DX vs. FX: It's Not a Debate, It's a Choice

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A friend of mine recently took a step into a brave new world of digital SLR photography when she shelved her point-and-shoot camera and purchased a Nikon D5300 and kit lens. The purchase was not without an amount of trepidation: confusing controls, buttons everywhere, multi-function interfaces, knobs, an interchangeable lens, and increased size.

For many customers, moving from your camera phone or compact point-and-shoot to a larger and more complex photographic tool is a big decision. Some immediately feel at home with the DSLR, and others never get past what can be an intimidating technological leap.

Within a few days of purchasing her new camera, a friend of hers, a "professional" photographer, did exactly what a friend/mentor/advisor encouraging a shy new photographer entering the DSLR world probably should not have done. He told her that she had purchased the wrong camera. Why? Because the Nikon D5300 has a smaller than full-frame sensor, what Nikon calls its "DX," sensor. "You should have gotten an FX (full-frame) camera," he told her.

"DX" and "FX" are Nikon's designations for the size of the cameras' sensors. It was not very long ago that all DSLR cameras came with sensors whose dimensions were smaller than a frame of 35mm film. However, things have changed, and photographers may now purchase DSLR cameras with "full-sized" sensors from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others. Once the sensors grew in size, the debate over sensors grew in volume. For the purposes of this article, I will use the Nikon DX/FX nomenclature to refer to the sensor sizes, but the reader should be aware that this discussion applies to any manufacturer who makes 35mm equivalent full-frame and cropped-frame sensors. For example, Canon's cropped-sensor lenses, in Canon nomenclature, are known as EF-S.

A Nikon DX sensor (left), compared to Nikon FX sensor (right).

My friend was immediately filled with self-doubt after having made a sizable financial investment in her new camera. Should she return the camera to the store and spend more on a larger and more expensive camera that requires more expensive lenses, or should she just retreat from DSLR photography altogether and use her new D5300 as a paperweight?

If you, like many photographers, have been inundated with blogs, chats, and editorials about this issue, you are likely on your way to being firmly entrenched in the FX side of the camp, as the DX stalwarts are becoming few and far between.

No need to panic, DX fans! There are many out there who still enjoy the benefits of the DX sensor while living, happily in many cases, with its drawbacks.

PROS AND CONS

FX Sensor
Pros Cons
Low-light performance/Image quality - directly attributed to larger pixels Higher Price
More control over depth of field because you have to get closer to your subject Size (the full-frame cameras are generally larger and heavier - there are exceptions)
"True" angle of view/focal lengths - No conversion needed Cannot use lenses designed for smaller sensors without cropping to the smaller image
Higher dynamic range Image quality - by using a large portion of the lens image circle, edge softness and vignetting can occur
DX Sensor
Pros Cons
Lower Price (cameras and DX lenses) Low-light performance inferior to FX
Size (usually smaller and lighter cameras) Smaller dynamic range
"Telephoto" effect (a 200mm lens is virtually a 300mm lens) General lack of "super-wide" lenses
Versatility - uses specially designed smaller lenses as well as all "normal" lenses Smaller viewfinder image
Image quality - captures image closer to the center of the image circle. This usually offers more sharpness and less vignetting (darkening) around the edge of the frame  

Moving away from the technical differences and impassioned sales points in the battle between the FX and DX sensors, I feel that photographers hoping to educate and inspire new photographers should steer clear of telling other photographers that they are "wrong" simply because they purchased a DX-sensor camera.

My father used to tell me, "Some of the world's greatest photographs were taken with a cardboard box (pinhole camera)."

My father used to tell me, "Some of the world's greatest photographs were taken with a cardboard box (pinhole camera)." This is true. Pulitzers have been won with photos taken with $20 plastic cameras. Point-and-shoot disposables have captured exquisite beauty.

The camera is a tool used to gather light. And, like any tool, there are different cameras for different jobs. The DSLR might be the photographic equivalent of a pocket-sized multi-tool, but it is not always the right camera for every job. Continuing that thought process, there is not only a market for the DX sensor cameras, there are real-world benefits to their operation and those fans of DX should not be criticized for their choice of tools.

So, if you are shopping for a new DX DSLR camera, or you are a fan of the DX sensor and its advantages, know that there is no reason to bury your head in the sand or feel envy when someone comes by with their FX machine—the world will keep spinning about its axis. Meanwhile, go out and create some great photographs with your camera—regardless of the sensor size.

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I wish there was a better way to explain the crop function to people...saying that a 200mm is effectively a 300mm isn't all that accurate really. 

Colonel Lacrosse,

I agree with you 100%. For the purposes of this article, I chose not to dive too deeply into the math of focal length/sensor size.  "Effective" is the key word here in describing the "telephoto effect" of the cropped sensor. 

In reality, the effective focal length numbers are only relevant to those familiar with standard 35mm focal lengths.  For those of us who used to shoot film SLRs, the numbers and conversions make more sense because we grew up knowing that 50mm was "normal" and less was "wide" and more was "telephoto."  For those new to photography and DSLRs, the lens focal length is often just a confusing set of numbers that mean very little to a beginning photographer - it gets even more confusing when you try to explain the crop factor due to the fact that they may not have a reference or foundation.

Thank you for your comment!

-Todd Vorenkamp

I have a D300 so not only do I get FX envy/propoganda I am also bombarded by pixel envy - you now have to have 24mp sensor at least....then I see great shots taken on a D80 or a D200 etc and see the prices of Nikon FX lens and the prices of the bodies and I sigh and think well I'll stay with my D300 for the time being - I'm happy with what I get from it.  I think it's just a marketing ploy to have us all spend lots of money on stuff we don't really need.  If you are a pro or have loads of money it's different. As soon as you buy your D610 there will be a 620, then a 630 and so on....don't understand why cameras can't be made with inter- changeable sensors....

Mr. Whiteman,

Always nice to know there are fellow D300 fans out there! The D300 is a great camera and it serves me well.

Interchangeable sensors would be great, but I never feel like I need more megapixels. In fact, I would like to see, on my next camera, simply better sensor performance (color and noise) with the same number of megapixels.

Thank you for your comment!

I too have a D300 and suffer from the constant FX/pixel propoganda and advertising.  I am considering stopping my subscription to one particular magazine as all it does is promote new products.  Also, from a sustainabilty standpoint, this constant flood of new models is not good for our planet.  Produce new sensors to fit "old" models, have operating systems uploadable into "old" camera bodies then you have a sustainable product.  Thank goodness I re read this article and the comments a got my head straight again as I was begining to be sucked in by the FX propoganda.

     Totally agree with you that the "Professional" friend did exactly the wrong thing. Guessing they are not really a pro at all. More like another person who spent a bunch on an expensive camera and decided they were pro from the price tag. 

     That being said, I am a professional photographer. I have used both FX and DX cameras. And you are right, for the majority of photographic purposes, a DX camera is just fine. But as a professional who also shoots a FX sensor body, you need to use it to understand it. The dynamic range you get with a FX sensor is unreal. DX sensors can't begin to compare. So as a professional, I want all of that dynamic range in order to give my clients the best photo I can.

     Do I still us my DX camera's? Sure. They have their place, but it depends on what I want the final image for. If I plan to do metal prints 80 inches wide with the shots, you can bet I will be using an FX sensor. But when I go out on shoots for the newspaper or even some miscellaneous magazine work, the DX camera does a great job. 

Hi Daniel,

Great points!

I agree with you as well. The DX camera is certainly not the best tool for making 80" prints.

Having said that, many of my friends buy cameras with extremely large megapixel counts to take snapshots of kids, friends, and family members.

People look at me quizzically when I tell them that I used to get great 13 x 19" prints from my 5.47 MP Nikon D1x camera as they think you need a much higher-resolution sensor to get large prints.

Thanks for commenting!

I get all the crop factor stuff.  But what I don't understand is the dynamic range argument.  Why is it not possible to have a DX sensor with just as much DR as an FX sensor?  Technically we are just talking about the sensitivity of the individual light sensor sights right?  Those can be the same on DX as FX (if a DX sensor was made with the same pixel pitch as an FX sensor).  Anyway, I shoot DX and am pretty happy with it.  If I went FX, the only reason would be to gain more DOF control.  IQ wise, I am pretty happy with my D7000.

I agree with you, however many copanies don't. Now day if You want to get into profesional photography for a studio, or business the first thing They do is to ask you if You own a FX camera. If You don't, even if you show a good portfolio, They will skip You almost automaticly. sad, but true.

Mr. Palacio,

Thanks!  More great points!

I have not experienced the "Sensor Size Discrimination" first hand, but I have heard the story from others.

I can see where this might have happened in the past where a client specified large or medium format for a project, but I think it might be a bit much for the DSLR debate.

It seems like lots of people these days are spending their time "splitting pixels" on a computer screen and not making small prints or just enjoying the photographs for what they are.

Thanks for commenting!

I remember well in the film days if you photographed with your Mamiya there was someone always saying "I only use a Hasselbad therefore my photos are better than yours"  I have found out over the years it is the person behind the camera not the camera.

Hi Mr. Downing,

Thanks for sharing!  Yes, if the camera made the difference, we would all be saving our nickels for the most expensive cameras we could buy in the hopes that they would make us better photographers!

There is the age-old backhanded compliment: "You take really good photos. Your camera must be really good!"

It is always nice to have good equipment, but equipment can only do so much in the world of art, sports, and other activities.

Thanks for your comments!

Someday I might get that serious and move to a FX format, but for now my D7000 is doing a great job. I consider myself a serious amateur. I don't collect money for any photos I take. Recently I was taking some pictures at a friend's wedding (that's the only time I will take pictures at a wedding), and another wise guy played the FX vs DX card. I asked him why wasn't he shooting a medium format camera like a Hassie. If what he was saying was true then he wasn't being true to himself because there are cameras out there with an even larger sensor than a FX. About cameras, my better images were shot with my mom's Kodak Brownie Hawkeye way back in the early 1960s when I was a kid just learning about photography. Hey! Isn't a Brownie a medium format camera? JK

Hello JK!

As they say around B&H...the best camera is the one that you use.

The photography life was certainly more simple before it was overtaken by the ones and zeros of the digital age!

It will be interesting, in several decades, to look back at the world's "iconic" photos and see how many are film and how many are digital.  Digital has been around for well over a decade now, but when I think of the greatest photos ever taken, a bunch of film images come to mind - some probably shot with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye!

Thanks for your comments!

Nice summation and good advice. Once correcton. Canon's crop sensors are referred to as "APS-C sensors." The EF-S designation refers to the lenses designed for those cropped sensors. ;-) 

Mr. Mollise,

Thank you for writing! I strived to make it clear that I was just referring to the Canon lens in that sentence, and am sorry if that was not clear.

As I was speaking of sensor sizes in the previous sentence, I can see where I may have confused some readers.

Thanks for pointing it out and thanks for your comment!

While this is primarily Nikon, the same aspects apply to Canon as you mentioned in the article. I was in the same quandary venturing into the DSLR world. I mulled the advantages and disadvantages over full frame versus cropped sensor. I liked being able to "*****" on the telephoto side with a cropped sensor, but then I would be *****ed on the wide angle side.

I was thinking that a Canon 7D (EF-S) was more in our household budget when my wife said "What do you think about this camera"; it was a Canon 5D Mk III. Sure! And I found a better price for a similar package at B&H.

I have been shooting with a full frame camera since 1980 with my Canon A-1 which uses film, and I still use.

Mr. Hightower,

Thank you for your story!

Many of us might be envious of your household budget oversight committee!

Keep shooting that A-1!  Beautiful camera!

Thank you for commenting!

I think the best point to take away from this article is that you can shoot great photos with almost anything. I use either a Nikon D800 or 800E (FX) for my "serious work," but I use a Nikon P600 or Canon SX-50 as my carry everywhere, every day cameras, and they have sensors smaller than the DX.  On rainy days I carry a Pentax K-3 which is the same sensor as the Nikon DX.

The bottom line is that I'm happy with photos in any of the three formats, and I've shot some of my best work on those smaller sensors.

Old Marine,

Thanks! I totally agree. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Semper Fi!

I think the biggest "issue" I have with DX is the difficulty to do wider angle shots - granted I have never had an FX camera...I started with a Nikon FM2, moved to a D5000 then a D7000 and now a D7100. Before I recently purchased my nikon 10-24 I got very frustrated that I couldn't make the composition of my photos look like they used to with my FM2. Very happy with my recent purchase - which came from B & H by the way! I would love to have an FX camera and be able to have my focal lengths closer to what I remember...but at this point in my "career"....I just can't justify the extra cost right now - especially when I see the quality of pictures I am getting out of my D7100!

Jean,

Thanks for commenting!

You are correct, going super-wide is a challenge for DX users, but there are some very good wide angle zooms on the market, such as your Nikon 10-24mm. If you want to go super-wide on DX there are some interesting fisheye options including the Nikon 10.5mm f/2.8 ED DX Fisheye that has a picture angle of 180 degrees. When composing with this lens, be sure to look at the bottom of your frame to make sure you are not including your feet in the image!

Enjoy your D7100!

Bigger is not always better.  Let the gear junkies and photo snobs prattle on about their "superior" cameras, as soon as this happens they've automatically lost my attention and usually my respect.  It may be true that full sized sensors are needed for certain types of shots required in some professional work, but for most of the rest of us who shoot for enjoyment, those specialized ***** and requirements rarely, if ever, exist.  In any case, for those with full sized sensors, show us work, which tells us infinitely more about yourself and your photography skills than your gear ever will, and quit bragging about your cameras.

Astrocat,

Thanks for commenting!  I certainly agree. 

As Baron Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron) was quoted as saying, "The quality of the crate matters little. Success depends on the man sitting in it."

This old air combat quote can certainly apply to photographers and their gear!

great article!

you are the first one that describe it in that particular way, and I'm totaly agree!

as owner of several crop bodies in the past, that have sell all my arsenal just to get FF 5D with 2 lenses, I can honestly say that this is not a simple choice and there is not a simple answer. as for me the pros was much important than the cons, but I know the adavatage of the crop segment too.

as you place it: It's Not a Debate, It's a Choice...

well done!

ETStudio,

Thank you for your comments! Indeed, cameras....ALL cameras, are tools and every tool has its pros and cons depending on the job you choose to do. What works for someone on one job might not work for another person on another job!

I appreciate the feedback. Thanks again!

Thanks. You said if much more effectively than Nikon did.

e,

Thank you very much! I am glad you enjoyed the article!

so my main question is....if i plan to move to do photography as a business, can i use a DX format camera? like the 7100?? or a FX camera is really needed? i plan to star to do some family portraits, kids, maternity sessions, etc. and mainly outside, and the cost difference between the nikon 7100 and the nikon 610 is a lot...i think i can use that money to buy more lenses that also can work on a FX when i decide to do the upgrade

thanks

Juan

Hi Juan,

Thanks for your question. In a way, you already gave yourself the answer, but here is my $0.02.

The simple answer is: No. You do NOT need a FX camera to be a professional photographer.

There are many professionals using cropped-sensor (DX) cameras with great success. In fact, almost all digital SLRs used to feature smaller sensors and no one really cared until the full-frame sensors arrived. I am sure you have seen a lot written about the perceived superiority of FX cameras and their benefits. As I pointed out in the article, there are benefits to both FX and DX-format sensors. The direction you go is totally up to you.

Back in the days of film, depending on the job requirements, customers rarely asked the photographers if they were shooting 35mm vs. medium format vs. large format.

If you show up with the world's most expensive camera and fail to make the customer happy, it does not really matter how much money you spent on gear. On the flip side, if you can break out a smartphone camera and make a great photo that your customer loves, then everyone wins!

The truth is in the final results. When it comes to photography, your customers should care about the product, not the equipment used to create it. If you get a DX camera, do not feel inferior to those with FX cameras. Use it, enjoy it, make great photos with it, and get your customers the product they want!

I'm a lot younger than most of the people who have commented here having been a late 80s baby, but that being said I was raised by two very serious photography hobbyists. My parents were big into the Canon SLR world in the 80s and 90s. In fact my family still makes jokes about us being the camera-toters, because after a while I inherited the bug and the cameras (lucky me right?!). So, I was raised on 35mm film and continued to take photos with an old '86 Canon until I graduated high school in 2006. Being one of the children raised in the tech world I've watched cameras change and have both been inspired and let down but the way the community has changed. 

My old film camera took beautiful photos for everything, even senior prom. I was yearbook editor and we had a couple DSLRs we could use, but the best photos we used were film. After high school I started college running the newspaper and used older D60s. I loved the digital format for it's ease, but it took me many years before I invested in my own camera. I started with a entry level DX (this was when FX first came out) and I've never been disappointed by it, only by the sneers and camera snobs who treat me like a child for using it. 

I haven't upgraded to an FX body yet due to monetary reasons (though it will be soon), and despite all the benefits of buying one I know I will still use my lucky DX. It has survived flash floods in Japan on my back, won me awards in photojournalism, traveled the world with me, captured the smiles of new graduates, the kisses of newlyweds, the stars of a night sky in Wyoming, but mostly it's become an extension of my life. I will never understand why people think a camera makes you a "professional" or any better than anyone else. It takes so much more than your equipment to make an image unforgettable. 

Hello Ms. Mars,

Thank you so much for the comments! Here is an embarrassing (and funny?) tale to share with you:

In the final semester of my online MFA program, I ended up in a class with a few photographers that I had not crossed paths with in previous classes. One classmate was doing a documentary project on beach volleyball and was producing gorgeous images that he was sharing in class weekly. Being an MFA thesis prep class, the conversation about everyone's work was decidedly non-technical as it was centered around concept, vision, message, etc. Several weeks into the semester, I commented on this student's images and said something to the effect of, "I love the overall feel of your photographs. There is something that makes them different in terms of aesthetics."

Another classmate wrote, in the message thread, "Um, that is because he is shooting something called film, Todd."

So, as you, and I, and your high school yearbook classmates noted, there is something still special about film that cannot be replicated with electronics, regardless of pixel size, pixel count, pixel pitch, sensor size, etc. It is subtle, but it exists.

Did that drive me back to film? No, not really, but it did leave a lasting impression on me.

Here is a bold prediction: DX-format, and those still using it, will create an super-cool genre/subculture in the future of digital photography. :)

You read it here first!

Thanks again!

Hi, I really enjoyed reading your feature.

The discussion has helped me (a bit) in trying to decide my next move on kit. Currently I have a Sony A300, which I have been really happy with. I've had perfectly acceptable images printed up to 35"x40". Even so I have been wondering if they could have looked better if I had had more MPixels or a bigger sensor.

I switched over to digital with a Fuji S602 which I thought was a really great little camera and substantially lighter than the Canon A1 I had been using for years, plus it was my first experience of autofocus! Moving from that to the Sony made me feel more at home with a return to the SLR format and interchangeable lenses. Sensor size didn't even come into that decision back then.

I'm now wondering if it is time for some new kit. Hence the FX/DX quandry has come up.

Am I ever likely to print something bigger than 35x40? Probably not. Still it's a difficult choice. Will moving from my old Sony to a new Nikon DX really make THAT much of a difference? Many will tell me it will but I'm not sure. I guess my thoughts are as I am already using an APS-C size sensor, and don't have a bag load of old lenses that are going to work with a different brand it probably has to be FX to feel the benefit of a change at all with all the associated expense of switching brands.

This discussion has gone a good way towards making me think sit tight for the moment and don't get sucked into buying new kit looking for a solution to something that's not a problem (for me anyway). I am happy with the images I shoot on my kit. Even though it's not the newest or trendiest. Will my next purchase be FX? Yes it probably will be, but I won't be rushed into it.

After all one of my most popular pictures I have on a web art site I took with a Blackberry!  I like to think a person takes a picture, a camera just records it.

Thanks for hosting the discussion.

Hi Ian,

Well said!  Thank you for reading, thank you for the thank you as well!

Keep shooting and keep making great images regardless of sensor size!

Thank you very much for this article: clear, informative and sensible. Thank you for the responses to comments too. Not only you enjoy photography, but it's remarkable your willingness to help others to enjoy too. That is really encouraging!

Will,

Thank you very much for your comments. I very much appreciate the compliments on the article and on my teaching. It is a pleasure to share my enthusiasm for photography with you.

Thank you!

I totally agree with your article. I have both systems in use. Both have pros and cons. Two years ago I changed completely from DX (D300s) to FX (D800), because I thought that FX will be better. But after one year of using FX, I recognized that there are some disadvantages of FX and also that cost for good FX equippment ist very high. So I bought a D7100 body as second camera and I'm very happy with this cam. It's much more lighter and smaller than my D800. I can use cheap and good lenses like e.g. 35mm. Files are smaller and in normal outdoor situation image quality is as good as D800. Even in lowlight situation this cam is very good. So I can only recomment to think about all these pros and cons mentioned above before completely switching from DX to FX. For me both systems make sense. It's like a tool. I must know for what work I want to use it.

Hi Markus,

Thanks for reading and commenting! It is nice to see a photographer seamlessly using both systems for the benefits of both. We often forget the "tool" aspect of cameras and worry too much about what kind of screwdriver we are using instead of just getting out there and removing the screw!

Thanks again!

I shoot with a Nikon 24 megapizel D7100 (with high-end glass) and couldn't be happier with my "DX" results!  As an amateur-ethusiast photographer, DX works for me.

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the comments! "DX" works for many professionals as well; not just amateur-enthusiasts. It was not all that long ago that every "pro" DSLR was "DX" format.

Keep shooting and thanks for reading!

I have a trusty D40 and I love the little camera. It works great with its kit lens 18-55. I have come to realize that the lenses make a bigger difference than the form factor does. 

Hi Krams,

I agree with you on many levels here! There are a lot of great wide-angle lenses for cropped sensor format cameras.

The important thing is that, if you are getting the photos you want and enjoying making images and seeing your images, then you are good to go, regardless of what camera you are using!

Hi Krams,

I agree with you on many levels here! There are a lot of great wide-angle lenses for cropped sensor format cameras.

The important thing is that, if you are getting the photos you want and enjoying making images and seeing your images, then you are good to go, regardless of what camera you are using!

Thanks for the article as well as the comments from other readers.  My film days date to 1968 and a Nikkormat Ftn with 50mm F1.4 lens.  I entered the autofocus realm with a used N70and 2 lenses. I started with a Nikon D60, then upgraded to a D80 for additional features and megapixels. I am a Professional Engineer, and my "professional" photography work really amounts to very high-quality snapshots.  A close friend is also a photo enthusiast, but he has been upgrading his Nikon cameras through trhe F-100 to the F-4 then F-5 which he then traded in for a D100 then to a D300 and now a D600.  I finally shut him up about the DX/FX 'arguement' in that he previously owned two DX bodies, and he only owns full frame (FX) glass.  My going to an FX body would mean my scrapping most of my lenses, and I can't begin to afford to replace most of it ranging from a 10-20 wide angle zoom to a 135-400 zoom as well as what I consider to be my "kit lens" the Nikon 18-200 VR.

I just bought a D7100 (for additional megapixels and features such as GPS, etc), and I inserted a 32Gig and a 16 Gig SD card - I am used to seeing well in excess of 1000 exposures even when I had my D80 set to shoot RAW + Large Fine Jpeg's together.  Surprise!! with the two cards installed, the system only reads about 500 images. I just had to order a 256 Gig memory card to store roughly 30+ Megs per exposure.  24.1 megapixels are great for bragging rights in the schoolyard, but there is a downside in terms of memory cards, and the ability to connect to my smart phone with the Wi-Fi adapter is a waste as my phone only has 16 Gigs if memory.

Hi Steve,

You are welcome! 

For those of us with DX lenses, there is definitely a financial consideration when thinking about swithing to FX cameras.

Nice work keeping your friend in check! Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading Explora!

Your article is very well written and appreciated.  I'm a 67 year old "kid" who jumped into DSLR technology a couple years ago.  With no training other than the "Nikon D3100 for Dummies" manual and many trial and error shots, I have created with the help of this beautiful little camera some very fine photographs, with very encouraging comments from advanced amateur photographers  (they say I have a "good eye" for composition.)  More than once I've wondered if I should make that leap up to the full-frame or FX level in Nikon terminology.  Your educated comments have not only clearly explained the differences in a very understandable manner, but put my mind at ease over this "conflict" if you will.

So I will continue down my continuing education process with this little gem, knowing I'm not (or should not be) a pariah in photography circles.  For those hyper-critical, I'll simply hand them a hard copy of this writing.  Or if they just have to see it on their iPhone6, I'll send them a good, old fashioned email from a dinosaur.

Hi Dave!

Thank you for the kind comments! Very well said! 

If the hyper-critical keep giving you grief, send them my way! 

Good article, and especially good the the discussion it has started. 

I am just looking to venture into the DSLR world replacing my N90 which I have truely loved - especially paired with the f2.8 35-70 I saved forever to purchase.   That being said the last few years with kids and sports and always being on the run my phone or my wifes point and shoot have become the norm.  Alas it is time for me to go back to a more serious camera as I really miss some of the functionality of my N90.

Will I get rid of my N90- No Way,  but I am definetly looking forward to the digital replacement. (all the cost savings for all 1 out of 100 shots I truely keep long term)  My only regret is that my old f2.8 will loose it AF cababilites with the new body,  guess I go back to the focus ring like on my previous FG-20- oh well.

Hi Jeff,

What 35-70 f/2.8 do you have? If it is the old, but still great, Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D lens, you will still be able to use the AF functions on several of the Nikon DSLR bodies.

I owned and used that lens, myself, on a D1x, D100, D200, and D300. All is not lost!

When shopping for your DSLR, be sure to check the AF compatibility with the older Nikon lenses and keep on shooting!