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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Advice: Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

    Looking to buy my first DSLR. Photography has been a hobby but my goal is to begin building my portfolio & hope to pursue it professionally. Specializing in on location portrait photography & indoor newborn shoots.

    After a lot of research, questions & a budget of $1200 or less... I think I've narrowed it down to the Nikon D90 or the Canon EOS 50D...

    1) Any opinions on which would be better for what I'm looking to do??

    2) Would it be better to go w/ a lens kit or buy body only & a separate lens? Which lenses are best for each camera? (I'd prefer not to go w/ a "one size fits all" lens, possibly a 50mm F 1.4?)

    Thanks so much for the help & info!!

  2. #2
    member Kag12's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Leicester, UK

    Re: Advice: Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

    I dont know weather this will help, but I have ordered the Nikon D90.
    Its cheaper (at least it is in the UK) than the canon 50D, and lighter, but by no means light, for a starter DSLR its a nice weight, and very good 'bang for buck' DSLR.
    I dont think the you get much more for your money with the 50D.
    Ill be getting the 50mm lens in about a month or 2, and then the 35mm a while after (or vice versa) with the 1.5x crop factor of the Nikon (1.6x for canon) that makes the 50mm a 75mm (78mm) so for a normal view the 35mm would be a better option. but it depends weather you want it for a 'normal' view, or a short telephoto.

    Hope that helps a little.

    Nikon D90
    Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3
    Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G VR ED
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 AF macro (1:2)

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

    Re: Advice: Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

    I'd go with the D90 or maybe even a D5000. I've used both and I was really impressed with the D5000. It will save you a few bucks, which you can apply towards a better lens. I also really like the titl-swivel LCD. It's a really wonderful tool when you're working on a tripod. The D90 has about one stop better performance as far as ISO goes. But the D5000 is very good. If you haven't seen them yest, we have detailed pro reviews for both cameras on the site:

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    Even though I'm recommending the Nikons, I'm actually more of a Canon user myself. I actually owned a 50D (just replaced with a 7D). The 50D is a great camera but it's more about speed and frankly, Nikon has had the edge with image quality for a while now. So, if you're starting from scratch and you don't have any bias, then I'd go with Nikon.

    For lenses, I'd really make an attempt to invest in a fast, pro zoom - especially if you're going to be shooting portraits. One of the most important things for portraits is a fast aperture because it allows you to get that nice, soft background. The kit lenses with their slow, variable apertures (i.e. f/3.5-5.6) make it difficult to get a really nice, soft background. You really want a lens with an f/2.8 or larger aperture. The 50mm will be nice but it's just not that flexible. A fast pro zoom will allow you to be more creative with composition in difficult environments. It will cost you, but the lens is a long term investment. Cameras come and go. But if you spend $1000 on a great lens now, you'll still be using it ten years from now. That's another reason I think the D5000 is a good idea. You aren't giving up much buying that camera instead of the D90. But you'll get a lot more if you invest the money you save in a better lens.

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  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Re: Advice: Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

    I think I've decided to go w/ the Nikon D90, the 50mm F/1.4D lens & the 18-55mm II zoom lens... To at least get me started. I'd love to spend $1000 on a great pro-lens but as of now that's just not in my budget.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Re: Advice: Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

    The Canon EOS 50D features a higher 15.1MP resolution sensor compared to the 12.3 MP Nikon D90
    The EOS 50D offers faster start up and continuos shooting capability up to 6.3 frames per second (fps) compared to the Nikon D90 at 4.5 fps
    D-movie feature on the D90 allows for HD video clip recording up to 720p at 24fps (no AF)
    Nikon D90 incorporates a 420-segment RGB metering system compared to the 35 segment metering system on the EOS 50D.
    D90 incorporates Nikon's Scene Recognition System. Information from the 420-pixel RGB sensor is used to recognize the subject or scene conditions prior to capture. The results are then reflected in auto exposure, autofocus, and auto white balance for highly accurate control. Face Detection System information from the sensor is applied to AE, AWB, face priority AF (Live View), and zoom playback
    The Canon EOS 50D offers a more rugged body construction (Mg alloy body covers) compared to the Nikon D90. The EOS 50D also incorporates weather seals for added protection (around the memory card door and battery cover)
    Both the D90 and the Canon EOS 50D offer up to 3200 native ISO. The Canon EOS 50D offers a 2 stop EV over 3200 ISO sensitivity setting equal to 12800 ISO. The Nikon D90 offers extended sensitivity settings up to 1EV over 3200 ISO equal to 6400 ISO.
    EOS 50D offers some advanced custom features including AF microadjustment (fine tuning)
    The Nikon D90 is equipped with the same high-performance lateral chromatic aberration compensation as found on the Nikon D3 and D300
    Up to 1/8000 sec shutter speed on the EOS 50D versus 1/4000 sec on the Nikon D90. Slightly faster flash sync offered on the EOS 50D at 1/250 sec compared to 1/200 sec with the Nikon D90.
    In camera retouch menu provided on the Nikon D90: Options include: D-Lighting, Redeye correction, Trim, Monochrome, Filter effects, Colour balance, Small picture, Image overlay, NEF (RAW) processing, quick retouch, straighten, distortion control, fisheye
    The Nikon D90 offers 3D Focus Tracking (using 11-area AF points) compared to the EOS 50D which incorporates a less advanced 9 point auto focus system.
    Nikon D90 features an AF assist beam for low light focusing compared to the Canon EOS 50D were the flash has to be raised in order for the AF assist feature (multiple bursts from flash) to function
    Built-in wireless flash support is found in the Nikon D90 with the camera being able to act as a "commander" to communicate with and trigger external speedlights wirelessly
    Optional GP-1 GPS accessory attachment is available for the Nikon D90 (geotagging)
    The Nikon D90 is smaller and lighter than the EOS 50D

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Advice: Nikon D90 vs Canon EOS 50D

    Quote Originally Posted by lifeasart
    I think I've decided to go w/ the Nikon D90, the 50mm F/1.4D lens & the 18-55mm II zoom lens... To at least get me started. I'd love to spend $1000 on a great pro-lens but as of now that's just not in my budget.
    Good starter gear. You dont need to make your gear super high dollar to make it excellent. The f/2.8 zooms and faster primes allow a very flexible shooting experience, you dont need $1000 lens for that (except beyond 200mm).

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