The Nikon D90 Excites Me

- - posted in Photography, Videography | Comments

Okay, so it’s not news that the new Nikon D90 digital SLR has been announced.

The camera is the following (new) features crammed into a body with the same footprint as the D80.

  • 12.3MP CMOS sensor
  • 3 inch screen with “Live View”
  • Built in support for GPS geo-tagging in your EXIF data (GPS receiver sold seperately)
  • D-Movie mode for up to 5 minutes of 720p video
  • Probably some other stuff that escaped my notice or didn’t seem important to me

12.3MP CMOS sensor

No surprise here, it’s a higher MP sensor, and is a CMOS sensor rather than a CCD sensor. To be honest, I’m not clear on the differences between the two, but CMOS sensors are what are in all the newer cameras, as well as my HDV camcorder.

3 inch screen with “Live View”

You simply can’t argue that a bigger screen is better, and the addition of “Live View” (basically the ability to use the screen as a viewfinder, like your point-and-shoot digicam) is pretty cool too.

Built in GPS geo-tagging support

Also pretty cool and allows you to show exactly where photos were taken, though there are ways to do this with some existing dSLR’s. Doesn’t really do much for me since I’m rarely taking photos in any really exciting places.

D-Movie mode

Yup, you can record up to 5 minutes of 720p video with mono sound with the D90. There is a lot of controversy about this ability, and many are calling it a gimmick.

Now, with all that said, I’m not ready to go out and trade my D80 in for one. “But I thought you said you were excited.”, I can hear you saying..

Well, yes.. I’m very VERY intrigued by the D-Movie mode. Now, as it’s implemented in the D90 I’d rather use my Sony HDR-HC1 camcorder to capture video to tape, but the idea of similar resolution captured through a nice Nikon VR lens with the ability to use nice depth of field tricks is very VERY exciting to me. There have been people who’ve speculated that Nikon may make the transition into a full fledged video camera using the technology from this camera. If they do, and they keep it affordable (say, under $2k), I’d be first in line for one!

Meanwhile, I’m looking into building an adapter that will allow me to attach my SLR lenses to my little camcorder to get depth of field (DOF), but I’d much prefer having something that does this sort of thing by design!

If you’re curious about the “DOF adapter”, I just recently discovered that such a thing existed from a labor day post over at Strobist.