Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nikon Adds DSLRs with Video: D300s, D3000 & Lenses

For those keeping track at home, my primary digital SLR is a Nikon D300 with 18-200mm VR zoom lens. Now, it seems, Nikon -- in a fashion only seconded by Apple, Inc. -- has released new ways to take my money.

Today they announced two digital SLR bodies: The D300s and a consumer-targeted D3000. Sounds like the upgraded D300s will add video-- something we've seen in both the top (D3) and mid-range (D90, D5000) of the lineup.

I first was skeptical of adding video capability to a perfectly-good digital SLR, but now after time with the D90 and D5000, I can see the value, convenience of merging the two functions. Sure there are plenty of better video capture devices (even a Flip-sized handheld camera may suffice), but the convenience of using your existing lens glass (think zoom) is handy at times. To say nothing of not having to cart around a second device (and, more significantly, the batteries, chargers, and memory cards that accompany). Video (often HD video) in a digital SLR is at the very least something to strongly consider.

While I strongly recommend the 18-200 VR lens-- with any Nikon camera, I'm not sure the upgrade to VRII justifies the expense to have the latest. Look for the original 18-200 VR lens and save yourself a few bucks if you can. I'll look forward to testing each.

And speaking of new lenses, Nikon also tells us they're releasing a new 70-200mm 2.8 VRII. THAT, my friends, tops my wishlist. With Christmas right around the corner, I'm already getting ideas...

Happy shooting! Let me know what you think of Nikon's announcements, which I've conveniently pasted here for your review:

Nikon has just announced the highly anticipated professional level D300s and consumer level D3000 digital SLR cameras which deliver a new benchmark for creative freedom. Both cameras balance performance and versatility which make it easy to take great photos regardless of experience.

Highlights of the D300s include:

· 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS Image Sensor

· D-Movie HD Video with external stereo microphone jack

· Continuous shooting as fast as 7 frames-per-second

· Available August 2009 for $1799.95 (body only)

Highlights of the D3000 include:

· New Nikon Guide Mode teaches and builds confidence in SLR photography

· 10.2-Megapixel DX-format Imaging Sensor

· 6 Automatic Exposure Scene Modes

· Available August 2009 for $599.95 (camera outfit with 18-55mm VR lens)

Nikon has also launched the new 18-200mm VR and 70-200mm VR lenses today. Both of these lenses use Nikon’s VR II image stabilization technology, to substantially reduce camera shake-related image blur. The 18-200mm VR lens will be available in September 2009 for $849.95 and the 70-200mm VR lens will be available in November 2009 for $2399.95.

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