back to article Nikon D90 digital SLR with HD video recording

Life can be a confusing business. You’ve got mobile phones that double up as cameras, and cameras that record video. Well, prepare to be even more confused as cameras begin to capture HD video. Nikon’s D90 proudly claims to be the world’s first DSLR to record HD video. So does this mean the end of the camcorder as we know it …


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  1. Pat O'Ban

    The Worlds First?

    Apart from the Casio EX-F1 that was launched a year ago and I've had for the last four months.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nikon’s D90 proudly claims to be the world’s first DSLR to record HD video...

    Except the Canon 5D got there first!

    First sub £1000 one though :o

  3. steogede


    Except of course, that the Casio EX-F1 is a bridge camera, not a DSLR.

  4. Joe K
    Thumb Down


    5 minutes recording? Camcorder tax? I'm not buying that excuse.

    My old Powershot S3 allows recording of an hour.

    They may as well not bothered.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    re: The Worlds First?

    Not to mention the Canon EOS 5D MkII.

  6. Sam Turner
    Thumb Down


    The Casio is not strictly an SLR - it looks like a far more sensible hybrid of camcorder and still camera. There are a handful of other non-SLR digital cameras with HD video - I looked very briefly at the fuji finepix [some number]. I think the only other true SLR with HD video is the Canon 5Dii which was released a few months ago.

    My HD camcorder is smaller, lighter and cheaper than all but the noddy-est of Canon or Nikon SLR lenses. I'm guessing there's a pretty good reason why, in the century or so since the invention of moving image cameras, nobody has ever built one that looks and handles like an SLR.

  7. Rob

    Casio EX-F1

    As far as I can see, the EX-F1 isn't an SLR.

  8. dodge

    World first?

    Very debatable. Apart from the Casio on the lower end, Canon's EOS 5D mk II hit the stores in December. 21MP, full HD video.

    IMHO the Reg Hardware camera reviews are fairly poor (largely spec-fests) -- and for some reason littered with typos. Stick to mobiles and mp3 players.

  9. Ben Park

    No example video?

    As the purpose of this is that it's a DSLR and camcorder, I was expecting some example video footage, even if it was compressed down just to show how bad the wobbles are.

    Also, I'd argue that 5mins max video means it isn't a camcorder - just a DSLR that happens to have a tiny video mode. Most cheap compact cameras will do short, shaky, bad clips of video...nothing to get excited about.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Re. World's first.

    "World's first DSLR". The Casio isn't an SLR. (Nice camera though).

    Annoymous 'cause I should be working.

  11. Adrian

    @The Worlds First?

    Well, yes, except that the Casio is not a DSLR ...

  12. Adrian


    Except that the Casio is not a SLR - the R standing for reflex as in a mirror. The Casio is just a pimped up point and shoot camera so the Nikon is the world's first SLR offering HD video.

    The Casio's viewfinder is a EVF not an optical one.

  13. Michael Benson

    RE: Worlds First?

    The D90 is the world's first DSLR. Your camera is refered to as a bridge camera - i.e. a cross between a compact digital and DSLR camera. What's the difference? Well, can you change your camera lens?

  14. Ian Cleary
    Paris Hilton


    "Apart from the Casio EX-F1 that was launched a year ago and I've had for the last four months."

    Then you'll know that the Casio EX-F1 is *not* an SLR... ;-)

  15. Chris O'Shea

    @Pat - I'm afraid you're wrong ...

    The EX-F1 is a lovely camera, but unless it's hiding it *really* well, it's not a D-SLR, it's a bridge camera. An SLR has flapping mirrors in it, the F1 only has the digital viewfinder, no optical one (please correct me if I am wrong!)

    Bridge Camera

    If it has interchangeable lenses, then it's EVIL(!) (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens camera) but still not a D-SLR.

  16. David


    .........apart from the fact the Casio EX-F1 is not a D-SLR, it is a sub-SLR prosumer camera, and the D90 is D-SLR.

    To be fair it is semantic, but 'technically' they are correct.

  17. Peter

    Glad that this is finally happening.

    "An example of the close-up performance offered by the D90"

    Surely this is dependent on the lens used, which isn't mentioned here; presumably all of the images in the review used the kit lens.

    That Casio Pat mentioned seems very interesting but isn't a DSLR and, perhaps more importantly, doesn't have interchangeable lenses. I'd like to be able to use fast prime lenses to shoot video and I look forward to future camera bodies hopefully doing a better job at this. It's pretty inevitable that the earliest models will leave much to be desired.

  18. Jon Wilson

    Not that it matters too much

    @Pat: "Single Lens Reflex" means there's a mirror for composition that moves out of the way when you shoot. The Casio doesn't have one of those. Doesn't make it a good or bad camera, it just means it's not an SLR. It's marketed as an "SLR style" camera, but that's really more about the size and shape of the thing.

    Mind you, the situation's even more complicated than that, since the live view and video modes on modern Nikons and Canons keep the mirror out of the way and just use the LCD for composition, in exactly the same way as the Casio.

  19. Matt

    @Pat: The World's First?

    I think the Casio looks like an SLR, but isn't actually one.

  20. Elrond Hubbard


    World's first *DSLR* to record HD video; the EX-F1 is not a DSLR.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Pat O'Ban

    Reckon that they, they mean the first DSLR with HD?

    The Casio EX-F1 isn't an SLR is it?

  22. RedGrittyBrick

    World's First *DSLR* with HD video

    "Nikon’s D90 proudly claims to be the world’s first DSLR to record HD video."

    The Casio EX-F1 may be a fine camera but it looks to me more like a Bridge camera than a DSLR. categorises it as "SLR-like" with an electronic viewfinder (not Reflex) and with no ability to swap lenses.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    To Pat O'Ban...

    We are talking about the world's first dSLR with HD video recording. The Casio EX-F1 is NOT a dSLR...

  24. Tim
    Thumb Down


    The Casio EX-F1 isn't a DSLR though is it?

  25. Zorric

    World's first DSLR, yep.

    Superb though it is in many ways, the Casio EX-F1 is not a DSLR. It can, however, record full motion video at 1200fps.......

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re:The Worlds First?

    I think you'll find that's the worlds first DSLR - the Casio EX-F1 is an SLR style compact camera

  27. Anonymous Coward

    The World's First DSLR with...

    You don't know what a DSLR is, Pat; it's an interchangeable-lens camera with an optical viewfinder illuminated by a mirror which flips out of the way when the image is being captured. That's the R bit - it stands for Reflex.

    The EX-F1 is a very impressive camera for its frame rate alone, but it isn't a DSLR, and it won't approach the high-ISO performance of a DSLR because its image sensor is too small.

  28. Hywel Thomas
    Thumb Up

    Nice touch...

    ... taking that photo of a police car.

  29. Steven Raith
    Paris Hilton

    Getting back to the Nikon...

    I'm quite surprised at the lack of exposure-adjustment-while-shooting-video on this camera - I'm not sure if 5Dii supports it either - as with a couple of fast lenses, you could make a pretty good job of shooting an HD movie with these things, provided you had enough SD/CF cards.

    I like the idea of slotting my 28-70 F2.8 onto a 5Dii and taking some arty farty shots of crows and stuff. Shame I don't have £1000 to burn :-(

    Steven R

    PS: Yes, we know the Casio isn't an SLR everyone - can we let that drop now please?

  30. Adam T

    Reg + Cameras = DUH

    As already pointed out, the 5D MkII was the first to market with HD video.

    Seriously, all the Reg camera reviews are canned trollop. This is a specialised area, even for real hobbiests... stick to IT, eh?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 10:24

    >Very debatable ... Canon's EOS 5D mk II hit the stores in December. 21MP, full HD video.

    The D90 was released late September early October, the review is a tad late or maybe they were waiting to actually use one instead of doing a pre-release review based on a press statement.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @folks thinking the Canon 5dii was first

    Nope, the D90 was announced a month earlier and on sale in the UK from September, well before the 5Dii

    If you're going to nitpick, better be right yourself ;)

  33. Matt Davey
    Thumb Up

    HD video example (from Canon 5D II)

    I'm the happy owner of a D90, and agree that the video feels like a 1.0 feature. Fun, though, and nice to have.

  34. Dave

    How does the Nikon D90 compare to the Canon 40D?

    I am due a new camera (overdue actually!) but I am still undecided on what to get. I have been looking at Nikon D80/90 (or possibly the 300) and the Canon 40/50Ds. How do fellow Reg readers rate the Nikons to the Canon cameras? What are the Nikon lenses like?

    If you were going to get a DSLR under a grand, which would you get and why?

    Cheers for any comments :)

  35. Josh

    Nice camera, miserable service and warranty

    Nikon makes a nice camera. It's not perfect, but it does a solid job as a camera.

    And then, something happens. Under the original 1 year warranty terms, or under the optional time-of-purchase two-year add-on warranty from Nikon, you have to send it in for service.

    Once service gets it, they will examine it with a microscope, and look for the slightest exterior damage (such as a scratch). If they find it, then your warranty is VOID. Just like that. And now you're paying full price for repairs.

    Except that their service techs are apparently about as well trained as a room full of monkeys. I sent a D-80 back for repair three times, and they never fixed it properly. They keep saying they will just replace the camera, but they haven't done that, either.

    God help you if you actually try to call and talk to the customer service reps. You'll get all kinds of promises for updates, emails, return calls, return calls from a supervisor, you name it. But absolutely jack will come of it -- you're still left in a black hole with a vintage 1995 web site "tracking" the lack of progress of your repairs.

    Due to their customer service, warranty "honoring" terms, and inability to actually repair a broken camera, I'll never buy another Nikon product. It's that simple.

  36. A

    Re: How does the Nikon D90 compare to the Canon 40D?

    Under a grand? I'd try and find a Canon EOS 5D, mk I. There are some available new for around that, obviously you can pick a used one for less.

    Why? Excellent per pixel sharpness, over and above the cameras you listed. Full frame, so no FOV crop, which makes wideangle easier. Of course that's only a major advantage if you tend to shoot wideangle; the 1.6x FOV Canon 40D/50D (1.5x Nikon D80/D90) crop factor is an advantage if you tend to prefer telephoto; as it effectively gives you a free 1.6x teleconverter built-in ;)

    The only thing missing from the mk1 is live view. If you're into tripod based macro, or astrophotography then that's a pain. Of course the mk2 has it, but it's way over a grand.

    Incidentally the noise levels on the D90 are low because it appears to be applying some pretty aggressive noise reduction.

  37. Alex
    Paris Hilton

    could some one please tell me...

    is the Casio EX-F1 a DSLR?

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