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01-31-2011, 05:24 AM   #1
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First DSLR; Pentax K-r or Nikon D90

So I'm about to get my first DSLR.

I'm pretty sure the Pentax K-r is the camera I want to go for. The only other one I'm considering is the Nikon D90, having ruled out the Canon 550D.

Now I know this is a Pentax forum, but having been reading threads over the past few days it seems unbiased and give genuine advice and not totally blinded by supporting one brand.

Basically I would be happy to go for either Pentax or Nikon. Both have more than enough lenses for me.

The only advantages the Nikon D90 I can see is that it has a larger viewfinder, has a top LCD screen and has Dual Dials.

Is there anything else that I may not be considering. Can the Nikon D90 do anything the K-r can't? Any advanced settings etc? I know the Dual Dial and top LCD are found on the more professional models but am I correct in thinking they don't offer any more settings, just maybe a quicker way of viewing and changing settings?

The Pentax K-r has the advantages of in body stabilisation and 6fp shooting. Plus I can get the Pentax K-r for about 80 cheaper than the Nikon D90.

The Pentax is an entry level model and the D90 seemed to be a more mid-level camera when it was released 2 years ago (hence the top LCD and Dual Dial I assume). But in those 2 years it seems technology ifor the Entry Level cameras released recently has caught up.

I have held both cameras and they both feel great. I guess in my mind I originally thought the D90 was a more advanced camera and better value, but after the research that seems not true.

So is there any other reason the N90 might be preferable, something I'm missing or don't understand?

Thanks in advance!

01-31-2011, 06:33 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mapk Quote
So I'm about to get my first DSLR
I have never used the D90 so I cannot tell you about the merits of that one. However, I have never found the top lcd much use for me personally. The dual dials are nice but not that big a deal probably because I was so used to shooting with a beginner Dslr for a while.

I started Dslr life with a pentax k2000. However unlike the Kr, the K2000 does not do well in high ISO. So I upgraded to the K5. Why the K5 and not the Kr? Because I did not want to have 2 beginner cameras in my bag. If the k2000 had been as as good as the Kr in high iso shooting I dont think I would have bothered to upgrade. [I dont own one but I have played around with one].

People are different. I personally would not have liked to start off with a camera with too much controls on the body. I fear that I would have spent too much time on the controls and not enough time on worrying about things like composition, exposure etc. But you maybe different.

In short, I think the Kr is a great camera for most people. The Nikon D5000 I think maye a comparable equivalent and probably will suit you just as fine. I choose Pentax because at that time I wanted the smallest Dslr I could find with the smallest lenses. Think of your needs and choose the system. I think Nikon stands out in flash photography but there are dual system users here who will probably give their own comments.
01-31-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
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Since this will be your first DSLR I suppose you will be doing a bit of everything, not a specific type of photography.
I've been a Pentax shooter for over 2 decades. I haven't yet tried a K-r, but I do have some experience with a friend's D90. It is an excellent camera. In my opinion, Nikon's strong point is the metering system and flash control. Just superb. Focusing is also very good in terms of accuracy and speed. I think the Kr should be a bit lighter and maybe a bit smaller. However, Nikon system can become very expensive fast. Stabilized lenses (VR-II) and top of the line flashes (SB900) are great performers, but also expensive. A big advantage of the K-r (and any other Pentax for that matter) is the ability to use older lenses while keeping stabilization.
The D90 is rated at 4.5 fps so I don't think the difference is huge.
I'm not sure if the D90 has been discontinued after the D7000 but it should be soon.
The Kr is available in different colors. I don't care for that but I've heard people are more comfortable looking at a bright colored camera than to a black one. Go figure.
Bottom line, they are both excellent choices. I'd go with the Kr because of the backwards lens compatibility, in body stabilization, a slight advantage in weight and size and of course this friendly community

Thanks,
01-31-2011, 06:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mapk Quote
The Pentax K-r has the advantages of in body stabilisation and 6fp shooting. Plus I can get the Pentax K-r for about 80 cheaper than the Nikon D90.
also smaller body size and weight, autofocus microadjustment, the sensor is the same but new generation, 9 cross AF points versus only 1 in D90, much better noise handling and ISO range, Lithium or AA batteries option
I have the K-x and K-r built looks better, especially the battery door
I would go for K-r since D90 is already a one generation older camera IHMO

01-31-2011, 07:38 AM   #5
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I did not the K-r, but I tested and compared both the K-x and D90. I liked the D90 viewfinder but I disliked the size and weight. I have medium-size hands and I felt that the D90 was cumbersome. The K-x was a nimble in comparison, althgouh I settled for the K-7 because of its handling and WR.

If you can, go to your local store and try both cameras. The hand feel is very important and no one can hand-feel a camera for you.
01-31-2011, 07:41 AM   #6
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If you are going to get a D90, you might as well get a D7000; and if you are going to get a D7000, you might as well get a K-5

See how that works? It applies to lenses too.
01-31-2011, 08:52 AM   #7
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I'd say K-r, you would pay at least a few bills less than the D90. Yeah, D90 feels nice in the hands (I personally like heavier cameras), but compares to features, K-r is way more feature packed than D90, from lowlight to some rich in camera features...

Don't get me wrong, I shoot with Pentax and Nikon, if you are a new DSLR user, Pentax does have a very user friendly interface.
01-31-2011, 09:03 AM   #8
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You'll be able to feed your LBA better with Pentax than with Nikon.
More lenses, means more tools for specific jobs and not just an all in one tool since the other specific tools are expensive (I'm talking about lenses here).
The only thing that sucks right now for Pentax is that if you are an accessory freak.
More third party manufacturers make more accessories for Canon and Nikon than Pentax..so, you would have more choices in terms of compatible flashes, wireless flash triggers, etc..but most would also be likely expensive.
It's your choice, either more lenses or more accessories.

01-31-2011, 09:05 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mapk Quote
So I'm about to get my first DSLR.

I'm pretty sure the Pentax K-r is the camera I want to go for. The only other one I'm considering is the Nikon D90, having ruled out the Canon 550D.

Now I know this is a Pentax forum, but having been reading threads over the past few days it seems unbiased and give genuine advice and not totally blinded by supporting one brand.

Basically I would be happy to go for either Pentax or Nikon. Both have more than enough lenses for me.

The only advantages the Nikon D90 I can see is that it has a larger viewfinder, has a top LCD screen and has Dual Dials.

Is there anything else that I may not be considering. Can the Nikon D90 do anything the K-r can't? Any advanced settings etc? I know the Dual Dial and top LCD are found on the more professional models but am I correct in thinking they don't offer any more settings, just maybe a quicker way of viewing and changing settings?

The Pentax K-r has the advantages of in body stabilisation and 6fp shooting. Plus I can get the Pentax K-r for about 80 cheaper than the Nikon D90.

The Pentax is an entry level model and the D90 seemed to be a more mid-level camera when it was released 2 years ago (hence the top LCD and Dual Dial I assume). But in those 2 years it seems technology ifor the Entry Level cameras released recently has caught up.

I have held both cameras and they both feel great. I guess in my mind I originally thought the D90 was a more advanced camera and better value, but after the research that seems not true.

So is there any other reason the N90 might be preferable, something I'm missing or don't understand?

Thanks in advance!
let's put it like this, all different brand of DSLR have it's perk over other brands (other wise they wouldn't be able to sell anything).

Now you're not looking to spend a fortune on lens, so for you any system is gonna be fine, plus tamron/sigma makes lens for everyone so no problem there.

This makes it really easy, k-r is 2 years newer for the same price... camera body is like a computer, always buy the newest thing, even entry level new camera body will probably be better than older mid range body... the reason is that it's all electronics and like a computer it get outdated quick.

and i think the D90 costs more than the k-r... I rarely see deals on nikon, tell me how much a D90 costs? the k-r with dual lens kit have went as low as 750 (250 at the very least for the lens included, so the camera body is around 500).
01-31-2011, 09:21 AM   #10
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If you envision doing any indoor/studio photography where you want tethered capture using software like Lightroom or Capture One, the D90 is the obvious choice.

If this doesn't apply to you or doesn't make sense, pardon the interruption.
01-31-2011, 09:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ismaelg Quote
I'm not sure if the D90 has been discontinued after the D7000 but it should be soon.
It looks like the D90 is going to be around a while longer. The D5000 was discontinued without a replacement so it looks like the D7000 replaced the D90 which slides down to replace the D5000.
01-31-2011, 12:30 PM   #12
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The D90 doesn't meter through older lenses. Pentax has that awesome green button thing and stop down metering.
I use a D200 based camera and I can enter in lens info (very quickly with the function button and dials) but anything below a D200/300 and you have to use CPU lenses.

Cheap Nikon glass is $50 and up. Cheap Pentax glass is 99c and up.

Edit: The D90 has Nikons CLS (creative lighting system). It's so awesome in its awesomeness!
01-31-2011, 12:39 PM   #13
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Compare the Nikon D90 vs Pentax K-r
01-31-2011, 01:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lavascript Quote
For D90: Around 60% more lenses available LOL
02-01-2011, 04:29 AM   #15
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

Going to go with the Pentax K-r. No reason for me to spend more money on the Nikon D90 as it won't offer me an advantages, plus will be nice to have a newer model.
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