Here is my comparison of the Konica Minolta DiMage A2 which I own and have for … 4 or 5 years now atleast, since 2005 actually. There ya go. Paid $638 for it. And, I just wrecked my original sentences… the Nikon D90 which just came out late 2008. Why am I comparing them? Cause, oddly enough, its hard to see where the D90 as a bleeding edge new pro-sumer actually out ‘features’ my A2.
btw, to see the actual side by side, go to DPreview.com – here is the comparison on their site
The D90 is a full out DSLR, the A2 is DSLR-like. The D90 is a 12 megapixel camera, the A2, an 8 Megapixel camera. So there is obviously an improvement in resolution, also obviously is the image sensor and the output quality being that Nikon is excellent at what they do and their digital SLRs are second to none. But, for an amateur like myself, that in itself isn’t enough to get me to spend $1000 for the D90 body… A featurecomparison reveals similarities but then some big drawbacks to the D90, atleast for the features I enjoy and use on the A2 (which was WELL ahead of its time). First, the A2 has a 922,000 pixel viewfinder, the D90 is surprisingly the first mid range DSLR with that high a pixel count on its screen, no other sub $1000 has been above 240K since the A2 came out that I know of… So, just equal there in my books. the A2 already had it.. The next big thing is movie mode, now the movie on the D90 is high def, which is totally cool. Again though, the A2 and all point and shoots had movie mode for a long time. So high def is cool, but not ground breaking for us sub $1000 consumers who are used to movie mode. Its a big deal on the D90 because its the first DSLR EVER to have movie mode. The precedent in the industry and one that was a long time coming I think.
Min and max shutter, check and check (ok, the D90 does have a real bulb mode, wish the A2 had it BUT… I don’t use it that often anyways and for most things 30 seconds gets you enough light)
Now, to features the D90 lacks… onboard time lapse. The A2 just does it, takes little extra code I would think to add that but the D90 only does time lapse (as is the case with most cameras) by way of connection to a PC to control it. That makes it hard to do any time lapse outside of your house basically…
Frames per second, the D90 does 4.5. Not bad, the A2 does 7 frames per second. OH YEAH. Course, to qualify, the D90 takes full quality photos, the A2 using its ultra high speed mode takes 7 fps with a res of only 640 by 480. But hey, it does the job when you want lots of action shots. Full quality it will do 3FPS. The variety of options on the A2 in this case outweighs the drawbacks.
And live view? All P and S’s had that for a long time. A no brainer to me. And articulating viewing screens, the D90 doesn’t even have an articulating viewfinder (the A2 does) let alone a rear screen that is articulating. Makes getting that hard angle shot even harder. I guess if you’re professional, you don’t need the convenience of a screen like that, you’re happy to get your face in the dirt to get your shot 😉 Gotta be hardcore to be a PRO photographer I guess.
After all is said and done, the D90 is a VERY nice camera, and one that I only considered because it has movie mode in an SLR format. It doesn’t make it easy to rationalize spending $1000 for the body (not to mention another $400 for a lens) when its missing features my A2 has had for years. And the improvement in res is not even convincing enough, the A2 is a very well rated digi-cam. SO, I guess I’ll wait until my A2 wears out, and maybe until atleast the D90 version 2 comes out and works out some of the rolling shutter kinks.
So thats my comparison between an awesome full featured camera and one that might live up to my new standard in pro-sumer digital cameras.