What should i upgrade my D5000 to?!

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by saraddictive, May 5, 2011.

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  1. saraddictive

    saraddictive Member

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    Hi all,

    i'm currently a photography enthusiast with a nikkon d5000 looking to upgrade. there are many reasons as to why i would like to upgrade, one of them being the sudden drop in value of the d5000 because of the new D5100, and most because i find that i'm unable to capture fine detail in the D5000, and also the noise at low iso levels is really killing me.

    so what im looking for? im really just looking for a body that can afford me clarity, and nice colours, preferably with an AF motor and more AF points (more than the current 11 i have). metering and auto temperature are also pretty important, since i leave them on auto most of the time. weight is also really important, since im a girl and i shoot most of my photos handheld.

    at the moment the lens i leave most on my camera is the 35mm f/1.8, and im looking to get a tokina 12-24/11-16 (which ever is of better value in the 2nd shop i go to) to add to that. my choice of photographs tend towards portraits, landscape, and perhaps the occasional waterfall. (and wide angle photographs when i get my lens)

    so, the million dollar question - which body should i get?
    from my understanding, the D90 has the same image sensor of the D5000, and isnt much of an upgrade - 4.5fps, same AF points. although theres an AF meter and a better material casing the body, it doesnt seem that much of an upgrade.
    i would really love to get the D7000, but at the moment its far too expensive, and getting that would mean me setting aside my wide angle lens to be. but i love everything about it, the fine details, the softness of images (for portraits) the fact its its got 27 AF points, an AF motor so i can afford cheaper lenses, the size, 6fps - everything. except the price.
    so that leads me to the D5100 - same image sensor as the D7000, but only 11 AF points, no motor, adjustable monitor. problem is, the sample images i've seen dont wow me, i've only seen ones with terrible lighting or an overcluttered image thats hard on the eyes.

    so, if youve made it this far in my huuuuge rant, any opinions? im so lost, i dont know what to do!!!

    oh! and i'm an enthusiast, if you'd like a look at my not-quite-so-good photos theyre over at www.flickr.com/photos/butbutbut
     
  2. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Your D5000 may give the appearance of greater detail if you crank up its sharpening. Have you tried that?

    To get a significant improvement, I think you will need to stop down from wide open, or move up the lens foodchain. The D5000 is not that shabby.

    Kelly Cook
     
  3. saraddictive

    saraddictive Member

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    umm i usually shoot at f/2.8 with a f/1.4 lens. i dont always have the best lighting, so that poses as a pretty big no-no but the issue i have rather, is say i place a subject with dark hair in front of a dark but different coloured background - say black/dark brown hair against a dark grey wall, the colours kinda mesh and blend together? also, the edges of my subject arent always clearly defined, even when im shooting f/11. but that might be the noise again?
     
  4. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Even at f/ 2.8 a consumer grade lens can still be a little soft. Which is why I suggested hitting the sharpening control. Use that all the time with my lenses (can't afford the good stuff).

    For low light I simply fire up my flash. If you want to shoot low light without flash, that is going to take a lot of experimentation and practice. Do not expect an expensive camera to be an instant solution.

    About the only solution for dark hair against dark background, other than flash (which I recommend highly), is to increase contrast. You can make that contrast happen either with the in-camera settings, or later in editing. My practice is to do a little of both.

    At f/ 11 you certainly should get good definition.

    I was able to view your Flickr album. If you could post the URL for a specific photo with issues, I will better understand the problem(s).

    Kelly
     
  5. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    I don't think you'll be able to get significantly better image quality from a Nikon camera unless you move to a full-frame sensor, like the expensive D700.

    I don't see any reason to byy another camera with an APS-C sensor. It makes more sense to follow the suggestions Kelly made and you'll see a significant improvement in image quality.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  6. saraddictive

    saraddictive Member

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    hi there,

    thanks for all your opinions. i couldnt find any photos that i took at f/11, i dont use that option very often and i delete any photos (after i've loaded them into the computer) that i dont like. one photo i could find to somewhat explain what i mean by sharpness, is perhaps this photo? Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    what i'd really like to see in this image is some nice detail in the fabric? whilst there is some detail, i'd like to see more. i also took this photo on a really sunny day, so lighting definitely wasnt a problem

    looking through the d5000 group on flickr, i realised that many photos are very noisy (which is especially apparent in landscape photos, in the sky) and when i edit my photos, even though i crank up the sharpness, i end up having to apply a mask or to increase luminance in order to hide those unslightly dots, and that decreases the clarity of my photograph

    having done some research, i realise that, with my budget, i probably wont be able to get a camera with much better image quality. but i do want a AF motor so i can buy cheaper lenses (and unload my D5000 - apparently its no longer even in production), any thoughts on the D90?
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  7. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    The shot on Flickr of the funny telephone is underexposed. Bump the exposure up just 1/2 (more likely 2/3) f/-stop and the fabric texture will start to show better. It's typical for Nikon (and Olympus for that matter) to underexpose slightly. When in doubt about exposure use the AE Bracketing feature. DRO might also help here, but simply increasing the exposure is a sure fix.

    Photo hosting sites, including Flickr, process the uploads to a degree. A more reliable check is to download full size sample images from online camera reviews.

    The D90 is a nice camera, but images will be no better than the D5000. Instead of a "better" camera, just climb the learning curve a little higher. The more you learn the better job you can do of picking your next camera.

    Kelly
     
  8. saraddictive

    saraddictive Member

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    ahh, right, thanks so much for all your help!! i have read that the d5000 slightly underexposes its images, but i havent quite got the eye for it yet. i was thinking that it's probably my technique thats the problem, but i wasnt too sure. thanks for your help!!!
     
  9. KCook

    KCook Well-Known Member

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    Simply keep plugging away. Every camera, without exception, has its quirks. Once mastered, you may even come to adore those quirks!
    :D
     
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