO results. I suggest people read my response in the other thread. Again, hopefully Joe can post some first-hand experience.

Otherwise, I highly recommend beginners to ignore those nonsense sites.

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