I quite like the D90 but what concerns me is that it was launched almost 2 years back and is quite a bit heavier than other two. Although what I like most about it is the continuous shooting (4.5 vs 3.4/4). D5000 could be eliminated as its entry level, although good, but 500D wins over it hands down. So basically split between D90 and 500D.

Can someone provide a quick suggestion on which one should i go for, I am an amateur photographer with almost 2 years of exp. with compact camera. I looked at the comparison charts but could not figure out which one to pick.

10 Answers 10


Go into a store and hold them both. The ergonomics are a little different, and technically they aren't all that different.

Also, do you have any friends/relatives that have a Nikon or Canon? if so, you might want to keep in mind that if you had the same brand you could borrow lenses.

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    Yep, don't care too much about the features. They are all good cameras. Try them and see how you feel about them. – decasteljau Aug 26 '10 at 20:04

A Canon vs Nikon decision is not one you should take that lightly.

Once you decide on the body you start investing in lenses and that is where you can spend a fair bit of money, and become invested in the brand. A couple of L series lenses could set you back a couple thousand dollars.

Sure, the 500D (or 550D) is a newer camera, and has a few extra bells and whistles the nonetheless the D90 is still considered a great entry level SLR.

The key factor I would look at would be choosing lenses. Personally I think Nikon have a better low price offering of lenses (and better second hand options - you can get a low price 35mm prime for example). On the other hand the L series Canon lenses are pretty amazing and you will be able to use them for many years.

  • Actually the D90 does have movie mode - 'only' 720p, but it does the job. When it comes to lenses, there are good cheap primes for both brands and the 'good' lenses cost lots of money, so either way you'll end up spending similar money. – newfie_coder Aug 27 '10 at 13:15
  • @newfie_coder thanks for the correction, regarding prime lenses, see: gizmodo.com/5150061/… , there is no equivalent lens in the canon lineup (the 35mm is pretty expensive). Additionally with the Nikons you get access to all the old classic F-mount lenses. – Sam Saffron Aug 28 '10 at 10:45

I bought a D90 about a year ago and I'm very happy with it. The one thing you don't get with the lower end models is the shutter AND apperature click wheels which i find very handy and the LCD screen on top with access to all the camera settings. Also the physical size of the D90 fits in my hand better than the Rebels or the D5000/3000. If I were buying now, I might be tempted to wait and see what comes out (the D90 is getting a little old compared to all the new Canon models) but it's a great camera that'll do much more than most people will ever need. Any questions, feel free to ask.


If FPS is your top concern, take a look at the 4.7fps Pentax K-x or 6fps Pentax K-r. (These cameras are competitors to the D5000; if you're looking more at the D90/D7000 bracket, check out the 7fps Pentax K-5.) FPS isn't the only thing nice about these cameras, but since that and weight are the only things you mention, I thought I'd address those.

On weight: the Pentax cameras come in on the middle, but are quite compact. And Pentax offers a couple of unique serieses of small lightweight prime lenses, which can keep the total weight down. Sam Saffron mentions lenses as a key deciding factor, and I agree. Pentax is a good choice if you're intrigued by the jewel-like Limited lenses, but probably not the right choice if you're looking for a 70-200mm f/2.8 monster.


If you are liking the 4.5 fps continuous mode. Wait till September 15th. The Nikon D7000 is rumored to have 6-8 fps, as well as a number of other upgrades from the D90.

At least, wait till the D7000 ships, and you can buy my (lightly used) D90 when I upgrade :).


A similar question was asked here, though only about if the D90 was worth the extra price from a D5000. As other people mentioned, you probably should wait another couple weeks to see what the new D90 (D7000?) will have. Even if you don't buy it, it should drop prices on the D5000 and D90 in the used market quite a bit (I am scared to see what the D3100 did to used D5000 prices, as I own one)

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    I asked that original question and went for the D5000, I really like it though I have to say now looking at other lenses as the D90 would have made the lens cheaper as the moter is in the body not the lenses. – John Dec 7 '10 at 10:50

When you are buying a DSLR, the most important question is: are you already a DSLR user? If you are not, then take some time, a month or two or even more and learn about DSLRs and photography. The knowledge you get with learning will help you to decide which camera to buy. Read reviews, tests, check Flickr pictures. Go to the shop and take the camera in your hands. Repeat that a few times.

And don't think this way: I don't need an expensive camera because I don't know anything about photography. You WILL know.

I own a D90. If I would buy a body today I would buy a D700 or at least D300s.

And the best known advice is: buy the brand your friends are using. It is that simple.


I'd be a bit wary of buying a D90 at the moment as it is due to be replaced in the next month or so, also apart from the moveable screen, the new D3100 looks to have a better spec on it, currently I'm in the same bout and looking to see if I can get a D90 cheap when they release it's replacement (D7000) or get a D7000 depending on price


I faced the same problem earlier this year and ended up going with Big Ken's advice: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d5000.htm

If you're not a Pro photographer this is probably all you'll ever need.

Having said that, since I bought my D5000 (which incidentally I love) the very wonderful D7000 has been released. Also the superb Canon 550D. If I had the extra $$ and it had been available, I would have gone with the 550D. But it wasn't. I'm not overly upset by this, the D5000 is an excellent bit of kit at a bargain price.

  • Some people - like me - just love the small LCD on top of the camera. So I went with the D90 some month before and would go for the D7000. Just for the ergonomics of not looking at the back-screen for dialing some changes. – Leonidas Dec 7 '10 at 11:17
  • I'll have to check that out. In defence of the D5000, I'd say the swivelling LCD can be very useful too. bit of a pain-in-the-arse on a tripod though ... – 5arx Dec 9 '10 at 15:54

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?

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