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Nikon D90  (Source: Nikon)
D90 adds first ever D-SLR HD movie mode

It has been a big week so far for D-SLR cameras. Yesterday, we saw new cameras announced from Canon and today Nikon has officially announced its new D-SLR camera called the D90.

The D90 will sit in the Nikon range right above the D80 and Nikon says it gets its inspiration for the top-end D300. The D90 has a 12.3-megapixel image sensor that uses Nikon's EXPEED image processing. One of the D90's biggest features is something that is missing on D-SLR cameras in general -- the ability to record movies.

The D90 can record full motion video at resolutions up to 720p (1,280 x 720 pixels) at 24 frames per second. Nikon says that the D90 is the first D-SLR camera in the world to offer the ability to record movies. Nikon also says that the large image sensor used in the D90 means that it offers better performance in low-light conditions than your typical camcorder. Video shot with the D90 is recorded in AVI format with mono sound.

The D90 also adds something that some other D-SLRs in the Nikon range are missing -- Live View LCD. The D90's 3-inch LCD has 920,000 pixels and can be used to align shots without using the viewfinder. When a Nikon lens with vibration reduction is being used, images taken in Live View will get the benefit of Vibration Reduction. Live Mode viewing angle is 170 degrees.

A Scene Recognition system is built-in and uses a 420-pixel RGB  sensor to improve autofocus, auto exposure, and auto white balance performance. In-camera retouching is offered with options including Distortion control, Straighten, and Fisheye.

The ISO range for the D90 is ISO 200 to ISO 3200 and it can be set to an ISO 6400 equivalent. The camera's picture control system can optimize customized colors in both portrait and landscape modes. The viewfinder has approximately 96% frame coverage.

For fast action shooting the D90 offers 4.5 frames per second continuous shooting and a blazing startup time of 0.15 seconds and a shutter release lag time of 65ms. The built-in flash offers 18% lens coverage and can control wireless lighting.

The Pictmotion menu allows users to create slideshows on the camera with image effects and background music. HDMI output is also supported. Power for the camera comes from rechargeable EN-EL3e Nikon batteries. Optional multi-power MB-D80 battery pack extends battery life and allows the camera to be powered by six AA batteries. Images taken with the camera are stored to SD/SDHC memory cards, which are much cheaper and easier to find that CF cards used in many DSLR cameras.

A number of exposure modes are offered including automatic modes, advanced scene modes, shutter-priority auto, aperture-priority auto, and full manual. Exposure metering is via 3D Color Matrix Metering II offering center-weighted and spot metering.

Dimensions of the camera are 5.2-inches x 4.1-inches x 3-inches (W x H x D) and the camera weighs 1 pound 6 ounces without the battery, memory card, LCD cover or body cap. Pricing for the D90 is the U.S. is $1,299 with the 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR kit lens ($995 without). 

Images and specifications of the D90 were leaked yesterday ahead of the official announcement.



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RE: Just what I was waiting for
By KingViper on 8/27/2008 12:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know what you just said?

The functionality of this camera won't change. It will still be an SLR by definition. And the way in which it takes pictures is the same, they just added the ability for the camera to lock its mirror up and record continuously.

You sound like someone who bought an SLR as a status symbol which is becoming all too common these days. You should try moving the dial off the green box.


RE: Just what I was waiting for
By Proxes on 8/27/2008 1:41:43 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you haven't walked around with a white lens and had people make stupid comments. I'd much rather be able to take pictures in peace and not have to listen to ridiculous snide remarks. Status symbol? That's issues.

The industry seems like it's moving towards electronic shutters, and I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. Which is the only point I was trying to make. I don't give a crap about what Nikon is doing with this camera, but I do care where the tech is heading.

What's the next step? Move the AF sensors out of the mirror assembly? Remove the mirror assembly and have a digital view finder?

I'm probably no different than the people that got upset when they moved aperture control off the lens and put it in the body. I'll stick to using Av, Tv and M... you can take your green box and choke on it.


RE: Just what I was waiting for
By Heidfirst on 8/27/2008 1:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Remove the mirror assembly and have a digital view finder?"
did you miss the announcements about Micro Four Thirds mount? ;)
That's where they are headed (although I think that it's in addition to rather than replacing SLRs).


RE: Just what I was waiting for
By KingViper on 8/27/2008 2:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I've heard the comments..

"That camera must take really good pictures!"
"Wow, how many megapixels is that thing?"
"How many times zoom is that lens?"
"What's M mean? Movie?"

IMHO as long as a camera can accurately capture the image, which I think any current DSLR can, then I've got no issue with it. Obviously there are things that Canon and Nikon and others can do to make a camera take even better pictures, but the classification of the camera itself shouldn't matter.


RE: Just what I was waiting for
By Proxes on 8/27/2008 2:36:12 PM , Rating: 3
"That's a super sonic camera!"
"That's what you call lens envy."
"Are you compensating for something?"
"Look son, he get's paid to take pictures."
"He must think he's a pro or something."

It never ends. I was at an airshow on Saturday and my 70-200mm 2.8L IS was far from the biggest around. I was happy and had tons of fun shooting. DSLRs are getting a lot more common, which is a good thing.


RE: Just what I was waiting for
By Lord 666 on 8/27/2008 3:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
Totally hear you on this.

Two years ago (Oct 06), my wife asked kindly for me not to bring the D80(!) to a kids amusement park because she thought it made me look like a kiddie stalker. She was sort of right because no one else had any DSLR in that south NJ park.

June 07, we went to the Bronx zoo on fathers day with the same D80 with 18-200VR where I went out of my way to point out the amount of "white lenses" people were carrying around to my wife.

June 08 at Disney, FL. While the D300 got compliments from Disney staff, it was not the only one there. Didn't see any D3, but saw both recent Canon (did see a 5D) and Nikon DSLRs.

My point is consumers are making the investment into quality photo gear over the past 2 years. The next big investment curve will be when full frame trickles down.


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