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View Full Version : Top 10 Reasons to Buy/Not to Buy a Nikon D90



Ralph Oshiro
11-22-2008, 03:36 PM
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a Nikon D90 [revised]:

1. 720p D-Movie mode feature.
2. No-brainer for anyone who already owns a lot of Nikon glass, and is ready for a body upgrade.
3. Beautiful, "filmic" colorimetry in D-Movie mode.
4. Excellent highlight compression in D-Movie mode.
5. DX-size image sensor affords shallow depth-of-field, far superior to that of 2/3" 1/2" and 1/3" video cameras.
6. 24p framerate very "cinematic."
7. Colorimetry, highlight handling, depth-of-field, framerate, all contribute toward creating a very "non-video" looking image.
8. Least-expensive option among other large-sensor cameras (Canon 5DMKII, RED ONE, EPIC).
9. Available NOW.
10. $899 USD (body only).

Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy a Nikon D90 [revised]:

1. Rolling shutter "skew" effect clearly visible during moderate-speed panning. This is the camera's most severe limitation to its D-Movie feature, and cannot be "fixed" with a firmware update.
2. Can't shoot under flourescent lighting (60Hz scroll bars visible in picture).*
3. No manual control in D-Movie mode.**
4. D90's in-camera 720p subsampling creates "stair-step" artifact (however, there is a fix, posted elsewhere here).
5. Some degree of color aliasing (color banding).
6. Shoots 24p, not 23.976.
7. Variable-bit rate M-JPEG compression permits nonoptimally-low datarates.
8. Wireless remote shutter release won't start/stop D-Movie mode recording--must push "OK" button instead.
9. DX-size sensor still requires 1.5x focal length multiplier, and is not as large as the full-frame, Canon 5DMKII sensor.
10. D70-era, non-'e,' EN-EL3 batteries are incompatible with the D90.

*(if manual control in D-Movie mode were to be made available, setting the shutter manually to 1/60th or 1/120th, would minimize this issue).
**(possible that this would be addressed in a future firmware update)

Matthew Bennett
11-22-2008, 06:58 PM
Good list .... but the stair steps are now officially under control .. replace that with the screaming hell of bottomless VBR motion jpeg compression...

John Sandel
11-22-2008, 08:06 PM
Really? Sears has something up their sleeve? I love Sears.

EDIT: Never mind—to reflect R.Oshiro's edit of his first post.

Nitemare
11-23-2008, 04:01 PM
Under control? how? I got the AE fix alright, wich actually made my decision to buy the D90 alot easier. But it still is a workflow issue if I have to wait for the footage to be rendered.
It's not as bad as lack of manual controls but...

mrmoe
11-23-2008, 08:28 PM
I would add,

Very good in low light and...
It's ability to act as a stealth camera.

timemute
11-24-2008, 06:46 AM
Top 10 Reasons Not to Buy a Nikon D90:
5. Shoots 24p, not 23.976.


dude u sure this is a disadvantage?
what if D90 shoots only 23.976 not 24?

mattsand
11-24-2008, 07:20 AM
it still is a workflow issue if I have to wait for the footage to be rendered

you can either start editing your originals while keeping a batch conversion running in the background then just reconnect the clips, or you can actually wait until you're done depending on what you've done to the footage. or you can get fcp and use my realtime plugin. :-) it's obviously a workflow issue but maybe not as big as you think.

/matt

taubkin
11-24-2008, 08:07 AM
dude u sure this is a disadvantage?
what if D90 shoots only 23.976 not 24?

I'm pretty sure 23,976 is more useful than 24fps.

jaybirch
11-24-2008, 08:20 AM
no one else see a loss of 1-2% quality with the stair step technique? Not that I am moaning, very thankful in fact.... but I wish Nikon would just sort it out in camera.

mattsand
11-24-2008, 09:14 AM
1-2% resolution loss is not the same thing as 1-2% loss of quality in my opinion. the image looks better afterwards, hence better quality. but sure, you do lose a few pixels. i'm working on another version of my fcp plugin that scales the image to 1080p instead. that obviously doesn't give you the true resolution of 1080p but it preserves the 720p resolution, in fact it "intelligently" scales it up to 800p, which is the essence of the technique.

/matt

Carl
11-24-2008, 11:28 AM
1-2% resolution loss is not the same thing as 1-2% loss of quality in my opinion. the image looks better afterwards, hence better quality. but sure, you do lose a few pixels. i'm working on another version of my fcp plugin that scales the image to 1080p instead. that obviously doesn't give you the true resolution of 1080p but it preserves the 720p resolution, in fact it "intelligently" scales it up to 800p, which is the essence of the technique.

/matt

Sounds great, thanks for your plugs!
Keep up the good work.

/ Carl

pveal
11-24-2008, 11:06 PM
Sounds great, thanks for your plugs!
Keep up the good work.

/ Carl
Yeah, same here, you (Matt) really gave our project a boost with your FCP6 plugin. Skol. Here's hoping Nikon give us something more on December 1st... (but maybe it's just a red herring).

Ralph Oshiro
11-24-2008, 11:23 PM
REVISED:

I originally started this thread more for its humor, but now that I've spent a few more days with the camera, I've rewritten both lists (located in the first post of this thread) to reflect a more serious summary of the D90's pluses and minuses. Hopefully, the revised lists will assist those still evaluating the D90's merits and demerits, prior to making their purchase decision. For example, having to press the "OK" button (rather than the shutter release) to both begin and stop recording was a surprise to me, and ilimits certain applications (e.g., remote-start recording when the camera is mounted onto a vehicle exterior). These kinds of details don't reveal themselves until you have the camera in your hands (or until someone publishes the user manual online).

mattsand
11-25-2008, 12:36 AM
But the manual is online at nikon's website...

Ralph Oshiro
11-25-2008, 07:33 AM
But the manual is online at nikon's website...
I stand corrected. When I first heard about the D90, my first place to research the camera was here. I took about three days to read through the threads before I made my decision. I was somewhat aware of several of the pitfalls of the camera discussed here, and entirely unaware of a few others. Hopefully, I've covered at least the major gripes for expectant shoppers in the revised lists.

Jhundiboy
11-26-2008, 04:47 AM
Ive got to say the only thing I dont like about the D90 so far is that it takes about 3-4 seconds to AutoFocus in Live View mode. Not really the worst thing in the world, but i thought id bring it up.