Nikon D90 – without a build-in AF motor?

We received several emails with rumors stating that the upcoming D90 will be released without a build in AF motor. Those rumors are mainly form Nikon stores owners (one from London Camera Exchange), which generally hurts their credibility. The fact that those rumors are spreading is scary, because such move from Nikon will not be well accepted.

On the other hand if you remember the article that Nikon will concentrate on high end cameras, this may be the chosen strategy from Nikon. There is even word on the street that D90 may be discontinues all together (hard to believe).
If you read the thread on this topic in dpreview, there are many good reasons why Nikon may release the D90 without a build in AF motor. 
We label this rumor as "hard to believe".
Here is one of the emails:

Hey, just a quick possible rumor for you.

I was out shopping for some new accessories the other day and I casually asked the assistant if there was any news on a D80 replacement. 

They told me that the replacement for the D80 will be discontinuing compatibility for old lenses. Meaning that only DX lenses will be compatible with the D90. 
Not too sure on the legitimacy of this rumor, but I thought I'd throw it in there anyway.

(The shop the in question is the "London Camera Exchange") 

Thanks for the keeping up such a great site!

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  • Make the D90 *not* compatible w/ older lenses? How would one do that and make them *only* DX compatible? Just because the D40(x)/60 crew don’t have motors doesn’t mean they’re not compatible. I’d say this part is bunk.

    To release a D90 w/o a motor would be somewhat believable. But not compatible w/ non-DX lenses? Stop shopping @ stores where the staff are on crack.

  • PHB

    I think it is very likely that the D90 will be motorless. But not to save cost, to save weight.

    The D40 is not just cheaper than the D300, it is considerably lighter. That matters to some. 95% of the shooters that the D90 is aimed at will only have AFS lenses.

    If I was doing the design, I would get rid of the motor if it saved me 4oz.

    I also predict that Nikon will start branding all lenses either DX or FX. An FX lens being an AFS lens optimized for full frame with VR if over 50mm and no aperture ring.

    I also expect the same scheme to be carried over to the cameras soon as they are running out of numbers.

  • rcoward

    Surely the main reason why the D40/60’s (and the D80) are lighter than the D300 is that the bodies are made of light plastic and not some alloy derivative as in the D300?

    However, I do agree that if I wanted to go ‘Light’ I too would ditch the motor and keep the costs down (and cheaper to buy?). But then that would attach the D90 to the lower-end consumer models rather than high-end/prosumer ones. Is that what Nikon wants? Not really, if their statement about concentrating on the higher end of the market filters down the product lines to the D90.

  • mai

    if, then i will certainly go for a d80, as i think lot of others will do, or d200 maybe..

  • blw

    It may not matter much if new cameras have no AF motors – if the lenses all have them. If the rumors of new AFS lenses are true, a D90 without motor could make sense.

  • Blog Admin

    That means Nikon will have to update a lot of lenses. I doubt that.

  • I would be quite surprised if Nikon did not include a built-in AF motor for using older Nikon AF lenses on the D90. OTOH I can’t completely rule out that possibility. I doubt that saving a few ounces of weight would play much of a role in any decision to ditch the in-body AF motor. It would be more of a marketing decision to force D90 owners to invest in DX lenses. I’ll give Nikon the benefit of the doubt on this one. I am blogging about the recent credible rumors about the imminent release of the Nikon D90 here –

    I am also linking to credible blog posts and web sites on my StumbleUpon pages –

  • iwgmerkb


  • iwgmerkb


  • Private Krankenversi

    Very good article for motor. Merci:-)

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