hands-on preview

Wednesday in the park with the Nikon D90

The Nikon D90 arrived on Wednesday, and since we've had some great weather this week here in NYC, I immediately headed out to Madison Square Park to shoot a few hundred photos and start to get a feel for the camera. Then I passed it back to Matt F. for some initial performance testing. (Here's a slide show with some photo samples.) My first impression? For a sub-$1,000 model, the D90 is verrrrry nice.

First up, the D90's movie capture. I shot the flags blowing in the breeze and a fountain that I typically use to test camcorder and camera video. (Unfortunately, I can't display those here without compressing them in a way that defeats the purpose of showing them.) The clips themselves look OK, although for some reason Nikon bumps up the saturation beyond the photo settings, and I wish the camera shot 30fps instead of 24. You also need three hands if you plan to use the zoom--which requires manually focusing--because it's hard to hold this relatively heavy dSLR out in front of you steadily while videos shooting in Live View. But I like the creative potential of the mode and look forward to shooting with it some more. … Read more