“My Camera” — Success with the Nikon D90 — A Guest Post

by Janice

jessica lynette - headshotToday, in our first guest installment for our “My Camera” series, Jessica Morris from jessicalynette.com shares about her experiences in her Nikon D90 review, along with some fantastic advice about what lenses and additional items to consider purchasing. It is a great post to help you with your camera and accessory purchasing decisions. Thanks Jessica!

Jessica gave birth to two boys, Judah and Wesley, 4 and 2.5 years ago respectively. These day she finds herself the mother of dinosaurs, astronauts, bad guys, firemen and pilots – depending on where the imaginations roam. She has a fabulous husband she intends to woo for the rest of her life. She blogs about all things related to life with her 3 manly men at jessicalynette.com.

A Nikon D90 Review


It probably didn’t happen the way it’s supposed to happen. But then again – who decides how it is suppose to happen?

nikon-d90I didn’t even know what a DSLR was until a few weeks before I purchased my own Nikon D-90 in the fall of ’08.

I had my own little point and shoot camera and, with two little boys, found plenty of inspiration and took a lot of pictures. My husband had a co-worker who was just getting into photography. This friend had just purchased $3,000 worth of camera {Nikon D300} and lenses and offered to lend it to me for a day so I could check it all out. This was the first time I had ever used a DSLR and I fell in love. It was, at that point, only a glorified point and shoot to me but I knew I could learn to master it if I had my own.

A couple days later I walked into our local camera store to price out the D300. After a lengthy conversation with the salesman he had managed to convince me that I would be much better suited for the D90 as opposed to the D300. I was prepared for a salesman to try to upsell me – but to downsell me?! I appreciated his insights and went home to research and read reviews on the D90 and to brainstorm ways to pay cash for the camera.

A matter of weeks later I had my very own D90 – complete with the kit lens, camera bag, extra battery, charger, cleaning kit, 2gb memory card and filters. Between a bit of prior savings I’d tucked away, a few odd jobs and a whirlwind adventure selling things on Craigslist I’d come up with the $1,400-ish I needed to make my purchase. Really people – anything is possible when you have a will!

I jumped right in to taking pictures. I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I enjoyed the challenge of conquering the unknown. I spent a good deal of time reading photography blogs and Flickr forums, developed friendships with others who had an interest in photography and just practice, practice, practice. {I have yet to read much of the manual.}

african-woman

I made a point of using my camera almost every single day for the first 2 years – as I acquired more lenses I would set up personal challenges where I would keep one lens on for a week and, no matter what, I’d have to make do with that lens for all my pictures that week.

What I love about my D90:

The quality of pictures – while they have obviously improved over the years as my skill level has improved the picture quality from the beginning, despite my lack of skill, was impressive.

The ease of getting around the camera – I suppose it has a lot to do with being comfortable with and knowing the menu settings, but I have always found the navigation of the camera to be logical and easy to use.

nikon-d90-back-view

I love that my D90 is not only an excellent camera but it does a good job capturing movies – with a push of a button I can switch between taking still pictures of my boys to recording their cuteness on video forever.

What I would recommend starting out with:

I would completely skip the lens kit package. I had read enough before making my purchase to know that it might not be the best way to go, but I didn’t understand enough to know what would be a better choice.

If I did it again I would purchase the Nikon D90 Camera Kit {which at time of writing is only $80 more than just the camera body but you get a camera bag, 2gb card, card reader and second battery.}

And I would purchase the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 as my initial lens. It is hands down my favorite lens.

nikkor-50mm-1.8mm

From there you should be able to figure out your next step for lenses – wide angle, macro, zoom… it’s really all about what YOU want to be photographing and the look YOU want to achieve. Though the decision is definitely overwhelming! My second favorite lens is my Sigma 10-20mm.

Other items I have found useful

A good tripod – my husband snagged a great deal on a tripod for me {still paying about $80 for it – but it was down from a couple hundred!} You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to tripods so save your money until you can afford to buy a good one. It hasn’t been until the last 9 months that I have really started using my tripod and wow! I love it. It’s not practical for chasing my boys around, but it is ideal for nature shots and family portraits.

jessica-lynette-family-portrait

Nikon Wireless Remote Control – the remote is useless without a tripod, but it is hands down one of the best pieces of photography equipment and priced about $20 no tripod owning person should be without it! It is great for taking shots where I am wanting to ensure there is no camera shake and for pictures that I want to be in. So much handier then the self timer!

Camera Armor Protective Case
– I debated long and hard over this purchase and am glad I purchased it. Having traveled to West Africa for 4 weeks where it was dusty, the Camera Armor did a fine job at keeping dust from getting to my camera. I don’t know that there are many practical applications for it for moms in North America, but it lives on my camera for good now.

nikon-d90-camera-armor

Several Memory Cards – I own two 8gb cards and one 2gb and eventually I will buy a couple more 4 or 8gb cards. I shoot RAW exclusively which takes up a lot more memory space then jpeg and sometimes travel in situations where I am not able to back up my images, therefore I like to keep all my images on my memory cards until I am home to back everything up. Using several smaller cards means I have less to lose should a memory card fail me.

Memory Card Case – super handy for keeping the cards organized and in one place!

In conclusion

Am I a die-hard Nikon fan? Nope. Not really. I love mine, and won’t be switching in my lifetime, but I’d never tell anyone else that it was the only way to go. If you’re trying to decide which DSLR to buy I would recommend finding out which brand your local friends use and getting the same brand as them – that way you can test out their lenses to see if it’s one you want to buy and you’ll have someone to learn from and share your discoveries with.

Written by Guest Contributor, Jessica Morris.

Jessica has included affiliate links within her post.



Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at janicecrozephotography.com.

View all articles by

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: