The Nikon D90 is a 12.3 megapixel digital single-lens reflex camera model announced by Nikon on August 27, 2008. It is a prosumer model that replaces the Nikon D80, fitting between the company's entry-level and professional DSLR models. Nikon gives the D90's Estimated Selling Price in the United States as US$899.95 for the body alone and as $1299.99 with the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which by itself sells for $399.95. Street prices are generally lower.
The D90 was the first DSLR with video recording capabilities. In May 2009, the D90 won the TIPA European Photo & Imaging Award, in the "Best D-SLR Advanced" category.
Some of the improvements the D90 offers over the D80 include 12.3 megapixel resolution, extended light sensitivity capabilities, live view and automatic correction of lateral chromatic aberration. The D90 is the first DSLR to offer video recording, with the ability to record HD 720p videos, with mono sound, at 24 frames per second.
Unlike less expensive models such as the D40, D60, D3000 and D5000, the D90 has a built in autofocus motor, which means that all Nikon F-mount autofocus-lenses (except two for the rare Nikon F3AF) can be used in autofocus mode.
The Nikon D90 is the first Nikon camera to include a third firmware module, labeled "L," which provides an updateable lens distance integration database that improves autoexposure functions. Some of its accessories, such as the MB-D80 battery grip and ML-L3 wireless remote, are also compatible with its predecessor the D80. It was the first Nikon DSLR to support Global Positioning System integration for automatic location tagging of photographs, using a GPS receiver sold separately.
The D90 is the first DSLR with video recording capabilities; it can record 720p high-definition video with monaural sound. However, it does not auto-focus while filming video; to keep a subject in focus, the user must manually track subject motion. Soon after the D90's introduction, many new DSLRs from Nikon and other manufacturers began including video recording as a standard feature.
As with other DSLRs, the D90's CMOS sensor captures video frames using a rolling shutter, which may cause skewing artifacts during rapid camera or subject motion. Recorded videos are limited to a 2Â GB file size and a duration of 5â"20 minutes for each continuous clip, depending on resolution.
The first feature film shot with a D90 was Reverie. Ray Mist, the film's cinematographer, praised the camera for its dynamic range, its ability to support 35Â mm optics offering greater choices of focal length and depth of focus, and large sensor in comparison to standard video cameras within and beyond the D90's price range.
The Nikon D90 has been tested by many independent reviewers since its introduction. Most reviews of the D90 have been positive, assessing the D90 as a notable improvement over its predecessor, the Nikon D80. The camera received 4 stars out of 5 in CNET's editor review and Photocrati's Nikon D90 review labeled the D90 a "best value" DSLR. Digital Photography Review also published a highly positive assessment, but noted that the only weakness seemed to be that matrix metering on the D90 is tied too strongly to individual focus points, and therefore allows highlights to be clipped in other areas of an image. In DxOmark's camera sensor RAW image ratings, the D90 achieved a score of 72.6, placing it above its competitors and more expensive cameras such as the Canon EOS 1D Mark III (71), Canon EOS 5D (70.9) and Nikon D300S (69.8). Statistics from Photo-sharing website Flickr also show that the D90 is ranked as the most used Nikon system in terms of picture uploads.
As noted above, one of the most notable features of the Nikon D90 is that it is the first digital SLR camera to include high definition video capabilities. While most reviewers gave the D90's HD video high marks, Nikon expert Thom Hogan noted that the HD video capability, while novel, was not yet refined, providing only mono sound, and being subject to video flaws such as apparent distorted motion of stationary objects when panning.
From the camera's rear, the Nikon D90 interface has the following features which are annotated in the image.
- Playback button
- Menu dial
- Help/protect button. Use in conjunction with the main command dial to change the white balance setting in certain modes.
- Thumbnail/playback zoom out button. Use in conjunction with the main command dial to change the equivalent ISO sensitivity setting in certain modes.
- Playback zoom in button. Use in conjunction with the main command dial to change the picture quality and size setting.
- Live view button.
- Multi selector and OK button: Navigate through images and menus
- Focus selector lock switch
- Information display/quick settings display button. Show the information of the camera on the rear LCD screen (shutter speed, the remaining exposures, AF-area mode, etc.).
- Viewfinder eyepiece
- Mode dial (P, S, A and M modes, Auto Modes and Scene Modes)
- Control panel. Main display for information (see #9).
- Delete button. Can be used to delete photos or format the memory card.
- Power switch and shutter release button
- Nikon's 12.3 megapixel Nikon DX format CMOS sensor.
- Nikon EXPEED image/video processor.
- D-Movie mode (720p, with mono 22kHz sound).
- Active D-Lighting (4 levels and Auto).
- Automatic correction of lateral chromatic aberration for JPEGs. Correction-data is additionally stored in RAW-files and used by Nikon Capture NX, View NX and some other RAW tools.
- Lens distortion correction as well as image rotation ("Straighten") via playback ("Retouch") menu
- 3-inch TFT LCD with 920,000-dot resolution (640x480 VGA) and 170-degree ultra-wide viewing angle.
- Live View shooting mode (activated with a dedicated button).
- Continuous Drive up to 4.5 frames per second.
- 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System.
- 3D Tracking Multi-CAM 1000 autofocus sensor module with 11 AF points.
- Face detection autofocus in live view mode.
- ISO sensitivity 200 to 3200 (100â"6400 with boost).
- Nikon F-mount lenses
- i-TTL flash exposure system with built-in wireless control (Commander-mode). Compatibility: SB-400, SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, R1C1 and third party manufacturers
- Built-in Sensor cleaning system (vibrating low-pass filter).
- HDMI HD video output
- Support for GPS unit direct connect.
- File formats: JPEG, NEF (Nikon's RAW, 12-bit compressed), AVI (Motion JPEG).
- EN-EL3e Lithium-ion Battery, Battery Life (shots per charge) approx. 850 shots (CIPA).
- Weight: Approx. 620Â g (1.37Â lb) without battery, 703Â g (1.550Â lb) with battery.
The Nikon D90 has dozens of available accessories such as:
- Nikon ML-L3 Wireless (Infrared) remote control, MC-DC2 Remote Cord or third party solutions.
- Nikon GP-1 GPS Unit for direct GPS geotagging. Third party solutions partly with 3-axis compass, data-logger, bluetooth and support for indoor use are available from Solmeta, Dawn, Easytag, Foolography (Unleashed D90), Gisteq and Phottix. See comparisons/reviews.
- MB-D80 Multi Power Battery grip or third party solutions.
- Third party solutions for WLAN transmitter are available.
- Nikon CF-D80 Semi-Soft Case.
- Various Nikon Speedlight or third party flash units. Also working as commander for Nikon Creative Lighting System wireless (slave) flash.
- Third party radio (wireless) flash control triggers are partly supporting i-TTL, but do not support the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS). See reviews.
- Tethered shooting with Nikon Camera Control Pro 2, Adobe LightRoom 3 or other partly free products, including mobile applications.
- Other accessories from Nikon and third parties, including protective cases and bags, eyepiece adapters and correction lenses, and underwater housings.
- Nikon D90 â" Nikon global website
- Nikon D90 preview USA website
- Nikon D90 User's guide from Ken Rockwell
- Nikon D90 review with laboratory-test photos
- Nikon DSLR D90 Digital SLR Cameras Review