Nikon D90

It’s a so­phis­ti­cated cam­era with some up­mar­ket el­e­ments, but it’s re­ally start­ing to show its age

NPhoto - - Test Team -

Six years isn’t an eter­nity but it’s a very long time in the con­text of tech­no­log­i­cal progress. As such, the D90’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions, which in­clude 12.3-megapixel im­age res­o­lu­tion, 720p video cap­ture and rudi­men­tary Live View shoot­ing, look dis­tinctly dated. Even so, it’s a tes­ta­ment to the qual­ity of this cam­era that it’s still on sale at all. One plus point is that, un­like the D3200, D5200 and their older and newer equiv­a­lents, the D90 has a built-in aut­o­fo­cus mo­tor. Like the D300s, D7000 and D7100, it can there­fore aut­o­fo­cus with any com­pat­i­ble Nikon or in­de­pen­dently made lens that lacks its own AF mo­tor, via a slot­ted drive on the lens mount.

Other re­fine­ments that it shares with up­mar­ket and pro cam­eras, but which are lack­ing on mod­els like the D3200 and D5200, are a pen­taprism viewfinder (rather than a more ba­sic pen­tamir­ror unit) and a sec­ondary LCD info panel on the top plate. The lat­ter is good for keep­ing an eye on im­por­tant shoot­ing pa­ram­e­ters, es­pe­cially in semi-au­to­matic and man­ual shoot­ing modes.

The D90 has good stamina, its 850-shot bat­tery life ex­ceed­ing that of many cam­eras. The downside is that, like the D300s, it takes EN-EL3e bat­ter­ies, which have been scrapped in Nikon’s more re­cent mod­els.


The D90’s 11-point aut­o­fo­cus and 420-pixel me­ter­ing mod­ules are on a par with newer cam­eras like the D3200 and D5200, while the max­i­mum drive rate is also sim­i­lar at four and a half frames per sec­ond. Ex­pe­ri­enced pho­tog­ra­phers will ap­pre­ci­ate the wide-rang­ing, di­rect ac­cess con­trols for shoot­ing pa­ram­e­ters, mak­ing this a se­ri­ous tool for cre­ative shoot­ing.


Its poly­car­bon­ate build is good but not overly im­pres­sive com­pared with the stur­dier bod­ies of the D300s, D7000 and D7100.

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