I hate the camera I bought two years ago. Is there any way to like it?
February 17, 2013 6:44 AM   Subscribe

I bought a Nikon D90 with the 50-105mm/f3.5 kit lens and a 55mm/f1.8 fixed lens. I liked it at first, but now I hate it. Is there any way now to like it even a little bit?

I purchased the Nikon D90 back in March of 2011. I was very excited about it, but after two years, I pretty much hate the thing. I haven't taken a picture with it now since September. I bought it to take pictures of my daughter, but it's got some terrible and obvious drawbacks. The first being lack of portability. Yep, my own fault entirely, I know. I should have thought through that for the long term, but at this point it's too late to really beat myself up over it. But it's heavy. Heavy enough to actually exacerbate some back problems. Other issues: The kit lens mount is plastic and flimsy and I broke withing a year and I had to pay $75 to get it fixed since Nikon considered it "impact damage". I also knocked it off the counter recently (in September) and it still works fine and takes good pictures, but the LCD has horizontal white streaking now. It doesn't impact the functionality, but it is a reminder of both my own clumsiness with it and feels like another albatross attached to me and the camera.

I've thought about selling it, of course, but given the streaking on the LCD now I think that might really kill the resale value.

I've thought about bucking up, keeping it and just getting myself a micro four-thirds format camera or a Sony NEX and use the DSLR D90 for more project related photos and use the smaller one for more on the go pictures.

Is there any way in the world for me to like this camera again? What can I do to actually use it to take pictures given the weight issue (and time issues - I work full time on the weekdays and am the full time in charge parent of a 4.5 year old on the weekends)? Should I just chalk this one up in the lessons learned column?
posted by smallerdemon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total)
Yeah, sometimes what I think I would like isn't what I actually would like once I start. So, if you hate your camera, get one that you enjoy using. And sell the old one, if its just going to sit around unused reminding you of how it annoys you.

Though, no camera can solve the time issue.
posted by florencetnoa at 7:06 AM on February 17, 2013

Do you have a tripod? Or a monopod?
posted by sammyo at 7:07 AM on February 17, 2013

If you're not a DSLR person (and by that I mean the type of person who likes the experience of using a DSLR just as much as the results), than you'd be much better off with a smaller camera. The quality of small cameras nowadays is pretty amazing (although the price reflects this), and recently a lot of photographers have started using them to replace their DSLR's (at least partially). I would suggest really doing some research, though, to make sure that you end up with one that doesn't just feel like a slightly smaller version of what you have.

Also, in terms of your current camera, those lenses you have don't get very wide. I think 50mm is great for artsy photography, but if you're trying to take photo's of a kid, I'd want something that gets wider. While most of my "fancy" photo's of my son are taken with my 70-200mm lens, most of the family and friends playing shots are taking with a 17-50, usually around the 25mm range.
posted by markblasco at 7:26 AM on February 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sell it now. The value of digital cams drops off fast and it will keep falling in resale value as you hang onto it. Put whatever you raise on it into a Canon Powershot S100 or S110.
posted by zadcat at 7:41 AM on February 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

smallerdemon: "Is there any way in the world for me to like this camera again?"

Doesn't sound like it. One of the reasons for the extreme consolidation of the SLR market over the last 25 years is once decent P&S cameras came out (even before digital cameras went mainstream) people abandoned the SLR in droves because the format inherently has all the drawbacks you list (Heavy, delicate, big, non pocketable, expensive).

So ya I'd sell it and buy something that meets your needs. Lots of decent digital P&S cameras now. Faced with the same decsion I bought a waterproof digital (a D20 but that is because I also wanted the GPS).
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 AM on February 17, 2013

The D90 is heavy, so nothing will change that. I say cut your losses, get as much as you can for what you have. You can get a high quality point and shoot camera or a 4/3 that you will love. Do some online research, look at reviews, then go hands-on shopping.
posted by The Deej at 8:03 AM on February 17, 2013

Trade it in for something you like better as soon as you can. It's losing value every day.

I came late to digital because I loved my film SLR and was waiting for the digital SLRs to drop in price. In the interim I got a small Nikon digital point and shoot. When I bought the Nikon D40 5-6 years ago, I was disappointed. The picture quality never blew me away and it was a pain I the ass to haul around after the ease of the P&S. I also didn't like that it didn't shoot video, which I had become used to. I made a big effort to use it for the first couple years, (and I'd also carry a Flip!) but I haven't touched it at all in probably a couple years. It's fine if I want to Take Pictures, if that is the purpose of the outing, but it's ridiculous to haul it out it to the beach for vacation photos.

I bought a Canon G11 a few years ago and love it. And I intensely regret that I didn't trade the D40 in for it. (I didn't because I didn't think think they would give me enough money for this camera that I don't like and never use that is now worth even less.) Though, truth be told, the camera in my phone is what gets used the most now--portability and connectivity win out every time. If my Canon were Wi-fi enabled it would probably get used more.
posted by looli at 8:28 AM on February 17, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all. Are there actually places I can trade it in? Or do you all simply mean sell it and use the cash for a new one?
posted by smallerdemon at 8:56 AM on February 17, 2013

I would look into selling via Craigslist or eBay. Give a warts-and-all description so you don't waste your time or anyone else's. then take that cash plus whatever else you want to budget and see what's in your price range.
posted by The Deej at 9:30 AM on February 17, 2013

if this were a girlfriend or wife would your decision be this hard? Get rid of it sell it, give it away to a charity, give it to someone you don't like...either or get rid of it and buy something you l o v e.
posted by gypseefire at 10:26 AM on February 17, 2013

Re: Selling / Trading in:
Selling: If you want pure monetary return, you might try selling it on Ebay. You tend to get the most bang for your buck, but the Ebay/Paypal fees can be quite high.

Trading: Try KEH.com. They're a reputable camera reseller in Atlanta and might have what you're looking for (sounds like Canon G-series or Panny/Olympus 4/3rds system).

Finally, to parrot what someone else has already said: Sell it now. D90s still command decent prices on the used market.
posted by NYC-BB at 1:02 PM on February 17, 2013

Best answer: The damage will most likely hurt the resale value, and camera bodies drop in price pretty quickly compared to the lenses (which often don't drop at all). Why not keep it and use only for the things which it will do much better than a point and shoot or micro 4/3's? Low-light shooting and action stuff for example.

Purchase a monopod so you can hold the camera out front without having to support the weight. Get a nice telephoto lens and you're set for shooting spirited activities, sporting events, and performances like school plays (that rapid fire shutter is a blessing, most point and shoots have a delay after pressing the shutter, and need long enough exposures to cause the resulting picture to blur) and indoor events with low lighting (plays, award ceremonies, etc) At most of these types of events you will be sitting anyway, so the weight might not be an issue, and you will get infinitely better shots than you would with a lesser camera.
posted by Th!nk at 2:11 PM on February 17, 2013

When I came into some surprise money, I was looking at dslrs. I soon realized that I was being sold the form factor and nothing else. I chose a Canon G12 and have been very pleased, and it follows the credo of the camera with you is the one you use.
posted by plinth at 4:01 AM on February 18, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I might keep it for later use (it's a good camera, just not a good every day camera) and get a lightweight portable for regularly use. I appreciate all of the responses.
posted by smallerdemon at 3:33 PM on March 7, 2013

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