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Is it worth/necessary upgrading D3000 to D5000?

by wolfbreath / May 29, 2010 5:33 PM PDT

I've had the D3000 for about a month and I'm quite happy with some great photos it took. However, I'm curious about the D5000, and I can afford it right now if I sell/trade the D3000. I'm only concerned about image quality, not any other features. I hear the processor is the same as the D90 and D300, which should make some great shots right? Or is it just dumbed down and I really won't notice the difference between the D3000 and D5000? I have about 10 years photography experience and only ever worked with low end DSLRs (budget), but I do own some nice glass. I'll be using the camera for travel mostly. My only concern is the difference in image output quality between these two cameras and if it's worth getting the D5000 instead.

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by snapshot2 Forum moderator / May 30, 2010 6:56 AM PDT

Nikon would like it if you upgrade each time they come out with a newer camera model. That is why they keep adding more features.

Necessary ... No

If you have mastered all of the features on the D3000 you could upgrade just for the challenge of new features.

It would be rare that a newer DSLR will produce better image quality.
Nikon wants each model to produce the best quality photo possible.
They never dumb down quality for a lower cost DSLR.

A newer model is all about more features.

Here is a comparison of specifications:

Here is a full review of the D5000.
Read it and you will learn all the new bells and whistles.

A good selection of lenses is important.


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Re: upgrading
by wolfbreath / May 30, 2010 1:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Upgrading

thanks. that makes perfect sense. I am quite accustomed and happy with the D3000. I believe you are correct that Nikon would not dumb down the image quality.

I have a couple good lenses so far, hoping to have a good AF-S one pretty soon.

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I would only switch

If you already have all the glass you want and you are shooting in high ISOs quite a bit. The D5000 has the better sensor(CMOS) at high ISOs than the D3000 has(CCD). Otherwise you're not gaining much but live view and video.

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re: I would only switch
by wolfbreath / May 30, 2010 1:40 PM PDT
In reply to: I would only switch

I'm shooting in pretty normal lighting conditions, but this year I'll be traveling quite a bit. Ideally, I would like to be prepared with a cam that shoots well in low light in combination with the glass I have - if the opportunity presents itself. This is partially why I'm curious about the D5000. Live view and video are not a priority.

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by wolfbreath / May 30, 2010 1:41 PM PDT

*this is why I'm MOSTLY curious about the D5000 (in reference to the low light shots)

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by hjfok / May 31, 2010 8:39 AM PDT

As you know, the lens makes a lot more difference in image quality than the cAmera body. There are always better glass to have. Night or low light shots will need some fast glass. If you really own all the nice fast glasses you ever want, then you can see whether you can upgrade the flash, this is another accessory that will make a bigger difference than upgrading to a D5000.

Personally, I think it is wasteful to upgrade from one entry level to another entry level camera. Upgrading to full frame D700 or at least D300s/D90 will be worthwhile.

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agreed. thanks you.
by wolfbreath / May 31, 2010 3:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Upgrade

thanks!!! A D700 would be awesome (drooooool). I thought about picking up an old used D1 for kicks (like $100).

Recently I picked up a flash, but oddly enough, I hadn't considered using it for night time photography. Thanks for the reminder, it should've been a little more obvious!

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Lenses and flash
by hjfok / June 1, 2010 6:37 AM PDT
In reply to: agreed. thanks you.

Usually I try to use ambient light as much as possible. I use flash to get rid of unwanted shadows. Sometimes shadows are needed to give a photo some depth. So one needs to choose when to use flash carefully and discriminatively.

Night photography often does not need flash if you are taking night lights, just need a tripod and preferrably a fast glass. But flash is useful when doing portraits, either as a main or fill flash to soften shadows. A flash diffuser is very useful in softening the light. The Gary Fong lightsphere is my favorite for portraits whereas the Sto-fen is more portable.

I also use flash during daytime, even in bright sunlight, when I want to remove unwanted shadows (fill flash). But be careful when using flash in bright daylight. Auto and Program modes are not a good way to use fill flash in bright daylight, due to slow synch shutter speed in these modes, ending up with blown out highlights in the background. I usually use high speed synch flash in these situations.

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