Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So What Does The New D3100 Do To The D90?

Well folks, you've been hearing about upcoming releases from Nikon for the past few months, but they are finally meeting the expectations... With the release of some amazing point & shoots on Tuesday, the D3100 has been confirmed and released to the public. If you are like me, you are always asking how the latest events apply to the D90... So what does the D3100 do to the D90? Think the meteor that killed the dinosaur. That's what it does. The D90 is now behind the curve, and unless you really really want that drive motor, get the D3100.

So what's better about the D3100? Seriously? Just about everything. Starting with a 14.2 MP sensor, then introducing the first Nikon with 1080p video, auto-focus in Live View, boosted ISO, (to 12800!) and then to finish it off with a fancy new processor, the EXPEED2, and even more editing capabilities, including movie editing.

If you're like me, you are probably thinking to yourself, "man, I should have waited for this guy to come out..." So what is the point of even having a D90 anymore, other than the fact that you don't have enough money to upgrade? Well, personally, I like several features which kinda even out the playing field. 1) That nice info screen on top... Sure, it takes some getting used too if you came from a D40, 60, 3000, or 5000, but we all love that screen. It is immensely useful. 2) The little drive motor on the front. Seriously, this opens up auto-focus on how many more lenses? Life for me would be miserable if I didn't have auto-focus on my 50mm... and 3) the D90 isn't targeted for new parents looking for a vacation toy. Remember, you own perhaps the defining camera in photography history, the first SLR to have video, not to mention perhaps the best collection of camera components for under a thousand dollars.

So don't feel too bad about it... If one of your friends starts bragging about his/her new D3100, and how it is so much better than your dinky D90, just remind them about that second screen, the battery grip, those couple hundred lenses that you have auto-focus on, all those little features that separate a professional from the amateur. You don't have to worry about going extinct for another month... (The Photokina event coming up... Rumor says the D95, the replacement for the D90 is supposed to be replaced... Don't worry though, you still own one of the best cameras in town, regardless of price.)

So while all the action and coverage has been going to the cameras, with some amazing compact replacements, (check out the projector camera replacement... the S1100pj - many people have been overlooking some of the new lenses Nikon released... Here they are, in a real quick list:

- 85mm f/1.4G prime lens
- 24-120mm F4G ED VR zoom lens
- 55-300mm F4.5-5.6 G ED VR telephoto zoom
- 28-300mm F3.5-5.6 G ED VR ultra-zoom
(all of these except the 55-300 are full-frame for those of you with anything D700 and above)

The lens y'all can get excited about is that 55-300 VR... If you are like me, you might have skipped the predecessor to this lens, the 70-300, and gotten the 55-200 instead, so you wouldn't lose the 55-70 range... Well, now you can have just two lenses, the 18-55 and 55-300. With all the latest technology, SWM, ED, VR II, all that, Nikon was able to top everything, and include a little something they call HRI, or High Refractive Index. This helps in harsh lighting environments, and I am sure it is well worth the money. Speaking of money, does anyone know what the price is for this one? Probably around $450. That's cheaper than the old 70-300!

So that's a little update on how the latest Nikon releases affect the D90... I'll most likely do a post on how the D95 is better, worse and the same as the D90... As much as it seems you are behind the curve, and you feel like the D90 is outdated, don't feel that way. It still produces excellent pictures, it has everything any photographer could ask for, and you shouldn't even begin to think about replacing it until you hit at least 75,000 shots... :P


Dr Ariel said...

D3100 is not competition for D90.

J Michael Sullivan said...

D90 features not available on D3100:
- motor drive for older AF lenses
- exposure bracketing (think HDR)

In short, the D3100 is truly entry-level -- it is not for those who like to do HDR, or use older Nikkor AF lenses.

uncle joe said...

Dr Ariel: While it isn't staged as competition for the D90, many of the features it has compete very well with the D90, and many people might be tempted to say it was the replacement for it...

Needless to say, we can wait until Photokina for the D90 replacement... :P

Ben said...

The only improvements that have any resonance for me was the increase in ISO capabilities.. Seriously, who edits video (or even photos) in camera?! The D3100 is still an entry level DSLR - it doesn't even have a dedicated aperture dial! It feels and acts like a toy. On the fly adjustments the D90 require digging into the menus on the D3100. Agree with the importance of the motor drive as well. Excited that a boost in ISO seems likely for the next d9whatever. ISO is going to become the next marketing number since MegaPixels has been pretty much maxed out.

SPiRiTCORE said...

Thanks man!
You've cheered me up!

The D90 replacement will called D7000 not D95(From NikonRumors).

When the D90 replacment will come out, you'll have to work very hard to cheer me up again :)

ღ☆•εïз♥Ađαℓú♥•εïз☆ღ said...

WOw! I just bought the D90... It arrived to my house yesterday :( but I guess technology is always going to be like that... I'm super very happy with my camera though... regardless of the better cameras out there

fRANK d said...

the d90 is like a smaller d300 the d3100 is not in the same league. Its very basic like the 3000 and the 5000..

New Cameras don't mean anything. We just got the d90 at work and I'm sure well have it for about five years till its written off in taxes. Its funny how everyone wants to rush out and get the newest thing when they haven't even mastered what they got. For me I still miss the d70...the grip was a lot more comfortable than the d90

Baden said...

You cannot be serious. Any photographer can tell you the d90 is by far a whole league above the d3100. Above 10 MP image quality is constant for any printing or display purposes, unless you plan on decorating a blimp or zeppelin with your photo.

Plus what serious photographer would sacrifice:
-a dedicated aperture dial
-bracketing capabilities
-DOF preview
-autofocus on some of the best nikkor lens
-top lcd info display
Etc etc

Sure the d3100 has super high iso. But in 99% of your shots do you really ever go above iso800? Unless you'rd shooting the stars handheld then its another story. And as someone mentioned, who would actually be editing videos on their camera? You have more control on your computer software anyway.

I dont think the d3100 has a standing chance to compete with the d90 in the hands of a serious photographer.

Gustavo Osmar Santos said...

Gustavo Osmar Santos
Estuvo Aquí...Wonderfull.

Barry said...

Has anyone had a look at the new D3100 "sample photography" on the Nikon site? That new sensor (first one ever made by Nikon) will absolutely not offer the same gorgeous dynamic range or low ISO capabilities as the current Sony sensor in the D90 - no way.

Scbbbc said...

I agree Berry!

Baden said...

Again to reiterate my point, and to show disagreement to this post. The D3100 is by no means a close match to the superior D90.

The D7000 however is the replacement for D90. But unless you're concern more about the movie mode and the minimal increase (yes, minute) in extra megapixels, then it's not much of an incentive to upgrade either. The only logical improvement for existing D90 owners are a Full Frame with higher megapixel (to accommodate DX crop lens).

To new users however, the D7000 is a worthy replacement to the D90 if you have the funds. To summarize:

D700 > D7000 > D90 >>>> D3100

sayan said...

Nikon D3100 Hands-on Preview

Anonymous said...

lol, I bought the D90 in 2012. ignoring the D5100 because it just didn't handle anywhere near as well as the D90. Even today, enthusiasts look for used D90s instead of Nikon's entry level SLRs - which are entry level in the truest sense of the word.