Nikon D5000 vs D90

Nikon has just announced the new Nikon D5000, so I decided to post a quick comparison between the Nikon D5000 and Nikon D90 in this “Nikon D5000 vs D90” article.

Nikon D5000 Nikon D90

The new Nikon D5000 is a new generation DSLR that sits between D60 and D90, which can be classified as an “upper-entry-level DSLR”. It features exactly the same sensor that is found in Nikon D90 and Nikon D300/D300s, which is much different than the D60 that hosts a smaller resolution 10mp sensor. The Nikon D5000 is also the first Nikon DSLR that has a tilt and swivel LCD, which is supposed to be helpful for capturing video and images at different angles.

Here are some differences between Nikon D5000 and D90:

  1. D90 has a top-mounted information display that provides useful information such as shutter speed, aperture, etc., and D5000 does not have this feature. It is unfortunate, because the top display is very useful and I personally use it all the time.
  2. Unlike D90, D5000 does not have a “flash commander” mode, which means that you cannot control remote flashes like SB-600/Sb-900. This is a problem for those who have a single external flash, since you cannot use it in a remote mode and would need at least two flashes or a flash+SU-800 commander for off-camera flash.
  3. D5000 has an added “Airflow Control System”, which is supposed to keep the dust out every time the shutter snaps.
  4. D5000 has no internal focus motor, which means that older lenses (such as Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D) without the focus motor on the lens will not work. This is not a big problem, as most newer lenses have an internal motor. But if you do own a really old Nikon lens, this might be a problem for you.
  5. D5000 is a little slower than D90 – it can capture 4 frames per second, while D90 can capture 4.5 frames per second (not a big difference).
  6. Viewfinder type and magnification on D90 is much better compared to D5000 (D90 has a “pentaprism” viewfinder with 0.94x magnification, whereas D5000 has a “pentamirror” viewfinder with only 0.78x magnification). For those who use manual focus lenses, this might present a problem, as you would not be able to see as clearly inside the D5000 viewfinder.
  7. The LCD monitor on the back of the D90 is better than on D5000. D90 has a full 3.0″ LCD with 920,000 pixels, whereas D5000 has a 2.7″ LCD with 230,000 pixels.
  8. D5000 has a larger buffer compared to D90, since it can record up to 63 JPEG and 11 RAW images in continuous mode, compared to 25 JPEG and 7 RAW images in Nikon D90.
  9. D5000 is a smaller camera that measures 127 x 104 x 80 mm, whereas D90 is 132 x 103 x 77 mm. It is also lighter than D90 (560g vs 620g).
  10. There is a new “Q” (Quiet Release Mode) in D5000 that is absent in D90.
  11. D5000 allows 8 programmable buttons for the function button, whereas D90 has 10.
  12. There are 23 custom functions in D5000 vs 41 in D90.
  13. You cannot get a vertical grip for D5000, while you can get an MB-D80 grip for D-90.
  14. D90 has “EN-EL3e” type batteries, whereas D5000 has “EN-EL9a”.

Here comes the big question: would I recommend D5000 over D90? If your budget is small and you do not have the need to use the “flash commander” mode for off-camera flash, then I would say absolutely! When it comes to image quality, both cameras produce exactly the same quality images, so the only differences are in features. D90 is definitely a more robust camera that stands above D5000 both in terms of features and price, but if you need a camera for family portraits and occasional landscape photography, then the D5000 would deliver the same quality images as the D90. I wish that D5000 had a top display like the D90 since I use it a lot, but I could see the same information on the back LCD of the camera by pressing a button, so it is not a big deal.

Nikon D5000 is currently selling for approximately $650 for body only, whereas the D90 is selling for $900, so there is about a $250 difference. If you do not need the extra features above, get the D5000 and invest in better quality lenses instead!


  1. 1) Virgilio De Guzman
    October 17, 2009 at 5:16 am

    Wonderful counsel indeed!

    Thus, since in points 13 and 14:

    13.You cannot get a vertical grip for D5000, while you can get an MB-D80 grip for D-90.
    14.D90 has “EN-EL3e” type batteries, whereas D5000 has “EN-EL9a

    So is it not possible to use MB-D80 on a D5000?

    • October 18, 2009 at 12:26 am

      Virgilio, thank you!

      That’s correct, you cannot attach an MB-D80 battery grip on D5000.

  2. 2) YugoN
    October 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Sadly, I bought a D5000 when it first came out, and have regretted not spending a little more for a D90 ever since.

    I believe the D90 has a huge advantage in price and availability of lenses, due to the in-body focus motor. Quite frequently, older AF lenses are cheaper and at least as good in optical performance. If you simply buy the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D ($100) or f/1.4 ($200) versus the 50mm f/1.4 AF-S ($500), you’ve already saved $300-400, which is far more than the difference between the two bodies.

    • October 31, 2009 at 9:47 am

      YugoN: Sure, the older AF lenses are cheaper, but they are not better than the new AF-S lenses. It is unfortunate that Nikon has not yet produced a new low-cost 50mm f/1.8, but they did release the 35mm f/1.8 DX, which is excellent.

      Not sure where you got your dollar figures, but the older 50mm f/1.4D is not $200 – B&H lists it for $324.95 as of today, while the new 50mm f/1.4G is $449.95, so there is only a $125 USD difference. Don’t forget that the new 50mm is optically better than the old one…

      Personally, instead of buying a 50mm lens, I would go for the 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, simply because 50mm is a little too long for everyday use on a 1.5x crop sensor.

  3. 3) Christophe
    February 7, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Hi Nasim,

    First of all, wonderful website! Too many people (Ken Rockwell…) give photography tips and actually display only average to poor pictures on their website; your pictures are of another level: just beautiful…
    The reason for my post here is that I have been reading for months about photography and feel finally ready to buy my first dSLR. It will be a d5000 or a d90. My problem is that I still can’t decide between the two. I am planning on getting a 18-105mm kit lens for the convenience (is it a good choice??) and probably the 35mm f/1.8 DX (cheap and wonderful lens apparently). It seems that the d90 has more “direct” access buttons for parameters such as Iso, metering mode… than the d5000 where you need to go through menus all the time. I am also not sure I would actually use the live view mode so a swivel screen doesn’t seem to be that important. What do you think? Finally do I need the 35mm if I get the 18-105mm? Thanks!

    • February 9, 2010 at 1:21 am

      Christophe, thank you so much for your feedback! We really need it :)

      As far as the camera body, if money is not an issue, I would get the Nikon D90 over the D5000. You are right, it is easier to change settings on the Nikon D90 and the top LCD makes a difference for quick setting changes.

      As far as the lenses, if you can, buy both the Nikon 18-105mm kit lens and the 35mm f/1.8. You would use the 18-105mm for wide-angle photography for convenience and the 35mm f/1.8 for low-light situations. If you can only buy one, I would suggest to just get the 35mm f/1.8 instead, because it is sharper and much faster!

      Hope this helps.

  4. 4) Christophe
    February 9, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Great, thanks! I’ll keep you posted on my future purchase and will continue to read and learn in the meantime. Talk to you soon!

  5. 5) danny
    February 18, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    nasim, i came across your website in search of information to choose between canon or nikon entry level dslr. after reading a lot of articles online including yours, i’m leaning on nikon D5000 with 18-55mm VR lense. shopping around, i came across with this online store. if i but separately, i.e. camera body and lense, it will cost me only under $450.00 (D5000 body-$229 & VR lense – $199)but if i buy a complete set say with amazon or B&H, it will be between $600 to $700. checking the content of the box seems to be complete, but what could be missing. pls help and thx in advance. the website store is

    Link has been removed by site administration

    • February 19, 2010 at 1:28 am

      Danny, thank you visiting us. Please DO NOT buy anything from the link you provided earlier (I actually deleted it because I do not want our visitors to be visiting that web page). I can assure you that the website is scam and you will never be able to get your money back from them.

      NEVER buy photography equipment from a site whose prices are too good to be true. Buy from reliable companies like B&H and Adorama and you will not only get the best prices, but also quality service.

      D5000 will not sell for $229, even broken!

      • 5.1.1) danny
        February 19, 2010 at 11:25 pm

        thank you nasim. that is what i thought. thank you for all your articles on your site. i probably have read about 85% of it. i can say that not only your advise are from your actual experience, but from passion on this art. all your photos are amazing. it shows true talent. thanks much.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          February 21, 2010 at 2:23 pm

          Danny, I’m glad you are finding our articles useful and thank you for your feedback on my photography!

          Please let me know if you have any questions.

          • danny
            February 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm

            i’m short on budget, and rather than taking chances on losing my money. just to get started, i decided to get the D3000. it is on sale with for $456.00 free shipping to their local store. after couple of years of practice, i will definitely upgrade. the only difference i see between D5000 and D3000 is the movie capability, live view, and swivel LCD on D5000. thx for your help

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              February 26, 2010 at 2:11 am

              Danny, there is a big difference between Nikon D3000 and D5000 when it comes to the camera sensor. The Nikon D3000 has an inferior 10mp sensor, while the Nikon D5000 has the same sensor as the one that is used in Nikon D90 semi-pro camera. While $456 seems to be a good deal, I would still look at the D5000 as a better alternative.

              The sensor is the most important component of the camera and in this case, the D5000 has a clear lead over the D3000.

              Hope this helps :)

            • Josh
              May 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm

              In addition to Nasim’s reply the D5000 has the same sensor as the D300 as well as the D90. :)

  6. 6) Harmanizan
    February 23, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hye Nasim..
    can u give me a comparison of nikon D5000 and canon 500D.
    which is better for a newbie like me..?
    my budget is around that 2 stuffs..
    Need to hear from u..
    Thanks ya..!

    • February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm

      Harmanizan, I would recommend Nikon D5000 over Canon 500D. It has a better sensor and dynamic range than the Canon 500D and it is a great camera for a beginner!

  7. 7) Harmanizan
    February 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    thanks nasim..
    u probably help us which is new in DSLR.
    maybe im gonna get that stuff in this week..
    if u dont mind, i will catch u if i got any question after that.
    it should be no problem right? ;)

    • February 26, 2010 at 2:06 am

      Harmanizan, absolutely! Let me know and I will try to help you out as much as I can.

  8. 8) danny
    February 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    hi nasim, thank you for pointing out the sensor size between D5000 and D3000. it looks like i will return the D3000. how about pentax, what do you think about pentax k-x? over D5000?

    thx in advance

    • March 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm

      Danny, Pentax is not bad for the money, but their selection of lenses is nowhere close to what Canon or Nikon offer today. If you want the best, get either Nikon or Canon.

  9. 9) ramoic
    March 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I’ve just purchased a D5000 and an SB-600 flash. I want to buy another flash since I cannot use the SB-600 remotely. I read in some websites that two SB-600 would work. Is that correct? If not, what other flash I should get without expending so much money?

    • March 3, 2010 at 4:08 pm

      Ramoic, you cannot use the SB-600 as a commander – it is only designed to be a flash unit. You will need to buy a Nikon SB-900 or a used Nikon SB-800 to be able to control other Nikon flash units.

      There are some other solutions, like buying a set of PocketWizard Plus transceivers, but you will need special adapters for those to work with the Nikon SB-600.

    • 9.2) Josh
      May 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      You can purchase the Nikon SU-800 which is the commander module. You mount this on the camera and mount your sb-600 on a table or tripod and the SU-800 will set off the Sb-600. :) I think the SU-800 is around $200.

  10. 10) Kevin Elmes
    March 6, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Hi Nasim, I found your website while trying to choose between the D90 and the D5000 and without even contacting you, you have convinced me to by the D90 and the 35mm lens – great stuff. Now the real question is the main walkabout lens. I am looking at the newly upgraded Nikon 18-200 because I don’t want to change the lens at dusty racecourses. This newer version seems to sell for about $300.00 more than the original version. So what do you get for the extra money? Am I living in a fools paradise? Am I trying to stuff a quart in a pint pot or is it o’k within certain limitations?
    I have learned a lot from the excellent DP review website but it’s a bit of a plod and yours is WWWAAAYYY more friendly. Thank you so much. kevin.

    • March 6, 2010 at 10:21 am

      Kevin, thank you for your feedback! I’m glad that you found the information on our website useful :)

      As far as the 18-200mm lens, the newer version has a lock to prevent lens from creeping and has VR II, which is supposed to be one stop better than the regular “VR” stabilization. Optically, both lenses are the same :)

      I’m not sure where you found the original version for $300 less, but I believe none of the major resellers are selling the original version anymore.

      The great news, however, is that if you buy the Nikon D90 + 18-200mm lens, you will get a $300 instant rebate now! The deal ends at the end of the month and it is definitely a great time to buy.

      Here is the list of things that I would buy if I were you:
      1) Nikon D90 + Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 VR II
      2) Nikon 35mm f/1.8
      3) B+W 52mm MRC clear protection filter
      4) B+W 72mm MRC clear protection filter

      • 10.1.1) Vineet Garg
        March 10, 2010 at 4:30 am

        Hi Nasim,

        Your review is really helpful and friendly.

        I’m planning to buy a D90 with kit. but you mentioned about 300USD rebate so I think it’s really worth spend another 200USD and get D90 + 18-200mm lens.

        Can you tell on which site I can get that 300USD rebate?

        Also what other accessories are important to buy.
        this will be my first DSLR to use.

        and which

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm

          Vineet, if you are in the USA, check out my Nikon Rebates page for the current rebates.

          • Vineet Garg
            March 18, 2010 at 3:49 am

            Hi Nasim,

            After reading some of your reviews it’s not so encouraging to buy 18-200mm lens.
            But one of my friend owns it and said it’s very flexible and after buying it he has never changed his lenses. Before this lens he always had to switch between 18-55mm and 55-200mm whenever he used to go to beach or some outing.

            does image quality really degrades on long distances in 18-200mm?

            It will be my first DSLR a step up from Canon 960is.

            Do you recommend –

            D90 + 18-55mm + some long distance lens
            D90 + 18-200mm

            I’m new to DSLR world and it will be my first DSLR. Purpose of the camera will be to shoot my kid/family, picnic, beach & greenery snaps.

            Being a novice, may be I won’t notice that little noise you noticed at log distance.


            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              March 18, 2010 at 11:42 am

              Vineet, the only reason why I recommended the Nikon 18-200mm, is because with $300 off, it is a great value for what it can do. I have owned the 18-200mm in the past and I was not thrilled with its image quality when compared to prime lenses and other pro-level zoom lenses. But if you compare the D90 + 18-55mm deal versus the D90 + 18-200mm, then the latter is a great value. If you were buying everything separately and there was no incentive on the 18-200mm, I would have recommended the Nikon 18-55mm lens instead.

              So, based on the price incentive, I would go for the D90 + 18-200mm with a 35mm f/1.8 as I outlined above.

              If you do not care about the wide-angle end and want a good telephoto lens, get the Nikon D90
              + 70-300mm VR
              lens instead – it is $250 off. The 18-200mm is a little soft on the telephoto end.

              For your type of photography, I would say the D90 + 18-200mm + 35mm combo would be of a great value, unless you are willing to spend over $1,000 on a pro-level lens.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              March 18, 2010 at 11:43 am

              Oh, one more thing I wanted to point out – the Nikon D90 with any lens will blow you away when you compare it to a point and shoot ;)

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

          As far as accessories, have you seen my “Must-have DSLR Accessories” article?

      • 10.1.2) Malcolm
        June 10, 2010 at 8:49 am

        I have the original 18-200 VR and it has VRII, it states this in the literature on the box. There are technical reviews elsewhere which confirm this. The only difference is the zoom creep lock. When fitted to my D90 the zoom creeps out constantly but when fitted to my heavier D300S it does not because the D300S “keeps its nose up”. I have not had issues with zoom creep on the tripod shooting lunar or plants but these were fairly shallow angles, anything steeper and you will need to hold it in place. I was confused about the comparitive number of programable buttons on the models stated below. I am aware of only two on the D90, the Func button and the AE/L buttons that can have their operation user configured. The same as the D5000, my wife has a D5000, I like quick access to spot meter, so I am glad the D5000 is hers as this function can not be assigned to either button. But I am sad the D5000 is hers as when my tripod is fully extended so avoid some obstacle and I need live view ( as I cant reach the view finder) to frame the shot, an articulated screen would be really useful as in daylight reading the screens on the D90 and D300S at an oblique angle and using the info display to set-the camera (cannot see in the view finder or the lcd on the top of the body in this scenaro.
        There also seems to be disagreement on the web (which Nikon do not seem to want to clear up) as to whether D90s, D5000 and D300S share the same sensor or not, in some cases small differences in pixel count are evident, there certainly seems agreement that some of the filters etc that combine with the sensor to produce the imaging system vary considerably in terms of quality across the models. Finally as I sit here I have all three manuals and all three cameras in front of me and the buffer on the D5000 does look as if it is bigger than the D90s, but the quoted file sizes are larger for the D90, so there must be more aggressive compression on the D5000 for both the JPEG and RAW. However the ratios between what the buffer can hold in raw and jpeg are vastly different and this seems to confirm more aggressive compression by the D5000 on jpeg fine (user configurable on the D300S). Also in real life use both the cameras when set at raw get a buffer capacity of 7 images, if you switch on high ISO NR and Active D lighting and certain other paramters the buffer capacity drops for both raw and jpeg and can go as low as 6 or even 4 as I have seen on the D5000.

  11. 11) Kevin Elmes
    March 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Again Nasim, thanks so much for the info. I live in Canada and unfortunately I do not get the camera 2 year warranty or the Lens 5 year warranty unless I buy from a Nikon Canada registered dealer.
    Best regards

    • March 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      Kevin, you are right – you want to buy from a Nikon reseller in Canada, or you are not going to have the Nikon extended warranty.

      Hopefully there is a rebate for the D90 + 18-200mm lens in Canada as well…such a sweet deal!

  12. 12) Vladimir Spiridonoff
    March 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I’ve just bought D90 & 18-105VR, it also took quite a time to choose between D5000 & D90. As for me the top display is really very handy + all feature buttons + pent prism instead of pent mirror of D5000 (which is 20% brighter) all those cost more than just 250$. IMHO.
    If you could help me to make a choice for portrait lens, I still in doubt to choose 35mm 1.8 or to go to 50mm 1.8 or 1.4. We are expecting a child very soon, so what is more suitable to make close portraits and pictures of kids on DX Camera?

    • March 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm

      Vladimir, congratulations on your upcoming baby and your purchase! You’ve made the right choice – the Nikon D90 is a superb camera!

      As for the lens, if you can afford the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, go for that lens instead and you will not regret it. Nikon 35mm f/1.8 is very nice and I love it too, but my favorite is still the Nikon 50mm f/1.4. It is a great lens to photograph your child and the bokeh is creamy and beautiful!

      Заходите к нам почаще! Удачи и еще раз поздравляем! Обязательно дайте нам знать когда родится Ваш малыш. Будем ждать фотографий Вашего карапузика! :)

  13. 13) zlata
    March 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks so much for your clear articles. I just receive a d5000 as a gift and I was wondering if you thought it was worth it to upgrade to the d90. This is my first dslr but I want to buy something I can grow with. Is the d5000 sufficient or are there really major benefits to the d90?

    • March 9, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Zlata, what are you planning to photograph and how seriously do you want to get into photography? Nikon D5000 is a superb camera to start with and I would not upgrade to Nikon D90, unless you have some specific needs (like triggering other flashes, more camera features, etc).

      If this is your first DSLR, keep your D5000 – it has the same image quality as the Nikon D90 and you might not need all the extras the D90 offers.

      What lens did your D5000 come with?

      • 13.1.1) zlata
        March 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm

        The camera came with the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR AF-S DX Lens. I want it mainly for family photos and portraits. I mainly was concerned with the quality of the screen- that you can’t really see what kind of picture you took. Additionally, I wanted a fast camera. I don’t want to miss fast moving action.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm

          Zlata, you might want to consider buying an additional lens, because the 18-55mm is a little slow.

          As far as capturing fast-moving action, your camera has the same capabilities as far as the speed of shutter is concerned, so you can also capture fast action with it. The difference betwen D5000 and D90 is in the frames per second, meaning how many frames you can shoot in a given minute. The maximum shutter speed is the same :)

          If you do not like the screen and need more frames per second + extra functionality the D90 offers, then go for the Nikon D90. I would definitely take advantage of some of the current rebates from Nikon.

          Take a look at this sweet deal for Nikon D90 + 18-200mm VR II – you can get $300 off right now.

          If you want to see other deals, check out my Nikon rebates page.

          Hope this helps :)

          • zlata
            March 10, 2010 at 6:04 pm

            Thank you. What kind of other lens would you suggest?

  14. 14) men
    March 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I keep on seeing that the d90 has more camera features. No one really goes into what thos other features are. Would you be able to breifly explain the additional features. Also, what kind of photography requires triggering other flashes?

    • March 10, 2010 at 5:23 pm

      Men, all of the differences are highlighted in the above article. If you are asking about the menu feature differences, here they are:

      * D5000 allows 8 programmable buttons for the function button, whereas D90 has 10.
      * There are 23 custom functions in D5000 vs 41 in D90.

      As far as triggering other flashes, the Nikon D90 has a built-in flash that can be used as a commander of other flashes such as Nikon SB-600/SB-800/SB-900. With this kind of setup, you only need one flash and you can already shoot off-camera flash for portraiture and other type of photography. With the Nikon D5000, you would need two flashes to accomplish the same.

      Hope this helps.

    • 14.2) Malcolm
      June 10, 2010 at 9:04 am

      Various features exist, but one example is that on the D90 you can change the size of the area used to meter when centrally weighted metering is used. The D90 has a Continuos Low setting which you can set to take frames at a slower rate, useful for modelling or where 4 fps just does not allow enough time for change in the scene. Bracketing can be configured for 2 or three shots on a D90, it is 3 only on a D5000, on the d90 one can choose the spread of the bracketed images, one above and one below, two below or two above. The D90 has two wheel controls as do the professional class cameras, makes manual exposure shooting much easier and quicker. But it is not all one way, the D5000 has interval shooting so you can use the resulting pictures to create timelapse movies, the D300S also has this feature, but on the D5000 you can create the timelapse movie on camera, rather than using something like quick time on a pc.

  15. 15) Christophe
    March 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    After 5 months of extensive reading on photography and weeks of hesitation between the D90 and the D5000, I finally purchased a D90 last weekend. I got it as a kit with the 18-105mm and the 70-300mm and couldn’t resist to get the 35mm f1.8. Also got 2 Hoya filters: a UV one and a polarizer, both multi-coated. Finally I bought a Lowepro backpack to carry my new toys! :-) First impressions: the D90 is amazing. I went manual immediately and already took a few great shots. I have been shooting so far with the 35mm lens which is a pure joy to use. I really wanted a prime lens and don’t regret my choice. I hope this post will help some others make up their mind. Last thing: you were right, the direct access buttons and the top-mounted LCD make the D90 so much easier to use than a D5000. Thanks for your great advice!!

    • March 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm

      Christophe, congratulations with your purchase! You now have a full kit that will allow you to shoot pretty much everything, which is great! Looks like you are set for a while now and I’m glad that you are enjoying the experience :) Welcome to the DSLR world of photography!

      Yes, the D90 + 35mm are an awesome combo – they are made for each other :)

      If you have any questions, please feel free to ask here and I will do my best to help you out. I hope my beginner articles will help you to get started.

      Good luck with your photography!!!

  16. 16) Ardia
    March 11, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Hello Nasim,
    I really enjoy your review.
    One thing I really want to make sure is, regardless of all things about D90 and D5000, is it the image quality really the same between the two?
    Thanks in advance, Nasim.

    • March 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      Ardia, sorry for a late response. Yes, the image quality between D90 and D5000 are identical, since they use the exactly the same sensor. If compared against Nikon D300 (professional), both D90 and D5000 have a better image quality, all thanks to larger pixel pitch and better control of noise on the latter.

      Please let me know if you have any questions.

  17. 17) Kristine
    March 15, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I wanted to buy a SLR camera, I am new to this and dont know exactly what to look for. How about Nikon d5000dx d-SLR w/ 18-55mm VR lens, 55-200mm VR telephoto lens, w/ bag and 60″ tripod for $880? Is this a pretty decent price? I was really brain washed by all the comments here that D90 is better but I saw this at Bestbuy and thought about it! I am confused which one to get. Please help!

    • March 17, 2010 at 9:43 pm

      Kristine, sorry for a late reply – just got back from my photography trip to Utah.

      Are you taking advantage of the current Nikon lens rebates? $880 seems awfully high for this combo – get the same from B&H instead for $779. Plus, you don’t have to pay taxes :)

      Hope this helps!

    • March 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

      Oops, I provided a bad link. Use this one instead.

      Let me know if you have any questions!

  18. 18) Dennis
    March 16, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I’m glad I come across this website of yours. Is really informative and interesting. Before here I have already made up my mind on D5000. Now with the D90 information here, my decision starts to shake. Like you have say, I don’t need the flash command. Apart from the price difference, what are the things I should further consider that draw the line between this two nice fellow.

    I’m new to DSLR but I’m going for quality pictures. I’ve seen great pictures on Amazon and actually feel that D90 has better quality to D5000. I’m more into landscapes, macro, night photography. What type of lens would you recommend?

    Btw, I like the review on 35mm /f1.8 DX, the enlarge picture is crystal nice. I have loads to learn from the Tips for Beginners. Thanks for your advices.

    • March 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm

      Dennis, thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment!

      In terms of image quality, both Nikon D90 and D5000 have the same sensors, so the image quality is also going to be the same. The difference comes primarily in functionality – Nikon D90 is a pro-level camera in a plastic body, whereas the D5000 is an amateur DSLR. If you can afford the Nikon D90, go for it instead. It is a very capable camera and you won’t think about upgrading to another body for years…

      I cannot really recommend one lens for landscapes and macro, because those are very different types of photography. For landscapes, it is best to have a wide-angle lens, while macro photography works best with macro/telephoto lenses. I would first start with a lens for landscapes and then get a macro lens later on. What is your budget for the lens? My most favorite lens currently is the new Nikon 16-35mm VR lens, but it costs approximately $1,200. If you want something cheaper, take a look at the Nikon 12-24mm lens (around $1,000), which is also superb for landscapes. If you want a cheaper all-around lens, another great lens is the Nikon 18-200mm VR, which sells for around $750.

      While there is still time left, I would go ahead and get the Nikon D90 + 18-200mm combo and get $300 off, which is a great deal (add to cart to see the real price). Also, take a look at the current Nikon rebates.

      Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions!

      • 18.1.1) Dennis
        March 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

        Nasim, thanks for your prompt response. I have read loads of reviews on D90 and most of them are really pleased with it. One of my worries is upgrading of camera. I hope to get something that can last for years, am glad to hear your opinion already. =) The D5000 DIWA Gold Award is a beautiful fellow, but you are right on the price different. Just a bit more for D90, so I am gearing towards that for now. Just to find out more before I make my decision.

        Yes, in fact I won’t be getting the lens that I want at a go. For a start I am looking at 1000 ~ 1800. Autofocus DSLR is one thing that I want to start with. Meanwhile the list is this:

        1) D90 + 18-105mm VR or 18-200mm VR
        2) AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens or 50mm f/1.4G

        I am pretty curious what will I lose out between 105mm and 200mm. Let’s say we just put the price tag away for now.

        For landscapes, how does Angle of view and Focal length play apart? What is the differ between 105mm and 200mm?
        Am I right to say that if I will to take pictures of wildlife, 200mm should be the better option? And is like you say, 18-200mm is like all-rounded lens. Apology, I am quite confuse which one to go for as of now. I hope to maximize the lens that I want to get from shooting.

        I like the review on 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens and 50mm f/1.4G. Is interesting. The price on 35mm is very attractive, but 50mm is almost 1 time more than of 35mm in Singapore. Again what will I lose out between 35mm and 50mm? I have read reviews that both are great in night shoot, portraits, indoor, travel, excellent quality, landscapes, great bokeh. I am thrilled by both to be honest but confuse which will suit me best.

        Btw, I have seen many birds photographs that you have shot, is amazing. I am curious, apart from fast shutter speed to freeze the shot, do I need “subject tracking” feature in camera to have at least track the subject first? D90 do not have this feature but D5000 has it. Can I achieve the kind of wildlife shots that you have done?

        Thank you so much, I really appreciate for your time spend in responding to so many people. Everyone here is learning something. I realized I have under utilized my Lumix LX3 ever since I started reading your site. I have learned so much from here and is benefitting my LX3 now. I am going to continue using it even if I will to get D90 or D5000.


        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 19, 2010 at 1:39 pm

          Dennis, I would skip the 18-105mm VR and get the 18-200mm VR instead, because you will get a $300 rebate with the 18-200mm versus just $30. As for the second lens, if you want it just for portraits, the 50mm is a better choice than 35mm, because it yields better bokeh. But if you just need a good all-around lens for low-light situations, get the 35mm instead, because the 50mm on a DX body might be too long.

          As far as focal lengths, check out my focal length comparison article where I show the differences between focal lengths.

          If you want to get into bird photography though, you will need a longer lens than the 18-200mm, such as Nikon 70-300mm or Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S.

          And do not worry about upgrading the Nikon D90 – it will serve you well for years to come!

          • Dennis
            March 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm

            Nasim, after much thoughts and reviews and reviews, I have decided on D90 kit 18-105mm VR and AF-S 35mm f/1.8G DX lens for a start. I couldn’t resist the price of 35mm that with great reviews. Maybe add in a circular polarizing filter. Yup, at least for now.

            For the rest of the days until weekend, I will think twice about 18-200mm VRII. Maybe I will change my mind. I want to maximize my investment.


            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              March 24, 2010 at 1:15 am

              Dennis, sorry for a late reply. Have you made the purchase yet? Just wanted to let you know that the Nikon rebates are ending in a couple of days.

              And yes, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is a superb lens and I absolutely love it, so I don’t blame you :)

              I still think the 18-200mm VR II would be of great value, considering the $300 rebate.

              Let me know if you have any questions.

  19. 19) Rohitangshu
    March 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    HI, a great review , I hv decided to buy D90. now i read from some source on internet that the kit lens that comes with D 90 is not at all value for money, so how about buying the 18-55 vr kit lens instead of 18-105 ( i hv one nikon 50mm 1.8 and another 28-100 g lens both are of 35 mm format ) , so please suggest.

    • March 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

      Rohitangshu, why don’t you get the Nikon D90 + 18-200mm VR II instead? Nikon is giving away $300 on this combo and it is currently a great deal while it lasts (promotion ends March 28, 2010).

      • 19.1.1) Rohitangshu
        March 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm

        actually am from Kolkata , India , here we dont have this offer till now , here the price of body of D90 is around 800$ ,18-200 would cost huge , and after buying this body i would have very limited resource left, so i think that option is closed for me.i can now spend at most 200$ for a lens to start with.. my area of photography are mainly street, portrait and landscapes .. suggest me something to start with D 90 within the budget , also share your view on 18-55 VR kit lens

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          March 19, 2010 at 9:23 pm

          Rohitangshu, in that case check out the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 or the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lenses that are about $200 – they are very good for their price.

          • Rohitangshu
            April 11, 2010 at 12:09 am

            i just made up my mind to add a few extra bucks for this buy. so i ended upon two choices nikon
            D90 + nikon18-105 vr kit= 1021 $
            D90 + sigma 17-70 DC macro hsm 2.8-4.5 = 1150 $
            now please give me your opinion on this

  20. 20) Cedric De Busscher
    March 20, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Hello Nasim,

    I’m planning on purchasing a dslr camera in the near future. My prime interests are
    scenery/landscape/nature photography and aviation photography.
    I’m hesitating between D5000 and D90 and maybe Canon 500d, and also if I should go for one 18-200 lens or separate lenses.
    This will be my first dslr camera.
    Any advice?

    • March 24, 2010 at 1:18 am

      Cedric, for aviation photography I would recommend a faster camera, so the Nikon D90 would be the minimum I’d go with. In terms of lenses, it really depends on your budget. If you go with the 18-200mm lens, I would also buy the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX lens for low-light situations.

      Hope this helps :)

  21. 21) Kevin Elmes
    March 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Nasim, I took your advice and bought the D90 with the 18-200 zoom and i am very pleased so far. The deal here in Canada was only C$55.00 off but I still went for it. There is a 45 day return policy at the store and I am 14 days into that. The camera is truly amazing, I have so far transitioned from ‘AUTO’ to ‘P’ and am playing with exposures, WB, ISO etc.
    The lens is also excellent but opposite in performance to what I had read in that I had expected to see more pincushion than barrel distortion. So far I have found approx 0.70 percent barrel distortion and no pincushion at all, but will try harder to find some.
    When I reviewed my pictures ‘in camera’ and found the distortion I simply pressed ‘OK’ and it brought up the ‘Retouch Menu’ scrolled down to ‘Distortion’ selected ‘Auto’ then ‘Save’. The distortion disappeared like magic even when I enlarged the picture – very impressive. I saw that the camera give the copy a complete new number automatically and changes the prefix from DSC to CSC. Another surprise was that the original file size of 6.08Mb had been reduced to 5.42 in the copy. This differed to when I used D-Lighting and the copied file increased in size.
    Any way thats just me being anal because the camera/lens combo couldn’t be more me. Thans again.

    • March 24, 2010 at 10:56 pm

      Kevin, congratulations with the purchase! I’m very happy to hear that you are loving the experience so far. I’m sure you will love it even more once you learn how to use it well :)

      Don’t worry much about the distortion – it can be easily fixed in Photoshop, if needed. Almost all lenses have distortion problems and some are worse than others.

      In the future, you might want to check out the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G for low-light situations, but for now, enjoy your new toy and learn how to use it well :)

      Good luck with your photography!

  22. 22) Dennis
    March 29, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Hi Nasim,

    No worries for the late respond.
    Anyway I went for D90 with 18-105mm VR. I have hands-on with both 18-105 and 18-200mm but decided to stick with 105mm. I got the 35mm f/1.8G as well. Now I understand why people have been saying is great for low-light use. The image is sharp.

    Add in hoya multi-coated filters to cut down uv. For two days I have been experiencing, consult manual, shooting indoor at my plastic sci-fi model kits in aperture mode. I have got a good feel of aperture size, DOF, ISO. Now I need good fine day out in the field or park for some outdoor shoot. I need to familiarize those new features that I have yet touched. Is really a lot more than point-and-shoot camera.

    I hope to maximize this D90 now. I heard Nikon is coming out a new kit, an upgrade of D90. I just hope my investment won’t go into drain. I hope you can give me advices on some of my shots once I got them online. Having use the 35mm now, I think I can understand why 50mm f/1.4G stands out even better.

    Thanks for your advices!

    • April 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      Dennis, I thought that I responded to this comment, but I guess I didn’t!

      The camera gear you bought is excellent, it will serve you well for years. Just need to practice and take lots of shots and I’m sure you will see the rewards quickly :)

      As far as an update to Nikon D90, there might be something coming out late this summer, but nobody knows for sure. Either way, a camera is never a good investment, since camera bodies get refreshed every 2-3 years :) Lenses, on the other hand, tend to keep their value for a much longer period of time…

      Since you are shooting with a DX body, you did the right thing by going for the 35mm instead of the 50mm lens (unless you primarily shoot portraits), because 50mm is equivalent to a 75mm lens on a DX body, which is a little too long for general shots. 35mm, on the other hand, is a perfect focal length for pretty much any kind of photography.

      I would love to take a look at some of your work, so please leave the URL to your website/gallery.

  23. 23) Craig
    April 8, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Hello, Great Website, I’ve read this whole thread and its helped quite a bit. My only question is – is there a difference between the Nikon D5000DX and the Nikon D5000. What does the DX stand for and why is it generally cheaper?

    • April 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

      Craig, “DX” and “FX” basically stand for the sensor size. There is only one Nikon D5000 and it has a DX sensor, so there is no separate camera called “D5000DX”.

      Check out my Nikon DX vs FX article that I wrote recently to see the difference between the two. DX/crop sensors are cheaper, because the sensor is smaller and is cheaper to manufacture.

      Hope this helps.

  24. 24) Nina
    April 8, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I am in the process of trying to buy either a d90 or a d5000 Nikon DSLR, and your reviews and others have helped me greatly, therefore I’ve decided that the D90 is what I want for family portraits and possibly getting in the photography business likes weddings …etc.
    My question is are you aware of any other new rebates since the one with the d90 kit 55-200 is over. I am also wondering if not should i just get everything seperately and if so do you recommend the list you posted above that stated list 1-4 items, if so I know I can’t afford both lens so which one should I get first?

    • April 8, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      Nina, you are right, the rebates are unfortunately over for the lower-end bodies. Nikon still has rebates for D300s and D700 bodies, but not for D90 or D5000.

      I believe there is still a $50 instant rebate on B&H if you buy D90 with the 18-200mm VR II.

      What is your budget?

  25. 25) Nina
    April 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I forgot to mention that I am new to the larger cameras, I currently have a Nikon 12.1 megapixel camera that cost me 200dollars at walmart. So is this a good next level camera for me to soon get in the business as a beginner or is there something else?

    • April 8, 2010 at 8:43 pm

      Nina, yes, a DSLR would be a huge upgrade over your point and shoot camera. The Nikon D90 is a superb DSLR to get into photography and it will serve you well for years to come. Many of my readers buy D90 as their first DSLR and they absolutely love it. I’m sure you will, too.

  26. 26) Nina
    April 9, 2010 at 3:42 am

    I was trying to get everything under 1200.
    * Do I have to by a large flash to start out with ot does the built in flash work fine?
    * I also wanted to see if you could answer my question on whether I should buy everthing seperate?
    In my budget I can get the camera body d90 and the 55-200mm for under my budget at B&H (I could not find their kit with the 55-200 in it).

    * B&H D90 body is now $776.95 and lens AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6g IF–ED is $219.95 total of $996.90 since there is no tax.

    I also wanted to mention when I put this lens that I listed in my cart a message comes up that states:DX lens are not recommended for use with APS<35mm, or "full frame" digital SLR.
    Does that mean I picked the wrong lens?

    *on the B&h site I see where I could by this lens refurbished for $154.95, do you recommend anything like that?
    Sorry so many questions but I want to be sure before I buy anything.

    • April 17, 2010 at 1:19 am

      Nina, sorry for a late response. The built-in flash is OK for simple things, but not great. I would recommend to first learn how to use the camera before starting with the flash.

      As far as lenses, the 55-200mm is a bit too long for everyday use. Do you have any other lens? I wouldn’t buy a camera without a wide lens.

      No, you didn’t pick the wrong lens – DX lenses work best on DX sensors and your camera has a DX sensor in it, so you are fine.

      As far as buying refurbished gear, it is all a matter of luck I guess…I personally would buy it new, since I get the extended warranty.

  27. 27) reza
    April 10, 2010 at 12:51 am

    dear nasim, i enjoy a lot your website, now i need your help to chose between D5000 and D90 with the following sets:
    i should tell you that i live in iran, so i cant buy them from international reseller.
    another point is its my first SLR camera, so here is my two option:
    1- (D5000 + 18-55 Vr kit) + 55-200 Vr = 1000$
    2- (D90 + 18-105 Vr kit) = 1150$

    thank you in advance for helping me.

  28. 28) Rohitangshu
    April 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    i just made up my mind to add a few extra bucks for this buy. so i ended upon two choices nikon
    D90 + nikon18-105 vr kit= 1021 $
    D90 + sigma 17-70 DC macro hsm 2.8-4.5 = 1150 $
    now please give me your opinion on this

    • April 17, 2010 at 2:39 am

      Rohitangshu, go for the Nikon 18-105 instead of the Sigma.

      • 28.1.1) Rohitangshu
        April 19, 2010 at 10:58 am

        thank you ! am going for it …

  29. 29) Tom
    April 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Hi Nasim,
    As everyone else states, thank you for the excellent information on your site. I have been using a N80 for the last seven years and have been struggling with the decision of which DSLR to get for the past week. I was wondering if you would please offer some guidance. I have read too many comparisons to count but my issue is, with a budget at the moment of ~$800, I’m stuck between the D5000 two lens kit or the D90 body, using my Nikkor 28-80mm,3.3-5.6G and Sigma 100-300mm lenses and upgrading lenses down the road. My skill level is novice and am a casual shooter. Is there anything major I will be losing by using my old lenses? I’m not too concerned about the image stabilization.
    Thank you, kindly.

    • April 17, 2010 at 2:42 am

      Tom, you are most welcome!

      Your lenses will work fine on the Nikon D90, so I would go for that instead. Since you are using a DX body, only the center portion of the lens gets used and you should get good results. You can buy better lenses in the future.

      Hope this helps.

  30. 30) Adam
    April 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    After searching several sites and reading several comparisons and reviews I have come across your site. This page to be specific and it was very helpful, thank you a lot for posting it. You really helped finalize my decision down to the d5000 body with the 35mm F/1.8 lens.

    • April 17, 2010 at 2:43 am

      Adam, you are most welcome and congratulations with your purchase!

  31. 31) keith
    April 17, 2010 at 1:38 am

    Hi nasim, I still cant decide which camera to buy. D90 or D5000? I have a few questions :

    1) Is D5000 compatible with NIkon 18-105mm (D90 kit lens) ?
    2) Is having an internal focus motor important ?
    3) You mentioned that for aviation photography, a fast camera is needed, so D90 will be better. When you say fast, is it because it takes 4.5 fps ?


    • April 17, 2010 at 2:46 am


      1) Yes, it is. Any DX lens will perform very well on the Nikon D5000.
      2) No, unless you have old lenses that you want to use with autofocus (for example Nikon 50mm f/1.4 AF-D). All modern lenses have a motor on the lens.
      3) Yes, when I say faster, I mean more frames per second or “bursts”.

      Hope this helps.

  32. 32) Nina
    April 17, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Hello Nasim, I am so glad that you got a chance to respond to my post. I did purchase the Nikon d90 with the 18-105mm lens.
    You ask do I have any other lens and the answer is no, I wish.
    I went back and read the other post and I am wondering if you think I should get a 50mm f/1.45 for my everyday use or the 35 that has also been mentioned?

    Now I want to say your site has been more helpful than any of the others that I’ve read. Your actual site is really user friendly and easy to understand since I am a beginner who need all the tips and advice I can get.I have started looking at it everyday! lol
    Thanks Nina (very pleased)

    • April 19, 2010 at 1:00 am

      Nina, if you need a lens for portraits, go for the 50mm f/1.4 and if you need an all-purpose low-light lens, then go for the 35mm f/1.8. 50mm can be a little too long on a DX body…

      Thank you for your feedback and kind words!

  33. 33) Nikojan
    April 17, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Hello Nasim,
    Thank you so much for your website as thru your discussions and tips I have finally decided on what to purchase as my first DSLR which is the D90. I want to follow your advise to have the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G as my first lens, however it is not available here in Saudi Arabia.
    1. What is the difference between the Nikon 35mm F/1.8 and the 50mm?
    2. Should I go ahead and purchase the 35mm?
    3. I also would like to have a zoom lens but am a bit hesitant to buy the 18-105mm VR because of the bad reviews. What zoom lens would you recommend?

    Thanks again.

    • April 19, 2010 at 1:02 am

      Nikojan, go for the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 – it is a perfect focal length on a DX body. 50mm can be a little too long on a DX sensor, like I pointed out in my previous comment.

      As far as a zoom lens, what is your budget and what are you planning to photograph?

      • 33.1.1) Nikojan
        April 19, 2010 at 3:15 am

        So 35mm it shall be! I’ll be taking pictures mostly of kids and family. Taking pictures of family and friend’s gatherings, weddings, parties and the likes. I also travel a lot and enjoy taking pictures of sceneries, landscapes, and structures. I can say that my budget for the zoom lens is +/- $500. I’m determined to learn a lot on photography and maybe make it a small business of mine.

        Thank you so much for your help, and I sure am learning a lot from your website.

  34. 34) wafull
    April 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Hi Nasim

    Im new to the site and its been working wonders for me :)

    im planning to buy the d5000 in the next couple of days… and i’ve been quite hesitant… im quite new to the dslr world and i only have experience with my friends d40 (which i use a lot) i’ve been reading books(photography books and lighting) and doing my research about photography and such and came into conclusion that in my current state the d90 is the perfect camera for me…

    the problem is i have a limited budget and for now can only afford the d5000 kit :)

    im into landscapes, macros , portraits, black and white, toy photography and dioramas

    the d5000 costs 645$ here at our country and 1044$ for the d90

    should i just save up for the d90? or just go ahead and grab the d5000 and just save up for lenses since im still new at photography…

    again thank you :) i really learned (and still learning ) a lot because of this site

    • April 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm

      Wafull, Nikon is supposed to release an update to Nikon D90 this summer. I would wait until the end of summer to see what happens. If a new camera is introduced, the price of the D90 is going to drop a little. Meanwhile, you can save up a little more!

      Hope this helps.

      • 34.1.1) wafull
        April 27, 2010 at 10:08 am

        thanks nasim :) the prices have been dropping radically this past few days something must be up… but i grabbed the d5000 for about 555$
        im now saving up for my lenses 1 zoom 1 wide angle and 1 portrait :)

        55-200mm for zoom 50mm or 35mm for portrait (prime) and i still dont have any idea for the wide angle :)

        do you think this is good enough? any suggestions>?

        again thanks for the big help

  35. 35) olga
    April 23, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Dear Nasim,

    I’m from Uzbekistan. Ihad D60 and Lumix FZ-50 for last 4 years.
    I would like to order D5000 due to the same features as D90, but less price. I know that D5000 doesn’t have autofus in its body, so I need AF lenses for it.
    It was mentioned at BHphoto that 18-105mm offered with D90 will not support autofocus with D5000??? Is it really so??? What about other lenses like it?
    i like to get macro and portraits photo most of all.

    thank you,

    • April 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm

      Olga, thanks for stopping by!

      I’m not sure where you read that the 18-105mm does not autofocus on the D5000, because it is an AF-S/DX lens, which means that it will autofocus on any modern Nikon body. B&H even sells the D5000 with the 18-105mm as a kit…

      If you want to be able to capture good portraits, I would recommend the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G lens instead of a consumer zoom lens…

      • 35.1.1) Olga
        April 24, 2010 at 1:41 am

        Thank you very much for your advice!
        Will this 50mm lens work with autofocus on D5000? As it is not a DX lens, isnt’t it??
        What about 35mm f/1.8 ???

        Thank you very much for such useful web-site, where i found many answers on my questions from another visitors.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          April 24, 2010 at 1:53 am

          You are most welcome!

          Yes, the 50mm f/1.4G lens is also an AF-S lens and will work on any Nikon body, even without an AF motor. The same is true for Nikon 35mm f/1.8G.

  36. 36) olga
    April 24, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Thank you very much!
    Sorry for too many questions, but your advices are very helpful!!!

    What about macro, what is a good average-priced macro lens? Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens ??

    All the best,

  37. 37) Leslie
    April 28, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Thanks for writing the comparison between the D90 and D5000. I am currently considering on which kit to get? Down here in Singapore.. I was quoted SGD$1028.00 for the D5000 kit with Nikkor 18-55mm VR that comes with a lowepro bag, a 8GB card plus 2 batteries. And SGD$1477.00 for the D90 kit with Nikkor 18-105mm VR ED with a lowepro, a 8GB card plus one battery. The difference between these 2 are around SGD$400.

    Used to owned a F80 back in 2001 and had fun playing around with a 50mm 1.8 AF-D. Was looking to get back the same lens but was told that it will not work with the D5000 due to lack of in-body AF motor.

    The reason why I avoided the D90 is because I do not like bulky cameras and hate carrying a 1kg camera around. The D90 with 18-105mm seems to be around that range. But the built in AF motor seems like a deal breaker for me, I will be able to buy some legacy lenses and play around with it (althought I do not have any of those lenses currently).

    I love doing scenary shots especially at night. Was also considering on the olympus micro 4/3 due to weight factor.

    I am not a professional and do not intend to spend lots on money on lenses.

    PS: My brother is using th EOS system and he advice me to get a canon so that we can share on the lenses..

    • April 30, 2010 at 10:50 am

      Leslie, you are most welcome!

      If you are not planning on purchasing any other lens, go for the 18-105 instead. And yes, the 50mm f/1.8 AF-D will not autofocus on the Nikon D5000. However, you can get the excellent Nikon 35mm f/1.8G that will work perfectly on the D5000.

      Don’t worry about having no built-in motor. All current Nikon DX lenses work perfectly well on D3000/D5000 cameras and there is really no reason to get the older lenses anymore, because the current Nikon line of DX lenses covers most needs.

      As far as sharing lenses with your brother, if you think that will work out, then you should go with the Canon system instead.

  38. 38) Rohitangshu
    April 30, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Considering ur suggestions and support i bought D90 yesterday..Thank you so much.. bought it with the kit lens :)

    • April 30, 2010 at 10:51 am

      Rohitangshu, you are most welcome! I’m sure the D90 will serve you well.

      • 38.1.1) Rohitangshu
        April 30, 2010 at 10:52 am

        i also hope that :)

  39. 39) Joel
    May 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Hi Leslie,
    I’m also from singapore. Would like to know where u get both quote from?

    Hi nasim,
    would like to know whether does the photo quality different for d5000 and d90 especially on low light condition. As I see from sample of these 2 camera, d90 is brighter. And which of the camera have rich and natural colour quality or both are same result. Thanks for yr feedback :)

    • May 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      Joel, when it comes to image quality, both cameras are identical, since the sensors are the same. There are physical and software differences between the two as pointed in this article, but the color reproduction and image quality will remain the same.

  40. 40) Celine
    May 16, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Hi, Nasim,

    Your article is really helpful for me . And I agree with others. The pictures on your site are amazing. I am still going back and forth between d5000 and d90. I used to own Nikon 35mm camera which I loved and I have been using shoot and point . I really want to get a digital camera to match the quality of old 35mm camera. I like d90 a lot, but the weight is a bit too much as I want to carry it a lot.

    I heard and read from several sources that D5000 is slightly under exposed than D90 or D90 takes more light than D5000. What is your thought on this?

    I think the weight on D90 with 18-105 Vr kit is actually from the the lens. Does D90 +18-55m vr kit work well with D90? I will get Nikon 35mm f/1.8G later too. But I want a len for a longer range. 18-55m is enough for me. I mostly shoot pictures of kids and landscape .

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this!

    Thanks and best regards!

    • May 24, 2010 at 12:20 am

      Celine, I apologize for a late response. Thank you for your feedback!

      Don’t worry about the weight of D90 – it is not much heavier than the D5000. In terms of under-exposed or over-exposed images on D90/D5000, do not worry about it too much. If it becomes a problem, just permanently set your exposure compensation to a minus/plus value and you are all set.

      Yes, D90 will work beautifully with the kit 18-55mm, which will be great to shoot landscapes. For portraits and kids, the 35mm will be a better choice.

      Hope this helps!

      • 40.1.1) Celine
        May 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm

        Hi, Nasim

        Thanks for your reply. I decided on D90 for my daughter’s birthday this past weekend. Taking pic for a 4 year old. I rather go for a faster speed. I went to JR and check the two cameras . I felt the weight is not too much difference. I bought 55cm and 18-55 cm lens. I am glad I bought it. The image quality is outstanding even just using auto. The birthday pictures were fantastic. I am reading more to get the best out of it.

        Thanks and regards!

  41. 41) Kurt
    May 19, 2010 at 8:07 am


    Thanks for the great information on your website. I am new to DSLR world and have been going back and forth between D5000 and D90. Based on your recommendations I have decided on the D90 (body only). I thought it was better to go with 18-200 VR II than 18-55 and 55-200 kit. I would like 1 travel lens. Now it is time to decide on the lens.

    We plan on doing a lot of traveling taking as few items as possible so the 18-200 VR II is very appealing to reduce the number of lens we take along. Ideally 1 (18-200 VR II) or maybe 2 (35mm for photographing inside churches). We are going to Italy in 1 week. I zeroed in on 18-200 because I felt 18-55, 18-105, 18-135 would not provide me enough telephoto capability and if I decided to take only 1 lens this was the best option.

    Utimately, I would like to have a low light, wide-angle zoom and faster telephoto lens. Am looking to get best price/performance value lens and not spend more than $800 on any one lens. But if we can spend less that is preferable.

    I was thinking:

    * general low light and portarit 35 f1.8G
    * wide angle zoom 18-200VR II or tamaron 18-270 DI II which is $300 less than 18-200
    * Telephoto 70-300 looking for longer and faster lens than wide angle.

    What is your opinion of the above selection? If I go with less expensive wide-angle I can get telephoto sooner. Are there other lens that you would recommend that are better price performers, keeping in mind minimizing the number of lenses we have to purchase to keep the weight down.


    • May 24, 2010 at 12:28 am

      Kurt, sorry for a late response. Yes, D90 is an excellent choice and 18-200mm is better than buying the 18-55mm and 55-200mm separately!

      What I would do if I were you, is get the 18-200mm VR II and 35mm f/1.8G for travel photography and you will be very happy with the results. The 18-200mm is not very sharp or fast, but if you are planning to travel a lot, might be a very convenient choice, because you won’t be changing lenses very often.

      Don’t get the Tamron 18-270, the 18-200mm is better.

      If you are planning to get the 70-300mm as well, then you might want to drop the 18-200mm and get the 18-55mm or an ultra-wide angle like the 12-24mm or 10-24mm instead. The 18-200mm is excellent until 105mm and then the performance really goes down the drain towards 200mm…

      18-200mm is a good all-around lens if you do not want to change lenses very often. If you need the reach, get the 70-300mm instead.

  42. 42) Sekhar
    May 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    First of all, cool website. I have trotted many sites, but, yours is indeed down to earth, with good reviews, explained in lay-man/woman terms ! Like others above, I have also been going back and forth between: D5000 & D90 for a few months now. For first time DSLR buyers like me, Nikon has made things harder!

    After reading all your suggestions and comments above, I am still in need of some help and would appreciate your response. D90 seems like a great camera, but, due to budget constraints (1000 euro) and due to the good kit value, I have swung in favor of D5000+ 18-55vr (560 euro in germany, amazon store. The d90 with 105vr comes for 880 euro and dosen’t allow me to buy any other lenses or accesories). I plan to use the remaining amount for 50mm f/1.4, extra battery, bag etc., also, i would be dissappointed if d90 gets an upgrade in a couple of months.

    1. I am a beginner in photography with dslr (though i had been using point and shoot for quite some time), but I am very serious about learning and becoming professional some day, with an FX-body(god-willing!). As far as learning is concerned, would you recommend d90 over d5000 ?

    2. Relatedly, although you already mentioned, will Depth of field preview button be really missed?

    3. Heard talks of D5000 recall; is the problem still out there with the ones available in stores now?

    thanks & regards,

    • June 5, 2010 at 10:29 am

      Thank you Sekhar!

      Yes, the choice is somewhat difficult, but if you are planning to become a professional one day, go for the D90 instead of D5000. D90 has a lot of pro-level features, while D5000 doesn’t. And trust me, if you get to like photography once you start using a DSLR, you will upgrade your camera within the next 2-3 years…

      Regarding depth of field preview button – I never use it, even on my D3s.

      As far as D5000 recall, I haven’t seen any info on this and I’m sure Nikon would take care of the problem right away…

      • 42.1.1) Sekhar
        June 6, 2010 at 10:06 am

        I probably sensed your answer ;). I had already ordered d90, as i did not hear from you (noticed you were away). no harm done ! thanks for other replies. btw, i was just wondering if you could recommend any good books?

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          June 8, 2010 at 11:15 am

          Sekhar, you will love the D90, it’s a wonderful camera.

          In terms of books, try Brian Peterson’s “Understanding Exposure” – probably the best book for a beginner.

  43. 43) Debasish Bishnu
    June 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I like to thanks you very much to create such helpful and friendly website. Discussion on D90 is really helping me to take a decision.

    I am from Kolkata, India and using Cannon 350D with 18-55 mm & 75-300 Cannon telephoto lenses since last 2 years. Now I am planning to buy a D90 with
    18-200 mm and AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens. But I am little bit confused by your last comments. You told “The 18-200mm is excellent until 105mm and then the performance really goes down the drain towards 200mm…”. In that case should I go for 18-105 mm VR and a separate 70-300 mm lens instead of 18-200 mm? Please give your suggestion.

    I am a travel photographer, interested in landscape and human photography.

    Thanks & Regards

    • June 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

      Debashish, yes, I’m not a fan of 18-200mm VR lens, due to its poor performance on the long end. The 70-300mm would give you much better results on the telephoto side, for sure.

      What I would recommend, is to get 35mm f/1.8G and 70-300mm VR for the start. Once you start using those lenses, you will understand what you want for the wide side of things. Perhaps you will want an ultra-wide angle lens such as 10-24mm…

      • 43.1.1) Debasish Bishnu
        June 7, 2010 at 12:59 am


        Thanks very much your suggestion. I will go as you recomended and will go for a 10-24 mm in near future as my budget would not permit this at this moment.
        Sorry to trouble you with one more query. Should I take the 18-105 mm lens that comes as a kit with D90 for travel photography? This is for sure that I will take a 35mm f/1.8G and 70-300 mm VR as per your suggestion.

        Thanks again for your time and suggestion.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          June 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

          Debashish, sure, if your budget allows. What do you need the 70-300mm for? Are you planning to take pictures of birds or remote objects?

          Perhaps the 18-105mm + 35mm might be sufficient for the start?

  44. 44) Debasish Bishnu
    June 8, 2010 at 11:41 pm


    Thanks very much for your recommendation. I do travel in vast hill area (Himalayan range) in India when I get time. This range is a natural resource of wild life and most of the time I have to shoot from long distance. I experienced that my Cannon 75-300 mm was working good in such cases. This is the reason I am looking for a 70-300mm with D90. Hope I have able to explain my requirement.

    Thanks again to help me to take right discussion and hope I will don’t feel to upgrade my camera on next couple of years.

    • June 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      Debashish, yes, in that case the 70-300mm is definitely a good idea to get.

      You are most welcome, you will love the D90!

      • 44.1.1) Debasish Bishnu
        August 4, 2010 at 12:29 am


        Thanks very much for your recommendation. I have purchased my D90 with 18-105mm and yes, you are correct, it’s a wonderful camera. I will take a 35mmf/1.8G very soon.

        I like to know about teleconverters as I have no idea about it. Can you please give a brief what it actualy does ? Infact I like the simple description of you as it is quite easily understandable.

        Thanks again for your suggestion.


  45. 45) RobGA
    June 10, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Hi Nasim, I would like to know more about AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX Lens, I am not sure if you have a separate entry for this one but here is my question. Many reviews conclude that this lens is very good in low light situations – can you explain more of this? The reason why i am asking this is because as a beginner (photography), I decided to try on d3000 kit (which now I am thinking of selling it to upgrade to d5000) and I learned that it does not perform well in low light situations when it comes to ISO (getting noisier on iso800). I am thinking if I use the lens above, would I be able to use higher ISOs and less noisy or use lower ISOs and still get sharp pictures (since this lens is faster than the kit)?
    Or is the ‘good in low light conditions’ only pertains to the focusing ability of the lens?
    (or am i making sense :) :) :) )
    The above is all based on night people/portrait photography/scenario

    • June 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm

      RobGA, yes, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is good for low-light because it is a faster lens, which means that you can use small apertures like f/1.8 or f/2.8 and get better pictures than you would with a slow lens like the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. Camera ISO depends on the camera, not lens, so you would have to regulate that on the camera. The Nikon D5000 does have less noise than the D3000 and you can probably use ISO 1600 and get acceptably sharp pictures. I personally do not like noise, so I shoot below ISO 800 in most cases.

      One more thing to note, is that while the 35mm f/1.8 is good for low light situations, it does not mean that it can shoot well in the dark. A scene might be very bright to your eyes, but dark for the camera – remember, your eyes automatically increase/decrease sensitivity and can see a lot more than what a camera can.

      Hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions.

      • 45.1.1) Sekhar
        June 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm

        a bit confused by your comments following this thread. So, what about 50mm f/1.4? it is good for low light and it can shoot well in dark, mean different things ?!

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          June 12, 2010 at 1:08 am

          Sekhar, shooting in low light and in the dark are two different things. No lens will produce good results if you are shooting in the dark hand-held. For low-light situations though (in shadow, bright indoors environment, etc), fast glass like Nikon 50mm f/1.4 definitely helps to take better images.

          • sekhar
            June 12, 2010 at 7:48 am

            Nasim, thanks for your infos. Would you consider indoor with nothing but candle light as dark or low light?

            • sekhar
              June 12, 2010 at 4:28 pm

              Let me add: these shots you are talking about, are without flash?

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              June 16, 2010 at 12:06 am

              Sekhar, candle light is certainly dark, low light is a room lit with lightbulbs.

            • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
              June 16, 2010 at 12:08 am

              Yes Sekhar, without flash, but only if there is sufficient light in the room. If you have multiple 60-100W lights in the room and you turn all of them on, it is still considered to be a low-light environment.

  46. 46) hazalina
    June 23, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I am in the process of trying to buy either a d90 or a d5000 Nikon DSLR. I’m new in DSLR camera. I always travel. So it’s mean that i always need to carry DSLR camera.
    My concern is about weight. I know D90 would be bit heavy than D5000.
    If too heavy i think not suitable for girl to carry when it;s travel.
    I’m afraid i wont feel like bringing it around if its heavy :)
    Do you think D90 is suitable for girl to carry it?
    D90 so heavy compare D5000?

    • June 29, 2010 at 11:56 pm

      Hazalina, do not worry about the weight – there is really not much difference between D90 and D5000. And yes, the D90 would be perfect for a girl to carry around!

  47. 47) samuel
    June 29, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Hi Nasim,

    I just come across this thread today and i found it is very informative and helpful.

    I am new in DSLR and my last camera is a P&S camera.

    I am thinking of buying a first dslr camera and would appreciate your advise.

    I plan to use the camera mainly for family, portrait, scenery and traveling purposes.

    I am contemplating buying a canon 550D with 18mm – 135mm kit len or a canon 50d with 18-55mm with 55mm – 200mm kit lens or a nikon d90 with 18-105mm kit len.

    What do you suggest?

    • June 29, 2010 at 11:57 pm

      Samuel, I would personally go with the D90 over 550D or 50D, but I am certainly a little biased towards Nikon, since I have been using their stuff for so many years now :)

      • 47.1.1) samuel
        June 30, 2010 at 3:22 am

        Hi Nasim,

        Thanks for the fast response and recommendation. I will go for D90 then.

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 3, 2010 at 9:51 pm

          Samuel, check out my latest post on the front page – has a great special weekend sale on the Nikon D90 if you live in the US.

  48. 48) Laura
    July 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Thanks so much for your helpful site. I also am debating between the Nikon D90 and the D5000. I actually bought both cameras last week while the Nikon rebate was in effect, and I plan on returning one of them.

    Here’s what I got: the Nikon D90 with a 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED AF-S VR DX Nikkor zoom lens and a Nikon 70-300 mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S Zoom Nikkon Lens. The total price for the camera and two lenses was $1,339.72.

    I also got the Nikon D5000 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5..6G VR and 55-200mm f/5.6G VR lenses for $849.95.

    I think I got a good deal on both … both are US versions and not “black market” cameras.

    Now I can not decide which one to keep. I like the idea of a tilt LCD and I also like the additional auto settings in the Nikon D5000. This will be my first DSLR camera, so having those auto settings is nice for while I’m learning. However, most importantly I want a camera with excellent image quality. I will mostly be taking pictures of my kids: a new baby and my son, who plays hockey and baseball. I’d also like to take close-up pictures of flowers and such, which I can then blow up to to hang on the wall. I also want to take portraits.

    Which camera would you recommend for these purposes? Would I need a macro lens to take close-ups and portraits for either camera, or will the kit lenses suffice? I know that one advantage of the D90 is you can purchase older lenses, which are cheaper. Overall, I want a camera that I can learn from and grow with, and most importantly, a camera that can produce detailed, sharp images.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • July 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

      Laura, I know it is hard choice for you, but I would personally keep the D90 :)

      It is of a higher class than the D5000 in terms of features and overall performance and it is also a great camera for a beginner. Don’t worry about the “Auto” features of the D5000 – you can quickly learn how to do the same with the D90, as long as you do not mind reading a little. Also, the lenses with the D90 are much better than the lenses you got with the D5000, especially the Nikon 70-300mm (I am assuming it is the VR version). You will be able to capture great images with this setup and portraits and close-ups will not be a problem. Down the road, if you feel the need to get a macro lens for extreme close-ups, you can certainly do so and any current & old macro lens will work with the D90. Lastly, the D90 is certainly a camera that you can grow with, while the D5000 is an entry-level camera.

      At the end of the day, both cameras are great, but given that the budget does not seem like a big problem for you, I would certainly keep the D90 instead of the D5000.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      • 48.1.1) Laura
        July 6, 2010 at 11:08 pm

        Hi Nasim,

        Thank you so much for your help. Yes, the 70-300 mm lens is the VR version. This was actually bought separately from the camera kit — do you recommend keeping this lens? Is this is a good lens for everyday use? As I mentioned, I will primarily be taking pictures of my baby, but I would also like to take photos of my son playing baseball and such — which I assume is when the 70-300 mm lens will come in handy? (Can you tell I’m new to this?)

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm

          Laura, absolutely, the Nikon 70-300mm VR is a wonderful lens and I know many professional photographers that use it for their needs. And yes, it will work great to photograph your son’s baseball games!

  49. 49) Bipin
    July 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm


    I decided yesterday to upgrade from point-and-shoot to the DSLR world. Spent all day today researching on the internet. Started with wanting a Rebel XSi (on a friend’s recomendation), then started looking at the D5000 and then the D90. Also spent a whole lot of time reading about lenses. I didn;t think i would like changing lenses often so quickly zeroed to 18-xxx category. The Nikon 18-200 had better reviews than the Canon 18-200 (e.g. no USM) so settled on D5000 or D90 over the XSi. Then found your website and got convinced that D90 is the way to go. And then read that the 18-105 might actually be a better choice than 18-200.

    So I had already settled on the D90 and 18-105 and THEN found the great 4th of July deal at Newegg listed on your homepage (i went to the homepage just to bookmark it). Saw this as a sign and just placed the order. The $160 off code worked like a charm. $989.99 for the D90 and the 18-105, no tax, no shipping.

    Can’t wait!

    Also, i read elsewhere that this particular lens is not well suited for filters since the filters almost touch the lens. Is that true? do i really need a filter (I am the careful type who will take good care of the lens when not in use (will probably invert the hood for storage).

    what bag do you recommend for this outfit?


    • July 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      Bipin, thank you for sharing your story :) Less than $1000 for a D90 with a lens is a steal! I have received many emails from readers thanking me for providing the link and there are many more happy D90 owners now :)

      In terms of filters, who told you that? Filters will certainly work with this lens, but I would recommend to get a good clear filter from B+W, Hoya or Tiffen. I would still get a filter, because it will be easier to clean, will serve as additional protection and will keep the resell value.

      If you are planning to buy a bag for your D90, go for the Kata bag. Check out my “Must have DSLR accessories” article for detailed recommendations.

      Let me know if you have any other questions and congratulations with your purchase!

  50. 50) Erin
    July 10, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Hi there, fantastic site!

    I have decided to upgrade from my p&s to dslr! I’m with some of the previous posters and I have spent weeks and endless research online about the differences between the d5000 and the d90 and I’m still incredibly torn. I’m leaning towards the d90….but who knows.

    What I was thinking is go with d5000 + 18-105 as well as the 35 mm 1.8 lens

    Other option is d90 with just the 18-105 lens.

    Which do you think is the better option for me? I’m looking to take photos on trips, hikes, kids (major piece), maybe learn to take some close ups. I’m definitely not looking to do anything professional with it all.

    My q’s I have are…I def notice the difference between the two viewfinders, is this really a big deal?

    I’ve heard that at higher ISO’s on the d5000 they can look rather fuzzy compared to d90, is this true? When would you use higher ISO’s in your photographs?

    Any other advice before I purchase?


    • 50.1) Erin
      July 10, 2010 at 12:33 am

      Sorry one other thing, since the changes in settings are through the menu on the d5000 rather than individual buttons, would this get annoying once I got used to using the camera?

      I’m also concerned about the screen on the d5000, jst not as good quality, will this make it difficult for me to judge how decent my photos are?

      thanks again,


      • July 17, 2010 at 12:50 am

        Erin, I don’t think the menu settings would get annoying – you would get used to using them. As far as the screen on the D5000, the only annoying thing is the fact that you have to constantly open and close it to view the images. I find it a little inconvenient to be honest.

    • July 17, 2010 at 12:48 am

      Erin, I apologize for a late response, have been extremely busy this past week.

      If you have the money, get the D90 + 2 lenses you’ve listed and don’t look back – it is an awesome camera, semi-professional level. If the budget is tough, get the D5000.

      And yes, the difference in viewfinders is huge – D5000 has a much smaller viewfinder.

      Regarding high ISO performance of the D5000 – who told that to you? Both cameras have identical sensors, so high ISO performance should also be identical. See this article with real high ISO comparisons.

      Who are you purchasing the camera+lenses from?

  51. 51) Holly
    July 10, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    OMG you have no idea how glad I am to have found a site that makes sense to me while looking at reviews. THANK YOU!!!

    I’m also a tortured soul with the same big decision to make… and I’m hoping I don’t bore you with my questions.

    I bought a Canon G11 p&s about 9 months ago. I LOVE this little guy. I’ve gotten to the point where I cannot NOT control my ISO & shutter speed without the external dials. I love those handy little dials! (which makes me lean towards the D90…) It’s a great, toss into my purse sort of camera. I am just a mom with control freak tendencies… and the G11 does give me a large amount of control…


    I have gotten SO frustrated with the distances that I can shoot at! Hence the need for a fancy camera with lenses… this will be my first DSLR…

    Primarily I like to shoot with no flash. I prefer using natural light. I shoot mainly close-up shots and like a nice bit of bokeh in the background. I really enjoy a very shallow field depth… What lense would that be??

    Beyond closeup shots of the kids (and the occasional macro shot) I need something that I can shoot in a dark auditorium for ballet shows. We aren’t allowed flash… And depending on tickets, we could end up at the very back of the place. What the heck size lenses do I need!!! I don’t want to go overboard on price, need a forklift to hold the thing up and I also don’t want to have to fight for tripod space in the aisle…I would love to be able to use the same lens for backstage shots at The Nutcracker and still be able to use that same lens from my seat.

    Also, I would like to know what type of lense I could use for packing around Disney (or other vacations) that would not be so cumbersome and heavy. I’ve been looking at the 35mm F/1.8 and the 50mm F/1.4… budget wise, the 35 wins out when I’m getting so much at once, but for vacation… well, I just don’t know. Are these even what I need for stuff like vacation shots???

    Also, I know I could use my G11 for short video shots, but does the D90 not have that at all? And also for the type of shooting I do, and the fact that I love my little swivel screen on the G11, would the D5000 be the better choice for me? (I keep tempting myself by looking at the D300s, but it’s just a bit to expensive for me to jump into.)

    I really appreciate any help you may offer. Sometimes too many choice are too much for me!!!


    • July 17, 2010 at 12:59 am

      Holly, looks like the D90 would be a better fit for you instead of the D5000. The extra controls on the D90 are definitely nice and it is a semi-professional camera, while the D5000 is an entry-level camera.

      In terms of lenses, if you want a very good looking bokeh, go for the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G – it produces better bokeh than the 35mm f/1.8G. The only problem might be the focal length, since 50mm is not going to let you fit too much into your frame.

      Now in terms of ballet shows, it all really depends on how far you are sitting from the performance and how lit the stage is going to be. What I would do if I were you, is after you get your D90, rent a lens such as Nikon 70-300mm VR and see how you like it to shoot ballet.

      Hope this helps, have a good weekend!

  52. 52) sandrixx
    July 11, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Hi Nazim. Assalamu alaikum. i Need your help,,, I am really new to Photography and want to start this hobby now. I recently bought a sony a500 but the availability of the lens/accessories for this camera is not good where i am right now. So I’m lookin’ at Nikon D90 vs. D5000. My thinkin’ is better get a “midrange” DSLR now and learn from it than buying an entry level and again upgrade to a new unit. Am i correct or not? I’m focusin’ on the D90,,, the package comes with the kit lens 18-105mm VR + a Tamron 70-300mm. any advice?… I just want to avoid the same mistake i did with the a500. many thanks brother.

    • July 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

      Sandrixx, Va Aleykum Assalam! Yes, you are correct – get the semi-pro D90 now and learn from it…

      The only thing is, I would not get the Tamron 70-300mm unless they are giving you a killer deal. Otherwise, I would go for a Nikon version instead.

      • 52.1.1) sandrixx
        July 17, 2010 at 8:02 pm

        Brother, I got the D90!! and very happy with my new toy,,heheh. plus the 18-105mm VR kitlens and the Tamron 70-300mm tele macro. so Is Tamron brand any good? I can’t afford those Nikkor lenses for now to be honest. Today I saw from the shop here the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 and way tooo expensive for me. What’s your recommended everday lens?… i think the 18-105 kitlens is fine for now….
        I would like to focus on shooting photos from a distance(zoomin’)/portrait/Macro/landscape

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 29, 2010 at 1:36 am

          Sandrixx, congratulations! The D90 will serve you well for years to come.

          Yes, the 18-105 kit lens is good for most needs, so don’t worry about other lenses for now.

  53. 53) Mary
    July 11, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    So I couldnt decide between the D90 and D5000 but I decided to purchase the D90. The D90 can be purchased at Newegg but before i purchase it there with the lens – there is another package deal which includes:
    18-55mm VR Zoom-NIKKOR Lens
    70-300mm VR Zoom-NIKKOR Lens
    plus a camera bag, chrger etc for 1439.99.

    • July 17, 2010 at 1:03 am

      Mary, good choice, the Nikon D90 will serve you well!

      The package deal sounds good, go for it if you feel that you will need a longer lens + accessories.

  54. 54) vincent
    July 14, 2010 at 11:17 am

    great article, it helps a lot for me as beginner..
    sir, i would like to ask if what is better to buy 18 – 105 lens or 35mmf/1.8G? im planing to buy d90 and it comes with a kit lens 18-105mm this week..thnx

    • July 17, 2010 at 1:04 am

      Vincent, if your D90 already comes with a kit 18-105mm lens, why do you want to get another one? If you are looking for a good second lens, then the 35mm f/1.8G is definitely worth buying.

      • July 17, 2010 at 8:09 am

        sir nasim, im just planning to buy d90 body, thats why i ask you sir what is the best lens for d90…is it ok to get 35mm f/1.8G or 50mm f/1.4D its quite expensive with 50mm f/1.4G ? because if i buy the kit it comes with 18 – 105mm!!! thank you sir..

        (18-105 0r 50mm f/1.4D)?????

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          July 29, 2010 at 1:40 am

          Vincent, sorry for a late reply!

          If you are deciding between 18-105mm and 35/50mm prime lenses, I would personally go for the 35mm f/1.8G prime to be honest. However, beginners find the 35mm quite limiting because of the fixed focal length… If you want to shoot portraits mostly, go for the 35mm. If you think you will be shooting more landscapes and architecture, then go for the 18-105mm kit lens instead.

          Hope this helps.

  55. 55) Bipin
    July 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I have been enjoying the D90 with 18-105 lens but already now want something better for indoor pictures without having to use the flash. I see that you highly recommend a prime 50mm or 35mm lens but i am a little confused about the choices, basically I think I have to choose one of each of the following:

    50mm or 35mm
    f1.8 or f1.4
    D or G lens

    Since I have the D90, I assume that the D lenses will work fine with autofocus, right? so which of the above do you recommend? I mainly want to be able to take indoor pictures of wife/kids/dog/parties etc. without having to use the flash. I also want good “bokeh”, I always liked the blurred background when some of my friends with SLRs showed me their pictures, but just now realizing that there’s actually a technical term for it.


    • July 17, 2010 at 1:07 am

      Bipin, if the choice is between 50mm f/1.8D and 35mm f/1.8G, I would go for the 35mm instead. It is sharper than the 50mm f/1.8D and the front element does not rotate, which is annoying on the 50mm if you want to use specialized filters like polarizing filter.

      The 35mm f/1.8G yields good-looking bokeh, but it is not superb. If you want the best-looking bokeh, you will have to go for the 50mm f/1.4G…

      Hope this helps.

  56. July 17, 2010 at 8:16 am

    sir nasim, im just planning to buy d90 body, thats why i ask you sir what is the best lens for d90…is it ok to get 35mm f/1.8G or 50mm f/1.4D its quite expensive with 50mm f/1.4G ? because if i buy the kit it comes with 18 – 105mm!!! thank you sir..

    (18-105 0r 50mm f/1.4D)?????

    • July 17, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      Vincent, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4D will work with the D90, but you might not bokeh on it due to the lens diaphragm. See my Nikon 50mm f/1.4D vs Nikon 50mm f/1.4G article for comparison.

      If 50mm is too expensive for you, the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G is also excellent. I would get the kit 18-105mm lens and a 35mm f/1.8G if I were you…

  57. 57) Erin
    July 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    no worries! Thanks for replying. I would buy the body and lens from future shop. I recall reading that there is a difference in iso’s online in some article, can’t remember which one. I was worried with this since it seemed like at high iso’s there was more “fuzziness” than the d90. Just wanted to confirm. The only thing I’m not fond about is the d90’s size, it is a teensy bit taller and definitely heavier.

    • July 29, 2010 at 1:43 am

      Erin, there is no difference in ISO performance between D90 and D5000, since both have the same sensor. However, the D90 has superior autofocus and is a better camera than the D5000, which is why I recommended it to you. As far as size, don’t be frightened by it – extra few grams and size here and there are not a problem. I shoot with pro-level cameras like Nikon D3s and trust me, D90 is a small camera in comparison!

  58. July 17, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    sir nasim, what if i will buy only one lens for d90? what lens should i get 18 – 105 0r 35mm f/1.8G? i just want to shoot my nephew and my family if theres party or outing.. thnx.. u help me a lot.

    • July 29, 2010 at 1:44 am

      Vincent, one more thing that I wanted to add – if you think you will be shooting indoors a lot, get the 35mm lens instead, because it is much faster than the 18-105mm. For outdoor photography, the Nikon 18-105mm works great, but indoors you will be forced to use flash.

  59. 59) sam
    July 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Hi Nasim,
    Just found your website. I have not seen it in detail but looks very good. I want your help. I currently use a point and shoot & now thinking of purchasing my first dslr. I am tight on budget & have shortlisted following things for purchase.
    1) D5000 with 18-55 vr kit lens (I cannot afford D90)
    2) Nikon 55-200 vr lens
    3) Nikon 50mm f1.8 D AF lens
    I know that 50mm lens will not autofocus with this camera but I can focus it manually. The main reason to choose this lense over 35mm f 1.8 is, It has manual aperture ring. So I can use it for macro shooting (using reverse lens macro method) and also for general purpose photos.
    I chose to buy 18-55 & 55-200 over 18-200 is because of price. 18-200 has its advantages but it is too much costly (more than double of 18-55 + 55-200). I was also thinking not to purchase 18-55 and using 50mm in its place. But then I cannot take wide photos with 50mm which I can get at 18mm in kit lens. Correct me if I am wrong.
    I think that these lenses will cover everything in general, But I am not sure.
    Will I regret buying a D5000? I will be happy to hear from you on all these. Thanks in advance.

    • July 29, 2010 at 1:47 am

      Sam, have you ever used a lens with manual focus? If not, I would not try it, especially on the D5000 with its tiny viewfinder. My suggestion is to start with a basic Nikon D5000 + 18-55mm VR kit and determine your needs after a while, once you learn how to use the gear.

      Don’t get me wrong, the 50mm f/1.8D is excellent. But I would not want to manually focus it, especially if I were a beginner.

  60. July 21, 2010 at 12:11 am

    sir nasim, 18-105mm or 35mm f/1.8g for d90? i dont have enough budget to buy dis 2 lens, i can only afford 1 lens..d90 body is my choice.Thnx sir nasim

    • July 29, 2010 at 1:47 am

      Vincent, I apologize for responding so late. Looks like you have been waiting for my response…I provided the response above.

  61. 61) Nuran Afrasiyabov
    July 27, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Hi Nasim.

    I have been reading through your site, and got a lot of information. thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us..doing a great job here..

    I bought nikon d5000 few days ago. When I wanna do contiguous shooting , it makes 4 frames per second only in first second, after it began to take one shoot per second. Is it the way it should work? or am i doing something wrong?

    • July 29, 2010 at 1:52 am

      Nuran, thank you for your feedback!

      That’s normal behavior – the speed of the camera depends on two things: a) buffer size, and it is not very big on the D5000 and b) memory card speed. You need to make sure that you are using a fast memory card, like the SanDisk extreme series. Otherwise, your bottleneck will be the write process. Also, consider reducing the size of your JPEG files, which can easily/quickly fill up the camera buffer.

      In terms of process, you take a picture, camera puts the image into a temporary buffer and then it starts dumping it from the buffer into a memory card. If the buffer fills up, the camera waits until the memory is released. If the memory card is slow, the buffer cannot get emptied quickly, so it will wait for the write process to complete first.

      Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

    • 61.2) Thom
      February 6, 2011 at 3:27 am

      I had this problem with my D5000, I had a class 10 card and it would only shoot 4 shots in sequence then it would only shoot one a second. This is a fault, at high quality (RAW) with a fast memory card you will get 11 shots.
      Take it back, it sounds like it is, as my first one was, faulty. The new one they gave me worked perfectly and in high quality jpeg mode I get 13 shots before it buffers and slows down.

  62. July 30, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    I bought the D5000 and love it….I am a total newbie but play with it as much as possible. I read tutorials then go play ha ha. Anyways, I am going to New York for Christmas and am wondering what is a great all around lens for shooting in the city. I only have the kit lens. I will be with 4 kids so I want to make life easy and not have to switch lenses. I am looking to spend no more then $250. Thanks in advance. I love your site!!

    • August 18, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Michelle, sorry for a late response. The 18-55mm kit lens should work fine for all-around photography. I don’t think you need another lens for that.

  63. 63) Halimbraz
    August 6, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Hi..good articles and very useful. TQVM..can U make a comparism between Nikon D5000 VS Canon 550D.

    • August 18, 2010 at 11:45 am

      Halimbraz, I would love to, but I am a Nikon shooter ;-) Maybe later, if I get some more time on my hands I could do more Canon gear. But for now, I will stick with Nikon…

  64. 64) maria
    August 7, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    i read your comparison to both cameras which I am really confused at…thanks for the review I am a traveller now starting in photography as one of my hobbies…i really want the d5000 for its LCD only the rest is in d90 feature…thanks for clearing it all out and i have my choice now the d90

    • August 18, 2010 at 11:46 am

      Maria, you are most welcome! Yes, the D90 is a terrific camera.

      • 64.1.1) jagan
        June 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm

        hi nasim, i am jagan.g from india. i recently purchased d90. i dont have much knowledge in photography. i am now studying the d90 big manual provided with camera for settings understanding and for better picture clarity in diff aspects. i have patience and interest to study guides and to become more innovative. could u plz suggest a good guide for complete knowledge on D90. hope u will help…..

  65. 65) Sandy
    August 8, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Hi Nasim,
    Your blog is very interested and helpful. Thank you for your time to write such a wonderful blog and the friendly way to respond to readers.
    After reading your comparing article between D90 and D5000, my mind is settled for D90. However, the F-error and hot pixels problems in D90 make me concern a lot. So I’d like to ask you that have you ever encounterred those F-error and hot pixels as you used the D90 ? Are they little problems to deal with or big problems ?…
    Besides the prime lens 50mm f/1.4G for indoor and low-light environments, if I want to buy a D5000, what is the best lens for D5000 to use outdoor ? (i.e. to use all around most of the time . I don’t want to change lens very often!). I use camera to take photos of my daughter’s piano recital, games, family’s event, and for travelling as well ). And the same question with a D90. I don’t want to spend more than $600. :)
    Once again, thank you for your time.

    • August 18, 2010 at 11:54 am

      Sandy, sorry for a late response.

      In terms of F-error, it is usually easily fixed by cleaning the contacts both on the lens and on the camera body. I know many D90 shooters and they do not have any problems with the dreaded “F-” error. So, I think the number of F-error problems is rather small. When it comes to hot pixels, don’t sweat over them either! Lightroom 2/3 automatically removes hot pixels from images, so I do not even notice them anymore. Hot pixels typically show up in images shot at higher ISOs (typically above ISO 400). Even if you get a perfect camera in the beginning, it will most likely develop some hot pixels overtime. So far I have shot with four Nikon bodies from D80 to D3s and I have hot pixels in every single one of them. Hot pixels are not a feature of a particular camera or a sensor – it is just a fact of digital sensors, just like dust.

      In terms of lenses, check out the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G – it is an excellent lens and it is cheap. I would get the kit lens with the 35mm…

  66. 66) Holly
    August 9, 2010 at 6:39 am

    I just wanted to follow-up and say that the D90 is a FABULOUS camera. I couldn’t be happier. I nearly went with the D5000 because of price, but I believe I would’ve been disappointed… or even bored… with it. The D90 looks intimidating when compared to the D90, but as a novice I have quickly gotten used to the settings and just love it! Thank you for your help!

    • 66.1) Holly
      August 9, 2010 at 6:40 am

      sorry, that should have said “The D90 looks intimidating when compared to the D5000″…

    • August 18, 2010 at 11:55 am

      Holly, you are most welcome! I’m glad you are enjoying your D90 – it is a terrific camera!

  67. August 14, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Thanks for this..

    But the upcoming D3100 will definitely make we want to ditch my D90

    • August 18, 2010 at 11:57 am

      Joenel, you are most welcome! The D3100 will be announced today, but do not worry – your D90 is still going to have more features than the D3100 and is still overall a better camera. Don’t just look at megapixels and ISO range…those are used as marketing tools. I will be comparing the D90 with the D3100 very soon and we’ll see who wins.

  68. 68) piasa
    August 17, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    hi nasim, im trying to buy another dslr after my sony a300, i have been an avid amateur photographer for 2 years now, and im thinking of an upgrade, i’m stuck on either d90 or d5000, u mentioned d5000 has only 23 customs functions and the d90 has 41, is this something to consider? i have never used a nikon before so im not sure, does the d5000 have the “major” or best functions of the d90? I initially want a camera that gives amazing photos with sufficient settings that i can play around with. I dont want to spend alot, please advice me should I buy a d5000 or d90? if i buy a d5000 do u think i would need to update it in the future? or is it something that will last me 5 years?

    do u think i should wait for a d90?
    i need ur opinion, thankyou for reading this , please advice soon.

    • August 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Piasa, absolutely! If your budget can accommodate the D90, go for it instead of the D5000. The D5000 has the same sensor as the D90, but it is an entry-level camera vs a semi-professional camera.

      By the way, Nikon will be releasing a D3100 tonight…

  69. 69) Duncan
    August 20, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Nasim

    Like a number of the posts here, I am new to SLR and have yet to make the choice of D5000 or D90. One thing I’m not sure of is would the extra scene modes on the D5000 assist a novice? By that I mean if I use the appropriate scene mode and see what settings the camera chose for the photo. From there I can try tweaking the settings in manual mode.


    • 69.1) Duncan
      August 21, 2010 at 12:16 am

      I also meant to ask which kit would you recommend. The twin lense 18-55mm VR & 55-200mm VR or the single lense 18-105mm VR. The price for either in Australia is pretty much the same.

      • September 2, 2010 at 12:29 am

        Go for the single 18-105mm instead of 18-55 & 55-200mm. Less lenses to swap will result in less dust on your sensor.

    • 69.2) Duncan
      August 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

      Sorry, keep thinking of more to add.

      My main reason for wanting to get an SLR is to photograph my two young children (3 months & 2 1/2 years) as they grow up. So would like to be able to take low noise photos of them indoors as well as capture them playing outside.

      With the lense choice I was thinking the 18-105mm VR simply to avoid having to change lenses when with the children. I have read some info that mentions a few issues (eg distortion) with this lense, mainly down around 18mm. When mentioning this to some friends they have said you can fix most minor issues with a good photo editor on the PC.

      • September 2, 2010 at 12:30 am

        Duncan, the 18-105mm would be a good choice for general photography, but you might want to get a faster lens like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G or Nikon 50mm f/1.4G for children…

    • September 2, 2010 at 12:29 am

      Duncan, forget about scene modes – they are junk. I never use anything but Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual.

      • 69.3.1) Duncan
        September 2, 2010 at 5:02 am

        Thank you very much for all your advice Nasim, very much appreciated.

    • 69.4) Duncan
      September 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm

      Well I finally got my camera, I went for the D90 with 18-105mm VR lense. Only had it a day but already very happy. Looking forward to learning how to use it now : )

  70. 70) nafiul
    August 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    hi nasim. first of all i’d like to thank you for your enthusiastic endeavor in providing suggestions to photography maniac. I’m a raw newbie and I’m really confused about the D90 over D5000. what do you suggest for a newbie to start in photography? D90 or D5000?

    • September 2, 2010 at 12:31 am

      Nafiul, if money is not an issue, go for the D90. If it is a stretch, go for the D5000.

  71. 71) Debasish Bishnu
    September 2, 2010 at 2:42 am


    Thanks very much for your recommendation. I have purchased my D90 with 18-105mm and yes, you are correct, it’s a wonderful camera. I will take a 35mmf/1.8G very soon.

    I like to know how to save my camera from fungus from salty air of sea side. Infact I faced this issue before with my Cannon 350d. There were all around fungus on mirror and lens after taken photograph on sea side. I would appreciate if you give some suggestion as it is quite simple and helpful.

    Thanks again for your suggestion to choose D90.


    • September 17, 2010 at 12:36 am

      Debashish, there is not much you can do with protecting the lens from fungus in humid environments. I would certainly store the equipment in a zip bag and make sure not to leave it for extended periods of time without one…

  72. 72) Prathyush
    September 5, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Dear nasim,
    you are doin a great job.. hats off

    I am planing to Nikon buy D 5000, since i have some budget problem..! so i would like to know, about 2 Prime lenses. what you suggest, Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF or Nikon 35mm f1.8 DX.. i have read that the 50 mm wont AF in D 5000 but the 35 mm does that. so what you recommend? need your valuable advice.

    (The offer on a retail store here in Saudi Arabia is Nikon D 500o with 18-55mm lens + Tamron 70-300mm for 935 $) please advice about his offer.

    thanks in advance. :)

    • September 17, 2010 at 12:37 am

      Prathyush, I would certainly go for the 35mm f/1.8 DX – you do not want to manually focus the 50mm f/1.8D…

  73. 73) Erin
    September 6, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I have noticed that sometime this month Nikon will be announcing a replacement of the d90. It is supposed to be the d7000. I’ve noticed the pricing of the d90 seems to be dropping. Should I wait it out to see what the d7000 will be like or not worry about it and go with the d90?

    What do you think about the newest specs on the d7000? I’m a beginner and so I’m wondering if I should just stick with the d90 compared to what it seems to be a more advanced d7000.

    Thanks for your help!


    • September 17, 2010 at 12:39 am

      Erin, yes, the D7000 has already been announced and the price of the D90 has dropped. But the D7000 is not a replacement of D90 – it is a whole new camera and the price point is obviously much higher.

      If your budget cannot accommodate the D7000, I would stay with the D90.

  74. 74) almah
    September 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm


    you’re blog is so informative and yes, D90 is nearly a a high end prosumer camera…im glad i bought it.

  75. 75) ketan
    September 14, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Hello sir,
    my name is ketan…….i have recently got in to photography……& im planning 2 buy a slr………im verry confused i have 2 options nikon d5000 or canon d450 i relly need ur help plz suggest……

    • September 17, 2010 at 12:40 am

      Ketan, can’t really help you much on the Canon side!

      • 75.1.1) ketan
        September 18, 2010 at 7:36 am

        so does that mean i shuldn go for the cannon d450……….or rather wuld u lyk 2 suggest me wid a bettr option………..plz help sir………plz…….

        • Profile photo of Nasim Mansurov Nasim Mansurov
          October 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

          Ketan, I do not know much about Canon gear, that’s why I said that I could not be of much help.

  76. 76) Joe
    November 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Dear Nasim,

    I am currently using D5000 and I was talking to one of my friend and he’s having the D90. I kinda played with the D90 and I kinda liked it. My D5000 is only 3 months old. Now do you think I should sell my 5000 and get the D90 or just should stick with what I have rite now??

    The main reason I bought this camera because I wanted to take some pictures of my family. I have a 1 year old baby..and D5000 works fine but inside of my heart keep saying that I made the wrong choice with 5000?? Should I upgrade to D90? Do you think its just wasting money??

    Please let me know..I really don’t wanna make any dumb mistakes.

    • November 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Joe, just stick with your D5000 and don’t worry about selling it. You should learn how to use your equipment, rather than being stuck with the idea that you need a better camera. Remember, it is you who creates an image!

      I personally think that upgrading to D90 would a be a waste of money for you…

  77. 77) vineet
    November 7, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Hi Nasim
    Per your advice I have bought D90 & loving it. This is my first DSLR.
    But I am feeling like there is lot to learn for me.

    But looks like I’ve all the controls to play with and need to practice more.


    • November 17, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      Vineet, learn, learn and learn, and then practice and learn! :)

  78. 78) SSL
    November 16, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Hi! Nasim,
    I am moving to a DSLR camera after having used all kids of smaller digitals (Sony cybershot, Nikon coolpix, and the latest being Panasonic lumix) . I use my camera for indoor and outdoor pictures, mainly of people. I also take many pictures of jewelry for my work.
    Do you recommended the D5000 or the D90? I need a camera that will add value to my photography, but i don’t need something super professional.
    My brother has recommended the D5000 with the nikon 18.200 lens and the 35mm 1.8g lens.
    What is your advise.
    Thanks a ton.

    • November 17, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      SSL, the Nikon D5000 is now discontinued by Nikon. I would either get the D90 or the new Nikon d3100. Get it with the 35mm f/1.8G lens and skip the 18-200mm for now.

      • 78.1.1) Noelle
        December 26, 2010 at 10:25 pm

        hello nasim! hmm, may i know why D5000 is now being discontinued by nikon? is it because of what i’ve been reading in the reviews that D5000 has many flaws like it turns off anytime, for example? does that mean nikon is recalling the D5000? im considering buying a DSLR so your opinion is much appreciated. thanks!

        • Rahul
          December 27, 2010 at 1:11 am

          Nikon did recall D5000 for a power source defect, but those have since been fixed. You can verify the serial number against Nikon’s list . It is safe to buy a D5000, it’s been discontinued as there will be a replacement (new) model , probably called D5100 just as D3100 replaces D3000. The new model is still some time away, so don’t wait up if you need to get a camera soon.

  79. 79) Pat Nathan
    November 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Like many of the readers here, I bought the D5000 about six months ago, because I could not afford the D90 then. I now have the following lenses to go with my D5000 – the kit lenses 18-55VR, 55-200VR, 55-300VR ( I wanted the reach for some nature photography ), and the Tamron 90mm Macro( which produces fantastic portrait shots as well, though it does not have image stabilization ). This combination has served me well, and the quality of my photos is improving steadily.
    I am now thinking of maybe upgrading. Eventually, I want to make some money with my camera by shooting parties, weddings etc. ( i.e. low light/fast moving situations ). I’ve saved enough money now to get the D300s. I’ve heard that this is a fantastic camera for low light situations, and being a pro camera, is far better than the D5000. But what I could also do for starters is just get a good fast prime lens like the 50mm f1.4 ( compatible with the D5000 ), and learn more about shooting parties and weddings for now and think of getting the D300s or its replacement in about a year’s time.
    Your invaluable advice would be most appreciated by me.

    • 79.1) Rahul
      November 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm


      here I’m sure Nasim will recommend the D7000 over D300S. It has better high ISO performance, costs less and loses only in AF and fps ; the magnesium body will not be of much consequence for wedding shoots. That said, it might have better metering than the D300S . Just about everyone is convinced the D7000 is the best DX Nikon yet.

    • December 7, 2010 at 4:33 pm

      Pat, I am sorry for not being able to respond right away. As Rahul pointed out above, I would certainly recommend the Nikon D7000 over Nikon D300s, simply because it is overall a better camera at a lower price. At the same time, you could upgrade your camera any time later, so I would not make it a big priority to upgrade now, unless your images are suffering from limitations of your camera. As you have indicated, you might want to get a good prime lens like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G now instead of upgrading your camera and really learn as much about the wedding photography as you can…

      Hope this helps.

  80. 80) Griffith
    November 22, 2010 at 5:15 am

    i stumbled upon your article as i was searching for the common “D5000 vs D90” topic.. I just got home from a workshop and most of the participants, say 70% uses D90… and im the only guy with the D5000. But didn’t stop me from getting great images though… I’m loving my D5000…

    i would like to ask a piece of advice, i’m considering my first lens upgrade, currently i have an 18-55mm kit lens… i want to have less lens shifting moments and more shooting moments. what would you advice me as a multipurpose lens.


    • December 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm

      Griffith, I apologize for a late response – trying to catch up with all the comments now.

      Great point about the Nikon D5000 – it is a great camera and it should not stop you from getting good images :) Now in terms of lens choice, it depends on what you shoot. I personally do not like “all around multipurpose” lenses, because they are no better than your 18-55mm lens. Instead, I would recommend to get a prime/fixed lens for portraiture. Take a look at the cheap Nikon 35mm f/1.8G or the more expensive Nikon 50mm f/1.4G – both are superb and the 50mm will yield more pleasing background blur than the 35mm f/1.8G.

  81. 81) John
    November 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Hi Nasim,

    Your blog is very informative and equally interesting is the forum Q’s and your responses. Great job!!

    I am a novice who has never owned a DSLR and am planning to get one by Dec. I have done some research and have shortlisted D3100, D5000 or D90.
    -D3100 for its newness, latest EXPEED II processor and (apparently) impressive image quality.
    -D5000 cos its cheaper than D3100 and contains all its features. I heard this model has been discontinued but its still available.
    -D90-For its overall specs, ease of use and very high opinion among users. Camera lenses are also cheaper for D90. One point of concern is that it has been on the market for over 2 years, so will I end up with an outdated model ? Also from a novice perspective, would you recommend this camera?

    I dont plan to upgrade for atleast 5 years. Price is a concern, but if its really good I dont mind putting down 750GBP (its pretty expensive in the UK as compared to US) for D90+ 18-105mm lens. D5000 costs 600 GBP and D3100 about 670GBP (both with 18-105mm lens). Please advice.

    Also please suggest what type of memory card to be purchased with the cam – I mean in terms of memory card speed so that the cam performance does not drag.


    • 81.1) Griffith
      November 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm


      with regards to your question about “novice perspective” i’ve seen a lot of guys just starting out with photography that are using D90’s already. Im a D5000 user, between the D5000 and D90, with a year of experience with D5000, i’d like to switch to D90 because of its built-in motor.. there are a lot of beautiful lenses and affordable too that wont auto focus with D5000… if i were you, i wont mind spending a little more with D90. You just have to bargain though, tilt-and-swivel LCD or the built-in AF Motor.

      with regards to D3100, i cant comment on it as i have no first hand experience…

      in the end, choose the camera that best fits your needs..

      – Griffith..

      • 81.1.1) John
        December 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

        Thanks Griffith.

        I tried out D90 and D3100 recently. D90 feels large and heavy and just about fits into my hand while the D3100 feels a bit small, but it is significantly lighter. I think I will go with D90, waiting for better deals to show up closer to christmas :)

    • 81.2) Rahul
      November 29, 2010 at 10:37 pm


      if you like low light and/or fast action shooting, the D90 is the best for this due to prism viewfinder and faster shooting rate, and you get more manual control if you like to control the exposure than let the camera decide. The non AF-S lenses aren’t always that cheap save for a few , but it does offer wider range of compatible lenses. In terms of being outdated, I don’t think the D90 is date, the only advantage the D90 loses to D3100 is in image processor, video and noise reduction algorithm but test images don’t show much difference. But the price difference can get you an additional lens like a 35mm 1.8G .

      For media, a class 6 SD card should be all you need, this segment of cameras most likely will not write faster with higher class ( 8 or 10) cards.

    • December 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      John, I apologize for a late response.

      If budget is not an issue, I would certainly recommend the Nikon D90 – it is a phenomenal camera and a great value, especially given the current dropped price (at least in US). Sure a new D90 will be released next summer, but I personally wouldn’t care, since you can use the D90 for years and get great pictures.

      In terms of memory cards, get a class 10 SDHC card – those are very cheap nowadays.

  82. 82) Sunil
    November 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    I came across your post while comparing D5000 and D90. I did read thru some of the posts. But still I wanted to ask you the same question, which camera to choose.

    Here are some of my requirements:
    1) I want to take lot of pictures of our newborn (2 months old)
    2) Mostly potraits indoor
    3) Some of the landscapes
    4) I dont think I will be using lot of photography other than taking pictures of my newborn and family.

    Budget is a big issue for me. Could you please suggest me which to choose. Also suggest me lenses especially to get sharp and crisp pictures of my newborn.

    THank you in advance.


    • 82.1) Rahul
      November 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm

      hi Sunil

      What is your budget for body + lens ? While I use a D90 choosing it over the D5000 and D3100, I suggest you get the D3100 (cheapest of the 3 Nikons in India) and performs similarly well if not better at high ISO. The D5000’s unique feature is the swivel screen, which is useful if you frame shots from different angles in Live view mode, other than that nothing much to choose the D5000 over D3100. The D5000 has exposure bracketing which D3100 does not, and shoots faster (4fps vs 3fps), but is not relevant for portraits and landscape shooting (may be once the kid grows up ! ); the D3100 has better video capability.

      For lenses, the 35mm f/1.8G and 18-55mm VR kit should suffice most people-oriented shooting. If you shoot landscapes a lot, you may want a wide angle lens ; but save that for later when you find the 18-55 not wide enough or not bright/focussed enough for large field-of-view shots.

      If this still does not fit your budget, you can pick another brand – the Canon EOS 1000D is much cheaper and shoots well, you only lose a little in low light and manual operation , and has no video at all. The same price as D3100 with 18-55 kit will get you a 1000D + 18-55 (non-IS) lens + INR 9000 for a 35 or 50mm prime lens.

    • December 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

      Sunil, Rahul gave some great advice below and I agree with everything he said.

      Thank you for filling in Rahul, you are a big help!

      • 82.2.1) adelaida
        March 1, 2011 at 5:21 am

        Hello, from Argentina! I have been studying photography and using a nikon d5000. I will be focusing in newborn this year and I want to buy a new camera. Is D90 ok, for this type of photography? and which lenses should I look for.
        Thank you very much for your time,
        Kind regards from Tres Arroyos

  83. 83) dhose
    November 30, 2010 at 1:02 am

    hi,,,, what would you recommend for a newbie like me,,,,D90 or D5000…..thanks,,, im looking forwar for your responce

    • 83.1) Duncan
      November 30, 2010 at 2:08 am

      I know people need advise and I have received some great advice from Nasim, but seriously…ask some specific questions. That’s like asking should I buy a small car or a large car. Both cars, but what do you want it for, a city runabout or a family car. That’s just a waste of the poor guys time.

      • December 7, 2010 at 4:52 pm

        Thank you Duncan. At some point, I will simply stop responding to such comments :)

    • 83.2) Duncan
      November 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

      Read this entire topic and there are some great tips on which to buy.

    • December 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Dhose, as Duncan pointed out above, please read the above info and comments.

  84. 84) heather
    December 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm


    So i am just beginning into the world of photography. i will be primarily using the camera for on location portrait shoots in natural light ( after of course i learn what i’m doing :) ) and then in a few years maybe onto weddings. So i am trying to decide between the nikon D5000 or the D90. If i get the D5000 i can get the 50mm 1.4g if i get the D90 i will have to get the 1.8. My budget can be $1300 but i would love to spend less if it makes more sense.
    So here are my questions :

    1. Will i outgrow the D5000 and have to upgrade in less then 5years?
    2. Is the D5000 a capable enough body to allow me to pursue a business in the line of photography that i desire?
    3. Is the 1.4 really worth the extra money over the 1.8 for what i want to do?
    4. Are these body kits worth it for the extra $$ or better to get JUST the body alone : or
    and same question for the lens kits: or
    5. are there any other accessories i should buy to do this kind of photography that i need to consider into my budget?

    Thank you!!

    • 84.1) Rahul
      December 4, 2010 at 2:32 am

      If you like to have a greater degree of control over camera settings rather than let the camera decide the best settings, the D90 suits that style better. Other than that, they share the same sensor so the differences are mainly in controls, penta-mirror vs prism viewfinder and AF motor in the D90. As for the D5000 being capable, if you get great images and the clients likes them, they can’t tell if it came from a D5000 or a 5D.

      Generally I’d prefer a wider aperture lens if I can afford it, you can use 1.4 at 1.8, but not a 1.8 at 1.4. If you are sure the zoom flexibility is not needed, then buying the body only makes sense; the kit lens are great for general outdoor use and ok with flash indoors; for specialized shooting you already have the primes in mind. Accessories – polarizing filter if shooting in bright sunlight , a stable tripod. A spare battery if you shoot a lot or use flash a lot. Possibly external flash unit.

    • December 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      Heather, the Nikon D5000 is now discontinued, so get the D90 instead.

      In terms of fast aperture lenses, it is not just the extra speed you are gaining with f/1.4, but also a different class/quality lens. Are the f/1.4 lenses worth the extra money – it depends. For personal use, not as much, but for business use, absolutely! If you decided to go with the D5000, don’t buy the f/1.8D lenses, because they won’t autofocus.

      As for accessories, check out “must-have DSLR accessories” article.

  85. 85) Sassy
    December 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    Thank you for your candid reviews of the Nikon cameras. It really has answered several questions for me.

    Currently I am considering the Nikon D90 or D3100. Currently I shoot alot of outdoor shots, and want to move toward some low light indoor shots of bands while they play, and possibly do photo shoots for them.
    Which would you recommend for this broad range, and also which lens would work best?

    Currently, I am using a Canon Powershot A620, and blur seems to be a problem when I do not use my tripod.

    I need to know which camera to recommend to Santa Claus.

    Thank you!

    • 85.1) Rahul
      December 4, 2010 at 2:54 am


      If budget is not very tight, the D90 will give you a wider choice of lenses that will auto-focus vs the D3100. If you use the viewfinder to frame the shot rather than rear LCD, the D90’s viewfinder is bigger & brighter; and the D90’s LCD has better resolution 920,000 pixels vs the D3100’s 230,000 pixels.

      Which lens ? Depends at what distance from your subject you shoot at. A 35mm or lesser focal length lens will offer a wider scene from close distances, like 10-15 feet away. I find the 50mm a little to narrow in terms of angular coverage for indoor shots. But venues with live bands would have more room to move about, so try out a 50mm and 85mm lens in a shop if you can, to get an idea of how wide coverage you want.

      Else there are fast zooms available that offer flexibility to shoot from different distances and coverage. Look up the 16-85 Nikkor prices, 28-70 f/2.8 Nikkor and Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 .
      You will not regret buying a 35mm and/or 50mm fast prime, such as 35mm f/1.8G or 50mm f/1.8D.
      Any -D (eg 50mm 1.4D , 85mm 1.8D )type lens will not auto-focus on the D3100, but it will on the D90.

      • 85.1.1) Sassy
        December 6, 2010 at 10:51 pm

        Thank you for your ultra-fast response! I really appreciate your insight.


        • Rahul
          December 7, 2010 at 7:03 am

          You’re welcome ; one thing – I might be wrong on the -D type lenses compatibility – the D3100 requires AF-S or AF-I lenses , although off-hand I don’t know of any AF-S or AF-I lens that is also a D-type, there could be such a lens. Bottom-line : only AF-S and AF-I lenses will auto-focus on D3100, other lenses (AF) will have to be focused manually.

    • December 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Sassy, looks like you got some good help from Rahul.

  86. 86) Maha
    December 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I found this very helpful, but sadly i ordered the d5000 before reading this, am i losing out on this big???? coz its very depressing if i am. when i was going for the d90 the guys at the sales point were saying 90 is old etc and telling abt features it lacks compared to its later models. I have shot with the d90 and a few others in some fashion spreads and have learnt on d90 and a few others for product photography. I will mostly be using the 5000 for outdoor shoots, and indoor portraits, covering events like weddings so there will be lots of colours and different lighting like dim or alot of it. Since i havent yet got my hands on the camera. What should i expect to come with the camera??? the kit comes with it? what lense are there? any other suggestions will be much appreciated. I love how you thoroughly respond to your readers. Oh and i am only just getting into the photography business will probably buy another camera soon. Please advise what should be next in line to d5000! thanks loads.

    • 86.1) Maha
      December 7, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      also about the flash commander mode, didnt quite get that!!!! i need to know what im losing out on! this has already got me so depressed!

    • December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm

      Maha, if you shot with the Nikon D90 and learnt how to use it, why did you get the D5000? Is it because of price?

      The Nikon D5000 is now discontinued too. If budget is an issue and you got your D5000 at a good price, don’t worry about anything and just learn how to take good pictures. The D5000 is still a pretty good camera for its price.

      • 86.2.1) Maha
        December 8, 2010 at 3:12 pm

        i got it coz i’d been told i need to do better than d90, n certain people gave their criticisms. Although to me it was the best nikon slr to date. Ive also been hearing raving reviews of the d7000. But bfr i could know about that id already placed the order for d5000.

        Nasim can you advise on what lens to get. initial ones to practice with. Outdoor photography and portraits. i personally love the fish eye my work would require that since i love doing interior shoots. But any other lens you think would be great to cpture details of products??

        Btw what lens come with the kit? and does the kit come with the camera or its to be bought seperately? sorry its the first time ive placed an order to someone. Ive been using camera from the studio before. and it wasnt my own studio then!

        Thanks and regards


  87. 87) Perfshot
    December 8, 2010 at 9:01 am

    I love how accurate the answers being provided to each question being given…Nasim and Rahul..I salute you…I wish I can someday be one of you guys..

    I have a D5000 and still a newbie but already managed to attend photoshoots made some amazing photos…its just that I think I need more practice and experience and knowledge in line of photography…

    You guys are right that d90 has the means and I am planning to switch my d5000…coz I know I am already taking the next steps and require more needs…

    Thank you Guru’s!!!

    • 87.1) Rahul
      December 9, 2010 at 12:04 am

      hi Perfshot,

      I’m no guru and not even close yet ! I’m relatively new to DSLRs although I got familiar with the techniques on my compact before deciding to go DSLR ; but still have a long long way to becoming a guru.
      The D5000 is very similar to D90 if image quality is your main concern and not the handling/feel or the lens compatibility and frame rate (again 4 vs 4.5 is not much of a difference ), so save the money for upgrading to next generation of DSLRs. Switch to D90 only if it has something you need or something the D5000 does not have and prevents you from taking shots that you could on a D90.

  88. 88) Pat Nathan
    December 11, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Hi Maha,

    Do not put the D5000 down. It’s IQ is equal to that of D90, and it is lighter. I already own a D5000, but went out and got the D90 as well due mainly to the fact that I could not afford the D7000 yet, and also to make use of the many features of the D90 that are lacking in the D5000.
    But there are some advantages of having the D5000. Today for example, I went out with the D90, to which were attached the battery grip and a 300mm lens. After a few hours of shooting, my neck and hands felt sore because of the weight of this combination. I then changed to the D5000 with the kit lens 55-200mm. How light it was! I could then really concentrate on my shooting rather than worrying about the pain. And no one could tell apart the images produced by the D5000 and that from D90. I will certainly not be selling my D5000. Instead, I’ll get a good walkabout lens for it like the Sigma 18-250mm, and have the camera near me always.


  89. 89) Noone
    December 23, 2010 at 12:35 am

    I recently got my Nikon D5000 kit lens and after a month of using it. I thought of getting the D90 instead. I haven’t actually tried to use a D90 but with it’s other features that a D5000 doesn’t have, I think it is okay for an upgrade. I am planning to sell my D5000, do you think it’s worth it?

    • 89.1) Rahul
      December 23, 2010 at 6:53 am

      Which features/capabilities do you miss, that the D90 has and the D5000 doesn’t ? The most important difference between the 2 is the AF motor and hence lenses that can AF on them. Unless you intend to get non AF-S lenses, there’s not so much separating the two so as to upgrade, and if you’re shooting portraits or landscapes, you can use manual focus as a workaround.

  90. 90) Melinda
    December 28, 2010 at 11:43 am

    I am currently deciding between the D5000 and the D90.
    I own an old Nikkor 80-200mm lens.
    Will I be able to use this lens with either of these cameras?
    Thanks so much for your help,

    • 90.1) Rahul
      December 29, 2010 at 10:50 am


      Which lens is it, the (older) 80-200 AF-D or (newer) 80-200 AF-S ? If it’s AF-D, it will mount and auto-focus on the D90 ( on D5000 it will mount but you have to focus manually ). If it is the AF-S, then it will work fine on both D5000 and D90.

  91. 91) Ignacio Ottati
    December 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm


    First of all thanks for the blog, is great for newbies like myself. I just had a question. I just got the Nikon D5000 with the 18-55mm lens and the 55-200mm lens. I know i have to buy a filter in order to protect my lenses, but does it matter if I don´t get a nikon filter? most people tell me that is better to spend $25 in 1 Nikon filter than the same $25 on three generic ones. So what would you recommend?

    Thanks in advance, I appreciate it.

    • 91.1) Rahul
      December 29, 2010 at 11:00 am


      if you’re considering only physical protection of the lenses, then careful handling will go a lot farther than care-free handling thinking you have a filter on. Filters are put for their optical effects, not to protect lenses (that’s what lens caps are for ). Some cheap filters are known to significantly reduce the light reaching the sensor, but filters like B&W , Hoya are considered good with only minor reduction is light transmission . Nonetheless all filters will reduce some of light passing on to the sensor – so be sure what/when you want to use them for , it’s certainly no good putting filters in low-light scenes. I don’t know/never heard of Nikon brand filters.

      • 91.1.1) Mike Group
        July 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

        Rahul,..I have several “Nikon Brand” filters. Have the superior nikkor glass,..but not cheap.

  92. 92) Chisb
    January 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Nasim, I have D5000 but one thing dissapointed me is its colour tone (I always shoot in JPEG instead of RAW). It produces unrealistic (not natural) colours
    I still love my old D70s and D40x, it has more natural colours.
    How about D90, is it has same colour tone with D5000?

    • 92.1) Rahul
      January 6, 2011 at 7:38 am

      The D90 sensor is very similar – there may be minor differences like the AA filter, so expect D90 to have similar output.
      In what way are the colors unrealistic ? What kind of lighting are you shooting in (sunset, indoors with fluorescent lamps, incandescent bulb) ? Either your white balance is mis-set or saturation is too high. Look up these settings , mainly white balance and saturation . I suspect you might be happier with lower saturation if you’re getting the wrong colors in good daylight.

      • 92.1.1) Gustavo
        June 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm


        I agree with Chisb, when you put the D5000 and the old D40 in auto mode, both take different pictures. D40 is better (more natural colors) in indoor / low light situations. It looks like a white balance problem in auto mode. Have you heard about it?


        • Rahul
          June 12, 2011 at 12:41 am

          Since the D5000 and D40 probably use the same metering module, I expect the difference would be in calibration or conversion of the RGB array, perhaps owing to the way CCD sensors differ from CMOS. I can’t say my D90 makes unnatural colours, but then I haven’t shot as many colorful subjects like say macaws or flower-filled gardens to compare colors as the eye sees vs as the camera records, the few flowers I did click seem close enough.

          • Gustavo
            June 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm

            Thank you for your response. I have no problem with outdoor pics. With a good natural light, the pics are perfect.
            This problem occurs mainly in indoor/low light situations. I am trying to calibrate the white balance before shooting.

  93. 93) Jeff
    January 10, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Nasim,

    A friend and I are amateur photographers getting into the dSLR world and looking to share lenses to offset costs. I have someone who wants to sell me a D90 cheap; my friend just bought a D5k with the 18-55mm/70-300mm lenses. His main subject matter will be architecture and landscapes, mine will be sports photography and basic portraiture. Looking for suggestions on the best complimentary lenses to get that we can share and have some decent range to shoot and grow?

    • January 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      Jeff, architecture/landscapes and sports/portraiture are different types of photography, so you would not be able to share similar professional-level lenses. He would be shooting with wide-angle lenses and you need fast-aperture, long lenses.

      • 93.1.1) Jeff
        January 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm

        I was thinking that I may be getting more use out of his 70-300 f/4-5.6G than him? Perhaps that should be my main lenses and he get something else?

        • Rahul
          January 26, 2011 at 12:58 am

          I agree, for your sports shooting the 70-300 fits your bill far better than your friend. For your friend, he can stick with the 18-55 and try if it suffices, because better wide angle lenses are expensive (for someone who’s buying a D5000, certainly) so better to be sure that the 18-55 isn’t sufficient before spending for better lenses. If it comes to that, Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 and Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 are the ones I’d pick , and if budget/preference for was for Nikkors, I’d choose Nikon’s 16-85mm. There are other better Nikkors, but they cost a good lot more.

          Not to forget, there are good primes which don’t cost all that much but most will not auto-focus on the D5000 but the AF-S 35mm 1.8G will AF with the D5000.

  94. 94) Sophie
    January 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Hi, Nasim,

    Thanks for the blog, it’s really helpful. I’m wondering about different models on the market. Is the USA model better than the Imported model? Thanks.

    • 94.1) Rahul
      January 26, 2011 at 12:59 am

      Nikons are made in Japan, China and Thailand so they’re all imported models ;) . Which do you have in mind ?

  95. 95) fareez fazal
    January 19, 2011 at 6:32 am

    d90 or d5000..which is one better…??

    • 95.1) Duncan
      January 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Beans or Spaghetti..which one is better…? Who knows, but the question is as pointless as yours. Need to ask specific questions and give details of why you want the camera.

    • 95.2) Rahul
      January 26, 2011 at 1:02 am

      Depends on what sort of photography you intend to do. They’re both very similar in terms of image quality, so unless you have specific preferences (eg low light, sports) or want greater manual control over the camera, the D5000 will do just about everything a D90 can.

  96. January 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    HI! thanks for the info.

    I bought a D5000 back in October 2010. since then i have taken over 3000 photos with this camera. each picture as good as the next, apart from a few blurs at the beginning lol. this is the first DSLR camera i have owned and i cant fault a single thing about it. i do a lot of photography at my local gym and have so many compliments about the quality of using it indoors and without a flash! some of our members work for local newspapers and have said that the they want to use my pictures for publications. if the pros are saying this, why go the extra for the D90? excellent budget camera. as you said, save money on the body, buy better lenses! :)

    now, a question. as you see i am new to all this, i have been looking at buying a pop-up lens diffuser that slides into the hot shoe. are they worth it? is it just an easy way of diffusing the light when you dont want to carry a big flash with you? any help please :)

    • 96.1) Rahul
      January 31, 2011 at 11:03 am

      It would be useful only at close distance, the in-built flash isn’t all that powerful, and the diffuser will suppress much of it’s output, so you’d have to go full-power, and then too it might not always suffice. I took the bait and got external flash ;).

      • 96.1.1) Dave Allen
        January 31, 2011 at 11:05 am

        brilliant, i will do that. any ideas what would or couldbe best? and what about thes frames that move the flash to the side, are they really that good to have?

  97. 97) aniemjane
    February 2, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Hello Nasim..

    I have been reading through your site, and got a lot of information. thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with us…but i want u advise.. im a new user..i also dont have my own camera..i just try my bro camera d90 but its more xpensive for me to buy d90..are d5000 better to new user like me or just buy d3100?

    • 97.1) Rahul
      February 3, 2011 at 8:56 am


      If the tilting LCD screen is important to you (useful for shooting video, and framing off-angle photos ), buy the D5000 , else the D3100 has has just about everything the D5000 has.

  98. 98) Adil
    March 2, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Hi Nasim

    I thank you a lot for sharing ur knowledge.
    After reading all the comments i have decided to go for a D90 but would u suggest me to go with a standard lens coming as a kit ie 18-105mm VR or should i be buying body only and buy other lense and if its other lens then when one should i go for.

    • 98.1) Rahul
      March 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

      Am I allowed to chime in ?

      Lens choice or suitability depends on your shooting preferences and lighting. The 18-105 is a very flexible , versatile lens in decent lighting, as in daylight. For outdoors in fairly bright light (between dawn an dusk), it will do just fine and even save you much trouble of swapping lenses due to it’s wide focal range.But in low light and indoors, it does suffer from a slow aperture, going to f/5 at just 50mm. If you shoot a lot in low light/indoors, you will likely find this annoying. So if you shoot in low light quite often, a faster aperture lens is what you need. Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 if the price is acceptable to you, else the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 and similar Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8. Beyond 50mm , if you shoot in that focal range, there are not many fast zooms in DX but you get some good primes. Have a look at 85mm f/1.8D , and 105mm macro. I haven’t looked up 3rd party lenses in the telephoto range, so can’t suggest any.

    • March 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Adil, the kit lens is fine for most photography. I would get a separate prime lens like the Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX together though, for low-light situations.

  99. 99) PM
    March 4, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Dear Nasim,


    I have been reading your site since long time, and always got a lot many tips n information. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in such a dedicated way….., Great. well I have a D90 with 70-300 VR, 105 mm micro VR, 50 mm f/1.4G and 16-85 VR. I m using all my gears since 2 years and highly satisfied with all what i have. now I would want to change my camera and I have already makeup my mind to switch to FX but, my budget is not much, say another $700-1000 after selling my D90 and 16-85 VR (I guess the worth of both may not be more then $1000), so which nikon DSLR FX…, Kindly suggest. One more thing, how much is the normal life of a FX DSLR camera in terms of clicks..

  100. 100) Crismae Olay
    March 15, 2011 at 3:54 am

    Hello Nasim,
    I love reading your articles! I think you’re really passionate about photography. Will you recommend D3100 over D90? Thanks so much =D Im planning to buy one, im in dilemma right now!

  101. 101) Jeff
    March 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I enjoyed reading this blog. I just shot my 10,000 photo with my D5000. I have not had any problems with it. I use all the modes including scenes to quickly shoot different situations without having to make any adjustments. I would invest in pro glass before D7000. Also if you shoot in manual mode 1/60 at f8 is the same on a D5000, D90 or even a D7000. This my 4th DSLR, starting with a D100. The D5000 with a 18-200 is a great combination.

  102. 102) Taha
    March 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    Dear Nasim,
    i have seen no one maintaining blog like this … appreciate your effort . as like others i am seeking your help too and im sure you will definitely give me a better option. I have passion about photography and i love cameras .. couldn’t buy a SLR till now because of many reasons now im working and would definitely buy one .. im interested in buying D3100 ..but let me tell you this would be my first exposure with SLR i have never used one before.. please suggest one for me which would be suitable for me and would be in my budget of $600 to $700…
    Thanks in advance

    • 102.1) Rahul
      March 24, 2011 at 7:15 am

      The D3100 is excellent value and at this price I’d put that as the best buy. Canon’s EOS 550D prices have just been reduced, so it’s now priced only a little bit higher than the D3100 – go for the 550D if you’re interested in video as well.

      Do any of your friends have either Canon or Nikon who are willing to lend lenses ? If yes, then use the same brand as they (majority) of them are, so you can get compatible lenses to try out before you buy them.

  103. 103) Chris
    April 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Hi Nasim, I’ve got a D5000 and I would just like to ask for help with what the better lens would be, I now have the 18-135 but no VR, should I get the 18-105 w/ VR instead? I love to shoot in outdoor and sceneries…

    • 103.1) Duncan
      May 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Hey Chris, I’ve got the D90 with the 18-105VR lense. Very happy with it so far, but have never tried it with VR turned off so not sure how much difference it makes. If you are shooting outdoors, you will most likely have a lower ISO and may be using a high shutter speed. If this is the case, the VR may not make that much difference, also if you use a tripod it will make the VR have even less impact.

  104. 104) deen
    May 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    hi nasim, i’m from Malaysia. i just got my Nikon d5100 yesterday. is’t okey for a beginner like me?

    • 104.1) Rahul
      May 13, 2011 at 8:54 am


      The D5100 is perfectly fine for beginners, slightly less so for enthusiasts , but it’s the best entry level DSLR right now.

  105. 105) cherisse
    May 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Nasim, I’m so confused right now. I don’t know which camera will I buy. I’m torn between D3100 and D90.

  106. 106) Rahul
    May 13, 2011 at 9:11 am


    If you want to explore the various settings and want to try a more hands on/manual control way of shooting, get the D90. If you just want to shoot good photos without much thought toward how to make better images, and don’t want to bother with technical aspects of photography, get the D3100.

    It allows quicker ways to change settings and has an AF motor so you can use cheaper AF-D lenses, giving you more options to choose among lenses. The D90 also has bigger brighter prism viewfinder, and its built-in flash can act as flash commander to trigger off-camera flashes, useful if you like flash photography. The D90 also gets a higher resolution LCD, at 920k pixels while the D3100 makes do with 230k pixels , and can shoot stills at max 4.5 fps compared to D3100’s max of 3 fps.

    The D3100 has a touch better noise levels at high ISO, and has more video options ( 1080p at 24fps, 720p at 30fps/24fps), and is smaller/lighter.

  107. 107) Pankaj Arora
    May 17, 2011 at 1:57 am

    hi nasim,
    I think I had send you N EMail earlier today from my work wondering should I upgrade my camera or not. I own a D5000 but want to get into FX side of nikon, shooting is just a hobby at the moment but I also invested in some lenses like 10-24 Tamron wide angle and 18-200mm Tamron zoom lens. So not sure if I should go for D90 (which is still a DX but got internal motor for 50mm f1.8 which is another lens in my arsenal) Just wondering if I go for a FX nikon now; would I be able to use my lenses or its not worth it. I am into portraits and landscape both and want to invest in Nikon 35mm F1.4 which is priced more than my D5000 at the moment. please advise me if it`s ok to buy a FX first or keep shooting with D5000 but should go for lenses as I love the sharpness and clarity of the nikon 35mm f1.4. please help my stuck mind at the moment,,I am a big fan of yours forums. God bless you and your family…

    • 107.1) Rahul
      May 17, 2011 at 3:02 am


      Both the Tamron 10-24 and Nikkor 18-200 are DX lenses ( not sure about the Tamron, but very likely), so they will only work in crop mode on FX bodies. An FX body would certainly be an upgrade, but weigh your budget carefully as you will need to buy FX lenses to with it. Upgrading to another DX, I’d suggest the D7000 over the D90 ( which uses the same sensor as D5000) . But I’d suggest you upgrade only if you are constrained by some limitation of the camera or have used it long enough to understand what benefit you get from the upgrade and make use of the additional features/capability of the next model , DX or FX.

  108. 108) Betsy Hanna Brown
    May 26, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Thanks Nasim! Wonderful information.

    I have a D5000 as well as a D90. I love them both (recently got the D90 in order to carry two cameras/lenses).

    Fall 2009: got the D5000 with kit lenses
    Summer 2010: 35mm f1.8 lens
    Fall 2010: 70-200 f2.8 VRII lens
    March 2011: D90 (body only… drastic price drop)
    May 2011: 12-24 f4 Ultra-Wide lens
    kit lenses stay at home

    I carry the D5000 with the 70-200 and the D5000 with the Ultra-wide (easier to push the buttons to set it up for HDR shots).

    I’m sure the D7000 is wonderful, but I’m extremely happy with what I have. Next body will be a major step up… but that won’t be for awhile.

    I would also suggest using really good editing software. I use Aperture with Nik Software plugins. Amazing results, even with so-so images. Shoot RAW.

    Looking forward to more of your posts.
    Thanks again,

    • 108.1) Betsy Hanna Brown
      May 26, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Oops, i meant that I have the Ultra-wide lens on my D90

  109. 109) Ryan Dingman
    June 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Hi, i have a D5000 right now and i have the opportunity to upgrade to the D90 for 100 $ is it worth the upgrade, and will the pictures that i take make that much of a difference in the photo’s i take?

    • 109.1) Rahul
      June 18, 2011 at 12:54 am

      The D90 uses the same sensor as the D5000, the same AF and metering as well. The defaults may differ and the low-pass filter might also be different, but overall the image quality between a D90 and D5000 would be pretty much identical, JPEG output differing due to differences in default/user selected settings.

    • 109.2) Vineet
      June 18, 2011 at 4:26 am

      don’t think … go for it.. D90 is much more flexible to work with. more than worth to upgrade.

      • 109.2.1) Ryan Dingman
        June 18, 2011 at 6:32 am

        Why is it much more than a upgrade though, what can i do with it?

        • Betsy Hanna Brown
          June 18, 2011 at 6:46 am

          For $100, it’s a no-brainer. get the D90! More dedicated buttons so you don’t have to hunt through menus, top screen really helps, AF motor, two scroll wheels, ability to use off camera flash easily.

          • Ryan Dingman
            June 18, 2011 at 7:23 am

            But i lose live view, and Video capabilities, along with the twisting screen. So is it really worth it?

            • Betsy Hanna Brown
              June 18, 2011 at 10:23 am

              The D90 has video as well as Live View. I never use the twisty screen on my D5000, but I can see how it may be useful.

            • Rahul
              June 19, 2011 at 4:37 am

              Is there something you find lacking in the D5000? What the D5000 lacks over the D90 is essentially the AF motor, second control wheel, mirror viewfinder instead of prism and no flash commander more, and the top LCD. There are few more features but those are not as critical, such as WB options, bigger battery, availability of vertical grip, slightly higher continuous shooting frame rate, some more options in settings to control noise reduction and stuff like that.

              It’s worth the switch if you are interested in any of these : more manual control , need to use AF lenses as the D5000 needs AF-S to autofocus, want a brighter and bigger prism viewfinder or find the in-built flash commander mode useful.

            • Dave Allen
              July 6, 2011 at 9:10 am

              just to say i LOVE my D5000, if you dont need all the fancy extras, get a D5000. if you want to explore things and get a bit lost in jargon, get a D90. i have taken over 60,000 photos in 6 months with my D5000 and not had any problems at all. all the photos come out excellent and without any need for extra touches. i mainly shoot sports events, outdoors and indoors, gym work, fitness classes. so as you can see i have people moving all the time. 4 frames a second is great, not much difference over the D90 with 4.5! i use the standard 18-55 Nikor lens, as well as the 18-200 Nikor and 70-300 Tamron. i have a friend with a D7000 and i get just as good quality, if not sometimes better than he does! its also great in the studio and with my home made light box for product photography.

  110. 110) Theresa Boshoff
    July 5, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Help!! I am so confused. I am an very old school photographer (from before the days of auto anything) I own a Leica R4 and a Canon AE-1. I have not used either in about 20 plus years. I love shooting landscapes but ran out of time and money to deal with film so I am looking at upgrading to digital but do not know where to begin. I want to be in the under 600 range. So please advice is the D5000 right from me?

    • 110.1) Theresa Boshoff
      July 6, 2011 at 8:32 am

      Now to add to my confusion I have found the D3100 at about the same price. So now I am really confused. I used to play with my landscapes in the dark room to make them Ansel Adams like. but not sure which camera is for me? Please advise which you would buy for your first DSLR but not SLR?

      • 110.1.1) Dave Allen
        July 6, 2011 at 9:31 am

        if you have the choice of the D3100 and the D5000, go for the D5000, you wont be dissapointed :)

  111. 111) Chrissy
    August 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Hi will my D5000 lenses work with the D90? Thinking of upgrading. Thanks.

    • 111.1) Rahul
      August 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

      Yes, if the lens works on the D3000/D3100/D5000/D5100, it will work on D90 or higher segment cameras as well.

      • 111.1.1) Chrissy
        August 10, 2011 at 7:40 pm

        Thank you………………

  112. 112) Tan
    July 22, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Hello Nasim,

    I am new to your website and instantly became a fan. Very helpful for promising photography enthusiasts like me. I have been searching you web site but I seem to can’t find any d90 reviews or d5100 vs 590 articles. Are they even worth comparing? :D

    Any advice to someone who has not owned DSLR before?
    I am looking forward for articles like the ones I mentioned above.
    More Power to you!

    • 112.1) Tan
      July 22, 2012 at 12:54 am

      that should be *d5100 vs d90 articles.

  113. 113) jimmy72
    November 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Firstly thanks Nasim for an excellent site. Your tutorials are wonderfully clear and concise. This seems like a relevant place to share my experiences with the D5000 over the last year.

    The positives :
    1. Great price. You can pick one up here in Europe now for about 300 Euros. It’s an excellent camera to start out with.

    2. The battery lasts for ages. I do have a spare battery but rarely need it. If I shoot every day for a few hours I can go for up to 10 days without charging the battery.

    3. 12 megapixels. I think many cropped sensor cameras have too many mega pixels. You don’t get the same low light performance on the Canon 600d (also more expensive) for example because with a few megapixels more and roughly the same size sensor, it’s not capturing as much light. I’m not knocking the 600d though. I think that is a great camera too.

    4. The swivel display has proved invaluable to me. When I got the camera I thought the swivel screen was a bit of a gimmick but I now use it all the time. It’s fantastic for taking shots on or close to the ground or hovering over the surface of a lake. Even if you were to lie down on the ground to take these shots you wouldn’t be able to get as low as you can with the d5000. A great feature!

    The negatives:
    1. No ISO button. This is my biggest problem with the camera. If it’s a cloudy day and I am out shooting birds for example, i will often have the camera in manual mode at 1000th of a second with a high ISO. Then the sun comes out for a few seconds and I’d like to be able to quickly drop the ISO down to 500 or 250 without missing some action. I can’t…i have to open the LCD, go into the menu, click down to ISO, change my setting etc etc. by which time the sun may have gone in again. Maybe if you live in California this isn’t a problem but for me it’s a real pain.

    2. Useless kit lens (at least useless to me). I really think that for a newbie photographer a standard kit lens should at least go to 80mm. I know Nikon want to keep the price down but a good budget all round 24-105 or something like that would be great for any entry level user to get a feel for different types of photography before they decide which lens to go for when they upgrade.

    I’m stopping now as this post is too long as it is. I’m also struggling to find more negatives to say about what is essentially an excellent entry level affordable camera.

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