Fusing 12.3-megapixel image quality inherited from the award-winning D300 with groundbreaking features, the D90’s breathtaking, low-noise image quality is further advanced with EXPEED image processing. Split-second shutter response and continuous shooting at up to 4.5 frames-per-second provide the power to capture fast action and precise moments perfectly, while Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System contributes to faster 11-area autofocus performance, finer white balance detection and more. The D90 delivers the control passionate photographers demand, utilizing comprehensive exposure functions and the intelligence of 3D Color Matrix Metering II. Stunning results come to life on a 3-inch 920,000-dot color LCD monitor, providing accurate image review, Live View composition and brilliant playback of the D90’s cinematic-quality 24-fps HD D-Movie mode.
From the Manufacturer
Fusing 12.3-megapixel image quality inherited from the award-winning D300 with groundbreaking features, the D90’s breathtaking, low-noise image quality is further advanced with EXPEED image processing. Split-second shutter response and continuous shooting at up to 4.5 frames-per-second provide the power to capture fast action and precise moments perfectly, while Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System contributes to faster 11-area autofocus performance, finer white balance detection and more.
The D90 delivers the control passionate photographers demand, utilizing comprehensive exposure functions and the intelligence of 3D Color Matrix Metering II. Stunning results come to life on a 3-inch 920,000-dot color LCD monitor, providing accurate image review, Live View composition and brilliant playback of the D90’s cinematic-quality 24-fps HD D-Movie mode.
Nikon D90 DX Digital SLR Highlights
Nikon Digital SLR image quality
The D90 incorporates a newly developed DX-format CMOS image sensor with technology directly inherited from the D300, Nikon’s DX-format flagship. With its 12.3 effective megapixels and extraordinarily high signal-to-noise ratio, the D90 delivers low-noise images with detail and tonal gradation beyond your expectations, while Nikon’s Integrated Dust Reduction System works to free image-degrading dust particles from the sensor’s optical low-pass filter.
Nikon’s comprehensive EXPEED technology is engineered to make the most of the sensor’s rich, 12.3-megapixel data. The result–color, detail and high-speed processing inspired by the groundbreaking D300. The D90’s image-processing engine produces high-resolution pictures at remarkable speeds, better enabling high-speed continuous shooting. EXPEED also contributes to the outstanding performance of other powerful features, including Live View and the new Face Detection System.
The D90 captures up to 4.5 images per second. Accurate 11-point autofocus is now even faster and more intelligent, aided by Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System. The unique Nikon 420-pixel 3D Color Matrix II Metering system, now enhanced by EXPEED image processing technologies, delivers extraordinary exposure accuracy — immediately evident when reviewing images on the D90’s super-density 3-inch 920,000-dot color LCD monitor.
New D-Movie Mode Features 720p HD cinematic quality
A new idea for D-SLRs, the D90 offers a movie function, allowing you to shoot movies in three different motion JPEG formats: 320 x 216 pixels, 640 x 424 pixels and 1,280 x 720 pixels. Now you can capture life’s moving moments with added drama by using many of Nikon’s NIKKOR lenses, including the AF DX Fisheye 10.5mm f/2.8G ED and the Micro-NIKKOR lenses. The shallow depth of field can give your movies a more creative and emotional impact. An additional benefit is the D90 image sensor, which is much larger than a typical camcorder for higher image quality and exceptional high ISO performance during low-light shooting.
Continuous shooting as fast as 4.5 frames-per-second
The D90 captures crucial moments thanks to its impressive 0.15-second start-up time, 65-millisecond shutter-release time lag (CIPA standard) and ability to shoot at 4.5 frames a second for up to 100 shots*.
Low noise ISO sensitivity from 200 to 3200
The D90 gives you the freedom to shoot in a remarkably wide variety of lighting conditions, including dimly lit scenes, without worrying about image-degrading noise. ISO can be raised as high as Hi 1 (ISO 6400 equivalent) or lowered to Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent).
3-inch super-density 920,000-dot color LCD monitor
The D90’s 3-in., approx. 920k-dot LCD monitor provides unprecedented quality of image display. A wide 170-degree viewing angle makes it easy to confirm focus after shooting or during Live View.
Built-in image sensor cleaning
Effective 4-frequency, ultrasonic sensor cleaning frees image degrading dust particles from the sensor’s optical low pass filter.
11-point AF system with Face Priority
Thanks to Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module, the D90’s 11-point AF system has fast and precise autofocus coverage across the frame with the most sensitive AF sensor operating from the center.
In addition, the D90 has versatile AF-area modes to handle most shooting situations. The center focus point can be switched from normal to wide according to the movement of the subject.
One-button Live View
With the D90’s Live View function, you can shoot effectively without looking through the viewfinder. Simply press dedicated Live View button for instant access. Three contrast-detect AF modes let you focus on any point in the frame.
Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System
Nikon’s renowned 420-pixel RGB 3D Color Matrix Metering II, teamed with the exclusive Scene Recognition System, evaluates images, referencing an on-board database of over 30,000 photographic scenes, for unmatched exposure accuracy.
Advance Scene Modes
When you’re not sure which camera settings are appropriate, simply rely on the Advanced Scene Modes. Just turn the mode dial to the appropriate icon: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports or Night Portrait. Unlike traditional scene modes, the D90 will automatically optimize the exposure, image processing, Active D-Lighting, and Picture Control to get the most out of your subject matter. What’s more, the D90 has exceptional low-noise performance and accurately adjusts the camera settings whether VR (Vibration Reduction) is activated or not, so you can expect beautiful, crisp images, even in many low-light scenes.
Auto Active D-Lighting
Details in the shadows and highlighted areas of your photos are often lost when strong lighting increases the contrast between the bright and dark areas of your image. Nikon’s unique Active D-Lighting technology accurately restores these important details by localizing tone control while you shoot. Choose from four levels, including the new Extra High. Active D-Lighting can be used manually or set to Auto mode. It is also possible to bracket your pictures to get one with Active D-Lighting and one without.
Durable, high-precision shutter
Reliability is not a luxury–it’s a necessity. That’s why Nikon subjected numerous D90 shutter mechanisms to grueling 100,000-cycle shutter-release tests with the unit fully assembled in the camera.
Built-in, Pop-up Flash
The D90 is equipped with Nikon’s i-TTL flash control, renowned for consistently accurate and balanced flash exposures. The built-in flash has an 18mm lens coverage and works as a wireless commander, controlling up to two independent groups of an unlimited number of remote Speedlights and providing incredible creative lighting control–on location or in the studio.
In-camera image editing
Creative freedom stems from exclusive in-camera image editing, featuring Fisheye effect, Straighten and Distortion Control as well as D-Lighting, Red-eye Reduction, Image Overlay, Monochrome and more.
You can enjoy both still images and movies shot with the D90 via HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) with the global-standard digital A/V signal transfer. HDMI Mini connector is employed.
The optional GP-1 GPS unit provides automatic real-time geo-tagging.
What’s in the box: Nikon D90 SLR Digital Camera (Body Only), EN-EL3e Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery, MH-18a Quick Charger, UC-E4 USB Cable, EG-D2 Audio/Video Cable, AN-DC1 Neck Strap, BM-10 LCD Monitor Cover, BF-1A Body Cap, DK-5 Eyepiece Cap, DK-21 Rubber Eyecup, BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cap, Nikon Software Suite CD-ROM, User Guides and 1-Year Nikon U.S.A. Warranty.
Review from dpreview.com
Nikon D90 Digital SLR: Highly recommended by dpreview.com
Almost exactly two years after the D80 was announced comes its replacement, the rather predictably named D90. The D80 has been one of Nikon’s quiet successes, and even today, despite being positively Methuselah-like in digital camera terms it continues to sell and often makes its way into our top 10 most clicked on cameras. Because it looks so similar to the D80 the D90 appears at first glance to be one of those rather subdued incremental upgrades, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s plenty to keep Nikon fans happy.
First and foremost there’s a new CMOS sensor, which Nikon claim produces D300 quality output at up to ISO 6400 and – one of several features to ‘trickle down’ from higher models – the same highly acclaimed 3.0-inch VGA screen as the D3/D300. Naturally it has Live View with contrast-detect AF and it would have been surprising had it not sported some form of dust removal system. More surprising is the inclusion of the world’s first DSLR movie mode (720p HDTV quality, no less) and HDMI output, though as we’ll see later it does come with some limitations. A lot of the core photographic spec is the same as or very similar to the D80, though there is a new shutter and an implementation of the 3D tracking AF seen on the D3/D300.
And it’s not just the high end models that have lent features and technology to the D90; the user interface has been given the same user-friendly treatment as the D60, as have the retouching options. As it was explained to us the D90 is intended to appeal to the broadest audience of any Nikon SLR, from first-time ‘step up’ customers moving from a compact to serious amateurs wanting comprehensive photographic control without the cost and weight of a D300. Whether the D90 is as capable as its feature set suggests, we’ll see as the review unfolds.
Nikon D90 Key Features
- 12.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor (effective pixels: 12.3 million)
- 3.0-inch 920,000 pixel (VGA x 3 colors) TFT-LCD (same as D3 and D300)
- Live View with contrast-detect AF, face detection
- Image sensor cleaning (sensor shake)
- Illuminated focus points
- Movie capture at up to 1280 x 720 (720p) 24 fps with mono sound
- IS0 200-3200 range (100-6400 expanded)
- 4.5 frames per second continuous shooting (buffer: 7 RAW, 25 JPEG fine, 100 JPEG Normal)
- Expeed image processing engine
- 3D tracking AF (11 point)
- Short startup time, viewfinder blackout and shutter lag
- Slightly improved viewfinder (96% frame coverage)
- Extensive in-camera retouching including raw development and straightening
- Improved user interface
- New optional compact GPS unit (fits on hot shoe)
- Same battery and vertical grip as D80
- Vignetting control in-camera
- 72 thumbnail and calendar view in playback
Nikon D90 vs D80: Key Differences
Although it’s had a bit of a design refresh with slightly sharper lines, the D90 is externally very similar to its predecessor (dimensions are identical, though it is heavier). Looking at the differences it’s obviously a solid incremental upgrade rather than a total reinvention of the popular D80, with several key improvements (most importantly the sensor and screen) and a welcome smattering of must-have 2008 features (live view, dust removal). Oh yes, and of course there’s that one little new feature sitting at the back of the classroom with its hand waving in the air, shouting ‘Sir! Sir!’; the ‘world’s first’ DSLR movie mode.
- 12.3 MP CMOS sensor (D80: 10.2 MP CCD)
- Dust removal system
- Bigger, better screen (as D3, D300)
- Live View with contrast detect AF
- Movie Mode
- Wider ISO range, upgraded AF system (3D tracking, face detection)
- Active D-Lighting, vignetting control and extra retouching options
- Automatic chromatic aberration correction
- Picture Control presets
- Faster continuous shooting and larger buffer
- Pictmotion slideshows
Review from Wired.com
Nikon D90 Takes World Champion DSLR Title Belt
Sometimes the mere notion of being “number two” can light a motivational fire under your keister. Look at some famous folks who, despite being considered numero dos, went on to dominate their respective fields and even eclipse their predecessors: A pupil of Socrates, Plato opted not to go the hemlock-chugging route and instead helped lay down the foundations of Western philosophy. Tom Brady was destined to be a career second banana until Drew Bledsoe’s internal bleeding set him on the path to three Super Bowl wins. Jean-Luc Picard played second fiddle to Kirk only to become the greatest captain in Star Trek. Ever. (Watch TNG’s season 3 finale if you don’t believe me.) And in the world of DSLR cameras, Nikon has been toiling to one day escape from the shadow of a certain photo-manufacturing giant whose name rhymes with “Danon.” And with its newest shooter it looks like that day may have finally come.
Nikon’s latest offering, the 12-megapixel D90 is a feature-packed fistful of photo fury that’s sure to help pave your way to full-fledged Flickrati status. Straight from the box and out on the street the D90 shows off its picture-making prowess. Our testing unit came bundled with a (bordering on) superwide 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens that we used for all of our evaluations.
The 11-point focusing system with the face priority speedily locks onto subjects while the automatic Active D-Lighting (a feature that optimizes details within shadows and high contrast subjects) is a noticeable step forward in on-camera illumination. The flash images show off a pleasing balance between the strobe and the ambient light even when just shooting in the full Auto and Program modes. Nikon’s also got a convergence hit with the integration of a movie mode that makes three flavors of video, the yummiest being up to five minutes of 720p HD in a cinematic 16:9 aspect ratio. Owing to the size of the sensor and the higher quality optics, video clarity and depth of field are on par with the D90’s stills. And when it comes to checking your work, Nikon’s made it easy, loading the D90 with the same high-res 3-inch LCD found on its $5000 D3. If that’s not big enough, just plug it straight into your HDTV with the built-in HDMI connection. All told this camera has scads of grin-worthy features that will continue to feed your frenzy-filled lifestyle for some time to come. That is until another camera comes along to usurp its throne.
RATING 9 out of 10
WIRED Enormous image sensor blows open the door to some of the finest 12.3-megapixel images we’ve produced yet. Nikon’s top-of-the-line high-res 3-inch LCD is prettier than looking at a supermodel with beer goggles. In-camera dust reduction is spot on at removing spots from the sensor. One-touch info button and simple, descriptive help screens clarify deep, detailed menus. Toss out your camcorder; the 720p, 24 fps video capture on the D90 will trump its performance — especially in low lighting. Face facts: Face-detection system works quickly, accurately, and effortlessly.
TIRED Only manual focus in the video mode. Seriously, this is really the only problem we had with the D90 and even that was a stretch.
Camera Resolution 12.3 megapixels, with 15.8 x 23.6mm CMOS sensor.
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12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS imaging sensor
Body only; lenses sold separately
D-Movie Mode; Cinematic 24fps HD with sound
3-inch super-density 920,000-dot color LCD monitor
Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)