Unleashing the Power of Nikon D90: A Comprehensive Review

In today's world, most amateur photographers aspire to click stunning pictures. Nikon D90 is a perfect DSLR camera for professionals and aspiring photographers. With its superior sensor and advanced features, the Nikon D90 is an excellent camera that enables you to capture stunning images and crisp videos. So, gear up, as we delve into the world of photography with the Nikon D90.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Nikon D90 article cover photo

Key Features

Oct 13 2008


12 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Overview of the D90

Are you a photography enthusiast looking for a top-notch camera that can capture beautiful shots and deliver on performance? The Nikon D90 is your perfect DSLR companion. It is a camera renowned for its capabilities and is popular amongst professionals. Arguably the first DSLR that could shoot video, the Nikon D90 is a milestone in the world of cameras. It provides advanced features like powerful CMOS sensor, autofocus system, and excellent image quality that no other camera can match. In this comprehensive review, we 'll look at the Nikon D90 in detail to help you understand why this camera is a right fit for you. So, let's get started!

Nikon D90 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Nikon D90 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High resolution (12.3 megapixels)
Fast and accurate autofocus
Good low light performance (ISO up to 6400)
High dynamic range
Good battery life
Compatible with a wide range of lenses
Built-in flash and microphone


No built-in GPS or Wi-Fi
Limited video recording capabilities (720p resolution)
No touchscreen or flip-out display
Bulky and heavy design
No built-in image stabilization
Limited connectivity options compared to newer models
Price point may be high for some users

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Nikon D90

Weather sealed
Dimensions132 x 103 x 77mm

Weather Sealing

The Nikon D90 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution920k dots
Body typeMid-size SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 920k dots. This makes the Nikon D90 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


D90 includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 96% and a magnification of 0.64x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Nikon D90 has a 12MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Nikon D90 has a native ISO range of 200 - 3200 which can be boosted to null - 6400. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Oct 13 2008


200 - 3200

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - 6400
Max resolution4288 x 2848 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


73 / 102

Color Depth

22.7 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

12.5 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

977 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Nikon D90 camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also above average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the D90 is average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life850 shots
Battery ModelEN-EL3e
Wireless Connectivity


The Nikon D90 supports SD/SDHC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Nikon D90 uses the EN-EL3e model of battery pack. This is rated for 850 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Nikon D90 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. It also offers a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Nikon D90 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Nikon D90 includes two autofocus (AF) systems: contrast detection and phase detection, with 11 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Nikon D90?

The Nikon D90 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Nikon D90 weather sealed?

No the D90 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Nikon D90 announced?

The Nikon D90 was announced on Oct 13 2008

Does the Nikon D90 have in-body image stabilization?

No the D90 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Nikon D90?

The D90 has a native ISO range of 200-3200, which can be expanded to ISO null-6400 for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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