Nikon D90 Brings Video to DSLRs

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Although the camera hasn’t been a very well-kept secret, Nikon has formally introduced its Nikon D90 DSLR digital camera, offering a 12.3 megapixel resolution, scene recognition, outstanding sensitivity and image quality, and—for the first time in a DSLR camera—the ability to shoot video at up to 1,280 by 720 pixels at 24 frames per second.

Although SLR (and DSLR) cameras are treasured by photographers for their extensive anual capabilities, letting experienced photo pros adjust and control their shows down to the most minute detail, the D90 packs a number of time-saving automatic features, including an 11-point autofocus (including modes for faces, wide area shots, and normal) and a scene recognition system that includes face detection so the balance, exposure, and contrast for people can be set automatically for spontaneous shots. The D90 also features a Live View mode on its 3-inch LCD screen, so users can snap pictures without having to look through the viewfinder. The D90 also features vibration reduction so photos (and video) aren’t blurred out by the camera’s motion. The D90 also features a large set on on-board editing functions to edit and enhance images on the fly.

But the features don’t stop there: the camera starts up in just 0.15 seconds and offers a bilt-in flash with 18mm lens coverage, USB and HDMI output, SD/SDHC storage, compatibility with a wide range of NIkkor lenses, lighting systems, and batteries, an optional GPS unit for tacking location information onto photos, and an integrated sense cleaning system.

The Nikon D90 kit is priced at $1,299 with a ƒ3.5–5.6 18–105mm VR ultrasonic lens, or the body along for $995. Both should be available in September. Nikon is billing the D90’s video capability as a game-changer for the digital camera market. Time will only tell if that’s true, but traditionally the needs of a serious videographer and a serious photographer haven’t entirely overlapped: a device that serves one well—and the D90 seems like an admirable DSLR—may fail to meet the needs of the other. For instance, the D90’s exposure setting is fixed for the duration of a video shot, and focus has to be set manually. And reports have high-definition movie clips limited to five minutes to keep the camera’s sensor from overheating. But still: folks looking for a solid DSLR with some movie capabilities might find the D90 just their ticket.

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