View Full Version : Nikon D90, D5000 or Canon 500D? Which should I go for?

20-02-10, 03:52 PM
Hi all,

Like other people here I am planning on making the move from compact camera to DSLR and was hoping I could get some advice on which camera you think is best and also hopefully some answers to some questions I have. I have between £500-£800 to spend and have narrowed it down to the Nikon D90, D5000 and the Canon 500D.

My specific questions are:

Is the D90 getting on a bit in age, and is there any news of a newer model coming out soon?

Would it be better to spend the extra money on the D90 or buy one of the cheaper cameras and buy extra kit (possibly different better lens?) or would I be kicking myself later down the line if I really get into using a DSLR for not getting the D90?

I’ve seen that there is a new Canon D550 coming out soon, would it be better to wait for that rather than any of the three mentioned above?

Have I missed any really good other cameras in the £500-£800 range?

I use my current camera for taking pictures of people, places, buildings, nature scenes and plan on using the new camera to take some (but not loads) pictures of sporting events, the usual stuff. I want a camera that will give me more versatility and be able to create more interesting pictures and ones that will look really good on a 27 inch screen.

Any thoughts or opinions would be appreciated,

Thank you!

23-02-10, 09:03 PM
Have you considered the weight of these cameras ? I have a Nikon D80 with a 16 - 85 zoom attached, total weight well in excess of 1000gms. When you've had this lot round your neck or shoulders all day it can be very tiring ! The D90 is a tad heavier, & the D5000 is a tad lighter. The Canon 500D has a combined (body + lens) weight of 580grms, so it would certainly be much easier to carry for any length of time. I have handled a 500D & find that it's lovely to hold, it's smaller than the other 2, and the lighter weight is very noticable !!! If I were given the choice, I'd go for the 500D every time, it's a beaut........wish I'd got one ! Hope this helps....good luck.

24-02-10, 08:12 AM
Have you been into any camera shops to handle the cameras?

You might find that the larger camera suits you better. For me a 500D (or 550D) is too small and I find something like a Nikon D3 a lot better due to the size/weight of the body.

Also, when handling the cameras it enables you to look at the configuration of the buttons/dials on the body. You may find that one makers designs suit you better than the others.

24-02-10, 10:59 AM

thanks for your advice.

I've not been into a camera shop yet to look at them yet, but am planning on doing soon. I wanted to narrow it down to a couple of cameras first so I don't get distracted by all the different cameras a shop might have. I can't wait to try some out now though.

Weight is a consideration, but I was planning on keeping the camera in a rucksack until I actually needed to use it (not sure if that's a good idea or not...) then just having it round my neck when I'm taking photos.

The D3 looks like a fantastic camera, and I would really like to have a full frame sensor, just a shame it's so expensive!

24-02-10, 11:28 AM
I walk around with my cameras in a rucksack all the time. I've also got a handstrap rather than a neckstrap which I use as I've got a few problems with my neck and can't have the weight there.

Re: Shops - I'd got into the shop with the three that you are thinking off now rather than excluding one at this time :)

Nigel Atherton
25-02-10, 10:42 AM
Hi Ann,

Welcome to the WDC Forum. Pretty much any DSLR will give you great quality shots that will look good on your 27in screen if you know how to use it, so your choice will come down to which camera you like the feel of, the relative importance you place on feature such as:

• Sensor resolution - how big will you blow up your pictures and how critical are you of absolute sharpness and detail?

• Live View - will you be composing/shooting using the LCD screen?

• LCD screen - would you prefer a tilt/swivel screen (handy for low/high angle shooting) or a fixed one of high resolution (sharper and better for zooming in to check on detail)?

• Burst rate – is it important how many frames per seocond it shoots?

• High ISO - will you be shooting in low light without flash? High ISO performance is critical if you will.

• Image Stabilisation - Do you plan to build up a kit of seeveral lenses, or stick with one or two? Having to buy image stabilised lenses for the Canons or Nikons will cost more but is only a big issue if you plan to buy several, or any big telephoto. With the Sony/Pentax/Olympus the IS is built in (though you won't see the benefit of it in the viewfinder).

• Video - Do you intend to shoot movie clips?

Your camera choice comes down to the following:
Canon EOS 500D and new 550D, Nikon D5000, Nikon D90, Olympus E620, Pentax K-x, Sony A500/A550.

The D90 is getting a bit old and is a bigger, heavier camera but its built in focus motor gives you a wider choice of lenses to choose from, not just AF-S ones with motors in the lenses.

The D5000, Olympus and Sonys feature a tilting LCD screen. The Olympus's screen is the most flexible but the Sony's have the best Live View, while the Canon's have the best hi-res screen (though they're fixed).

The Sonys have the fastest frame rate (5fps) which is handy if you're into sport.

If the video mode is of any interest the Canons are best and the new 550D best of all as it has a mic input for better audio.

If resolution is a key requirement the new Canon EOS 550D is the highest at 18MP.

If you think you might want additional lenses consider spending less on the body to allow for that. Cameras like the Nikon D3000 are cheaper but still very good. The kit lenses supplied aren't bad (especially on the Canon and Nikon) but you might also want to consider getting one with wider maximum aperture if you do a lot of low light shots.

I hope this has give you some food for thought. In short, work out what features you need to narrow down your choice, then try them in your hand. Come vback to us again if you need to!

28-02-10, 06:38 PM
Hi all,

thanks for you input and advice, it was really helpful.

I've now had a look at the Nikon D3000, D5000, D90 (on two occasions) and the Canon 550D and really liked them all, but I've fallen for the D90. It just felt better in my hands, the controls felt more intuitive and it felt more solid. It's definitely heavier, but not too heavy. I can't wait till I actually buy it and can play with it and take some pictures!

Thanks once again!