My new camera: Nikon D90 w 18-105mm VR kit lens

Have you heard? I have a new camera – a big, heavy, scary, intimidating, and exciting new camera!

And I have all the requisite guilt and self-induced pressure that comes with paying more than a thousand dollars for something for myself (well, when you’re me that’s what happens). I’ll do a post soon about what a nutso I am when it comes to spending, but for now, I thought I’d tell you what I bought and why (and my early, early, early reviews), because I spent all of last week digging through the web to find recommendations from anyblogger to help guide me.

What I bought:

After much debating, I bought a Nikon D90 with 18-105mm VR kit lens from B&H Photo. I got a great deal, shipping was fast, and they delivered what they promised. Score!

Here’s where I give a little shout-out to Nikon: the kit lens came with a hood and a lens bag.  The body came with an LCD cover.

Because I’m notoriously uncareful (not a word, I know), I also bought Camera Armor, a silicone body armor and lens protector.  I paid extra to get it here on the same day as my camera, knowing if I put it on immediately I’d just get used to it; if I waited and tried to put it on later, I’d be unhappy with the extra bulk.  I really like it, though I have to press buttons a little harder and the dang silicone attracts cat hair like you wouldn’t believe.  Since I attract door frames like you wouldn’t believe, though, it’s staying on.  I took the lens leash off because I couldn’t stand the lens dangling around.

I will also be buying a Tiffen 67mm UV haze-1 filter from Wolf Camera’s local store today.  The brand gets good reviews, the filter doesn’t seem to affect photo quality, and any additional protection between my klutziness and an expensive repair is worth it.  I’m buying locally and paying the tax because I’m afraid to wait for shipping.

What I didn’t buy:

I really wanted to patronize my local camera shop, but without a good reason, I couldn’t justify spending an extra $200. Had they thrown in any kind of service — preferred pricing on trade-ins, annual check-ups, free sensor cleaning, something, anything — I would have, but barring a single reason other than to keep my business local, I couldn’t do it. I’m still angsty about it, but there you go.  Between not paying sales tax and free shipping, I saved a couple hundred bucks even after paying extra for two-day UPS service.

I also thought about buying a used or refurbished camera, but after finally finding a D90 body and the kit lens, the difference in cost was about $60 so I went new and guaranteed the five year warranty.

I didn’t buy a D5000 for one reason: that dang hinged LCD screen.  Look, I know Nikon calls it a feature, and I’m sure some people love it (they do, I googled), but I’m a klutz.  All it takes is one moment of carelessness and that thing gets ripped off it’s little hinge.  Also, my husband is infecting my brain with his “the more fancy things get, the more likely they are to break” stuff.  My grandpa used to say the same thing.  Otherwise, D5000 would have been my choice — it’s much less expensive, comes with two lenses for a lower price (reviews generally say they’re not as good as other lenses, but reviews generally say that about kit lenses in general, which is like saying the Corvette is so much faster than the Malibu… duh), and has the same (or really similar) sensor.

I also considered buying a used D80 but the mohawk guy at Glazer’s Camera in Seattle said the technology was significantly better in the D90.  I’d already told him I was unlikely to buy from them and anyway he doesn’t get a commission, so I tend to believe him.

Early Review

The thing is a tank or else I have unusually wimpy wrists.  I have no idea where to find things since Nikon and Canon’s controls are pretty much never not one single time in the same place.  I turned off the auto-focus and then spent ten frustrating minutes trying to figure out what happened.

But I love the thing.  Love.  The extended range of the kit lens is so cool, the colors SOOC are so rich, and although I fumble for buttons, when I find them, their location makes sense.

Now I just need to get over feeling like I’m a total wannabe when I carry The Tank around.

All the links are affiliate links, so if you click through them before buying a camera, I get some piddly percentage.  Whatevs.  I think (I hope I remembered) to click through to buy mine from a reviewer that helped sway me, which seems only fair.  If you don’t want to, I won’t cry, but if you do, that’d be cool, too.


8 thoughts on “My new camera: Nikon D90 w 18-105mm VR kit lens

  1. Ohh, I’m so jealous right now. I want one but I’m afraid I won’t know how to work it. Good luck with it!

    • @Sunny, Oh, I don’t know how to work it! I bought this awesome book (“Digital Photography Master Class” by Tom Ang) that notes that DSLR controls are frustrating to new people (I can’t even call myself a “photographer”) but absolutely critical for experienced photogs. I totally get that.

  2. Congrats on the purchase! One good things about Nikon is that their kit lenses are usually better than Canon’s (I hate the crappy kit lens that came with my Canon T1i and I wish I had spent a couple hundred bucks more for a better lens). I can’t wait to see the pictures you take with your new toy!

    • @Geek in Heels, I am definitely finding that to be true so far. Granted, the kit lens with the D90 is a better lens (18-105) than the equivalent Canon lens I had (18-55) so it’s an unfair comparison. I have to tell you, I already miss my little cheap 50mm prime – I think that’ll be my next purchase.

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