Monday, February 16, 2015

My New Nikon D90 – OMG! What happened to my Panasonic Mirrorless Cameras?

Nothing happened to them. I still have the G6, GM1, GX1 and GF3 along with the E-PM2 from Olympus. I do plan on paring down the list once again, but that was always the plan. The Nikon came about as the result of two separate forces – nostalgia and necessity.

The nostalgia is simple … I still have a wonderful Sigma 105 2.8 1:1 Macro lens that shoots stunning portraits as well. And I miss using it in AF mode, so I have been thinking about grabbing a cheap body like the D70s or D80 for a low price and then just having fun with that combo.

The necessity comes from the studio work I have been trying out. I use a pair of speedlights so far with a softbox and numerous umbrellas and have found that the lack of modeling lights can make it excruciatingly difficult to lock focus.

And then I saw an ad on Kijiji for a D90 and 18-105VR for 200 bucks. Whaaaaaaaaat? That’s more than 300 below the going rate for that pair used. So what’s the catch? Well, the ad said that the left button on the 4way controller did not work. That can be gotten around for most of your shooting so I went and looked at it. It was so nice that I bought it on the spot. Note that it also came with an extra battery and the Nikon grip. So wow … what a deal.

And the camera works pretty great. I have the settings where I want them and I can do most of what I want. I did find out that the bottom button also does not work and the middle button requires a hard press, so at some point I will send it in for a cleanup and repair. Still well worth it.

Here is is sitting beside the G6, which runs circles around the Nikon with video and manual focus of adapted lenses. But the two are very close in image quality. The GM1, which shot the photos in this article, is actually above the Nikon in raw image quality, but of course gets stomped in a heartbeat when there is action around.

So why such an old body? The simple answer is that I shot many bodies up to the D700 and D7000 and don’t really want to spend a ton of money right now on this. These were new to me and the D90 is a legitimate classic. Plus, I mostly want this for studio work with the smaller kit there for travel.

But … who knows?