Newly designed Nikon DX-format CMOS image sensor with wide ISO sensitivity range with low noise
D90’s 12.3 effective Megapixels provides outstanding resolution, delivering images with extraordinarily defined detail and expanded enlargement capacity. The extremely wide sensitivity range of ISO 200 to 3200 delivers incredibly low-noise characteristics throughout. Furthermore, sensitivity can be increased to Hi 1 (ISO 6400 equivalent) and decreased to Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent) to expand shooting versatility. The camera also employs an Image Sensor Cleaning function that works to free image-degrading dust particles from the sensor’s optical low-pass filter.
EXPEED for smooth tones, rich colors and fine details
Nikon’s comprehensive digital image-processing EXPEED technology is optimized for the D90 to realize the high-quality, high-speed image processing capability. EXPEED also contributes to the outstanding performance of other powerful features such as Live View and the new Face Detection System.
Innovative D-SLR movie function: D-Movie
The D90 offers Nikon’s new D-SLR movie function, allowing you to shoot 320 × 216 pixels, 640 × 424 pixels or HD720p (1,280 × 720 pixels) movies at the professional smoothness of 24 frames per second in motion JPEG format. The D90’s sensor, which is much larger than the sensor of a typical camcorder, ensures higher image quality and exceptional low-noise, high ISO sensitivity performance, even during movie shooting. Capturing creative movie clips or the drama of life’s moving moments is further enhanced by the wide selection of incredibly sharp NIKKOR interchangeable lenses that are available, from fisheye to wide-angle to super-telephoto. And Micro NIKKOR lenses bring the magic of extreme close-up imagery to movie making.
Note: Autofocus and some other functions are not available when recording movies.
Scene Recognition System integrated with Face Detection System
The D90 precisely reads the color and brightness information of each scene from the 420-pixel RGB sensor, and applies this to auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance. The D90 also recognizes human faces using the new Face Detection System, data which is incorporated during calculation, resulting in faces with new found definition and accuracy as well as enabling face priority AF in Live View mode and immediate zoom into people’s faces in playback zoom.
Easy-to-use Live View mode
One press of the Live View button activates the D90’s Live View mode, delivering a bright, crisp image to the 3-in., approx. 920k-dot color LCD and allowing comfortable shooting without looking through the viewfinder. There are three contrast-detect AF modes that let you focus on any point in the frame: Face priority AF automatically detects up to five faces and focuses on that calculated to be the closest. Wide area AF offers a large AF area suitable for handheld shooting, and normal area AF provides focus with pinpoint accuracy when using a tripod. And when Nikon VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses are in use, photographers will enjoy the benefit of a VR-smoothed image, even in Live View mode.
Picture Control System: Customize the visual style of your images
Nikon’s Picture Control System enables users to customize the look and mood of images. Six original setting options are available. – Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape – for easy customization of image preferences.
Active D-Lighting for smooth tone reproduction in high-contrast lighting
The D90’s Active D-Lighting accurately restores details in the shadows and highlighted areas, which are often lost in high-contrast lighting situations, by localizing tone control while shooting. There are 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, allowing the capture of one image with Active D-Lighting and one without.
Versatile practical 11-point AF system
Thanks to the Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module, the D90’s 11-point AF system offers fast and precise autofocus coverage across the frame with the most sensitive AF sensor operating from the center. In addition, the D90 features versatile AF-area modes to handle most shooting situations: Single-point AF is recommended for stationary subjects, dynamic-area AF for moving subjects, auto-area AF for spontaneous shooting and 3D-tracking (11 points) AF for when you want to change the composition after focusing on your subject.
Bright pentaprism viewfinder featuring frame coverage of approx. 96%
The D90 has a precise eye-level pentaprism viewfinder with approx. 96% (centered) frame coverage and an easy-to-view 19.5 mm eyepoint (at -1.0 m-1). The built-in 16-frame superimposed grid display can be activated to assist in the creation of better-balanced compositions.
Advanced Scene Modes for superior image quality
The D90 features Advanced Scene Modes: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports and Night Portrait. These modes not only adjust exposure and image processing, but also judge the optimum Active D-Lighting and Picture Control settings to obtain the best results. The D90 also recognizes if VR (Vibration Reduction) is on or off and minimizes noise even in dimly lit scenes.
Extensive palette of in-camera Retouch Menus
The D90’s designers incorporated a wide variety of image editing functions, making it easy for users to enhance images within the camera. The D90 introduces several new retouch options: Distortion Control adjusts lens aberration, Straighten corrects inclination of the image, while fisheye produces optical effects similar to a fisheye lens.
Engineered for precision and durability
Accurate exposures rely on precise shutters and the D90’s electronically timed shutter mechanism was specifically engineered for long, accurate service. To ensure this, D90 shutters, assembled in D90 bodies, underwent exhaustive 100,000 shutter-release cycle testing.
- Gives you quick response, with 0.15-second start-up, 65 ms shutter release time lag (CIPA standard) and 4.5 fps continuous shooting.
- 3-in., approx. 920-k dot high-resolution LCD monitor with wide viewing angle that lets you change composition of the frame during shooting from various angles and easily confirm your image during playback.
- Built-in flash with 18mm lens coverage, Guide Number of approx. 17/56 (ISO 200, m/ft., 20°C/68°F) and Nikon’s original i-TTL flash control; works as a commander; controlling up to two groups of remote Speedlights.
- Highly efficient energy-saving design allows approx. 850 images on a single charge of the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e (CIPA standard, with AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, with 50% of pictures taken with flash).
- Extensive playback functions offer ample options for viewing and selecting the right shot, including 72-frame playback, calendar playback and histogram display for magnified portion of the image.
- Versatile Pictmotion menu creates slideshows combining five choices of both background music and image effects.
- Compatible with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output.
- Supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System when using the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 Speedlight, or Wireless Close-up Speedlight System R1C1; ensures accurate exposures via i-TTL flash control.
- Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D80 (Optional, in common with the D80) gives you the choice of using one or two Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries EN-EL3e or six R6/AA-size batteries to extend battery life.
- New optional Remote Cord MC-DC2 enables shutter release and long time exposures (bulb) remotely.
- With the new optional GPS Unit GP-1, location information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and time is automatically recorded to each image’s EXIF data.
- Included Nikon ViewNX image browsing and editing software lets you organize, label and select images as well as perform RAW (NEF) image editing adjustments and conversions.
- Optional Capture NX 2 photo-editing software features patented U Point® technology and powerful tools for quick and easy photo editing including enhanced RAW (NEF) Editing.
|Type of Camera
||Single-lens reflex digital camera
||Nikon DX format (23.6 × 15.8 mm) CMOS sensor
|Image Size (Pixels)
||4,288 × 2,848 [L], 3,216 × 2,136 [M], 2,144 × 1,424 [S]; D-movie: 1280 × 720 / 24fps, 640 × 424 / 24fps, 320 × 216 / 24fps
||ISO 200 to 3,200 in steps of 1/3 EV, plus HI-0.3, HI-0.5, HI-0.7, HI-1 (ISO 6400); sensitivity decreases approx. LO-0.3, LO-0.5, LO-0.7 and LO-1 (ISO 100)
||NEF (12 bit compressed RAW); JPEG (Baseline-compliant); AVI (Motion JPEG compression format with monaural sound)
||SD memory card (SDHC compliant)
||1) Single frame shooting mode, 2) Continuous low shooting mode, 3) Continuous high shooting mode, 4) Self-timer mode, 5) Delay remote mode, 6) Quick-response remote mode 7) D-Movie
||Auto (TTL white-balance with 420-pixel RGB sensor), 12 manual modes with fine-tuning; color temperature setting; preset white balance; white balance bracketing
||3.0", 920,000-dot low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD, allows up to 170-degree wide viewing angle
||1) Full frame, 2) Thumbnail (4, 9, 72 and calendar), 3) Magnifying playback, 4) movie playback, 5) Pictmotion, 6) Slide show, 7) Histogram indication, 8) Highlights point display, 8) Auto image rotation, 9) Image comment
||1) Card format, 2) All frames delete, 3) Selected frames delete
||USB 2.0 (High-speed): MTP/PTP, GP-1 (GPS Unit)
|Picture Angle (in 35mm format equivalent)
||Approx. 1.5x lens focal length
||Fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-2 to +1 m-1)
||Type B BriteView Clear Matte Mark II screen
|Viewfinder Frame Coverage/Magnification (with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
||Approx. 96%/ Approx. 0.94x
||TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus module with AF-assist (range approx. 0.5-3m/1ft 8 in. – 9ft 10 in.); Detection range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at (ISO 100 at 20°C/68°F)
||1) Autofocus (AF): Single-servo AF (AF-S); Continuous-servo AF (AF-C); Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A), 2) Manual focus (M) can be selected from 11 focus point
|Exposure Metering System
||1) 3D-Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses) performed by 420-segment RGB sensor, 2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8 or 10mm circle in center of frame, 3) Spot: Meters 3.5mm circle (approx. 2% of frame) centered on active focus area
|Exposure Metering Range (at normal temperature [68°F/20°C], ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
||1) 0 to 20 EV (3D-Color Matrix or Center-weighted metering), 2) 2 to 20 EV (Spot metering)
||1) Digital Vari-Program (Auto, Auto [Flash Off], Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Close Up, Night Portrait), 2) Programmed Auto [P], 3) Shutter-Priority Auto [S], 4) Aperture Priority Auto [A], 5) Manual [M]
|Auto Exposure Bracketing
||2 to 3 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 steps to (+-) 1.0 EV
||Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter, 30 to 1/4000sec in steps of 1/3 EV plus bulb
||X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/200 sec
||1)TTL flash control with 420-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill flash available with SB-900, 800, 600 or 400, 2) Auto aperture available with SB-900, 800 and CPU lens 3) Non-TTL auto available with SB-900, 800, 28, 27 or 22s 4) Range-priority manual available with SB-900, 800.
|Flash Sync Modes
||1) Auto, 2) Fill-in flash, 3) Red-eye reduction, 4) Red-eye reduction with Slow sync, 5) Slow sync, 6) Rear-curtain sync, 7) Off
||Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2, 5, 10 or 20 s.
|Depth of Field Preview Button
||Via Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 (optional)
||via GP-1 GPS Unit (optional)
||Total of 17 languages: Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, AC Adapter EH-5a (optional)
|Battery Life (on a fully charged battery)
||Approx 1,000 shots
||1/4 in. (ISO1222)
||Approx. 132 × 103 × 77mm
|Weight (without battery, memory card or body cap)
|Supplied Accessories (may differ by country or area)
||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e, Quick Charger MH-18a, USB Cable UC-E4, Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-DC1, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, LCD Monitor Cover BM-10, Software Suite CD-ROM
||Retouch menu, Info Display on LCD monitor, Integrated Dust Reductions System, Live view (with face-priority AF), D-Movie
Shot on D90
TIPA Award 2009
“In its compact body the Nikon D90 offers a true concentrate of technology with a great innovation for a D-SLR: the possibility of making HD videos. Its CMOS sensor offers the definition and quality of the successful D300 for a much lower price. A true sturdy and all-terrain D-SLR.”
Sydney Morning Herald
‘5 out of 5 – you can shoot in lower light with better results than a regular video camera’.
Overall rating of 8.8/10. ‘After using and testing the D90 extensively, it’s hard to think of a better enthusiast-level camera.’
Good Gear Guide
‘4 out of 5 stars. Another impressive, feature-rich mid-range D-SLR.’
‘5 out of 6 stars. The D90 really does very little wrong. Image quality is great, there are features aplenty and the stock lens is a cut above the rest.’
‘Overall rating of 8.8/10. Once again, Photo Review has been impressed with the outstanding performance of a Nikon DSLR at high sensitivity settings.’