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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The New Generation Of D-SLRs


Cameras keep getting better, and the latest models to come out this fall are among the very best yet for nature photographers

This Article Features Photo Zoom

new generation
Nikon D90
Featuring much of the technology introduced in the high-end D3 and D300 models, but at a lower price, the new D90 adds the ability to shoot HD-quality video. The APS-C format D90 can use a wide range of AF-Nikkor lenses, which range from a 10.5mm fisheye and 12-24mm superwide zoom to a 600mm super-telephoto, and thus can compositionally handle just about any outdoor shooting need.

Active D-Lighting Harshly lit outdoor scenes need not faze the D90 user because Nikon’s Active D-Lighting very effectively expands dynamic range by exposing for the highlights and processing to retain shadow detail in-camera. You can select a strength level or let the camera do it. Active D-Lighting works with both JPEG and RAW images.

EXPEED Image-Processing System The D90 incorporates Nikon’s EXPEED image-processing system, which was introduced in the D3 and D300 a year ago. EXPEED provides finer details, smoother tones, more brilliant colors and lower noise over a wide range of ISOs, while also speeding operation and reducing power consumption. The D90 starts up in a quick 0.15 seconds, has a shutter lag of just 65ms and a viewfinder blackout of just 120ms, and can shoot 12.3-megapixel images at 4.5 per second. ISO settings range from 200-3200, and can be expanded to 100 and 6400, all with very low noise for the speed.

Lineage The D90 replaces the 10.2-megapixel D80 in Nikon’s D-SLR lineup.

D-Movie Mode You can capture wildlife in motion or the sun rising or setting over waves breaking on a shore with the D90’s D-Movie mode, a first for a D-SLR. The D90 can shoot HD-quality movie clips of up to five minutes at 1280 x 720 pixels in Motion JPEG (AVI) format at 24 fps, with or without monaural sound (up to 20 minutes at lower resolution).

Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit The D90 uses the same Self-Cleaning Sensor system as the D300, employing ultrasonic vibrations at four different frequencies to remove dust from the low-pass filter.

New 12.3-Megapixel CMOS Sensor While both provide 12.3 million effective pixels and measure the same 23.6x15.8mm (DX/APS-C format), the D90’s new CMOS sensor isn’t the same one used in the D300. The D90 sensor contains fewer gross pixels (12.9 million vs. 13.1 million).

One-Button Live View The 3-inch, 920,000-dot LCD monitor provides Live-View capability, and it’s simple to use. Press the Lv button on the camera back, and the image appears live on the monitor. The D90 doesn’t have the Hand-Held Live mode (with phase-detection AF) of the D3 and D300, but it provides three contrast-detect AF modes: wide-area, normal-area and Face Detect. Of course, you also can focus manually during Live-View operation.

Cool Factor You can shoot HD movies with this $999 D-SLR!

Specifications
Image Sensor: 12.3-megapixel (effective) CMOS
Resolution: 4288 x 2848 pixels
Sensor Size: 23.6x15.8mm (APS-C), 1.5x
AF System: 11-point
Shutter Speeds: 1/8000 to 30 sec., X-sync up to 1/200 sec.
ISO Settings: 200-3200 (1/3 increments), expandable to 100-6400
Continuous Firing Mode: 4.5 fps
Recording Format: JPEG, NEF (RAW)
Metering: 420-pixel evaluative, 75% CW, 2% spot
Storage Media: SD, SDHC
Dimensions: 5.2x4.1x3.0 inches
Weight: 21.9 ounces
Power Source: Rechargeable EN-EL3e lithium-ion battery
Estimated Street Price: $999
Contact: Nikon, (800) NIKON-US, www.nikonusa.com
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