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Nikon D90 Review Summary

12 Megapixels12 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexContinuous DriveContinuous Drive720p HD Video: 1280 x 720 resolution or more but less than 1920 x 1080.720p HD Video: 1280 x 720 resolution or more but less than 1920 x 1080.Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringDepth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Depth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Accepts Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Nikon D90 Assessment

There are two ways to look at the Nikon D90. It is either a Nikon mid-range DSLR or a DSLR with movie recording capability. The good news is that, whichever way we look at it, this is an excellent DSLR.

On the still photography side, the D90 is fast, responsive and produces high-quality images with little noise, great dynamic range and reliable exposure. Automatic white-balance is not perfect and images are softer than we like them to be due to noise-reduction, but there is very little to complain about without searching. Ergonomics are very too, with the exception of a few interface oddities, all minor.

Video, as a bonus feature, is good simply because it is there. It brings flexibility due to interchangeable lenses and high quality due to a large DSLR-sized sensor. The catch is that, if we compare the D90 to a camcorder, it appears as rather limited. Particularly, the lack of auto-focus and 5 minute clip-size limit. So, while it offers very interesting possibilities with video, the Nikon D90 cannot be considered a camcorder replacement. It does easily match the video of small fixed lens cameras, most of which cannot zoom and focus while filming.

The only alternate DSLR with movie-mode is the 3 times more expensive full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark II. This model can record 1080p HDTV video and supports an external microphone for stereo audio input.

Alternatives without video-capabiities, include the Pentax K20D, the Canon EOS 40D and the Sony Alpha A700
Sony Alpha A700
. In terms of lowest noise and highest speed, the 40D is the winner here. The K20D is the most feature rich, including builtin stabilization, a weather-sealed body and excellent ergonomics. The A700 also features builtin stabilization, plus it has an extremely fast autofocus system, unlimited 5 FPS continuous shooting and eye and grip sensors.

Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed review Read the full Nikon D90 review here.

PROS CONS
Lower image noise than most competing DSLRs Noticeable NR softness starting at ISO 800
Fast except for live-view focusing Poor white-balance under artificial light
Better than average dynamic range ISO only selectable in 1/3 stops
Reliable metering Focus misses in low-light
Limited movie mode in a DSLR Auto ISO deep in menu, remains active in M mode
Good ergonomics with comprehensive controls Some control oddities, see full review
Top-notch LCD display
Great Battery-Life
Solid build quality
In-camera RAW conversion
ExcellentExcellent Excellent

Related Information

Sister Models
Nikon D300 - 100% Coverage viewfinder, 8 FPS, Weather-sealed body, No movie-mode
Nikon D80 - 10 Megapixels, 3 FPS, 2.5" LCD 230K Pixels, No dust-reduction, No live-view, No movie-mode
Nikon D90
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com
By on 2009/02/20
3

Nikon D90 Facts

SLR digital camera
12 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-6400
Nikon F Mount
1.5X FLM

Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm

APS-C Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

Shutter 1/4000-30s
96% Coverage
Large Viewfinder
Full manual controls, including Manual Focus
Built-in Dust ReductionCustom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
4.5 FPS Drive, 100 ImagesSpot-Metering
1280x720 @ 24 FPS Video RecordingHot-Shoe
3" LCD 920K PixelsLithium-Ion
Secure Digital High Capacity
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

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