Nikon Introduces the D90 – Lower Noise; Shoots 720p Video

25446_D90_front Nikon has created another amazing camera for the DSLR lineup.  If you haven’t heard about it yet, then keep on reading.  You will be amazed by what you are about to find out about this new DSLR and some of it’s capabilities.  It is priced right too, which makes is an affordable camera for both the advanced amateur or photojournalist. 

The D90 has been updated with a lot of the same features as it’s big brother, the D300.  It has the 12.3 MP CMOS sensor, EXPEED processing, a 3-inch LCD, low noise ISO sensitivity (200-3200), LiveView, built-in sensor cleaning, and Active D-Lighting.  It all comes in the body size of the D80 too.  So it’s a lightweight, powerful photography tool.  I haven’t even mentioned the video capability yet… yes, this DLSR takes video too!!!

Most of the other features you know about already because of the D300, but new to Nikon’s DLSRs is D-Movie.  D-Movie allows you to record 720p HD video at a rate of 24 frames per second in Motion JPEG format.  This kind of technology is really amazing, and is bound to change the way that all consumer DSLRs are judged.  Imagine someone like me who might use this camera to do a shoot and also use it to shoot video of my setup so that I could post it here and share it with you.  I could do all of this with ONE CAMERA and so could you!  Already, I’m questioning my desire for the D300 and D700… wow!

There are a few features that I don’t care for though.  I don’t like that it still only uses the 11-area Auto Focus of it’s predecessor, the D80.  I also don’t like the fact that it only flash syncs at 1/200th of a second.  Additionally, it’s fastest shutter speed is 1/400oth of a second as opposed to 1/8000th of a second of the D200 and D300.  Sure we are talking about two different camera classes, but come on Nikon.  The LiveView is not as robust as the D300 either.  LiveView isn’t a feature that I really care about or would use, but I would like them to be the same.  I’m also disappointed that the metering sensor is only 420 pixels, just like the D80.  I would have rather have seen the 1005-pixel sensor that the D300 features.  The D90 can shoot continuously at 4.5 fps which is an improvement over the D80.  It’s still not as fast as the D300 at 6 fps.

The D90 does feature Commander Mode, which will allow you to use the on-board flash to control SB800/900s wirelessly if you choose to use CLS.  I would rather use Pocket Wizards or Cactus V2s triggers personally, but that’s just me. 

The D90 uses an EN-EL3e lithium ion rechargeable battery and is rated to get 850 images per battery charge.  You can also purchase an optional AC adapter.  The MB-D80 battery pack/grip fits the D90 and can offer you longer battery life (with an additional EN-EL3e battery) as well as give you a vertical shutter release. 

Lastly, the D90 uses SD and SDHC cards for storing images, so if you were already using a camera that uses SD cards you won’t have to worry about making the switch to CF cards.

Check out Chase Jarvis and his staff below as they test out the D90 on a live, commercial shoot and see what he has to say about it. 

Now, as you have heard me say many times, it’s not the camera that makes the picture, it’s the photographer.  So if you were looking at the D90 and the D300, it could be a tough choice based on some of the features that you get with the D90.  I may just end up with one.  Given the fact that I have a D40 and I can use it to flash sync as fast as I want, if the D90 performs as well as the D300 when it comes to low noise at high ISOs then I may save myself the extra $650.00 and buy the D90 instead and throw the money I saved at some new glass.  It’s gonna be a tough choice and it will come down to testing them both to see which one I like better. 

B&H Photo has the D90 listed for $999.95 (body only) and expects it to arrive in October.  Check it out here

To get the full specs and more information about the D90, visit Nikon’s website by clicking here.


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