Justifying the Nikon D90

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Leto-Parallels, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Leto-Parallels macrumors member

    Leto-Parallels

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    #1
    I'd get one if I could. The Nikon D90 is so shiny, I'd even break from the Olympus brand to get one. It's been in magazines lately, pressing on the fact that it's the first DSLR capable of shooting 790p HD movie clips. Fairly impressive, even as a fun feature I'm not likely to use nearly as much as the standard photography.

    For the $1,300.00 price tag, though, I wasn't able to justify the price tag to a co-worker. In the first place, he's obviously not a photographer. He isn't likely to buy any DSLR, let alone one for so much. His argument, though, is that there's nobody out there that would care to make use of the video capture feature.

    He argues that if someone is into film, they'll buy a nice video camera. If they're into photography, they'll buy a DSLR at a better price minus the unneeded feature. To him, there's no crossover. I tried explaining that the lens factor reaches between the two art forms. Focus, angle and lighting can be equally important in both mediums. The D90 might serve as a decent in-between tool for those who are serious about photography, but interested in taking up film.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. iTiki macrumors 6502

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    Maui, Hawaii
    #2
    Why do you feel the need to justify a camera to someone who doesn't even take photos?:rolleyes: By the way, you can get a D90 for way under $1300.
     
  3. DSG macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #3
    I can't imagine that anybody who had done any research would buy it with shooting video in mind. Beyond playing I haven't used the video feature yet but I imagine I will only use it in the same sort of situation that I would have shot a video on my phone (if my iPhone could do that...!).

    Once you have live view it really isn't a big step to incorporate the means to record video so I am surprised that so much attention has been paid to a pretty trivial feature.
     
  4. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I have one, excellent camera and a good step up from my D70.

    have never used it for video and probably never will.
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    for those who are serious about video, they won't buy an SLR. it's just a primitive feature to attract more buyers and let the owners mess around with something new.
     
  6. Phatpat macrumors 6502a

    Phatpat

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    #6
    I don't think you're paying a big premium for the video feature. Sure, the D90 is more expensive than the D40/D60 but it's a way more advanced camera in purely photography features.
     
  7. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #7
    I have a D90, love it, and never use the video feature. I stepped up from the D40, and the D90 feels almost perfect for my needs. You should be able to find the kit from a reputable place for $1100-$1200 I think. I personally just bought the body for about $850.

    You're really not paying for the video feature at all, the cost is negligible. So although I think your friend's point about people who are into video will not buy a D90 for that (totally agree), his comment about getting a cheaper DSLR because you don't want to pay for the video feature is crap. The D90 has plenty of photography merits to justify its price point even without the video feature. It certainly didn't factor into my decision, because I don't care at all about video.
     
  8. MacJenn macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #8
    Can you find me some proof from Nikon saying the cost of the video in the D90 is negligible? You won't be able to because it isn't true. Some D90 owners say that to justify the cheap, crappy video in it. It did add to the cost and more substantial than lets say negligible.

    The D90 (I own it) is a pretty decent camera, but overrated in my opinion. The video is horrible. I'm looking to sell my soon.
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #9
    I'm going to have to reluctantly agree with MacJenn regarding the video. I'd venture to guess that most could have stuck with say the D80 and never moved to the D90, but they sold some schmucks on the 780p video. What do you get with your highest capable capacity card? 5 minutes; I'd venture, and you ARE paying for it. If you were not it would not have been the first words out of many Nikon resellers' mouthes.

    As for the OP: Are you seriously attempting to justify anything to a co-worker? I say that co-worker needs to worry about their own wallet and you worry about yours. If the D90 is where it is at for you then have at it. I can't imagine the video mode to be anything more than a novelty catered mostly to parents who have kids that do funny things for less than 5 minutes or the YouTube™ generation.
     
  10. ArtandStructure macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    #10
    No one would use the D90 to regularly make a feature film, but certainly the limitations can be worked around in an artful way and the advantages of the D90 exploited for video (such as Chase Jarvis' example) if one really wants to.

    For the sake of playing devil's advocate though, I'd like to dispel a few myths regarding the D90's video. A number of people keep remarking how "unprofessional" and "amateur" the D90's video limitations are, but perhaps they do not understand how "professional" feature films are shot. From what I've read regarding the file sizes, one could record a total of more than an hour of video on an 8 gig card...perhaps an hour and a half, and although individual clips are limited to 5 minutes, a single take of that length is almost unheard of in the film industry.

    There are literally only a handful of single take shots in all of Hollywood's history which exceed 5 minutes. Goodfellas might have one when entering the restaurant from the kitchen though I don't recall if the scene exceeds 5 minutes. Brian DePalma did one in a film which slips my mind. Much Ado About Nothing had one at the end. I'm not sure those were all over 5 minutes though. Even The Protector was only 4 and a half minutes with it's amazing sequence near the end with the protagonist fighting his way up a spiral stair to a restaurant above. Those are the only ones I can recall off the top of my head (aside from a few foreign examples) and I've seen a lot of films. The remaining thousands of films don't have single shots that long.

    There are also complaints the D90 does not auto focus in video mode, which is again flagged as being "unprofessional" and "amateurish" when in fact amateurs use autofocus to shoot video and professional cinematographers do not. No "professional" is going to waste the time and money on a scene because the autofocus accidently missed for a second. "Professional" cinematographers learn how to manually focus with better accuracy, control and artistry than a machine.

    Another senseless complaint is the lack of mic input or stereo audio. No "professional" would use the internal mic anyway. Professionally one would record audio through separate means and edit separately from video.

    That said the real places people should comment regarding D90 video use is the inability to look through the viewfinder when shooting video. Obviously this is, at least for now, a problem with the nature of an SLR camera. The rolling shutter issues are also partly legitimate. I say partly because most of the examples I've seen of the "severe" rolling shutter issues are in clips specifically trying to exploit that deficiency with shots that are simply ridiculous or senseless in the context of "professional" film. It isn't quite as bad as some people make it out to be. I also hear VR greatly helps in this regard though I have no personal experience with it yet.

    Lastly, removing video would not have lowered the price of the D90. This camera was slotted in at the same price points the D80 was when it was released. This is Nikon's price point for this line and it is the price point they were going to hit no matter what. This also leads me to believe the addition of video is a relatively insignificant cost because the added features of the D90 without video are still enough to justify the price point in relation to the D80. The D90 is not an overrated camera. It is an extremely good bang for the buck value proposition. Find another camera with the price/features. Sure, it isn't as good as a D700, but it is a third of the price. The D40 is a good bang for the buck too...but it isn't the camera the D90 is. I don't understand the complaints that the D90 isn't as good as a camera which costs $1000-2000 more and therefore is "overrated".

    Food for thought.

    Jesse Widener
    Art and Structure design studio
     
  11. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    Houston, USA
    #11
    Okay firstly folks it is 720P video not whatever y'all are referring to it as...

    And saying you think the video feature added to the cost of the D90 and unreasonable so is just ridiculous, you knew exactly what the D90 was and what it did when you bough it, if you aren't happy then that is a result of your own research and your own opinion.

    You think the D90 can't create quality videos? Then just go to Vimeo.com and look at the D90 tag, heck even the commercials for the popular Kata bags was shot with a D90! Once again it is a case of not blaming the machine for your own shortcomings! Yes the jello effect is more noticeable in the D90 than it is in the Canon 5DMKII but I believe the latter is also much more expensive!

    Some of y'all just need to get the heck off the internet and go take photos! The internet is such a pissing contest when it comes to gear it isn't funny! Just go out, take photos and then when people think you are a pro shooting with a D3 or similar then prove them wrong! I get fooled a lot with that with people shooting with D40's! So stop whining and take photos!
     
  12. mfarrar macrumors newbie

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #12
    Just thought I would mention that if you are considering buying the D90 you should wait for a few days for the announcement of the "D5000", it is rumoured to have the D90 sensor and LCD screen but will be cheaper. It is said that it wont have the autofocus motor though and the video will probably be the same as the D90.
     
  13. NinjaMonkey macrumors regular

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    Nov 19, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #13
    I switched from Olympus to a D90 and don't regret it one bit, though I do miss some of the Zuiko lenses.

    I'm also one of the few people who actually likes the video on the D90. It will not replace a dedicated video camera but you can get decent results with it. It is invaluable in situations where I already have my camera out and want to capture a quick moment on video.

    And the D90 overrated, how? Seriously? It is the best camera in its class at the moment. I think most people know the limitations of the video feature but still image quality is top notch. I don't really know of another camera that can compete besides the 50D but that is in the D300 price range.
     
  14. Leto-Parallels thread starter macrumors member

    Leto-Parallels

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    Nov 7, 2008
    #14
    Thanks for the replies, guys.

    I'm not trying to play the part of the salesman for my coworker, but the guy is into gadgets. I showed him the ad for the D90 and said "ah, hey cool... shoots video, which is unique for a DSLR," and basically he acted like it was a gimmick to get you to spend $1,300.00 on a camera (though we all know you can spend a lot more than that in a heartbeat when it comes to gear).

    I was looking for possible situations where the photo-video crossover would be totally feasible in an artistic or educational sense.
     
  15. MacJenn macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #15
    Your co-worker for the most part is correct in my opinion. I know the D90 lovers on this board hate to hear it, but the video for the average person on the D90 is a gimmick to get the soccer mommy and daddies along with the Ashton Kutcher wannabees to buy it.
     
  16. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #16
    So what if it is a gimmick? It doesn't make it any less of a camera! I see it as an added bonus to an otherwise great little camera that could well come in handy in a pinch.
     
  17. MacJenn macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #17

    Justify it all you want jasey, but it did add to the cost of the D90 for something that is a gimmick. There is nothing in life for free. Nikon just didn't wake up and say, "hey lets put a video camera in this new body and not charge people for that feature." It is higher because of that. The argument that they would of charged that anyways because the D80 was around that range when it came out doesn't hold water. If it is true, show me proof. You can't. It was put in their for the soccer mommies and daddies and the Ashton wannabees like I said. They marketed it very well. I fell for the hype and wish I didn't. Now I will sell it and get the one I really want.
     
  18. Leto-Parallels thread starter macrumors member

    Leto-Parallels

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    #18
    Alright so from this and a few other comments in this thread... let's play a game and pretend it's a year or even two from now, and I'm ready to spend some more money on my photography hobby.
    Surely there will be Nikon models after this... more megapixels... some might have video, some might not. Do you think the D90 will be worth the purchase in the long run, ie is the model as good as what you'd get without the video - same price, and do you see yourself using it for a while?
     
  19. MacJenn macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #19
    I will answer: Yes it is. Listen dlsr's are obsolete after 1 year in most cases. They are like computers. New tech is faster than most people's wallets can handle. The D90 or any camera right now will be good for years to come no matter what is on the market. It isn't like a D90 will just become a crappy camera after a new one comes out. It will take as good as pictures as it did brand new if taken care of.

    BTW don't get into the mindset of more megapixels=better. That is a fools game and most people who know anything at all about photography will tell you that. More MP's cause problems with noise also. It is a marketing BS from the makers.
     
  20. 103734 Guest

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    Apr 10, 2007
    #20
    Maybe im a rare minority on this forum but I use the video feature on the D90 pretty often, and it was one of the deciding features when I bought this camera, I was moving up from a Canon Rebel XT and I was trying to decide between the XSI D90 D200 and 40D (I don't think the 50D was out yet) and once I decided I wanted to go with Nikon it was really the video feature and live view that settled it for me (live view is very very helpfull when manual focusing on a still subject), I didn't need a serious video camera just something that gets the job done and with the D90 I have both in one camera.

    EDIT: and the answer to your last question is yes I would have most likely bought it if it didn't have video, as long as it had live view.
     
  21. Jimbo Slice macrumors member

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    Oakville, ON
    #21
    I'm considering a purchase decision similar to what you had to; I have to ask, what was the main deciding factor in getting the D90 over the others? Video aside, would you still have purchased it?
     
  22. ArtandStructure macrumors member

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    #22
    Sorry, but the argument that Nikon introduced video recording in the D90 to convince soccer moms to fork out $1200 for an SLR camera kit is absurd. As for the price, Nikon has a long established and very clear line of cameras and price points. That alone is proof enough the D90 wasn't going to be any cheaper. It was always going to sit right between the D60 and D300. That's basic marketing.

    But that is neither here nor there in terms of the camera's value. Even without video recording the D90 is a great value. For those who say it is not, they have yet to post a better camera for anywhere close to the price.

    Sure, the D300 is a better camera (though larger and heavier, which is not necessarily "better" depending where you take your camera) but it is also at least $700 more...about twice the price, and I think anyone would have a hard time making the case it is twice as good.


    All the best

    Jesse Widener
    Art and Structure design studio
     
  23. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

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    #23
    Haha, wow, that's rich. You smack me around because I didn't provide concrete proof, and then you say the exact opposite...also without any evidence at all? That takes a special kind of hypocrisy and self-importance.

    Here's why I *think* the cost is negligible (I didn't say is cost *nothing*, I said it was negligible)...because no hardware had to be added to the camera to make it work. It locks up the shutter and continuously samples the sensor data and displays it on the screen. It's almost entirely software, which is a much easier cost to disseminate than continuous production of new hardware. So there, I've explained my opinion, and I don't think that's unreasonable, so put away the talons.

    And no, I don't say that just to "justify the cheap, crappy video." I agree, I don't think the video is very good at all. But I also don't think it added very much to the cost at all.

    Once again: I don't care a wit about the limited video, and I find the camera plenty worth the money without using the video at all.
     
  24. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #24
    You know, someone doesn't have to be shooting feature films to be a professional... You're confusing pro cinema and pro video. Most professional videographers using cameras that do have AF and on-board audio. I am also pretty sure that you can't just splice takes of a one time event, say a wedding ceremony. Can you imagine "Do you take this man to be your lawful...." <cut> "... kiss the bride..."? In the pro video world, there are plenty of times where you need to do one long shot, especially if you're working with a single camera.

    Also keep in mind that when you're using a pro cinema camera, you've also using thousands upon thousands of dollars in supporting gear, audio recording, and lighting equipment, and a multi-person crew to run it all, which your D90 user will never have. Trying to say that the D90 is comparable to a pro cinema camera because it lacks the same functions is stupid.
     
  25. stcanard macrumors 65816

    stcanard

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    #25
    You're looking at it from the wrong perspective.

    The D90 is priced where the D80 was at the same point in its lifecycle.

    The D90 is priced consistently with the other cameras in its category.

    So no, you aren't paying a premium for the video, which is different from saying the video has zero cost to the system.

    Now, is the D90 worth an upgrade from the D80? That's a point where the question of video comes into it and from my point of view the answer is a resounding no.
     

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