Expert Review of Nikon D90 DSLR Body Black
There is no doubt in any enthusiast’s mind about the success story of the ever popular Nikon D series, it is safe to say that Canon EOS and Nikon D series now own the monopoly over DSLR market by putting forth the best damn products in the camera market. One such device is undoubtedly Nikon D90( Body Only), a great device perhaps, Nikon D90 inherits all the features from its precursor Nikon D300, while adding some unique capabilities to it. The device is the long awaited successor to the popular Nikon D80. Electronically, there have been a lot of upgrades in the model such as new sensor with live view capabilities, a larger and more detailed 3 inch VGA screen, a really fast 4.5 fps continuous shooting. , HDMI output, a GPS option and of course movie recording – a first for DSLRs. Talking about sensor, the great new feature which accompanies the device is video recording, indeed it's the first DSLR to offer the facility. Nikon D90’s D-Movie mode captures progressive format video at 24fps in a choice of three resolutions: 320x216, 640x424 and a high definition 1280x720 mode. Video is saved in the Motion JPEG AVI format with mono audio. Video recording many a times compromises on still cameras, and indeed Nikon warns autofocus and ‘some other functions’ are not available when recording movies on Nikon D90. But as a DSLR, Nikon D90 features one literally big advantage over other point and shoots and DSLRs combined, and indeed all consumer camcorders: its sensor is physically much larger.
This gives Nikon D90 dual advantages of greater sensitivity in low light and potentially much smaller depth of fields, along with the opportunity to swap lenses and zoom while filming. Continuing Nikon’s strategy of delivering higher-end performance, Nikon D90’s continuous shooting isn’t stuck at the typical entry-level rate of 3fps, nor the slightly boosted 3.5fps speed of the Canon 450D or Olympus E-520. D90 doesn’t just share sensor resolution with Nikon D300 – it also features the same excellent 3in monitor with 920k pixels. So unlike the 320x240 pixel resolution of typical 230k screens, Nikon D90 fancies a 640x480 pixel resolution which allows Live View, replayed images and menu items to look highly detailed and absolutely superb. Like Nikon D80 before it, Nikon D90 employs a pentaprism viewfinder to deliver a large, bright view, and like other Nikon DSLRs, there’s LCD grid lines which can be switched on and off as required. In terms of autofocus, Nikon D90 is equipped with the same Multi-CAM 1000 11-point system as its predecessor, and there’s also now optional face detection in Live View.
Design and Build Quality
Let us talk about the build and design that the camera has to offer, Nikon D90 shares essentially the same external design as its predecessor, n terms of build quality and ergonomics, The design and built qualities of this device are also superior compared to what other devices offer. Nikon D90 flaunts exactly the same external design as the precusor, bar a handful of minor tweaks – this is of course no bad thing as Nikon D80 already featured excellent build and ergonomics, so as the saying goes, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. So the external dimensions remain the same: 132mm x 103mm x 77mm, although the body only weight of 620g is slightly heavier than the 585g of its predecessor. In terms of how strong the build quality is, Nikon D90, like its predecessor feels a step-up from models like the Canon below it – so while both it and Canon EOS 450D share similar construction and materials, Nikon D90 seems incredibly strong in hands.
Focus and Face Detection
Nikon D90 flaunts the 11-point AF system of its predecessor and employs the same Multi-CAM 1000 module with a single cross-type sensor. There’s three main AF modes: AF-S (Single Servo AF), AF-C (Continuous Servo AF) and AF-A (an Auto mode which selects between them depending on whether the subject is in motion – this is the default option).
Lens and Image Stabilization
This is a body only review, so nothing can be commented about the lens mounted by Nikon D90 or the Image stabilisation that the device controls.
Screen and Menus
Nikon D90’s viewfinder may be unchanged from Nikon D80, but Nikon’s significantly upgraded the screen to the same 3in VGA type you’ll find on the higher-end D300, D700 and D3 models. This ‘920k’ screen boasts 640x480 full colour pixels unlike the 320x240 pixel resolution its predecessor’s 2.5in ‘230k’ screen. In use Nikon D90’s screen looks very detailed, especially when playing images or navigating menus. Like most fixed monitors though, it can become hard to see in direct sunlight or at higher angles, which can limit its usefulness during Live View. Nikon D90’s monitor is protected by a clip-on transparent plastic shield: the BM-10 shield is supplied with the D90. The screen looks better without, but the cover doesn’t greatly compromise the quality if you’d prefer to have the protection.
Powerhouse of Nikon D90 the same EN-EL3e 1500mAh Lithium Ion battery pack as its predecessor, along with the D300 and D700 models. Nikon quotes 850 shots under CIPA conditions but that’s without Live View or movie recording – using either can eat through your batteries considerably quicker. A highly recommend advice though -> Always carrying a spare.
Nikon D90 stilll does not have the capabilities to record videos in Full HD qualities though it can record in HD 720p quality. Nikon D90 can record video at 320x216, 640x424 or 1280x720 pixels, all at 24fps and with optional mono sound recorded using a new built-in microphone just above Nikon D90’s logo. Where the first two modes use the 4:3 resolution of the screen, HD video is recorded in a "Laptop friendly" 16:9 aspect ratio.
Nikon D90 is packed with a 12.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor which conforms to Nikon’s DX format and measures 23.6x15.8mm. These specifications are identical to Nikon D300’s sensor, although Nikon describes it as a newly developed sensor with technology directly inherited from the D300. As we’ll see there’s some similarities, but also some differences, at least when considering the complete imaging pipeline.
Great handling and ergonomics.
Big viewfinder and detailed screen.
First DSLR with movie mode.
4.5fps shooting & 11-point AF.
Motion artefacts in movie mode.
Tough rival in Canon EOS 40D.
Resolution not a big step from D80.
Remote & RAW software costs extra.