Will Nikon release a D90s? The Nikon D70 was updates with an "s" version. The D80 wasn't. However what makes us think the D90 stands a good chance of being updated with an D90s version is the video.
While capable of producing some excellent videos, the video capabilities of the D90 leave a lot to be desired. Autofocus in missing completely, and chances are that anyone that has bought a DSLR or video camera in the past decade has never used manual focus before, so that's major. There are also metering issues with the Video mode (metering is fully auto, so while panning this can change the exposure settings and produce unwanted results).
For that reason alone, we wouldn't be surprised if a D90s came along in 2009 or 2010 with an upgraded video capability.
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NR claims the D90 replacement will be called the D7000, but gives no further information.
However this makes perfect sense. As we speculated many months ago, if the D90 replacement was to be a tweaked version of the D90 based on a derivative of the same sensor (like the D300s and others), then the replacement would be called the D90s. However if it had a new sensor, it would be the D7000 (why? because the entire consumer line naming is changing to Dxxxx, and the higher-end bodies in a given line always begin with a '7': the D70 was the first 'advanced consumer' model in the consumer model, and the D700 was the first full frame prosumer model, so the name D7000 is the obvious choice for the next 'advanced-consumer' model).
Given the new D3100 appears to have a Nikon produced sensor (as opposed to a refined Sony sensor), it appears that Nikon may be producing their own sensors for all future models. That would eliminate the possibility of a D90s, and point instead to the next model being a D7000 instead.
NR suggests the D90 replacement could be imminent and called the D8000.
If true, this would represent a significant change from Nikon's recent naming conventions: In recent years the higher end models in any part of Nikon range have always began with a '7' for the first camera (the advanced consumer range started with the D70, the FX prosumer range with the D700) - for that reason we'd expect that should Nikon go to the DXXXX naming format, then the name would be D7000, not D8000.
The post also goes on to say the D90 replacement will be 16-18 Mp and a D4000 (D3000 replacement) will be 14-18 Mp. Again, this would go against Nikon's 'Introduce a sensor in a higher end body and trickle down' pattern of recent years.
(1) A D4000 (D3000 replacement) will most likely be the last camera to use a derivative of the 12 Mp sensor currently found in the D3000 - a D4000 with a sensor that is better spec'd than the D5000 doesn't make sense.
(2) The big question is does Nikon introduce a new higher resolution sensor with the D90 replacement (in which case we'd expect a new camera name, probably D7000. And if so, what does this mean for a D400 next year)? Or does it boost video and add a few minor changes and call it the D90s? (i.e. do what they did with the D300s). Given economic conditions, the D90s is the conservative route for Nikon to take, but if they are feeling pressure from Canon's recent offerings, then the D7000 with new sensor may make more sense. If the main pressure they are feeling is on the video front, then full HD may be achievable in the current 12 Mp chip, which again may favor the D90s route.
NR is boldly predicting two new DSLR's from Nikon will be announced today, Feb 21st, at PMA.
If correct, both the D90 and D700 are about at the 18 month mark, so they are just entering the window where they might be updated. Other possibilities are a much anticipated high-res FX body (D700x, D800, D900), or possibly a hybrid/EVIL camera.
While possible, we'd be surprised if this was true, and it would be the most tightly guarded launch from Nikon in recent memory.
With a massively confident 80% probability rating based on a single source, NR claims the D90 replacement will be announced mid-September (probably on/around September 15th, 2010), along with an update to the 200mm f2 lens.
According to NR, with a very high 80% probability, the D90 replacement will have a 16MP DX sensor (presumably the new Sony unit), same noise performance like the D700, full HD video, 8fps, new video AF and performance, and parts of the body will be aluminium.
So, comparing the new D90 to the D700, it will have more pixels, the same high ISO ability, and adds HD video. If true that will seriously decimate D700 sales, leaving the D700 for people that need better weather-sealing, the performance of the CAM3500 AF system, or really narrow depth of field when shooting wide open.
It also would all but eliminate the need for D300s, missing primarily the AF system and weatherproofing, but trouncing it elsewhere.
NR gives it an 80% probability, and given Nikon has shown what it can do with the D3s, then these specs are aggressive, but potentially (barely) within the realm of what might be possible. However a lot of D300s/D700 users won't be happy that a consumer grade Nikon outperforms them in several key areas, especially when you consider rumors are rife that neither the D700 or D300s will be upgraded until 2011. Still, Canon has a similar situation where the 5D Mark II outperforms the current 1Ds Mark III on a number of levels... we'll see.
According to NR, the D90 replacement will be called the D95, have a magnesium body (like the D300s), 16Mp sensor, 1080 video, 6 f.p.s., new 39 point AF system, and retail for $1199 (body only).
If true, this camera could decimate D300s sales (more Mp's, higher quality video, only slightly slower frame rate). The big jump in price is also a concern - the $1k price point is a big barrier for a lot of people, and the D90 and it's predecessors have always been high volume cameras.
Presumably the 16mp sensor is from the rumored upcoming Sony DSLR's.
Continuing on our previous report (here), it appears the problems encountered in testing the 'new D90' were video related.
Given the D90 was Nikon's first video enabled DSLR, it makes sense that the replacement, two years later, would be an ideal platform to introduce their second generation video implementation, so from that perspective the information we've been given makes sense. Currently trying to find out more.
Source: Confidential. on 7/26/2010.
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Thom Hogan has released his 2010 predictions (see source link below), and is predicting a D90 Redux, although he expects it to be called the D8000 instead of D90s.
He expects a different sensor, different AF, and improved video.
Our take: Yes the D90 hits 2 years old in 2010, so a redux is due. If Nikon introduce a new sensor we'd expect it to be the D7000 not D8000 (since Nikon likes to bring in the "upper end" models starting with 7 - i.e. the advance consumer bodies went D70->D70s->D80->D90, and the pro-sumer FX bodies started at D700).
However Nikon has been heavily reusing sensors to help control costs (think D200->D80->D40x->D60->D3000 all with derivatives of the same sensor, and so far the D300 sensor has been seen in the D300->D90->D5000->D300s). Given the D90's massive success, we still believe it more likely to see an iterated D90s rather than a new body/sensor (either D7000 or D8000).
"There's a pretty good chance that we'll see Nikon increment things that you didn't think needed incrementing. Take the D90, for example. I wouldn't be surprised by a D90s, with the s being the better fleshing out of the video features."