Posted by: David Vernon | February 28, 2009

Cancel the D90 order (or the 5D Mk II)

Rust and MudI got accused last night. Accused of being a little Nikon-centric on this blog (and what’s worse – I was accused by another Nikon shooter – that’s just not right).

Anyway – I’m guilty.

Right now – and for the next 40-50 years I plan to shoot Nikon. I have a D300 and a old-school D70. I did the math and I’ve shot the following cameras from Nikon: D3, D300, D200, D80, D70s, D70, D60, D50, D40x, and D40. And that doesn’t even factor in that my second film camera was a Nikkormat. Loved that beast.

But – on the other hand – I shot Canon 1Ds Mk II’s in a previoius life – tens of thousands of frames. And I did the math – it turns out I’ve also shot the 50D, 40D, 30D, 20D, and yep – the 10D. I am not a Canon-phobe.

I like Canons – a lot. But I shoot Nikon right now – so my experiences right now are almost strictly Nikon. I try to stay brand-neutral here. With the birth of Nikon D-Town – well we made a Nikon announcement. When I find something equally worthy from Canon – I’ll be passing it right along. If anything I’ve got a bias against Sony. No strike that – my older point-and-shoot is a Sony. Um – Pentax. No – both my film cameras are Pentax. Okay – I’m a camera geek – there isn’t much I don’t like when it comes to cameras of ANY brand.

Now – having said that – I FOUND THIS AWESOME NIKON APPLICATION! Man – is it slick. But it’s only gonna work on the D3x, D3, D700, and D300 (that I’m aware of). Check this out.

Olivier Giroux, writing on his blog Mutable Conclusions 2.0, tells us about an awesome little application he wrote called “nkvid”.  In his own words:

“In a nutshell, the application “nkvid” simply allows you record the live-view feed of your Nikon D3/D300/D700 camera. This is really the extent of nkvid’s functionality, as it does not aim to be “remote control” application. The product of running nkvid is an AVI movie file in the standard MJPEG format recognized by many playback applications, such as Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Windows Media Player.”

That’s right – you can record movies on your Nikon camera. They’re .avi files so they will play almost anywhere. You shoot tethered to your PC/Mac via a USB cable. You fire up the application and it captures what’s in the Live View feed. Hit the CAPS LOCK key and it starts recording. Hit the CAPS LOCK key again – and the movie is done – and ready to play. They don’t have sound – but the playback is very smooth and will work with any lens and any aperture. I’m practically squealing with joy (the added benefit of not owning a video camera). Wow. 

Nikon made their SDK (Software Development Kit) available to the public some time ago – and this is what we get. I was pointed in this direction by the blog Nikon Rumors. I thank them too.

And for you Canon lovers (you know who you are) – you can always wander over here – maybe you too will find something fun.


  1. Hey, I never said I wasn’t happy about all the Nikon news. I am so am, since I am a Nikon shooter. I tease, internet, I tease!
    I know you know your canon too.

    I found a cool place that might be worth mentioning on this here awesome blog.
    Depth of Field calculator ( for all kinds of camera models, not just canon and Nikon even). Spread all the love now!

  2. Thanks for the kind words David.

    Just be aware that the video quality from nkvid is really not up to the 5DmkII’s level. Comparatively the frame rate is lower (1/3), there are much fewer pixels (1/8), and the pixels themselves have less information in them (1/5-1/10). There’s also no sound recorded, and you need a computer tethered…

    Not to rain the parade that I started, but I think the 5DmkII isn’t threatened by nkvid. :^/

  3. No rain here Olivier – I’m just so pleased about the price difference between the 5D Mk II and nkvid. Somehow makes it seem worthwhile…

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