Update: Some more D90 specifics can be found here
The long rumored Nikon D90 is now official and is the first DSLR with HD video recording capabilities. The $999 (body only) 12.3MP camera sports a new image sensor with similar high ISO performance to it’s bigger brothers the D700 and the D3, but at a considerably lower price point. Sounds like a winning package; I currently use a D80 and a lot of the features described would be welcome upgrades to my current rig. But at this point, it wouldn’t be worth it to move over to a camera with such marginal performance increases, I am thinking the recently announced D700 will be my next upgrade (or whichever is their latest at that level when I do take the plunge).
This new Nikon release comes in the wake of Canon’s recent 50D announcement. The 50D is the first pro-sumer level camera with the lauded Digic 4 processor. With the 15.2MP sensor on board, it’s a nice entry point for people not willing to fork over the dough for the 5D. At $1400 (body only) the 50D is considerably cheaper than it’s more robust sibling, but will at least get you in the same performance ballpark as the 5D.
I think these two cameras are a great sign of things to come for us graphic designers. Having a high performance camera in your kit is essential for any serious designer, but it’s hard to justify spending so much on one when photography isn’t your primary occupation. I think the D90 and 50D fill a nice little gap in the DSLR price range, and although the 50D carries a larger price tag (a $400 bump over the D90) it sounds like the extra features make a compelling case for the extra expense. I just don’t know if I can make the move to Canon just yet, I’ll have to see how this plays out.