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Rumor: Nikon D90 firmware upgrade coming next week

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Next week Nikon should release a new firmware for the Nikon D90 according to this email I received today:

"Nothing crazy. Some interface improvements. Apparently an ISO tweak. There's nothing that can be done
about the Jello Video thing... It's a hardware problem, that will probably be there even in the next couple of
generations of SLR w/ video models. But there will be a slight improvement in the d-movie compression. It seems that the compression on the blue channel is too high, thus causing the stair-stepping. And there will be a compression rate selector deep in the menus. and......as far as I know, that's it.
"

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  • gocrazy

    =(
    so and 1080p video mode nO?*
    pretty bad
    joking

  • rick

    I hope the filename numbering issue gets fixed. Unless I’m the only one having that problem. I haven’t really looked into it yet.

    I’m finding that my filenames go up to about DSC_1730.jpg (roughly) and then start again back at DSC_0001.jpg. If I have more than 1730 images on my memory card, then the numbering turns into DSC_0001_01.jpg, DSC_0002_01.jpg and so on.

    • Pablov

      Why don’t you request assistance at Nikon Support ? :

      http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bin/nikonusa.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php

      If you don’t find your answer in the FAQ, you can register and request assistance.
      It’s easy and fast.

      • Jim

        Rick,

        Go to D7 and turn that on, it will solve your issue, it’s usually default on all the other Nikon’s, the D90 just wanted to be difficult. Hope this helps!

        • rick

          Jim,

          Thanks so much for the tip. That totally did the trick. I just started reading Thom Hogan’s D90 guide, and he mentions this detail by saying, “You absolutely must enable this function or you risk eventually losing images to duplicate file names. Why Nikon insists on their default for consumer products, I don’t know, but it’s just plain wrong.”

          Thanks again.

    • Mac Leo

      why don’t you just read the manual. have you reformatted your card in-between?

  • http://www.agungfauzi.com agungfauzi

    Yesterday i tried D90 with D-movie with Nikon 200 F/2.0, just incredible video quality, the only thing that nikon miss was Mic input to the camera, so i can use my wireless mic to get better sound quality. I hope the next generation will have mic input.

  • Mozart

    It would be so great if they could program the USB to record sound from a microphone and include it in the video.
    In theory this is possible, I guess it is only a question on if they want to put in the effort on doing it on an existing model.

  • Laurence

    When I tested the D90 for video, I had dark lines scanning down the video. I don’t use video much. Is this “stair stepping” or something else? Can anybody explain what has caused it? See the video here http://www.vimeo.com/2257492

    • Stephen

      If this has been post processed then it could be the rendering engine. If this is straight from the camera like then, then you camera is most likely faulty. The only other thing that I could think of is that there is some weird sync issue with the florescent lights.

      It really could be a number of things both with the camera and the environment. Take some more film under different conditions and see if it does it again. If it does you have a defect in the sensor probably.

    • sperez

      The problem yo uare having is attributed to the lighting, the D90 does not like flourescent lighting, this will not happen under normal lighting,

    • DNHJR

      I did not really see anything wrong with the video. what black lines????

      • zack

        Not true., This flickering is not only due to fluorescent lighting but normal one as well. Any 50hz lights (anywhere in Europe) will cause this. Unfortunately this is the problem NIkon should address because it’s an official fault of the camera.

    • http://www.contro-mano.net/?feed=rss2 Luigi

      Hi,
      I’ve found a tricky solution for the flickering effect under 50Hz light, check it out:
      http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?t=149171
      I’ve ordered a D90 kit, and I’m still waiting to try it! About video jello issues and no autofocusing, honestly I think that the approach to the D90 needs to be as a real videomaker; it’s always a SLR, not a point-and-shot camera…

  • Zoetmb

    I tested the D90 video at a trade show and it looked really good, although I only played it back in camera. As long as I panned at a reasonably slow speed, there was no stairstepping and no jelly problems.

  • LeftSpin

    I would love it if they would use the microphone for an automatic audio annotation after each shot.

  • http://twilightandthebes.com Thebes

    The stair-stepping seems to be related to the poor scaling algorithm and can be fixed in post as discussed at dvxuser. I would be very excited about the ability to adjust compression, and of course, fixing the stair stepping in camera would be nice… some sort of reporting on its ISO and Shutter in D-Movie would be nice too, shame its so automatic.

    I am planning my D90 as my B-Roll camera for a documentary I’m making next year… its quirky but I love the image and the shallow DOF in a camera that I can fit into a hip-pack and use without drawing much attention.

  • Marko

    Being a software engineer I know that each software release fixes some major issues. This is the standard way to hide some design flaws by releasing a new version which fixes “only” minor issues. No one would afford possible problems with firmware upgrade process just to fix minor issues. Believe me ! Our company (and all others) do this all the time :)

  • alex

    we know that the rolling shutter effect can’t be fixed on d90 due to its low number of readout channels. only a d300/d700 type of camera would reduce the jello by saving the cmos image much faster.

    but the staricase issue fix would be welcomed. that mjpeg file could be less compressed, no matter what was the aliasing cause anyway.

  • Pablov

    “.. There’s nothing that can be done about the Jello Video thing…
    It’s a hardware problem, that will probably be there even in the next couple of generations of SLR w/ video models. ”

    - IS that really true or logical? If the sensor has more readout channels, the jello issue wouldn’t be corrected or at least much less noticeable ??

    As alex suggested, wouldn’t it be possible for a D400 or D800 (or whatever coming) to have a better quality Movie mode (related to the jello issue) ?

    • alex

      it would be less, but not gone

      the guy was probably talking about gone as almost impossible to see.

      there are also plans for a global shutter to fix this cmos issue forever but no manufacturer of cmos cameras implemented that yet. no even the high end cameras. they all have jello. less or much less than d90 but it’s there.

      • Pablov

        Does the 5D Mark II also have it?
        I didn’t notice the jello on its videos, but didn’t see a specific test to prove it either.

        Could you please also explain me more clearly about the global shutter or anything to avoid the jello ? I didn’t understand it well, or why the manufacturer of cameras didn’t implement it.

        Thanks a lot !

        • zack

          My friend has 5D mkII and I’ll tell ya..it HAS JELLO. Pan it swiftly from left to right and you’re dancing

  • S.T.UDAYAKUMAR

    ccd sensor is more sharpnes but cmos sensor is very good colour correction than ccd sensor d80 nikon is good camera( price vice also) d90 is very very
    good camera and good lcd (920,000 dot )

  • http://twilightandthebes.com Thebes

    Th 5D Mark II also has rolling shutter issues, but they are maybe 1/2 or even 1/4 of what the D90 has. Jello is, like skew, a rolling shutter issue; but with jello the camera did a more complex movement than just a simple X / Y axis movement. Most nasty looking handholding, with any video camera, results from tilting and twisting rather than simple verticle or horizontal movement.

    I really doubt that the D90′s rolling shutter can be improved without major hardware replacement… but I guess only Nikon knows for sure. Control over compression would be a great upgrade, and fixing stair-stepping in camera would be nice too… I’ll keep my fingers crossed on this one.

  • http://nikonrumor.com Jonny NightTrain

    I kinda don’t think that Nikon is gonna release any firmware for this camera. It’s got some problems, but I think they’ll end up addressing them in the next model. That’s how modern companies try to make their money these days. They’ll assume that you’ll sell your old one on ebay or something.

    I think that it’s kind of sad, I would use this camera for a video B camera……But I returned mine because of the stair stepping, and no knowledge of what the aperature or iso is really set to. I don’t really have the time or patience for the hacks to massage the camera to behave properly.

    What I wish is that Nikon and Canon would take cues from apple and the way they’ve marketed the iphone. I guess Blackberry’s are included in this……..but it really is more than just a phone. And people buy the CRAP out of them.

    I think it’s OK to think of the d90/5dMkII as imaging devices, and not just still cameras. The hobbled video really prevents their sales from being as high as they could be.

    • zack

      1. D90 will get firmware upgrade soon
      Nikon isn’t stupid. They will try to keep their customers and compete with 5D because 5D video isn’t that great as everyone thought it’s be and plus it costs a fortune. One cool D90 firmware upgrade will keep customers thinking and will buy NIkon some time until dunno..D800 or something

  • Pablov

    Hope you are right about future Nikon D800 or whatever coming.

    Although 5D Mk II ‘s video is far than perfect, is far much better than D90′s.

    I HOPE Nikon take the Movie / Video feature seriously and put it in a even better way than 5D Mk II, minimizing rolling shutter issues, and allowing Full control of the Video Exposure (White Balance, Compensation, ISO, Aperture, Shutter, etc), with multiple images sizes, Frame and Compression Rates and Levels.
    And also including Stereo MIC-IN jacks.

    A breathtaking feature would be Video AutoFocus, on a specified area or moving area/subject, and Focus assistance when focusing manually (I’m sure these will be in future cameras)

    Of course that would need a new CPU with such capabilities.

    But many people would pay for such a great Movie / Video implementation… making the camera more versatile for wider kind of jobs

    • zack

      I’ve seen 5D clips which are not official Laforett or what’s that dude name. The other clips are mediocre, they have jello and artifacts. Check them out on vimeo. As per D90, you can do great stuff. I’ve seen recently this http://www.vimeo.com/groups/d90/videos/2448758 vid and thought yeah..you can do serious stuff even with this D90. What you suggested would cost fortune…no less than 4000USD or more. in 12 months you’ll be able to buy Red Scarlet with some amazing specs and I think Nikon as well as Canon will try harder.

      • Pablov

        I would consider seriously paying $ 4.000 for a system like I mentioned, because I think it would worth it.

        - I will check the links you post, thanks for that :)
        If you have 5D Mark II “unofficial” videos from that photographer, please let me know, I would like to see them too.

        I know D90 can give you good or even very good results,(speaking about video mode) but the lack of settings allowing manually adjustments is very disappointing.

        About RED’s, they use to sale SO much more expensive that I wouldn’t consider buying one… Every accessory is very expensive too.
        Could be the best choice (if they do a good job making the camera) for people with large budget, but not for the usual customer of Nikon D300 – D800 cameras….

        I also think Canon and Nikon will try harder about Video, but not sure at what level they are going to bring to DSLR (especially Nikon). Canon has proven that they want to make a decent quality video implementation, at least they did better on the 5D MK II
        Don’t get me wrong, I like Nikon over Canon, but I feel Nikon is kind of “conservative” about that, even though they were the 1st implementing video on DSLR. (But Canon was also working on it, as 5D Mark II was announced and tested few months later than D90 official launch. Canon has also a wider experience making video cameras, and that could give them better or faster achievements in near future, I guess)

        I’m 100% sure future DSLRs will include good video mode, but the question is “when” ?….

        - Another thing I’m concerned about is that the resolution of the sensor has a limit. When you pass that limit the noise level becomes too high (unless a new kind of sensor is developed).
        I guess Nikon touched the roof for the existing Full Frame sensors with the 24 MP D3x
        - Now I wonder, How are they going to improve the DSLR’s world?
        A good choice would be implementing Professional Quality video on the camera (that despite is a Great creativity chance for many people (amateurs and Pros), some other pro photographers, that only take stills images, won’t appreciate, at least at the beginning…)
        But I don’t know if Nikon want to do it now or later
        (I know they will, cause the trend of digital world is too clear..)

        • zack

          Yes, I agree, but in a way..you get what you pay for. I’m not sure I’d pay 3 times Nikon D90 to get Canon 5DmkII. I’d rather wait. What I’m saying is I don’t think Canon 5D is that big step up, but that’s just me I suppose.
          Check this
          http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/09/27/canon-5d-mark-ii-exhibits-jello-effect-not-as-bad-as-d90/

          • Pablov

            Thanks a lot for the link. I watched the video.
            Yes, it does have rolling shutter issues, although are pretty less noticeable than the D90′s.

            Besides that, the quality of the 5D Mk II ‘s video itself is superior than D90′s too.

            Let’s see what happen with future Nikon DSLR Video mode…

            I hope Nikon put efforts and developments on it

          • Pablov

            - Even some good D90′s video examples demonstrate (once again) that Video/Movie mode can be used professionally, despite the traditionalist “pro” photographers’ opinions…

            There are different kind of movie makers.
            DSLRs won’t compete with Hollywood film makers, that’s obvious.

            DSLRs can play in smaller leagues, and (if Professionally implemented, and used right) do a GREAT job for a very affordable budget (compared to other video devices)

            • zack

              True dat. Still, I’d like to wake up tomorrow and hear the D90 upgrade is on its way. I’m not too worried about rolling shutter. As you said, it’s not gonna be Hollywood, but if used the right way with a right idea it might just prove one deserves to be there.

  • Pablo

    I think that they would need a completely new AF module to be able to auto focus in video, its way to jerky the way it is and a more fluid focusing module. im really hoping to see this firmware update soon.

    • Pablov

      I’m not so sure if an “AF module”, but a CPU capable of managing the AF in video mode.

      Remember that LiveView is the base of Movie/Video mode settings because the mirror locks up when recording video.
      So the AF system for video should rely on LiveView mode too

  • Noble

    Don’t need AF for video, just hope for a REAL improved bit rate/ compression.

    • Pablov

      I would appreciate both, and full HD too.

      Since video mode is based on LiveView, the AF on video could be achieved across the Entire screen. That could be really useful when tracking a moving subject.

      Handling the Zoom and Focus at the same time by only one person is a very hard (when not impossible) task….
      AF could help a lot in some scenes…

    • Pablov

      Just to clarify: I was talking about future DSLRs.

      I don’t think D90′s firmware update would give major improvements regarding video. But it could give some.

  • Debbie Downer

    Anyone know how to contact Nikon to ask about this upgrade?

    • Pablov

      You can register at Nikon Support center (on Nikon’s website), then ask anything you need.

  • alex

    found a new sample from canon jello
    http://flickr.com/photos/msmelva/3088337514/

    it’s pretty bad too

  • zack

    Today, I’ve contacted Nikon Uk and it seems there’s no firmware upgrade on horizon. At least Nikon Europe has no idea. I did ask about D-movie ‘over’ compression and the rest.
    Here’s the answer:

    “Thank you for contacting Nikon Support,

    At present there are no firmware updates for the D90 but I will forward your suggestion to our development team for consideration.

    Thank you for taking the time to make this suggestion for the firmware update of your D90.

    If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me by clicking on the link above to update this email.

    Kind Regards

    Fergus Redmond
    Nikon Europe Support”

    • Pablov

      well done.

      • zack

        That said, guy wouldn’t know if they’re cooking something at the lab far east though.

  • Kiyoshi Akima

    I’d like it if I could press the AF button and turn the sub-command dial to change the AF area mode. Currently this combo isn’t used for anything, and I have to go into the menus to change the AF area mode.

    • Robert Putnam

      You can use custom setting f3 to assign the FUNC button to AF area mode. Command dial is used to change settings. (See p. 197 of the manual.) That’s how I have my d90 set up.

  • zack

    I think there won’t be any upgrade. Some rumors about D400 with 1080p 24fps…so Nikoin obviously left better features for a more expensive cam

  • seanwong

    I’d like to see a new firmware to correct the motion skew problem.
    is it possible?

  • erwmayer

    So… Update next week. Great. Next week could be anytime… there’s always a next week…

    To me the correction of the video quality is the most important issue. Options for lower (and therefore better) compression rate would improve the value of the camera very much. It has so great technical capabilities – so it’s a shame the video quality still is ruined by the compression. Please Nikon, don’t disappoint us here!

  • http://www.magic-video.co.uk Robbo

    Here here erwmayer!
    The D90 is a fab little camera, if only the compression was fixed.
    I’ve had great results (on the built in screen) only to be disappointed when viewed on anything bigger. Fantastic potential if the compression could be fixed. Don’t want to jump ship to a 5D mk2 :-(
    Surely Nikon would sell loads more of these to video geeks like me if it was improved a bit?
    Can handle the skew and the manual focus no probs. Given the opportunity to set the ISO, aperture & SS manually (easily) would be a Godsend too?
    Merry Xmas!

  • http://fotodigitalbrasil.com Miguel Netto

    Can anyone help me to get the D90 manual in portuguese? Thanks

  • Super Gab

    Still no firmware update for the D90 ! What can we do? Wait, wait and wait again.

  • Andy

    I wish they will improve AWB, add auto focus to movie mode.

  • http://myspace.com/bigluttie Big lUttz

    first you just have to get to know the d90 and how to record video the jello thing with people shaking the camera all crazy like who really record video like that come on but even when something passes in front of the lens its not a big issue just have to have the right setting on the camera im a post some links soon with the setting i came up with to make the video real good as far as the jello thing and people online shaking the camera around like fools just go back to work for canon and stop trinna make nikon look bad fools…….

  • erwmayer

    Next week, eh…? That was more than two months ago now. He who wrote that, didn’t have a clue, or just tried to get some attention… But we all believed it. That shows that there is an actual need for an update! I’d be very happy if Nikon reacted in some way and gave us a hint if they intend to fix some of the video issues. Please!

  • Ola

    Hi!

    Is the firmware for D90 released and where can it be found?

    BR
    Ola

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      sorry, no update for now

  • dude

    If you ever have tried to shoot a proffessional documentary or something like that, with a proffessional camcorder, you´ll learn that it´s important not to move the camera as much as you may think you can do(talking to people for ex.). Oh my god, how many times didn´t I cursed my self for all the shaking and zooming all the time, when i watched my videomaterial in the editingroom. So maby the nikon d90 isn´t that bad as you think, maby it´s not a camcorder for sports and other fast and speedy activities, but it may be a great camcorder for other kind of genres in video. It´s actually good to think and plan…alot…before you start to shoot a video…hold the camera “still” for at least 15 sec on each “picture/objective” you want to record….pardon my english.

  • andrew

    they can fix some little things like AF area select with the other dial like everything else…

    for those that have WB issues i have found florescent bulbs are the worse just use the PRE and store it in the D1 for your home (my home is around 2500-2800K ish i use the energy bulbs

    to use PRE

    select PRE with the dial then release. then hold the WB button for a few seconds, the top display will ask you to take a pic, just need a peace of white paper, hold it out in front and snap the pic….. should see “gd” or “good” in the top display.

    to store to go into the menu go to D1 and select copy D0, then name D1 whatever you want.

    to recall D1 select pre and spin the other dial to D1…. shoot

    if you don’t want to store it you don’t have to but the next time you use PRE it will copy over the thing in D-0

  • IRV

    My question may be quite elementary but why does my D90 delay in broad sunlight. Is this a problem with my settings or do I have a bum camera? What is the best setting for testing the 4+ per second shutter speed?

  • Roelf Wentholt

    Could the Nikon D 90 be combined with Convergent Design’s Nano Flash HD recorder? Taking the signal from the HDMI output?

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