I filmed with a D90!

By Martin Joergensen | August 27, 2008 1:04 PM | Permalink | Comments ( 4)


OK, I know the specs and opinions on the new Nikon D90 are spreading like wildfire on the web right now, but the number of people who handled one is still quite limited. I'm one of them. OK, Chase Jarvis had several for a while it seems, but he's Chase. I'm just Martin.

This morning Nikon Denmark presented this new Nikon consumer (maybe more prosumer) DSLR in Copenhagen, and I was invited to join.

What struck me? Well, the D90 as a still camera is a major upgrade of the D80 with a lot more features, more in-camera functions, a new 12.3 megapixles chip and all what we have come to expect from a modern Nikon DSLR: 3 inch VGA LCD, extremely good battery life (800+ shots!), live view, good viewfinder coverage, good high ISO-performance, matrix metering, tracking AF and so forth. But where the D90 really steps out of the row is in its video abilities.


Press live view, focus, press OK on the back of the camera and the D90 records video in HD quality! Wowza! There's something you don't see every day in an SLR-camera - or any still image camera for that matter - and something which will definitely raise the bar on consumer SLR's - and even stir some interest with the video community. Because even though the D90 only records 5 minutes at a time - due to the risk of sensor overheating - it does so with every Nikon lens that has been made the last many decades and it does so with up to the 3200 ISO that the D90 offers. That means fisheye with extreme DOF or 600mm with extremely shallow DOF and creamy bokeh available at consumer prices (well, not the 600mm...!).

But anyhow: the video facility is something that will generate some commotion in the market. Use live view and shoot stills as you always do, and if something really live happens, start recording video in an instant.

The video is high quality, compact motion JPG (MPG) at up to 24 FPS, and should open and play on most platforms and work with basically all video editing software. There's a microphone in the camera (and even a speaker for playback), and judging from the promotion video that Nikon shot with the D90 itself, potentially some great video to be captured with this camera. We weren't allowed to bring out any video or pictures shot with the camera, but there will be plenty to find in the coming time.


The camera is clearly aimed at amateurs and prosumers who want a lot of facilities in-camera. It has lots of editing facilities, slideshow built in, HDMI-connection, a new 72 image thumb view (great!) on the LCD, options for sorting, calendar view and much, much more.

The price is about 1000 US$, but will most likely fall as the camera hits the streets in late September. So it's not a cheap camera, but considering the package, it seems very well worth the money. I will try to get my hands on one as soon as they start emerging from the factories.

Here's the Jarvis gang having fun with disguised D90's:



Does it have an internal AF motor for non AF-S lenses?


It does have a focus motor and will work with all Nikon AF lenses - also the ones with no built-in motor (non-AFS). That's good news to most Nikon owners who want to upgrade from an older body. They will be able to reuse all their glass.


Hi Martin
How's it feel, rubbery like a D300 or plasticky like a D80?


It didn't feel plasticky in my hands - but honestly, I don't even think a D40 feels particularly plasticky. In general Nikon cameras feel sturdy and robust - unlike the cheap Canon-SlR's which I generally find a bit flimsy. But It was much like the D80, I guess.

As Simon Joinson writes on DPReview: "As we've come to expect from a Nikon SLR, the D90 feels very comfortable and natural, with a good grip and logical, ergonomic, button placement. It's neither too heavy or too light (as to feel fragile) and feels very well put together and surprisingly robust."

couldn't agree more.