Firmware Friday: Nikon D90, D5000, Ricoh GXR

Camera      Firmware Update

Below you will find this week’s firmware updates.  Hit the manufacturer website links for more details and download instructions for the firmware.

Nikon D90 Distortion Control Data upgrade – “The Distortion Control Data firmware upgrade is available for Nikon D90 and D5000 cameras only. This is used to correct barrel and pincushion distortion during shooting and editing. This may be loaded into cameras that support distortion control.” [Nikon website]

Nikon D5000 Distortion Control Data upgrade – “The Distortion Control Data firmware upgrade is available for Nikon D90 and D5000 cameras only. This is used to correct barrel and pincushion distortion during shooting and editing. This may be loaded into cameras that support distortion control.” [Nikon website]

Ricoh GXR version 1.13 – “In [A] mode, with configured AE lock and AE bracket; the shutter speed recorded in the captured image may be different from the actual shutter speed.  Corrected the phenomenon when an Eye-Fi card is inserted in the camera and it turns on the power, it will take time to start up, or the camera will not start.  Only with Simplified Chinese (language setting in the camera) :  When you adjust exposure, a number shown in the right side of the exposure compensation slider in the screen may not show a proper number. High-speed movement of the Focus Ring. While pressing down the Macro button in the MF, the Focus Ring movement will become faster.” [Ricoh website]

Nikon DSLR and Lens Rebates

Nikon D5000 at BH Photo

Nikon has some solid DSLR and lens combo rebates going on right now.  B&H Photo sent me a list of the rundown of cameras and lens, and they’ve put together kits to make picking up the right items a simple task.

Nikon D5000

Nikon D90

Nikon D300s

Nikon D700

Nikon D3S

Nikon D3X

The rebates are instant rebates, so there’s no clipping UPCs off the box and sending in 3 copies of your receipt.  Just add the item to your cart and you see the discounted price right away.

Follow the links above to the qualifying cameras, then click the words “View Available Kits” (see top screenshot) that is just below the product image to see the lens kits and rebate amounts, which range from $200 to $400.

(Update: Note that the rebates are “stackable” in some cases, so you can save $700 when you buy a couple of lenses with the D3S and D700.  Those kits are specified in the list as well.)

By default, B&H displays the retail price; however, once you add the “kit” to your online shopping cart, you will see the discounted price.  Additionally, you get free shipping in the USA.

Mustang Time Lapse Video Revisited

Some of you may recall the above time lapse video from the dash view of my Ford Mustang as part of my review time with the Nikon D5000.  The D5000 offers an interval shooting mode that you can set up directly in the camera without tethering to a computer, which is required for the Canon counterpart.  The original post is here and here’s the full Nikon D5000 Review.

I have had a few questions lately about the details of the settings I used and thought I’d take the time to revisit the setup here. [Read more...]

Reader Question: Should I Buy a Rebel T1i or Wait For a Canon Rebel With a Swivel LCD?

Photography Bay reader, Alan, wants a Canon DSLR, but also likes the swivel LCD found on other cameras.

Alan’s Question: I am looking at upgrading to a DSLR and have come to the conclusion that Canon is my preferred choice (namely the 500D). However I really am taken by the swivel Nikon D5000‘s LCD flip down swivel screen. Not only does it fold up back wards to proteck the screen it also offers excellent viewing of screen at strange angles. SO my question is does any one know of any rumors if future Canon models with this swivel screen feature.

My Answer: There’s certainly been speculation regarding a swivel LCD on Canon DSLRs.  A few months back, Canon asked about the importance of this feature in an EOS customer survey.  I think Canon is definitely thinking about it.  I also think it’s very possible that it could be a feature in the next Rebel model.  Would I bet money on that?  No.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it.

The Canon 500D / Rebel T1i is a great camera, which can be had at a very reasonable price now.  If you really want a DSLR, there’s always a reason to wait for the next model.  Most of those reasons, however, are not justified in my opinion.

I’ve used the the T1i and the D5000 both.  I don’t think a swivel LCD changes the way I shoot anything but video.  And if you want the camera for video, for most people there are better solutions than a DSLR.  If you want a still image camera, I’d say jump on the T1i and don’t worry about the lack of a swivel LCD.  Just my two cents.

For more on these cameras, you can check out the following resources here on Photography Bay:

Canon Rebel T1i Review

Canon Rebel T1i Reviews and Resources

Nikon D5000 Review

Nikon D5000 Reviews and Resources

Do you have advice for Alan, or maybe some unique knowledge about whether Canon will be plugging a swivel LCD in the next Rebel?  Leave a comment below.  We would love to hear from you.

Compatible Lenses for Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D5000

Users of the Nikon D40 through Nikon D5000 cameras are probably aware of the fact that these cameras cannot autofocus with all Nikon-compatible lenses.  These cameras lack a built-in autofocus motor and, therefore, must rely on the motors inside the lenses in order achieve autofocus.

Since the introduction of the D40, Nikon has shown a commitment to making lenses that are compatible with all its DSLRs by putting autofocus motors inside.  The following list contains those current lenses from Nikon and will be amended as new, compatible lenses are introduced. [Read more...]

Nikon D5000 Recall – First Hand Report [Featured Reader Comment]

Nikon D5000

Photography Bay reader, John, is a Nikon D5000 owner who had a unit affected by the official Nikon D5000 recall.  John took the time to put together a thorough account of his experience with the recall process into a comment here on Photography Bay.  I think his first hand report of his experience should be reassuring to those of you who own a D5000 or a looking to buy one. [Read more...]

Nikon D5000 Review

The Nikon D5000 sits at the low-end of Nikon’s DSLR lineup.  It is the second Nikon DSLR to offer video recording capabilities (the Nikon D90 was the first).  It’s also Nikon’s first DSLR with an articulating LCD – a feature that has received both praise and criticism.

The compact D5000 steps up to a 12.3-megapixel sensor.  The Nikon D60, which previously ruled the low-end roost, offers a 10.2 megapixel sensor.  The 12.3-megapixel sensor is the same piece of equipment as is found in popular Nikon D300 and D90.  It’s a proven sensor, so it only makes sense for Nikon to drop it in this generation of entry-level DSLRs as well.

The Nikon D5000 is a bargain of a camera at its introductory price of $850 with a 18-55mm VR (vibration reduction) lens.  The D90 is $100 more for just the body only.

I spent a lot of time over the past month or so shooting the Nikon D5000 side-by-side with the Canon Rebel T1i.  These cameras are obviously situated as direct competitors with each other.  As a result, I make several references to how the Nikon D5000 compares in relation to the Rebel T1i.  Suffice it to say that both cameras are excellent offerings from Nikon and Canon.  Each camera truly lives up to the expectations and is probably the best entry-level DSLR from either company to date.

[Read more...]

Nikon D3000 Reviews and Resources

Nikon D3000

The Nikon D3000 is a 10.2-megapixel DSLR and replaces the Nikon D60 at the low end of Nikon’s lineup. Improvements over the D60 include a larger 3-inch LCD, improved interface and 11-point autofocus system.

The Nikon D3000 should be available in August 2009 at an initial retail price of $599.95 that will also cover the included AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens.

Nikon D3000 Availability

Amazon.com

B&H Photo

Ritz Camera

Wolf Camera

Camera World

International Availability:

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon Japan

Photography Bay Resources

Nikon D3000 Review

Nikon D3000 Sample Images

Nikon D3000 Reviews

Buy-n-Shoot

It offers the complete gamut of usability from point-and-shoot simplification right through to more advanced manual control and image design expected of a DSLR and produces a standard of image that far outperforms anything a digital compact could produce.

Photocrati

During extensive action, travel and wedding photography, the D3000 proved to be very responsive in most situations.

Imaging Resource

Very good printed results in terms of detail, capable of producing good 13×19-inch prints from ISO 100 to 800

Let’s Go Digital

In terms of user-friendliness, the Nikon D3000 reaches a high rating, and the integration of innovative imaging editing and processing technologies even increase the user’s ease.

Neocamera

The Nikon D3000 is an excellent option for new DSLR owners. It is a well-built camera with very good image quality and excellent speed of operation.

Pocket-Lint

Though this DSLR offers a top resolution of “just” 10 megapixels, we found very little difference comparing results with that of a 12MP model.

PhotographyBLOG

It’s a solid model in every sense of the word that should see the amateur photographer through years of happy service.

Tech Radar

This is a great first SLR and a genuine pleasure to use. It’s fast and intelligent, with a good quality kit lens, and comes with all the advantages of Nikon’s optical heritage.

Demystifying Digital

Like the D40 before it, the D3000 is a great “no-brainer” digital SLR with a responsive and quiet shutter that begs to be pressed.

Cnet Australia

For beginners or prosumers who want a compact digital SLR to complement their existing set up, Nikon has made a very nice camera for a good price.

Electric Pig

A little pricey at the moment, but it makes an ideal first camera for DSLR newbies

British Journal of Photography

Yet another entry-level DSLR camera arrives this week with the introduction of Nikon D3000. But look beyond some of the more idiosyncratic features aimed at novices, says David Kilpatrick, and you’ll find its versatility also makes it extremely pro-worthy

Photo.net

For consumers who into family, travel and children sports photography, this is an excellent camera at a very reasonable price.

Nikon D3000 Press Release

MELVILLE, N.Y. (JULY 30, 2009) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the D3000 digital SLR camera, an affordable answer for users looking to experience the superiority of digital SLR photography or enthusiasts seeking a capable, compact D-SLR. The 10.2-megapixel D3000 has features that make it easier than ever to take great pictures, including the new Guide Mode, which lends a smart helping hand to new D-SLR users, and an extensive Retouch Menu, enabling consumers to edit photos, even without a computer. The D3000, which offers an 11-point autofocus system, also leverages proven Nikon D-SLR technologies, including the exclusive EXPEEDTM image processing, Active D-Lighting system and 3D Color Matrix Metering II, enabling entry-level D-SLR shooters to take stunning pictures.

“The D3000 combines the best of both worlds, providing picture takers with the ease-of-use currently offered in point-and-shoot cameras alongside the speed, precision and exceptional results that have made Nikon D-SLRs so popular,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. “The D3000 offers everyone the ability to discover the superiority of D-SLR photography at an affordable price point. We look forward to enabling more consumers to explore the possibilities of D-SLR picture taking and, more importantly, capture life’s memories faithfully.”

Intuitive Assistance On-the-Fly

The D3000 includes the all-new Guide Mode with an easy-to-use interface to help new photographers build confidence in using a D-SLR with step-by-step instruction and inspiration. The Guide Mode, easily accessed by the Mode dial on the top of the camera, displays a variety of shooting situations via the LCD screen, indicating the most appropriate settings for a particular scenario. Users can also see sample photos on the LCD screen, which illustrate the effects of different photo-taking techniques. The Guide Mode also helps users easily review, organize and delete images.

Whether new to D-SLR photography or simply mastering new shooting techniques, the D3000′s Guide Mode assists users in exploring effective picture taking solutions at their own pace to make capturing great pictures even easier.

Small in Size, Big on Features

With elegant ergonomics, softly rounded corners, and a comfortable grip, the D3000 packs powerful technology into a compact form factor. Though the D3000 is tiny when compared to professional D-SLR cameras, it boasts a large, bright three-inch 230,000-dot LCD screen, and now features an easier-to-read font size, 20 percent larger than in previous Nikon D-SLRs.

Quick performance and response are at the core of the D3000′s design and its 11-point Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus system makes it easy to find and focus on a subject. Also, the D3000 offers split-second shutter response, eliminating the frustration of shutter lag, as well as the ability to capture images up to three frames per second, allowing users capture every moment. Users can enjoy the benefits of Nikon’s advanced 3D Subject Tracking, which continuously focuses on a fast moving subject throughout the frame.

The D3000 provides multiple ways for users to engage with their pictures, post capture. It uses Nikon’s extensive in-camera Retouch Menu, which allows users to easily apply a variety of fun and dramatic effects to their images even when away from a computer. The D3000 introduces a new Miniature effect, which changes the appearance of distant subjects to look like close-ups of miniature models. The D3000 also inherits the Soft Filter and Color Outline Retouch options from the D5000, allowing users to express their photography in a new and artistic way. As with all Nikon D-SLRs, the camera creates the new retouched image, while preserving the original.

For users who want to take their creativity to the next level, the D3000 also includes the ability to capture images in the NEF (RAW) format, in addition to traditional JPEG. Images captured with D3000 in the NEF (RAW) format include a greater amount of image data, which in turn, affords finer image control and higher uncompressed lossless image quality. With NEF (RAW) images, users can fine-tune the appearance of an image with simple adjustments to things like exposure, color saturation, brightness, and overall tone – especially in the post-production process. Users can use Capture NX 2, Nikon’s powerful image editing software, to achieve these desired effects.

Nikon extends the creativity with Stop-Motion Movie Mode. With this mode, users can choose a collection of images within the D3000′s Retouch Menu, and the camera then compiles and stitches them into a fun and creative video file.

Renowned Nikon Technology

The D3000 leverages proven Nikon technologies to create the most positive picture taking experience for consumers. The D3000 delivers highly detailed images with vibrant color reproduction and low noise across a broad ISO range, due to its 10.2-megapixel CCD image sensor coupled with Nikon’s exclusive EXPEED image processing system. The D3000′s normal ISO range extends from ISO 100 to 1600, allowing for low light versatility. Additionally, the D3000′s ISO range can expand to a Hi-1 setting of ISO 3200, furthering the opportunities for shots that other cameras miss.

The D3000 also makes use of Nikon’s Active D-Lighting system, which automatically compensates to reveal veiled details in shadows and highlights in high-contrast situations. For instance, when selected, Nikon’s Active D-Lighting can improve the appearance of fine detail in a person’s face that was previously hidden in dark shadows or bring out the highlights in a beautifully backlit landscape.

Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II, in conjunction with the EXPEED image processing system, contributes to the D3000′s ability to capture breathtaking images by instantly evaluating the exposure elements of each scene and comparing it to an onboard database of information from more than 30,000 images. These split-second calculations allow the D3000 to ensure beautiful exposures-even when conditions are extreme.

The D3000 also incorporates Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System, which offers a comprehensive solution that combats the accumulation of image-degrading dust from the camera’s image sensor. The system not only utilizes an active sensor cleaning function that activates whenever the camera is turned on or off, but also the Airflow Control System to redirect dust particles, limiting their ability to reach the sensor.

System Expandability

Photographers and enthusiasts alike can also appreciate the D3000′s system expandability, as the camera can work in conjunction with a variety of Nikon accessories, including a broad assortment of legendary NIKKOR AF-S interchangeable lenses. While the D3000 offers a versatile built-in flash, the camera is also compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System and capable of Advanced Wireless Lighting when using the SB-900 Speedlight or the SU-800 Wireless Commander.
The D3000′s design also supports Eye-Fi memory card functionality, enabling the convenient wireless transfer of images from the D3000 to a computer, when using Eye-Fi memory cards.* Additionally, photos can be securely written to readily available SD cards, high-capacity SDHC cards and Eye-Fi memory cards, offering users a range of data storage options.

Price and Availability

The D3000 outfit, including the versatile AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR image stabilization lens, is scheduled to be available at Nikon Authorized dealers beginning in late August 2009 at an estimated selling price of $599.95.