RSS Twitter YouTube

Nikon D90 Review

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.

Usability - How easy is it to use?

The ergonomics of the Nikon D90 are good with plenty of external controls within easy reach of the thumb or forefinger. It has a deep hand-grip with a protrusion for the front command-dial and another protrusion on the rear along the edge. This shape gives a very secure grip. Although not compact by any means, the D90 is not bulky either. The camera feels quite solid.

The D90 has a pentaprism viewfinder which provides a clear image and 96% coverage. Magnification is good at 0.94X. Just below the viewfinder image is the status display which shows all the important camera settings. This includes the usual shutter-speed, aperture, ISO and EC. Too bad metering mode is not there too since it can easily be changed without looking at the button. The viewfinder can also overlay auto focus points and grid lines to aid focusing and composition. In MF mode the selected point lights up but it is not an indication to confirm focus. Note that the biggest difference between the larger D300 and the D90 is that the former features a 100% coverage viewfinder.

Nikon D90

While holding the D90, the forefinger can easily reach the exposure-compensation and metering buttons, just behind the shutter-release. Also on the top panel one finds the drive-mode and AF-mode buttons. Those are also meant to be reached with the forefinger but need a shift of grip to do so. Note that since only exposure-compensation is shown in the viewfinder, using other top-mounted buttons require taking the camera away from your eye.

Nikon D90The AE-L/AF-L and LV buttons are located within reach of the thumb on the camera's rear. The AE-L button is customizable and so is the shutter-release. By having the shutter-release in AF-L (Auto-Focus Lock) mode and the AE-L/AF-L button in AE-L (Auto-Exposure Lock) mode, the camera can be used to meter, focus and frame separately for a given shot. This is one area where the bigger Nikon D300 has an additional focus button (AF-On) which allows to do meter and focus in any order for a given shot while remaining in automatic or semi-automatic mode.

Two-control wheels allow direct control for exposure parameters. Nikon calls one of them the command dial and the other the sub-command dial. Although there is a setting to reverse them, their functions are not always reversed sometimes for logical reasons though! For example, the rear-dial, which by default is the command dial, is always used for metering and exposure-compensation, even in reversed mode. The obvious reason for this is that the sub-command dial would be hard to use in combination with these due to their position. However, the command-dials become reversed when used to change aperture or shutter-speed when the reverse option is active. Another oddity is that A mode always uses the sub-command dial while S mode always uses the command dial. This does keep it consistent with M mode but it is strange that in A mode the aperture is not controlled by the main dial. In P mode the main dial is used for program shift. In P, A and S modes, the sub-command dial can be optionally used for exposure-compensation or for selecting the ISO sensitivity.

Both control-wheels are usable during image playback and menu navigation. In playback mode, the command dial changes images while the sub-command dial rotates the information displayed for the current image. Zooming is done by two buttons to the left of the LCD. Menu navigation with the dials is possible too. The main command dial is used to select between items within a menu-level and the sub-command dial changes levels and selects options. The normal way to navigate the menu system is by using the multi-way controller.

Nikon D90

There is an Info button which can be used to display a status screen on the rear LCD. The status screen is very similar to the top LCD, with a bit more information. A second press of the Info button gives access to a six item menu to customize the camera in terms of Long-Shutter Noise-Reduction, High-ISO Noise-Reduction, Adaptive D-Lighting, Picture Control, Function button assignment and AE-L/AF-L button assignment. In Live-View mode, the Info button cycles through standard, info and grid display modes.

Nikon D90On top of the camera, opposite to the shutter-release, is a rather busy mode-dial. The only required modes appear in black over silver. A green label marks the best-avoided Auto mode and silver icons mark the six scene modes which control both exposure parameter and color rendition.

On the left-rear side of this digital camera, a vertical row of 6 buttons starts with Delete, followed by Playback, Menu, WB, ISO and Quality. The Delete button must be pressed twice to delete the displayed image. The Playback button enters the usual and rather typical playback mode. Like all DSLRs, the Nikon D90 is shooting-priority. The Menu button enters a two level menu system which is easy to read and navigate.

The WB button controls white-balance. The main command dial is used to select the white-balance setting and the sub-command dial is used to fine-tune along the amber-to-blue axis. Note that the D90 can fine-tune white-balance on the green-to-magenta axis too, but you have to enter the menu system to do that. Also, contrarily to ISO, AWB (Auto White-Balance) is selectable using the WB button in conjunction with the command dial.

The ISO button scrolls through fixed ISO values when used with the command dial and does nothing when used with the sub-command dial. Note that Auto ISO is not normally accessible through this dial. Instead, Auto ISO must be activated using the Shooting menu except in Auto mode where it is selectable using the main dial as expected. When activated, the ISO is increased from its preset value until a user-specified maximum or until the shutter-speed is faster than a user-selected limit, whichever comes first. The standard ISO sensitivity range of the Nikon D90 is 200 to 3200. A custom menu option allows this range to be expanded to ISO 100 to 6400 with the usual caveats of higher noise levels at ISO 6400. A minor point with respect to the expanded ISO range is that images taken outside of the normal range do not show the ISO value in the standard EXIF metadata. Perhaps only camera reviewers notice this.

The Quality button selects image quality in terms of format, compression and resolution in conjunction with the control wheels. This is the one button that makes us wonder why it is there at all, since changing image quality should not be a common operation.

Wait, there are also controls on the front of the camera. On the hand-grip side, there is the DOF-Preview button and a second unmarked button known as the Fn button. This one can be set to one of 10 functions. On the other side of the lens mount, the flash button changes flash-mode and flash-compensation and the bracketing one changes the number of frames in a bracket and the increment. The AF/MF toggle and lens-release button do the obvious.

The rear LCD is incredibly sharp with a good viewing angle and controllable brightness for easy viewing under most conditions. Nikon also includes an LCD protector with the camera.

Nikon D90

Nikon D90
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com
By on 2009/02/20
3

Nikon D90 Facts


SLR digital camera

Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm

APS-C Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

12 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-6400
Nikon F Mount
1.5X FLM
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 Battery
Secure Digital High Capacity
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2019.12.10

  • 2019.12.10

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    The Best Cameras of 2019 awarded by Neocamera: Best Travel-Zoom, Best Premium Compact, Best Ultra-Zoom, Best Mirrorless and Best DSLR.

  • 2019.11.26

  • 2019.11.26

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    The 2019 gift guide for photographers showcases photography gear that amateur and enthusiasts will enjoy. It is divided into 3 price categories to suit different budgets from $50 to $200 USD.

  • 2019.11.25

  • 2019.11.25

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    The newest Sony high-resolution mirrorless packs a 61 MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS sensor on 5-axis Sensor-Shift system. It shoots at 10 FPS, records 4K Ultra-HD video and focuses with a new 567-Point and 425-Area Hybrid AF system with Realtime tracking. This professional-grade camera features a 5.8 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.78X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor plus triple control-dials in a weatherproof body. This review shows exactly how the A7R IV performs and compares to top Full-Frame and Medium-Format digital cameras.

  • 2019.11.04

  • 2019.11.04

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless sporting an ultra-high speed 20 MP sensor with 121-Point Phase-Detect AF on a 5-axis image-stabilization system effective to 7-stops. 60 FPS drive with blackout free view on a huge 0.83X magnification 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF. Even a builtin GPS in a dual-grip double dual-control-dial IPX1-rated weatherproof and freezeproof body.

  • 2019.10.17

  • 2019.10.17

    Nikon D3500 Review

    Nikon D3500 Review

    The lightest DSLR packs a 24 MP APS-C sensor with ISO 100-25600 sensitivity-range, 5 FPS drive and Full HD video capture. Basic features with simple ergonomics.

  • 2019.10.16

  • 2019.10.16

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Learn how to get started with time-lapse photography in 4 easy steps.

  • 2019.10.07

  • 2019.10.07

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    The newest 26 MP 4th-Generation X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-Process 4 from the flagship X-T3 in more compact body. ISO 80-51200, 1/32000-30s, 20 FPS Continuous drive, Cinema 4K video. Dual control-dials and 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2019.09.30

  • 2019.09.30

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Full-Frame Mirrorless with 24 MP and 5-Axis Built-In Image-Stabilization effective to 5-Stops. ISO 100-202400. 12 FPS Continuous Drive. 3.7 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.8X Magnification and 100% Coverage. 4K Ultra-HD video.

  • 2019.04.22

  • 2019.04.22

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera based on 50 MP 0.8X-Crop CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias Filter. ISO 50-102400, 1/16000s-60m Shutter-Speeds, 3 FPS and Full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS. Large 0.5" EVF with 3.7 MP, 100% coverage, 0.77X magnification and an Eye-Start Sensor. Dual control-dials in a weatherproof and freezeproof body.

  • 2019.04.10

  • 2019.04.10

    Fujifilm X-T3 Review

    Fujifilm X-T3 Review

    State of the art 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor with 2.1M Phase-Detect pixels, 20 FPS Full-Resolution Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K & Ultra-HD 4K video at 60 FPS. Built-in 0.5" EVF 3.7MP, 100% Coverage, 0.75X magnification and Eye-Start Sensor. Dual control-dials plus dedicated dias in weatherproof and freezeproof body.