The Nikon D90, a DSLR that once stood at the forefront of Nikon’s lineup, is renowned for its blend of user-friendly features and solid performance. Released as a successor to the D80, the D90 catered to both advanced amateurs and professionals seeking a reliable secondary camera. Even years after its release, the D90 holds a special place in the hearts of many photographers. This review will explore the Nikon D90’s enduring appeal, examining its specifications, features, and overall performance.
- Sensor: 12.3 MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor
- Processor: EXPEED Image Processing
- ISO Range: 200-3200 (Expandable to 100-6400)
- Autofocus System: 11-Point AF System
- Viewfinder: Optical Pentaprism, 96% coverage
- Display: 3.0″ 920k-Dot LCD Monitor
- Continuous Shooting: 4.5 fps
- Video Recording: HD 720p at 24 fps
- Build: Polycarbonate Body
- Image Quality: 8/10
- Autofocus Performance: 7/10
- Build and Handling: 8/10
- Video Capabilities: 6/10
- Battery Life: 7/10
- Value for Money: 8/10
The D90 was one of the first DSLRs to offer HD video recording, marking a significant innovation in the camera market. It also features a Scene Recognition System, which enhances its autofocus, exposure, and white balance capabilities. Additionally, the camera offers creative in-camera editing features, making it a versatile tool for photographers.
Design, Build and Handling
The D90’s design is ergonomic, with a comfortable grip and intuitively placed controls, making it suitable for lengthy shooting sessions. The body, though made primarily of polycarbonate, is sturdy and reliable. The large LCD screen is a highlight, offering clear visibility for both shooting and reviewing images.
Image Quality: The 12.3 MP sensor of the D90 captures images with good detail and color accuracy. The camera performs well in a variety of lighting conditions, though noise can be noticeable at higher ISO settings.
Autofocus and Speed: The 11-point AF system, while not as advanced as newer models, is responsive and accurate in most shooting scenarios. The 4.5 fps continuous shooting speed is adequate for moderate action photography.
Video Quality: The D90’s video capability is basic by today’s standards, but it was groundbreaking at the time of its release. It offers HD 720p recording, suitable for casual video shooting.
Battery Life & Connectivity
The battery life of the D90 is reasonable, allowing for a good amount of shooting time per charge. However, it lacks modern connectivity features like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Pros and Cons
- Good image quality for its class
- User-friendly interface and ergonomic design
- Pioneering HD video recording in DSLRs
- In-camera editing features
- Outdated by current technology standards
- Limited video capabilities
- Lacks modern connectivity options
- Noticeable noise at high ISO settings
Considering its features and performance during its prime, the Nikon D90 receives an overall rating of 7.5/10, reflecting its status as a reliable and user-friendly DSLR for its time.
Alternative options include the Canon EOS Rebel T3i and the Nikon D5000, which offer similar features and cater to the same segment of photography enthusiasts.
The Nikon D90 is a camera that bridged the gap between amateur and professional photography equipment. While it may now be eclipsed by more advanced technology, its impact on the DSLR market is undeniable. The D90 remains a solid choice for beginners or those looking for an affordable entry into the Nikon system. Its combination of ease of use, decent image quality, and pioneering video capability make it a memorable and historically significant camera in Nikon’s lineup.
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