“What should I buy?”

In a word, I don’t know. Only you know you. Below is me. I know me. I don’t know you.


Once or thrice a week this question is tossed in my direction. Often, it’s a question about lighting gear. In other cases it’s about camera bodies and lenses. I’ll often take the time to answer, though I am writing this entry to serve in stead of my carefully calculated responses. Any time I can free up a couple extra hours a week by answering a question wholesale, I’ll take it. This will be short and sweet, but I think it’ll get my point across.

Let’s get started.

This week I was posed a question by an associate from the Seoul Photo Club. This associate, a budding shooter in his own right, asked me which camera he should buy – the D90 or the brand spanking new D7000. What follows is his original question:

Hi Shawn, tomorrow I will buy a cam. Do you think D7000 is worth $650 extra (for me)? I mean do I really need 1.5 extra fps, few extra AF points, and more pixels. I do not shoot videos. So, not going for the video comparisons. I think may be with that $650 I can pick up one or two good lens with the D90. In couple of years I will be upgrading to a Fx body if I need for sure. Also D7000 is new and it’s not that tested extensively.
What do you think?

What do I think? Well, my intuitive friend, I think the same thing you think – and I think that you answered your own question while writing your query. If you don’t think you need the extra FPS, AF points and pixels, you probably don’t. If you can use the extra $650 (who couldn’t?) on something more worthwhile, then by all means go ahead.

I am flattered that my friend basically asked me to validate his own suspicions but it’s not really necessary – he, and you like him, know your style better than I do and know what rig suits that style. What follows is my original response to the above question, in line with what I’ve been talking about:

To be honest, if it were me, I would go with the D7000, but only because it has a robust body and I find that important for what I do and how I work. Otherwise, with regards to the things you’re talking about – fps, af points, etc – you answer your own question. They are certainly not worth the $650 above and beyond the D90 if you don’t think they are. Take that money, buy the D90 and pick up the 50mm f/1.4 or the 85mm f/1.4. Trust me, it’ll be worth it. The cameras are so similar (of course the extra touches on the D7000 are nice, but…) that it’s more intelligent to buy the D90 and pick up an amazing lens along with it. then start saving your coins for the jump to full frame.

Follow your gut. When you’ve done all the research, as my friend obviously has, when you know all there is to know about the gear you’re deciding on, only you can make the right choice for you. I can swing your vote, sure, but I’m only basing my comments on my own experiences when the important thing is the experiences you create for yourself.


Coming up next: a few starters guides, since I haven’t done one of those in a little while. Filters, first!


One thought on ““What should I buy?”

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