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D90 D-movie great in theory, but poor initial implementation

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by shaocaholica, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    Seems like Nikon had a great idea with D-Movie but their initial attempt with the D90 is a bit lackluster especially with all the hype they put out. BTW, I loved the hype, just wish they followed through a bit more seriously.

    Basically, here's what I've gathered from the trailing end of the DVXuser.com thread.

    -Rolling shutter(google it if you need to) is a huge problem. Way more pronounced than dedicated consumer cameras. This is the jello effect BTW.

    -Exposure can be locked but shutter speed can't be set manually. In order to get a specific shutter speed, you have to compose the camera at a light/dark source and then lock the exposure which locks the shutter. Not sure if its even possible to check the value of the shutter that is locked. The rear LCD shutter speed reading is apparently for still shooting and not representative of the value used during movie recording.

    -Aperture can be changed but you have to exit LV, change and re-enter LV.

    All in all I think Nikon has a lot of work to do but considering its all software related, its not that bleak of a situation. I just hope they have the initiative to fix things.
  2. Is the 'lock' a toggle or does the exposure-lock button have to be pushed continuously?
  3. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    It can be set to work either way, just like in still photo mode.
  4. TimK


    Apr 17, 2006
    Hong Kong, China
    What Nikon should really do is to have a digital zoom function.

    Since DMovie is only 720P, it would be quite easy to let the user to choose, say, the center 1280X720 pixels, 2560X1440 pixels or no zoom.

    It would be great for wildlife/sport, without compromising quality and since less pixels are used, probably increases processing speed.
  5. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    Well...cropping from a bayer sensor image doesn't give you the best IQ when you go down to 1:1 magnification due to the nature of bayer interpolation. I would still prefer to use a longer lens and the full sensor but it would be nice to have 1080p over 720p.
  6. Tektrnica

    Tektrnica Guest

    People need to remember that this is a first gen SLR Video... its not going to be great tbh... the first gen of most new ideas are never the best... give it a while until we see the 2nd and maybe even 3rd, and then it might be worth while.
  7. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    Well I'm eagerly waiting for Nikon to release something more robust or even update the D90 to address some of the simpler user control issues but just because this is the "first gen" implementation, is no excuse for some of the glaring yet trivial to fix user control issues.

    Considering Nikon's recent trend of doing things right and doing things well, this simply does not fit that trend other than being bold.
  8. Video mode on the D90 seems great to me so far from what I'm seeing.
    The D90 might not be for you.... but a video mode may be on pro bodies in the near future. If you are really into videography, then you should consider a video camera.
  9. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    I would if anyone made one with a APS-C sized sensor that can take interchangeable lenses, can shoot 24fps and costs $1000. Oh and had controls that actually make sense. I love the concept of the D90, I just wish Nikon had put some sense into the movie mode controls. Video guys are all over the D90 and would have been extremely happy if the movie mode controls worked exactly like the still mode controls but they don't for whatever reason. You'd think that it would logical for Nikon to just extend their shooting controls from stills to motion. After all, they mean the same thing in both modes.
  10. jafo


    Jun 11, 2008
    Chatsworth, CA
    Well put. By 3rd gen it could very well be commonplace in all new consumer SLRs (I can see an argument for not putting in a pro body... but who knows!) and that's when innovation will happen.
  11. You have to consider that the D90 is primarily a still camera......just like I don't expect a video cam to give me a still photo with the IQ of my D3.
  12. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    Thats still not a good reason why Nikon decided that the controls for video mode should be totally bizzaro compared to still shooting controls.

    For still shooting, you want to set your shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focus. Those same parameters apply directly to shooting video/motion yet Nikon decided that manual shutter speed and ISO selection were not important. Those parameters are still relevant as the camera does choose specific values for each one but the user has no control other than locking what the camera has chosen and you can't even see the values that the camera has chosen either.

    Basically, my biggest gripe is that some simple UI issues have rendered the D90 a lackluster video camera when the hardware in it could allow it to be a killer video camera with a few extra lines of code in the camera software.
  13. cobrakai

    cobrakai Guest

    I have to agree with Shao in that manually applying shutter speed and ISO to the video should be a given no matter what. These are the basic principles of film and photography and we use them to get the best out of our images.

    I had problems at Photoshop World where I was getting banding from the metal halide lights in the video. We have all seen this in certain photos when shooting under fluorescent lights and can be easily corrected by lowering the shutter speed. With the D90 video, it automatically turns up the gain and the shutter speed and by AF locking the camera on a dark area I was able to trick it into a lower shutterspeed (unsure what number) and then I had no more banding issues.

    Hopefully, Nikon can tweak it so we can set the info even if its just in the menu or have a display of what the camera is shooting at in video mode. Afterall in there press clippings they mention about creative possibilities, I take it that I can shoot a soccer game to look as smooth as possible with a lower shutter speed or have it look like a scene from Gladiator with a higher shutter speed.:biggrin:
  14. lovemy8514

    lovemy8514 Guest

    I'm sure the team of Nikon engineers who worked on the D90 did the best they could given the constraints of such a project.

    They had a budget, and to bring the D90 to market under a certain price point while still keeping it profitable meant compromises would have to be made on many levels. Some ideas were nixed, and others were implemented.

    As far as I know, the D90 offers the best high definition video of any other digital SLR camera out there! ;-)
  15. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    Really? You think that its got to do with money? How much less would a D60 cost if they nix'd the manual mode? Probably not much.
  16. lovemy8514

    lovemy8514 Guest

    When it comes to business it usually is all about money. It's about how much money they want to invest in a product that isn't guaranteed to be a big seller. They are testing the waters with the D90.

    They could haved poured millions into the design, and made the video capabilities rival current digital HD camcorders only to find the return less than expected.

    This is new territory, and it's not unexpected for a company to approach a product release with caution. Throwing caution to the wind isn't financially prudent in today's competitive market.

    Let's see how Canon responds, and then judge the future D90X!
  17. shaocaholica


    Jul 21, 2008
    What I am asking for along with many others doesn't come close to "millions" worth of development time and money. I personally don't think the minor issues we're talking about have anything to do with financial prudence and more to do with development laziness and/or confusion.
  18. lovemy8514

    lovemy8514 Guest

    Perhaps, but it isn't like Nikon to be lazy or confused when it comes to camera design.

    Not to say they haven't done some things wrong in the past!

    Some things are easier to come up with than to design in the world of electrical and mechanical engineering.

    Hopefully Nikon is listening and either they'll add these changes to newer models with the video capability, or they'll offer a firmware update that resolves the issues. I just don't think a simple firmware change will do it.
  19. Classic105


    Sep 10, 2008
    Did Nikon have to give up anything that they could have had on the D90 in order to include the video function?
    Was there a trade off?

  20. mattsteg


    Aug 10, 2007
    Probably not much of one. They weren't going to trickle down their pro-level AF to a $1000 body and I doubt they would have wanted to engineer a whole new midlevel system. Putting it into the D300 was an impressive enough surprise, to be honest, yet a year later people are complaining that it hasn't gone further downmarket yet. Heck, canon's top AF system is still only in the 1D bodies. Metering-wise, they switched to the 420 element sensor from the 1005 element one with the d80, so why would they switch back? Sensor-wise, they could have maybe included 14-bit raw, but they probably wanted to keep that as an advantage of the D300, especially since on the D300 it's already performance-degraded. The video stuff was coming, regardless of whether they put it on the D90 or something else. It's something that they can develop and share amongst, eventually, their whole line. Out of the likely things that they might have included alternatively, there's nothing that would have that sort of universal return. Any trade-offs made were probably more to differentiate from the D300 than due to including the video. MAYBE upgraded AF would have been possible/realistic, but I'm not fully convinced on that.
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