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Thread: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

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    Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Does anyone have any thoughts or comments on this camera? My 12 year daughter has expressed interest in this camera and was wondering if it was worth the investment. It appears as though its a fixed lens camera, and my thoughts are that it will not be able to keep up with her as she develops what appears to be an interest in photography.

    I believe this camera is about $400 US, and I think for about $50-75 more, I can get her into the D3000. Any thoughts????

    Warren

    Sorry everyone, I placed this in the incorrect forum. Hopefully someone will see this and move it to the right thread. Sorry again.
    Last edited by Warren; 22nd December 2009 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    The P90 is quite a capable 'bridge' camera, but as you rightly say does not have an interchangeable lens facility. Clearly by having interchangeable lens you can turn an average bit of kit into something much much better if you want to invest in the lenses. (Costly for Dad)

    The good thing is that she doesn't have to mess around changing lenses and instead develops a 'photographic eye', if you go for the P90, which for a teenager is probably more appropriate. Have a bit of Fun!

    The downside to the P90 is that if you drop it, the chances are it is probably beyond economic repair and you throw it away and start again, as its value will have plummeted in a year when the next model is out. At least if you drop an interchangeable lens camera, you <might> be able to salvage something from it.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Hi Warren,

    This should keep her going for a few years and it is a heck of a lot of a camera for the price.

    As you'll know, it has full controls; Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual Exposure modes, so good for learning the basics. A lens that goes from the 35mm equiv. of 28 all the way to 624mm, allowing a wide range of photography.

    OK, the downsides to buying the P90 compared to a DSLR are likely to be;
    Small sensor; so noise is going to be more than a DSLR (by about 2 stops would be my guess)
    Fixed, small, slow lens; so light gathering is also going to suffer compared to a DSLR
    DoF will be wider than a DSLR, so getting good bokeh will be impossible, but counter that with macro work being easier
    My guess is that ergonomics will not be very representative of a good DSLR
    The electric driven zoom will not allow as good control as a manual one
    Shutter lag, even if not huge, when combined with the delay of viewing on either the LCD or via the EVF (electronic viewfinder), makes it very difficult to time the shutter release for action shots - although I see it is supposed to do 15 fps
    No RAW capability, only jpg
    Last, but by no means least, if or when you do need to replace it with a proper DSLR and lenses, to get the same facilities outlined above (lens range, etc.) is going to cost you 10-20 times the P90

    I started with something similar myself, hence the final point

    The choice is yours ...

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    Amberglass's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Let me say that photography is absolutely a wonderful interest/hobby for children and youths to pick up. This past year my 12 year old son wanted to share in my passion for photography; having been my VALS (voice activated light stand) for a couple of years now.

    With kids nowadays, you never know how long their attention span my last once they start. Photography is expensive; no and's, if's, or but's about it. I started with a slrs (film) from the very beginning, and in my mind, it's the way to go to properly learn photography 101.

    I went online to www.keh.com and ordered him a second hand Nikon D70s dslr with a 50 1.4 prime for $425. The starter prime is fast enough to handle almost any lighting situations. He absolutely loves it and has mastered all the basics and fundamentals of photography quickly. Old doesn't mean that it's necessarily bad btw.

    His younger 10 year old sister has now also expressed an interest, and within a very short time has already surpassed her older brother's skill levels. She now is going down into the basement to work on creative flash photography (all by herself ) using the D70's pop up flash as a wireless commander.

    I nearly cracked myself up when I saw the "do not disturb, in session" sign on the door knob to the basement studio. She likes to be alone when she shooting.

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    I own a P90 and the only negative comment I can make about the camera is the size. It weighs about 1 pound and has an extended barrel for the lense, so the carrying case is rectangular. Functionally, the P90 is a very good choice for a beginner. The P90 functions as both a point and shoot and a DSLR. The user can use the automatic settings or experiment with the aperture, shutter, and manual modes. Your daughter will love it because it has the feel of a professional camera as well as ease of use.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    ~ Functionally, the P90 is a very good choice for a beginner. The P90 functions as both a point and shoot and a DSLR. The user can use the automatic settings or experiment with the aperture, shutter, and manual modes. Your daughter will love it because it has the feel of a professional camera as well as ease of use.
    Hi Shadowman,

    Thanks for picking up on this one.

    In terms of learning the basics of exposure, composition, et al, one of these bridge cameras IS an inexpensive way into the hobby and I don't regret buying my Fuji bridge cam, I stuck with it for almost 2 years before some of the issues (the P90 doesn't have) got the better of me and I went DSLR. Then I got the nasty shock of what it cost to maintain my shooting facilities and address the issues, with a DSLR.

    As I said in my post above; I started with an earlier generation Fuji equivalent to the P90 and I did actually give this (P90) model some semi-serious consideration, as it does address many of the ergonomic and buffer issues I had with the Fuji. What killed it for me was the lack of RAW, since I had that on the Fuji and was just getting comfortable with a RAW workflow and all the PP benefits, going back to jpg only was a 'no-no', but if Warren's daughter isn't coming into it without that need, then its more a moot point.

    Hi Warren,

    I don't know what your daughter's like (my 17 y.o. can break any, ANY, technology in a matter of days), so if losing or breaking a DSLR camera is a worry/possibility; the P90 is going to be a good starter - and as Ian says, write it off if damaged - although my Fuji lasted the course, including a tumble.

    Seasoned greetings
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 26th December 2009 at 05:44 PM. Reason: correct mis-quote

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi Shadowman,

    Thanks for picking up on this one.

    In terms of learning the basics of exposure, composition, et al, one of these bridge cameras IS an inexpensive way into the hobby and I don't regret buying my Fuji bridge cam, I stuck with it for almost 2 years before some of the issues (the P90 doesn't have) got the better of me and I went DSLR. Then I got the nasty shock of what it cost to maintain my shooting facilities and address the issues, with a DSLR.

    As I said in my post above; I started with an earlier generation Fuji equivalent to the P90 and I did actually give this (P90) model some semi-serious consideration, as it does address many of the ergonomic and buffer issues I had with the Fuji. What killed it for me was the lack of RAW, since I had that on the Fuji and was just getting comfortable with a RAW workflow and all the PP benefits, going back to jpg only was a 'no-no', but if Warren's daughter isn't coming into it without that need, then its more a moot point.

    Hi Warren,

    I don't know what your daughter's like (my 17 y.o. can break any, ANY, technology in a matter of days), so if losing or breaking a DSLR camera is a worry/possibility; the P90 is going to be a good starter - and as Amberglass says, write it off if damaged - although my Fuji lasted the course.

    Seasoned greetings
    Dave,

    Receiving a new camera has always created a sense of discovery within me. I love to be able to turn off the thought processes (other than composition) sometimes and just shoot away. Then I look for new ways of photographing familiar subjects, time of day, time of the year, and having the ability to control the amount of light that reaches the sensor allows me to capture the image realistically. I hear stories about budding photographers losing interest in their craft because either they grow bored with the equipment's limitations or they cannot afford the additional equipment to assist them.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Receiving a new camera has always created a sense of discovery within me. I love to be able to turn off the thought processes (other than composition) sometimes and just shoot away. Then I look for new ways of photographing familiar subjects, time of day, time of the year, and having the ability to control the amount of light that reaches the sensor allows me to capture the image realistically. ~
    Hi Shadowman,

    I absolutely 'get' that sentiment and feeling. I think most, if not all, of what I am saying here supports and expands on your valid view.

    When I started digital photography in ernest again, what I did was start shooting on Auto (for several months ) with my Fuji bridge cam, so I could "retrain" my compositional eye, then I went to Program, then onto semi-auto (Shutter or Aperture priority) as I identified short-comings in my images in which the exposure, one way or another, was causing. The time of day/year thing is also something I explore, but I'm not sure I have graduated to the next level yet in becoming "artistic" with the exposure, at least not at the 'taking' stage.

    The other thing I did when I 'didn't know what to photograph' was find something I had an interest in perfecting shooting, in my case it was cycle road races, and make cold contact with a club or two and get along to their events - I got good 'access', even travelling with them on one occasion, and they got some free pics for their websites, one or two members (that asked) got free prints too.

    I have a feeling that people that concentrate too much on the technology of the camera controls, especially in the early days when they know neither photography nor the camera, may be the ones that 'lose their way'.

    I agree a photographer needs to be able to use their camera as 'second nature', like driving a car, so you can concentrate on the what's in front of the lens and how it gets onto the sensor/film, but I feel it needs to be covered at the appropriate level at the appropriate times, not "Go and read the manual and don't come back until you can set a 15 second exposure with rear curtain flash, in the dark, with gloves on, and without being able to see the LCD" approach I have seen suggested in other fora.

    If there are technical limitations with the kit we're using, we should just do the best we can for the time being and/or work round it, for example, my Fuji had noise, so I got Neat Image, but some limitations are more profound, like a lack of RAW (P90), no hot shoe (my Fuji), etc.


    BTW, Any chance of a first name?

    Thanks,

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Hi Warren,

    Oh dear, we've moved a little off-topic for the original query, but it is stuff that needs to be considered at the start of a budding hobby or career.

    If two distinct chains of replies emerge, I can separate these off to another thread if necessary.

    Anyway, I hope it helps,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 26th December 2009 at 09:59 AM. Reason: separate offer added

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Dave,

    The first name is John and I hope that the discussion of the Nikon P90 dual functionality (point and shoot and P, S, A, M modes) helped Warren in his decision to choose this model or one with the same technology. Very often electronic manuals will have an insert with a quick start guide and I am sometimes guilty of choosing the easy way to achieve my artistic goals.
    Amberglass wrote "With kids nowadays, you never know how long their attention span my last once they start. Photography is expensive; no and's, if's, or but's about it. I started with a slrs (film) from the very beginning, and in my mind, it's the way to go to properly learn photography 101." I started the discussion about the dual functionality to sort of address this topic, I should have included the quote.

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    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Receiving a new camera has always created a sense of discovery within me. I love to be able to turn off the thought processes (other than composition) sometimes and just shoot away. Then I look for new ways of photographing familiar subjects, time of day, time of the year, and having the ability to control the amount of light that reaches the sensor allows me to capture the image realistically. I hear stories about budding photographers losing interest in their craft because either they grow bored with the equipment's limitations or they cannot afford the additional equipment to assist them.
    The "new camera feeling" is one with I am very familiar. I do much of my shooting in program, but work with myself to use the other controls. My beginning training, back in the late 40s was with box cameras, so I have a tendency to compensate for "standard" settings.

    I would, once in awhile, be rewarded by my mentor with the use of his Rollie or Speed Grafic, so I did get training in setting focus and aperture. I shot many newspaper shots with the old Speed Grafic and used it while in Alaska for wildlife and scenic shots. I was so pleased when I could afford to graduate to 35mm.

    Now that I have several cameras which are smarter than I about focus, exposure, shutter and such I am getting quite spoiled. I have a tendency to move the camera off subject, lock exposure and swing back to subject to compose. Lazy, I know, but it usually works.

    Speaking of new cameras, I will post a new thread on something which happened to me last week. It is regarding another "new" camera for me. I really needed camera #7, doncha know. (I put that post in the common room.)

    Now, to get back on thread, I can't comment on the P90, as I have never seen one. However, I will repeat what I tell others and students. The camera is only a box in which to capture the image, the photograph. The picture is behind your eyeballs. Therefore, choose the camera which fits your psyche and hands. It will capture the photographs you want, because you will have it with you when you see the picture. The extra controls and bells are nice, but not mandatory to the picture.

    Pops
    Last edited by PopsPhotos; 26th December 2009 at 11:43 PM.

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    This is one of those moments when I chose to just shoot and see what results I come up with. I was using a Nikon point and shoot S220 while on a short vacation this December in Miami.

    miami-027-u.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 27th December 2009 at 02:25 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    This is one of those moments when I chose to just shoot and see what results I come up with. I was using a Nikon point and shoot S220 while on a short vacation this December in Miami.
    Hi John,

    I thought that looked familiar; I strolled the same beach in November 2006

    I think I had a Nikon P&S at the time too

    Cheers,

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Warren,

    Just wondering if you decided to purchase the P90?

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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Nikon D-40 is a great camera to start out with and you can grow with it.
    Check out Ken Rockwell for further information and a review.

    Mal Stevens

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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Hi Warren

    I had my bridge camera Panasonic DMC-FZ35 abou 2 weeks ago, not bad at all on its features and still shot quality.

    Extremely impressed with HD (720p) video capture in AVCHD format, which have very good file compression and it can record 1hr on 8GB SD card.

    I no longer use my old Sony camcoder anymore, FZ35 is like 2 in 1 that take solid photos and with instant Rec button, I can take video in any mode of shooting.

    Cheers
    Ganny

  17. #17

    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Hi,
    I am Hrishi here.
    Too much noise under low light conditions on the P 90 that I have seen. My wife's 2 yr old Nikon P 5000 is a much better one, thought it does not have the super zoom capability. There are other good bridge cameras like the P 6000, or the Canon SX20 IS (superzoom) or the Panasonic Lumix super zooms. May be these can be checked out before taking a final decision for your daughter's Camera..
    Cheers...
    Hrishi

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hrishikena View Post
    Hi,
    I am Hrishi here.
    Too much noise under low light conditions on the P 90 that I have seen. My wife's 2 yr old Nikon P 5000 is a much better one, thought it does not have the super zoom capability. There are other good bridge cameras like the P 6000, or the Canon SX20 IS (superzoom) or the Panasonic Lumix super zooms. May be these can be checked out before taking a final decision for your daughter's Camera..
    Cheers...
    Hrishi
    Hrishi,

    Interesting comments on the P90s inability to function under low light conditions. There are ways to improve the shoot, changing your ISO setting, using flash (not really the best option), slower shutter speed (might need a tripod) in low lighting situations. The P90 also has an NR (noise reduction) setting that can help. Regardless of the camera used, there will always be a lighting condition that will create imperfect photos for all of us. Utilizing all possible technical options will help us capture the moment that would otherwise be lost.

  19. #19

    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Shutter lag, even if not huge, when combined with the delay of viewing on either the LCD or via the EVF (electronic viewfinder), makes it very difficult to time the shutter release for action shots - although I see it is supposed to do 15 fps
    No RAW capability, only jpg.
    All very good points David!

    I quoted the above because I think these 2 points are the major drawbacks of the P90. I hate shutter lag and small viewfinder. I also dislike the inability to do RAW files.

    I also suggest getting a tripod if night photography or static objects are your child's thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amberglass View Post
    His younger 10 year old sister has now also expressed an interest, and within a very short time has already surpassed her older brother's skill levels. She now is going down into the basement to work on creative flash photography (all by herself ) using the D70's pop up flash as a wireless commander.
    Any samples of creative flash photography?
    Last edited by Blazing fire; 31st December 2009 at 12:27 PM.

  20. #20

    Re: Nikon P90 - any thoughts?

    First off, let me thank all of you for the wonderful advice and insight. After all things were said and done, I guess Santa decided against the P90 and opted for the D3000, with a full four year extended warranty for the off chance that she does break it. In the end it was the changing of the lenses that made his decision.

    So, with that said, she has since taken pictures and has joined this sight. Here name is LWheelz89 or something like that.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Warren
    Last edited by Warren; 1st January 2010 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Had incorrect screen name for my daughter

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