Nikon D90: I thought this was at least 5 years out

I'm an happy Nikon fan-boy.

heads up: this is a pretty old post, it may be outdated.

Chase Jarvis Blog: Chase Jarvis RAW: Advance Testing the Nikon D90

I'm an happy Nikon fan-boy.

I've been saying privately that still photography will be dead in 10 years. It will simply be easier to shoot video and take a frame from the capture after the fact. Cameras like the Red ONE (and soon, the Red EPIC) are revolutionizing the video capturing field. With 12mp capture at 60fps and really good dynamic range, the stills look fantastic. As soon as storage in the field gets figured out (trust me, 12mp video files are huge) this camera becomes a snap for photojournalists.


Now Nikon has gone and tackled the problem from the still image end. The new D90 shoots video – 720p video, and apparently it does it fairly well. You get all the advantages of the D300 sensor (that's right, it's high ISO video time baby!), and the awesome depth of field of still camera lenses.

This is the revolution! The D90 is a phenomenal camera that every PhotoJ is going to need to have in their bag – though if you're on a budget, I'd wait a while, seems like Nikon's rate of innovation (that seems like it needs an acronym) is increasing – I'd bet we get a higher-end model that shoots video within the next 15 months.

I do have a coupla questions:

  • can you attach a mic to the camera? Do we have to wait for a higher end model than that?
  • how much does the GPS suck battery life?
  • 720p video is huge – how much can you fit on a puny SD card?
  • what's the lag time for setting up video on the camera? Can I switch between video and still easily?
  • can shutter speed and aperture be adjusted while the camera is shooting? - how much does shooting video drain the batter?
  • Jarvis shows the D90 with a vertical grip – are we getting vert. grips on the prosumer line now too!?

Signing off, – a very happy New Media photog (and Nikon fan-boy)


Nikon has posted some sample video. Nothing ground breaking but interesting to see. Things worth noting:

  • there is no autofocus in movie mode (not too surprising, but a bummer)

  • The high ISO performance is outstanding

  • I'm excited to see the D400 (with movie mode), heck, the D4 (with movie mode)

  • still don't know if attaching an external mic is an option (doubtful)