Nikon D90 coming soon …
NEW Nikon D90
Almost exactly two years after the D80 was announced comes its replacement, the rather predictably named D90. The D80 has been one of Nikon’s quiet successes, and even today, despite being positively Methuselah-like in digital
camera terms it continues to sell and often makes its way into our top 10 most clicked on cameras. Because it looks so similar to the D80 the D90 appears at first glance to be one of those rather subdued incremental upgrades, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s plenty to keep Nikon fans happy.
First and foremost there’s a new CMOS sensor, which Nikon claim produces D300 quality output at up to ISO 6400 and – one of several features to ‘trickle down’ from higher models – the same highly acclaimed 3.0-inch VGA screen as the D3/D300. Naturally it has Live View with contrast-detect AF and it would have been surprising had it not sported some form of dust removal system. More surprising is the inclusion of the world’s first DSLR movie mode (720p HDTV quality, no less) and HDMI output, though as we’ll see later it does come with some limitations. A lot of the core photographic spec is the same as or very similar to the D80, though there is a new shutter and an implementation of the 3D tracking AF seen on the D3/D300.
And it’s not just the high end models that have lent features and technology to the D90; the user interface has been given the same user-friendly treatment as the D60, as have the retouching options. As it was explained to use the D90 is intended to appeal to the broadest audience of any Nikon SLR, from first-time ‘step up’ customers moving from a compact to serious amateurs wanting comprehensive photographic control without the cost and weight of a D300. Whether the D90 turns out to be a jack or a master of all trades we’ll discover when we get a final production body to review, but our early impressions are overall pretty positive. Note that for the moment the D80 will continue to be sold, possibly well into 2009 – expect to see prices falling as soon as the D90 settles in.
Nikon D90 Key Features
- 12.9 megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
- 3.0-inch 920,000 pixel (VGA x 3 colors) TFT-LCD (same as D3 and D300)
- Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection
- Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
- Illuminated focus points
- Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
- IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
- 4.5 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
- Expeed image processing engine
- 3D tracking AF (11 point)
- Short startup time, viewfinder blackout and shutter lag
- Slightly improved viewfinder (96% frame coverage)
- Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
- Improved user interface
- New optional compact GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
- Same battery and vertical grip as D80
- Vignetting control in-camera
- 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback
NEW NIKON AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
Nikon is pleased to announce the introduction of the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR. The new NIKKOR lens, with a focal length between 18 and 105 mm, is a high performance and cost efficient lens with a focal length equivalent to 27 to 157.5 mm in 35 mm format that has been designed to partner with Nikon’s D90.
High Performance – High Reproduction The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR is useful in a broad range of shooting settings. The wide zoom range makes it suitable for shooting buildings and scenery while the telephoto zoom range is ideal for portraits. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR ’s built-in Vibration Reduction II system provides the equivalent of a shutter speed three stops faster than standard lenses, offering an extraordinarily high reproduction capacity. The high-performance optical system features a single ED glass element and one aspherical lens optimized for use for digital SLRs. This allows you to make high resolution, high contrast images, and minimising chromatic aberration. The ultra-compact built-in Silent Wave Motor ensures silent, fast and efficient autofocus operation, and the refined external design with leather-tone texture will appeal to Nikon users as it will match their camera bodies.
Extreme Focal Length DX camera owners can have it all. Combined with the AF-S VR Zoom NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED; the two VR lenses cover a focal length of 18-450mm, ensuring you can capture virtually anything, from a close up object to a distant horizon. The AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105MM F/3.5-5.6G ED VR is supplied with the Nikon D90 in a special kit