Nikon D90

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Nikon D90[1]
2023 Nikon D90 (1).jpg
Nikon D90 with AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Lens
TypeDigital single-lens reflex
Intro price$899.95
LensInterchangeable, Nikon F-mount
Sensor23.6 mm × 15.8 mm Nikon DX format RGBG CMOS sensor, 1.5 × FOV crop
Maximum resolution4,288 × 2,848 (12.3 effective megapixels)
Film speed200–3200 in 1/3 EV steps, up to 6400 as high-boost, as low as 100 low-boost
Recording mediumSecure Digital, SDHC compatible
Focus modesInstant single-servo (AF-S); continuous-servo (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); manual (M)
Focus areas11-area AF system, Multi-CAM 1000 AF Sensor Module
Exposure modesAuto modes (auto, auto [flash off]), Advanced Scene Modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Close-up, Night Portrait), programmed auto with flexible program (P), shutter-priority auto (S), aperture-priority auto (A), manual (M)
Exposure meteringTTL 3D Color Matrix Metering II metering with a 420-pixel RGB sensor
Metering modes3D Color Matrix Metering II, Center-weighted and Spot
FlashBuilt in Pop-up, Guide number 13m at ISO 100, Standard ISO hot shoe, Compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System, featuring commander mode for wireless setups
Flash bracketing2 or 3 frames in steps of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 1 or 2 EV
ShutterElectronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed range30 s to 1/4000 s in 1/2 or 1/3 stops and Bulb, 1/200 s X-sync
Continuous shooting4.5 frame/s up to 100 JPEG-normal, 25 JPEG-fine, or 7 NEF images
ViewfinderOptical 0.94× Pentaprism
Image processing
White balanceAuto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Kelvin temperature, Preset
LCD screen3.0-inch 920,000 pixel (VGA x 3 colors) TFT-LCD
BatteryNikon EN-EL3e Lithium-Ion battery (EN-EL3 or EN-EL3a will not fit)
Optional battery packsMB-D80 battery pack (with vertical shutter release) with one or two Nikon EN-EL3e or six AA batteries
Dimensions132 x 103 x 77 mm
Weightapprox. 620 g (1.37 lb) without battery, 703 g (1.550 lb) with battery
Made in Thailand

The Nikon D90 is a 12.3 megapixel digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) 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. It has a Nikon DX format crop sensor.

Nikon gave the estimated selling Price in the United States as US$ 899.95 for the body alone[2] and as $1299.99 with the Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which by itself sold for $399.95.

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.[3]


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 (the only exceptions being the AF-80mm f/2.8 Nikkor and the AF-200mm f/3.5 Nikkor, designed for the rare Nikon F3AF) can be used in autofocus mode.[4]

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.[5][6][7] 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 supports Global Positioning System integration for automatic location tagging of photographs, using a GPS receiver sold separately.

Feature list[edit]

  • 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 (100–6400 with H1.0 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[8][9]
  • 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. 620 g (1.37 lb) without battery, 703 g (1.550 lb) with battery.

Video recording[edit]

A D90 in Liveview mode

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 2 GB file size and a duration of 5–20 minutes for each continuous clip, depending on resolution. This threshold limit is due to the overheating of the sensor if it is active for longer periods of time.[10]

The first feature film shot with a D90 was Reverie.[11] Ray Mist,[12] the film's cinematographer, praised the camera for its dynamic range, its ability to support 35 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.[13]

Optional accessories[edit]

The D90 has a range of accessories such as:[14]

Third party radio (wireless) flash control triggers[29] are partly supporting i-TTL,[30][31] but do not support the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS).[32][33] See reviews.[34][35]
  • Tethered shooting with Nikon Camera Control Pro 2,[36] Adobe Lightroom 3[37] or other partly free products, including mobile applications.[38][39][40]
  • Other accessories from Nikon and third parties, including protective cases and bags, eyepiece adapters and correction lenses, and underwater housings.


Nikon D90 interface

From the camera's rear, the Nikon D90 interface has the following features which are annotated in the image.[41]

  1. Playback button
  2. Menu dial
  3. Help/protect button. Use in conjunction with the main command dial to change the white balance setting in certain modes.
  4. Thumbnail/playback zoom out button. Use in conjunction with the main command dial to change the equivalent ISO sensitivity setting in certain modes.
  5. Playback zoom in button. Use in conjunction with the main command dial to change the picture quality and size setting.
  6. Live view button.
  7. Multi selector and OK button: Navigate through images and menus
  8. Focus selector lock switch
  9. 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.).
  10. Viewfinder eyepiece
  11. Mode dial (P, S, A and M modes, Auto Modes and Scene Modes)
  12. Control panel. Main display for information (see #9).
  13. Delete button. Can be used to delete photos or format the memory card.
  14. Power switch and shutter release button


The Nikon D90 has been tested by many independent reviewers since its introduction.[42][43] 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[44] and Photocrati's Nikon D90 review labeled the D90 a "best value" DSLR.[45] Digital Photography Review also published a highly positive assessment,[46] 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).[47] Statistics from Photo sharing website Flickr also show that the D90 is ranked as the most used Nikon system in terms of picture uploads.[48][49]

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.[50]


  1. ^ "Nikon D90". Digital SLR Cameras products line-up. Nikon Corporation.
  2. ^ "D90 from Nikon". Nikon D90 product page. Nikon Corporation. Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  3. ^ "Nikon D3X and D90 Honored with TIPA European Photo & Imaging Awards". Nikon D90 news archive. Nikon Corporation. 2009-05-07. Archived from the original on 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  4. ^ Rockwell, Ken. "Nikon Lens Compatibility". Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  5. ^ Busch, David D. (2009-04-14). "The Nikon D90, D5000 and Nikon's "Secret" L Firmware". Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  6. ^ Grunin, Lori (2009-04-10). "Nikon Mystery Firmware Unmasked". CNET. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  7. ^ "Distortion Control Data". Distortion Control Data firmware update. Nikon Imaging. 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-12-09.
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  9. ^ Rockwell, Ken. "How to Use Nikon Strobes Wirelessly, for Free!". Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  10. ^ Barnett, Shawn; Etchells, Dave; Weidelich, Zig (October 20, 2008). "Nikon D90 Video". The Imaging Resource. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  11. ^ "Reverie". Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  12. ^ Ray Mist, Cinematographer IMDB
  13. ^ Mist, Ray. "An Examination of the Nikon D90 (Refined)" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  14. ^ "D90 accessories". Nikon USA. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  15. ^ PHOTTIX CLEON II Wired and Wireless shutter Archived 2014-08-19 at the Wayback Machine Phottix
  16. ^ Solmeta Geotaggers Solmeta
  17. ^ Dawn di-GPS Products Archived 2013-03-14 at the Wayback Machine Dawn
  18. ^ EasyTag GPS and Wireless Bluetooth Modules Archived 2011-08-28 at the Wayback Machine Easytag
  19. ^ Foolography Unleashed Bluetooth Geotagging Foolography
  20. ^ Gisteq PhotoTrackr Plus for Nikon DSLR (Bluetooth) Archived 2011-08-25 at the Wayback Machine Gisteq
  21. ^ Phottix Geo One GPS Archived 2012-06-26 at the Wayback Machine Phottix
  22. ^ Nikon DSLR GPS Smack Down Results Archived 2011-08-09 at the Wayback Machine Terrywhite
  23. ^ Review: Geotagging with Easytag GPS module (Nikon GP-1 compatible) Archived 2013-07-31 at the Wayback Machine Trick77
  24. ^ Review: blueSLR Wireless Camera Control & GPS Geotagging Archived 2011-08-09 at the Wayback Machine Terrywhite
  25. ^ Battery Packs Archived 2011-10-23 at the Wayback Machine Phottix
  26. ^ Product search: Nikon D90 Battery grip Google
  27. ^ Eye-Fi Wi-Fi network: how it works Archived 2012-07-22 at the Wayback Machine Eye-fi
  28. ^ Flash Units Compatible with Nikon's CLS including Wireless Master Archived 2013-08-02 at the Wayback Machine Dpanswers
  29. ^ Radio Triggers for Flash and Camera Archived 2013-05-27 at the Wayback Machine Dpanswers
  30. ^ Knight For Nikon Flashgun I-TTL Trigger Archived 2013-01-15 at the Wayback Machine Pixel
  31. ^ Radio Transmitters, Receivers and Accessories Archived 2013-08-03 at the Wayback Machine Pocketwizard
  32. ^ The Nikon Creative Lighting System: Wireless, Remote, Through-the-Lens Metered (iTTL) Flash! Imaging Resource
  33. ^ Guide to Nikon TTL Flashes
  34. ^ Pixel Knight TR-331 and TR-332 TTL Radio Triggers Archived 2013-06-21 at the Wayback Machine Dpanswers
  35. ^ Pixel Knight TR-331 Review Part III Archived 2014-04-18 at the Wayback Machine Inside the Viewfinder
  36. ^ Camera Control Pro 2 Nikon
  37. ^ "Light Room 3 now supports tethered capture for Nikon D7000". Blog Archived from the original on 2012-06-29. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  38. ^ Choosing Tethered Shooting Software for Nikon DSLR Cameras The Photo Geek
  39. ^ Tethered Shooting Sofortbild
  40. ^ "DSLR Camera Remote Lite". 2012-12-14. Archived from the original on 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
  41. ^ Nikon D90 User's Manual (English) (PDF). Nikon Corporation. p. 23–25.
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  47. ^ "Camera Rankings". DXO Mark. Archived from the original on December 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
  48. ^ "Camera Finder". Flickr. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
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