Nikon has introduced some of the technologies we might expect to see from Sony, apparently using the IMX021 sensor (the pixel count on the long edge is 4288, rather than 4272 as normally processed from a Sony Alpha 700 file, but this is within the usual limits of different raw conversions). The D90 is an A700-class camera for £699 but includes Live View with face detection contrast-detect focusing, 720p HD movie recording up to 5 minutes, 4.5fps continuous shooting, ISO to 3200 (6400 HI), and Auto Distortion Correction when fitted with current Nikon lenses.
To read a comprehensive report on the N90, from Richard Kilpatrick who attended the launch in London, see:
on our sister website dPhotoexpert.com.
The D90 hints that Sony would be able to put HD video clip shooting into a future A700-class model, and it’s unlikely that CF cards would be used for storage as SD is the accepted medium for HD digital video cams. What seems to be missing from the D90 is the worthwhile gap between 4.5fps at 12 megapixels with mirror action, and 24fps at 720p with live view. It’s also possible that the sensor is not Sony-derived, or if it is, it’s a custom design limited to Nikon.
For us the launch was a slight disappointment as we half-expected the D3X (24.x megapixel Nikon full frame) to be announced, but it was not. There is a new 18-105mm Nikon kit lens that has VR image stabilisation and will only cost £199, intended to team up with the D90.