Baby on the way . . . would I be happy with the D90 for video?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chewbaccacabra, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. chewbaccacabra macrumors regular


    Mar 20, 2008
    As everyone knows, parents love taking video of their kids. And we'll have to send video back to the grandparents in China. I could swing a good video camera or the D90, but probably not both.

    I really want my own DSLR after borrowing Dad's so often to take pictures for my friend's Shakespeare theatre company. If I buy a D90, I could use his lenses which are the 50mm 1.8, 80-300mm, 12-24mm, and whatever the kit lens is. Then maybe spring for another lens too.

    I know the D90 takes only 5 minute videos. That's probably fine for now, at least until the baby is older and I need to take a video of the WHOLE game or WHOLE school play. :eek:
  2. Renderz macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2004
    My assistant recently bought a D90 knowing what limitations it has as a Video Camera. But we would shooting video with post editing in mind; fast cuts, fades, colour manipulation etc.

    If you want to shoot entire events then you could be in trouble because of the 5 minute limit.

    I was talking to Canon at a recent exhibition and they told me their new Canon 5D allows up to 30 minutes of continious video but that is a more expensive option.
  3. chewbaccacabra thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 20, 2008
    You guys were happy with the D90s video quality though? I thought I read something about frame stuttering. I've used Betacam SP waaaaay back and 16mm and 35mm film. Never shot with an HD cam though.
  4. Renderz macrumors 6502

    Feb 27, 2004
    Happy yes, but we have accepted the compromises that comes with it. Myself and my team want to concentrate on delivering a quality Photography service but some of us have a passion for video (including post production values) as well; with this in mind we are going to offer short videos/testimonies of the wedding/event as an added bonus.

    We intend to use the D90's video feature locked down on a tripod; we accept (and prefer) manual focusing and we love the fact we can use my very fast glass collection that cannot be compared with in that price range.

    For a very quick sample, have a look here I intend to be posting more tests later.
  5. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yup, I saw some videos taken by the D90 and the Canon something that also records. Well the video quality is amazing, I do notice a flaw in it that people say is the cause of CMOS sensor? There is a few seconds where the video will lag behind
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    realistically you will use the still camera more. Video is hard to shoot and takes a LOT of time to shoot and even more time in post production editing. Still photographer is quicker so you do more of it.

    the 5 minut limit is a non issue. Watch any professionally made show and never do shots last that long. The D90's real problem is the audio. There is no mic input so the audio is doomed to be horrible. You can plan around this with a external recorder or by non using sound

    If budget is a real issue buy a used D50 for $350 and then get a $300 mini DV camera. Then you will have first rate still and first rate video capabilty.
  7. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I use point-and-shoots and my like-DSLR for movies. Nice about them is that the video time limit is limited only by the unused space on the memory card.

    Video quality on my like-DSLR (a Panasonic FZ8 with a Leica lens) is awesome because of the glass. But like the post above, the audio quality really lacks.

    You may want to bite the bullet and buy an inexpensive flash drive based camcorder instead.
  8. chewbaccacabra thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 20, 2008
    I think a used D50 is out of the question. I'm reasonably familiar with the D80, not an expert by any means. Enjoy shooting with it a lot.

    I'm in Shenzhen right now and I *think* with my fiancee's extreme bargaining skills I could get a deal on a D90 (body) / 80-200mm 2.8 lens over at the electronics mart. As long as I stay away, I think she could score a non-laowei price. ;)

    I'll have to keep weighing these decisions. I'll go look at cheap palm camcorders and see what the prices range at here. There's no way it's worth it to me to spend the same on a camcorder as it would be a D90 package.
  9. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    Have you seen this review where they cover the D90's video capabilities specifically? This is not my area of expertise at all, but I'm familiar with this site and think they have good reviews...
  10. telf22 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    Simply put, You dont need a D90. My brother bought one a week ago and returned it yesterday. Video on this camera imo is not a feature thats ready. If you only want the d90 for video i wouldnt bother. It is very wavy and seems like its always in slo-motion. If you really have to have a dSlr with video i'd wait another year.
  11. chewbaccacabra thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 20, 2008
    OK! Thanks for this. I think this review (and other comments) convinced me not to rely on a D90 for video. I still want a Nikon DSLR of my own (I was most interested in the D90 because of the self cleaning sensor) but I will just keep borrowing Dad's D80. Maybe I could get a deal on the 80-200 2.8 Lens for us both here(it would be great for the theatre photography I do) and a camcorder.
  12. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yeah, its the same as we can't rely on handphones camera to replace point and shoot, and we cant rely DSLRs to replace proper vid cams. But as technology improves, I do hope they will solve some problems found in the current DSLRs videos. :D

    I do like the super sharp quality taken by DSLRs, maybe its because of the superior lens?
  13. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    How are you going to send the videos to China? I live on a separate continent to my family but the net connection here is no were near as good as back in the UK so sending and uploading large files is out of the question.

    Sorry that I'm of topic slightly but it's something that affects me too. Don't forget skype - always good for family to see how little one is progressing.
  14. chewbaccacabra thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 20, 2008
    Oh i was just going to burn a DVD and mail it. :) Probably wouldn't be doing this more than 3-4 times a year. Seems the easiest way.

    I have floated the idea of getting them a cheap Mac Mini or 20" iMac so they can chat with her sometimes, but she doesn't think they can figure out how to use it.

    Looking at a Sony HDR HC9 right now.
  15. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    Nothing better than a camcorder for taking videos of one's kids, because most times it takes a lot more than five minutes of experimenting before one captures a decent video. Also, children are very unpredictable, their mood changes, etc., and this could happen any time, including just between the 5-minute range thing.
  16. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    yes, for your needs i think one of those cheap hd camcorders would do teh job perfectly...(aptek) has some decent prices for pretty decent quality and a Dslr on the side, i don;t think IMO you can yet compare video capabilities btw Dslr and regular camcorders, IMO we shoudl never have to why wodl a Dslr have video capabilities anyways? ahah but anyways thats a whole diff story/thread
  17. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Here's my opinion on the subject of having one convergence device vs. two separate devices.

    I can't count how many times where I was using my SLR and wished I had my camcorder with me, or vice versa. It's been absolutely numerous. A dSLR with good/excellent video capabilities would be outstanding in these situations.

    There have been other times where I do have both devices, but it's just so cumbersome to try and shoot both simultaneously. I've tried and the results are mediocre pictures and shaky video. It's just awful ... mainly because both the camera and camcorder are designed to be used right-handed.

    I would love to have an affordable option that can shoot HQ photos and good video (for me, photos come first). The D90 and 5DMk2 represent the first step towards this goal. In fact, I'm looking at the m4/3 concepts because that would/could be a great device for photos/videos.

    Imagine having a Rebel (I'm a Canon user) body that does 1080p/AVCHD video using the entire range of SLR lenses available. You could pop on a nifty-fifty to do video of the kids birthday parties and it would look amazing (compared to the narrow apetures on camcorders) with the lights dimmed down and the candles flickering.

    Alternatively, for the video-first guys, a great device would be a camcorder body that accepts SLR lenses. The upside would be that it would be able to take good photos in addition to the excellent video.

  18. chewbaccacabra thread starter macrumors regular


    Mar 20, 2008
    I went out to the various electronics marts on Shenzhen today. I guess I fail to see their point. All I hear about are what a good deal they are but the SONY camcorder I was looking at was about $300 more everywhere than I can buy it on the internet in the US. Not only that the retailers poo poo'd it because it uses tape. :rolleyes:

    Just a weird thing I dealt with today. I didn't even attempt to deal with the Nikon guys. I will probably end up buying a lens before I leave for Dad though.

    Like the sound of the new RED camera. Will keep my eye on that.

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