Yes, yes, there’s been a lot of buzz recently about two new cameras from Nikon and Canon. They both decided to announce a new dSLR body at about the same time, and I can’t help but compare the two cameras. By their technical specifications, they’re not exactly in the same class, but they’re close. Both cameras are aimed at the advanced amateur photographer. Here are some details on the two cameras:


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Nikon D90 Home Page
dpreview.com Preview
Canon 50D Home Page
dpreview.com Preview
THE BASICS
12.3 Megapixel
23.6 x 15.8mm Sensor
4.5 Frames/Second
3″, 920K-dot LCD
Live View & Face Detection
1/4000s Max Shutter
ISO100 – ISO6400
THE BASICS
15.1 Megapixel
22.3 x 14.9mm Sensor
6.3 Frames/Second
3″, 920K-dot LCD
Live View & Face Detection
1/8000s Max Shutter
ISO100 – ISO12800
THE STRENGTHS
24fps 720p HD Video
Optional GPS Geotagging
High ISO Performance
Lower Price Tag
THE STRENGTHS
More Pixels
Faster Continuous FPS
Faster Shutter Speed
Higher ISO Capability
RELEASE PRICE
$999.95
RELEASE PRICE
$1399.00

So let’s pretend for a moment that you’re not loyal to either brand (in my case this isn’t difficult because I’m a Sony user). I mean really step back and take a look at the two cameras. If you were out to buy your first camera, which one would look more enticing to you? And do tell in the comments why you’d choose one over the other. Who got it right in this round?

{democracy:53}

And be sure to check out the results from our previous poll: “What’s Your Photo-Sharing Frequency?” 1/3 of you are totally random with your upload frequency, while another 1/3 manage to be consistent with a few per week. Only 1% post many photos per day, while only 2% post none at all.

73 responses


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First, the technical specs really don’t matter. Both are good and will give you fine results; any of the differentiators are unlikely to make much difference to users of either camera in practice. Both systems have a pretty deep pool of lenses to draw from as well.

So, on one hand the Nikon is somewhat cheaper. On the other hand, Nikon has a very worrying trend of pulling back from openness – see the fiasco of the Vista only not-really-raw format on their latest high-end point and shoot, and encryption of color balance information in their DSLRs. And since a camera does you little good unless you can make the most of its output I’d have to go for Canon.

September 2, 2008 12:41 am

I voted for the Canon, based primarily on it’s higher shutter speed and higher capable ISO. I love shooting wide open and in low light so they would be winning features for me.

However. The Canon has more pixels, but a smaller sensor. Would this translate to higher noise issues as the light gathering area isn’t big enough compared to the pixel count? I’m a film guy so I’m a bit lost with all that.

Another interesting point would be to see how far back the Nikon D90 is from the D3. I’ve seen some shots from the D3 at 25,600ISO from my contacts on flickr and the clarity is unbelievable for the ISO level. Perhaps Nikon has also used similar technology in the D90?

September 2, 2008 1:04 am

I think by saying “…out to buy your first camera…” changes how I look at it. If I was out to buy my first camera, the extra bells and whistles from Nikon seem a bit enticing and attractive. However, as someone who has had a dSLR for 7+ years, and looking to upgrade soon and trying to put my bias aside, I think the Canon wins. The only feature the Nikon has that I’m dying to get in my camera is geotagging, but I’m still curious to see how well the geotagging really works. The strengths of the canon, as you listed above, are all high on my list.

September 2, 2008 2:32 am

I’d rather have something small. Both these are too big for me to carry around often which would mean no photos at all. Looking forward to micro 4/3s even if it has less pixels, smaller sensor, slower FPS, worse ISO performance. Having the camera and lens(es) with me makes up for all that.

September 2, 2008 3:02 am

For someone who shoots fast moving animals, the fps and increased image size of the Canon are real deal-brakers for me. Those would cause me to choose the Canon (even if I weren’t already strongly in the Canon camp ;).

Nikon’s geotagging capability is interesting, but not enough to outweigh the pros of the Canon.

And while I’m really interested in the HD video capability, the issues that have been raised in relation to event photography have me on my toes enough that it might even be a con. So far getting my camera allowed in concerts etc. has worked exactly because they don’t have any video capabilities.

September 2, 2008 3:08 am

I will probably reject both of these for a Pentax next time I buy DSLR ;)

September 2, 2008 3:53 am

I guess it depends on whether you need a camera or a general purpose image capture tool. The addition of HD video is a major plus for the nikon but, as a photographer, I would just want the best possible image quality in the relevant price band.

If video was very important, I would probably buy a good HD recorder and keep that in the pocket. Thus, the Canon wins simply on a guesstimate of quality given it’s features and the track history of xxD cameras.

As a very first buy, I would imagine the Nikon would attract a large %age of the new purchasers. Once captured, most would stay given the investment is really in lenses and not bodies. A shame as Canon still (probably) has the better range of glass.

September 2, 2008 4:31 am

Also going with the Canon 50D on this one. I could use the faster shutter speed and higher ISO for work. The Nikon’s video thing while novel and awesome, well, it’s not really a selling point for me because I don’t like shooting videos. I mean the D90 is cool and all, and if someone gave me one I’d be ridiculously happy and grateful, but I wouldn’t buy it with my own money. Seems crazy paying for the additional video feature when all I want to do is take pictures.

September 2, 2008 4:54 am

I think you’re better off looking at the range of lenses from the various manufacturers to determine which brand of DSLR to choose, and then pick the appropriate body from that lens manufacturer to suit your budget.
New bodies are typically released by most manufacturers every 18 months (although the 50D is only ~12 months after the 40D), but lenses will last a lifetime (if you look after them).
In other words, you’ll want to upgrade any body you buy now, but you’ll probably hang on to your lenses through multiple bodies.

September 2, 2008 5:05 am

Funny that I’m considering buying either the D90 or D700 for my first DSLR, hopefully this month – D700 has specs that seem superior but the price is still tough to swallow. Back to these two cameras, you mention the D90 ISO6400 (max) I think on the Nikon site it mentioned ISO3200, which is a worry since I mostly want to do lightpainting, hence need a high ISO.
The canon has some positive features, but price is a big issue for me so the nikon wins it for me..

September 2, 2008 5:13 am

the canon specs look killer on paper next to the d90 but if I were starting out I’d i’d go with the d90 becasue of the price diff and put what i’ve saved into accesories and glass…the lenses is where it is at. the specs of both cameras is more than ample to be very versatile shooters in most situations

September 2, 2008 6:52 am

For me it’s the Nikon D90. Because I’m often shooting at available light, I really like the hight ISO performance. And I’m amazed of the D-Movie function.

At the moment I’m a Canon user with a 350D, but with the Nikon D90 I’m really thinking about switching.

September 2, 2008 7:02 am

I would probably go for the Nikon, the high ISO is quite interesting and also the price, because the extra features on the 50D probably wouldn’t make spend the extra bucks

September 2, 2008 8:01 am

I was going to go with the Canon because of the higher shutter speed and ISO. However, the Nikon has a larger sensor, has the optional GPS (huge plus), and can do video (not that I take much video, but it’s a cool feature).

September 2, 2008 9:07 am

Shouldn’t this be a no-brainer?

The Canon beats the Nikon in every respect, where PHOTOGRAPHY is concerned. The features offered by the Nikon are cool, but have little or nothing to do with photography. (If I’m going to pay $1000 for a camera to shoot video, it’s not going to be a DSLR!)

September 2, 2008 9:23 am

In terms of photography, the Canon wins, albeit at the expense of price. I don’t care about video or spending more money to have GPS tagging. I say this as a Nikon user. The Nikon *may* have an ISO advantage (in terms of image quality) but if money were out of the equation, the Canon is clearly the more attractive choice for a photographer. The D90 simply isn’t to the market what the D80 was.

September 2, 2008 10:25 am

Can I put in a vote for “Who cares?” Both seem to be great cameras, both worthy replacements to their previous versions.

September 2, 2008 11:25 am

I chose the NIkon.

The Canon may have a higher ISO capability, but I still think the quality of the Nikon is better – that is to say that it more closely resembles film. Aside from that, the real reason I chose the Nikon is because of the sensor’s crop factor (1.5 as opposed to Canon’s 1.6) – though I admit that crop factor can be a preference. Having a longer telephoto range is not as appealing to me as being able to shoot at shorter lengths.

But again…this is really all moot. From the camera point of view, they are both great cameras. You can’t even really compare the systems, because both have a great lens set backing them up. What it really comes down to is feel. And to me, the Nikon has a better feel.

September 2, 2008 12:03 pm

One thing I forgot to mention…the GPS may seem like a silly feature. But the more and more I get into Digital Photography, the more I wish I was able to document every location more easily. I am seriously considering a GPS add-on for my camera as it’s a feature I would love to have. But Landscape Photography is one of my passions. This is probably a useless feature to a studio photographer.

I agree with most of the comments about the video though…worthless feature on a DSLR.

September 2, 2008 12:06 pm

I think you are comparing apples to oranges here. The Canon 50D is the counterpart to the D300 and the D90 is the counterpart to the XXXD series like the 450D camera, or whatever the top of hte line amatuer Canon is. Perhaps the 1000D?. The 50D is a semi-pro camera with a feature set much closer to the D300 and I think you’ll find the prices match up more as well. I don’t think the similar release time has anything to do with their specs.

That being said, both will take great pictures. I think video is a good feature but perhaps not for everyone. I think of the hostility toward it is really mis-guided envy maybe or a fear of the unknown? No one has used that feature yet so how can we say if it’s good or bad?

Topslakr

September 2, 2008 12:31 pm

What about the ergonomics? I found the D80 body to be built for smaller hands. I didn’t vote, because I found the step back and be objective thing to just be too hard.

September 2, 2008 12:43 pm

Brian:

I am wondering about the comparison. Nikon considersa the D300 not the D90 as the direct competor to the 50D. Nikon also considers the D700 a a competor ti the 5D.

Dick Wood

September 2, 2008 1:36 pm

Rick Lobrecht: Ergonomics was a major factor in my camera search. One of the main reasons I didn’t like the 40D. It seems to me that the grip was much too narrow (more closed fingered grip) as compared to the D80. Looking at the dimensions of the 50D, it doesn’t look like it has changed in that regard.

September 2, 2008 3:09 pm

What means “optional geotagging” does it means it doesn’t come with it?… also, video…mmm I’m not sure I would like video on my SLR, that means I need more memory space and if I wanted to take video I would use my cam…on the end I have a Canon and I like it so I choose Canon.

September 2, 2008 6:17 pm

I will be purchasing the Canon 50D. The ergonomics are very nice. The shutter button is in the perfect postion. The Big Dial and joy stick make it easy to set the controls. The build quality is far superior to the D90. I’m sure after testing the 50D will come closer to the D300 in terms of noise levels at high ISO. The software is also better on the Canon. I think the competition between these 2 companies only gives the consumer the advantage. Imagine how much these DSLR’s would have cost just afew years ago.

September 2, 2008 8:52 pm

If I were out to buy my first camera, the D90 would probably be more enticing. It’s cheaper – allowing me to invest more in glass, and it has video – a feature available on most P&S cams.

However, since I’m not looking for my first camera and I already own (or have access to) Canon glass, the 50D trumps the D90.

September 2, 2008 10:22 pm

who wins ? the answer is easy Brian, WE do .

There is nothing that pleases me more than competition it pushes manufacturers to put in more features and lower the prices and, in the end, we are the biggest winner.

Both seems like good cams but, let’s face it, most of us doesn’t even need 1/2 of the features here.

Cheers

September 3, 2008 5:36 am

I chose the Canon for its more complete package of ‘basics’. To me, features like geotagging and video are just bells and whistles from the ‘general use’ market and are designed to grab attention while not really benefiting a professional photographer all that much.

September 3, 2008 2:37 pm

Topslakr is right… It’s hard to compare Canon’s and Nikon’s product lines because they just don’t quite match up. Here’s a summary, starting at the lowest end:

Canon Digital Rebel Series
Nikon D60 – D90
Canon 30D – 50D
Nikon D200 – D300
Canon 5D
Nikon D700
Canon 1D
Nikon D3
Canon 1Ds

There are certain similarities, but the D90 is aimed at consumers, while the 50D is aimed at prosumers.

Personally, the 50D is more attractive. The video feature of the D90 looks cool at first, but there’s no auto focus and the ergonomics of a DSLR simply aren’t made or well suited for shooting video.

September 4, 2008 12:57 pm

The Canon really is the best available package you can get today for photography. The Nikon tends to be a “all in one weapon” with its HD video capabiliities. Canon made its homework with this camera and starts to win back territory from the last Nikon announcements that really were superior to the Canon inventions.

Let´s wait for more surprises at photokina…

September 4, 2008 1:20 pm

Thank you very much for this thorough and interesting review. We currently have a Nikon D70 and are very pleased with it. But the D90 has some beneficial features that may intice us to upgrade. For example, we often are at a project with our D70, and may see a good opportunity to shoot a short video or two. But the D70 does not have video capability. The D90 video feature alone may be enough to make us consider upgrading. Thanks again.

September 9, 2008 12:42 pm


Nikon D90 is in between D60 (matched with canon 450D) and Nikon D300 (matched with Canon 50D). So, Nikon D90 really has no direct rival from Canon. For this circumstance, I say Canon 50D is pretty much more powerful than D90 in terms of build quality and performance proven by its price which is far more expensive than D90. But, the fact that D90 is being compared to 50D proves that D90 is one heck of a camera since it’s been compared to the rival of its bigger brother(D300).

To conclude, it really brings down to your personal preference. If you’re in to sports, built quality, and perfectionists in terms of image quality, the more powerful 50D is the one to choose. But, if you don’t care with all that, or you just like to have great pictures wherever you go, I say D90 is perfect. Plus, the video capability is really a cool new feature. It’s not like you will use it all the time but It can be handy in some situations. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. For me, I choose D90. Im not really going into pro. Im just a serious enthusiast that has passion for photography thats it. And, the D90 is perfect for me :))

September 25, 2008 10:24 am

Im leaning towards the Nikon, since this will my wife’s first camera since the canon AE-1 film. Ya 25 years ago. We like the video feature because we use it on the small pocket cams right now both Canon and Nikon The cameras primary purpose will be recreational photo for our kids college and high school lacrosse and Basketball games and vacations. Both companies produce great product I currently have a Canon XL2 Video cam and it makes me look like a pro, while I still shoot film with my Nikonis V cam both underwater and land pic’s are great. So the price has our attention and we will put the extra savings in lenses. But if I was a daily user I might lean toward the 50 D.

October 1, 2008 9:04 pm

If I’m an amateur, the Canon probably has more specs than I need. The Nikon also has video, and video is becoming important. I own a Canon SD700IS, which I do most of my video with, for all that I own an HD DigiCamcorder. I wish my Nikon D80 did video. It can take SDHC. The Nikon just seems friendlier and more feature rich.

October 2, 2008 2:54 pm

I think they are both a poor choice for a first DSLR in that they both are 3-4 models up in the each companies line. The 50D really out classes the D90. I think the D90 really falls between the XSi and the 50D. I think the 50D is more comparable to the D300, as an imager.

October 7, 2008 7:26 pm

if price no issue, then 50D… since i am a beginner and look at the price point choose D90. Its already a very good camera for me… i am not too bother about the specs because as i says both camera are excellent.. one good thing about 50D is its whether proof body

October 18, 2008 12:09 am

I shouldn’t have a favorite, but I do. I like the Nikon. It’s light…it’s plastic – so it will bounce when I actually drop it (or should – fingers crossed)

October 23, 2008 7:34 am

I just purchased the Nikon D90 and am very satisfied with the camera. It has so many in camera settings it’s crazy. You can even edit raw shots in camera. The IQ is brilliant as well as the high ISO low noise. The camera is very solid and shutter operation is smooth. AF system is great and accurate. Live view is slow and video is a nice bonus feature. Over all it is a very advanced DSLR and has all the latest technology and good handling. Highly recommended.

October 23, 2008 1:15 pm

I recently purchased the Canon 50D and I LOVE it!

I considered the Nikon for a brief moment and I know that there are many nice features that it offers and at a lower price point, but I wanted something very “pro-sumer” as I am considering working as a photographer on the side.

The D90′s HD Recording capabilities are nice, however, you lose the autofocus when recording video. I wanted a camera that was stellar at taking pictures, not a DSLR that could tke video. I have a few point and shoots that take pretty small and some may argue bad video, but it’s good enough for my needs. If I wanted a video camera I’d get a Canon XL HD Camcorder or something similar.

Ok, so positives about the Canon. Canon has a very solid line of lenses that makes things a lot easier when trying to decide which lenses I should buy and what I could trust. I didn’t want to deal with mediocre 3rd party lenses or 3rd party lenses that I’d have to do a ton of research in to get the most suitable lens. I stick with the L series glass from Canon and I couldn’t be happier. Plus the Canon 50D has lens profiles built into it so I don’t have to worry about correcting distortion when using Canon lenses.

The Canon 50D fit my budget as I was willing to spend $5000 for a good body and lenses. The Nikon though cheaper didn’t entice me as much because it seemed more consumer than pro-sumer. And admittedly, I was looking at Megapixels when I bought the 50D not knowing at the time that cramming more megapixels on the same sized sensor could potentially cause more noise in shots. But with that said there hasn’t been any noticeable noise with any of the shots I’ve taken. The DIGiX4 processor and new sensor technology seems pretty rock solid. I do wish that Canon had more auto-focus points like the Nikons though. I could go on but I highly recommend the Canon 50D.

October 24, 2008 2:43 pm

I already own a 35mm Canon EOS SLR. So I could use my speedlight and lens…

November 17, 2008 9:47 am

I bought the Canon. for me (amateur videographer) I don’t need that particular feature on my DSLR. I do however really enjoy the extraordinary ISO found in the Canon 50d.

December 13, 2008 7:54 pm

I was between these 2 and decided to get a d90.

A big factor for me was that the 50D haves some stupid controls, i dont really like the wheel and that small arrow pad.
I wanted the capability of recording video, even if i dont need it.

This was my first DSLR

December 16, 2008 7:06 pm

The d90 for me, feature set is great and IQ and ISo rite alongside the D300,,,

December 17, 2008 11:32 am

i’d gp with the Nikon D90 – the 50Dhas lots of noise issue with its ISO even at 800-1600 range. 40D even has better peformance with noise than the 50D. D90 has minimal noise even at 3200.

December 18, 2008 1:27 pm

I took over 3,200 photos with my Nikon D90 in the first 90 Days.
Check out the short film I made comprising all my photos.
90d90.com

I came up with the idea for 90D90 and would love to have more submissions from the Nikon D90 Community, but I extend the idea of 90DAYS to all camera users to enjoy. So please send in your submissions!

December 20, 2008 1:27 pm

Hi I am in the market for a digital DLSR and need help disiding between the Nikon D90 and Canon 50D. I am a novice photog, and mainly shoot photos of nature, wildlife, family and kid sports. Can you help???.

January 15, 2009 12:30 pm

I handled both in a camera store and I ended up selling my Canon lenses + Canon 300D and buying the D90. As pluses over Canon, that matters for me:

1. Better ergonomics
2. Better Auto White Balance
3. AF-assist lamp instead of flash strobes – makes a big difference when shooting at the parties
4. 12 Mpx is more than enough for enthuziast level
5. Nikon 18-200 is better built than Canon 18-200.

I don’t think that for more applications you need more that 4.5 frames/sec (D90)
15 Mp not that usefull, you very good (expensive) glass to fully make use of it.

January 25, 2009 7:39 am

I would pick the canon 50d, it is built stronger than the nikon, magnesium body covered with rubber and plastic. Also the seals around the doors are better.
Image quality is about the same imo, unless you are a pixel picker….

February 7, 2009 2:27 pm

I bought the D90, although I’m still torn.
Pluses for Canon:
- higher FPS. Even if you don’t burst more than 4 – 5 shots (e.g. flying bird or yawning cat), higher FPS increases the likelihood to get the right moment captured
- usable and FREE raw processing software (DPP). This to me is essential – since most images need some retouching. The $150 Nikon Capture NX is a slow, buggy piece of junk and Lightroom or any other 3rd party raw converter I tried won’t get all the information from the camera (e.g. saved modified image profiles)

Pluses for Nikon:
- larger sensor – 1.5x crop factor. This, imo, trumps the 15 mp from 50D. Cramming that in a smaller sensor doesn’t make sense – reminds me of the mindless gigahertz battle in the PC market
- dedicated metering sensor – it’s like an extra camera brain.

I’m still tempted to rent the 50D for a week, just for a quick comparison. D90 is a great camera, but taking the picture is just the beginning of the workflow, and having good usable processing software from Canon is a big plus…

February 9, 2009 1:03 am

From what I read a D300 would be best for me. I tried the D90 for 3 months but b y not knowing much about photography it is hard to decide.Neverless I think a 51 point focus camera will take sharper fotos and if it can take 6 or more per second it would be a winner.
Because I am realtor in Naples FLorida I would also liked a lens from very wide angle to medium telephoto so I do not have to chanh[ge lenses. I can take pictures of houses and rooms for my Real Estate and sharp pictures of friends and parties and festivals with 100 people under the tent eating and drinking plus pictures in low light without h\the ned of adobe photoshop to brighten them up.
Since I am not profesional price is important. I need your unbiased opinion because I do not know enough about photography.
I had an SLR in Vietnam with 1:1.2 lens that took great pictures. I happened to be second in command of the last american ship (not naval ship) under the command of USNavy to sail down the Saigon river. I took terrific pictures. I also think I should take a small course of the very basic in photography.
So whats the verdict?

Thanks

February 15, 2009 5:19 pm

Well all I can say is be happy with whatever you purchase. Both are good cameras, but it all comes down to the person who is shooting the subject, and what kind of lense tou are using. If you are not familliar with your camera, you might have problems, and if you do not have a good lense, then you have a few more issues.
Canon has some very good L sereis lenses…they cost a bit, but good none the less. Nikon has some desent software, like the ICE software.

If you are buying the nikon for HD video, keep in mind that when you are recording that you can not zoom in or out and you need a big memory card. I would suggest in buying a cheap video camera instead.

As for the higher ISO, do you really need it, unless you are a profesional, you are not going to use it that much.
Faster FPS is good if you are doing moving wildlife, fast cars, trains,planes,etc. I do all of them and faster frames per second has helped me ouy quite a few times.

Nikon got it right the first time when they put a bigger image sreen on the cameras, it was just a matter of time before canon got it right.

My brother in law shoots with nikon, myself, i shoot with the 50D…was a rebel XT user for two years, and i thought of going to nikon. but i’m happy with the 50D. So all i can say is just be happy with what you got, invest a little time and money, and maybe even take a course.

We are all good photograghers, we just need the tools….have fun doing it and don’t be afraid to experiment.

March 2, 2009 12:36 pm

Comparing the D90 to the 50D and basing a purchase on this is silly,, these cameras are not in the same class, try the D300…. Let’s next compare the 50D to the upcomming D400.

April 3, 2009 3:44 pm

absolutely go for 50d, I tried both before buying one of them, In New zealand d90 selling more expensive than 50d, nikon 18-200 selling 60% more expensive than canon 18-200, so what i say ” nikon is overpriced ” ,also comparing their lenses, canon much beter value, also more choices, overal canon is much better value, with the same money you can get canon dslr with higher class and quality, eg nikon d90 =canon 50d, but 50d’s class is close toD300 which nearly 2x more expensive.
I think because nikon pay too much money to Sony who make their sensor, also since sony make their sensor, nikon dslr start picking up the lost ground quickly to canon, just do research, before 2007(D3/d300) , look at Nikon dslr for high Iso, FPS, focus point, resolution, no Full frame , is way far behind canon dslr, now Nikon may have just slight edge at high iso, rapidly marketing change to high iso, marketing works for Nikon, sponsored media by Nikon.
just wait canon will take over again for everthing, or should ask Sony to make canon sensor.

May 1, 2009 4:08 am

At this very moment, I’d go with the D90. And that’s in spite of the fact that, at the time of me writing this (6/12/09), you can buy a 50d + 18-200 mm outfit for the SAME price as a 90d + 18-200 due to a $300 rebate from Canon. But street price (rather than release price) should tell you the story – in spite of the superior specs, the market values the two packages at about the same (btw, the street price for the d90 is still around the release price). 50d is a flawed product, due to the tightly packed photosites that work against IQ (smaller pixels = less light hitting them, ergo softer images). Yes, 50d is better built and shoots faster. But if what you care is the ultimate image quality (instead of specs), D90 wins hands down.
For the record, I owned a D90 (which I returned because of a defect), as well as an XSI, my knowledge of 50d is second hand – from reviews and testimonies.

June 12, 2009 9:55 am

D 90 wins in image quality

June 13, 2009 10:30 am

I shopped & shopped hard…borrowed a 50d for a few weeks because i have in the past always been a fan of Nikon but something about the 50d seemed enticing…I can say it feels awkward in the hand compared to the D90 (which i eventually ended up buying). Beware of grey market rip offs..especially with Nikon (there seems to be more reports of people buying Nikon D90s and finding out they purchased a Cheap Peice of Plastic that was made overseas and then finding out Nikon USA will not only decline validity of the warranty but they (Nikon USA) will not even service an “overseas”/”greymarket” unit!!! So ask hard before you buy and make sure your getting a USA Model D90 with a Nikon USA Warranty….Same goes with Cannon but just not as common a problem.
Dont let this scare you away from either camera as they are Both in my opinion terriffic peices of work. I found their capabilities as far as image quality to be almost too close to call and as far as how many shots per second, i’m not a “hold down the button guy” so i choose to shoot only as fast as my fingers can repeat and i seldom find myself tapping more than 3 or 4 times/second…and that covers my needs..anything faster than that and you might as well be shooting video as far as i’m concerned…which by the way, with the D90 i can shoot a minute or so of video and throw it across my computer screen and pluck out high-def-snap-shots which i find fun! Yeah its awkward at first shooting video and having to manually focus but after a little practice its fun and to me the fact that you have to manually focus while you shoot video makes it a challenge and reminds you that your useing a dslr and not a video camera..its a new skill to learn and its all in how you choose to hold it. I truely beleive that these are two pioneering companies that are competing for our pleasure and both of these cameras are amazing in their own rite..its really up to your personal feelings about what feels right in your hand but to me the Nikon D90 feels alot more solid in my hand (at least the USA model does, the overseas model feels like a cheap plastic toy so be carefull) Buy smart and go with your instinct and do your homework!!! Do alot of homework !

June 17, 2009 12:48 am

For more than 20 years I have always had a Canon camera. After the old, traditional “analogue” SLR cameras (who remembers them now? – my first Canon was the 650…), few years ago I decided to try the digital one, starting with a simple compact Canon A610, soon followed by Canon G9… Very happy with results, I thought of buying now a proper dSLR camera, thinking once again of Canon, but then a friend of mine from NYC, whom I was visiting over Christmas/New Year 2008/2009 lent me for a week his brand new NIKON D90. I was very excited at the prospect of shooting hundreds of pics of Manhattan in its Holidays Colors, but what a disappointment it turned out to be. Pictures were turning out to be out of focus, eventually the camera refused to shoot, unless in manual mode, I kept pressing the shoot button without any result. The weather wasn’t all that cold, and I tried to keep the camera out of the cold (in the bag) most of the time. To this day I don’t know what happened, my friend hasn’t complained to me about his camera since, but then he takes most of his pics indoors, shooting mostly his newborn baby. Wait ’till next winter, when he’ll take it outside… :-) Oh, and I should add here, that all that time my wife was shooting with G9 very happily alongside me… No problems.
And that’s the main reason why I wouldn’t recommend Nikon – Canon has never failed me in all those years, including trips to deserts, seasides, snow or sand, cold or the tropics – always worked. That’s all, folks.

July 30, 2009 5:24 pm

i vote for nikon d90 because already i got canon 40d. its only eight months ,now replaced two lences [18-55 is usm] . now its give me a shutter problerm. so canon was a big headache. in durability nikon in no one place

August 3, 2009 10:50 pm

i’m using d90 now, i’ll always stick to nikon cameras. it’s always pleased me. d90 definitely has a better autofocus system, in addition to its many focus points. and as a nature photographer, nikon cameras ALWAYS better for the nature itself. it has a strong green colour, while canon has better in red & blue colours.

August 26, 2009 3:47 pm

Hi,

I am clicking photos for last 6 yrs..initially point and shoot den canon rebel xti and now nikon d90.

1. Most of us know this, its the photographer that makes the photo not the camera.
2. When we are talking abt d90 and 50d (bit more than ammature stuff) Its the lens that matters, go for better lenses.

Abt the camera comparisons, yesterday i sat with my friend who has canon 50d we both started a game…that we will click the same object from same angle with our cameras (50d and d90)

Results were different!

we finally click the same images but but but…in nikon d 90 it was easy…m nt sayin that canon 50d failed..but it was like cheese with nikon d90.!

both are great camera, we just need greater minds holding them!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/amit_gaur/

October 20, 2009 4:06 am

On paper, the specs on the Canon look better, but they seem to be marketing points rather than real-world useful ones. The reason I say this is that they are cramming a lot more pixels and pushing the sensitivity on a smaller sensor. This is not a good thing IMO. The truth is that you pick the brand that you feel most comfortable with and worry about how it helps you capture your vision rather than which one has the better specs.

November 7, 2009 7:30 am

I am Nikon crazy, but the only let down (for me) on the D90 is the weather proofing.
Where I live the humidity levels are high enough to confuse the D90 sensor. As in if I am taking the camera from an airconditioned room to shoot out doors it takes a while for the camera to warm up and start taking proper pics.
Also, I have heard some proper horror stories from people shooting on rainy days
(Dont know if their camera’s got ruined because of extreme negligence or if the camera’s weather proofing is indeed that bad; Dont think I’d want to chance taking it out on a cloudy day let alone rainy weather)

November 22, 2009 3:28 pm

I compared these two cameras and I wound up buying the D90. I felt that the additional cash needed to buy the Canon was not justified in terms of pixel count and slightly higher ISO. Plus with the Nikon d90 you can get legacy lenses from the 1980s that you can use seamlessly. The video capability of the d90 was not a factor for me.

December 7, 2009 11:56 pm

If you would like to check out a short film made with the D90, check out

http://www.nikonfestival.com/blog/2009/12/15/my-dreams-my-day-lucidly-told-through-the-photographic-eye-and-a-nikon-d90/

I also detail the lenses I used on the link.

December 24, 2009 2:49 pm

For practicality, the Nikon fits my need and I really don’t need the extra fps, etc more than the convenient video function of the D90. I got to be pretty good on menu focusing the video shoot so it does not bother me since I only take short videos. I don’t like to lug 2 devices, so the D90 is like a dream come true for me. I think if I am a photographic freak, I would probably care about the slightly higher camera capability of the 50D. I do like to take photos at parties and the IQ at the high ISO on the D90 is slightly better. Canon is got a bigger name and more lens to choose from but I am just a practical Joe who happens to love photography and got a family to feed.

December 25, 2009 10:54 pm

unless you are working for google or a mapping company you dont need geo tagging feature on anything, as you can geotag most images manually using free software even.

January 5, 2010 5:01 am

canon is best on the indoor condition, it gives the best skin tone, studio photo best toys..:P
the nikon is best quality pictures on outdoor shoot out, the color is more vivid and natural saturated..soo i recomended for you people want to buy a DSLR is based on which your photograph take most frequently, outdoor or indoor?

April 5, 2010 2:20 pm

i think both are awesome cameras. i did a lot of research before buying. the canon definitely wins out on speed with the higher frame rate and shutter speed. it’s also got the higher pixel count and ISO capabilities. but if you’re not shooting super high speed sports, the d90′s speed is still fairly impressive. more than enough for the average photographer. and while only 12mp as compared to canon’s 15mp, nikon has a larger sensor, avoiding the “two many pixels jammed onto a smaller sensor creates noise problems” problem. and the difference between 12 and 15 mp is really pretty negligible anyways since it’s really not what makes a picture good. also, nikon, while not being able to go as high with iso, does a better job with 6400 than canon does at the same level, so the quality goes with nikon. canon just doesn’t do as good a job with noise at high iso. i love canon cameras, and might still have gone with the canon for speed and out of loyaltyand trusted quality, but i think for the near $400 difference, the d90 is better in too many respects to turn down.

another nice but easily overlooked advantage of the nikon is that it takes SD cards, so much more readily available and WAY more affordable. to use canon’s 6.5 fps, you need at the very least a 30mps CF card – pretty hard to find and you’re going to pay another few hundred bucks to get a decent sized one.

people keep ragging on the extra features of the d90 like video and geotagging. but they’re just EXTRAS. it’s not like the camera’s more expensive for them. the still image specs are still very impressive, ignoring the extras. when i was doing my research, i got really tired of people’s only argument against the d90 being that they don’t care for the video function. i think unless you need the extra speed of the canon, for the price the d90′s the way to go, with or without the cool extras. so why not get some bonuses while you’re buying your already impressive new camera??

April 12, 2010 10:33 pm

I dropped the D90 down on concrete floor from a height of about 1.5m. It did not get a scratch and everything is fine. Don’t try this at home.
I have not really found any limitations yet. Maybe I would like higher autofokus speed.

April 28, 2010 3:03 pm

Sure, D90 wins if i am a beginner because of lower price tag and HD video. But seriously, if u r here to take pictures u will not look for movie thing, do u?
Just my view. :)

May 2, 2010 11:43 am

Hi there,
i have read a lot of your comment and this is the first time i try to enter to a canon vs nikon typical discussion, and i must say, it is clear that nikon people take a completely different approach respect to canon people

What i have seen reading a lot of your comments is that Canon very skilled people tend to take too much care of quality quality and quality…….i have one of my canon friend which have bought dozens of ultramegaipersharp canon lenses so that when he zooms the photo on the computer at 100% he can distinguish even the hair of the asshole of the caw overthere in the grass……………..

Hey men, calm down and take a breath………………photo is not only quality…….this friend of mine take too much care of quality, so that every photo he does even if very good in quality, it’s not good for anything else………bad photos, bad ideas, bad subjects, bad compositions…………….and that’s because he spends too much time taking care of this damned quality by selling and bying bodies, selling and buying very expensive canon lenses, etc….etc….etc…..

In my personal 5 years experience what i can tell you is that when i do a trip i really enjoy the fact that between a photo and the other one, especially when i’m taking a beer to take a rest, especially when i am with my friends too, i can do fantastic and short 24mm videos to remember also sounds and movements of a place, not only the beauty of a photo

Sincerly, if i must prefer a reflex over my d90 only because it does 6fps instead of 4, it has 16mp instead of 12mp and only because the body is a mix of iron and gold instead of polycarbonate……i really don’t care…………….i really prefer to NOT participate in this stupid Ipermegasupertechnological race like a lot of people nowadays do, and enjoy my very good video capability of my sweet dear D90 which in terms of quality it still deserves all the money i have spent for it by also allowing me to have a very better remembrance of my trips

Photo is art, not just stupid quality………………learn this and you will be a real photographers, take care of quality more than what you do when the switch is turned on, and the maximum you will be able to do will be just 18 years old teenagers calendars, and wedding photographs on sunday

(and i say this with ALL my respect to people which actually want just to do this because they do photos not for passion but for job…..in this case the situation is different)

June 21, 2010 7:57 am

The only things I see that make the Nikon more appealing is the HD video and lower price, but I do not feel that I will be using this type of camera for video. Compairing the rest of the specs Canon wins. Canon has more megapixls, more frames per sec, faster shutter capabilities, and more ISO range. I shoot almost all of my photographs without a flash, so on a dark night I really like being able to crank the ISO up, and when shooting sports or any other fast moving subject I like to know that I can stop the action and keep a crisp/clean photograph.

August 27, 2010 3:04 pm

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