I wish to upgrade my Nikon D80 but am undecided whether to upgrade to the Nikon D7000 or get a Nikon D90 and maybe another lens.

I have read about some issues with 3rd party lenses.

I predominately do landscape and wildlife photography.

I own nikon dx 18-135 f3.5-5.6G

nikon af nikkor 50mm f1.8D

nikon af-s nikkor 70-300 mm f4.5-5.6

Sigma 10-20mm F4 -5.6


I can't say much about the D90, but I think the D7000 is a pretty good camera. I shoot using the Pentax K-5, which shares basically the same sensor as D7000 and, IMHO, it may be the best sensor Sony has ever produced, the dynamic range is enormous and the high ISO noise is very manageable. Here's a couple of examples of what can be done with this sensor:

8 stop exposure correction

Which goes from:

alt text

To this:

alt text

Then there's ISO 20000:

alt text

So, in my opinion, the D7000, by sharing this sensor, is a seriously good upgrade. Which, leaves you knowing where I stand on the decision point! :)

  • +1 for any camera with the new generation of Sony sensors.
    – rfusca
    Dec 11 '10 at 1:32
  • @rfusca - Yeah, Sony hit that one out of the park. If they pull a FF sensor based on that, it'll turn the medium format world on its ear. If I was a Nikon shooter, I'd probably be holding on until the next FF comes out, but as a Pentaxian, my only higher option is the 645D and, while the camera blows my mind, it's a major change as it's basically a whole new system.
    – Joanne C
    Dec 11 '10 at 1:59
  • wow, those are impressive images for those settings. thanks for sharing Dec 11 '10 at 3:05
  • @newfie_coder: Thanks. They aren't D7000 samples, but given everything I've seen or read in comparison of the K-5 and D7000, I think you can pull similar out of it.
    – Joanne C
    Dec 11 '10 at 4:23

The D7000 is pretty much a straight upgrade from the D90 which means it basically has everything equal or better (although someone can always find one thing that went the other way).

  • The better sensor was already mentioned, plus it's even higher resolution.
  • The 100% coverage viewfinder is enough to make it a no-brainer. Actually the D7000 is now the lowest-cost DSLR with a 100% coverage viewfinder, for that alone we should all thank Nikon.
  • It is also faster in both maximum shutter-speed (1/8000 vs 1/4000) and in continuous drive (6 FPS vs 4.5).
  • It has more AF points, which only helps if you actually use them ;) I only use the center one but I don't think having more than you need harms in any way.
  • It does full 1080p HD instead of 720p, again if you care about those things.

That being said, if you can only afford a good lens with the cheaper camera, you should still consider it as lenses have generally more impact an your photography than cameras.

  • @seanmc & @Itai - thanks, its looks like the money would better spent on lenses. My rational for a new body was really on age i was thinking the d80 was getting a bit long in the tooth. So what lenses should I consider ?
    – Eamonn
    Dec 12 '10 at 20:51
  • I see that besides the 50mm, you were aiming to cover a large range of focal-lengths with little regards to image quality. Honestly, I always do the opposite, buying the best lens I can, knowing that I'd rather have an awesome picture than more low-quality ones. So, my suggestion is to scan through your files and figure out which focal-length you use the most. Then, get a high-quality lens for that.
    – Itai
    Dec 13 '10 at 3:50

The D7000 looks to be a great camera, but so was (is) the D90, and the D90 is now almost $600 cheaper than the D7000 (at least in Canada). For $600, you could pick up a nice lens, maybe even two.

However, if you are upgrading from a D80, I'm not sure how much difference going to the D90 would make (is it worth the upgrade?).

I bought a D90, but I wasn't upgrading from anything other than a point-and-shoot (although a good one in the Canon G7).

I would love to have got the D7000, but it wasn't in my budget this time.

Maybe you should keep the D80 (in what way is it limiting you?) and just buy some better lenses. The lenses will still be good when the D7000 drops in price in a few months (or maybe a year or two).


I started with a Canon 620 film camera, moved to Nikon (D80) and then upgraded to the D7000. And I do mean upgraded. The camera has a totally different feel in my hands, more options, better image results and is just a great camera. I agree that it is the lens that basically dictates quality, but I have found since buying the D7000 that the quality of my images is exponentially better. See my Flickr page for examples.

  • Hi Judith! Welcome to Stack Exchange. Could you expand your answer to describe the different feel a little bit, and explain some of the added options?
    – mattdm
    Nov 30 '11 at 19:22

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